The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie

The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie – 5/5 ⭐️

Wow! I’m a huge Agatha Fan & she rarely disappoints based on the small portion of her books I’ve gone through. But I loved this one! My goal is to read her entire collection – which I have devoted to it’s own bookshelf haha.

I ended up stumbling upon the fact that The Mousetrap is actually the worlds longest running play which is pretty neat. It first started showing in 1952 and has run consistently since covid stopped everything in March. It’s not a long story- approximately 70 pages. But wow, it packs a punch.

It’s written in Agatha’s classic writing style – the perfect murder mystery that she sets up masterfully with a WOW twist at the end to reveal the truth!

This one is about a newly married couple that opens a B&B. On their first night of business a huge snowstorm comes in, forcing a group of strangers to be storm stayed together. The only problem is one of them is a murderer!

SO GOOD!

Fantasticland by Mike Bockoven

Fantasticland by Mike Bockoven – 5/5 ⭐️

This book is not for everyone but I loved it! It’s really gory and a little hard to imagine at some points but it’s SO well written, and I enjoyed it so much! It’s written by a journalist through a series of interviews. I love this style of story telling and I was entirely hooked and read this book in a day.

Here is the goodreads synopsis:
“Since the 1970s, FantasticLand has been the theme park where “Fun is Guaranteed!” But when a hurricane ravages the Florida coast and isolates the park, the employees find it anything but fun. Five weeks later, the authorities who rescue the survivors encounter a scene of horror. Photos soon emerge online of heads on spikes outside of rides and viscera and human bones littering the gift shops, breaking records for hits, views, likes, clicks, and shares. How could a group of survivors, mostly teenagers, commit such terrible acts? Presented as a fact-finding investigation and a series of first-person interviews, FantasticLand pieces together the grisly series of events. Park policy was that the mostly college-aged employees surrender their electronic devices to preserve the authenticity of the FantasticLand experience. Cut off from the world and left on their own, the teenagers soon form rival tribes who viciously compete for food, medicine, social dominance, and even human flesh. This new social network divides the ravaged dreamland into territories ruled by the Pirates, the ShopGirls, the Freaks, and the Mole People. If meticulously curated online personas can replace private identities, what takes over when those constructs are lost?”

This Lord of the Flies meets Hunger Games. Absolutely incredible but definitely unsettling. Gives you a lot to think about. Wouldn’t recommend for everyone as it’s filled with brutality and gore.

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

Sex & Vanity by Kevin Kwan – 3/5 ⭐️


I absolutely adored the Crazy Rich Asian series & knew I wanted to read this one too! Although I didn’t love it as much, it was still a fun and easy read! I listened to it on audio & really recommend the audiobook. If you’ve been to Italy, it will give you all the feels and vibes. It made me want to go back asap and walk along the streets of Capri. I also enjoyed the fashion and wealthy lifestyle that is very much on display in this story.

Here is the goodreads synopsis: “On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can’t stand him. She can’t stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have the view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can’t stand that he knows more about Curzio Malaparte than she does, and she really can’t stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa and they are caught by her snobbish, disapproving cousin, Charlotte. “Your mother is Chinese so it’s no surprise you’d be attracted to someone like him,” Charlotte teases. Daughter of an American-born-Chinese mother and blue-blooded New York father, Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side, and she adamantly denies having feelings for George. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears in East Hampton where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucy is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment, and ultimately herself as she tries mightily to deny George entry into her world–and her heart.”

Devolution by Max Brooks

Devolution by Max Brooks – 5/5 ⭐️

Wow! This book was incredible. Devolution is a firsthand account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre.

Here is the goodreads synopsis:“As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now. But the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing–and too earth-shattering in its implications–to be forgotten.In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it. Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and inevitably, of savagery and death. Yet it is also far more than that. Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us–and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.“

So firstly, it’s written in a part survival narrative, part horror tale, and part scientific journey into beast and man. It’s SO real and when that volcano erupts and Greenloop is cut off from the world, I was terrified at what started to happen. It’s gory and absolutely insane. It leaves you wondering, and I highly recommend this book. Max Brooks wrote this in such an incredible way through these journals that were found when the town was eventually discovered. I was glued to the audiobook when I started listening to this one and it’s sort of fun but Judy Greer is the narrator for Kate. I absolutely loved this book and I would LOVE if there was a follow up!!

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Lock Every Door By Riley Sager – 4/5 ⭐️

This is my second Riley Sager novel. I really loved The Last Time I Lied (read it!), and I really did enjoy this one too. Not quite as much, but this one keeps you thinking and wondering what’s going on. It took me until the end to really grasp it, and it’s definitely different!

Here is the goodreads synopsis: “No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind. As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears. Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.”

This is a quick read and I was sucked in! If you enjoy psychological thrillers, I think you will enjoy this one and I recommend picking it up! It’s well written and definitely intriguing.

The Dilemma by B.A. Paris

The Dilemma by B.A. Paris – 2.5/5⭐️ rounded up to 3/5 on goodreads.

This one was not my fav by Paris. Before I get into my review, here is the goodreads synopsis:
“It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie. But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her? Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.”

So this whole novel takes place over a 24 or so hour period. Livia & Adam are married and they don’t communicate at all. Livia, I admit has an actual dilemma about when to tell her husband something (an absolutely disgusting thing regarding their daughter that will upset him). While Adam does not have a dilemma at all and I can’t even believe he debates/does not tell his wife immediately.

The book was too long and nothing really happens in it. Once we find out about these “dilemmas”, then it just trails on and on. I didn’t enjoy this one folks.

Usually Paris writes psychological thrillers and this was more of a family drama. I really enjoyed two others of hers that I read (Behind Closed Doors & The Break Down) and her other one, Bring Me Back, is on my shelf. This one just didn’t do it for me.

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M Johnson

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M Johnson – 5/5⭐️

Wow! This book was everything. The writing, the stories, the vulnerability Johnson presents,.. incredible. I really felt for this young boy, teen, and young adult as Johnson took us through what it’s like growing up as a queer Black man. It’s targeted toward the YA demographic but I think it’s an excellent read for anyone. I’ve also heard excellent things about the audiobook, which Johnson himself narrates! Please add this to your TBR!

Here is the goodreads synopsis: “In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys. All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy.“

A Song Below Water by Bethany C Morrow

A Song Below Water by Bethany C Morrow – 4/5⭐️

So this is a young-adult – contemporary – magical realism novel. I listened to it on audio and it was a very beautiful + deep read.

Here is the goodreads synopsis: “ Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes. But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.”

So Tavia & Effie are 100% sister goals. I adored this relationship so much. They are adoptive sisters and are each struggling.. Tavia with the fact she is a siren and must keep this fact hidden as well as silence her voice, and Effie is struggling with who she is and where she fits in, in the world. Racism is very real as well as the misogyny of sirens (who can only be Black women). You could feel the characters pain throughout the story. Very relevant to today, even with the characters attending a protest for sirens.

I enjoyed this audiobook! It’s not very long, 9ish hours and the author told an important story in a very unique way.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Photo by Ashley | Life with books in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Image may contain: drink

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – 5/5⭐️

Okay if you haven’t picked this one up yet, please do it!! ASAP! It’s so good. This is a book that is going to stay with me. The characters, the topics, the writing.. definitely add this to your TBR!

So here’s the goodreads synopsis: “ The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?”

So firstly, the writing. Bennett does an incredible job weaving together this family and their stories. I was entirely sucked into this book and although it’s a family story and some would think it would be slower, it isn’t! I honestly didn’t want to put it down. I was very invested in the twins lives, and then their children’s lives.

Secondly, the topics of this novel are SO important and relevant that I also just think everyone should read this for that reason alone. The novel takes place between the 1950s to 1990s and it’s a story about family and race. Racism is prominent and how racial identity has shaped these characters lives. As well as the choices they make and how that affects them their whole lives and into the next generation.

The novel has several POV’s but it’s not confusing so don’t let that stop you from reading it. I loved each of the characters in their own way, and adored a couple of the side characters as well. Very well developed. This novel has layers and I can’t recommend it enough!

This novel was also just picked up by HBO for a series. So I will for sure be tuning in to see how it’s brought to life.

Reputation by Sara Shepard

Review✨.Reputation by Sara Shepard – 3/5⭐️.

This one was just okay for me. I really thought I was going to love it because I do enjoy those drama filled books (tv shows, movies, etc) that sort of pull you from real life into a crazy world far from your own. Plus the plot sounds incredible. But for some reason this one just didn’t do it for me.

I loved Pretty Little Liars so I knew I wanted to read this but it definitely took me a little while to get through. Although, the author did a great job at adding a lot of twists and turns and wow moments to keep you intrigued! The ending just fell flat for me and maybe it was just too dramatic? But I was invested in finding out who the killer was. There are a lot of characters you hear from which I typically don’t mind in books like this, but I did find that I didn’t overly like many of them.

I did hear from previous reviews that if you enjoyed Big Little Lies you may enjoy this one (which I loved Big Little Lies) but I still like Big Little Lies more!.

Here is the goodreads synopsis: “Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people’s e-mails—the entire faculty, staff, students, alums—onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning’s handsome husband, Dr. Greg Strasser, is found murdered. Kit’s sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled fifteen years ago, after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something isn’t right about the night Greg was killed, and she’s determined to find the truth. What she doesn’t expect is that everyone has something to hide. And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone else is murdered. Told from multiple points of view, Reputation is full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals. It’s a story of intrigue, sabotage, and the secrets we keep—and how far we go to keep them hidden.”

Trigger warnings: murder, rape, molestation, talk of suicide.

Hurry Home by Roz Nay

Hurry Home by Roz Nay – 4/5⭐️

I really enjoyed this one! I love supporting Canadian authors and this one is SO good. The character development is great two. I really enjoyed the plot and there are twists you don’t see coming!!

On top of all that it involves sisters and a family drama. I adore books like this. Firstly, you love your family – how far would you go to protect them? Books like these are fun to read and add in the thriller and mystery element, I read it in two days!

Here is the Goodreads synopsis: “From the bestselling author of Our Little Secret comes a suspenseful new thriller featuring two estranged sisters desperate to keep their deepest and darkest secret where it belongs–in the past. Blood is thicker than water… And it could cost you everything. Alexandra Van Ness has the perfect life. She lives in an idyllic resort town tucked away in the Rocky Mountains, shares a designer loft with her handsome boyfriend, Chase, and has her dream job working in child protection. Every day, Alex goes above and beyond to save children at risk. But when her long-lost sister, Ruth, unexpectedly shows up at her door, Alex’s perfect life is upended. Growing up, Ruth was always the troublemaker, pulling Alex into her messes, and this time will be no different. Still, Alex will help Ruth under one condition: we will never, ever, talk about the past. But when a local child goes missing, both women are forced to confront the secrets they’ve promised to keep buried.”

