Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017. Here are mine, in no particular order (all links go to my review – Yes, I actually wrote proper reviews on all of these books!):

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1. Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

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2. Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

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3. Making Faces by Amy Harmon

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4. Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

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5. Now You See Me by SJ Bolton (AKA: Sharon Bolton)

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6. Dating You/Hating You by Christian Lauren

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7. Lies She Told by Cate Holahan

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8. The Secret by Katerina Diamond

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9. One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

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10. When It’s Real by Erin Watt

What are some of your favorite books you read this year?

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Top 5 Wednesday: Bookish Things I’m a Grinch About

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday, hosted by the Good Reads group, is: Bookish Things You’re a Grinch AboutSince being a Grinch is a funny thing, try not to make this serious topics that make you angry (like lack of diversity or abusive relationships in fiction, etc.) as this is supposed to be more of a petty bookish things you hate. This can be stuff about covers, dumb tropes, etc. Have fun with it.

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1. Not being approved for an ARC on NetGalley. 

I know it’s very petty, since advanced copies can obviously not go to EVERYONE, as the purpose of publishers is to make money, but when I don’t get approved for an ARC on NetGalley I will almost NEVER buy the book. I’m not good enough for your ARC? You don’t get my money! (I’ll still go to the library, though.)

2. Surprise-You’re-a-Father romance trope.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it really is my least favorite trope. I don’t love when kids/babies are a big part of the plot and I HATE miscommunication being the main point of conflict in a story and this trope combines the two.

3. The Good Reads Choice Awards. 

Every year I’ve only read a handful of the nominees – and I’m usually only a fan of one or two of the ones I’ve read. I always think I read books that are relatively popular, so I don’t understand why I don’t recognize so many of the books. And this year only one book I voted for won (Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham!).

4. Books not at my e-library. 

As we all know by now, I’m super stingy when it comes to buying books (and pretty much everything else). The e-library site I use is one of my favorite things in life, but I hate when books I want to read aren’t there! There are so many books I see great reviews on that I go over to the library to put on hold and they’re just not there.

5. Harry Potter. 

I’m just never going to read these books. I have no desire to watch the movies (though I was coerced into one once) either. I just missed the whole Harry Potter movement when they were in their prime and now I just don’t care.

What are some bookish things you’re a Grinch about?

Review: Shoot the Moon (Seeking Mansfield #2) by Kate Watson

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Despite what his brother—and sponsor—thinks, nineteen year-old Tate Bertram isn’t an addict. He has the 30-day chip to prove it. But when his father learns Tate’s been running an illegal card room out of a friend’s dorm to pay off old gambling debts, Tate is cut off. With his family no longer talking to him, his aunt Nora offers him a chance to intern for her political campaign. Juggling school with the intense internship, Tate finds himself buying scratch-off lottery tickets to take the edge off.

Tate is surprised to find the beautiful and calculating Alex Wolf—his first crush and the girl who taught him how to gamble—volunteering with Nora’s campaign, too. Soon, Tate is more drawn to Alex than ever. Her mind games stick in his head, but her vulnerable, softer side gets into his heart. But as tensions rise along the campaign trail, Tate is forced to question whether he’s really addiction-free, after all.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS meets ROUNDERS in this high stakes tale of the cost of winning and the price of redemption.

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

Shoot the Moon will be available February 6, 2018. 

Last year I read and loved the first book in this series, Seeking Mansfield, and I was so excited to find out there was a sequel. While Shoot the Moon was not quite the light and fluffy read I was expecting, I still really enjoyed it.

This books focuses on Tate, Oliver’s older brother. I loved how witty and sarcastic he was. He could also be kind of awful, but in a fun way. I loved watching his journey throughout the book. He had many ups and downs and by the end I felt like he was really heading in the right direction. I initially was excited in seeing Oliver and Finley again, but I felt disappointed in what we got from them. I don’t consider this a spoiler because we find out in the very first chapter (but skip ahead if you don’t want to be spoiled at all!) that Oliver and Finley have broken up! And then there’s a brief thing with Tate and Finley that had been hinted at in the previous book, but actually goes further. There’s a little more back and forth with Oliver and Finley, but they didn’t really play a big part in the overall story of this one.

One character I really didn’t care for at all was Tate’s new love interest, Alex. Though we know how insecure she really is, it still really frustrated me when she lashed out at Tate. She came across as very unkind and manipulative and I just couldn’t like her at all, though she did get a little better by the end of the book. Still, I do not think that she and Tate were a good match. I felt like if they wanted to be together they still had so much growing up to do and they weren’t there by the end of the book. For awhile I thought it was looking like Tate would end the book single and I was actually pretty excited about that, but I don’t think it’s a surprise to say that that didn’t happen.

There were a lot of poker terms included in this. There is a glossary of terms in the back of the book which I perused before I started reading, but I find it too difficult to go back and forth with e-books so I was often lost when there were passages with lots of poker terms. While I appreciate the authenticity Watson was going for in including them, I felt like it could have been edited down a lot. It’s one of those instances where it felt more like the author wanted to show how much research she had done, then it being really relevant to the progression of the story. There is also a lot of politics in the story. I thought it was a little heavy handed at times. Depending on your particular political bent you will either really enjoy it or be kind of annoyed by it.

Overall, while Shoot the Moon was not the follow-up to Seeking Mansfield I expected, I still enjoyed it. I really loved Tate. Even when the story lost my interest occasionally, Tate still made me want to keep reading. Though this isn’t the light read that the first book was, I would still definitely recommend it to fans of Seeking Mansfield. I am looking forward to reading more from Kate Watson.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

Blog Tour & Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Synopsis from Good Reads:

A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.

Discover the next blockbuster novel of suspense, and get ready for the read of your life.

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

The Wife Between Us will be available January 9, 2018. 

The Wife Between Us is a very cleverly written novel of psychological suspense that managed to do what few books seem able to do these days – genuinely surprise me. Not just once, but multiple times.

I thought I had this book all figured out in the beginning. I thought that the vague synopsis gave too much away. That I could read between the lines and easily figure out what was really going on. However, I did exactly what the synopsis told me not to do and assumed too much. While there were a few things I guessed correctly, the story has about three major twisty reveals and I did not see any of them coming.

I really don’t know what I can say about this book without giving too much away. I really think it’s best going into with as little information as possible. I will say that it is very character driven and the pace felt a little on the slower side. I didn’t feel the psychological suspense aspects of the story until after the first twist is revealed, which is not until almost half way through the book. However, after that I felt like there was more urgency to the story. I thought the characters were all pretty sympathetic and compelling and they kept me reading during the parts where I thought the pacing was a little too slow. I also thought that the writing between the two authors was really seamless. If I didn’t know there was more than one author I never would have guessed it.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Wife Between Us. The multiple twists were very cleverly written and honestly surprised me. I felt very connected to the characters, as well. My only complaint is that I wish the pacing was a little more steady. I read so much of this genre that few things really surprise me anymore and I loved that this book was able to do it again and again. I definitely recommend this one!

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

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