Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday Favorites #45. {Book Review}

Happy Friday, friends!  I hope you've all had a great week!  We've had a really great week despite getting a call from the school nurse at 9am on Monday morning.  Mason had been coughing some and a little snotty over the weekend but it seemed like a basic cold.  The nurse called to say his pulse-ox was 92 which is apparently bad.  And that he was wheezing.  So back to doctor we went.  Twice in less than a month for the same thing.

There's not much that gets this kid down.

Our doctor said that if he comes back in wheezing one more time in the next month or so he'll be officially diagnosed with viral-induced asthma and he'll have to do an inhaler once a day at least during the cold months.  Right now, he's only having to use it when he's sick.  But it's definitely looking like viral-induced asthma because this happens a lot with him. It could be worse for sure though so we're not complaining.  :)

Anyway, today I'm linking up with Narci, Erika, and Andrea for Friday Favorites and since I have been meaning to do a book review for a while now I thought this would be a great time to do it.

And remember...I "read" a lot.  But I am only able to get through so many books so quickly because I'm an Audible girl.  Go HERE to learn more about why I love Audible and how to get 2 books for free during a free trial period.  I'm telling you girls. If you love to read but just don't have time to sit down and focus on a book, TRY THIS!!  Listen in the car (headphones may be necessary if you are in there with other people), while you are doing laundry, the dishes, getting ready in the morning or at night.  My dad was so hesitant about this and thought he'd hate it but he is now just as obsessed as I am.  Seriously.  Go here (and then come back) to read what Audible is all about.

Book time.  #yay

I haven't done a full book review since September.  Eeek.  I've read 16 books since then!  I won't include them all here because we'd be here forever.  But you can always follow along with what I'm reading on my Goodreads account here.  I keep it current so if you're ever wondering what I'm reading now, it'll be there.  :)  (I just started Andy Cohen's "Most Talkative".)

So here are some of the books I thought were worth mentioning.  Since we don't want to be here forever, you can click the title of each book to take you straight to Amazon where you can find the official summary and add it to your cart or wishlist if you want.  I always keep a running wish list going on Amazon!

Let's start with Suspense/Thriller/Crime Dramas.

The Secrets She Keeps was really good!  The story revolves around two pregnant women and the friendship they develop.  You quickly realize that one of these girls is absolutely crazy.  The book follows both of their stories.  One happily married with the perfect family and one wishing for everything the other has.  The crazy one will stop at nothing to make her dreams come true...  

You won't be able to put it down.  If you love these type of books, be sure to look into this one!

I may have posted about this one before but I felt it was worth mentioning again.  If you haven't read The Couple Next Door then you MUST add it to your list!!

A couple's baby goes missing from their home while they are next door at a dinner party.  As if that isn't enough to send your blood pressure through the roof, secrets start piling up between both sets of neighbors and before long you are doing your best to piece it all together.  Don't worry though.  Just when you think you have it alllll figured out---BAM.  You're hit with another secret.  This book doesn't let up until the very end.  If you love thrillers, you'll love this one!

If you love psychological thrillers then there are two books that you MUST read.  The two above are amazing.  But The Last Mrs. Parrish and The Wife Between Us stand out above the rest in my opinion.  These are by far the two books that had my mouth gaping open in shock more than any other.

I love the line in the Amazon summary.  "Some women get everything.  Some women get everything they deserve."  #slowclap

I keep trying to summarize this book without giving away any spoilers and I just can't do it so click the title to find the official Amazon summary.  Just know that this book follows through and will leave you completely satisfied in the end.  And will leave your mouth hanging wide open in shock.  Just do it!

You know when you read a book and you LOVE LOVE LOVE it and then you start recommending it to your friends...but then you start second guessing yourself and hoping they love it as much as you because you really did LOVE LOVE LOVE it but what if they don't?  Yeah.  That's how I feel with this one. I have been recommending this one to ALLLL my reader girlfriends but I don't think any have read it yet.  I need reassurance that it's amazing!!  

If you've read The Last Mrs. Parrish and loved it then you especially have to read this book.  Without giving anything away, here is what one reviewer said:

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. 
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen's The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
Read between the lies.
Y'all.  This is currently my favorite book from 2018.  Yes, it's only February.  But I loved it even more than The Last Mrs. Parrish and that is the one getting all the attention right now.  This one--in my opinion--takes it to a whole other level.  
I still remember when they dropped the first big twist.  I was sitting at my computer, working on an order and listening to this book and when they dropped that bomb, my jaw literally dropped open for a solid 30 seconds.  I had to pause the book and think about what just happened.  And from then on the hits just kept on coming.  
This book is just so smart.  If you love to try to figure it all out, good luck on this one.  I love that you get the big "hits" towards the middle of the book and then the rest of the book slowly pieces together all these tiny things that just make you go "whoa!".  Some people don't like this from what I've read in reviews but I loved it.  It was different.  And I love different!
If you've read this, please let me know how you liked it in the comments!  And if you haven't, find it here!

Moving on to Chick Lit we have....
Kristan Higgins.
I randomly stumbled upon her books last summer and the first one I read was If You Only Knew followed immediately by On Second Thought.  I LOVED those two books and those were definitely in my 10 ten list from 2017.  After that, I became obsessed with her books.  They just made me feel good.  Sometimes you just need to go to a happy place and that's what her books do.  
Those first two I read from her were solid 5/5 stars.  However the next few were really good but they didn't stand out in any way.  4/5 stars. 
And then I read her new book, Now That You Mention It, and once again I fell hard for KH.  Once again, she got a 5/5 from me.  The book has so much drama but it never feels like it's too much.  It's got a great mix of chick lit and thriller/suspense/crime in it that will keep you totally absorbed.
You've got a love story, a hit and run, a break-in and assault, PTSD, a sordid past that shows up in the present, high school crushes, guns, knives, police, houseboats and a big sweet dog.  And those are just the things I remember off the top of my head.
This is such a great option if you are looking for a middle area between chick-lit and drama.