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters

Review✨

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters – 3/5⭐️

I listened to this on audio & it was cute, but I wasn’t drawn in. It does have a unique plot which I found refreshing but overall I found it fairly predictable.

Evie is the main character of this one & she’s aspiring to be an agent for movie writers. Currently, she is working with who the world thinks is the newest hottest writer to hit Hollywood. He’s been hired to write a rom com hit but he’s suffering from writers block, and somehow Evie is on a mission to help him. Evie has to prove two people can still fall in love through random meet cutes! And in true meet cute fashion, it is mainly one humiliating scenario after another!

So like I mentioned before, the plot is super cute and different. I enjoyed the characters and banter, but overall not a top rom com for me!

🏳️‍🌈Pride Recommendations – LGBTQ+🏳️‍🌈

🌈In celebration of pride month, here are a few LGBTQ+ books off my shelf!✨

My audio recommendation is: In The Dream House- I have this lined up in the queue!

I also wanted to particularly highlight The Stonewall Reader that explains the history of Pride.

There are so many incredible books out there & I wish I had them all haha but here are a few to start with!

Happy reading friends!🌈

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory – 4/5⭐️

I finished this one a couple weeks ago & I’m a little late on my review, but it’s cute!!

I love this series. It starts with The Wedding Date, next is The Proposal, this book is the third, then we have The Royal Holiday in fourth, and a fifth one comes out June 23rd called Party of Two! They are all stand alone books but all the characters are friends or related to each other somehow. So you get to hear little snippets about them all throughout each book and I really love that!

I didn’t quite read them in order as this is the last one I have to read until the new one comes out. But I do recommend reading them in order if you pick up the series!

Fun fact: I was reading The Proposal when my fiancé proposed to me!!! So that was extra special and fun! I think The Wedding Date is my favourite of the series but I really enjoyed them all.

This one is super cute and easy to read. It’s light and fun and I enjoy the banter in the book as well as following along with their lives, and Alexa’s wedding!

Maddie & Theo are the main characters and they are both Alexa’s best friends and in her bridal party. The synopsis I find is slightly deceiving because it says they hate each other and toss sharp comments at each other. When I read that I expected more like The Hating Game vibes and it wasn’t like that at all. They have a regrettable moment and it doesn’t stop. They make it complicated and throw in rules – one of which is to not fall in love.

Overall it’s a great book and a great series!

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 5/5⭐️

I decided to pick this book up this morning when my son & fiancé started playing some Mario kart and I was drinking my breakfast smoothie! (Recipe at the bottom!) It’s a small 50 page read, but it’s powerful! It gets right to the point of gender inequalities.

The author shares a lot of ways she’s personally, or friends close to her, have experienced certain treatments because they are female.

She describes her own definition of a feminist to be – a man or woman who says, “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better.” All of us must do better, no matter your gender.

There were several points that resonated with me while reading this book but I wanted to touch on two. Although I’m going to touch on two points here, I definitely recommend picking up a copy of this to soak up everything she discusses.

The first point is a small one but I couldn’t help but think this. The author talks about her grandmother and how strong of a woman she was, a feminist in her day, but there was no definition of it back then. She mentions wondering what her grandmother would have been, could have done, if she’d have the same opportunities as men during her youth. That really resonated with me because I wonder what the whole world would be like today if women everywhere weren’t silenced hundreds of years ago, or even today.

The second point that really got me thinking was her comment on how some men may respond to feminism by saying, “Okay, this is interesting, but I don’t think like that. I don’t even think about gender.” Maybe not. But that’s part of the problem. A lot of people (men and women) think that everything is fine now, but it’s not. The author goes into a few examples at this point and talks about how gender can be uncomfortable, but speaking out in situations of gender inequality is what starts the conversation and keeps it moving. This also resonated with me as I’ve been reading books on racism and white privilege. People need to speak out, even though these discussions about race may be uncomfortable, you need to speak out and keep the conversation going. The author discusses that in regards to gender, men still have the privileges of being men. So even though I’m white & working on antiracism, I have the privilege of being white. We need more. We need to be antiracist, we need to see gender, stand up & speak out for the injustices & inequalities that others face.

I think everyone with a heartbeat should read this.

SMOOTHIE RECIPE: Good Morning Chunky Monkey! 🐒

-2 large bananas (frozen & peeled)

-1 cup milk

-3/4 cup ice

-1/4 cup peanut butter

-2 tbsp cocoa powder

-1/2 tsp vanilla

-1 tbsp instant coffee

-blend until smooth

(Makes enough for two people)

Black Lives Matter – Your TBR

This is one of the big ways I feel I can help. Read, recommend, support, and buy books written by Black authors. Some of these I’ve read and some I haven’t. But I promise to continue reading.

I’ve also purchased these in either physical form or ebook:
-White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
-Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad
-The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet
-This is Kind if an Epic Love Story by Callender
-All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M Johnson
-The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole
-Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
-The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

I also have these audiobooks lined up in the queue:
-Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
-Sun a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
-Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown
-These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card
-The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

A few more that I’ve read & listened too but don’t have physical copies of:
-The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
-Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
-Get a Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
-My sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
-Becoming by Michelle Obama

Please save for reference! This will be an ever growing collection and of course there are SO many more!❤️

Endless Night by Agatha Christie

Endless Night by Agatha Christie – 3/5⭐️

I love me some Christie novels! This one was very different then the few that I’ve read though! Not her typical murder mystery and more eerie and magical, still with a murder of course!

Michael and Ellie get married and build their dream house in Gypsy’s Acre. Not is all as it seems though and there are rumours of a curse on anyone who lives on the old property. If that isn’t bad enough, a Gypsy is seen in the area threatening the newlyweds.

This one is a slow burn at the beginning and Christie builds up the characters and their stories. They both come from entirely different backgrounds and there are some interesting side characters. The second half was much better in my opinion and I was very intrigued as to what was happening, and honestly didn’t see the ending coming.

This is a short book. 190 pages, so a pretty quick read! It wouldn’t be my first Agatha Christie recommendation to someone but I’m excited to continue to read through her entire works!

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Undercover Bromance by Alyssa Kay Adams – 4/5 ⭐️

Adored this book. It’s such a treat! I absolutely loved The Bromance Bookclub as well (the authors first book of the series) and there is a third one coming out in October. I will definitely be picking up a copy!

The concept is so refreshing. A group of guys – well known guys (professional athletes, business owners, city officials) read romance novels and meet for bookclub! They’re constantly helping each other in their own romantic lives & this book is focused in on Braden Mack!

He’s a well known ladies man with a lot of money and famous friends. He’s funny, sarcastic, and verrry flirty. He’s been reading romance novels for a long time and has been quick to help all of his Bromance bookclub buddies with their own love lives. But this time the heat is on him and he’s squirming. We really get to know this character in this book and see all the guys work together to help Mack as well as helping another character we glimpsed from the first book. It’s mission time and they’re working to bring someone down.

It’s SO good! I highly recommend for a lighthearted read that will make you laugh out loud. These books also make you fall for the characters. I couldn’t wait to see what my favourite bookclub was up too.

I will mention some topic warnings in a couple parts of the novel:
sexual harassment, verbal and physical abuse to adults & mentions of it to a child, sexual abuse.

The New Me by Halle Butler

The New Me by Halle Butler – 3/5⭐️

This started off pretty good for me but that’s all it really is. I sort of expected something else to happen. Or I just expected a bit more then what I got. This is a quick read, less then 200 pages, so I flew through it but it was pretty boring after awhile. At the beginning I enjoyed the brutal honest voice of Millie but after awhile I was feeling more sad about the story then anything. Millie is stuck in life, working temp job after temp job. Her days are all the same and she feels empty and unfulfilled. She’s constantly searching for more and she wavers between trying to get it or not at all.

We all have this inner voice and we are hearing Millies. We definitely see it all, the good, bad, and really bad. It’s interesting to see how people perceive her or react to her.

This felt like a character study for me? I didn’t not enjoy it, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it unless someone was looking to read something like this. It’s a pretty brutal honest look at life and what some millennials have to go through in life to pay the bills, survive, and find meaning.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

I finished this one today! The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan – 4/5⭐️

So this book was adorable. Super cute and easy to read. I listened to it on audio but I LOVE royal fiction so I ordered a physical copy for my bday! It was very sweet and endearing. Definitely a bit of drama and a lot of Royal shenanigans. I recommend it as a fun read and will definitely read the second one, The Heir Affair coming out July 7, 2020.

I will mention that it’s a pretty straight forward book. No big surprises, but very Will & Kate!❤️

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Photo by Ashley in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher – 3/5 ⭐️

This one was just okay for me. I don’t have a scale for my star ratings but it’s essentially a 5 star if I love it. 4 star if I really enjoyed it and would recommend. 3 star is okay but I wouldn’t recommend. 2 star is a dislike and one star is nope. And to be honest, I’ve given 2 stars but never a one star.

This one starts out so great! I was hooked and found the synopsis so intriguing. I really wanted this to be good but it just fell flat for me with the last quarter/ending. I don’t think it held up to its synopsis and I didn’t enjoy the “twist”. I don’t want to give too much away in my review but dm if you want to chat further about this one.

The goodreads synopsis is this: Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she is crazy about him. But one day she finds something that tells a very different and horrifying story about the man she married.

One of Us is Next by Karen McManus

One of Us is Next by Karen McManus 4/5⭐️

I loved this one! I have read and adored a couple other of McManus’s books. They’re quick mystery’s filled with drama. A lot of suspicion is cast around and you don’t know who’s done what until the ending! It’s very Pretty Little Liars if you ask me!

I very much enjoyed finishing it out on the patio today. It was great to get out and sit in the sun. I spent my morning out there with coffee and then spent my afternoon outside as well with a nice cold drink and it was so relaxing! It felt like a normal Saturday! 🥂

Hope you all had a lovely Saturday too!!

So check goodreads for a full book description but this one is the sequel to One of Us is Lying. (Which was amazing too!). There’s a new mystery to solve at Bayview High and the drama does not disappoint. This time it’s a game of truth or dare and after a few rounds, it becomes deadly.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To all the boys I’ve loved before by Jenny Han – 4/5⭐️

IT’S CUTE! It’s a stinking cute YA romance novel with delightful characters. It’s a fun and easy read, and definitely light hearted but with a little tear here or there!

