Book Review: Emma In the Night


Isn't there a great sense of relief when an author you love comes out with a new book and you know without even reading the synposis that you're going to love it? That's how I feel about Wendy Walker. I loved All Is Not Forgotten so much. Christopher and I both read it and it was so great to talk about it together.



I was thrilled when I heard that Wendy published a new book, Emma in the Night. If you follow me on Instagram, you know by now that I read it non-stop and found it just as thrilling as AINF. The greatest element of these two thrillers is that Wendy's narrators are unreliable, yet you find yourself hanging on their every word. It's unnerving but addicting. 

The tension had me literally hanging on every word, even when those word didn't quite match up. 


Before I tell you more about Emma in the Night, check out this awesome book trailer from St. Martins Press:



Cass Tanner arrives home, three years after she and her sister Emma disappear. Everyone- her parents, her stepfather, siblings and the investigators on her case are all riveted by the story that she tells. They listen as she tells a tale that her sister is alive, there is a baby being held captive on an isolated island and many other torrid details.

But the scariest things that Cass knows are what she isn't telling them. There are family secrets that you will have a hard time believing, only because by the time Cass gets around to telling them, every one in the story seems to be lying to cover up their own dark sides.

It's thrilling, riveting and super twisted. Pick up a copy now! 




Currently...



So what's been happening around here? General panic because...because it's AUGUST already... the kids start school in 2 weeks...and they have lost all sense of time. I mentioned that we needed to start a routine again. You know, I said, "bedtimes, regular reading time, brushing our hair." General human things. They looked at me like I had  grown horns. Which is pretty normal so I guess maybe we do have a routine? I tell them to do something and they just stare? Yup. Pretty normal! 

But when things are calm, I do things like read and watch Netflix with the hubs so here's what's been going on lately... 

Currently reading: Pretend We Are Lovely by Noley Reid- I found this in the Book Riot Insiders catalog and immediately knew it was something I wanted to read. It's written with numerous characters' points of views about the Soley family: Tate, Francie and their two daughters Vivvi and Enid. It's the 1980s in Blacksburg, Virginia, seven years after the tragic and suspicious death of a son and sibling. Each one tells their version of what their lives were like the day that their son and brother, Sheldon, died. Here's the catch: they are all different. Even the lives they are living when the others aren't paying attention are different from what they appear. It's sad and intimate and moves quickly. I'm really enjoying it. 

Currently listening to on audiobook: I just finished The Party by Robyn Hardin last week and headed to the library today for my next one. 
Currently listening to: Stevie Nicks, all day every day. 
Currently eating: Anything I can make in my new Instant Pot that I scored on Amazon Prime Day. It's positively magical. I've saved some recipes to my Instant Pot Recipes board on Pinterest, so if you have any suggestions, leave a link to your Pinterest saves in the comments! 
Currently drinking: Iced tea. I've managed to kick my Diet. Dr. Pepper habit (almost) to the curb thanks to brewing tea and always keeping it in the fridge. 
Currently watching: Ozark on Netflix. Jason Bateman, you have my whole heart. Not to mention, I love that it's set in Missouri (even though I feel like they try to take the "hicks" characterization a bit far. Not every one that lives at the Lake of the Ozarks has missing teeth and is rude and miserable). I mean, there are some probably, but not all. Christopher and I have been in a huge slump since watching all of Shameless, I am so glad we finally found a show to binge together. 
Currently opened tabs: Goodreads, Pinterest, Netgalley, Facebook
Currently on my book to-buy list: Are You Sleeping just shipped, so I am pumped about that and next weekend I am headed to the Kansas City Library's City Market book sale and to Rainy Day books so I've got a couple I am on the look out for: The Alice Network, Girl in the Snow, Gather The Daughters, and The Shark Club 
Currently adding to my Goodreads TBR list: Basically everything I just listed. I'm also awaiting a review copy of See What I Have Done that I'm excited about.
Currently recommending: I just sent my sister home with Siracusa, which I still recommend a lot because it's a great mix of mysterious, romance and travel. 
Currently talking about on the blog: I've had some time to add quite a few reviews lately, but my favorite to share most has been my round up of current must reads and my review of The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
I was inspired for this post by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner, so check out her post too, she's got some great book recommendations! 

