Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: (Not) Ten Books I Put Down

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week's theme focuses on books you've struggled with or have recently put down. I used to force myself to finish any book I started but this year I realized life is too short for that so one of my 2017 reading goals was to allow myself to put something down if I'm not loving it.

So, here are the three books I've marked as did-not-finish on Goodreads this year.

 1. I typically like McHale but I just couldn't handle the sarcasm in this one.

2. I'm still pretty new to graphic novels and comic books and sometimes I just can't get into it.

3. Something about this just bugged me. I think it was possibly the writer's assumption that she could just waltz into the world of wine and learn all of the little secrets so easily.


Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Friday, September 1, 2017

Book Review - Maybe I Do

From Goodreads: She doesn’t believe in fairy tales. He is married to his job. Maybe whiskey is the secret ingredient that will bring them together–and give true love a shot.

Wedding photographer Charlotte Linley loves her work –even though she hates weddings. Sure, she still holds a grudge after being left at the altar by her high-school sweetheart. But today Charlotte is just happy to have complete control over her career, which is flourishing. Especially since she joined forces with one of the three gorgeous owners of The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s hottest wedding venue.

Dean Troyer, bitter after the end of his own marriage, knows that Charlotte is the real deal–beautiful, talented, and successful. He may flirt with her every time she comes to The Stag, but Dean is determined to keep his professional distance…particularly now that she’s helping him with his own sister’s wedding. The only problem? The more time Dean spends with Charlotte, the deeper their connection grows. Is this a rom-com cliche’ or could it be that these two jaded souls in the wedding business have finally found their real-life happily ever after?

My Thoughts: Welcome to the blog tour for Nicole McLaughlin's new book Maybe I Do

I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this and was so excited to read this. The concept of a wedding photographer and a brewery owner sounded fun and like classic McLaughlin. Add in the fact that McLaughlin *is*a wedding photographer and I knew this was going to be good. It did not disappoint! 

This was very reminiscent of McLaughlin's earlier Hearts and Crafts series and her new Man Enough series: great, strong female lead, a fantastic male main character who had a great story and was more than just brain candy, fun side characters, and a great underlying story line in addition to the love story. I could not put this down, I had to know what happened with Charlotte and Dean and their friends and family. Everything about this was so good. I can't wait for the next book in the Whiskey and Weddings series; I have no doubt it will be great.

There's no maybe here, I do recommend you pick this up today! Want to read it right.this.minute? (The answer is yes, do you!) - get it on Kindle or Nook today. (I don't get anything if you use these links, I just find it handy when I'm reading blogs)

One more thing - I totally recommend following McLaughlin online. She often does giveaways for her books, she shares fun insights into her daily life, and she gives great tips on other books by authors similar to herself. Find her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (I love her Instagram feed the most).

Review copy provided by the publisher St. Martin's Press and Netgalley. Images provided by St. Martin's Press. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hidden Gem Books in YA

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

For this week's list I'm going with 10 young adult books that I feel haven't gotten the attention they deserve (yet!).




All images via Goodreads. 

I'm lucky enough to consider Melissa Landers, Jessica Love, and Kelsey Macke as friends of mine thanks to the Internet bringing together strangers who share a love of reading. However, I legitimately think their books are amazing and more people need to read them and it's not at all because I'm a creepy pushy Internet friend of theirs.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School Freebie

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week's theme is a back to school inspired freebie week which means participants are free to pick their own theme for their list. In honor of back to school time I thought I'd go with some of my favorite books from the young reader, middle grade, and young adult sections of bookstores.

Happy reading!

1. Matilda - Roald Dahl. One of my all-time favorite books ever.

2. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins. The whole 3 books series is amazing, really.

3. Alex, Approximately - Jenn Bennett. I read this over the summer and it instantly went on my list of favorites.

4. Open Road Summer - Emery Lord. My first Emery book and still my favorite.

5. Kristy's Great Idea - Ann M. Martin. I have no doubt that the BSC books are why I'm such a big reader to this day.

6. Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Louis Sachar. I adored these as a kid.

7. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume. I seriously lost count of how many times I read this growing up.

8. Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling series) - Megan McCafferty. Love this series and McCafferty is so nice on social media.

9. The Truth About Forever - Sarah Dessen. Honestly it was hard to pick just one Dessen book for this list. Read them all, trust me.

10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling. I mean, duh.

All images via Goodreads.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books You've Read in 2017 So Far

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Hard to believe we're at the half-way point of 2017! This year is really flying.

