Wednesday, May 2, 2018


Oh, happy day!!

It's time for my April Book Review!

If you're not a book fan, please tell me why so I can find a solution for you!!  Books are my favorite way to escape reality for a little while and honestly, it's a great way to get to be a fly on the wall in someone else's life.  And that's always fun, right?  ;)

No time?  Check out why I love (love love LOVE) Audible!  

No room for any more books?  My Kindle is my new best friend when I find time to actually sit and read.

Too expensive?  Most public libraries let you borrow audiobooks and digital ones for your Kindle without even leaving your house.

This month, I "read" 5 books.  I'm putting "read" in quotes because technically I listened to 4 and actually read one.

And you can follow me on Goodreads HERE if you want to see all the books I've read and check out what I'm currently reading.  I've read 26 books this year and my goal was 50...I think it's safe to say I'll hit the mark.  ;)

Let's get started!
(Just click the title to find it on Amazon!)


First up, we have The Baby Plan.  I chose this book because I wanted something fun and light.  Plus, I'm completely obsessed with babies lately.

The book is about 3 women who find themselves knocked up all at the same time.  Two are sisters.  One sister has been trying for a baby for YEARS with her husband and she has been waiting for the absolute perfect moment to share it with her family.  When she is moments away from her big announcement, her sister pukes all over the Thanksgiving table and, as Monica Gellar would say, totally steals her thunder.

Yes, the younger sister is also pregnant.  (Don't worry.  That's not really a spoiler since it's in the publisher's summary.)  Younger sis is not super thrilled about the idea of being a mama considering her roommate turned boyfriend is having some growing pains of his own while she is just starting to get her life together.

And then we meet Mama #3.  She's a single mom with an 18-year-old daughter who is leaving for college soon and an absentee rocker boyfriend who is anything but stable.

The book works it way through all their lives and you get to see how they all manage to intertwine.  I love books like this and the whole 3 degrees of separation thing.

This book was exactly what I was looking for.  It was sweet, it was funny, it made me cringe, and cry and nod along remembering my own pregnancies!

I really liked this one and think it would make a great summer read!

Sidenote:  My favorite book about pregnant mamas though is hands-down Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner.  If you love chick lit about pregnancy and newborns you will LOVE THIS BOOK.  I've read it at least 10 times.  It is great on Audible too.  If you are looking for a book to try out on Audible, this would be a good one.

Oh, Mary Kay!  You never disappoint, sweet lady!  This is actually my second time to read The Weekenders.  I think I read it for the first time last summer but that covers just pulled me in again when I saw it in my Audible library!  Does that not scream "beach read" to you?!

The book starts with the Griggs family heading over to their summer house in Belle Isle, NC.  Riley (the mom) grew up in Belle Isle and her mom and aunt still live there.  They love the island and try to get back as much possible.

Riley and her husband are in the beginning stages of a divorce though and this weekend is when they will break the news to their daughter.  He is supposed to be meeting them at their house but when they show up to their mega-mansion by the sea, Riley can't get into the house.  Her key doesn't work and she finds out the house is in foreclosure.  Thinking that there surely must be a mistake, they head to her mom's house to wait until they can talk to her husband and figure out what's going on.

When Riley's husband suddenly turns up dead though everything she thought she knew is gone.  Secrets about his life are discovered and although she is angry, she needs to know what happened to her husband for the sake of their teenage daughter.

This book is a terrific combination of a beach read, chick lit, romance and a murder-mystery all rolled into one.  I was shocked when the killer was revealed and finding out more and more secrets as the book went on kept me glued to it.

I feel pretty confident when I say I think you'll love this book!

AND, did I mention that it's on sale for your Kindle right now for just $2.99!!  I mean, that's a no-brainer. I have no idea when the sale ends so snag it NOW!!

(Other favorites by Mary Kay Andrews:  Save the Date, Summer Rental, Ladies Night)

And I managed to snag an early copy of MKA's newest release, The High Tide Club!  It will be out May 8th and I'm hoping to have it finished by then.  I'm reading it on my Kindle so it's taking a little longer than my audiobooks.

She has the BEST covers.

Last summer I read Slightly South of Simple which was Book 1 in the Peachtree Bluff series. I loved the characters and found myself completely wrapped up in their stories.  Book 2 came out in April and I just had to read get to it ASAP.

The book is definitely better if you are familiar with Book 1.  I found myself confused on some parts trying to remember what happened in the first book and had to go back and refresh my memory on it.  Once I did that though, it was so good!  

The series deals with a family full of strong women who all find themselves back in Peachtree Bluff, leaning on each other and their mother during some very trying times.  And allllll of them have something crazy going on.  

One of them lives in NYC and her husband runs off with a famous celebrity.  In this book, he is back in the picture, begging for forgiveness and doing his best to show his wife that he knows what absolute jerk he was.

Another sister is a Hollywood actress who ends up making a movie of the whole situation and portrays the husband-stealing celebrity!  

And the third sister comes back to Peachtree when her military husband goes M.I.A overseas.

And then there's their mom, Ansley.  Ansley is taking care of her own beloved mother while remaining strong for her daughters.  And all the while, she is carrying a life-changing secret that is threatening to be revealed.  All of her daughters think she is completely straight-laced and "vanilla" but what they don't know could change their view of their mother and their entire lives.

Definitely start with Slightly South of Simple and follow up quickly with The Secret to Southern Charm so you don't forget the story!  Great beach read!

This book was a totally spontaneous addition to my reading list.  I thought the premise of the book sounded compelling.

Here's the rundown on this one.

