REVIEW: BACHELOR NATION By Amy Kaufman

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Publication March 6, 2018 by Dutton

For fifteen years and thirty-five seasons, the Bachelor franchise has been a mainstay in American TV viewers’ lives. Since it premiered in 2002, the show’s popularity and relevance has only grown–more than eight million viewers tuned in to see the conclusion of the most recent season of The Bachelor.

The iconic reality television show’s reach and influence into the cultural zeitgeist is undeniable. Bestselling writers and famous actors live tweet about it. Die-hard fans–dubbed “Bachelor Nation”–come together every week during each season to participate in fantasy leagues and viewing parties.

Bachelor Nation is the first behind-the-scenes, unauthorized look into the reality television phenomenon.

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My secret is out….I’m a Bachelor Fan! Of course, my immediate family and a few friends know I love The Bachelor and Bachelorette shows but it’s not something I regularly admit to watching. I know I’m not alone since I’ve been seeing comments for this book pop up on Goodreads from others who start off by saying The Bachelor is their guilty pleasure show. And a secret. Well, Amy Kaufman has now put our #BachelorNation obsession into coherent words with her engaging, witty book. Seriously, how has this show continued season after season, weathering controversy and drama and still manages to bring in millions of viewers each episode?? Amy has your answers.

Friends, I have to say this up front…I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I read it in one sitting on a Friday evening with a large glass of wine and I had the best time. As someone who’s watched the show since Trista and Ryan’s season, so the 2nd season and they’re now on season 35 I believe, I absolutely loved reading about how the show was created (a fluke) and the very interesting behind the scenes details about it’s creators. Amy Kaufman had behind the scenes access to the show for many years until one day it vanished and she was deemed banned from all things Bachelor…makes you say hmmm. I loved her interviews with past contestants and her inside scoop on how the episodes are actually made. I always wondered how the producers were working behind the scenes to get the girls and guys to SAY some of the things that come out of their mouths…now I know and truly I’ll never watch the show the same.

What I especially liked was Amy’s writing and her ability to keep the pace fast and the tone upbeat. I never felt that the book ventured into gossip territory; rather, I found her writing to be intelligent and informative. The only part that I sort of breezed through was the chapter on the history of reality dating shows but I appreciate the background info she was providing to put The Bachelor of today into context. If you’re a fan, secret or otherwise, of The Bachelor/Bachelorette I think you’ll absolutely enjoy this book!

Many thanks to Dutton Books via Netgalley for my copy

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THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

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.

My PICK this week is…

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Published Aug 2016 By William Morrow 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

*****

Why oh why did I resist reading this book for so long??!! This is another rom-com style book that has consistently gotten raves from fellow bloggers (most recently Amanda at Hanging with Amanda) and has a high Goodreads rating, yet I still passed it by. Maybe I was just meant to wait and read it last weekend after finishing and being terrified by I’ll Be Gone In The Dark (2/27, review coming next week); I knew I HAD to have a light, fun read to counteract that one.  This fit the bill perfectly and caused me to stay up way past my bedtime reading.

Possibly what made me resist reading this until now was my assumption that I’d heard this story before. A guy and girl hate each other, throw insults back and forth, and then somehow they each magically forget all the bad words and insults and fall in love. This isn’t that book. Yes, Josh and Lucy don’t like each other but their “hatred” for each other just scratches the surface of their relationship and the way Thorne wrote these characters and their banter was just so funny, witty, and down to earth. I immediately liked both of them and was pulled into the story with pacing that was fast and snappy and dialogue that zinged. I read it in about a day and I just loved it. It’s the perfect read if you’re looking for a crime fiction break or want a smart with substance lighter read to add to your summer tbr. Also, I listened to part of it on audio and the narrator was great!

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

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Laura at Snazzy Books

Holly at Dressed to Read

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Diana at A Haven for Book Lovers

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

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.

My PICK this week is…

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Published Jan 2013 by St Martin’s Press

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

A funny, poignant and revealing novel that’s become a huge word-of-mouth hit in the US.

