Wednesday, April 4, 2018

March Book Review.

It's Book Review day!!

I go through quite a few books a month.  Like I've said a million times, I am an Audible JUNKIE.  If it weren't for audiobooks, I would probably read maybe 3 books a year.  I just don't have the time.  Yes, I could make more time and read instead of watching Bravo when I finally crawl into bed at night but with my audiobooks, I don't have to choose.  #winwin

I listen while I work on Etsy orders (shop reopening on Friday!), while I do laundry, dishes, drive, brush my teeth, get ready for bed, put on my makeup...  It works with my lifestyle and I love it.

So again, if you want to just TRY Audible, you can go HERE and you'll get 2 free books to try out!  It's not for everyone but this way you'll at least know, right?

Now onto the review!  Also, I tend to just say "I read" instead of "I listened to" all the time.  So when I say "read" just know I really mean "listened to".  If I read an actual hard copy, I'll let you know.  (It does happen!!  More on that later.)

This month I read 7 books.  They were a totally random mix of genres too.  Normally, I tend to stick with chick lit or thrillers but this month I had Christian fiction, a celebrity autobiography, a motivational read, a behind-the-scenes of The Bachelor (biography of The Bachelor?) and 3 that are technically in the mystery/thriller category.

To read the full publisher's summary or to add it your Amazon cart just click the titles.

First up was Every Fifteen Minutes.

This book was a crime drama/mystery.  Maybe a little of a thriller.  But the book was about a psychiatrist who begins treating a teenage boy for his OCD and other mental health issues.  When he finds out the boy is obsessed with a girl at his school and she winds up dead, things start to get very complicated.  

There's a bomb scare at a mall.  There's a sexual harassment charge by one of the psychiatrist's young interns.  There is a heartless ex-wife and a fight for custody of their daughter.  And there's definitely those all-important twists and turns that you didn't see coming.

This book will have you guessing "whodunit" the whole way through.  I really liked it, it ended well and I give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

If you are a Bachelor fan but have no real idea how the show is made, you might really like this!

But for me, I have a pretty good understanding of how the show works.  I have been reading Reality Steve for years (he writes spoilers for the show each year) plus I've read a ton of former contestants books.  (Favorites include Courtney Robertson's I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends and Melissa Rycroft's My Reality).

But this book was written by a writer/fan.  She talks about the background of the producers of the show and how it came to be which is kind of interesting.  She talks about the application process and gives a little behind the scenes of filming.  But a lot of the book is also spent on dissecting why Bachelor fans are so loyal to the show.  I could care less about all the sociological and psychological reasoning behind it so she kind of bored me with all of that.  I honestly just wanted to know the dirt on stuff I didn't ALREADY know.  And there wasn't a ton of that in there.

If you aren't aware of how "ITM"s work (those little clips they do throughout the show of them being interviewed by themselves and talking about what they were thinking in that particular moment...thus ITM=In The Moment) or are unfamiliar with the casting process (STD checks, psychological exams, etc) you will find that interesting.  There's also information about how rose ceremonies work, how the cast is manipulated to do and say things they probably wouldn't normally do or say and things like that.

I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars because while I did like it and it had some good information in it, it totally lost me when it veered from the juicy stuff.  Plus, there wasn't a whole lot in it that I wasn't already aware of.

My mom just loves Karen Kingsbury.  She is a Christian fiction author and is really popular.  She has several different series so I just picked one and went with it.

I have always been fascinated with angels so it was an easy choice when I saw there was an Angels Walking series.  Book #1 was of the same name.  So I gave it a shot.

This book was really great!  I've read several random books in the Christian fiction category over the years but this was definitely one of my favorites.  The book was about a young minor-league baseball player who is pitching the game of his life in front of all the major league scouts when the worst happens.  Before he knows what happened, he's in the hospital, cut from his team and homeless.

With no money and no insurance, he is unable to get the surgery he needs in order to give him a chance at rehab and getting back to baseball.  This guy was tenacious to say the least.  He was humble enough to walk through any door he could that might help and I loved reading about how perseverance.  

Two angels are sent on assignment to help guide him on his new path.  They appear and disappear throughout the book just to help set something incredible in motion.

