First Quarter in Books !!!!

The first quarter of the year is up! A few days left and it’s going to be May .  I have read some amazing books so far this year and it’s time to share those with you! I’ve read 11 books and am 2 books behind schedule to meet my goal but that’s okay.  This next quarter I am looking forward to a few new releases as well as conquering some that are haunting me on my shelves. Look below to check out my past reads and recommendations. Then further down I will list the books that I am so ready to check out next quarter. All cover photos were retrieved from Goodreads.com. If you have an account add me and we can share reviews!

The Books Listed Below, in the order read:

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Nowhere but Here by Renee Carlino

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Shopping For Love by Renee Carlino

Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher

All of It by Kim Holden

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris (book in exchange for honest review)

The Unrequited by Saffron Kent

Fallen Reign by S.L. Jennings

Six Feet Under (Mad Love Duet #1) by Whitney Barbetti (book in exchange for honest review)

My Big Greek Summer by Sue Roberts

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The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

An amazing and beautifully written memoir. I feel in love with this family and this story. There are really no words to do this book justice. Just read it! Seriously. Then watch the movie. While you will not even come close to the greatness of the book the movie wasn’t half bad.

Nowhere but Here by Renee Carlino

I really loved this book so let’s start there. Renee Carlino is a writing angel and can make you really fall in love with each character, which I admire. Every character in the story felt so real and honest.

SO Kate, Katy… whatever. I totally got that she had been through somethings and it molded her into the person she was but her personality was not one I looked. She seemed to reach and overreact to everything. There’s a part in the book where she really went in on some people that just didn’t deserve it.

I think the fact that I cant imagine myself doing that or maybe just feeling the real embarrassment for her made me harden to her character… And that’s just it right ? It is a character. But that is what I mean Renee Carlino makes you feel like you are reading real life stories. Nothing feels fictional about this and it is really why I love her work so much.

This story was about a journalist who goes out to Napa to write a story on a tech icon. When she gets there she is met by this guy who is pretty much what she expected. A complete Ass but what she didn’t expect is to fall in love with every other aspect of this vineyard.

Once again I was not disappointed and would totally recommend this book to anyone needing something with the feels.

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The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

This book was everything…. Its one of those books that speaks truth and love and family. It will stick with me forever. There are books like that, once you read them, you feel the need to mention them at every opportunity and refer them to only those who would really cherish them. That’s the difference when recommending books. There are those that you recommend because they are good yes, but they are also safe. You know people will love them because they are so easy to identify with and understand. There isnt room for mixed feelings. Then there are books like The Hate You Give. You recommend them to the people that you know will get it. You recommend them to LOVERS of books, people who appreciate the written word and really love a well written story that will change you and make you feel things. A book that gets into the cracks of your soul.

There are a few books like this that have stayed with me in the past; Kite Runner, The Alchemist, Memoirs of a Geisha (yes the movie hype helped that), The Storyteller, Letter to My Daughter, Brightside, Kindred, Brain on Fire, just to name a few. These books resignated with me in some way. They made me feel something, these books felt so real.

So on to the book. From the beginning you are pulled into Starr’s story. There is no room for feeling this book out or seeing what you are getting into. You are PULLED into this story. And I felt everything. There was just so much about her life that I was like YESSS, Yess totally.

Her family dynamic is just all types of wonderful. Each character so perfectly discribed, both their positive and negative characteristics.

Then there’s Chris. Boy do I love this character. Let’s be real we needed a love story in here, though you get various love dynamics from the mom and dad, to various family love, I was so thrilled that this was tied in. I dont want to spoil anything about him but I was just so in love with his evolvement.

Khalil…. this was too real. It actually hurt because it felt so real. You could feel this happening, you can see this happening. To see it from all corners, to see this side of the story was everything.

I am a new fan of Angie Thomas, this WAS…

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Shopping For Love by Renee Carlino

Shopping for Love was a sweet short story by Renee Carlino. It was exactly what I was looking for; something that I could easily squeeze in within one or two days and an easy page turner.

When getting into a short story you have to know that your character’s are not going to be as developed, their storyline not as detailed and the pace will be faster. I found that this book made me still feel as though I was getting the whole story without feeling cut short.

You got a feel of each character and a bit about their background.

Hayden was our main character and really in a place of uncertainty. She was figuring out how to maintain on the path of success that she had started on. We know already that somehow she will fall for her client’s boyfriend but I thought it was interesting how it all played out. I expected there to be this betrayal of sorts but really most of the betrayal was in her head and I mean it’s not so bad. There were a few times a line was skated across but I loved the play on their attraction.