How do you prove you’re not an alcoholic?

Hildy Good has reached that dangerous time in a woman’s life – middle-aged and divorced, she is an oddity in her small but privileged town. But Hildy isn’t one for self-pity and instead meets the world with a wry smile, a dark wit and a glass or two of Pinot Noir. When her two earnest grown-up children stage ‘an intervention’ and pack Hildy off to an addiction centre, she thinks all this fuss is ridiculous. After all, why shouldn’t Hildy enjoy a drink now and then?

But as the story progresses, we start to see another side to Hildy Good, and to her life’s greatest passion – the lies and self deceptions needed to support her drinking, and the damage she causes to those she loves. When a cluster of secrets become dangerously entwined, the reckless behaviour of one threatens to expose the other, with devastating consequences

******

There’s so many reasons I loved this story but one of the biggest is Hildy.  Her character is funny, witty and very charming but has an underlying sadness that she’s not really aware of but the reader feels. While getting to know her and being privy to her slow unraveling, you begin to feel that Hildy’s life is a train that’s quite possibly nearing the point of derailment. And here’s what that blurb above is missing…this story has a fantastic mystery at it’s heart, one I couldn’t figure out until the author skillfully revealed the answer. Notice how I’m not sharing anything about the mystery? I think you’ll appreciate going in without knowing about it.  Although the story centers on Hildy, there’s a great cast of supporting characters that will intrigue you and keep you turning the pages until you find out how they all intertwine…cue the derailment image!

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

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Laura at Snazzy Books

Betty at Idaho Bluebird 50

THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

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.

My Pick This Week is….

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Published April 2015 By Grand Central Pub

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

 

******

Yet another book I’m kicking myself for not reading sooner! I’m also adding this one to my list of books I passed by because I hated the cover….I REALLY need to stop doing that because this book was fantastic. I would describe it as a light, fun read with substance and guess what, it even made me tear up at one point. That’s a well written book friends. This is ultimately a love story that takes MANY twists and turns, is filled with lots of drama, and does seem to be inspired by the romance of a certain British Royal Family. I’m not someone who follows Will and Kate but I’ve always been curious about Harry…or should I say Freddie?? He was one of my favorite characters in this book, along with Lacey and Bea. There were many supporting characters in this story and I thought they were all very well developed. Yes, I had my favorites and I was SO unprepared for a couple twists the authors threw in surrounding those favorites. I’ll say no more.

I think if you’re looking for a fast paced read filled with drama that enables you to get lost in the character’s lives, has excellent dialogue, and gives you a glimpse into the not always glamorous lives of royalty then this book is for you. I also really loved how the authors ended most of the chapters with little cliffhangers, that always leads me to telling myself “just one more chapter” and then it’s 1:00 in the morning!

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

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

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.

If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d like to link back to me that’d be great as I really try my best to include everyone who’s participating week by week at the bottom of my post so all my readers can enjoy all the awesome Throwback picks!

My Pick This week is….

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Published May 23, 2017 By Thomas Dunne Books

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

We live in a society obsessed with celebrity, but have you ever wondered who is on the inside gathering the best celebrity gossip and how do they get access? According to a Source: A Novel by Abby Stern dishes on this behind the scenes world in a way that only a Hollywood insider could.

Ella Warren works for celebrity news website, The Life, as a club reporter. She’s assigned to stake out Hollywood’s hottest clubs and spy on the celebrities inside. When Ella is pressured by her Devil Wears Prada-type boss to find an exclusive story to keep her job, she has to decide if being in Hollywood’s elite inner circle is worth jeopardizing her friendship with actress Holiday Hall, her budding romance with Holiday’s agent, and her family.

A juicy, big-hearted novel about a young woman who loses herself in a fast-paced, glamorous world where finding your authentic self isn’t easy.