What are you currently loving, reading, doing? 

Book Review: The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

If you are looking for a great summer read that is light and airy but still intriguing enough to be a page-turner, this is it. Take a vacation to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard in this family saga. 




Tabitha and Harper Frost are estranged identical twins who have lived separate lives in an unconventional way: upon their parents' divorce, Harper went to one island with her father and Tabitha went to the other with their mother.  When their father passes away and Tabitha's teenage daughter heads down a dangerous path, the two sisters must come together to help each other, even though this means facing painful pasts and potentially uncovering secrets, they both know what they have to do.

That part of the story- the estrangement, the past, their parents lives...that is all just one layer. On top of that you also get glorious details about life on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. The descriptions of the weather, the elaborate homes, the majestic islanders, the clothes, the food... it was like reading from a rich cookbook with recipes on how to live the good life.

Did I mention there is also steamy secret affairs, drool worthy fashion, home remodeling and lots of cocktails mixed in? See what I mean?! 

It's a must for your summer reading list! If you've read it, tell me what you think! If you want more beachy reads, check out The Forever Summer, The Sunshine Sisters, Hello, Sunshine and The Arrangement

Book Round Up: Books You Must Read Right Now:


I looked up the other day and realized that the stacks of books in my living room are getting a little out of control. Now, to me, this makes me over the moon happy. I don't mind stack and stacks of books but to anyone stopping by, they might think I am becoming a hoarder. Or to the kids who are running through the living room, the stacks kind of get in their way of endless cartwheels. So as I started to put them away (a.k.a. use them as decorations in various parts of the house) I decided to at least make a list of the next few reads and voila- a book round up for you was born! Here are a list of books you need to put on your TBR list right away and get to reading!





Arboria Park by Kate Tyler Wall- This book really reminded me of Miller's Valley. Epic descriptions of the 1950s setting, where bikes meant freedom and street signs were the boundaries to other worlds. Rich in history about the culture of the time, this book will intrigue you and make you wish you could turn back time just to live in this sub division for a day. Because of her curious and observant nature, Stacy Halloran grows up in her sub-division watching the people around her grow and change, from divorce to sexuality, she is overcome with the need to ask more questions about life but her sheltered world keeps the answers at bay. (Recieved this book as part of BookSparks #PopUpBlogTour)

The Map That Leads To You by J.P. Monninger - A romance overseas. A young woman on what she thinks is a European adventure with her girlfriends unexpectedly leads to a relationship with a mysterious older man. She takes a chance on what might be her last experience with freedom before settling down with life and responsibilities but she has taken on more than she can handle with her lover and his secrets? 

Cruel, Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt- When Caroline emailed me asking if I would like to read her book, I was instantly intrigued. It's set in a time that always grabs my attention: the 1970s, during a time where Vietnam was still confusing and the older generation was still reeling from WWII but the younger people were just as confused by the new liberal movement sweeping into their once safe living rooms. Cruel, Beautiful World is about 16-year-old Lucy, who has decided to run away with her much older English teacher. Her plan, unknown by her older sister and caretaker (her parents were killed in a tragic fire years before) eventually proves to be a poor thought out choice with major repercussions. I can't wait to find out: how far does Lucy go? How does she come back? And I need to know more about this teacher who convinces a child to trust him enough to run away from the only life she has ever known. 

The Heirs by Susan Bieger- Family loyalty takes center stage in this  saga about the Falkes: an upper-crust Manhattan widow and her 5 adult sons. After the death of the family matriarch, Eleanor is still coping with the death of her husband, Rupert. So imagine her deep and utter shock when another woman shows up to sue the Falke estate, claiming that she has been in a relationship with Rupert herself and had two sons with him. Everyone that once loved and respected Rupert must re-evaluate their entire lives with him. It will be interesting to see what it will  take to keep this family together with so many circumstances trying to rip them apart. 

The Identicals by Elin Hildenbrand - We are going on a beach vacation next week so this book is an obvious must- have in my beach bag. Elin Hildenbrand always delivers on a good romance with a spectacular setting. With only 2 and 1/2 hours of travel by ferry between them, sisters Tabitha and Harper have much more keeping them apart. A family crisis forces them to band together but there may be too many betrayals and secrets to build a bridge to mend their relationship. 


Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy- Two families go on a vacation that quickly turns tragic when the children get lost while on an onshore visit during their cruise. As panic sets in, the parents start to turn on each other. Told from perspectives of both the parents and children, I anticipate this story to be very thought provoking and emotionally charged. 

No One Is Coming To Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts- I keep seeing this book every where and was intrigued even more so when I read the description: "The Great Gatsby brilliantly recast in the contemporary south: a powerful first novel about an extended African-American family and their colliding visions of the American Dream." Yes. Please. 

Pretend We Are Lovely by Noley Reid-  A summer in the life of the Sobel family in 1980s Blacksburg, Virginia, seven years after the tragic and suspicious death of a son and sibling. All of the family members are dealing with the tragedy differently, which in turn is going to rip them further apart. And then when another family member disappears, there is hardly anything left to save. I heard about this through my Book Riot Insiders membership and I cannot wait until its release on July 18! 

Words is Deep Blue by Cath Crowley- Unrequited love, a book store and hidden love letters? Nothing can keep me away from this story. 

Book Review: The Salt House by Lisa Duffy







When a family loses their youngest daughter in an unthinkable accident, how do they rebuild? 

I can't even begin to imagine. Lisa Duffy helps you understand how this family, the Kellys, can possibly live another day without their precious little girl, Maddie. Their other daughters are just as effected by the tragedy and in this book, you get to read from everyone's perspectives about how life is now that Maddie is gone. 

Jack and Hope Kelly had a lot of dreams: Jack's lobster business would grow, Hope would continue writing for women's magazines, they would rebuild their dream home in Maine with their 3 girls. When their future suddenly looks very differently, every one reacts different. Hope slips into a depression that no one can bring her out of. Jack slips further away from everyone and starts to lose his grip on the mounting responsibilities of his business and providing for his family.

I think the parts of this book that were the most powerful were when the characters were so honest and raw. The author really laid it all out there for you. I felt pride at some points on their behalves, but also shame, sadness, frustration and hope... it was quite the roller coaster. 

The best book I've read this summer. A must-read. 

Praise for The Salt House includes:

“…Duffy eloquently displays the emotional complexities of a family going through the healing process. Readers of Elin Hilderbrand or Luanne Rice will enjoy.”
-Library Journal

“[Duffy] deftly sketches the edges of grief. A poignant story of the power of faith, hope, and love to transcend loss.”
-Kirkus

“This insightful, emotionally potent debut is ideal for fans of Amy Hatvany.”
-Booklist

“… a compelling examination of grief and the way loss threatens the lives of every family member. Though all thecharacters are vivid and memorable, I am especially drawn to the younger voices as they maneuver in theuncharted wake of their parents, attempting normal lives under conditions that are anything but.”
-Jill McCorkle, NYT Bestselling author of Life After Life


-I received a copy of The  Salt House from Touchstone Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Show Us Your Books: May



Show Us Your Books: May Edition
with Steph & Jana


The Salt House by Lisa Duffy When a family loses their youngest daughter in an unthinkable accident, how do they rebuild? Jack and Hope Kelly had a lot of dreams: Jack's lobster business would grow, Hope would continue writing for women's magazines, they would rebuild their dream home in Maine with their 3 girls. When their future suddenly looks very differently, every one reacts different. Hope slips into a depression that no one can bring her out of. Jack slips further away from everyone and starts to lose his grip on the mounting responsibilities of his business and providing for his family.  I think the parts of this book that were the most powerful were when the characters were so honest and raw. The author really laid it all out there for you. I felt pride at some points on their behalves, but also shame, sadness, frustration and hope... it was quite the roller coaster. The best book I've read this summer. (ARC Copy, Touchstone Books) 


Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave This super fun book was a slice of summer heaven! Sunshine Mackenzie has it all...and then in the blink of a Tweet, she doesn't. But what's interesting is how you find out that she really never had it it all. Her life as a famous chef, with a Youtube channel and a future Food Network show in the works, was all smoke and mirrors. Her husband Danny wants his wife back, before she transformed herself into the persona of "Sunshine," before she stopped being herself.  I think this book was really fun and fast-paced and the perfect book to read on the go. (ARC copy, Simon & Schuster) 

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg - I picked this after hearing about it a lot from other Book of the Month members. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. I just didn't mesh with the narrator and really wanted her to "you-know-what or get off the pot." But I think the evolution of her character was the whole theme of the story so I think it made its point because she did grow alot by the end of the book.

Woman No. 17 - This book was...interesting. The first half had enough intrigue to keep me turning the pages but in the end I wasn't that interested. Lots of different characters: a mute teenager, a couple on the verge of a break up and a very strange babysitter. The mystery and weirdness of what happens when the babysitter decides to do a little "research" was unique but a little predectable and I just didn't really get it. (Hardback, Hogarth Publishing)

Into The Water-  It was good but there were a lot of things to keep track of: dead bodies, ancient witch tales, and a lot of people with some shady pasts. It was definitely creepy so I would give it a go if you like many of the other books like it (Girl on the Train, Woman in Cabin 10). 

Have you read any of these? Tell me what you think! If you are looking for a good round up of books to read, be sure to visit Steph or Jana's Show Us Your Book Link Up! 

Must Read: The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I have to tell you about the 1 MUST READ of the Summer:  


It's not just a Summer must-read because it obviously looks stunning next to a pool or beach but also because once you dive into this story, you won't want to resurface until you've devoured every page. 


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo better be on the top of your summer to-read list. If it's not--trust me you will want to add it! It hits the shelves TOMORROW so go ahead and pre-order anywhere you get your books now. 

For those of you who have read the magic that is Taylor Jenkins Reid, you won't be surprised to hear that her newest novel is nothing short of amazing. But here's a surprise: It's totally different from anything she's written before. 

This story has the intrigue and scandal that you'd expect from anything centered around the 50s and 60s era in Hollywood but it also has much more. There's something so interesting about the sudden relationship between reporter Monique Grant and the famous actress, Evelyn Hugo. When Evelyn requests Monique out of the blue to write her biography, Monique is awestruck, suspicious and nervous. But as she listens to Evelyn tell her life story, there are many things that change for Monique. 

In hearing the struggles and various love stories from Hugo, Monique starts to untangle stories that are going on in her own heart. I just can't express how much I truly enjoyed this book. There are stories intertwined with the bigger plot that pull at your heart strings, there is a massively important theme about love, forgiveness and acceptance and major plot twists that you don't see coming...it's just an amazing story.

I love books that have several stories going on but somehow they are all linked. This book was super easy to follow- it's literally two women sitting together and talking about the past-Evelyn's storytelling is quick and to the point and it was addicting- I couldn't get enough! So many great stories about how cut throat and manipulating it was to be an actress back in those days. Add on top of that more issues that you never can fully understand if you've never been in those shoes: marriage, secrets, abuse, secret love affairs...loving someone the world thought you shouldn't... 
 
This book tackles a lot of issues but as a whole, there is one thread woven through out: Love is love... and you will love this book. 

If you've read it, send me links to your reviews on Goodreads or Amazon so I can hear what you think! Or leave your thoughts in the comments below! 

That's What He Read: My Husband's #BookStack


One of the best things that my husband and I have in common is reading. Before I came along, the last book he read was a pharmacy text book so it's safe to say he enjoys reading for fun instead of cramming for exams. 

He's mostly interested in crime/thrillers but loves a few historical non-fictions as well. I thought it would be fun to share what he's been reading lately! 




Top  3: 





Other Recommendations:

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker 

So there you have it! What are you reading ? 

My Current #TBR Pile




Happy Thursday! Yesterday, I finished an awesome book, The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner. When I finish a book that I really like, I usually have to wait a day or so to dive into a new one. Today, when I went to my "pile" I had a moment of panic. I have no idea which one to choose. They are alllll calling my name. Here's a quick look at the books that are calling my name: 

The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty- A high profile blogger and celebrity needs a housekeeper and Anne Morgan needs a job. So begins a twisting tale with secrets and lies. The only way I actually love housework is when I am reading about someone else doing it! 

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris- From the author of Behind Closed Doors, this book is set to be the thriller of the summer. 

Marlena by Julie Buntin - I have seen mixed reviews of this book, some love it, some say it's a pass but I noticed that Emma Roberts was reading it and giving it a thumbs up so I am going to give it a chance. There's a missing girl, a mysterious, lonely group of teenagers and a past that can't be ignored... 

