April 2018 Reading List + Reviews

This month was a big reading month for me! I ended up reading ten books. Yes….ten! I had quite a few extra days to read (while at the beach and a few other trips!) so I was able to read more than I typically would. To be honest, this month was a total mix of books- some were really great, others not so much. But I’m excited to share them with you all today! I would love to hear what books you’re reading in the comments below.

P.S. These books, along with books I’ve read and recommended over the years, can all be found HERE!NOT THAT I COULD TELL BY JESSICA STRAWSER | This book was my March Book of the Month selection. Five neighborhood women gather in one of their backyards for a get together one night and the next day one of them appears to be missing. After a night full of girl talk and a bit too much wine, none of the women can think of anything that would have lead to Kristin’s disappearance. The investigation quickly turns to Kristin’s (almost) ex-husband and none of the pieces are adding up. Did he abuse her? Did she run away? Is she dead? The neighbors quickly realize that they may not know each other the way they think they do. I really liked this book because I loved the way the story was told, the way the characters were developed & the ending was quite a surprise! I will say, it’s not as suspenseful as I thought it was going to be, but it was good, quick read nonetheless.

CLOSE TO HOME BY CARA HUNTER | When eight-year-old Daisy Mason goes missing during a party at her family home, suspicion immediately falls on her parents. As family, neighbors, and close friends are interviewed it appears that this “perfect” family, who is really into keeping up their appearances, has a side that they don’t want seen. As the story progresses, we begin to learn more about this family, and eventually, what happened to Daisy. I thought the storyline was really well written and the found the ending to be surprising. I loved how the story unfolded with flashbacks, tweets from the public as the case became mainstream news in Oxford, and how well the characters were developed. I 100% recommend this book!

OUR KIND OF CRUELTY BY ARAMINTA HALL | This was one of my April Book of the Month selections and I was really intrigued by the description. Mike had a rough upbringing and a lonely life…until he met Verity. He and V were enamored with each other. Until one day V calls ends things with him. Mike dedicates his life to becoming everything V has wanted in a man. He’s got the perfect job and the perfect house and he’s determined to win back V for himself. Never mind the fact that she isn’t returning his emails or phone calls and that she’s getting married soon. Mike tells himself it’s all part of the game, Crave, they used to play. He knows V is sending him signs and that this is all part of their bigger plan to be together. This book is slightly crazy and Mike is certainly off his rocker. The author does a great job of transporting you into the mind of Mike. I was really curious where the plot was going the entire time I read it and up until the very end I was left wondering. Sometimes I can immediately figure out a storyline, but this one kept me guessing, which I liked. I did a lot of reading on my Kindle PaperWhite this month. I love reading a physical book, but sometimes it’s easier to carry around my Kindle and have a few books going on there. I’ve also been getting quite a few advanced reader copies and love having them as e-books on the go!

THEN SHE WAS GONE BY LISA JEWELL |  Laurel’s daughter Ellie goes missing one day, never to be seen again. Her disappearance changes Laurel’s life forever and she’s determined to not give up, even after ten years. When Laurel has a chance meeting with Floyd, she decides to attempt a normal life and pursue things with him. Things escalate quickly and it’s not long before she’s being introduced to his nine-year-old daughter, Poppy, who has a striking resemblance to Ellie when she was that age. Laurel can’t help herself and she begins digging into Ellie’s disappearance and connecting the pieces as they come to her. Y’all I absolutely devoured this book! I think I read it in less than 24 hours. The storyline totally drew me in from the start and kept me wondering what happened to Ellie. Although I had an idea of what may have happened to her, I wasn’t prepared for how the story unfolded.

A NANTUCKET WEDDING BY NANCY THAYER | Alison is a fifty-year-old widowed woman who has found herself in love again and is ready to spend the rest of her life with him. Alison and her soon-to-be husband David decide to bring their families to Nantucket to get to know each other before their wedding day. Both Alison and David’s children are grown, have families of their own and are each set in their own ways. Alison’s daughters Felicity and Jane have been estranged, but their time on Nantucket help bond them together again and each gain a deeper appreciation of the other. David’s children Poppy and Ethan couldn’t be more opposite. Poppy is very headstrong and doesn’t want another woman (or family) in the picture. Ethan is very care-free and hasn’t been very close to his family. Each sibling and their family learn a lot about each other and their families during the course of the summer on Nantucket and the book does a great job of focusing on adult life and real life problems that we all may face. Nancy Thayer always writes such wonderful, intriguing books and this one was no different. If you’re looking for a beach read this summer, definitely read this one!