While Caroline was a fun character I wouldn’t say that she is one that I would want to read another story about. For me she was bland and a bit boring but honestly that was her character and not anything to do with the writing. I think she was just stuck and you felt that reading along.

“I don’t know why I ever doubted that we were right for each other.”

Okay so there were a few times where Hayden was thinking and some things I just was like uhhhh okkkay… I mean sure sometimes with love or lust we go to extremes but this was one of those times that I was like calm down homie. I think she was just so desperate for love that she just latched on.

“You want to take care of me, Hayden?”
Blake hits all the boxes for love interest. He’s crazy attractive, artistic, flirty and rides a motorcycle. He’s a bad boy that is not a bad boy at all. I was completely drawn into this character.

If you are looking for a fulfilling short read, I’d recommend this book.

“There is no such thing as being overqualified if it’s something you want to do.”

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Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher

“Love is illogical. You fall into it like a manhold. Then you’re just stuck. You die in love more than you live in love.

I am not sure why I hold off on reading Tarryn Fisher’s books. I think a part of it is that I don’t want to go through them all and then become stuck stalking her page for a newest release and maybe a part of it is that I don’t want to be disappointed. I mean you cant make hit after hit right?

Well she didn’t disappoint Dirty Red was everything I needed. I was all confused over where my loyalty stood and completely consumed with all of the characters.

So we have a love story of her and him and him and her and her and him. It was crazy but I kept up and was just so confused about who I wanted to be with who.

Leah…. I am not a fan but I completely fell for her. With the back story and then pain she’s gone through you kind of understand what made her who she was. And she’s trying… in some form she’s trying and that I could applaud.

Caleb…. he’s not blameless. This beautiful man is wonderful and strong. He’s what you want until he isn’t..???

Sam was needed. He lighted the mood in scenes and was completely honest, which I loved. You need that say it as it is person around and he was just that. His story was interesting and something I wouldn’t mind digging deeper into.

Olivia….I don’t even know if I can say I’m on her side in everything but damn she’s won me over in more ways than I care to admit. She didn’t play a huge role in this book but she is always present…

Overall this book is everything. Tarryn Fisher still reigns Queen in my book. I still have one more left in the series. One that I will wait to read because I don’t want to stalk her…

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All of It by Kim Holden

“”Life is sometimes…”

Not really sure how Kim Holden manages to create these amazing and heartbreaking stories time and time again but here she is…

Everything was really complex and it makes it hard to really put a synopsis on this story. You have the romance between Ronnie and this new mysterious guy Dimitri but it’s not what it seems to be. There’s a pull between them that extends beyond them and you start to wonder if they have any control. This story is the ultimate tale of Soulmates.

I must admit that there were parts that left me absolutely devastated. There was just so much heartbreak and at times I was thrown off by it. It really helps you understand the state of depression that is brought about. It also helps you recognize the love of others during these times.

Kim Holden is an amazing writer and this is just proof of that.

“Sadness is pain; it’s something you physically feel in your heart. Depression is something different altogether– it’s destructive. It creeps up on you and strangles you, and before you even realize it you’re more paralyzed, and nothing matters anymore.”

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris (Early release in exchange for review)

Guys !!!! This book is due to release in June and I just know that it’s going to be big. This story was everything. So many twists and turns. I was not ready… so good.

…. just , wow.

I got this book in return for a honest review. I really loved the cover and the description pulled me in. From the start this story takes off fast. You are thrown into the life of Finn and Layla and then continue on this wild roller coaster ride.

I had way too many different theories. Every time I thought that I knew what was happening I was thrown for another loop. I would liken this story to Gone Girl. You really have no idea what is going on and in the end,  I was so shocked. I did not want to put it down.

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The Unrequited by Saffron Kent

I’m not sure why books about crazies make me so happy but they do. I was pulled in after the first few pages and was not disappointed in this book. Honestly, it’s sat on my bookshelf for a few months. I loved the cover and knew it would be one of those books that I could quickly finish and wanted to have time to really read it. Now, one of the things you need to know about this book is that it is full of really racy scenes. I normally can be a bit of a prude in my reading and like to skim over the ‘touching’ scenes but somehow I just couldn’t with this book. Maybe it was the way it was written, maybe it was the relationships themselves but I loved every second of this. Especially Layla. Yeah she was a bit loco and a bit all over the place but I mean aren’t we all. I feel as though she was just trying to find her place and purpose in the world. Maybe she didn’t make the best decisions but it is what it is. So Thomas Abrams is that hot professor that everyone dreams about. He really was just a guy out here stuck and trying. I valued the relationships he held throughout the story and it really made the book come together full circle. Throughout reading this book you know something is coming. You know that there is danger ahead and you cant stop going. To be honest I thought that there was going to be a bit more but it did feel realistic. I’m sure Ill re-read this book and recommend it !