I have the full series and will get to the next one shortly. Definitely a nice change of book choice for me! I enjoyed it!

The story is of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes but instead wrote them all a love letter, sealed them, and hid them in a box under her bed. One day she discovers that her letters were found and mailed, causing all of her crushes to confront her. From her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, and even her sisters ex bf, Josh.

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi – 4/5⭐️

So I started this one after Christmas and only finished it in March, haha it took me awhile. It even took me awhile to want to review it. I decided I’m not going to go into much depth. But it was a great book. I’ve mentioned before on here that I’m not the biggest true crime book blogger out there, but I wanted to dabble in it this year! I tend to get so scared that these people walked the earth and there’s more out there!!

This is a gruesome book and I had to put it down a few times and go back to it. It really paints a fantastic picture of the events that occurred with the Manson murders. Safe to say that Charles Manson makes me cringe. This view from someone so close to the case offered great insight into the case and trial, I found that so interesting.

It’s definitely a fast paced book but I read it pretty slow, only because I wanted to be able to sleep at night! Haha but I do recommend it and I’m glad I know more about this whole horrific event.

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica – 3/5 ⭐️

I have a couple other books by this author on my shelf & I haven’t gotten around to reading them yet, but have heard good things! My fiancé picked this one up for me at the grocery store recently and I hadn’t heard about it or seen it around on Instagram, so I was intrigued!

It’s a lot different than what I thought. I actually didn’t think this was the direction the book would go. It’s definitely a book that will trip you up! It wasn’t my favourite psychological thriller but it was a roller coaster and I was invested in reading to get to the ending. I had a gut feeling about one of the characters at the beginning and I was right about that. It’s not a shocking book, but has some twists.

Sadie & Will move their family from Chicago to a small island in Maine and shortly after their arrival, one of their neighbours, Morgan, is found dead in her home. The murder rocks the island and all eyes are on the new family in town.

It was a little slow at some parts but overall not a bad read. One you’ll probably get through quickly.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie – 4/5 ⭐️

I am loving Agatha Christie’s writing style, characters, and overall mysteries! I enjoyed this one and I’m glad I’m another Agatha book down! I highly recommend adding some of her works to your TBR!

So this book is a typical Agatha murder mystery with several potential suspects and motives. Hercule Poirot does what he does best and its a wild ride!

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

My fiancé and I listened to this one on audiobook and it was a long one, 34 hours in fact! So it took us a few months to get through because we only listened to it on long drives together. But we finally finished it and it was good. We both enjoyed it but my fiancé enjoyed it more then I did.

Not sure if I would recommend this one on audio unless you can get through 34 hours in a reasonable time span. I felt it was too long in general though and a good 5 hours could have been cut. My fiancé thought the timeline was reasonable but agreed reading the physical book over the audio. Plus there are a lot of characters to keep track of.

On that note, the characters were well built and the story was very immersive. I absolutely loved the beginning of the book more then the ending. It was also very graphic (blood/death) at some parts and important to mention that it’s apocalyptic. A few triggers to mention: sex, rape, torture.

So the book begins with people who are now known as sleep walkers. They woke up one day and couldn’t talk, appeared unconscious just walking all in a specific direction. It doesn’t take long for the CDC to become involved as more people are found walking. They can’t be woken. They can’t be stopped.

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

Long Bright River by Liz Moore – 5/5⭐️

Huge thanks to @librofm for this gifted audiobook. It was incredible!

I absolutely loved listening to this one and the narrator was fantastic. This story was tragic and eye opening and really dives into the opioid crisis. I’m far removed from the world this author wrote about and I think this story is very powerful.

The voice we hear from is Mickey. She’s a police officer in a rough town in Philadelphia. Her and her sister, Kacey use to be inseparable until Kacey got pulled into a very bad, but real world. Its been years since Kacey and Mickey talked. Sometimes Mickey would see her on the street, and a few times took her in for solicitation. Now though, a few young women from the street have been murdered and Kacey can’t find her sister anywhere.

This one is suspenseful and very moving. You should read it!

American Predator by Maureen Callahan

American Predator – 4.25/5⭐️

Look at me reading the true crime!! I’m such a chicken, this one was tough to get through. It is very terrifying and this man is INSANE! His total murder count is unknown because it could be hundreds. He was a predator in the 21st century and it’s amazing he finally got caught.

I was really surprised I hadn’t heard about him but the FBI made deals to keep him out of the media as much as possible so he would divulge more information to finding potential bodies. It’s tragic and horrible and I pray so hard for these victims and their families.

This man was smart, strong, and fast. He had no real M.O. and killed is tons of various ways, men, women, children, couples, etc. He hid “kill kits” all over the US and would fly to the area, dig it up, kill, and head back home. All within a couple day period.

If you’re into true crime you should definitely read this one!

We Met in December by Rosie Curtis

We Met In December by Rosie Curtis – 3/5⭐️

I started this one before Christmas and just finished it a couple weeks ago. It took me so long to read. It was a cute book and I enjoyed the concept but it was way too long. Nothing really happened in the whole book and it was very predictable. It wasn’t a terrible book by any means and definitely had a lot of fun aspects so I was invested in finishing it, but It isn’t a memorable one.

The whole premise of the book is about falling for a roommate and the timing not working out. (As well as two adults with no communication skills or the ability to say how they feel for a whole year.) It’s also about following your dreams and not being afraid of taking your own path, whatever that may be!

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman – 4/5⭐️

Okay so I forgot to post this review for a few weeks but here it is! I really enjoyed this one! I listened to this on audiobook and found it so easy to listen to and it was such a fun audiobook! I highly recommend this format. The book was quick and laugh out loud funny at some points!

Nina is very bookish. Just like a lot of us!! I’m definitely not as extreme in my organizational skills as she is, but the love of books and bookshelves is very real. This book follows Nina as she finds out who her father is, that he’s suddenly died, but he left her a huge family to get to know and something in his will! Nina also suffers with anxiety and I liked that this book talked a lot about this because we all suffer here to some extent or know someone close to us that does. There’s a great story here and I loved following along. Of course, there is also a love interest, Tom! This book may be a bit predictable but I love listening to easy and fun audiobooks while driving or exercising and this one definitely kept me engaged. Plus there are a lot of book references.

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Know my Name by Chanel Miller 5/5⭐️

This book is incredible. Chanel’s writing is so raw and real, you can really feel her pain (on some level because I honestly can’t imagine) but she does such an amazing job bringing you in with this book and telling it how it is. It’s heart wrenching.

For those who don’t know, Chanel was sexually assaulted and this is her story. Telling us what happened to her and everything she had to go through for years. This is a very eye opening and thought provoking book.

She tells us about the night it happened. Her feelings. The hospital. The rape kit. The police. Her sister. How she hides it from her family. The torture of trying to do her day job and deal with this. Saying yes to pressing charges and what that really means. The media. What it’s like when he’s a star athlete with a bright career ahead. She bares it all and takes us on this journey.

I encourage you to pick it up and read it.

The Bromance Bookclub by Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bromance Bookclub by Lyssa Kay Adams 4/5⭐️

I absolutely adored this book. There is a second one Undercover Bromance that’s published March 2020 and I can’t wait! It’s cute, has a fun plot, and very humorous!

What’s the first rule of bookclub? Don’t talk about bookclub! Haha this book is about a couple who are on the verge of divorce BUT the Bromance Bookclub steps in to help him save their marriage. I enjoyed this one and recommend as a fun and light read. I’ll also had a little warning for some steam 🔥 and language!

Get a Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – 3.5/5⭐️

I listened to this on audio & huge thanks to @librofm for this gifted book!

It was an adorable read. I enjoyed listening and thought the banter between the two main characters (Chloe & Red) was cute. It’s also very steamy so if that’s not your thing, you can easily avoid and flip through these scenes but there are quite a few when you get to the middle/end of the book. The book is also quite sarcastic, which I love some sarcasm in a book. It also brings to light the people who suffer with invisible illness. Which is people who look healthy on the outside but are suffering through pain on the inside.
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Overall I enjoyed it as an easy listen!

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand – 3.75/5⭐️

What a fun little drama filled Christmasy book! Honestly, at one point my fiancé asked me what the book was about and I couldn’t stop with the dirt. It’s a juicy book that takes place over Christmas and I can just picture the beautiful cozy atmosphere of the Winter Street Inn & it sounds delightful.

I know a lot of people are reading this over the holidays but for those who haven’t it’s about a family – Kelley & Margaret, divorced parents of Patrick, Kevin & Ava. As well as Kelley’s new wife, Mitzi and their son, Bart. And honestly, I can’t say much else except there is an engagement, cheating, a separation, a missing person, and someone going to jail – all in the span of a few days over Christmas haha. So buckle up! But in all honesty, this is a four book series and I will for sure pick up the second book. I want to know what happens now!

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – 5⭐️

Wooops! I read this immediately when it came out & forgot to post my review!! I obviously loved it. I’m a huge Atwood fan and a huge Handmaid’s Tale fan so I really loved this for the wrap up. I wanted to know what happened with all the characters and Gilead. I also watched the tv show & loved how it played along with that too!

I recommend both books if you haven’t read them yet!

The Testaments is written in three voices of key characters that we would want to hear from. I’ll leave it to you to figure out who they are when you read it!

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella 3.75/5 ⭐️

I listened to this one on audiobook & it was super cute. It was my first Kinsella novel. The audiobook was 12 hours long and for the first half I had no idea where the book was going. I realized at eight hours that it probably wasn’t going anywhere but all points were wrapped up at the end! Overall it was a cute, lengthy, definitely christmasy, and pretty funny book! Becky is quite hilarious and I laughed out loud at some of the things she did. If I was in the mood for a simple, funny story I will look into more of this series. From what I gather there are several books (this is ninth in the shopaholic series), but they are standalone books too and doesn’t need to be all read in sequence.

I’m definitely a mood reader and right now my mood is Christmas, so I probably enjoyed it more because of that!

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai – 4/5⭐️

I listened to this on audiobook and enjoyed it! I thought it was funny, entertaining, had a great story to it, and a lovely strong female lead. I loved the two main characters!

My fiancé and I swiped right on each other so I also liked this book because of that but I also found it to be a very fun read. I enjoyed listening! Definitely recommend. And to those who would want to know, there is some steam in it!

The book follows Sampson (retired football player) and Rai (owner of the biggest dating app) as they navigate the dating/hookup world in the 21st century.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie 4/5⭐️

Well this book was crazy! I absolutely love Christie’s writing style and how she gives you all the characters bios at the beginning! I definitely didn’t see the ending coming but I’m not surprised with who the murderer was. There were definitely tiny little clues. I recommend as a quick mystery!

