Book of the Month Club · Chik Lit · Contemporary Fiction · Katherine Center · review · Women's Fiction

How to Walk Away


author: Katherine Center
publisher: St. Martins Press


A book with a story to tell that hasn’t settled on what type it wants to be is a little how I felt about How to Walk Away. If I had to pick, I would say it was a combination of Contemporary Fiction (aka Family Drama-lite-) meets Women’s Fiction meets Chick-Lit and it truly doesn’t know who it wants to be.

I toyed back and forth with giving this a 4 star review, a 3 star, or somewhere in the middle and landed on 3 stars. Here’s why..

The 4 stars of this book

There were a LOT of goosebumps going on. There were truly some good, deep moments where I genuinely appreciated the author’s writing. She didn’t always tie a neat bow at the end of everything (almost, but not always and certainly not on the most important part). She, many times, made me feel like this was true to life in some ways. SOME ways.

The 3 stars

I could technically claim 2.5 stars on some of this stuff but I’ll give it 3 because this IS chick-lit(ish) and so I need to be fair and judge off that. But there were too many times, in my opinion, where the author made it far too simple. A lot of glossing over of emotions, accepting things for what they are, and certain unemotional responses to where there should be something. She always made sure to throw it in there, it wasn’t just some emotional empty hole, but it was like “oh yeah and I was pissed. See me throw this. Okay we’re good now .I told you I was angry , let’s move on.” And She didn’t seem to stay consistent within that.

Overall, for the first time ever, I think I understand now when people say an author manipulated their emotions. I don’t feel like Katherine Center necessarily manipulated me but I do feel like instead of making this a great story just by excellent writing (which I know she is no doubt capable of), it was a good story based mostly off all the feels the book gave you. That was the heart of it. I don’t want that in a book. I want it to be real.

All this to say I will still pick up the next book Katherine Center writes. She is a good writer and I’m looking forward to seeing more of what she has to offer. Thank you for the work you do!



View all my reviews

Giveaway

Mega Giveaway!

Hello fellow booklovers!

I hope this finds you well!

So, this will be kept super short, but I just wanted to let those of you #bookstagrammers know that I have teamed up with two wonderful people who own their own companies to do a mega giveaway!

If you would like to enter, just visit my Instagram page – @thenashvillewifereads – and follow the instructions. It’s super easy and you can win a LOT of stuff! Here’s an excerpt from the page:

ONE winner will get…

⭐️ Up to $18 on Amazon or BookDepository for any book of your choice!
⭐️ $15 off any book sweater from @bookinasweater (👉🏼 click the link in her profile to see her store).
⭐️ 1 free bookmark (double-sided cotton candy, see pics).
⭐️ 1 free t-shirt from @bookchicktshirts (see pics for your choices)


How awesome is that? It’s easy to enter so head on over to Instagram and check it out!

Giveaway ends Friday, July 18th at 11:59 pm.
Winner will be announced by July 20th.

Giveaway is not affiliated with WordPress, Instagram or any of the authors or publishers tagged.

ARC · Authors · Fiction · For Fun · Fredrik Backman

Things My Son Needs to Know about the World


author: Fredrick Backman
publisher: Atria Books


Fredrik Backman writes a short on all the hilarious, anxiety-ridden, fearful and confusing moments of being a parent. He starts off with the lightest of humors and morphs along the way, carrying with him a plethora of “been there” and “what were you thinking” stories, some of which that will have you surprising yourself in fits of laughter. True to the Backman way.

“Maybe you don’t even want to do a sport. You might want to play golf instead! And that’s all right too!”

(haha. Sorry to all you golfers reading this…)

He points out the less thought of but oh so true nature of humanity…

“Sometimes we have to get rid of stuff to make room for new stuff, and then we start to miss the old stuff so much that we have to build new stuff that pretends to be the old stuff.” 

…highlights the confusion of illogical ideas behind children toys…

“The worst crap is actually the crap we bought before you were even born. Like a toy sheep containing a speaker that was meant to simulate “whale song” and help you sleep better. Why wasn’t that crap shaped like a whale? Huh? That still bothers me.”

(Me, too.)

…has a few hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments that I absolutely will not spoil… you just have to read the book…

…and then manages to end with a twist of a story that might have you in tears, especially if you have ever experienced anything remotely like what he experienced. Again, I will not spoil this moment. You have to read it for yourself…

Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books and Fredrik Backman for this ARC. 