ALTERNATE SIDE BY ANNA QUINDLEN | Alternate Sides gets it’s name from the neighbors who live on a dead-end New York street and those who work for them. Each end of the socioeconomic spectrum are represented in this book by Anna Quindlen as they navigate marriage, living amongst each other, and city life. I have read quite a few books by Anna Quindlen, but this one fell short for me. Normally I dive into her books and find myself smiling along with the characters, but the characters in this book weren’t really likable for me. The plot does pick up, but it takes quite a while for it to be anything other than back-and-forth about a “parking lot” on their dead-end NYC road. I would suggest this book, but overall I gave it 3 stars because it didn’t feel like a tried-and-true Quindlen book that I have always fallen for, like her others .CLOSER THAN YOU KNOW BY BRAD PARKS | Melanie knows “the system” all too well having grown up in and out of foster homes. She’s made the perfect life for her son, Alex, knowing she never wants him to experience what she had to when she was growing up. So needless to say Melanie becomes frantic when she goes to pick up Alex from childcare only to learn he’s been picked up by Social Services…with no explanation. As she struggles to understand this situation she was thrown into, she learns that her home has been raided and a large amount of cocaine has been found, which she explains she knows nothing about. As sheriff’s and investigators  gather evidence, it’s damning against Melanie, to say the least. Her story happens to intertwine with attorney Amy Kaye who has a cold case that includes Melanie. But it’s not what you may think. This story was so gripping and such a fast read for me because I kept trying to put the pieces together and was so intrigued by how the two cases intertwined. This was the first book I’ve read by Brad Parks and now I’m ready to read more.

PARIS BY THE BOOK BY LIAM CALLANAN | Leah discovers one day that her husband, Robert, has gone missing. At first she didn’t think much of it because Robert often went off on trips to do his writing. But he always left a note. Except this time there was no note. Leah and her daughters carry on their day to day lives until clues begin surfacing and things aren’t making sense. One clue lead them to Paris, where they end up staying and running a bookstore (a dream Leah and Robert always had). Leah and her daughters are convinced they have seen him on various occasions, although it never seems to pan out. So is he alive or is he dead? While I was originally intrigued by the title and storyline, it was a bit more slow paced than I thought it would be. The first half of the book was pretty slow and uneventful, but I did keep reading to find out the story!

LET ME LIE BY CLARE MACKINTOSH | Anna’s parents both commit suicide in the same spot just seven months apart. Even though both were considered open and closed cases, Anna isn’t so sure either of her parents would have committed suicide and as a new mother she’s now wanting answers more than ever before. A cryptic note arrives in the mail on the anniversary of her mother’s death that gives her the push to go to police. A retired cop, Murray, quickly takes on the case and starts digging. Both Anna and Murray find out things about the family that they weren’t prepared for and aren’t sure how each piece is connected. I thought this book was pretty good and loved how it developed over time. It tells the story from Anna’s, Murray’s, and (at first) an unknown person’s point of view, so you really get a good feel for the overall story. I gave this one a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

TEXT ME WHEN YOU GET HOME BY KAYLEEN SCHAEFER | I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book, but the title was intriguing as that’s something that me and my girl friends often say to each other upon our goodbyes. I was excited to read a book about female friendships and how important they are as a woman. Admittedly I didn’t fully finish this book, but nonetheless less I think it’s something any woman should read. It was partly conversational (which I liked and felt myself shaking my head in agreement with) and the other part felt more academic and historic, if that makes sense. I think I would have been more eager to finish it had it kept that easy, conversational tone. With that said, I did enjoy the parts I read and it made me want to hug all my girl friends at once! There truly is nothing quite like a good female friendship.

Whew! What a month of reading ha! I’ve read some good books since writing this review and I’m already looking forward to sharing them with you next month. Let me know what you’re reading or what books you recommend in the comments!

Leave a Reply

23 Comments

  1. Allie wrote:

    Thank you for al o the great recommendations! If you are looking for anything new the Nightingale and the Alice Network were really great! xAllie

    Posted 4.19.18 Reply
  2. Cathy wrote:

    These books sound amazing, I will have to check them out!