The book is about ten seemingly random guests invited to a little island for a few days. But who is it really who invited them? How does this person know their darkest secrets? Are they on the island too? If so, who are they and how are they killing everyone off, one by one?

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell 5/5⭐️

I loved this one! I listened on audio and it was such an enjoyable book. I was completely confused and absorbed into this very sad, insane, and unimaginable world that Jewell created. This is a psychological thriller you need to read!

The novel is told in three voices – Libby, Lucy, and Henry. It starts with Libby receiving a letter she has been waiting for. The letter comes on her 25th birthday and tells her who she is. She’s shocked. Absolutely astonished to find out who she is and what was left for her in trust. An abandoned mansion awaits her in a rich London neighborhood, but she soon finds out others are waiting for her return to the house.

This book is a whirlwind. Absolutely tragic at times and touches on some tough subjects. I absolutely loved it!

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

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Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory 3/5 ⭐️

I love all books that involve royals + Christmas so I knew I wanted to read this one! Unfortunately though I did find it a bit boring. It’s definitely not a bad book but it wasn’t exciting at all.

One point that I did like was the fact that the main characters were older and previously divorced, so they found each other later in life.

One point I didn’t necessarily enjoy was the fact there isn’t really any royals in the book.

The author is a great writer and the book is good, it just wasn’t my cup of tea!

Vacuum in the Dark by Jen Beagin

Photo by Ashley in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Image may contain: screen, phone, table and indoor

Vacuum in the Dark by Jen Beagin – 2.5⭐️

I listened to this one on audio. I’m a little late to review it but I didn’t enjoy it really at all. It was a struggle to get through.

I don’t even really know how to tell you what it’s about. Mona is the main character and she’s a bit troubled and maybe drawn to people she shouldn’t be drawn too. She’s 26 and cleans houses for a living and the book follows her along while she does this and reminisce’s where she is, how she got there, and why she is calling her knew boyfriend, Dark. Definitely check goodreads if you want a more in depth synopsis.

This one is different and a little out there. And very vulgar. I just don’t think I enjoyed what the book was about.

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren – 4⭐️

This one is cute! I’ve seen some mixed reviews on it but it’s from these two authors so I knew I was going to read it! I listened to it on audiobook- gifted from @librofm! What an awesome platform of audiobooks -and your supporting local bookstores! Please check them out!!

The novel is about Tate & Sam. Tate is the long lost daughter of a super famous movie star and her and Sam meet in London – share secrets, dreams, and in true romance fashion- fall in love. Unfortunately, it ends in London really terribly and the book jumps 14 years ahead where they’re lives are very different and their paths cross once again.

It’s a fun read if you don’t take it too seriously! I enjoyed it!

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

I’ve finished my first Agatha Christie book & I loved it!! ~ 5 ⭐️ ~

Murder on the Orient Express.
Firstly, I’m noticing with Agatha’s books that there is a cast of characters at the beginning and I loved this. I kept referring back to it and using it to look for clues 🕵️‍♀️

Her writing was very easy to read and the book was so quick to fly through because I didn’t want to put it down. This is clearly one of her more popular books but I’m glad it was my first! The concept was so cool and I really enjoyed getting to know the mind of Hercule Poirot. I had absolutely NO idea with the ending. I kept changing my guesses of who the murderer was and wow, this is a good murder mystery & I highly recommend it!

The premise is this: The Orient Express is stopped in a snow drift over night. When morning comes, one traveller is dead. Hercule Poirot is on board and must do what he does best to solve this very well planned murder.

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

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The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory – 3.5/5⭐️

I had just finished this book before Andrew proposed so I think I totally loved this book more than others would haha. It’s an easy and quick read. It was perfect for summer!

This one is sort of the second in a series with the first being The Wedding Date & the third being The Wedding Party.

It’s cute, very predictable, but touches on some good subjects and I loved the women characters! It’s worth a read as a relaxing feel good book or you know, if you’re engaged!!

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

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The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine – *3.5/5*

So the first half of this book is in the voice of Amber Patterson and the second half switched to the voice of Daphne Parrish. I didn’t know this going into the book and I really enjoyed the switch. So I really loved the first half of the book. It had a good story line that I found entertaining. Amber wants Daphne’s life and she’s absolutely insane enough to try and take it. So she works her magic to become her closest friend, preying on Daphne’s kindness and getting closer to her handsome and rich husband, Jackson. Amber wants the fairytale life that Daphne lives and she’s willing to do anything to take it.

So this one is dramatic with little twists and turns but I didn’t like the second half of the book as much. I still liked Daphne’s voice, I just found it predicable and not very shocking.

Renegade Women by Elizabeth Weizmann

I finished reading through this #gifted book, Renegade Women in Film & TV and it was absolutely beautiful. I loved reading this and learning so many new things of people I’ve only heard whispers about before. It’s a very empowering book & I highly recommend picking up a copy! The illustrations are so gorgeous and you’ll love showing this one off. It will definitely be staying off the bookshelf so friends and family can flip through it!

One in a Million by Lindsay Keli

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One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk

Well this one was cute! Two best friends Miranda and Annie start their own social media marketing company, Content London. It’s a tough job and they’re working all the time and barely paying the bills. An advertising agency across the hall along with a friend who owns the building their business is in makes a bet Annie can’t turn down. Make a random stranger Instagram famous in 30 days. In walks Sam. Dr. Sam. Annie is cursing the gods for making him the next person who walked in the door but she’s competitive and wants a month rent free if she wins. The goal, get him to 20,000 followers.

The book is about this journey and the relationships formed along the way. It’s a cute book with great friendships, love, and laugh out loud moments.

I rate it 3.75/5⭐️

I enjoyed it and recommend it as an easy and fun read. I don’t give it more stars because I felt it was a little wordy and there were a few paragraphs I wanted to skim over as sort of irrelevant and draggy. But over all, cute book!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeymoon

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – 5/5⭐️

I can see the hype with this book, It was pretty adorable while also being entertaining. While also touching on a number of topics that are quite heavy. I don’t want to give too much away but this has the feel of a light book with some heavy aspects. To be honest, I didn’t have a clue what it was about before reading it and I was a little surprised. But that being said, I didn’t find this book tough to read or difficult. I felt for Eleanor and was invested in her journey and really cared for her character. Her quirkiness grew on me the more her character developed. I also loved the supporting characters the author created and was so glad Raymond was Eleanor’s pal. I can see why there is an Eleanor Oliphant day because I was rooting for this character and seeing her as a mental health advocate. This was a touching, yet humorous book, and a great reminder to treat all you meet with kindness and respect because you truly don’t know their history and what they may have went through or are going through. Bravo to Gail Honeyman for this one.

I’m going to leave a little list of a few sensitive topics touched in this novel and take a moment to remind every that mental health is so important and I support anyone going through anything & am here as a friend. The author also did a great job to portray the importance of therapy and I loved that.

Stop reading for my sensitive topic list if you don’t want to know.

I’m referring to child abuse, extreme parent neglect, murder of a child, suicide attempt, as well as traumatic events that lead to serious mental health conditions.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

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Okay if you want to be confused and say “wtf” over and over again then this is the book for you! Haha plus it’s really good! It’s just definitely makes you go 🤯!

We listened on audio and honestly, it might have been better to read this one in physical form to follow a long a bit easier and be able to 100% focus. My bf and I listened to this one together when we were doing a few long drives, so I was focusing on the road too, which usually is fine but this one needs all the attention.

We also read Dark Matter together and he liked Recursion more then Dark Matter ( he rates Recursion 4.5/5⭐️ and Dark Matter 4/5⭐️) while I liked Dark Matter a bit better and I would rate Dark Matter 4.5/5⭐️ and Recursion 4/5⭐️!

So regardless, this book is obviously still amazing and I definitely recommend it!

So a mysterious illness called false memory syndrome starts to break out across America and honestly… its just insane after this point so you can read it or check goodreads for more details haha 💗

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston 4.25/5 ⭐️

I listened to this one on audio & it was amazing. I felt like I was watching a romantic comedy and I loved every moment of it!

Alex, first son of the first female president of the United States has to pretend to be best friends with Henry, Prince of Wales after a quite hilarious – but unfortunate – incident they found themselves in. There are some other family members on each side that make great supporting characters and I honestly enjoyed the whole book so much. There was a great story in here and I found it a bit magical. But I’ve always loved royalty fairytales haha!

I’ve read a few reviews on Instagram about it perhaps being “escapist” since the US did not elect a female president in 2016, but regardless this is a very enjoyable read and I highly recommend the audiobook! The voice of the audiobook, Ramon de Ocampo did such an amazing job at portraying the characters and bringing them to life too, which made it that much better for me! Also – LGBTQIA 🌈!

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager = 5⭐️

Who’s ever played two truths & a lie?

Emma, Vivian, Natalie, and Allison used to play it all the time at Camp Nightingale. The games ended though when Emma sleepily watched them sneak out of the cabin with Vivian shushing her on their way out. This was the last time the girls were ever seen. Years later, when Emma is now an up and comer in the art scene – Francesca Harris-White, wealthy owner of the camp drops by Emma’s art show telling her that she is reopening the camp and wants Emma there for its first summer back, as the painting instructor. Emma warily accepts but decides to use this an opportunity to try and find out what really happened that night 15 years ago and what truly happened to the three girls. What she doesn’t expect though is why, when she gets there, it immediately feels clear that something is wrong. She begins sorting through lies from the past, cryptic clues Vivian left behind, and new threats from both man and nature to find out the truth. Oh and I should probably mention her obsession with painting eerie canvases of ghostly images in white dresses in the woods filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches.

This book was incredible!! Sooo twisty. I had no idea the whole time. I had small theories and all proved to be wrong. It was packed with so much too, I couldn’t put it down once I started! It was beautifully written and descriptive enough that I could picture everything perfectly. I definitely recommend this as a great psychological thriller/mystery!

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

Well this book was just absolutely adorable! No big surprises in it but nonetheless, I enjoyed it! It’s definitely a great summer read and perfect to enjoy at the beach, on your patio, at a picnic or campfire!