******

I grant you, this is a stretch for TBT since it’s only about 5 months past pub date but I’ve been in quite the reading and blogging slump this week and I’ve had this review waiting patiently for just the right time and looks like now’s the time! I hope to get back in the swing of things soon, I just think a little break has been needed.

I found so much to like about this debut audiobook that my blogging friend Susie from Novel Visits so graciously sent me via Audible. This is the absolute perfect book to listen to because the narrator, Therese Plummer, is fantastic and the story is downright addictive and fun.  I’ll be the first to admit that I love my People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. They both pair very nicely with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio on a Friday evening. And I have ALWAYS wondered who those “sources” were whenever I’ve read something that says ” a source confirms or a source witnessed.” Until I read this, I kind of assumed they were made up. Well, now I know better thanks to Abby Stern.  There are , in fact, actual celebrity gossip “reporters” who’s jobs are to infiltrate the world of celebrities and report back to their bosses. They could give the FBI a run for their money! I know you’re probably thinking…but this is fiction…and yes, I listened to Abby’s interview at the end of the book and she was very clear that this is fiction but…this was her job and I for one wanted to believe while I was listening that she was inspired by true events.

What I really loved was trying to pair celebrities to their descriptions in the book. You see, no real names are used, rather, celebrities are referred to as “Former A list hot mess actress,” “Not so innocent over sexualized pop star,” “Sexy Indie Film actor, “Southern Girl Next Door movie star” and many more. This was just plain fun trying to figure out who they were. Add to that the behind the scenes juicy details of the inner workings of the Chateau Marmont and I couldn’t stop listening to this book. Alongside all this fun is the story of Ella Warren who is very good at getting the celebrity scoop. Her life is filled with parties, good friends, a great family and a yummy new love interest…what could possibly go wrong…right? Of course you know that SO MUCH can and does go wrong in Ella’s life, the question is…how will it all turn out for her and everyone her job has impacted? If you’re like me, you’ll love finding out. And if you can get ahold of the audio, Therese Plummer expertly brought all the characters to life…so much so that I was convinced there had to be more than 1 narrator…there’s not, she’s just that good! If you’re looking for a quick, entertaining read look no further than this fantastic debut.

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Cathy at Between the Lines

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Lynne at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Amy at NovelGossip

Annie at The Misstery

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

 

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: THE HEART’S INVISIBLE FURIES By John Boyne

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Published Aug 22, 2017 by Hogarth Press

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery — or at least, that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from and over his many years will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.

In this, Boyne’s most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.

******

ALL. THE. LOVE. I finished this book almost a week ago and I’m still at a loss for words on how best to review it. The blurb is actually one of the best I’ve read because it captures the idea of the story without giving away any of the magic of what you’ll truly encounter when you open the pages and become an accomplice in the journey of Cyril Avery’s life. I say accomplice when what I really mean is friend. Every once in awhile a book comes along and allows me to connect with a character on such a deep level, being privy to their thoughts, heartbreak and happiness, that when I turn the last page it’s like saying goodbye to a dear friend. THIS is that kind of book and Cyril is that kind of character.

When I started reading this gem all I knew was that it was a heartfelt saga…that’s it…and I’m so glad I went in not knowing anything and having read no reviews because everything was a surprise and believe me, there are twists and surprises throughout the seven decades that this book takes place. What I will tell you is that we first get to meet Cyril when he’s about age 7 and he’s living with his adoptive parents Maude and Charles. Now, believe me when I say these are some of the most eccentric characters I’ve come across in quite a long time! As a parent myself, I was shocked at some of the things they said to little Cyril…how many times can a kid hear “you’re not a real Avery” before it seeps into their whole being? Cyril, however, took everything in stride and while he grew up wondering who he was if he wasn’t a real Avery, he also knew that he was luckier than some as he had a warm house, clothes and an education. Here’s the weird thing about the family dynamics of Maude, Charles, and Cyril…oftentimes it was quite funny and I laughed out loud on several occasions at the wittiness of Cyril and the cluelessness of Maude.

