November 2017 Recap

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Well, guys, November was not great. As you will see below from the number of books I read. I’ve just had such trouble concentrating on anything. I mentioned last month that there was some family drama going on. While I don’t want to get really into it, my parents are divorcing. My mother is now staying with me in my one bedroom apartment until things are finalized, whenever that may be. In happier news, we had a great visit with my sister, brother-in-law and niece the beginning of the month. There were some stressful things we had to deal with, but we still managed to have some fun. It took a few days for my niece to really warm up to us, but she eventually did and we had such a great time with her! I was so sad when they had to go back to Canada. We also had a nice Thanksgiving at my brother and sister-in-law’s new house.

Books Read: 6

Adult: 4
YA: 2

Favorite Books I Read This Month:

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Follow Me Back (Follow Me Back #1) by A.V. Geiger. I ended up enjoying this book way more than I thought I would.

  Books Reviewed: 4

Blue Ridge Sunrise (Blue Ridge Romance #1) by Denise Hunter – 3/5 Stars

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor – 3/5 Stars

Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins – 4/5 Stars

Always You (Bachelor Brotherhood #3) by Denise Grover Swank – 3.5/5 Stars

Books Read in 2017 Overall: 124

Funny Fridays:

Mwehehe. Yep.

November 3

November 10

Believe the 4th voice! #mybookcave #amreading #booklover #bookworm

November 17

November 24

Other Posts:

34 Bookish Facts About Me

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I’m Thankful For

The Nope Book Tag

Top Ten Tuesday: Book on my Winter TBR

Reviewing the Unreviewed: November 2017

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Reviewing the Unreviewed: November 2017

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleaver. Read October 26-November 7. 3 Stars. 

I’m going to preface this by saying that I think if I had read this at a different time I would have enjoyed it much more and read it much faster. It just happened to be the book I started when a lot of life stuff happened and I didn’t really feel like reading. I can’t really tell if I just didn’t find this that interesting or if it was my mood. Maybe a little of both? I did like the general concept and the multiple perspectives. I liked Joshua. I liked the ending. I thought the writing was a little too wordy at times. I felt like it over-explained a lot of things. Overall, it was a decent book, but I didn’t love it. Again, it might have just been my reading mood.

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Public Relations by Katie Heaney & Arianna Rebolini. Read November 8-11. 2 Stars. 

I wanted to read this because I thought it sounded a little bit reminiscent or Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren and When It’s Real by Erin Watt, both of which I loved. However, Public Relations fell far, far short of my expectations. The main character, Rose, was pretty awful. She was incredibly self-centered, completely unprofessional, and just so, SO unlikable. I did not find her to be a sympathetic character at all and I almost wished things would’ve blown up in her face by the end instead of following it’s obviously predictable path just because I would’ve liked her awful behavior to have some type of consequence. I also found the book way longer than it needed to be, filled with so much pointless detail that I had to skim some parts. So why am I giving this 2 stars instead of 1? Archie Fox! I often found myself smiling at scenes he was in and even though I did not understand at all why he was into Rose, I enjoyed their scenes together (though she often ruined it by the end of the scene). Sadly, though, even Archie Fox is not enough for me to recommend this book to anyone.

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The Ghostwriter by Allesandra Torre. Read November 14-19. 3 Stars. 

So I thought this book was supposed to have twists? Did I misunderstand? Where were the twists?!?! I’m trying to not let the disappointment of my expectations effect my rating. The writing wasn’t bad. I really liked Mark. It was verrrrry slow going, though. And I was ok with that because I thought there would be a great pay off later…but there wasn’t really. A decent book, but another instance where my expectations/hype ruined it a little.

A big thanks to Suzanne @ https://thebookishlibra.com/ for a copy of the book which I won as the book of my choice from a giveaway on her blog.

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Follow Me Back (Follow Me Back #1) by A.V. Geiger. Read November 19-22. 4 Stars. 

This is maybe more of a 3.5, but I’m bumping my rating up to 4 for a couple reasons. I thought this was really compulsively readable and I did not really see the end coming. I can’t wait for the next book to see if my predictions are right.

I also liked the psychological aspects of the story. I thought the role reversal of online obsession was well done.


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The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham. Read November 22-25. 3.5 Stars.

I liked the writing. I read the first part of the book very quickly. I enjoyed both Meghan and Agatha’s POVs. There just wasn’t anything that surprising. Based on all the reviews I expected a few more shocks or twists, but it was all pretty straightforward. One thing that I did like, though, was that I forgot this was written by a man. I don’t always think 1st person POV female characters written by men are very believable, but I thought Robotham’s writing was solid. I’ll read more from him in the future.

I started this book while I was at my brother and sister-in-law’s for Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law is named Megan and is pregnant so I kind of felt like the story was a little more personal. I told her to stay away from any unknown pregnant women that try to befriend her lol.

********Back on the TBR********

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Library books that expired before I started them:

If There’s No Tomorrow by JLA, Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George, Little Deaths by Emma Flint, Betrayedby Lisa Scottoline.