    XOXO
    Cathy

    Posted 4.19.18 Reply
  3. I definitely desire to get some more reading done. I love reading peoples views. Thank you for sharing.

    Posted 4.19.18 Reply
  4. So many good recs! A lot of these are on my to-read list! Earlier this month I read Girls Burn Brighter which I loved!

    xx Chelsea
    http://www.organizedmessblog.com

    Posted 4.19.18 Reply
  5. michellezavodny wrote:

    You are so good! I’m lucky if I sit still enough to read 10 a year. I need to get on your level!

    Posted 4.19.18 Reply
  6. Megan wrote:

    I’m going to Europe soon and need some books for the plane! Thanks for the recs!

    Megan | http://www.pipmegan.com

    Posted 4.19.18 Reply
  7. kileen wrote:

    Wow, these all sound so interesting! Thanks for the reviews, definitely want to check out these suspense ones!

    Kileen
    cute & little

    Posted 4.20.18 Reply
  8. caleyjaderosenberg wrote:

    LOVING all these reviews my friend – and another great list of recommendations for me.
    The only one I’ve read is Then She Wads Gone which I really enjoyed – kept me guessing the whole way although I did guess the villain x

    Posted 4.20.18 Reply
  9. annaefox01 wrote:

    I’m always looking for a good book to get into!

    Posted 4.20.18 Reply
  10. A Nantucket wedding sounds right up my alley! Think I’ll pick that one up soon.

    xo Laura Leigh
    http://www.louellareese.com

    Posted 4.20.18 Reply
  11. Belle wrote:

    These books sound amazing! If only I can find the time to read a book.

    Posted 4.20.18 Reply
  12. ruthieridley wrote:

    Such an amazing cohesive list!! I wish I read more. These all look so good!!

    Posted 4.21.18 Reply
  13. Jen Brodehl wrote:

    Hi Emily- I love following you on Goodreads too! Thank you for all the great book reviews!!! I just finished It Ends With Us which I got from you. I looooooved it!!! I think you would LOVE the book I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi. 🙂

    Posted 4.21.18 Reply
  14. Ooh I needed some new recommendations! So excited with this list!

    Posted 4.22.18 Reply
  15. sarah lindner wrote:

    These books sound great! Def need some good summer reading!

    xoxo
    Sarah Lindner

    Posted 4.23.18 Reply
  16. Thank you so much for these recs! I am constantly looking for new books to read and I haven’t read any of these yet…SCORE!!

    Posted 4.23.18 Reply
  17. Sara wrote:

    Someone just recommended “Not that I could tell” and I’m going to pick it up today! Kudos to you for reading 10 books in one month!

    Posted 4.24.18 Reply
  18. Laura wrote:

    Thanks for sharing your book recs with us!

    xo, Laura

    Posted 4.24.18 Reply
  19. Ada wrote:

    These all sound great! I will have to check them out, especially Let Me Lie.

    Posted 4.24.18 Reply
  20. Amanda wrote:

    Ooooh, a few of these sound like they’re up my alley– great book list! Totally going to check out Paris By the Book.

    Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  21. lindsayrutland wrote:

    I wish I read as much as you do! Saving some of these picks for later

    Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  22. Steph wrote:

    Oh I am definitely adding some of these to my list! Such good options.

    Xo,
    Steph
    @trendyinindy || trendyinindy.com

    Posted 4.30.18 Reply

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  • A little mid-week floral happiness for ya! 🌸 hows everyone doing this week? I’m having a pretty good week so far - sharing a few things I’m thankful for this week:
• a loving, supportive husband! I haven’t been out of the house in 2+ weeks & he’s made sure I have everything I need!
• neighborhood walks, they’re good for the soul & a great way to recharge.
• a great support system near & far keeping me encouraged!
• the ability to catch up with friends! 👩🏼‍💻Had a great zoom call with my #bloggersdotravel girls @mystylevita @glitterandgingham @kristinchambless & @poorlittleitgirl today!
• my endless pile of books that I want to read! 📚I’ve enjoyed unplugging and reading every day. #booksconnectus