What's really neat is that the book isn't only about the ballplayer.  It also dives into the story of a woman who is dealing with the devastating effects of Alzheimer's in her mother.  The old woman is in a nursing home and this is where our ballplayer begins working as a janitor.  The two form an incredible bond and help each other in different ways.

And then there is the ex-girlfriend.  The love of his life who he let slip away.  Suddenly, she's back in his life and so you get a love story as well.  

I was very pleasantly surprised to see a little twist towards the end where everyone's lives become intertwined.  It was really sweet and yeah, I may have shed a few tears.

This book was a definite 4 out of 5 for me.  To be fair, the only reason I didn't give it a 5 was because it left me wanting to know more but since it's a series, I'll just have to wait to read all about it in book 2. :)

Almost Missed You was my first book by Jessica Strawser.

The book was about a woman, Violet, who is on a beach vacation with her husband, Finn, and small son.  She is relaxing on the beach while her husband and son nap in the room.  When she goes back to the room, all traces of her husband and son are gone.

Violet realizes quickly that her husband has taken their son and gone on the run and into hiding.  She is completely blindsided by this since everyone has always seen them as the perfect couple.  Including herself.

When Finn shows up at their former next-door neighbor's door asking her to help him hide, Caitlin refuses.  Finn threatens to reveal a secret to Caitlin's husband that she knows could be life-destroying and must make a choice.

As the story unfolds you get to hear different sides through each character's view point.  (I love books like this.)  Everything becomes a giant mess and no one knows how to untangle themselves from all of it and come out unscathed.

I really enjoyed this book.  I wouldn't say it was a thriller really though.  More like a drama or a Lifetime movie.

If you don't love the scary, creepy thrillers but love secrets and some twists, you'll like this one!

Four out of five stars.  :)

I decided to listen to this book on a total whim.  I had just finished Pitch Perfect 3 for the second time and was just on that high the ends of those movies give you.  I have a total girl crush on Anna Kendrick and think she's just a cool chick.  Plus she is amazingly talented.  I love her voice.

When I listen to a celebrity autobiography, I love when they read it themselves.  (Except for a certain Italian Jersey housewife...  #painful)

I love that I got to hear Anna read her book.  It was like she was just sitting there beside me while I worked, telling me all her stories.

This book was funny, cute, and interesting.  Anna tells some great stories about her childhood and how she rose to fame.  I love that she keeps it so real and seems to be pretty unaffected by all of her success.  This would make an excellent pool or beach read!

Four out of five stars for this one too. The only reason I left off a star is because I wanted more behind the scenes from Pitch Perfect!  There wasn't a whole lot of that.

Oh my.  Have you ever noticed that no matter how much you love love love a book, it rarely has a full 5 star rating?  Maybe it'll have 4.5 or even 4.75 but a full 5 is rare.

This book has that 5 star rating on Amazon!  With almost 1200 reviews.

I loved listening to this book as well.  There is something very soothing and pretty about Rachel's voice.  

I wrote my review about this book HERE in my What's Up Wednesday post from last week so if you need more convincing that you should read it too, go there.

And although I don't agree (or get) why this book is called Girl, Wash Your Face, it is an amazing book if you are wanting some motivation and inspiration on living your best life. 

 (Seriously, at first, I thought it was a book about makeup or skincare.)

But Rachel has a real way with words and the whole thing is uplifting and motivating without being cliched and cheesey.  So go HERE for the big review of it and then add it to your cart, girls!

Well friends.  I wish I could say I saved the best for life.  But I definitely didn't.

I wrote my review about it HERE and like I said...I was NOT a fan.  

After I read Almost Missed You I checked to see what else Jessica Strawser had written and noticed she had a new one coming out very soon! 

 I was so excited.  

Until I wasn't.

Again, I'll say that this book was one of the dullest "thrillers" ever written.  And again, I'll also say that it seems like the majority of reviewers out there disagree with me because it's got a 4.2 on Amazon right now.

