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Five Things Friday {2.8.19}

{ONE}

New to my Queue

                           

{TWO}

Favorite Book of the Week

{THREE}

When I Wasn’t Reading

I spent the week battling a virus that mimicked the flu so I spent most of this week lying on the couch watching stupid TV. I read some but the headaches were so bad I couldn’t read as much as I wanted. It was torture. 

{FOUR}

New Books I Borrowed

       

      

{FIVE}

What’s Up this Weekend

I wish I could say nothing but that rarely happens in our house. Two kids have sleepovers planned plus a birthday party. I have a mountain of work to catch up on for the house, the laundry, and my volunteer positions. It’ll be a busy weekend but I always feel so much better when I’m caught up on everything. Also….taxes. My goal is to get our taxes filed this weekend in advance of any possible government shut down. sigh. Adulting sucks. But I have these great library books waiting for me so I’ll push through!



Book Review: For Better and Worse

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For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt– On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.

Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published: December 11, 2018

Acquired: Public Library E-book

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I got completely sucked into this book. I literally read the entire 336 page book in 6 hours because I could not put it down. The premise was intriguing and the prologue hooked me immediately. Throughout the entire book I could easily put myself in the position of Nat, the mother. Having been a foster parent, let me just say that I have seen the worst that society has to offer. The storyline was very authentic to me and the legal details were well researched and realistic. I knew where the story was going but part of the great suspense in the first part of the book was wondering when and how. After the main event happened the story did not drop off at all. The suspense level stayed high and the tension ramped up as I waited to see the resolution. The only reason this book is not a 5 star for me is the ending. The resolution was too neat and unrealistic for me. 



Book Review: Ryan’s Bed

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Ryan’s Bed by Tijan– I crawled into Ryan Jensen’s bed that first night by accident. I barely knew him. I thought it was his sister’s bed—her room. It took seconds to realize my error, and I should’ve left…I didn’t. I didn’t jump out. I didn’t get embarrassed. I relaxed. And that night, in that moment, it was the only thing I craved. I asked to stay. He let me, and I slept. The truth? I never wanted to leave his bed. If I could’ve stayed forever, I would have. He became my sanctuary. Because—four hours earlier—my twin sister killed herself.

Genre: Young Adult

Published: January 22. 2018

Acquired: Purchased

My Rating: 5 Stars

My Thoughts: Tijan is one of my favorite authors. I love her Fallen Crest series and her Carter Reed series but I haven’t really connected with one of her books since those. Until this one. I loved this book. It invoked a range of emotions as I was reading and the characters felt very real. MacKenzie was a great main character- she was grieving the loss of her twin sister and I just wanted to give her a hug. Her reactions and the way she processed her grief were very believable for a teenager. The way she swung between rage and emptiness, the inner dialogue she had, and her connection to Ryan- it all felt very authentic and real. The only parts of the story that felt a bit off were the scenes involving the high school mean girls. While I enjoyed watching MacKenzie’s ways of dealing with them I think they detracted some from the powerful emotions of the rest of the book. But the ending…the final 3 words. Oh holy cow, I did not see that coming at all. I am rarely shocked by an ending but I was totally flabbergasted by this one. The ending is what made what would have been a solid 4 star read into a 5 star one for me. I read this book late last year and it still has stuck with me, which is a great indicator to me how fabulous it truly was because I read a lot of books!



This Week New Releases: February 5

These are the new releases for the week of February 5 that I will be adding to my wish lists!

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella- February 5- Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she? Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

Legend by Sawyer Bennett- February 5- Everything is clicking for the Vengeance. We may be new, but we’re well on our way to winning the championship, and I’m having the time of my life headlining the sports media as the hottest goalie—hell, player—ever. I for one am going to live up to my name . . . because I am Legend Bay. Dragging my ass home from the gym, I’m blinded by some gaudy, glowing holiday lights. As usual, my hot-as-hell neighbor Pepper Nantais has gone way over the top. But just as I’m about to tell her off, something else catches my eye . . . Seems like Santa left me a present, and not one I was expecting. As life takes an unexpected turn, I realize that there’s much more to Pepper than meets the eye. Sure, she’s gorgeous. And exasperating. And her taste in decorating may be a bit . . . unique. But beneath her carefree demeanor is a fierce determination and a heart of gold. And before I know it I’ve fallen for her. Hard . . .Pepper is exactly the woman I never knew I needed.

Connections in Death by J.D. Robb- February 5- Homicide cop Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband, Roarke, are building a brand-new school and youth shelter. They know that the hard life can lead kids toward dangerous crossroads—and with this new project, they hope to nudge a few more of them onto the right path. For expert help, they hire child psychologist Dr. Rochelle Pickering—whose own brother pulled himself out of a spiral of addiction and crime with Rochelle’s support. Lyle is living with Rochelle while he gets his life together, and he’s thrilled to hear about his sister’s new job offer. But within hours, triumph is followed by tragedy. Returning from a celebratory dinner with her boyfriend, she finds Lyle dead with a syringe in his lap, and Eve’s investigation confirms that this wasn’t just another OD. After all his work to get clean, Lyle’s been pumped full of poison—and a neighbor with a peephole reports seeing a scruffy, pink-haired girl fleeing the scene. Now Eve and Roarke must venture into the gang territory where Lyle used to run, and the ugly underground world of tattoo parlors and strip joints where everyone has taken a wrong turn somewhere. They both believe in giving people a second chance. Maybe even a third or fourth. But as far as they’re concerned, whoever gave the order on Lyle Pickering’s murder has run out of chances.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides- February 5- Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald- February 5- In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists. When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister? Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser- February 5- Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary family member. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage. When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat after the kids are in bed. But then Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child. What Liza sees next will change everything. Only one thing is certain: Molly needs her. Liza drives all night to be at Molly’s side—but when she arrives, the reception is icy, leaving Liza baffled and hurt. She knows there’s no denying what she saw. Or is there? In disbelief that their friendship could really be over, Liza is unaware she’s about to have a near miss of her own. And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either. But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this.