share what you’re thankful for this week! 💙 http://liketk.it/2Mlh5 #liketkit #LTKhome #floralarrangement
  • 24 weeks with our baby boy🤰🏼💙 it’s crazy to think we get to meet him in just 16 weeks, it feels like this pregnancy has flown by! 👶🏻I feel grateful that I have had a healthy & happy pregnancy but, to be honest, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions. As a first time mom, I have these feelings of immense sadness as the last half of this pregnancy is going to be nothing like I had envisioned. There have been a lot of tears over the fact that many exciting moments can no longer be shared with those closest to us. I know others have it much, much worse but I’ve learned it’s ok to be sad & to feel these emotions. I’m upset that I am no longer able to have a baby shower to celebrate our first born, I’m sad I don’t get to hug our family and watch their faces as they see my growing bump. I’m upset that these last few months of just the two of us look completely different - more time spent in our house quarantined and less time having date nights at our favorite spots and doing the things we want before baby arrives. I mourn the fact that our families may not get to meet our baby boy in the hospital the way we always talked about. But with any situation, I have cried it out (a lot) and decided to take it one day at a time and to find joy in each day💙 And ya know what? There’s a lot of joy amidst the chaos. It brings me so much joy to feel his daily movement (and my heart nearly burst when Nick felt him kick for the first time).🥰I am overjoyed that we have such a strong support system near and far. I love that we get to spend more time at home spoiling our fur babies. I find solace knowing that there are so many pregnant mamas out there feeling these exact emotions & we share a common experience and bond! I am grateful for those that are on the front lines caring for everyone. I know we have the best doctors carrying us through this uncertain time. We are strong mamas and we will get through this! 💕 so, I challenge you to find the join in each day no matter your situation! #24weekspregnant #24weeks #pregnancy #2ndtrimester #stylethebump #bumpstyle #pregnant #pregnantduringcovid19 #pregnantblogger #thebump #boymom #expecting #expectingmom
  • Thinking back on a time when I got dressed (in something other than leggings) & was able to leave my house 💙🙈🤣 Anyone else going a bit stir crazy?! 🏡 I think I’m going to put on this @sailtosable dress on Friday & have an in-house date night to feel a lil fancy! 😊 shop this look here + linking a few of their dresses that are on sale! http://liketk.it/2M21a @liketoknow.it #liketkit #LTKspring #sailtosable #sailtosablepartner
  • Anyone else been reading more lately? 📚 Reading is my favorite form of self-care & now more than ever I'm leaning on books during this stressful time we're in. 🤓Reading before bed lets me unwind and relax! I'm teaming up with @penguinrandomhouse to challenge you to read 10-30 minutes before bed as part of their #ReadtoSleep campaign! March is National Sleep Awareness month so put your phone down & pick up a book for the next few weeks and give yourself a much needed break! 💙 [ad]

p.s. they have a great giveaway going on with @parachutehome where you can win 25 books of your choice (OMG!) and a cozy bedding set from Parachute! Find out how to enter on my stories!

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  • How’s everyone doing? 💙 I’m taking it one day (heck, sometimes one hour!) at a time this week!

Here are a few things I’m grateful for:
• Getting to check on our baby boy👶🏻& hear his heartbeat today!
• That I am able to work from home & have some sense of normalcy through all of this👩🏼‍💻.
• Those who are working & caring for others (including doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, those who work at grocery stores & restaurants handling takeout).
• Having this community to chat with through the good & bad days! It’s been so nice connecting with all of you via DM (especially those who are pregnant or new moms!) as we juggle this new “normal.”
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  • Hi friends 👋🏻It’s a new week & I’m going into it with a positive attitude (that’s all we can hope for at this point, right?) 💙I’m social distancing & self quarantining in an effort to “flatten the curve.” We spent the weekend going on walks with our pup🐶, getting in a lot of reading📚, binging Love is Blind📺 and cooking some of our favorite meals🍽! We’re trying to remain positive & do the best we can to protect ourselves and others 😊 p.s. I am *loving* this dress (wearing XS) & it’s bump approved - swipe to see a pic of my #22weekspregnant bump! http://liketk.it/2LDxv @liketoknow.it #liketkit #LTKspring #LTKbump #bumpstyle #stylethebump #pregnantblogger #22weeks #expectingmom #babyontheway #2ndtrimester #bumpfriendly

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