How is it the last day of January already? At the beginning of the year, I set some goals for myself to create better habits in my life. One of the areas I wanted to focus on was self-care habits, especially working to intentionally set aside time to spend doing things that I love.. like READING! I have to say, this has been amazing for me. I thought since this was something I have loved, maybe some of you will too. I’m going to start a monthly book review to keep myself accountable to my new goal, but also so we can share good book recommendations!
I read 5 books this month, which is already more than I read all of last year. (Insert embarrassed emoji here.) Three of them I loved, one was fine, and the other I just really didn’t enjoy. That’s not too bad for my first month!
It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover
This was the first book I read this year and it was the best way to begin. I flew through this one and yet it was so hard to read in the best way. Given the chance, I will always pick a light hearted book over any other book. This was not light hearted and yet still one of the best books that I’ve maybe ever read. (I know.)
This story was of personal experience to the author which made it even more endearing to read. It’s a love story filled with heart break that made me see relationships in a whole other way than I had before. This book had me from the very first page and didn’t let up it’s fast pace the whole time. I’m not sure how to give much detail on the synopsis without giving away the heart of the story so I’ll just say that this is one you should read. It’s one of those that sticks with you and I won’t be able to forget it. The characters were so relatable and realistic that I felt their emotions myself!
I just really loved this one. I also loved that the author didn’t shy away from telling the story full of the details that needed to be told. Alert: graphic scenes and language, just FYI.
Cancel the Wedding – Carolyn Dingman
With this title, I went in thinking this book was going to be a cute little romance. No way! This book was so much more than that. A little romance, a little conflict, a little heartbreak and a lot of mystery. And I LOVED it. This was the author’s first book and I was disappointed to see that so far it’s her only! I love how she writes and the story she weaved together.
It’s about a woman who travels to a small town in Georgia to scatter her mother’s ashes. She goes there originally for a few days to do some research on her mother’s life before she was her mother – a life that was purposefully kept secret. She finds out way more than she bargained for and has to reconcile the things she learns with the woman she thought she knew. It’s one of those really good books that keeps you guessing and up past midnight because you can’t put it down. Totally recommend!
November 9 – Colleen Hoover
I wanted to read another Colleen Hoover book this month because I loved It Ends With Us so much. I chose this one because I loved the idea of the plot and I think it was her next most recent one she published.
The story is about two people who meet by chance, develop a meaningful and intense connection and agree to meet back on that day every year for 5 years. It started as a sweet love story but then kind of took a dark turn. I was a little over halfway through this one and I was absolutely loving it. And then sadly… I just didn’t. I found the end of the book unsatisfying and a little difficult to get through. I didn’t dislike it, I just had a hard time reconciling the end of the story with the rest of the book?
I love the way Colleen Hoover writes but maybe it was just the plot of this one that I didn’t enjoy as much as her other book. I think I need to read another of hers in the next couple months and break the tie. 😉
The Professionals – Owen Laukkanen
I hadn’t intended to read this book this month but I’m so glad I did! My husband has been teasing me about how into my books I’ve been lately and how I’ve been staying up way too late some nights wrapped up in a story. I convinced him to choose one for himself a couple weeks ago and this is the one he chose. Well wouldn’t you know that HE got so wrapped up in this book that he read it in less than a week. (And if you know my husband you know that’s a big deal for him to care that much about a book.) He just could not put it down! I picked it up one day while the kids were watching a movie, read a little and I understood why he didn’t want to stop reading.
THis isn’t usually my genre of book but it was so good! It’s a thriller/suspense novel about a group of kids who just graduated college and are facing a dreadful job market. They decide to start kidnapping rich men and asking for a low amount of ransom from their wives. They receive their money, let the men go and move on to another city to do it all again. It all works great until they accidentally kidnap someone of importance and it all spiral wildly out of control.
Owen Laukkanen, the author, wrote these college kid’s thoughts and behaviors so realistically that he just about had me on their side of this whole scheme. They were just so likeable! The book was extremely fast moving, unpredictable and doesn’t focus on the gore and violence that similar story lines might have. It was a book I wouldn’t have chosen for myself, but I’m so glad I read! This was the author’s first novel but he has since published more that will probably have to make it to my list!
It’s Not Okay – Andi Dorfman
So, if I’m being honest I struggled with this one. Backstory: I’m a total Bachelor fan and have been for years. I don’t really even know why, but even in all it’s ridiculousness I enjoy the show. I read Sean Lowe’s book For the Right Reasons last year and I totally loved it. I love hearing behind the scenes info from the show and I really loved hearing about his faith journey. So I thought I would read more books from the Bachelor franchise. Andi’s book has been on my list for a long time.
I wanted to like it but I just struggled. I thought it was marketed as a ‘tell all’ but it’s really more a book about dealing with break-ups with tiny bits of Bachelor experience in between. I think I may not have been in the target audience of this book which was probably why I didn’t enjoy it very much! Parts of the book were way too TMI for my taste so it was a little difficult to get through. Unless you are in the target ‘dealing with a break up’ audience, if you want to read a Bachelor book I would absolutely recommend Sean Lowe’s!
Now it’s your turn! What have you read lately that you loved? What should be on my list to read next?