At the very beginning of this book Kristin goes missing.  You don't even get to know a single thing about this girl so it's hard to even care that she's no longer around.  You aren't really given the sense that she's been hurt.  Just that she took her kids and fled in the middle of the night.  She's in the middle of a nasty divorce and the husband is looking a little suspicious but that's kind of where it stops.  You aren't given anything into this woman's past.  You have no idea where's she's gone. And the whole book is just her neighbors sitting around, living their fairly normal lives while they occasionally wonder if the husband had something to do with it or not.  

There's finally a little drama toward the end.  (But not much.)  And at the very very end, there is a little twist.

And then it's over and you wish you had your money and your time back.

Good thing to note here is that on Audible, you can return a book you didn't like!  I spent a credit on this book and my credits are valuable!  So you can bet I returned this one.  And I got my credit back.  

I've probably listened to over 300 books on Audible and this may be the first book I've ever felt the need to return.  It was just such a dud.

Go HERE to read more on my thoughts about it and also, if you loved it, then I'm sorry!  Clearly, some people did!  I'm just not sure how.

Two out of five for me.  And that's being generous.

So that was my March!  April is shaping up to look pretty good already and we're only a few days in!  I've already got 1.5 books under the belt.

To see what all I'm reading/have read, be sure to follow me on Goodreads HERE.

You can also find me on Instagram @amandanall and @thatinspiredchick.
And my FB group is HERE.

For some of my ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOKS, see below.  :)

Happy reading, friends!

(Be sure to pin this image if you want to save it as a reference when you need a new book!)



  1. I'm reading The Wife Between Us right now! It is so good!!!!!

    1. Yay! I knew you'd love it! It gets better and better as you go!

    2. I LOVED The Wife Between Us so so much- it got me off onto a marriage thriller kick. (see my post below for tons of marriage thriller books I read in March)

  2. I’m in the middle of Girl, Wash Your Face right now!!

    1. If you can figure out why she decided to call it Girl Wash Your Face, let me know! haha

    2. I just finished Girl Wash Your Face today and OH MY WORD I think I am going to read it again. The best book I have read in a LONG time!!

  3. You had a GREAT reading month! I've added you on Goodreads. Always love finding bookworms like me! ha!

  4. I'm super pumped to read Girl, Wash your Face! I am waiting for it at the library! Currently I am about to start The Last Mrs. Parrish and cannot wait! :)

  5. I just read Almost Missed You...I read it quickly and I liked it...but the ending bugged me. I won't write any spoilers, but it seemed a little unbelievable to me. Not That I Could Tell is on hold for me at the library, but dangit, now I'm not too excited, ha!

    1. Ha! I get it. I kept thinking “How are they all going to get out of this mess in one piece?!”.

  6. This post of book reviews gives me LIFE. I read like a crazy lady. Here are great books I suggest (no time in life for crappy books) I was on a marriage thriller kick this month:

    The Widower's Wife
    Lies She Told
    Tell Me More (not a marriage thriller, but a GREAT book) (Kelly Corrigan)
    The Stolen Marriage (loved)
    Lie To Me
    The Waiting (great book- not a marriage thriller, but an amazing story)

  7. I definitely need to read Girl Wash Your Face. I've heard so many great reviews. I've been on a real audio book kick lately. Right now I'm listening to The Wife Between Us. Here were my reviews for March -

  8. I also have "read" so many more books since I found audio books! Have you ever tried the app Libby? It's tied to your public library account and not all libraries have it. My library is a huge system and has it, but my friend near Atlanta has terrible libraries and she can't get Libby through them. But, they have so many of the new titles! Plus lots and lots of older ones. You can check them out for two weeks and they return themselves. I put holds on a lot of books I see on Goodreads and then the app emails you when your hold comes in. Definitely check it out! Just as good as Audible and how can you beat free?? 😀

  9. I just finished The Wife Between good! I also loved Girl, Wash Your Face. I have Not That I Could Tell on my list and am now removing it!

  10. I agree with Kim, I started using Audible with he free one month trial membership, but quickly realized that it was going to cost me a fortune with monthly fee and then additional for the cost of each book after the monthly allowance. I started using Libby by Overdrive and have been able to access every title that my current bloggers are raving about. Check it out!!


I love hearing from you! Drop a comment below!