The story is narrated by Cyril throughout and it’s broken up into seven year intervals spanning 70 years so we have a long time to get to know Cyril as well as his friends, loves, coworkers and acquaintances, and what I especially loved about this was that people we may have known in passing, often return again to Cyril’s life, whether attributed to fate or coincidence…who knows. Cyril’s journey also takes us not only to Ireland, but also Amsterdam and New York City which I for one love when I get to travel to various locations in my stories!

I’m going to finish by saying, how John Boyne handled the ending was just brilliant. I  loved everything about it as I cried my eyes out. In fact, I loved every single thing about this story and I can’t remember the last time I finished a book and felt the need to start over again right away. This book has EVERYTHING…drama, happiness, sadness, hope, and humor. It is epic and unforgettable. I’ve already ordered a hardcover copy for my favorites bookshelf where it will sit (until its first re-read) so I can pass by it daily and smile. Oh and if you’re a regular reader of my blog you may remember me saying that I thought The Force would be my favorite read of 2017 unless something else came along to blow me away…well, The Heart’s Invisible Furies has come along…consider me blown away!

Many thanks to Hogarth Press for my copy

 

REVIEW: YOUNG JANE YOUNG By Gabrielle Zevin

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Publish Date Aug 22, 2017 By Algonquin Books

Young Jane Young’s heroine is Aviva Grossman, an ambitious Congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss‑‑who is beloved, admired, successful, and very married‑‑and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the Congressman doesn’t take the fall, but Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins. She becomes a late‑night talk show punchline; she is slut‑shamed, labeled as fat and ugly, and considered a blight on politics in general.
 
How does one go on after this?

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I went into this book knowing very little about it, really only reading the above part of the blurb ( heavily edited from Goodreads which is full of spoilers ) and knowing I had to try this based on my love of her previous novel, The Storied Life of A.J Fikry. That book made my top 10 reads of 2016 so I was very excited to find out that Zevin had another book coming out this summer. I’ve decided to throw my overall thoughts at you early. Here goes…

Not at all meaning this to sound negative, but this was one of the strangest books I’ve read in a long time. I don’t think I’m wrong in saying I predict this book will have polarizing viewpoints…many will love it and many will hate it. In fact, I actually have conflicting opinions myself…I LOVED the first half of this book and the second half…well, let’s just say the second half seems like an experiment in gimmicks with the author trying to toss several in there to see what would stick. Really, it’s almost like 2 separate books!  What’s even stranger (for me), was reading the last couple sections and thinking…what in the world is going on here? I mean, I have 2 words for you…El Mete?…and for those who’ve read this you’ll know what I’m referring to… but what was THAT all about?! BUT, for all my squabbles you’ve just read as well as for the fact that I felt this book NEEDED at least 50 more pages….I still really really enjoyed it!! How’s that for weird?

I picked this up at the exact perfect time after several DNFs (Did Not Finish) and I was immediately taken with the voice of the first character, Rachel, who narrates a large section of the beginning of the book. She’s funny, witty and slightly snarky and if I’m honest, I would’ve loved for her to narrate the WHOLE book. We get to know her and her daughter Aviva, whose affair with her older, married boss has Rachel at her wits end.  Needless to say, there’s drama and things are said and done by all parties that can’t be undone.

The narration then shifts to Jane who has such a strong voice as well and I found her to be engaging and a character I could absolutely get behind and root for. In my opinion, characters, their dialogue, behaviors, and thoughts, are where Zevin shines in her writing ability. Following Jane’s perspective, we get Ruby, her teenage daughter who sometimes seemed to vacillate between acting like a small child and a young adult. Bottom line: She was ok.

