Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review: When Life Gives You Lululemons

36373647Title: When Life Gives You Lululemons
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Publish date: June 5, 2018
352 pages

Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.
  

From Goodreads:

Welcome to Greenwich, CT, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestly’s ex-assistant, does not do the suburbs. She’s working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

Karolina Hartwell is as A-list as they come. She’s the former face of L’Oreal. A mega-supermodel recognized the world over. And now, the gorgeous wife of the newly elected senator from New York, Graham, who also has his eye on the presidency. It’s all very Kennedy-esque, right down to the public philandering and Karolina’s arrest for a DUI—with a Suburban full of other people’s children.

Miriam is the link between them. Until recently she was a partner at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious law firms. But when Miriam moves to Greenwich and takes time off to spend with her children, she never could have predicted that being stay-at-home mom in an uber-wealthy town could have more pitfalls than a stressful legal career.

Emily, Karolina, and Miriam make an unlikely trio, but they desperately need each other. Together, they’ll navigate the social landmines of life in America’s favorite suburb on steroids, revealing the truths—and the lies—that simmer just below the glittering surface. With her signature biting style, Lauren Weisberger offers a dazzling look into another sexy, over-the-top world, where nothing is as it appears.



 
Let me start by saying I absolutely LOVE The Devil Wears Prada. It's one of my all time favorites. When I'm having a stressful time at work, I reread that book to make myself feel better. So Weisberger had a lot to live up to, especially since Revenge Wears Prada was such a huge disappointment for me. But I still HAD to read this one, especially since the main character in the book is Emily! You don't have to have read TDWP or RWP in order to enjoy this one, but I definitely think it will appeal more to those that have read them. Miranda Priestly does make an appearance!

I am happy to say it was a very strong addition to TDWP series, as it was well written, witty, snarky and everything you'd expect from a follow up novel. I was immediately hooked, could NOT put it down, raced through it in just a few days. I loved the new characters Karolina and Miriam, but especially loved learning more about Emily! I related so well to her! I was thrilled with everything about the book....until the ending. I feel like Emily had a pretty substantial character change at the end that just seemed inconsistent to me and a little too fast--all within the final 10% of the book. A lot of my reasoning may just be my personal views, but it still left me with a bad taste in my mouth at the end. If you've read it and want to discuss, let me know. I don't want to give away spoilers.

Overall--a solid 3.5 stars for this one! I still highly recommend adding it to your summer reading list!

Happy Reading! That's all. 
 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

WWW Wednesday May 30

IMG_1384-0 


The Three Ws are:



What are you currently reading?  
What did you recently finish reading?  
What do you think you’ll read next?
 
Recently Finished

3580462635542451 

Really enjoyed both of these books! 

Currently Reading

 3674861336222643

Bet you can't guess what drew me to Alternative Remedies for Loss. Haha :) Love that cover!

 
Up Next 

36373446 36529552

What are you reading this week? Happy Reading! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

TLC Book Tours Release Day Promo: A Sin Such as This

About A Sin Such as This

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (May 29, 2018)
In this gripping follow-up to Love Lies Beneath, #1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s “fabulous, sex-filled masterpiece of mystery and romance” (Library Journal, starred review), beautiful, wealthy Tara Lattimore’s story continues when her sinful past threatens to derail her current marriage—and her sanity.
Tara thought she was finally settling down when she married the handsome Dr. Cavin Lattimore. Just as she was willing to overlook his gambling habits, she discovers his secret meetings with Sophia, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend and his son Eli’s occasional girlfriend. Life gets even more complicated when Tara’s niece, Kayla, starts hooking up with Eli. In a matter of weeks, Tara has reluctantly gone from rich, single San Francisco professional to Lake Tahoe housewife managing her niece’s whiplash moods, while resisting her stepson’s tantalizing sexual advances.
Adding to the family drama is her younger sister, Melody, who’s having a serious marital breakdown, which means she might know something about her husband Graham and Tara’s brief dalliance years ago. As Tara’s fragile trust in her family teeters, timed with the arrival of certain people from her past, she also can’t shake the feeling that someone’s watching her. Baiting her.
Tara has always considered herself a tough, self-made woman after surviving a childhood defined by poverty, abuse, and neglect. For years, she suffered from the sins of others. She committed a few of her own. Now she wonders if the misdeeds of her past are about to catch up with her—and if she can ever outrun them.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of thirteen young adult novels, as well as the adult novels TrianglesCollateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative.

Connect with Ellen

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TLC Book Tours 

To follow the tour, click here.