Library books I barely started before I immediately thought, “Nope! Not in the mood!”

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All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater, In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan, Sister, Sister by Sue Fortin.

********Re-Read********

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When It’s Real by Erin Watt. As you can probably tell by now, this was a very moody reading month for me where I spent more time figuring out what I didn’t want to read than actually reading. I decided a good re-read was in store and went for this one. I loved it just as much the second time around.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR. I’ve been an extremely moody reader lately, so I may not stick to these, but they’re all ones I’m hoping to read.

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1. Roomies by Christina Lauren – publishing 12/5/17. I loved the last book I read by this author duo, Dating You/Hating You, and I have high hopes for this one.

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2. Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills – publishing 12/5/17. I absolutely adore her other books and I can’t wait for this one!

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3. Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West – publishing 12/26/17. I love Kasie West books.

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4. Iron Gold by Pierce Brown – publishing 1/16/18. I am so excited for this!!! I probably should add the first three books to this list because I feel like I need a re-read before going into this so I can fully appreciate it.

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5. Runaway Groom (I Do, I Don’t #2) by Lauren Layne – publishing 1/30/18. I really enjoyed the first book in this series. Lauren Layne has become one of my favorite Contemporary Romance authors.

6. The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon – publishing 2/13/18. No cover yet, but that doesn’t matter. If it’s by Amy Harmon, I want to read it!

7. The Comfort Zone by Sally Thorne – publishing 2/20/18. No cover yet for this either. I adored The Hating Game and have been eagerly anticipating Thorne’s next book ever since.

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8. Restore Me (Shatter Me #4) by Tahereh Mafi – publishing 3/6/18. Though re-reads have made me lower my original very high opinion of these books, I am still very excited for this series to continue. I will never be sad about getting more Warner!

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9. Without Merit by Colleen Hoover -published 10/3/17. Brandie from Running on Words and Wine gifted me a copy of this for my birthday! I am not a huge CoHo fan, but Brandie said this one was a little different than her normal books and thought I would like it. Thanks again Brandie!

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10. Match Made in Manhattan by Amanda Stauffer – publishing 1/23/18. I got a physical ARC of this from the author so I really want to get this read soon. I’ve been such a moody reader lately that I’ve mostly avoided all my ARCs because I’m afraid my bad mood will negatively impact any book I read and I want to be as fair as possible with ARCs.

What books are you looking forward to reading this Winter?

The Nope Book Tag

The Nope Book Tag

I saw this a little while ago over on Read by Chris and thought it looked fun. In an effort to not repeat the same old answers I always use, I’m going to try and stick with books I’ve read this year. Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like!

1. NOPE. Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy. 

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I actually do not remember the ending to Six Stories by Matt Weslowski, but I put in my short review that I found the ending really unsatisfying. In fact, this whole books was a big, fat “NOPE” for me.

2. NOPE. Protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy. 

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Isa from The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. I can not even believe the crap she put her baby and her boyfriend through. She’s the worst!

3. NOPE. Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE. after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore. 

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Ok, this one is kind of hard because I haven’t really discontinued any series this year. I’m going to go with Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh even though it’s the first book in a series because I don’t really have any interest in continuing in.

4. NOPE. Popular pairing: A “ship” you don’t support.

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I don’t really think this is a “popular” pairing, but I’m going to go with Rose and Archie in Public Relations by Katie Heaney & Arianna Rebolini. I thought Archie was way, way too good for self-absorbed, immature Rose.

5. NOPE. Plot twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like. 

Lacey’s Wedding by Sharon Bolton. I love Sharon Bolton, but I thought this short story was a bit of a cruel twist for Lacey Flint fans. There just better be more books coming in this series!!!

6. NOPE. Protagonist action/decision: A character decision that made you shake your head NOPE. 

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Georgie in Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne. While I really enjoyed this book and did like Georgie, there were many times her actions really frustrated me.

7. NOPE. Genre: A genre you will never read.

This is always my answer, but Dinosaur Erotica. Yes, it’s a real thing.

8. NOPE. Book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition

I honestly can’t think of anything. I mostly buy e-books so I guess anything that has lots of illustrations (like Illuminae) I would have to get in an actual physical format.

9. NOPE. Trope: A trope that makes you go NOPE. 

Surprise pregnancy or surprise-you’re-a-father!

10. NOPE. Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you simply refuse to read. 

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Harry Potter. Sorry, I’m just never going to read this.

11. NOPE. Cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

The “graceful neck” description. I have never once looked at someone’s neck and thought to myself, “Wow, that’s graceful. *Swoon*”.

12. NOPE. Love interest: The love interest that’s not worthy of being one. A character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.

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Kieran in Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. He’s kind of a love interest for two people (who are also love interests to each other – Please, please, please don’t make threesomes the new “thing” we all have to champion in YA), but I just don’t like him. Like, at all.