All Grown Up  by Jami Attenberg - This has been on my pile forever and I really want to read it. Can someone just add one more day to my week? The main character is wondering, what does it take to be an adult? I ask myself that same question on a daily basis, so I have a feeling I'll be able to relate....

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave  - When your first name is Sunshine, you have a lot to live up to. And on the surface, famous YouTube Star and cookbook author Sunshine Mackenzie is nailing it. But of course, as we all do, she's hiding a few secrets that will have a catastrophic impact if they are ever discovered. 


What's next on your #TBR List? 

Your Kids' Summer Must Have: A Little Fun Club Subscription Box

Little Fun Club blog tour. A subscription box for children's books. Great for kids ages 0-12.

There are a couple things that my daughter Reese loves above all else. At the top of her favorites list: Books (she gets it from her mama) and mail. She LOVES checking the mail every day and begs me to let her open packages. 

So, imagine her delight when she received a box  from the super cute company, Little Fun Club. Does her face not say it all? 


Little Fun Club is a subscription box for children's books. It's ideal for kids ages 0-12. When you sign up, your child will receive a box containing three adventurous books every month. The books are tailored to your child's age, so you can rest assured they will always have quality, age-appropriate reading material. Each book is hand selected for your child, and no two boxes are the same.  

We received three books, two for Reese: Sparky by Jenny Offill and George Shrinks by William Joyce and The Hardy Boys, The Tower Treasure chapter book for Ryder. They were thrilled. The awesome thing about this subscription box is that they tailor pick books based on your child's age and interests. I think it's the perfect solution for school getting out in a couple of weeks too. They LOVE going to the school library on a regular basis so this is just like having their librarian visit each month! 



How it Works:

  1. Join Little Fun Club and let them know your child's age so the box can be customized for them. You can include up to three kids per box and they'll customize it accordingly.
  2. Get three adventurous books every month for as little as $25/month.
  3. Grow with Little Fun Club. As your child gets older, the books change accordingly — so you'll always receive age-appropriate books for your kids.


Good to Know:

  1. You can add a note to your child's account with reading preferences so the box can be tailored to their interests.
  2. Shipping is FREE on all boxes.
  3. Little Fun Club selects books based on merit. Books go through a rigorous selection process and are read and reviewed by the Little Fun Club team before being considered.
  4. If you receive a book that you already own, just let Little Fun Club know about it. They'll replace the book in the next box! You don't have to return anything.
  5. You can cancel or put your subscription hold at any time.
  6. A Little Fun Club subscription makes a wonderful gift for birthdays, holidays, or just because.
The final product is a box filled with education, fun, and opportunities for positive child development. They make sure each box is just right before it is sent out.  


Prices:

1 month - $29/month 3 months - $27/month 6 months - $25/month   You can see what types of books Little Fun Club offers by visiting their website.  

  $50 Cash Giveaway | batchofbooks.com  

The Little Fun Club is also giving away $50 that you can use for your first box! Checkout the Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive $50 in PayPal cash Open to US and Canada Ends May 12, 2017 Use the Rafflectoper to enter. Entrants must be 18 or older or have their parent/guardian enter for them. The winner will be chosen randomly. Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary to enter. This contest is void where prohibited by law.  
 

Check out what others are saying about their Little Fun Box! 

Books that Bring a Ray of Sunshine


Lately I've notice a little "summery" theme among some of my ARCs and picks on the top of my TBR stack so I wanted to tell you about them: 





My review for The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green - A classic family drama from Jane Green, that has her familiar, great story-telling vibe-although I did feel like the story was on a much more larger scale, which impressed me. There were a lot of characters and story lines that kept me interested. I am always drawn to stories about mother/daughter relationships. It's about the Sunshines, Ronnie, the mother, put stardom before her children and now she's at the end of her life with alot of explaining to do. Her 3 daughters are all very different and dynamic and I loved their individual story lines. I felt like there was a missed opportunity to really dive into why there is such a strained relationship between the mother and her 3 daughters, I would have liked more flashbacks because they are seriously estranged...but the action of their current lives was enough to keep me interested. 