The remainder of the book was told in separate sections by a young Aviva and Embeth, the wife of the older, married man who had the affair. In all honesty, for me, these sections were a bit of a mess and where the gimmicks really came alive. Aviva’s section didn’t at all work for me but I really did like Embeth; in fact, I really wanted to know more about her and what became of her. Overall, I really just needed/wanted more of this story all around but I will say that my very first thought when I realized I did, in fact, reach the end was…you know…I really liked this book. For me, this just proves that I can have issues with what happens (or doesn’t) in a book and the story can feel like it may have jumped on the crazy train for a brief ride, but in the hands of an outstanding author like Gabrielle Zevin I can and will still recommend that you give this one a try, especially if you’re in the mood for something a little different!

Many thanks to Algonquin Books via Netgalley for my copy. 

REVIEW: GOODBYE, VITAMIN By Rachel Khong

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Publication date July 11th by Henry Holt and Co.

A young woman returns home to care for her failing father in this fine, funny, and inescapably touching debut, from an affecting and wonderfully original new literary voice.

A few days after Christmas in a small suburb outside of L.A., pairs of a man’s pants hang from the trees. The pants belong to Howard Young, a prominent history professor, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Howard’s wife, Annie, summons their daughter, Ruth. Freshly disengaged from her fiance and still broken up about it, feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job and arrives home to find her parents’ situation worse than she’d realized. Her father is erratically lucid and her mother, a devoted and creative cook, sees the sources of memory loss in every pot and pan. But as Howard’s condition intensifies, the comedy in Ruth’s situation takes hold, gently transforming her grief. 

******

I’m going to be honest and say that blurb doesn’t at all do Goodbye, Vitamin justice…it makes it seem somewhat boring actually and this book was not in any way boring. In fact, I think Amazon is right on the mark choosing it as a debut book of the month. Well deserved!

You might see the subject of Alzheimer’s and think this is a sad book and perhaps pass it by. Of course, that is absolutely a devastating disease and there were times I felt so bad for the entire family, especially Ruth’s dad. In my opinion, however, to pass on this book would mean you’d be missing out on some of the most engaging, often laugh out loud funny writing and characters I’ve come across this year. Rachel Khong’s writing style literally grabbed me on the first page and I knew I was going to love this book. Yes, that quickly I knew!

“Tonight a man found Dad’s pants in a tree that was lit with still-hanging Christmas lights. The Stranger called and said, ‘I have some pants? Belonging to a Howard Young?’   ‘Well, shit,’ I said. I put the phone down to verify that Dad was home and had pants on. He was, and did.  Yesterday, on Mom’s orders, I’d written his name and our number in permanent marker onto the tags of all his clothes. Apparently what he’s done, in protest, is pitched the numbered clothing into trees. Up and down Euclid, his slacks and shirts hang from the branches…”

That’s a condensed version of the first page but that’s all it took for me to decide I liked Ruth and I really liked her dad. The story is narrated by Ruth who I found to be a down to earth, witty and just plain likable character. She’s returned home after her fiancé has left her and her mom has requested her help with her dad, whose dementia symptoms are increasing, yet most of the time he’s pretty lucid and together. We also meet Rachel’s brother as well as her best friends and somehow the author made every character feel multidimensional. I have a feeling it was the spot on, often snappy, dialogue that made the characters leap off the page. It’s just that good. I also really enjoyed the past journal entries of Ruth’s dad as he has decided it’s time to share those with her. They were really creative and I loved how the author ended up bringing that journal concept back in the end.

This ended up being a perfect afternoon on the patio one-sit read for me which at just 208 pages was a just right length for this story. I really hope I’ve enticed you to give this fantastic debut a try. I can’t wait to see what Rachel Khong has in store for us in the future.

Many thanks to Henry Holt and Co. via Netgalley for my copy. I’m happy to provide an honest review. 

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THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I want to read that were published over a year 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. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d just link back to me I’d so appreciate it.

My PICK this week is:

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Published Aug 2005 by William Morrow 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Annabelle is tired of being the lone failure in a family of overachievers. She’s endured dead-end jobs and a broken engagement. Even her hair’s a mess! But that’s going to change now that she’s taken over her late grandmother’s matchmaking business. All Annabelle has to do is land the Windy City’s hottest bachelor as her client, and she’ll be the most sought-after matchmaker in town. Nothing is going to stand in her way — not the drunk lying comatose under her car, not her family’s disapproval, and certainly not the lingering effects of a broken heart.