Maddy is the perfect mother.  She's got a loving husband and beautiful teenage daughter.  She is the glue that holds the family together.  Until one day, she is found dead from an apparent suicide.

The book starts with Maddy being dead...but not gone.  Maddy is still very much with her family and is on the hunt for the perfect replacement.  She discovers she can manipulate thoughts and get into the minds of her loved ones so they can hear her voice as she helps guide them from beyond.

Maddy thinks she has found that perfect replacement in Rory.  Rory is sweet, kind, caring and loving.  And is harboring her own tragedy and sadness.  She comes into the lives of Maddy's husband and daughter and...well you'll have to read it to find out the rest.  ;)

I had no expectations when I started this book.  I had never heard of the author or the book.  But when I was a senior in high school, my best friend's mother committed suicide, two houses down from mine, and it was the most traumatic thing I've ever experienced.  Obviously, I won't get into any of that but it may be why this book called out to me.

So yeah, I didn't know what to expect with this book but I LOVED it.  It was well written, kept me wanting to read more and I felt like I truly knew each character, including Maddy.  But the best part was the twist at the end that you just won't see coming.  It's bittersweet.  It'll still break your heart.  But she wraps up the book so beautifully which is so similar to my best friend's life, almost 20 years later.

And finally...

Emily Giffin's new book, All We Ever Wanted.  I know a lot of you have been anxious to hear a review about this one!

I want to start by saying a huge thank you to NetGalley for hooking me up with an early copy!  I ADORE Emily Giffin's books and I'm super impatient.  So this advanced copy made my year!!

Now on to the book...

Nina is a small-town girl turned high-society mom. She's among Nashville's elite, her husband is rich and successful and their son, Finch, is beloved by all at his private high school and on his way to Princeton.

Tom is a single dad to Lyla, struggling to make ends meet while working several jobs in order to provide the best life he can for his teenage daughter.  Lyla lands herself a scholarship to the same private high school Finch attends and she does her best to find her way in a maze of rich, privileged kids.

Then one night at a party all of their worlds are flipped upside down.

An extremely scandalous cell phone picture is taken of Lyla in a drunken moment and it goes viral throughout the community.

But who is to blame?  Is it Finch?  His best friend?  His girlfriend?  And why?

The story unfolds to reveal how one stupid decision can destroy so many lives.

This book was a lot deeper and more serious than Emily's other books.  It sounds like something pulled straight from a headline.  You will absolutely put yourself and your own kids in their shoes and think to yourself "What if this was my kid?".  It is terrifying to think that one bad decision that takes mere seconds, could ruin lives like this.  

I loved that Nina, Finch's mom, was not completely one-sided or blinded by her love for her son.  She was fair.  She was honest.  And she had secretly been through a traumatic experience of her own in college that helped her empathize with Lyla.

But this book will keep you turning pages.  Especially once you start to second guess whether or not Finch is really a good guy who got took the fall for someone he cared about or a bad guy with no heart, just like his father.  

I was intrigued from the first chapter and thought it wrapped up nicely in the epilogue.

If you are going into this though, thinking it is another one of Giffin's rom-com's you will be disappointed.  This book has more of a family drama/Dateline feel that will keep you hooked until the end.

And you'll also want to ban all social media and/or cell phones from your kids FOR.EV.ER.

I loved this book.  I thought it was a great read and I was not disappointed.  (Her last book, First Comes Love, was the only book she's ever written that I didn't absolutely love.)

She totally rebounded from that though with All We Ever Wanted.

This book is set to be released on June 26th but you can pre-order it now.  If you want a nice change of pace from beach reads and thrillers, this is where it's at, friends!

So that was April!

Find my February Review HERE:

And my March Review HERE:

And before I go, I'm going to be joining Shay and Erika on Instagram for their photo challenge!

I missed yesterday because of so many reasons but I'll try to double post today to catch up.  Find me on Instagram @amandanall and over in my Facebook Group HERE!

There may just be a GIVEAWAY coming to the FB group on Friday....!!  So go join now so you won't miss it!

Have a happy Wednesday!!



  1. I love Emily Griffin's books! I may need to add some of these to my must read list for the beach later this month!! :) Thank you for sharing!

  2. I Liked My Life just arrived on my doorstep yesterday!

  3. I feel like I need to read them all!

  4. THANK YOU for the heads up - just ordered The Weekenders for my iPad :)

  5. Your book reviews are spot on! I clicked on The Weekenders and thank goodness Amazon reminds me that I purchased this back in april (from your recommendation I would imagine!) so thank goodness Amazon doesn't let me be dumb and order 2 times! LOL And I Love Audible! I use it for my walks outside. Keeps me entertained for long 7-8 mile walks !!!

    1. Ha!! Yes, I'm so glad Amazon does that too!! It's definitely saved me a few times as well!

  6. I just bought the MKA book on Kindle! She's a favorite author of mine but I just realized I hadn't read that one!

  7. I love MKA too! I met her when she was touring for The Weekenders and can't wait to read her new one. I just finished Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristy Woodson Harvey. She said the story was inspired by her grandparents' life and OH MY GOODNESS! It was so good!! I highly recommend it!! Thanks for sharing your reviews!

  8. Thank you so much for reading The Secret To Southern Charm! :)

    1. Oh my goodness!! Thank YOU for writing it!! If I had known the author would read my review I probably would have spent a lot more time making sure it was perfect. ;) Thank you for stopping by!

  9. Hey thanks so much for linking up at Tea and Word! Love the sound of these books!! Adding a few to my list. :)


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