Losing the Light by Andrea Dunlop- I just dove into this and the writing is spot on. Literal, honest and to-the-point and I love that. I don't have time to tip toe around the details or the back story and Dunlop does an awesome job at diving right in. I liked and trusted the main character, Brooke, right away, even as she is telling me about a dead girl and an affair with her college professor in the first couple chapters. It's set in France. Frenchmen everywhere. What else do you need?? 

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave- This cover though, can we just send up the praise hand emojis? If this doesn't get you ready to read poolside, I don't know what will. The main character is a social media star with a luxe lifestyle and everything going for her. And of course, a secret she's trying to keep. Juicy! 


The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner-  This book caught my attention on #bookstagram (which obviously happens a lot because it's my happy place) and I really had a feeling that I was going to love it. Do you ever see a book and just feel like "yes, that's going to be my new favorite."- that's how I feel abou this book. It has everything I need to bring a little sunshine in my life: drama, family, the beach and deep, dark secrets. I mean, other than a chilled wine spritzer, what else do you really need in June? 


Are any of these going to be on your Summer Reading List? Tell me what you're reading! 


Show Us Your Books: March

I don't have a lot of time to write long descriptions but I love sharing all the books I read each month and I read some gems in March so I am going to make this short and sweet. 

Must Reads: 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: YES. Read my full review here and then plan on reading this awesome book. 



The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn: Read my full review here. This is my favorite read of the month. It's a premise that is intriguing because it really is a good "What if?" question and I think everyone wonders what lies on the other side of a question like this... 



It Happens All the Time. (My full review is here) This is a good read because it talks about a tough subject but tells the story in a reflective and interesting voice. 


Didn't love: 

Always by Sarah Jio- I love Sarah Jio- she's always a good, go-to author. However, this story just took too long. Maybe it's because I listened to the audiobook and I can only listen 3 days out of the week so it felt like it took longer to get through, but I am not sure. I felt like the main character, who runs into her first love by happenstance and who is now a homeless man, isn't being genuine enough. The story that she just happens to be a journalist who is covering homeless in her city... it just felt a little too contrived. 

The Separation by Katie Kitmura: Another audiobook fail for me. I honestly believe it had to do with the narrator. She. read. so. slow. I couldn't stand it and had to switch over and listen to podcasts instead and ended up forgetting about it all together. I think I needed to know more about where the hell the husband was to catch my attention quicker.

 I think I may have gotten another book into the line up if I hadn't gotten sucked into Up and Vanished and S-Town this month. Did anyone else listen? 

Currently, I am listening to The Roanoke Girls and reading The Fall of Lisa Bellow  

Thanks Steph and Jana for hosting another great Show Us Your Books link up! 

Book Review: The Arrangement

Shout out to the first book to make me cry in a long long time. I love when that happens. It's not that I actually enjoy crying  but sometimes, it helps to let it out, doesn't it? It was towards the the end and whenever a book or movie fast forwards to the end and shows you how the characters have moved on, it always makes me feel the feels. For example- the last episode of Parenthood? I can't even talk about it without getting choked up. And this had that beautifully tied together ending that I love so much.



I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this book. It is a story that needs to be told because I think everyone has a little voice in their heart that asks "What if?" of the path they didn't take, the person they didn't choose.

When Lucy and Owen decided on the "Arrangement" I thought there was no way that both of them were going to go thru with it. They are married and have a "nice" life. Why fix what's not broken, right? But what if it could be better? So they set some rules and try something new. Each one would get six months to sleep with other people. No questions asked, no jealously, no details. And then it's over. That's the plan. After getting to know the characters, I certainly didn't think the one who actually broke the rules would be the one to fall.  But then again, that's why I loved the story- the elements of surprise, how things came full circle at the end- I don't want to give anything away but it has to be said- this book isn't just a frilly romance. It's complex, it's thoughtful and it has depth. I loved every minute of it.

The multiple story lines, the evolution of the characters, the setting (I want to move to Beekman!) These elements made sure that the story was never  boring. I really got caught up in the raising of the kids, especially the main characters' son, who has autism. I revel in learning about other's parenting experiences and Dunn really nailed the ups and downs of parenthood. You know, wanting to scream and kick in frustration while also scooping up and cover their faces in kisses at the same time?

Another thing- this book is funny. There is a little bit of a shock factor, a crazy lazy with a home repair obsession and a bunch of chickens all named after poultry entrees.