Here are the books that I'd say are the ten best I've read so far this year. It'll be interesting to see how this list changes by the end of the year.

1. The Names They Gave Us - Emery Lord

2. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House - Alyssa Mastromonaco

3. Alex, Approximately - Jenn Bennett

4. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis - J.D. Vance

5. All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

6. The Hating Game - Sally Thorne

7. The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher

8. Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything In Between

9. The Skeptics' Guide to the Mysteries of the Universe - Jessica Arden

10. All I Ask - Nicole McLaughlin

All images via Goodreads

Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Review - Along Came Us by Nicole McLaughlin

From Goodreads: He’s Mr. Wrong, she’s Miss Independent. When the two come together, sparks fly! Don’t miss Along Came Us, a sexy and heartwarming romance from Nicole McLaughlin.

National Guardsman Tyler Cavallo knows all too well what it feels like to be a volatile teenager. There was a time when it seemed like everyone—be it his father, a rival gang member, or his opponent in the MMA cage—was out to get him. These days he focuses that fight into his gym where he mentors at-risk youths. But one particular teen has Tyler more concerned than usual, and if he’s learned one thing in life, it’s to trust his instincts, and right now those instincts are telling him that this boy isn’t safe.

Lia Hanson is a woman on a mission. With bills to pay, and a younger brother to raise, and two full time jobs, she’s working her ass off and doing the best she can. But in a few months she will finally graduate from college and be able to put most of that behind her for good. Or so she thinks, until a certain overbearing and stupidly good looking gym owner acts like he knows what’s best for her brother. A man is the last thing she wants, and this man is certainly not who she pictured as a stable role model. Lia thought she had a plan, but Tyler’s support, strength and passion have her realizing that sometimes the best things in life come when they’re least expected.

My Thoughts: I received an advanced review copy of this book and was so excited to get my hands on this. This is the second book in McLaughlin's Man Enough series and I really liked the first one, All I Ask.

This story continues off of Reeve and Emily's story by focusing on one of Reeve's friends, Tyler, and the sister/caretaker of a student of Tyler's gym, Lia. Tyler and Lia are both great characters. They have flaws (stubbornness, self-doubt, moments of doing or saying the wrong thing) but they are both learning and growing and you can't help but root for them. 

McLaughlin has built such a great story with this series; the characters are all compelling, the settings come to life and make you really want to go there. I loved the references to the characters and storyline from All I Ask. It was a fun little game to catch all of these.

Overall I really recommend you pick this up when it comes out on 6/27/17, and definitely pick up All I Ask first if you haven't read that one yet.

Review copy provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Photo from Goodreads.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Book Review - The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

From Goodreads: When it all falls apart, who can you believe in?

Everything is going right for Lucy Hansson, until her mom’s cancer reappears. Just like that, Lucy breaks with all the constants in her life: her do-good boyfriend, her steady faith, even her longtime summer church camp job.

Instead, Lucy lands at a camp for kids who have been through tough times. As a counselor, Lucy is in over her head and longs to be with her parents across the lake. But that’s before she gets to know her coworkers, who are as loving and unafraid as she so desperately wants to be.

It’s not just new friends that Lucy discovers at camp—more than one old secret is revealed along the way. In fact, maybe there’s much more to her family and her faith than Lucy ever realized.

My Thoughts: I read Lord's Open Road Summer a few years ago and she quickly moved onto my (very short) Authors I Will Always Pre-Order list. There is something about her writing that so perfectly captures the good and bad of life, people, places, everything that just really draws me in. I want to be Lord's friend and I want her to teach me how to be the kind of writer she is. And the thing is, the characters she creates are the kind of people you want to be friends with too.

This book made me laugh and made me practically sob. Look up the term emotional roller coaster and the definition should just be the cover of this book. Lucy is such a perfect character - she has flaws and she has so much to learn but you can't help but root for her, even if she's having a moment where you just want to shake her a little to get her to see what's really going on. All of the outside characters are amazing, from her family to the people at camp. You'll immediately start rooting for them all, even if you haven't quite figured out their whole story yet.

And that's another amazing thing about this book, just when you think you've got it all figured out there's suddenly a curve ball. And the best part is, the curve ball works. I never had a moment of thinking "what? That doesn't make sense." It was all perfect.

I cannot recommend this book enough. I honestly want to buy a copy for everyone I know and bring them a mug of hot chocolate when they're done. That's how amazing this book is.

Photo from Goodreads

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