Friday, May 25, 2018

High Five for Friday: May 25

 

Inspired by Brandie at Running on Words and Wine and Kim at Kimberlyfaye Reads,I've created my own Friday post!


1. New Books this Week 

 
Got these two from NetGalley this week! 


2. Books I've Been Loving this Week
 
3634455535804626
 Finished these two ARC's this week! All We Ever Wanted was so good I finished it within 24 hours! A great read. The Art of French Kissing was a delightful foodie YA read. I definitely recommend both books :)


3. When I Wasn't Reading

 Monday was another Yoga + Wine class! Now that the weather is nice, they've been holding class outside and it's just so wonderful and relaxing. It's great to enjoy some girl time, have a glass of delicious wine, and a "just what you need after a stressful Monday" yoga flow class! This week my friends Debbie and Mel came with me!!


4. My Cute Pups

Elway's first birthday was last Thursday (May 17th)! Can't believe he's a year old already. He's grown so much! Since I had to work on Saturday morning we took them on their weekly coffee shop walk on Friday evening to celebrate his birthday! Here they are waiting for their treat. Elway is on the left, Peyton on the right. Love these pups :)

5. Weekend Plans

I'm so happy it's a three day weekend!! Last weekend I had to work on Saturday so it was just a one day weekend and that just didn't cut it. It should be a fun weekend! The winery Isaac and I are wine club  members of just opened a new tasting room at one of their  locations, and the Grand Opening is this weekend! So we will be going out there with some friends, enjoying some wine, yummy food, and probably a few rounds of corn hole! Our anniversary is Monday (12 years!) so I'm sure we'll go out to dinner or something. No big out of town plans or anything, since we went to the beach last month.  It will be a relaxing weekend at home with the fur kids :)

Happy Friday and thanks for reading!! Have a great weekend! 
 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

WWW Wednesday: May 23

IMG_1384-0 




The Three Ws are:


What are you currently reading?  
What did you recently finish reading?  
What do you think you’ll read next?
 

Recently Finished  


36723031 
Loved this one!! Definitely add this to your summer TBR!
Currently Reading
35804626
 Sometimes, you just need a fun YA read. This one is delightful so far!


Up Next 

3637344636748613

One of these two...I have both from NetGalley :) Which one should I read first?

Happy Reading and hope you're all having a great week!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Bout of Books 22 Wrap Up


Bout of Books 22 is over already! The week went so fast! I did finish THREE books, only one of which I'd already started, so I'm THRILLED with that! My original goals and progress notes are here. The only thing I didn't do well this week was connect with others as much as I wanted to. The May Bout of Books is always the week of a big event at my work, where I have to work 6 days in a row and it's always crazy, so I have a lot less time for social media, connecting with others, and the twitter chats:( Hoping to do that more in the August Bout of Books, which is August 20-26! August is nice and slow around here.

My total time spent reading was 17 hours and 14 minutes, significantly more than Bout of Books 21, so that was awesome! I read for a super long time on Sunday. I was so tired from the work week that sitting around reading was all I felt like doing on Sunday morning!

I finished these books this week, and loved them all! I read my ARC of the new Emily Giffin in 24 hours--could NOT put it down!!

 342732363596172036723031

 Did you participate in Bout of Books? I hope you had an enjoyable week!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Review: How to Walk Away

36249638Title: How to Walk Away
Author: Katherine Center
Release Date: May 15, 2018
320 pages, St. Martin's Press

Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads: 

Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment .

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture reader’s hearts with every page.
 


 
When you initially read the blurb for this book, it sounds like it's going to be a downer. Hospitals, a tragic accident, heartbreak....but I'm so glad I read this book! The author does a brilliant job of turning a tragic story into a page turning, engaging novel. I couldn't stop reading it and read more than half of it in one day. Margaret struggles in all aspects of her life and the author portrays her feelings in a very real, honest way. Not only does she struggle with how her life will change, there is also family drama to deal with that existed before her accident but was magnified after it.

The characters in this book was what connected me so much to this story and kept me reading. In addition to Margaret, I also loved her sister Kit. Oh and Ian, the Scottish psychical therapist? SWOON. I literally want to hang out with them all for an afternoon! This book has so much depth and emotion but also makes you laugh while exploring serious topics. What defines happiness? What defines a happy ending?

