Wednesday, August 1, 2018

July Book Review. {2018}

It's Book Review day, y'all!!  So open up your Amazon carts, your library lists, your Audible store...however it is that you read...and get ready because you may want to add all of these!  It was a good book month!

A few tips...

Tip #1:  If you see a book you like, but don't want to buy it right now, create a Wish List just for books on Amazon!  That way you'll be able to head straight there next time you need a new book recommendation and you'll be able to remember which ones you really wanted.

Tip #2:  I have started a pretty good sized Book category in my "Influencer Store" on Amazon.  I'm only adding in books I've read and loved and highly recommend.  So if you need more ideas, be sure to head HERE to check it out.  And bookmark the site so you can go back and look when you want!  (I've also got a ton of other "favorites" in my store if you aren't a book lover!)

Tip #3:  There is a Book Club album in my Facebook Group. You can find all the books I love with direct links to them on Amazon.

This has been a crazy popular book this summer and for good reason!  The Devil Wears Prada is a chick-lit classic and the movie is one of my favorite chick-flicks of all time.  I also read the second book in the series, Revenge Wears Prada, but honestly don't remember much about it.  When Life Gives You Lululemons is technically part of the series but it can 100% be read as a stand-alone.  So no worries if you haven't read the other two.

The book follows Emily, who used to be Miranda Priestly's assistant at Runway.  Now Emily is married and living out in LA, and working as an image consultant to the stars.  But lately, things are starting to slow down for her and she needs a new opportunity to get back lost clients.

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, Karolina, a former supermodel turned adoring wife and loving stepmom has just been arrested for a DUI with a car full of kids behind the gates of their fancy neighborhood.  Karolina has become a hated woman in America and in the eyes of the public, is guilty until proven innocent.  Her wannabe future president husband leaves her and begins a new relationship immediately.  (Hmmmm....) Her stepson, whom she has raised as if he were her own, is taken away and her life is falling apart by the seams.

Enter Emily.

I adored this book.  It was light and fun but still had a great storyline.  And Miranda Priestly returns to throw her weight around and I couldn't love that more!

If you are a chick-lit fan, you will love this book!  This is a perfect addition to your beach bag, girls!

I found this book when I was searching for the Mary Kubica book "Don't You Cry".  I thought it was odd that there were two books in the same category with the exact same titles but it happens, I guess.  Anyway, I started reading the premise for Cass Green's Don't You Cry and thought it sounded really interesting.  So I went with this lesser known book instead.

One stolen baby.  Two desperate strangers.  One night of terror.

Yeah.  It had me hooked.

The book was a good little thriller.  This is not one of those "whoa, I didn't see that coming!" type of books. I pretty much figured out any mysteries that surrounded it fairly quickly.  Maybe not all the details but I could tell where it was going.  But that didn't ruin the fun for me.

The premise... 

Nina is home alone one night after an awful blind date.  Awful as in at one point she would have choked to death if it weren't for a quick-thinking waitress. 

She goes home to an empty house, gets a little drunk and passes out on the couch.  She's awakened to someone banging on her door in the middle of the night and FOR SOME REASON (why?!) she just opens up the door to find the waitress from that evening demanding to be let in.

A few minutes later, her brother shows up--bloody and with a newborn baby in his arms.  And that's when things go bad.  Nina is held hostage by these two strangers.  But why?  And whose baby is this?  And what do they want with her?

Ok.  Here's the deal.  I will say that I think the author is reaching just a bit in saying that it was a night of TERROR.  Yes, she's held hostage and the strangers have a gun.  But the way it plays out isn't exactly how I would describe terror.  

There are also 2 distinct parts to the book.  There's the "night of terror" and then the weeks after while they deal with the fallout.  I wasn't expecting so much of the book to be about after the fact based on the premise.  So that was a surprise.

Anyway, the book kept me interested.  I wanted to know more of the story and see how all of these characters came to be in this situation.  Their backstories will break your heart and will want you to cause physical harm to a certain villain. And it will all make sense.  I love when it all comes together in the end.

The book is more of a crime drama than a thriller, I think.  I've described books this way before but it's something I would see on Dateline.

And I love Dateline so that's a win in my book.  Four stars...maybe even 4.5.

Next up was...

This book has gotten a lot of buzz this summer as well and I LOVED IT! 

This book follows Ella, an America, who is a Rhodes Scholar and studying abroad at Oxford in England.  Her plan is to stay for a year and then return to continue her life's dream of working on political campaigns.  Right before she leaves for England though, a dream job lands in her lap.  She'll be working on a presidential-hopeful's campaign...but has talked her way into doing it abroad for now.

Ella ends up meeting amazing friends along with Jamie Davenport..her hunky English lit teacher.  What starts out as a casual fling quickly develops into much more.  But there are secrets that are holding Jamie back.  When Ella discovers his secret, she knows she has to make a decision that will affect the rest of her life.  (I really don't want to give away this secret!!)  Does she stay in England, with the love of her life or does she return, as planned, back to the States and work her dream job with a potential future president and her camaign for the White House?

Oh, friends.  This book will give you #allthefeels.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get angry at how unfair life can be.  But you'll love the book.  I have no doubt.

This sweet book was really good but there was a lot going on!  So many different stories within the story.  The book starts with newly engaged Shelby and Fred.  Shelby is from a very well-to-do family in Chicago and Fred is from Lowcountry South Carolina where he was raised on a small farm without much to his name.

Shelby's mom and dad are both total snobs.  Fred's mom and the rest of their family are salt of the earth, simple people.  You can see where this is going.

