How are we already at the end of September?! I can’t believe how fast this month flew by. This month was filled with a lot of books – eleven to be exact. There were some stand out reads and a few duds, but that’s just how it is some months! Of the eleven books I read this month, there are two that I highly recommend – Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating and The Other Woman. Two totally different books, but both equally great… see why below!
As always, I share all of my book recommendations on my Amazon Shop Page in real time, so be sure to check that between my monthly book reviews if you’re looking for book recs. You can also see previous month’s reading lists here. P.S. I would love to hear what you’re reading in the comments!A HUNDRED SUMMERS BY BEATRIZ WILLIAMS | It’s 1938 and New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak. That is, until the Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview. Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancé, now recently married are the last thing she was expecting to encounter over summer at Seaview. But the ties that bind Lily to Nick are too strong and intricate to ignore, and the two are drawn back into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many emotional obligations. review: I love historical fiction and Beatriz Williams has quickly become one of my favorite authors when it comes to that genre. I absolutely love her writing style – she does a wonderful job of placing you in the time period and allowing you to really imagine the characters. While this isn’t a “fast-paced” book, I really enjoyed it and I liked that it alternates between 1931 and present time in 1938. There were quite a few twists in the book and overall I really enjoyed it! rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️
TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE BY JENNY HAN | This book follows 16 year-old Lara Jean, a quirky teen who is trying to navigate high school and her lack of a love life. While Lara Jean has never had a boyfriend, she has been in love a few times, five to be exact. Each time she has been in love she has written the boy a letter and locked it away in a box. She never had any intention of the boys seeing the letters or even sending them. One day she discovers that they have been sent out and the boys have received them…and now it’s time to face the boys and the consequences. review: I picked up this book after seeing that Netflix was coming out with a movie based on this book. I’m a firm believer in reading a book before watching a movie or show. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, especially with it being a contemporary Young Adult book, but it was a quick read. It was definitely a juvenile book and found myself rolling my eyes at times because of how “twee” it was. If you’re looking for a mindless read, grab this one, but if you want more substance, then maybe pass on this one. I did end up buying the set, but am not sure if or when I’ll get to the second and third book. rating: 3 out of 5 stars ⭐️
JOSH & HAZEL’S GUIDE OT NOT DATING BY CHRISTINA LAUREN | Hazel Bradford is a bit of a weirdo, and I mean that in the best way possible. She knows she can be a lot to handle and she owns it. She’s fun, loud, and a little crazy. When she meets Josh Im in college, she’s got a bit of a crush, but Josh seems to be right there in the middle of all her embarrassing moments. Josh is very much the opposite of Hazel, as he is mellow, calm, and relaxed. Fast forward years after college and Hazel becomes best friends with a girl named Emily. She soon finds out that Emily is Josh Im’s sister when Josh enters back into her life. Josh and Hazel immediately click, and even though they are polar opposites, find themselves becoming extremely close friends. Both happen to be single and have each proclaimed the other as “definitely not their type,” so they devise a plan to set each other up with other people and go on double blind dates together. The resulting rendezvous are nothing short of hilarious! I found myself smiling and laughing out loud for much of the book. review: The duo Christina & Lauren have become synonymous with romance novels and I have loved every single one of their books, including this one. I thought the character development was great, and could truly feel the friendship and love between Josh and Hazel. The ending was a bit different than I was expecting (not in a bad way, just didn’t even think of it) but overall I loved this book! rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️
YOU BY CAROLINE KEPNES | Joe Goldberg is looking for love and he thinks he has found it when Guinevere Beck happens to walk into the bookstore where he works. He quickly becomes enamored with her and sought her out on every social channel he could in order to know her better. A “chance” encounter brings them together and Joe has everything he need in order to take control of Beck’s life & make sure he is the perfect guy for her… no matter what it takes. review: Admittedly, this is another book I picked up solely because I wanted to watch the TV series when it came out. I knew from the get-go it would be creepy, but my goodness… it’s dark. The plot is very twisted and likely comes with some trigger warnings, but it makes you keep turning the page to find out what the heck is going on. There were times where I found myself not *loving* the book, but overall I thought it was pretty good. I’m currently listening to the second book, Hidden Bodies, on audiobook and am really enjoying it too! rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars ⭐️
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE BY MATTHEW FARRELL | When a mutilated body is found hanging in a seedy motel in Philadelphia, forensics specialist Liam Dwyer assumes the crime scene will be business as usual. Instead, the victim turns out to be a woman he’d had an affair with before breaking it off to save his marriage. But there’s a bigger problem: Liam has no memory of where he was or what he did on the night of the murder. Liam immediately turns to his homicide detective brother, Sean, to help him get to the bottom of this murder and figure out why he’s being framed. review: I was a bit skeptical at first because the two police officers go “rogue” and against protocol pretty early on, which made it hard to believe. However, as the story goes on, I found myself really intrigued and wanting to know who was framing Liam, and better yet, why. The last 20% of the book was very fast-paced & I was able to quickly finish it! I thought I knew who had framed Liam, but was partly right but there were definitely some twists along the way. rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars ⭐️
WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT BY MARY KUBICA | This story revolves around Jessie Sloane, a young woman who loses her mother to cancer after many exhausting years battling the disease. Jessie feels alone in the world and pushes herself to focus and move forward. While applying for college, Jessie stumbles across a mysterious detail from her past that she can’t understand or accept. She becomes solely focused on figuring out the missing pieces of her childhood hoping to get answers that will help her move forward in life. This mystery sends Jessie down a rabbit hole of sorts as she searches tirelessly for the right answers. Sleepless nights and unanswered questions lead to her judgement being blurred until she can no longer tell the difference between hat’s real and what’s in her head. review: As a fan of Mary Kubica, I was SO excited for a new release from her! I have always enjoyed her books and her impeccable writing style, but this book just fell a bit flat for me. It didn’t have the same gripping story or twists that her other books have had. The story is told during two different times and by two different POV, and, for me, the timelines and descriptions were a bit confusing and hard to follow at times. The last 15% of the book was one big “huh?!” and I felt like it totally ruined it for me. rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars ⭐️
THE DINNER LIST BY REBECCA SERLE | If you could have dinner with five people, living or dead, who would they be? This is an ice-breaker question that almost everyone has been asked before. Sabrina and her college roommate, Jessica, answered that question in college thinking that would be the last time she would ever think about it again. On her 30th birthday, she is scheduled to continue the tradition of meeting Jessica for dinner to celebrate. Upon walking into the restaurant she is shocked to find not only Jessica waiting for her, but a table that also includes Robert, her father; Professor Conrad, her philosophy professor, who served as a type of surrogate father figure; Audrey Hepburn, and Tobias, the on-again, off-again love of her life for the past decade. She has until midnight to address unresolved issues, make peace where necessary, and understand why things happened the way they did. review: This book is filled with emotion and it’s beautifully written. I found myself falling for each character as I learned of their part in Sabrina’s life. I liked that it alternated between the dinner party and the love story of Sabrina and Tobias, while still maintaining a unique storyline. I don’t think this book will be for everyone, but I did enjoy it! It really made me think about who I would want at my dinner party and why. It was also a great reminder to tell those around me how I feel. And that’s a reminder I think we could all use once in a while. rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️THE GOOD LUCK CHARM BY HELENA HUNTING | Lilah isn’t sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career, or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she’s no longer that same girl and never wants to be again. Ethan Kane wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that. Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let him in, though, she finds out their reunion has nothing to do with her and everything to do with his game. But Ethan’s already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he’ll do anything to keep from losing her again. review: I listened to this on audiobook, so I feel maybe my review will reflect differently than if I had read it. It’s definitely an easy listen (or read!) and while it was a cute story, it was a bit dull and predictable. There were times I rolled my eyes and wanted to shake the characters, but they may be because I didn’t find either of them really likable haha. It is definitely more of a fluff read, although if that’s what you’re looking for then you may enjoy it! rating: 3 out of 5 stars ⭐️
THE BANKER’S WIFE BY CRISTINA ALGER | Marina is an investigative journalist working for a man who has been investigating a Swiss bank hiding an exorbitant amount of American money. Annabel lives in Geneva with her husband Matthew, who works as a private banker for Swiss United. After some mysterious deaths, both women embark upon separate but similar quests to uncover secrets, and they both end up being pursued by people who will stop at nothing to make sure they remain silent about what they find. review: This book is a fast-paced twisty suspense novel that will keep you wanting more! This was my first book by Cristina Alger & she’s now on a list of authors to read. The writing was compelling and I loved that it was told in alternating perspectives of Marina and Annabel! rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️
THE MARRIAGE LIE BY KIMBERLY BELLE | Iris and Will are happily married, blissful, even, when Will leaves town on a business trip. As word trickles back to her that Will may have been on an ill-fated flight, Iris discovers her husband may not be the man she thought he was. As she peels away the layers of the foundation her marriage was built upon, one shocking revelation after another is unearthed, until Iris finds herself in deep trouble, unsure what or whom to believe or trust. review: From the get-go this book is a twisted, crazy suspenseful book. I couldn’t get enough of this book as Iris began finding out shocking information about her husband! Were some parts predictable? Sure. Was it filled with twists? Yes! Did I enjoy it? Heck yeah! rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️
THE OTHER WOMAN BY SANDY JONES | Emily thinks Adam’s perfect; the man she thought she’d never meet. Their whirlwind romance moves at lightening speed and everything seems to be going well…until she meets Adam’s mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever. This book will have you asking “How far is too far?” and “How on earth could she put up with this?” review: I couldn’t believe this was Sandy Jones’ debut novel. It is fantastically written and is definitely rated with some of the best psychological thrillers out there. This book was a CRAZY ride and the ending was something I wasn’t expecting at ALL. I wanted to scream at Adam for his blindness to his mom’s diabolical personality, I couldn’t believe Emily had stuck around after everything Pammie had attempted, and lastly, I couldn’t believe a MIL could act the way Pammie did! Whew! This was definitely a book I’ll be recommending to many friends! rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars ⭐️
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I was provided books from Mary Kubica, Christina Lauren & Rebecca Serle for possible review purposes.