Have you read it? Tell what me what you thought. And if not, at it to your TBR!

I received this book thru NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Book Review: It Happens All The Time



This book is a very important narrative for our society today. Not only does it have an important message, but it also has a multi-dimensional story line that makes it very powerful.


Told in a back and forth style between Tyler and Amber, It Happens All the Time tells the story of two friends who experience a night together that will change both of their lives forever. Hatvany tackles a very heavy and important topic: consent. 

Amber faces many questions: Will she ever be able to have healthy body image, will she ever be confident? Is her engagement the best decision and is she really in love? 

For one night, she decides to let loose and have fun with her friends and she felt safe enough to be a little reckless, especially since she has her best friend Tyler by her side. Flirting with him feels safe. Until one drink turns into more and suddenly, she is waking up with memories of the night before that shake her to her core. She remembers saying no to Tyler and she remembers that he didn't listen. 

When Tyler tells his side of the story, it's quite different from Amber's. He can't understand why she won't talk to him... The most shocking/interesting thing about the book is that you get to see the man's point of view. You can tell the author wrote this with a powerful message and experience behind it.

There is a shocking start to the book that caught my attention right away and I couldn't look away until I finished the last page. 

This is a great because of the thrilling story and account of the dynamics between women and men, our lovers and our enemies... and how quickly those dynamics can change. But also, the importance of it's message makes this a must read.

To hear the author's personal story and inspiration behind this book, visit her website: http://www.amyhatvany.com/book/it-happens-all-the-time/ 

Add It To Your List!

Add It To My List

I love a good blog prompt and this is perfect, thanks so much to Eat, Drink, Lauren & Bre Writes for this fun link up!



Add It To Your Watch List:

Hubs and I are almost done with Shameless. I can't even THINK about what I am going to do with myself when we are all caught up. I am obsessed with the Gallaghers and feel like I will be missing my family when we are done with season 7! 

To help me cope with the separation anxiety, I signed up for a trial month of Hulu because I want to watch Harlots. Are there any other Hulu shows that you recommend? 

Add It To Your Hobby List: 

Brush Lettering - I can't stop watching tutorial videos of brush lettering online so I decided to grab some markers and try it myself. I printed off some tutorial sheets off Pinterest and just doodled away. It's super therapeutic. It's not like I want to start an Etsy shop by any means but if I do get to a place where I feel like I am somewhat nailing it, I thought it would be fun to make some bookmarks for friends. (I started with these Sharpie Markers off Amazon)



Weaving- Now this might just be a private hobby because I don't feel like I am getting the hang out of it but I had to at least give it a try. I am obsessed with these walling hangings by ModernMonsterCO and I thought it looked fun so I bought this book and the supplies and dove in. It's actually a lot more difficult than I originally thought but I do love combininh fun colors and learning all the different ways to create patterns. 




Add It To Your House List: 

House plants- I need one in my life. I have never had a house plant in this house- ONE time I kept a small cactus alive and another peace lily plant in college that I kept on the brink of extinction on a regular basis. But I need a plant, like yesterday. I know the exact type I want: 



Either something like this fiddle leaf fig or any type of palm. Anyone who has luck with indoor plants, give me a shout! 

Also coming soon: Our new couch and chair for the formal living room. We had to custom order to fit the space and so it's taking way longer than I thought. Of course I gave away our old couch downstairs the day we ordered it, thinking it would take a while to see but nope! It was gone in a day so now the room is bare and it echos. I need my reading nook back right meow! 

Add It To Your Reading List:

In April, I have a couple of books I am really looking forward to that I received ARCs from Simon and Schuster: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware, coming out this summer. Yes, that Ruth Ware-the author of The Woman in Cabin 10! Also- I just got The Fall of Lisa Bellow in the mail today too! Super excited! I am also loving The Arrangement.  I just finished It Happens All The Time by Amy Hatvany and really loved it. (click on the link for my Goodreads review).



Add It To Your Listening to List:

I was planning on starting The Hollywood Daughter on audio book tomorrow BUT then I remember creators of the Serial Podcast and This American Life published S-Town- a new series about a murder in Alabama. The cool part: The released the entire podcast at once, so now waiting! Let the binging begin! 

Are there any things on this list that you are loving too?