13. NOPE. Book: A book that shouldn’t have existed that made you say NOPE. 

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There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. This book was awful and can not be considered horror. It’s Romance, with a little bit of murder thrown in.

14. NOPE. Villain: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.

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The bad guys in Dead Scared by Sharon Bolton. No spoilers, though!

15. NOPE. Death: A character death that still haunts you.

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I’m not going to spoil who it is, but the major death in Making Faces by Amy Harmon. I ugly cried hard.

16. NOPE. Author: An author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit.

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While there were books I definitely didn’t care for, there weren’t any I read this year that really made me say, “I’m never reading this author again.” I think the closest I came to that was Staci Hart when I read With a Twist. I just don’t think her writing is for me, but if she puts something out that I think looks really interesting, I still might give it a try.

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I’m Thankful For

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday, hosted by the Good Reads group, is: Books You’re Thankful For. I’m going to stick with books that I’ve read this year only.

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1.  Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins. Some books you read at the perfect moment and this was one of them. This was exactly what I needed at the time I read it.

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2. Making Faces by Amy Harmon. This is the book that introduced me to Amy Harmon, so I will always be thankful for it. It’s beautiful and emotional and I loved it. It also is a mainstream book that did not portray people of faith as hypocrites or psychos.

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3. Now You See Me (Lacey Flint #1) by SJ Bolton (aka: Sharon Bolton). This is the book that introduced me to Sharon Bolton who has become one of my favorite authors and the Lacey Flint series has become one of my favorite series of all time.

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4. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. This is the book that brought Karin Slaughter to town so I could finally meet her! She is another of my favorites.

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5. The Secret (DS Imogen Grey #2) by Katerina Diamond. Another new favorite series discovered this year. This book was just so entertaining and I didn’t want to stop reading it.

What books are you thankful for?

Review: Always You (Bachelor Brotherhood #3) by Denise Grover Swank

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Matt Osborne had always planned to get married and have a family. But at thirty-four, he’s no closer to his goal, so he’s decided to embrace his role as the remaining member of the Bachelor Brotherhood. He’s only loved one woman-his college sweetheart-but she never shared his dream of a family, preferring to focus on her career and maybe get married someday. With neither budged on their decisions, they agreed it was best to part ways. Now nearly twelve years later, Matt is stunned when Anna shows up at his nephew’s soccer practice-with her five-year-old son in tow.

Single mother Anna Field has returned home to care for her widowed and ill father. She never thought she’d run into Matt during the six months she’s there, but now he’s the coach of her son’s soccer team. She’d move Toby to a different team, but his new best friend happens to be Matt’s nephew, Ethan. As Anna and Matt spend more time together, the realize that their attraction-and love-are still there, just waiting for a spark to reignite. And once it’s lit, Matt has no plans to let her go again.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Always You will be available November 28, 2017.

I read the first book in this series, Only You, not too long ago and really enjoyed it. It was my first Denise Grover Swank book and her writing is a mix of romance, humor, and family and I knew I had to read more from her.

Always You follows the last man standing from the Bachelor Brotherhood, an agreement Matt and his two best friends made to give up on relationships after they all had terrible breakups. His two friends have found love and Matt has resigned himself to being single. He’s always wanted a family and is happy to have his 5 year old nephew, Ethan, living with him while his sister attends medical school out of state. He’s coaching Ethan’s soccer team when he finds out Ethan’s new best friend is the son of his old college girlfriend, Anna. The girlfriend who turned down his marriage proposal twelve years ago because she didn’t want to get married or have kids.

As you can imagine, Ethan and Anna reconcile. It took me a little while to get on board with their romance. I love a good Second Chance Romance story, but I felt like things happened just a little too easily. Matt had spent more than a decade being bitter about how Anna left and he completely thaws after just a couple of interactions. Now, I am all for forgiveness. And I can really appreciate that he realizes Anna wasn’t the only one to blame in their breakup, but it didn’t feel realistic for them to just pick up where they left off like they did. That said, I did eventually get on board and I liked them together. I also really liked the new family unit they made up with Ethan and Anna’s son, Toby. They were all so cute together and Matt was so, so sweet with the boys. I wasn’t sure about having Ethan and Toby be such a big part of the story at the beginning (I’m not a kid person, sorry), but they eventually won me over, as well.

One thing that really bugged me, though, was Anna’s issues with her ex-husband, Phillip. There were a lot of legal issues that needed to be worked out and for most of the book she was just resigned to not doing anything about it. She was a pretty strong, smart, and independent character in so many aspects, but she was such a doormat when it came to Phillip and I just didn’t understand it. She does eventually seek some help (with a fun cameo from one of the author’s previous series), though.

Overall, I enjoyed Always You. Matt is definitely one of the sweetest male leads I have read and I wish he was real. While it did take me a little bit to get into the romance and to like the kids, I did eventually get on board with all of it. There were several humorous parts, including a scene in Chuck E. Cheese that made me laugh out loud. I definitely plan on reading more books from Denise Grover Swank.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars