2 Backlist Bingeworthy Books for Your 2019 TBR’s

The Idea of You  by Robinne Lee
Published: June 13, 2017 By St Martin’s Griffin
368 Pages
Affiliate LinkBuy on Amazon 

From Publisher: Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things

 

My Thoughts: Ok, so I read this blurb when the book first came out and I was seeing it everywhere and I thought it wasn’t for me because of the large age difference. Earlier this week, however, I saw this on someone’s Instagram top 2018 books of the year post and decided to take a closer look after reading that she had had the same reservations but then loved it. Well, this effectively busted me out of my DNF pattern and I read it in one day! This story was such a fun surprise. There’s some serious globetrotting travel going on which I loved as well as a high level of cultural detail into the art world as the main character Solene owns her own gallery. I found her to be very likable although she made some  questionable parenting decisions along the way. I also really liked Hayes who was levels above his age, maturity wise.

There are SO many themes explored in this book….love of course, ageism, sexism, the downside of fame, our society’s obsession with celebrities, women & aging, double standards, etc. I think this would make a great book club pick because there’s quite a lot to discuss but know that the romance is often quite steamy and explicit so…know your book club is what I’m saying. I’m dying to discuss this – especially that ending which I’m still thinking about days later –  so if you’ve read it and want to chat send me an email or DM me on Twitter or Instagram. Ultimately, I loved this and found it to be a smart, sophisticated love story. Bingeworthy indeed!

 

 

Forever is the Worst Long Time  by Camille Pagan
Published: Feb 7, 2017 by Lake Union
284 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy on Amazon 

From Publisher: When struggling novelist James Hernandez meets poet Louisa “Lou” Bell, he’s sure he’s just found the love of his life. There’s just one problem: she’s engaged to his oldest friend, Rob. So James toasts their union and swallows his desire.

My Thoughts: My 2019 has started with a bang with this couldn’t-put-it-down story. One of my favorite storylines is a love triangle so right off the bat I had high hopes for this book. The story is narrated by James from a time in the future which I thought was a perfect way to not only get to know (and like) him but to also get to know Lou and Rob through his eyes. James and Rob had been friends since they were kids and I loved how Pagan incorporated the sentimentality of that type of friendship along with growing up in a small town. If you’re James, what do you DO when you’ve fallen in love with your best friend’s fiancé?

What I especially loved about the way Pagan told the story is that everyone felt like real people making what often ended up being stupid decisions. They were flawed in just the right ways that what they did or didn’t do made sense even if I didn’t agree with them.  I have to say, throughout the story, I had no idea what was going to happen with these characters because twists happened early on.  Plus, it takes place over a time period of about 18 years so we really get involved and invested in the drama of their lives. And the drama was good! And perfectly paced. In the end, things happened I never anticipated and there may have been crying on my part. Seriously, I wasn’t prepared for how emotional this story ended up being and I loved every bit of this surprising one sit read! This is my first book by this author but it definitely won’t be my last.

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this or want to!

Lessons from Lucy by Dave Barry & Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren: Mini Reviews

Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry
Publication: October 23, 2018 by Simon & Schuster
208 pages
Affiliate LinkBuy on Amazon

From Publisher: Faced with the obstacles and challenges of life after middle age, Dave Barry turns to his best dog, Lucy, to learn how to live his best life.

My thoughts: I confess, I have an older dog, a black lab actually so when I saw this cover I immediately wanted to read this book. I assumed it would only be about Barry and his dog but it was so much more. Dave Barry is funny! He breaks the book up by chapters and each one is a lesson from Lucy. My favorite: the fourth lesson from Lucy, letting go of anger. I read this in a restaurant waiting for a friend (of course I had my kindle in my purse) and I was cracking up. Barry talks about his skill of having “a black belt in instantly hating strangers.” He details the many (funny) times he needs strangers to know he hates them including…

This is how I feel about you if you drive your car past a long line of vehicles waiting to exit an expressway so you can butt in at the front…Or if, when you stop at a red light, you immediately look down at your phone, and it apparently doesn’t occur to you to glance up at the light from time to time in case for some crazy reason – who knows, in this crazy world?- it might turn green again, which means that when it does turn green, to get you moving again, I – because I am always the driver behind you- have to honk, and in response you shoot me an annoyed glance in your rearview mirror, as if to say, Can’t you see I’m texting?”