Ok y'all.  WHY did it take me so long to finally read this book?  I think maybe subconsciously I was scared it wouldn't live up to the hype?  I'm not sure.  All I know is that it absolutely, 100% DID live up to the hype and you should read it.  Don't be a fool like I was and put it off.  DO. IT.
This book is about a couple who is adorable and hopelessly in love.  They get married.  They travel.  They do all the fun, amazing things they had been planning on doing at this stage in their life.  Until the day before their wedding anniversary when the husband gets on a helicopter and it goes down over the ocean.  No survivors are found.  Devastation ensues.
Years later, Emma finds herself finally moving on and in love again.  This time with Sam.  They are planning their wedding and Sam is just everything you'd want him to be.  And then she gets a call from Jesse. Who she thinks is dead.  And all hell breaks loose.
I will tell you that halfway through this book I could not IMAGINE a situation in which everyone ends up happy.  I just couldn't fathom it.  I just kept thinking "How on earth will this book end that will make this all ok?!".  Both men are fighting for Emma.  Emma loves them both.  One is from her past and one is her present.  HOW?!  
And then somehow, it does.  It resolves itself in the most perfect way and you finish the book not wanting to cry into your pillow.  #sothatsgood

And finally on to autobiographies.
I know I swore I would not listen to another Teresa Guidice book on Audible because she reads like a 1st grader but I gave in and went for it (again) with her latest book, Standing Strong.  Thank the Lord, it was nowhere near as painful as listening to her read her last one.  
(This picture is so blurry, I know!  So sorry!)
I love Teresa.  I think she has a good heart underneath it all.  This book is about her life after prison as a single mother.  Joe's gone to prison himself, her parents are both seriously ill in the hospital and her mother passes away.  When she talks about these painful things in her life, my heart truly breaks for her.  She puts up such a front all the time but lately, she seems to be letting her guard down some and showing us that she's not perfect all the time.  She has emotions.  She has feelings.  She gets pissed off.  She gets scared.  She worries.  And y'all know I LOVE real people.  So when she lets that side of her show, my heart just went out to her.
The loss of her mother was just awful.  You will cry.  And hearing about her resentment towards Joe...I love that she's finally able to admit that.
So if you are a RHONJ fan, I (surprisingly) recommend this one!  Turning the Tables was good too but DO NOT listen to that one on Audible.  It will make your ears bleed.  #notevenkidding
And finally, if you love Chip and JoJo, then you'll love this book.  Chip narrates it himself on Audible and he's just so funny.  I love his stories and hearing him explain in his own words, why he knew it was time to let Fixer Upper go.  This family is such an inspiration to so many people and in so many different ways.  If you read The Magnolia Story (which I also loved and highly recommend), then you'll love Capital Gaines.

So those are my favorites from the past 5 months.  If you are on the desktop site, you can click on the label "books" or "book review" for mentions of books from different posts.  
Follow me on Goodreads here.
Instagram @amandanall and @thatinspiredchick
Twitter: @amandanall
FB group here.
And if you are a bookworm like me then you might need this cute sign from my Etsy shop!
#justsayin ;)
I'm always open to suggestions on what to read next!  Let me know in the comments! And don't forget to check out my Audible love post HERE to see if you might love it too!
Happy Friday, y'all!



  1. I posted about The Last Mrs. Parrish today, too! I'm still not so patiently waiting for my hold at the library to come in for The Wife Between Us :)

  2. I can't wait to read a few of these!!

  3. You convinced me to read the Wife Between Us!! I’m ordering now!!

  4. There are so many good books in this post! I have two of them by my bedside that I need to read ASAP!

  5. I'm the BIGGEST bookworm.....I read The Wife Between Us, and loved it, but I'm going to say, the ending just sort of dropped was so good, and then sort of ended, and let me down. But I still enjoyed it so so so much. IT was well written, smart, exciting, and I couldn't figure out what was going to happen next. AND I LOVE THAT in a book.

  6. I’ve been wanting someone to review Standing Strong after reading her first book!! I want to read all of those thrillers too! I’m finishing up The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth. It was kind of heavy but I really enjoyed it!

  7. Your top picks are already on my TBR list. I'm a library gal (both real books and audio) so I'm just waiting for the holds to come in. Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. You are right! The Wife Between Us is AMAZING!!!! It was one of my favorites today too. I gasped out loud, in public, twice! Once at the end of part 1 and in the epilogue! Sarah and Greer are planning on writing more together and I cannot wait. Their chemistry is perfection. They visited my local bookstore recently and were fabulous.
    I also recommend Sarah's other books. They are more chick lit, not psychological thrillers, and I really enjoy them. I've read them all and would recommend them to everyone!

  9. I am reading The Wife Between Us and can't stop! I am just getting to Part 2. Crazy! I have to go back and re-read! LOL.....I started audible on your suggestion. I walk. ALOT. and I can not do music for more then 45 minutes so Ilisten to PodCasts and now books. Its a great way to pass the time while I am getting my steps!

  10. I love the Under Suspician series by Mary Higgins Clark. Quick, easy reads

  11. Fellow Audible junkie here! It is really the only way I read. I cannot wait to listen to er read haha The Wife Between Us. It is next in my queue. Right now I'm reading The Woman In The Window. Once again I say reading but really listening to. I will have to check out so many of these that you listed! Have a terrific weekend!

  12. I love book recommendations. Thank you


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