Tiffy needs a place to live asap. And Leon works all the time and needs extra money so he decides to list his place as a Flatshare. Sharing the whole place – including the bed. Definitely a unique concept and to top it off- they are there at different times & never meet. But they do leave each other sticky notes and they slowly start to get to know each other, really well.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

Photo by Ashley in Lightfoot & Wolfville.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner ⭐️⭐️💫/5

I listened to this one on audio and it took me forever to get through. There were a few interesting parts about the prison system but I didn’t really enjoy it. I didn’t like the way it was written and I found it confusing to follow along with. .
The main character, Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences and the book tells us about the life she left behind, including her young son, and the life she’s learning about in prison. .
Not a favourite of mine.

Lost Dog by Kate Spicer

Lost Dog by Kate Spicer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This book is adorable! I absolutely love dogs and this story is sweet and heart warming and a really great memoir about Kate adopting Wolfy and how he ends up saving her along the way. It’s also really humorous and I love a book that can crack a giggle from me!

The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining by Stephen King 🎧 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Loved this one! And wow, is it eerie!

If you’re in the mood for a suspenseful thriller then you’ll enjoy this! It has a little bit of a slower start to give you all of the background feels and then it picks up and doesn’t slow down until the very end.

I’m not sure The Shining really needs a synopsis written here, but in short, the Torrence’s – Jack, Wendy, and their son, Danny all go to the infamous Overlook Hotel to serve as the winter caretakers. The hotel is hidden away in the mountains of Colorado leaving the family completely isolated when the snow hits. The hotel also has quite a history and Danny suspects there might be evil there. Will the family make it all winter or will the hotel get to them first?

The Elegant Out by Elizabeth Bartasius

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The Elegant Out by Elizabeth Bartasius ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

So I’m late with this review – this one was given to me by @booksparks for their spring #swiperightonreadingcampaign! You have seen my earlier post about it, but here is my review!

This is a short book that gave me a lot of feels. It’s a very personal story about Bartasius’s life as a mother after overcoming an abusive relationship. The novel touches on the want of having another child, growing older, being a mother, frustrations with friends and family and so much more. This is a great little book told with a lot of emotion.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People by Sally Rooney ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

We follow Connell and Marianne as they navigate high school and university. They are in different social circles along the way but are always important figures in each other’s lives. We only see the highlights as well, the author jumps us one day later or 6 weeks, or 5 months. Both of these characters are flawed, and just as self-destruction is near for Marianne, Connell is trying to find meaning elsewhere and each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

So this book has received so much hype and praise that I wanted to pick it up. But honesty, unpopular opinion from me. I understand that this book is supposed to be real and raw but I didn’t really enjoy reading it I guess. The author is very talented and I can understand why a lot of people would enjoy it, but it wasn’t my favourite. It also does have some dark moments/topics on physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.

I.N.K by Renee Lawson

Happy Wednesday friends! I finished I.N.K. by Renée Rawson & it was awesome! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

The last words he spoke to her before their wedding day had been venomous. Now, just hours before the ceremony, Nash Addly gazes at his reflection in a dream-like trance. Was redemption possible? Or would his outburst haunt him forever?

The novel is well written and easy to read! It begins at the proposal but then flashes back to when he met Isla and we see a true relationship grow with ups, downs, love, hurt, and a shocking ending!!

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Wow. Wow. Wow. This book is c r a z y!!

“Are you happy with your life?”- Those are the last words Jason hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “welcome back, my friend”. In this world, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife and his son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible. Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the dream he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lies in a journey more horrifying anyone could have ever imagined.

Okay so my bf and I read this one together- whereas he read it out loud to me- so it took us longer to get through then normal but it was SO good!! It is absolutely insane and my mind was blown. We paused several times during reading it to discuss and wrap our heads around what was happening. And to come up with theories! I’ll admit we came up with an answer that proved to be true around 1/4 the way in! But it does not mean we had the book figured out or we had any clue what was happening!

I definitely recommend it and now I want to read more by Blake Crouch!

Beholden by Lesley Crewe

Beholden by Lesley Crewe

The story begins with Nell, the “spinster on the hill” near St. Peter’s Cape Breton. Scarred by her own childhood, she swears she could never love a child and that she will never marry, denying herself a life with the man she loves. She’s proven wrong when a baby is born down the road. Her love for little Jane propels us forward through generations trying to untangle traumas and secrets. Eventually we meet Birdie and through her bravery she settles for nothing less then love.

This one is full of family drama, heartbreak, friendships, and loss. It’s a lovely book that I enjoyed reading and loved the fact it is based on Cape Breton. I’ve never visited CB before and it’s on my list. It’s a beautiful island of Nova Scotia.

This is the third and final book up for the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award for the Atlantic Book Awards and a big thank you to for sending me this copy!

In the Wake by Nicola Davison

In the Wake by Nicola Davison

Set on the shores of modern day Nova Scotia, Emily and her husband Daniel move back from Calgary with their toddler to the coastal landscape where her father died. With water that already haunts her, she gets to know her neighbours and struggles with Daniel travelling often for work. As the tension in each family builds, long unanswered questions must be answered about marriage, parenting, grief, and mental illness.

This is a very unique book with excellent characters and a lot of interesting topics. The author is extremely talented and her writing is descriptive and inviting!

A Circle on the Surface by Carol Bruneian

A circle on the surface by Carol Bruneau

It’s 1943 and Enman and Una are newly married but each are haunted by their pasts and are harbouring secrets. Enman brings Una to his hometown in Barrein, Nova Scotia but she is restless here and longs for the city life she once had. Una meets a mysterious man and a body is found washed up on shore. There are rumours of German sailors roaming the shores and then they hear the news they’ve been waiting to hear and everything just keeps unraveling.

Guys! This was such an interesting and unique read and I absolutely loved the history in it with the storyline taking place in NS. So cool! Carol Bruneau is a very talented writer and I was drawn into her characters. I’m so happy I had the chance to read this! It is up for an Alantic Book Award – The Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award and I have two more reviews coming at you tomorrow and Friday for the other two books up for this award.

Th Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Well these two wrote an incredible book! I read it in two days because it was so adorable and amazing – I couldn’t put it down!!

It was funny as anything too! I laughed out loud on several occasions and didn’t want it to end!

Here’s what it’s about: Olive and Ami are twins and Ami is the lucky one and Olive the unlucky one. Always. So when Ami finds a husband and plans a gorgeous wedding but the entire wedding gets food poisoning- everyone is shocked. Everyone but two got sick because Ethan doesn’t do buffets and Olive is allergic to shellfish. Ethan is the grooms brother and him & Olive have never liked each other. But there is no one left to take the all expense paid honeymoon to Hawaii. What could go wrong?

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One True Loves by @tjenkinsreid⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This was a sad but loving book! I read it with @portcityreads as a buddy read and we had a lot of fun discussing it. The whole plot of the story really had me thinking – it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole of what would I do!?

So the premise of the book is this: Emma is one year married to her best friend Jesse. They are so happy and in love, travelling the world and pushing each other. Then he’s gone in a helicopter crash and Emma is left in pieces trying to figure out how to move forward without him. Years later she runs into an old friend from high school and maybe she can find love again!? But Jesse is found alive just as she’s settled into a life with Sam. Who’s her one true love? Can she have two? Who will she spend the rest of her life with?

So yeah. Wow! I think this is everyone’s worst nightmare (losing a child or spouse). I couldn’t imagine and this book made me cry. TJR really is an awesome author and I recommend this for an adorable romance.

I also switched teams between Jesse and Sam a few times during the book. It’s good!

I will mention that I still standby with Evelyn Hugo being my fav TJR book, Daisy Jones in second and this one in third.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Trevor’s book was an incredibly powerful and moving introspective look into his upbringing in a post Apartheid South Africa. Full of hardships, humour, terror, but at the heart of it all, love.

It was so interesting to learn of his childhood and adolescence in a culture of poverty and crime as well as how race, language, and politics greatly affected his upbringing.

Trevor is the voice of the audiobook and listening to him is the cherry on top. His sense of humour comes through in every story – I highly recommend this one!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone by @tadeyemibooks⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This is the authors debut fantasy novel and I absolutely cannot wait for the next one in the series. .
“They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise.”

Zelie remembers the night magic disappeared at the hands of a ruthless king. The night everything changed for her and her people. But now, Zelie is given a chance to bring it back. With the help of an unlikely ally, Zelie must beat the crown prince who is trying to rid the world of magic once and for all.

This book gave me a lot of feelings. I had tears for Zelie and what the maji went through. The author created a world like no other – imaginative and terrifying. Beautifully written and full of description – I was pulled in.

A Simple Favour by Darcy Bell

A Simple Favour – Darcey Bell – 3/5

This book was just okay. The main voice in this book is Stephanie. Stephanie is a stay at home blogger while her best friend Emily is a busy PR exec. It all starts when one day Emily asks Stephanie to pick up her son after school – totally normal since their kids are best friends. The problems begin when Emily doesn’t come back to pick him up – she vanishes. This psychological suspense was good but not my favourite. There’s a few twists and turns that you’ll probably see coming.

Still Mine by Amy Stuart

Still Mine by Amy Stuart – 3/5

“What happens if you vanish from your life and leave no story behind?”

Clare is on the run and turns up in a remote mining town where a young woman has disappeared. In this place, Clare isn’t the only one hiding something. It seems everyone is keeping a secret and everyone is pretty interested in her arrival.

Not my favourite psychological thriller but it was still interesting. It was a quick read but fell a little short for me.

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls – 4/5

This memoir about Jeannette’s childhood makes you look at the world a little differently and how things can fall through the cracks. It’s an unconventional and tragic at times story of her upbringing that will make you cringe and feel for this girl. Wonderfully written, I definitely recommend if you’re looking for a memoir!

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – 5/5

I loved this! Such a great read. It’s a very intricate mystery and it was pretty impossible to see the outcome which was nice because I wanted to keep reading until it all made sense. It was so different to anything else I’ve read and I definitely recommend it!

“Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder, and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.”

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

The Girl Before by JP Delaney – 4/5

This book was so fun and so different than other psychological thrillers. I really enjoyed reading it and was definitely confused as to what was happening to Jane.

Jane suffered a traumatic event and needed a change of living. Along comes One Folgate Street. Make a list of everything essential to your life. And then leave it all behind.

This was a quick entertaining read!

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

This book was 5/5 for me!