Hasn’t this happened to everybody? I really enjoyed how Barry took his real life struggles and turned them into lessons his dog has taught him.  I found Barry’s writing  conversational, tongue in cheek , and sarcastic in the best possible way. What he says about dogs and living with them is so spot on, funny, and sentimental that I loved those parts as well. Overall, this was a wonderful feel good book that made me laugh and appreciate by best furry friend.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster via Netgalley for my copy 

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Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Publication: September 4, 2018 By Gallery Books
309 Pages
Affiliate LinkBuy on Amazon

Single Sentence Summary: Hazel is quite the handful and Josh isn’t sure he’s up to handling her so they spend a lot of time going on double dates, just not with each other

My thoughts: Unpopular opinion review coming your way. I had been seeing such glowing reviews for this book and thought I’d give it a try, but I have to say this wasn’t for me. We’re first introduced to Hazel and Josh when they’re in college and from the first chapter I wasn’t connecting with the extreme quirkiness of Hazel. I’m all for eccentric characters (to a point) but she was too much…of everything. Fast forward several years and they’ve reconnected one summer day. While I liked Josh, I didn’t feel a connection with Hazel due to feeling slightly annoyed during her sections.  I will say that one thing I did like about her character though was her love of animals. That I appreciated.

I do have to say, I don’t think I was the right audience for this particular story because I don’t really enjoy romances that have the majority of the book revolving around the characters fighting their feelings or extended drama until the end like we had here. The amount of double dates these two set each other up on got to be way too repetitive in my opinion. I just don’t think this was a good choice for me from the get go. In the end, while I did like Josh’s character, I never felt his connection to Hazel, I just couldn’t find any chemistry between them. Overall, this wasn’t the book for me but it may be for you, especially if you enjoy lots of quirkiness and drama in your romances.

Thanks to Gallery Books via Netgalley for my copy

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday Book of the Week

Throwback Thursday book of the week is a fun way to share a book I’ve loved that was published in the past and somehow either wasn’t on my radar or I chose to pass it by. These books are usually much easier to get ahold of at the library or usually sold at a lower price in paperback or ebook. This week I’m sharing a book I read in the spring and have been recommending to everyone ever since!

One True Loves  By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published June 7, 2016 By Simon & Schuster
352 pages
Affiliate link: Buy on Amazon

From Publisher: A breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

My Thoughts: Last year I think I was one of the last people to read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (my review) which ended up being one of my favorite books in 2017! It wasn’t until this past spring that I decided to try Reid’s backlist books.  Once I dived into this one I was -again- kicking myself for waiting so long to read this book!  It’s the story of Emma and Jesse and Emma and Sam. Yes, a love triangle, but it felt very original.

The book is structured in a way that we get to know how both love stories develop over the first half of the book and then what happens when they are all brought together for the second half. It may sound a little clunky but believe me the structure and the concept work. I was completely sucked into the story after the drama filled opening pages.  I did, however, feel a little loss of momentum when she takes us back in time to their high school lives but this was necessary to truly get a feel for each of them and how they fell in love. I flew through the second half of this book because what a complicated, truly gut punching position for Emma to be in…I had to know who she would choose and what happened after she made her choice. Reid writes in such a realistic, propulsive way that the people and their complicated situations feel real and it’s just SO hard to put her books down. I read this in one sitting and really loved it so even if you think you’re not in the mood for a love triangle, I say give this a try,  you just might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Have you read and enjoyed this or other books by Taylor Jenkins Reid? 

Happy Thursday Reading! 

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

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I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I’m FINALLY getting around to reading that were published months or years ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere.

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Under the Tuscan Sun Published Sept. 1997 by Broadway Books

My Rating: 4/5 stars

An enchanting and lyrical look at the life, the traditions, and the cuisine of Tuscany. 

Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people.

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This blurb actually makes this book sound kind of boring but I remember really enjoying the story and I even loved the movie version as well which doesn’t happen all that often. I love the setting of this book because Tuscany is one of my top bucket list places to visit. There’s actually a good deal of romance in this story which the blurb from Goodreads doesn’t mention but which I thoroughly enjoyed reading about. I think the story really centered on the author finding herself at that point in her life and what better place to do that than in Italy with a new man, good food and lots of wine? If you haven’t read this book and you’re doing the PopSugar 2018 Reading Challenge (I am!) this could definitely fulfill at least one of the 40 prompts.

Another reason I chose this for my TBT this week is that Frances Mayes has a new book coming out in April that you may not know about called Women in Sunlight which I requested immediately on netgalley based only on the cover and author…

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Isn’t that a great cover and title?? I then found out it’s about the friendship of four American women in Italy and now I’m even more excited. If there’s wine, romance, and drama involved I’ll be really happy!!

HAPPY READING!!

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Lynne at Fictionophile

Annie at The Misstery

Amy at Novel Gossip

Diana at A Haven for Booklovers

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

Laura at Snazzy Books