There were a few things I didn't like about the book that knocked a star off the rating. I won't spoil anything, and I can't say exactly what they are without spoilers, but the general idea is that I felt there were some choices made int the name of making a good story/romance aspect of it all (in my opinion) and took away a bit of how realistic the story was. BUT it didn't take away from the writing style and likeability of these wonderful characters! I definitely recommend this book! 

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Bout of Books 22: Goals and Updates


Bout of Books 22 starts today! It's my favorite readathon because it gives me the opportunity to connect with other readers and bloggers, as well as an extra excuse to devote more time to reading :) As in the past few Bout of Books rounds, I'm not stressing out about pages read. My goals this time are the exact same as Bout of Books 21. Want more details about Bout of Books? Check out my sign up post.


GOALS

1. Spend time reading. Duh. I will be tracking TIME reading, not pages. Pages are hard to compare--a YA book vs. a women's fiction book vs. a graphic novel. I don't care how many pages, or compare this readathon's page total to another, I just want to spend time reading because I love reading! My goal is to spend more time reading than usual but not stress out about it. I have enough in my life to stress over and reading is supposed to be FUN!
 
2. Connect with other readers and bloggers via Twitter, Instagram, etc. Bout of Books is such a great way to connect with others! Please tweet or DM me on instagram to connect!

3. Have fun! Always the main goal of Bout of Books!!

The Books

 3427323635961720 3539732536723031

I started Little Fires Everywhere late last week and am 100 pages in. Loving it so far and finishing it is also a goal this week.  You Think It, I'll Say It is the May Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, so that one is next on my list! Also just got Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? from the library and going to read it this week too.


Daily Log

Time Spent Reading:

Monday: 2 hrs, 30 minutes in Little Fires Everywhere

Tuesday: 3 hours, finished Little Fires Everywhere and started You Think It, I'll Say it

Wednesday: 3.5 hours, mostly in Food, and also in You Think It, I'll Say It

Thursday: 1 hour in You Think It, I'll Say It

Friday: 45 minutes in You Think It, I'll Say It

Saturday: 2 hours--finished You Think It, I'll Say It, and started All We Ever Wanted

Sunday: 5 hours reading (wahoo!) Finished All We Ever Wanted

Total Time Spent Reading: 17 hours, 45 minutes

Books Finished: Little Fires Everywhere, You Think It, I'll Say It, and All We Ever Wanted
 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Book Tag: Would Your Rather?

I saw this book tag on Angel's Guilty Pleasures and thought it would be a fun Friday blog post!

Rather read only series or standalone books?
Standalone

Rather read a book whose main character is male or female?
No preference!

Rather shop only at Barnes & Noble (or other actual bookstore) or Amazon?
Amazon

Rather all books become movies or tv shows?
Hmmm....probably a TV show. Usually the book is better no matter what but with the length of a TV show you can go more in depth.

Rather read 5 pages per day or read 5 books per week?
5 books a week! Though that sounds exhausting. Unless I could get paid to read!

Rather be a professional book reviewer or an author?
Reviewer!

Rather only read the same 20 books over and over or get to read a new book every 6 months?
New book every 6 months for sure

Rather be a librarian or own a book store?
Librarian. Still get to work with books, but not be a business owner--that's a lot of stress! Plus I really believe in libraries and how the provide access to books to those who can't afford bookstore prices.

Rather only read your favorite genre or your favorite author?
Genre

Rather only read physical books or eBooks?
That is a really tough one. I love both--it really depends on my mood. I love the feel and smell of physical books, but I love the convenience and easy travel ability with my kindle. If I had to pick....eBooks, as much as it hurts to say it.

I'd love to hear your answers as well!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review: The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go

36334131Title: The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go
Author: Amy E. Reichert
352 pages, release date May 15, 2018 by Gallery Books


Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.


From Goodreads:

1. Get through to your daughter. 2. Buy more cheese. 3. Don't forget to call your mother.

Grilled G's Gourmet Food Truck is where chef, owner, obsessive list-maker, and recent widow Gina Zoberski finds the order and comfort she needs to struggle through each day, especially when confronted with her critical mother Lorraine and sullen daughter May.

Image-conscious Lorraine always knows best and expects her family to live up to her high expectations, no matter what. May just wants to be left alone to mourn her father in her own way. Gina always aims to please, but finds that her relentlessly sunny disposition annoys both her mother and her daughter, no matter how hard she tries.

But when Lorraine suffers a sudden stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret Lorraine's kept hidden for forty years. In the face of her mother's failing health and her daughter's rebellion, this optimist might find that piecing together the truth is the push she needs to let go...