“Your dream is worth fighting for, and while you’re not in control of what life throws at you, you are in control of the fight.” – @msrachelhollis

I’m so happy I picked this book up and read it. It is absolutely powerful and motivating. I found I related on some level to several chapters of this book and the advice was enlightening while the stories were a mix of tragic, hilarious, and relatable. I definitely recommend ☺️

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay

The Witches or New York by Ami McKay
4/5

In the spirit of Halloween, here’s a sort of spooky book for you! I found this entertaining and easy to read. It’s based in 1880 and follows three witches. Two of which open a Tea Shop providing potions and cures to Manhattans elite when young Beatrice walks in looking for work. It’s 200 years after the Salem trials and Beatrice can hear and see things no one else can. 👻

I recommend ☺️

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

I absolutely loved The Alice Network by Kate Quinn!
5/5

I thought this book was incredible. It follows two women in two timelines. The first is Eve – a female recruited spy during World War 1, 1915. The second is – Charlie – pregnant, unmarried, searching for her beloved cousin in the aftermath of the war, 1947. Kate Quinn brings these two women together in a captivating story that will stay with you after the book is finished.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

“If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?”

The story follows four siblings after they’ve found out the date of their deaths. It’s a tragic read that I found hard to pick at some points but it was beautifully written and gives you a lot to think about destiny.

3/5

You by Caroline Kepnes

You by Caroline Kepnes is creepy and I will definitely pick up the second novel, Hidden Bodies.
4/5

This book drags you in and I wanted to know what was going to happen with Joe. Joe is very messed up (for lack of a real medical term) and when I read this book I made sure my blinds were closed. As far fetched it could be, it sucked me in and if you’re looking for a twisted story, this is it.

I am also intrigued to watch the show. Have you read or watched it? Thoughts?

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I really enjoy Liane Moriarty as an author and I loved reading “What Alice Forgot”! 4/5 ⭐️!

I am a big fan of Liane Moriarty’s writing style – well written and easy to read. It was a fun book, although I have to admit that I was a little stressed throughout it comparing my own life. Could you imagine waking up being 10 years older and not remembering the past 10 years? Crazy. Would you be surprised where you are and what you’re like?

I enjoyed this book so I definitely recommend it ☺️

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
3.5/5
I really enjoyed the quick pace of this book. I’ll admit I wasn’t surprised with the ending. The book is essentially from the view point of Rachel, but it does give some other voices throughout which I really like. It’s definitely a book of lying, scandal, and of course – murder.

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

I finished this gem this week.
4/5

I enjoyed this book – it follows a new mother’s group of friends called the May Mothers. Something tragic happens and the mystery surrounding it is always more complicated then it appears. I enjoy books like this that are fast paced and keep me wondering along the way!

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
2/5
I have to admit, this book wasn’t for me. I felt that it was a chore to pick up and finish. Written from a young girls perspective living in the woods of northern Minnesota. The novel dealt with delicate themes but I generally just found it uninteresting and felt the storyline jumped around a bit too much

Annaliation by Jeff Vandermeer

Photo by Ashley in Prince Edward Island.

What a book.
This one leaves you with a lot of questions. I recommend the read! It’s about a highly secretive Area X where the only people who know anything about it are the ones who’ve gone in but haven’t come out.
The book is haunting, thrilling, and intense.

It was also made into a movie – which was different in a lot of aspects from the novel, but also similar. I really enjoyed it and would recommend both!

The book is the first in a trilogy and I’ll definitely pick up the second two to see how author, Jeff Vandermeer elaborates on Area X.

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

It’s so hot & wonderful here in Nova Scotia – that means evenings on the patio with barbecues and drinks!🍹

On vacation I read a few books, one of which was the third novel in the trilogy by Kevin Kwan, Rich People Problems.📖

It was an absolute treat. Full of drama and I couldn’t wait to see how it ended. I recommend these books for a light summer read! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan


I picked this book up last week in Amsterdam at the @theamericanbookcenter and I finished it on the black sand beach of Santorini!🍷

There was a lot more going on in China Rich Girlfriend then the first of the trilogy, Crazy Rich Asians. But it was very entertaining and I didn’t want to put it down. I will be trying to find the third novel, Rich People Problems in Italy tomorrow!

The series follows the lives of Rachel & Nick and their crazy rich families. It’s a light-hearted read that pulls you into the dramatics lives of the filthy rich.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan


“Perfection comes at a sacrifice” – Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians

This book was an absolute pleasure to read! It was easy, fun, and definitely dramatic. It was cool to read about the characters and their crazy rich lives. I’m excited to see the movie!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty


“It’s because we live in a beauty-obsessed society where the most important thing a woman can do is make herself attractive to men.” – Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 @goodreads rating!

I really enjoyed this book! The novel follows three very different women through motherhood, relationships, and plenty of lies. I recommend it for a great summer read!

It was also made into a tv series!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

“Now it seems there are only shadows and silence. Silence is the fruit of the occupation; it hangs in branches, seeps from gutters…So many windows are dark. It’s as if the city has become a library of books in an unknown language, the houses great shelves of ineligible volumes, the lamps all extinguished.” All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr.

Beautiful. Haunting. Masterfully written.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra


“On the days that feel dark and endless, I make myself a simple promise: I’ll get out of bed in the morning. Then I’ll head up the hill to class. If I put one foot in front of the other, day by day, I’ll move closer to the light at the end of all this struggle.” – Regina Calcaterra, Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island

Regina Calcaterra did an amazing job writing and sharing her story. This novel made me feel an assortment of emotions, mainly horrified and heartbroken for the childhood these children endured. Definitely not a light read, but one that will stay with you.

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

“Like we’re some kind of hip high school murder club without a care in the world.” – Karen M. McManus, One of us is Lying

The brain, the jock, the beauty, the rebel, and one murder. Who did it?
This book was very cliché high school dramatic with a murder thrown into the mix. BUT, I wanted to know who did it. So it was very entertaining. A great quick summer read! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 @goodreads

The Memento by Christy Ann Conlin

Photo by Ashley in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Memento by Christy Ann Conlin ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 @goodreads

This novel tells a haunting story of life at Petal’s End. Following a young girl Fancy Mosher and the illusive Parker family. I found the descriptions in this novel to be beautiful, and the story was definitely interesting with a twist at the end. However it wasn’t a book I looked forward to picking up and finishing.

Educated by Tara Westover


“First find out what you are capable of, then decide who you are.” -Tara Westover, Educated ✏️

I thought this memoir was incredible. I don’t typically choose memoirs myself, but all the ones that I’ve read through my bookclubs have never let me down. I was captivated with Tara’s upbringing and I thought it was wonderfully written. Her story is one that I will remember. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 @goodreadsrating.

The Queen of the Tearling Trilogy by

Photo by Ashley in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

👸The Queen of the Tearling ⚔️The Invasion of the Tearling 💎The Fate of the Tearling♠️

I truly enjoyed the first two novels – the second novel was a bit slower but I was very excited for the third as I thought it was set for a great ending. I was wrong. The Fate of the Tearling was a great read up until the final 10 pages.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” ― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief


Where to even begin with this book. Definitely a must read. I give this a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 rating on @goodreads

Markus Zusak’s talent for writing does not go unnoticed with this novel. Narrated by death it tells the story of a young girl living during Hilter’s reign in the late 1930’s. This novel will stay with me. It was incredible and tragic.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

“Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale.

This novel is incredibly written. Atwood created a horrific dystopian world that kept me on the edge and made me sit back and be very thankful for the world I live in.

I gave this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 on @goodreads !

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Photo by Ashley in Confederation Bridge, PEI.

Ready Player One was awesome! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
I really enjoyed the futuristic ideas in the novel and I thought it was written in a fun, easy-going way. I found myself wondering what would happen next and I didn’t want to put it down until I found out. Definitely a lot of 80’s pop culture – most I caught, some I didn’t, and a lot of video game references. I’m not a gamer as one would say but I don’t think it matters in this case, it was a well written novel with a very cool concept. I can’t wait to check out the movie and see how they take it from words to film.

Eight Weeks of Summer

Here it is! – My eight books for your eight weeks of summer!

These are books I’ve read and loved and I personally think they are perfect for your summer reads. In the summer I am always in the mood for quicker beach reads, patio books to pair with sangria, and books to read in the evening under the stars that are either adorable stories that make me laugh or a psychological thriller I don’t want to put down.

So my favourite romantic comedy summer reads are:

-The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

-The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

-The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

These are the adorable love stories that are fun and easy to read and will make you laugh out loud and fall in love with the characters.

Two of my eight book picks are a little less about love and a little more dramatic:

-Crazy Rich Asian’s by Kevin Kwan

-Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

These two are just fun and exciting to read, they are dramatic and have a little more depth to their characters.

Now, here are my psychological thriller summer recs:

-Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

-Watching You by Lisa Jewell

-Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

These three are so well written and twisty with turns I couldn’t have expected, I didn’t want to put them down. They are perfect for summer evenings and will keep you up late at night checking to make sure your blinds are closed!

So along with these eight books I have two audiobook recommendations for you ambitious readers. I don’t know about you but I can’t get enough of audiobooks. I listen while I drive, clean the house, take the dog for a walk, and exercise at the gym. It’s a great way to get through so many of the books you want to read.

-Dark Matter by Blake Crouch 🎧

This is a mind blown type of book and I loved it so much! It’s a sch-fi that will keep you guessing at every page.

-Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston 🎧

This one is my new fav right now. I was trying to find excuses to listen to it and I didn’t want to stop. It’s so amazing on audio, it’s like I’m watching a movie. I highly recommend it!

Enjoy the sun friends, happy reading!

My Sister, The Serial Killer

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: The story begins with Korede receiving a phone call from her sister, Ayoola that she needs her immediately. Korede knows what to do.. this is the third time her sister has called on her to help clean up and get rid of their bod… Korede loves her sister and will do anything to help her, and her sister swears it is self-defence. But soon Ayoola sets her sights on someone Korede secretly loves. Will Korede have to come to terms with what her sister really is? A serial killer.

Review: What a crazy premise this is. It was really fun to listen to on audio (only four hours long) and I enjoyed the characters a lot. The novel is well crafted and you really feel the emotions Korede is feeling. Definitely a face paced read with some clever – dark – humour.

Sarah’s War by Eugenia Lovett West

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

Synopsis: Set during the Revolutionary War and Sarah is sent to live with her aunt in Philadelphia whom she thinks is very poor but ends up being very wealthy. Her aunt is loyalist and Sarah is tasked to spy on British officers while attending extravagant parties. She discovers that there is a plan to assassinate George Washington..

Review: This one was provided to me by Book Sparks for their #SwipeRightonReading campaign and I enjoyed it! I’m a little late on the review but I like historical fiction and found this one interesting to read.

This novel is about a young woman overcoming many obstacles and showing a lot of bravery and I loved the history of it all. I wouldn’t recommend this one for everyone. I think you really need to be a big historical fiction fan to find the joy in it!

I’m giving this one a 3.5/5 star because I felt character development could have been a bit better and maybe some more internal dialogue to add some more depth.

Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: Josh & Hazel know each other from the good ol college days. Hazel is a crazy, fun, loud individual and a lot of men aren’t up for the challenge. While Josh is quite the opposite being quiet and reserved. But now, 10 years later, after a Josh’s life gets turned upside down- Hazel is a breath of fresh air. Not that they date though. They set each other up on double blind dates, so that means there’s nothing between them, right?

Review: Well this was just the sweetest book. It was fun to read and a great palette cleanser. The characters the author created are adorable and the double dates were quite hilarious to read about. I recommend it!

The Au Pair by Emma Rous

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: Seraphine and her twin brother Danny just lost their father and Seraphine was going through his things and found a photo of her parents holding one baby on the day they were born. But only one baby? Which one of them is it? They look so happy? This was the last photo taken of their mom before she killed herself by jumping off the cliffs behind their house. Their older brother Edwin remembers that it was the au pair, Laura, who took the photo. This sends Seraphine on a quest to find out what really happened that day.

Review: I listened to this one on audio and I think that helped me stay engaged. Whenever I started seeing this book all over the bookgram I wasn’t that interested in reading it because I don’t really enjoy typical -infidelity with the nanny- sort of books, but a lot of reviews I read implied this one is different and better. I’ll admit that the beginning had me really intrigued and I enjoyed the style of the book, past sections with Laura and present sections with Seraphine. But honestly, this isn’t a favourite for me and I didn’t find it shocking. I was more so invested to hear the end and solve the little (messed up) mystery.

Looker by Laura Sims

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

Synopsis: This book is about a woman who is obsessed with an actress that lives on her block and it’s quite torturing at some points but also very sarcastic and humorous at others. Some people have been saying this is more of a character study then a thriller and I’d have to agree with that.

Review: I listened to it on audio and it was quite short (5 hours) and I was invested the entire time as to what’s going to happen next. It’s a bit suspenseful!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: The legendary gorgeous movie star Evelyn Hugo is ready to finally tell the truth about her scandalous life and seven marriages. She chooses a relatively unknown writer Monique Grant to write her biography and no one is more shocked then Monique herself. Why did the iconic Evelyn Hugo choose her and how does she even know who she is?

Review: I don’t even know how to do this review justice. First of all, TJR created characters that are unimaginable and so complex. I loved every second of this story and how it was separated into a husband timeline. This is a story of lust, love, lies, and ruthless ambition and it all comes together in the end with a fabulous twist I could never have seen coming.

I read this in a buddy read and I think it’s safe to say we were all crying at the end.

This is a must read.

No Exit by Taylor Adams

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: This novel starts with a snow storm where Darby is forced to pull over and wait it out at the nearest rest stop. Four strangers already inside. One young girl trapped inside a van in the parking lot. No cell service and no one else around for miles. Which one is a kidnapper? And can she outwit a vicious psychopath?

Review: This was an awesome thriller I definitely recommend. I devoured it in one sitting. It was scary, but honestly, the further in I got I was more so just committed to the fast paced mystery of it and completely absorbed into the thriller more then I was scared. The characters were great and the twists were perfect. You think you have something figured out and you’re wrong. I love books that can do that.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: Daisy Jones is a sexy, wild, selfish artist who is always high but has a star quality to her with amazing singer/song writer talent. As a girl she grew up with very little attention from her parents but she could have anything she ever wanted. Billy Dunne swoops in with his handsome body and star quality and really feels her and listens to her. Granted, its rough most of the time. But man, they jive. The Six are this killer band missing something until Daisy comes along.

Review: I absolutely love this one. I know everyone is reading this right now but it’s so good! I definitely recommend it!

I’m sure we’ve all imagined the life of a famous rock n roll band, especially in the 70’s, but wow. TJR brought me into this world and I was hooked on every page. The drugs, groupies, the rawness of this novel is incredible. It’s hard to put down.

The book is told in interview form between all the members of the band plus some key producers/family members. I absolutely loved this style. It made the book so easy to read and enjoy. I could picture all the characters so easily and feel for them all too. 

I think my favorite character is Camilla – and man. What a little twist at the end of the book there!?

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

Synopsis: Ellery and her twin brother Ezra move to Echo Ridge to live with their grandmother. Echo Ridge is completely unknown to them as their mother left as soon as she possibly could after high school. It’s this picture perfect town where everyone knows you and your entire family history – but they’re all keeping secrets. As a murder mystery goes, one girl went missing years ago, one girl was murdered five years ago, and now it’s threatening to happen again.

The story is well written and jumps from the viewpoint of Ellery and Malcolm. Malcolm is the same age as Ellery with a step-sister who is announced in the homecoming court as well as an older brother who was suspected in the last murder of Echo Ridge. 

Review: I loved this! I really enjoyed One of Us Is Lying and I gave it four stars, but I liked this one even more and am giving it 4.5! This book really pulled me in and I was genuinely hooked and didn’t want to put it down. It was a page turner with a twist at the end I didn’t see coming. It’s a great, light read. I recommend picking up a copy!

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

Synopsis: Darcy is a tough girl who knows what she wants. And she wants Tom. But Tom is her twin brother’s  best friend and they’ve all known each other since childhood. Darcy and her twin, Jamie, inherent a cottage to fix up and sell from their grandmother, and who comes along to help with this? Tom.

Review: I really loved The Hating Game but this one fell short in my opinion. I found this book funny and tough, sort of gritty? But filled with emotional drama. Definitely a steam factor in here but it didn’t do much for me.

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: The novel is about the famous actress, Hedy Lamarr, or Hedy Keisler, before escaping to Hollywood. Hedy Keisler was a young and beautiful actress who won the heart of a powerful Austrian arms dealer. This marriage allowed this very intelligent woman to evade Nazis persecution despite being Jewish. However, over time, being married to this man was not all she thought it would be. She had to escape. She landed in Hollywood where she made connections to help her career take off. She kept a close eye as to what was happening back in Europe and felt really guilty for fleeing and not helping anyone else. But could she help anyone else? She started thinking back to her lavish lifestyle back in Austria, all of those dinner parties where she overheard very important conversations of the Third Reich.

Review: Alright guys. I loved this! I really enjoy historical fiction and I kept looking up the characters on google. So that being said, I knew I would probably love this book before I dived in. But regardless, it was a treat. Stories about this time in history tend to be difficult to read through but this story showed a whole different perspective I really enjoyed reading about.

This novel is well written and I found it hard to put down. I definitely recommend this read and have two points I also want to mention. 1- This story is a humbling reminder of the devastating tragedies people of Jewish Heritage went through. 2- I feel Hedy was quite empowering as she was someone known as beautiful first as intelligent second and it’s important to acknowledge all the women who ever stepped up to pave their way through for us.

Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress by Vicky Nolan

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

Synopsis: Can you imagine being 15 and having dreams of being a pop star, and them actually coming true!? Well this happens to Vicky! This is an autobiography of a young girl finding out her biggest dreams of becoming a recording artist are happening. But you know, not all dreams are everything you imagine them to be.

Review: Vicky’s story is told with a “behind the scenes” music industry vibe that is both exciting, glamorous, and very real. The story feels like a scrapbook of her experiences through journal entries and scripts and I very much enjoyed the writing style. The book is a quick, easy read that is both entertaining and also informing- giving the reader a very real perspective into this world.

Huge thanks to the author for sending me this gorgeous copy in exchange for an honest review!

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

Synopsis: This story follows Stella and Matthew and switches between the two. Stella is a highly successful woman who has only been with a few men in her life and absolutely hated every second of it. She has Asperger’s and doesn’t like to be touched. She absolutely loves her job and lets her life revolve around this. One day she tells herself that if she was better at sex, maybe she would enjoy it more. So along comes Matthew. Her very attractive escort she’s hired to teach her.

Review: I really enjoyed this book & definitely recommend it as a light-hearted, quick read. It’s also quite steamy! The novel is well written and fun. At first I thought this was sort of the whole story but as you read along there is more depth to the novel and by the end I really quite loved these two characters.

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

Synopsis: It all begins when a college girl doesn’t feel well and leaves a party. She heads back to her dorm and falls asleep. But on this late night in a small California town called Santa Lora, she doesn’t wake up. This illness soon spreads and more people are falling asleep. The novel tells the story of several individuals and families dealing with this disaster. How people handle it, what’s going on, how news spreads, how the town shuts down and tragedies happen. Specialists are called in and no one knows what is happening and where this virus came from. What they are beginning to realize though; everyone who is sleeping is dreaming. Not just normal dreams but the most active and intense dreams that doctors have ever seen.

Review:  I listened to this in an audiobook and really enjoyed it. I’ve read a few reviews about it and some people thought this to be a little boring. Maybe because I was listening, I found it more enjoyable. But I also really loved the storyline.

I also loved the characters in this book and really felt for all of them. This novel was so well-written and almost mystical that I didn’t want it to end. I heard that a few reviews compared it to Station Eleven and others thought it fell really short. But I loved it for what it was. (I also absolutely loved Station Eleven). I thought this novel really portrayed what could happen if something like this actually happened. How a town would react and shut down, how chaos would ensue, and how this sleeping disease could affect anyone.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: This is a story of a small town tucked way back into the woods. A hockey town that is sort of forgotten with most things closed and run down. Not the hockey rink though, and there is a big game coming up that if the junior team wins – maybe the town could get some real funding for a hockey school and build everything back up again.

Review: Fredrik Backman is an incredible writer and it shows as this story is well-written with great characters and development that I really enjoyed. The story is a little dark but it really sheds light on some tough issues that are important to talk about. Anyone from a really small town like this may know of or experienced what it’s like to live in a community with little privacy but plenty of secrets and the difficulties of standing up for what’s right but not always what’s most popular.

I recommend it and will definitely pick up the sequel, Us Against You.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: No synopsis is necessary for this one. This is Michelle’s memoir and it tells of her very inspiring life as a daughter, wife, mother, executive, friend, and first lady of the United States.

Review: Powerful, masterfully written, and full of advice and stories. It is a beautiful memoir of someone we all want to know!

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: The Last Romantics is an unforgettable story of four siblings – Fiona, Renee, Caroline and Joe – and their journey in this world, together and apart. What brings them together, tears them apart, and makes them question what they will do for love. This is a story of a family. A beautiful tale of love and grief, those you fight for and those you long for. A family in happiness and pain, handling life and crisis.

The year is 2079 and renowned poet, Fiona Skinner is speaking about her most famous work, The Love Poem, and how it all started in a big yellow house with a funeral and an iron poker many, many years ago.