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib- February 5- Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day. Yara Zgheib’s poetic and poignant debut novel is a haunting, intimate journey of a young woman’s struggle to reclaim her life. Every bite causes anxiety. Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance, and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street.

A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa B. Sheinmel- February 5- Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there’s been a mistake. She didn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at her summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. In the meantime, she is going to use her persuasive skills to get the staff on her side. Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage. And she may be the only person who can get Hannah to confront the dangerous games and secrets that landed her in confinement in the first place.

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler- February 5- When Dr. Alex Taylor opens her eyes, she is hooked up to an IV, is bound to an operating table, and her legs are raised in stirrups. Disoriented and alarmed, she assumes she’s been anesthetized and brought to surgery after being in an accident. But the man standing over her, with his face hidden behind a surgical mask and wielding instruments, is no doctor she recognizes at the hospital where she works as a successful and respected doctor. He’s a stranger—and he’s calmly and methodically telling her how he’s about to attack her. Before Alex can even scream for help, she succumbs to another dose of anesthesia, rendering her unable to defend herself….When she comes to on a gurney, she finds herself surrounded by her colleagues and immediately reports the attack and rape. The police are skeptical of her bizarre story. And after a physical exam reveals no proof of any attack, even her boyfriend has doubts. Despite Alex’s adamant claims, no one believes her, leaving her to wonder if she has, in fact, lost her mind. Until she meets the next victim.

The Military Wife by Laura Trentham- February 5- Harper Lee Wilcox has been marking time in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina since her husband, Noah Wilcox’s death, nearly five years earlier. With her son Ben turning five and living at home with her mother, Harper fights a growing restlessness, worried that moving on means leaving the memory of her husband behind. Her best friend, Allison Teague, is dealing with struggles of her own. Her husband, a former SEAL that served with Noah, was injured while deployed and has come home physically healed but fighting PTSD. With three children under foot and unable to help her husband, Allison is at her wit’s end. In an effort to reenergize her own life, Harper sees an opportunity to help not only Allison but a network of other military wives eager to support her idea of starting a string of coffee houses close to military bases around the country. In her pursuit of her dream, Harper crosses paths with Bennett Caldwell, Noah’s best friend and SEAL brother. A man who has a promise to keep, entangling their lives in ways neither of them can foresee. As her business grows so does an unexpected relationship with Bennett. Can Harper let go of her grief and build a future with Bennett even as the man they both loved haunts their pasts?

When You Read This by Mary Adkins- February 5- For four years, Iris Massey worked side by side with PR maven Smith Simonyi, helping clients perfect their brands. But Iris has died, taken by terminal illness at only thirty-three. Adrift without his friend and colleague, Smith is surprised to discover that in her last six months, Iris created a blog filled with sharp and often funny musings on the end of a life not quite fulfilled. She also made one final request: for Smith to get her posts published as a book. With the help of his charmingly eager, if overbearingly forthright, new intern Carl, Smith tackles the task of fulfilling Iris’s last wish. Before he can do so, though, he must get the approval of Iris’ big sister Jade, an haute cuisine chef who’s been knocked sideways by her loss. Each carrying their own baggage, Smith and Jade end up on a collision course with their own unresolved pasts and with each other. Told in a series of e-mails, blog posts, online therapy submissions, text messages, legal correspondence, home-rental bookings, and other snippets of our virtual lives, When You Read This is a deft, captivating romantic comedy—funny, tragic, surprising, and bittersweet—that candidly reveals how we find new beginnings after loss.



2019 Monthly Reading Recaps: January

I told y’all in my book resolutions post earlier this year that I’m going to hold myself accountable this year with regards to my reading and book buying and borrowing habits. And I’m going to! Each month I’ll be doing a reading recap with all the nitty gritty details. Doing so helps me see that I’m replacing bad habits (spending way too much $ on books when I own thousands) with good habits. So here’s the breakdown for January.

Books Read:

Unread Shelf Project- 4 books finished

Kindle Unlimited- 6 books finished

Library Reads- 8 books finished

TBR lists/already own- 0 books finished

New books purchased- 1 book finished

Total books read in January = 19

So there’s my totals on books read. Now let’s look deeper! I set goals for sticking to a monthly limit of $15 for new books. I also set a goal to read enough books from Kindle Unlimited to justify the monthly subscription cost. 

Book Purchases- $15 budget

9 new books for a total of $13.91 ($1.09 rolls over)

18 new books downloaded for free

Kindle Unlimited- $10.71 monthly subscription paid

6 books read for a total of $29.94 ($19.23 over cost of subscription)

I have a complete list of books read in January 2019 along with my favorites on Instagram if you’d like to join me. I’ll have reviews coming soon for several of the books from this month.