This book had so many things I love--food, lists, family relationships. I loved the mother/daughter relationships explored in the book between Lorraine, Gina, and Vicky, as well as Gina and May. I also loved the sister relationship between Gina and Vicky. These relationships, death, and grief were all portrayed in a very real way in this book, which I appreciated. I loved seeing the parallels between Lorraine and Gina's relationship and Gina and May's relationship. I related to so many characters in this book in different ways.

Because of all the family relationships, it is definitely an emotional book compared to what you expect with women's fiction, but it's so well written and so heartwarming.  And the foodie fiction portion of the book (this book WILL make your mouth water for a grilled cheese!) makes the book a fun read too.  If you liked Reichert's The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, I think you'll like this one even more! 

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

W...W..W...Wednesday May 9

IMG_1384-0 

 
 
The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?  
What did you recently finish reading?  
What do you think you’ll read next?
 
Recently Finished  
 
37857631 
 
Review on the blog tomorrow!! Really enjoyed this one.
 
Currently Reading
 
Reading two ARC's this week...unfortunately I'm having trouble getting into The Favorite Sister.  So many characters and so much drama. Hoping to get into it a little more. I loved the author's first book.  I am SO EXCITED about When Life Gives You Lululemons. The Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorites, and I was SO disappointed with Revenge Wears Prada....but Lululemons is fantastic so far! Everything I hoped it would be!!!
 
 3696701936373647
 
Up Next
 
I'm reviewing A Sin Such as This for TLC Book Tours on May 29, and the publisher was kind enough  to give me Love Lies Beneath, the first in the series as well. Going to read them back to back!
 
What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Review: Dreaming of St-Tropez

Title: Dreaming of St-Tropez
39677649Author: T. A. Williams
Publish Date: May 7, 2018

Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:


After a disagreement with a billionaire, architect Jess Milton is ‘let go’ from her job. However fortune intervenes – an elderly client asks Jess to dog-sit overweight, but loveable dog Brutus in St. Tropez.
Fed up with the mega-rich, Jess is reluctant to visit the playground of billionaires, but an all-expenses-paid trip and the promise of sunshine seals the deal.
Little does Jess know how much time she’ll be spending with the family living in St. Tropez. The sullen, but very good-looking David and his millionaire father are both welcoming but guarded, haunted by their pasts…
Can Jess bring some sunshine back into their lives – and, just maybe, find love in the process?

 
 Can I say my dream is to actually BE a character in one of T.A.'s books?? I've read and reviewed several of his books, and I absolutely love them!! This book is no exception.  A delightful setting, a summer rent-free in a guest house with her best friend, new friends, a good looking guy...AND a lovable black Labrador? Yes please! I enjoyed every minute of this book and it's the perfect vacation or beach read. I read the entirety of it on a cross country flight and it helped me imagine I was reading on a nice warm beach instead of stuck in an airplane! I loved Jess as a character, and I also really liked David as a character, mysterious as he was at first. But my favorite character of all--Brutus--the black Lab! Out of all T.A.'s books this is one where I really want to know more about what happens to the characters after the book is over! If you're looking for a light, entertaining, makes you happy beach read--this is the book for you!

Happy Reading!

Friday, May 4, 2018

High Five for Friday: May 4

 

Inspired by Brandie at Running on Words and Wine and Kim at Kimberlyfaye Reads,I've created my own Friday post!
1. New Books this Week
 
 Got these ones from NetGalley this week!

2. Books I've Been Loving this Week 

36334131 
 Just finished this one last night and really enjoyed it!

3. When I Wasn't Reading

 Between my trip to Orlando and just being exhausted and busy last week, I didn't run for a full two weeks (I did other workouts, but not running), which is unusual for me. I ran on Monday and was worried it would be a rough one, but it actually felt really good! Been walking the pups a lot this week too since the nice weather is back!
 
 4. So Random
 Because I love Hawaii so much, I follow what's going on over there a lot.  Right now there have been a lot of earthquakes around Kilauea and scientists are concerned there might be an eruption! Lava is flowing in parts of Leilani Estates and areas have been evacuated :( Real time updates are posted here! I was at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park two years ago this week. Such a fascinating place! Hope everyone in Puna and surrounding areas stay safe though.
Jaggar Observation area, May 3, 2016
 5. Weekend Plans 
No real solid plans yet, which is nice! Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, so I'm sure margaritas will happen at some point :)  Lots of hanging out with the pups, spending time outside, and reading I'm sure! 
  
Also: I signed up for Bout of Books this week!! You should too!

Happy Friday and Happy Reading!  
\