“It is about real love, true love. Imperfect, wretched, and weak love. No fairy tales, no poetry… Because when the lights go out and we sit waiting in the dark, what do our fingers seek? Who do we reach for?”

Review: Wow. This novel brought me laughs and tears. Tara Conklin is a masterful writer who captured this world and brought me into it. I felt for this family in times of pain and I cheered for them in times of triumph. An absolutely remarkable story of four siblings and how they handle what life throws at them and how they don’t.

I found this novel to be so real and raw. A true account of a family growing together. Growing through the good and bad, the achievements and tragedies, and simply growing older and wiser.

I absolutely loved this novel and will definitely pick this up and read it again. Tara Conklin wrote a story that will stay with you and I won’t soon forget these four siblings.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for sending me an advanced copy to read.

They Called Me Wyatt by Natasha Tynes

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: The novel starts by getting to know Siwar as a young girl growing up in Jordan. We learn of her upbringing, the rules, and the challenges she faces here. She works hard for a scholarship to Maryland University and makes the jump to live in the US. On her 25th birthday celebration, Siwar is murdered, and the police rule it as a suicide.

However, Siwar’s consciousness survives inside a little boy from Seattle who was born at the same moment of her death. Fast-forward 22 years and for reason’s Wyatt can’t explain he is drawn to the Middle East and comes across the death of Siwar. It becomes his all-consuming goal to solve the mystery surrounding her death and he will stop at nothing to bring justice to Siwar and her family.

Review: *I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review*

What. A. Book. It is entirely different then what I’ve ever read before but I absolutely loved it. The author painted such a wonderful picture of these characters that I was instantly drawn into this strange world and mystery. I loved the characters and the unique voice of Siwar. Everything just felt so real while also being completely inventive.

Also – I was completely stumped with the outcome of this novel and definitely did not see it coming – I love when authors can throw twists in that throw you off!!

This is such a beautiful novel by Natasha Tynes and I definitely recommend it! Publication date is expected for June 11, 2019.

Watching You by Lisa Jewell

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: The book is in the voice of three characters, Joey, Freddie, and Jenna. All of which have connections with Tom Fitzwilliam. Joey being his new neighbor, Freddie being his son, and Jenna being one of his students. Tom Fitzwilliam is the headmaster of a school – a real hero to the masses – and he and his family live in Melville Heights. A quite prestigious neighbourhood where someone is definitely not murdered in their kitchen – but someone is always watching.

Review: Okay I have to admit – this is my first Lisa Jewell book but I do own “Then She Was Gone” and “I Found You” but haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. And I think I will move them higher up my list after this book!

Watching You has a lot of characters and just when you think you have someone figured out – they turn around and do something unexpected. I really thought I had the whole book figured out and then she threw another loop in and I sort of recovered and then another loop was thrown in and I was lost all over again. I absolutely love when authors can do this!

This book is full of drama that will keep you hooked and keep you guessing until the very last word. 

Armada by Ernest Cline

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: The novel is in the voice of Zack Lightman, a teenage boy who dreams there is more to the world than what he sees and lives every day. He lost his father when he was a baby and grew up with his mom – and video games. He plays them quite a bit, one in particular – Armada – where he is ranked 6th in the world.

One day while sitting in class looking out the window he spots a flying saucer – one identical to those in the Armada video game. He convinces himself he’s crazy, until he finds out he’s not..

Review: Okay, so I thoroughly enjoyed Ready Player One and really wanted to read Armada based on this fact. To be frank, it fell short.

Although, as I write this review, I do admit – it was an exciting novel at parts. I was interested in what was going to happen and what was going on. I think if you enjoy Alien invasions and 80’s pop culture, you may enjoy this book if you take it for what it is. A quick, easy, entertaining – but not as entertaining as Ready Player One – read!

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

Synopsis: Something is killing children. One day they are here, the next they aren’t. The ones that do survive, whatever this is, are different. These children are dangerous with unknown abilities and are sent to “rehabilitation camps”. The main character – Ruby – narrowly escapes but life is not as she left it.

Review: This book took me too long to read. It was great, but it didn’t pull me in and make me want to finish it like a lot of other books do. It’s quite tragic and dark and I found it hard to read through at certain points.

The author created a unique dystopian concept and I did enjoy the characters. Although, I think they could be further developed. I don’t necessarily agree with all the hype this novel got, but I don’t dislike it either!

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: “Creatures, Malorie thinks. What a cheap word.”

It starts with small news reports. Somethings happened. It happens again, but different. It’s getting closer to where Malorie lives. What is it? What’s out there? People begin taking precautions and covering their eyes. Boarding their windows. Leaving town. People are dying. What’s out there?..

Review: Wow! This book! I absolutely loved it.

Okay, so this one is scary and super suspenseful! I highly recommend reading it during daylight BUT still keep your blinds/curtains closed. Probably just go ahead and cover all windows entirely actually.

WTF is out there!? The book is in the voice of Malorie and I thought this book was incredible. Scary, tragic, dark.. so suspenseful. The author created a world I wanted no part of but couldn’t put down. The words are captivating.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: “I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them.”

This story is about Lucy and Josh (from Lucy’s voice). Lucy and Josh are both assistants to two co-CEOs of B & G Publishing House. They work right across from each other outside their respective bosses doors, and they hate each other.

Everybody loves Lucy. She is nice, charming, and friendly to everyone. Maybe even too nice. While Josh on the other hand is rude, uptight, and sort of scary around the office, a hard ass.

They both barely get through their work days tormenting each other but now they’re up for the same promotion..

Review: What an adorable book. Sally Thorne knocked this out of the park in my opinion. I’m not overly into romance types but this, I loved!

Full of whit and humour – and steam – this novel is clever and fun! Plus it’s going to be made into a movie. I’ll definitely be going to see it!

Holiday Gift Guide

-A few of my favourite things from my favourite store-

I love Indigo folks! I essentially try and find most Christmas presents here for everyone on my list! The odd exception pops up but they honestly have so many options for home, fashion, children, (+more), and of course – everything BOOKS!

So my number one gift to give is by far, books. I love trying to find the perfect book for someone! I bought a lot of books this season, but this one (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) is sticking out to me. I debated keeping it for myself and will definitely pick up my own copy. Have you read it?

I also love cookbooks. I have a large cookbook shelf in my kitchen so I enjoy buying cookbooks for those I know enjoy cooking/baking. Whiskey in a tea cup by Reese Witherspoon is my cookbook of choice right now!

Okay, MUGS! I have way too many and am always buying them for myself or others. This is a little woodland creature (raccoon). Indigo always has a large selection!

Platters! Charcuterie/cheese board is my absolute favourite thing to eat so when I saw this adorable tree board of wood and marble, I had to pick it up! Such a festive gift that anyone could use!

Candles and throws and anything cozy. Everyone will use these and they’re personal and lovely. Plus – reading socks!! Not included but I’ve bought a few pairs this year for friends!

Happy gifting!

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: This story is told by the Vanderbeeker children – 5 of them – who live with their mom, dad, and a few animals in a beautiful brownstone on 141st Street. The family has lived here for years and knows everyone in the neighbourhood. Unfortunately, the landlord – Mr. Beiderman doesn’t like them (or anyone for that matter) and is not renewing their lease after Christmas. The children have concocted a plan to make the Beiderman fall in love with them and let them stay. Will it work? And why do you think he dislikes them to begin with?

Review: This is a super cute story that made me laugh. It’s very light-hearted and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it over the holidays. I actually listened to the audiobook and found it relaxing and easy to listen to. I heard the book has a map of the apartment though and I’d love to get my hands on that!

The story is charming and heart-warming and I would recommend. Especially young children 8/10+ and all the way up! It’s just a lovely read that could become a classic someday.

One Day in December by Josie Silver

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: Imagine sitting on a bus one December evening, tired and crankily waiting for passengers to come and go, and you spot him. He’s what you’ve heard could be out there – you’re soulmate. You lock eyes and he feels it too. You both don’t know what to do, but it’s to late anyway – the bus pulls away and there goes the love of your life.

Review: This novel was chosen by Reese Witherspoon’s book club, Hello Sunshine. So I just had to pick it up. Who doesn’t want to read a cute love story this time of year? This is an adorable, light-hearted, quick read and I absolutely loved it.

It’s a tough love story to read through at certain points. Because it’s true. Love can be uncertain at times and finding the one that’s your 100% is no easy feat.

This story was well written and it made me laugh and cry. It is also worth noting the novel takes place over a 10 year period – which I love because I think it makes it a little more realistic. It also doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Christmas. But I think our hearts are more open to love over the holidays?

Great read! I recommend!

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

Synopsis: The novel starts with the journals of Jonathan Harker travelling to Transylvania to help Count Dracula complete his purchase of property in England. It doesn’t take Jonathan long to feel the eeriness of Dracula’s castle and long to get home to his finance, Mina Murray.

The journals continue in the voice of Mina when it’s clear Jonathan is in trouble and unable to send anymore letters. Mina has her own set of problems in England though with her best friend Lucy Westerna. This novel continues to grip readers with the voices of Dr Seward and Van Helsing as we learn what Dracula really is.

Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker was a thrilling and captivating read. You really have to forget all the Vampire stuff you’ve heard and read this for the masterpiece it truly is. Stoker paints a beautiful picture that will send a chill down your spine.

I’ve been wanting to read more classics and I’m really glad I picked this one. The writing style is one of the first of its time as the whole novel is telling a story through journal entries. Which I happen to love the jump between characters.

Speaking of characters. Dracula has changed throughout the years and this novel tells the true tale of Dracula – vampire and a real villain.

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis: Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man who is dying of lung cancer. He is not close with his children and trusts no one. He commits suicide and leaves a newly constructed hand written will in the mailbox of a prominate lawyer, fully knowing how much confusion he is causing for everyone left trying to fit the pieces of Seth’s life back together.

Review: I listened to this book on audio while driving back and fourth from PEI to Nova Scotia (3 and a half hours). It took a few trips and by the end I was sitting in the parked car so eager to hear the outcome.

It has some triggers (racism, suicide, murder). But I really enjoyed this novel.

Did Seth know what he was doing when he re-wrote his will leaving nearly all of his fortune to his African American maid (in a time where racism was very prominate in Mississippi) and a portion to his brother whom he hasn’t seen or heard of in years. This hand written will caused a legal war between Lettie Lang (maid) and Seth’s estranged family. That’s where Jake Brigance (lawyer) comes into play and the trial begins.

The trials raises more questions than answers and I think you should read (or listen) to this book to find out how it all connects to a little piece of land called Sycamore Row.