The story is about two families trying to come together for the sake of their children.  But they are just so different and live in totally different worlds.  I can't figure out how to summarize this book for the life of me but I will say that it felt like 2 books in one.  The first half of the book is all about the dueling engagement parties and wedding plans.  And then after the wedding, there is a whole other storyline that develops with Shelby's snobby parents, their finances, their marriage and an orange jumpsuit.  ;)  To me, it almost seemed like that should be another book in itself.

I loved the story though.  And it was a great book.  But there were many times when I thought it was a little choppy or too heavily edited.  I could practically see the editor of this book coming through with a giant red pen and crossing out whole sections in order to shorten the book.  There were times when I had thought that maybe I had missed a chapter somehow because of relationships that would go from hot to cold and back to hot again with no real explanation.  I felt like I was listening to the abridged version.

But that wasn't enough to make me not like this book.  It's just an observation.  :)  I'll give it a 3.8 out of 5.

For my final book of the month, I decided to choose one from my new Kindle Unlimited membership.  Did y'all grab this promo during the Amazon Prime Day sale?  I got 3 months of KU for .99 cents.  I mean, it was kind of a no-brainer, right?

So before I get into the review, I want to mention a few things about Kindle Unlimited.  I'm still figuring it out as I go so I'm no expert but I did want to mention it.  

This program allows you to check out e-books kind of like you would at a library.  You can borrow up to 10 at a time and then you return them when you are done to get more.  You can download the Kindle app for free and read/listen through that or have your books sent straight to your Kindle.

What I love most about it, is that if there is an audio version of the book, then you can listen to that as well!  Since I'm an audiobooker 99% of the time, I have the Kindle app on my phone and can play the audio version from that.  I also love that the audio version and the digital version stay in sync!  So you can easily flip from the audio to the digital book in an instant.  I'm definitely pumped that I get 3 months of audiobooks for .99 cents.

The thing I didn't love is that not all books are included in the program.  Don't get me wrong.  There are tons of books and magazines to choose from but not all of the latest and most popular books are available through KU.  BUT you may end up finding some books from authors you've never heard of and loving them!  Personally, I haven't had any trouble finding books to add to my "10".  So don't let that stop you from trying it.  Yes, it sucks that not all books are included but there are still great ones to be discovered!  I promise!

If you'd like to try Kindle Unlimited, Amazon has a special right now where you can try it for free for your first month.  Click here for more details but it's a great way to see if you like it!

Now back to the review.

I ended up choosing When Never Comes for my first KU pick and I'm so glad I did!!

Here's the premise of the book.

As a teenage runaway and child of an addict, Christy-Lynn learned the hard way that no address was permanent, and no promise sacred. For a while, she found a safe haven in her marriage to bestselling crime novelist Stephen Ludlow—until his car skidded into Echo Bay. But Stephen’s wasn’t the only body pulled from the icy waters that night. When details about a mysterious violet-eyed blonde become public, a media circus ensues, and Christy-Lynn runs again.
Desperate for answers, she’s shattered to learn that Stephen and his mistress had a child—a little girl named Iris, who now lives in poverty with her ailing great-grandmother. The thought of Iris abandoned to the foster care system—as Christy-Lynn once was—is unbearable. But she’s spent her whole life running—determined never to be hurt again. Will she finally stand still long enough to open herself up to forgiveness and love?

This book was so good!  It has all that good stuff that makes for a great story.  Drama, betrayal, love, children, kindness, friendship and a charming little setting.

This is a great choice if you are trying to pick one from Kindle Unlimited.

So that was July!  Right this minute I am on my second KU book, Girls Night Out. So far so good!

And y'all!  Don't forget that this is a link-up today!  I want to see what you guys are reading!  So if you've blogged about any good books lately, feel free to link 'em!  (Old posts are totally ok!)

  And if you don't have a blog, please leave a comment on what I should read next!  We are hitting the beach next week so I need all the suggestions!

And for all a roundup of all my reviews, be sure to check yesterday's Review Roundup post!

Linking up with Lindsay for Welcome Wednesday!



  1. Going to add these to my to read list! I’m reading Girl Wash Your Face right now and loving it!

  2. I was a big fan of My Oxford Year! Just finished Opening Belle-it wasn’t nearly as good but I love a NYC setting so there were bonus points for that!

    1. I totally agree! Anything set at the beach or NYC can't be awful!

  3. Thank you for the awesome book review! And I may be wayyyyy behind...but I had NO IDEA you could make a specific wish list on amazon. Thanks to you, I now have a "books" list and added two from your list!

  4. I loved When Life Gives You Lululemons! I just finished The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager and loved it! Great thriller. There's a summer camp, missing girls, some good twists. I also liked his first book, Final Girls, but think I liked this one even better!

    1. Thanks for the rec, Heather!! I've had it on my list but maybe I should bump it up a little!

  5. I'm currently reading My Oxford Year and really enjoying it! The last two books I read are I Am Watching You and The Friend--both by the same author, Teresa Driscoll. I like the second one better than the first. Another book that resonated with me was I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi. The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond was also really good!

    1. I reviewed I Liked My Life a few months ago! I really liked that one too! And I've had the Marriage Pact on my list for awhile! I need to read it. Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. I don't have a new post to link up - my new reads will be on the blog on Monday. But I can tell you that the Great Alone was my fave read (listen) from last month. :)

  7. I enjoyed My Oxford Year as well! Read that last month.

    I linked up my recap for the month as well. :) Managed to read 12 books this month, a first for me I think. Of the 12, Superbetter was my favorite.

  8. Yay for book review day! I have read several this summer but we have been traveling so much I haven't had time to update my blog! Are you going to do a monthly link up for book reviews or just did one this time? Let me know! I'll join you next time if so! :)

    1. I'll probably open it up again next month too!

  9. Have you read ant of Collen Hoover books? “It Ends With Us” was a really really good book a read a few months back.


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