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Fallen Reign by S.L. Jennings

well guys …. it’s over … or is it? … no it is she said it was … but maybe it’s not
Anyway, by now if you have followed any of my rants you know that I love the Se7en Sinners series. I feel completely for EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER. I feel like it was made for me: Romance + Insane Characters+ History + Angels + Demons= Everything I need in a book.

This book followed Eden and Lucifer’s relationship a bit more. This dang series has really had me questioning myself because I fell for Lucifer’s character. Yeah, yeah he’s the devil and has his devilish flaws but but but he has a soft side. He was a fallen angel !?!

Poor Eden.. who needs their heart ripped in two (or 3 I mean there’s Nico). But I guess Legion is Legion. Here this poor poor woman has these men falling for her and the most I can get is a wink from the permanent homeless man outside of my local pizzeria.

Overall this was an amazing end to an incredible series. I wont stop pushing it on people and I wouldn’t be mad if it never ends.

Six Feet Under (Mad Love Duet #1) by Whitney Barbetti (book in exchange for honest review)

This book was a lot. A lot of words with not a lot said. A lot of emotions. A lot of pain. It was just a lot. I think I’m still trying to process it all which was one of the reasons I didn’t want to just jump into a review without really sitting down and processing what I just read.

So let’s start with the first thing. I knew that it was a larger book going into this. Larger than any of Whitney Barbetti’s previous books. I feel in love with “The Weight of Life” and have been excited to try another book of hers since then. I suppose I expected it to be larger because it was filled with so much more and it was necessary, but I don’t know if that was the case.

I also knew going in that this was a part of a duet. I prepared myself ahead of time that this could end of a cliff hanger and to just hold on and not let it bother me…..because I hate cliff hangers, especially one’s that leave you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing. This left me hanging and more of an ‘are you serious?’ moment than anything.

With all of that said let me not take away from the emotion of this book. It was dark, emotional and at sometimes alarming. To think that there is someone out there struggling and dealing on this day to day saddened me. I feel like it captured a lot of what people struggling with addictions or depression have to go through. It was a beautiful story of love and strength. I just wish it didn’t leave me with so many questions.

“You’re my disease and my cure.”

Mira is damaged. And self-destructive. And scared. And loved.

This character was so complex but very relatable. I found myself getting so upset with her behavior. The struggles she endured with the pain in her body was rough. Seeing that this struggle didn’t just end when a man came through the door was actually a bit refreshing. Many books you read have this poor woman with all these problems and a guy comes around and *poof* it all disappears. Not here. This was real. This was a person struggling and someone loving them as they learned to love themselves.

“I feel like I learn a lot about how to love someone by the way you love me.”

Six is the definition of selfless love. The way he loves Mira and the other character’s that enter into their lives is something to be in awe of. Six is a confusing bad ass. There are so many questions I have about this character.

“There’s no expiration on what I feel for you, Mira. If you were to leave me, I’d chase you until you stopped running. I’m in love with you. That doesn’t just go away.”

Now look here! It is not fair to me that this book ended the way it did. I know the next one is going to be just as long but by golley it better answer every last question I have. I really hope it does. I hope it alters my view of this book. Not that I hated it but I just didn’t like this confusion haze it has left me in…. more to come.. Happy Reading!

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My Big Greek Summer By Sue Roberts

This story was cute and sweet, and I loved every minute of it. There was just enough of everything. Romance, betrayal, beginnings, endings and a bit of complicated relationships sprinkled throughout. This was one of those stories I need to read every now again. Nothing too complicated. Just some good reading to rest my mind.

I loved that this was set in Greece and really the reason I chose to read it. The main character Mandy really held the story together. She was real. A woman set in marriage, I say set and not stuck. She was just comfortable like we all are at times, but her comfort seemed to cause her problems.

There was really no part of this story that I can say bothered me (except the husband and his ways). I loved every character and how the story flowed. I will keep looking for new reads from this author.

 

What’s Next:

In Her Skin by Kim Savage

The Summer Children by Dot Hutchinson

Folsom by Tarryn Fisher

Even Money by Alessandra Torre

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino

Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseni

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Power by Naomi Alderman

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