With his money green eyes and calculated charm, Heath Champion is the best sports agent in the country. He’s wealthy, driven, and gorgeous, so why does he need a matchmaker, especially a red-haired screw-up like Annabelle Granger? True, she’s entertaining, and she does have a certain quirky appeal. But Heath is searching for the ultimate symbol of his success — the perfect wife. And to make an extraordinary match, he needs an extraordinary matchmaker, right?

******

Every few months I need to change things up in terms of my dark reads and this weekend I was on the search for a fun, light ,yet well written chick-lit/romantic comedy   and my good friend Google came up with this book. I was specifically searching for books similar to Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie which I read last year and absolutely loved…so much so that it made my Top Reads of 2016! I seriously love Google because this was exactly what I needed and ticked all the boxes I was looking for. You’ve got Annabelle, a wannabe matchmaker who’s fun, witty and spunky but also…and this is a must for me in my chick-lit….LIKEABLE! I immediately connected with her humor and imperfectness and just plain liked her. When she meets dark and dreamy Heath, I was all smiles because I really liked him and better yet, I could PICTURE him😍. Chalk that up to the snappy, realistic writing of the author.

I honestly would’ve been happy with just their storyline but the author adds to that with Portia, Annabelle’s type A matchmaker competition, Bodie, Heath’s “supposed” bodyguard and really good friend as well as Annabelle’s overbearing family and her book club. There’s characters aplenty and every one is well-developed! Another factor that I look for in outstanding romantic comedies is excellent dialogue that flows and is realistic and this book had it in spades. Needless to say, I enjoyed this so much I stayed up super late to finish it. Add this to your TBR if you’re looking for an entertaining, feel good read for summer…now I need to head over to Goodreads and check out Susan Elizabeth Phillips other books.

HAPPY READING!

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere 

Cathy at Between the Lines Book Blog

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Rebecca at BoofsBooks

Nicki at The Secret Library

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Julie at Novel Thrills and Chills

Caryl at Mrs. Bloggs Books

Ann Marie at Lit Wit Wine Dine

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I want to read that were published over a year 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. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d just link back to me I’d so appreciate it.

My PICK this week is:

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Published April 2016 by Random House

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible tackles gender, class, courtship, and family 

This version of the Bennet family and Mr. Darcy is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend, neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving. 

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As we’re all compiling our summer TBR’s and filling them to the brim (I know I am:) with all the amazing books releasing now through August, I’ve been so excited to dig into my favorite reads from LAST summer for this post…and possibly the next few TBT’s!  So, Eligible was one of those books I picked up last summer thinking…I don’t know about this, retelling of a classic that I’ve never even read (I know, how is that possible)… I basically doubted it before even starting it. BUT I read somewhere (Goodreads I think) that it was The Bachelor meets Pride and Prejudice and well…The Bachelor meets anything means I’m pretty much going to give that book a try seeing as though that’s a huge guilty pleasure tv show for me. What a total surprise for me to discover I really enjoyed this story!! Mr Bennett, the father, was classic with his witty one liners and zingers that had me laughing, the “girls,” Jane, Lizzie, Mary, Kitty and Lydia had their own issues and drama and the men of the story, Chip and Darcy were fun additions to the zany mix. I highly recommend this as a fun, entertaining, clever read that would be perfect for the pool, beach or wherever your favorite summer reading spot may be:)

HAPPY READING!

**For all you Throwback Thursday bloggers, if you don’t see your blog at the bottom of my post please leave me a comment because WordPress has been VERY bad about sending me links and I want to include everyone!!**

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere 

Cathy at Between the Lines Book Blog

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Rebecca at BoofsBooks

Nicki at The Secret Library

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Julie at Novel Thrills and Chills