“Your mother loves nothing in this life as much as she loves dancing, and she chose to share her time on Earth with a man she can’t dance with without seriously fearing for her safety. She chose me. And then you came along. And you love music. And when you dance, you and she… If I could only choose one single moment to live inside for all eternity, it would be that. I can’t tell you anything about love. Nothing more than that.”



(my only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 was because the beginning of the book was very repetitive. It felt like fillers. But the book truly grew and he did a fantastic job showing us the Fredrik Backman we know and love in all his books. Thankful for such a talented writer and for his family, supporting him for all the world to get to enjoy.)

Book of the Month Club · Getting to Know Me · Memoir · TBR

Memoirs

I am a child (in a grown-up’s body.)
I love a good story.
Spin me a tale and take me far away.
This is the life of a reader of fiction.

I’ve never really been a big non-fiction reader.
Well, wait.
Let me clarify that.

Non-fiction is great, but it does require a lot more…thinking…on my part.
What I mean is, I love to study what I’m reading if it’s non-fiction.
If it’s real life.
Something to learn.
So in other words, I’m a slow non-fiction-reader.
lol.

Well, I pre-judged memoirs without giving them a chance.
I have no interest in reading about one person’s life. Right?
I thought so.
I was wrong.
Because what I thought I was hearing when I heard “memoir” was actually “autobiography”…
I just didn’t realize the difference.
Honestly, I just never gave it any thought.
This chart helped a lot…


Currently Reading…

I dove into the world of memoirs just this week and found a book called Prognosis. I stumbled across it by accident, to be honest. It was a free book I got for being a Prime Member with Amazon. You get them monthly, how nice is that?

Anyways, it was the best eBook out of the choices I had so I took a chance and immediately loved it. Maybe it’s the subject, I don’t know, but now I’m hooked. I want to read more.

Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition. It may look like a casual and even random calling up of bygone events. It’s not; it’s a deliberate construction.

William Zinsser, in On Writing Well (2006; 30th Anniversary Edition)

Do tell me, what memoirs have you read that stuck with you?
What memoir do you recommend I read next?


I’m a big BOTM club fan and here is a list of some of their current memoirs.
Have you read any? What should my next pick be?

ARC · Cult · Fiction · Suspense · Thriller

Your Life Is Mine


author: Nathan Ripley


Blanche Potter grew up as Blanche Varner, daughter and heiress if you will to the cult Your Life is Mine, lead by cult leader – and father – Chuck Varner. While Blanche escaped the brainwashing and sociopathic tendencies of both her mother and father, she was in no way protected from her past when she decided to hide her identity forever. No one knows she was there the day her father carried out his mass shooting. Nor do they know of all the random killings she was there for as well, and as far as she is concerned, no one ever will. Little does she know, her past, her family history, will hurt so many people, including the ones closest to her.  And are these mass shootings over? Or were they in the making all along? 

This book had a lot of potential and it was certainly a good read. A book I breezed through and didn’t want to put down. But I really wish we would’ve heard so much more in depth about Chuck Varner and his cult. There is such a huge group of readers that love a good cult-driven book so that would’ve greatly added to this story. I think too this book would have been so creepy and amazing having heard the narrative from Chuck and from Blanche’s mother. There was SO much potential in just those two characters alone. Could’ve possible made a good series, too. Looking forward to more by this author.

Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for the ARC.  



Leave a note in the comments what thriller you think I should read and review next!

Thanks, Lovelies! ❤

Book of the Month Club · Fiction · Suspense · Women's Fiction

Necessary People


Author: Anna Pitoniak


To be selfish. To be cruel, at times.
To harden your heart so that you need no one else. 
When you realize how powerful this makes you, 
you keep it to yourself.

Stella Bradley and Violet Trapp have been inseparable most of their lives. The stunning beauty, Stella is a traveler, though that is putting is loosely. With no direction in life, she wanders from place to place, living the life so many dream of without a care in the world. But is she happy? And when she sees life for what it is, is it enough living in the shadows of a family name?

Violet Trapp is exactly what her name leads you to believe. Trapped in a world for so long that was aggressive, perhaps even violent. Her parents were an awful sort, the kind you leave behind and never turn back. Violet is a beautiful girl with nothing to lose. Aren’t they the most dangerous, after all?

These two girls have a specific dynamic that, when kept perfectly in sync, works flawlessly. But when times change and the dynamics shift, trouble looms and in the end, whoever has the most ambition wins. 

But what is the cost?

I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 because I feel that the author (or the editor) could’ve made some transitions a bit more fluid. Below are just my thoughts but I did really enjoy the book. I liked the author’s writing style and would gladly read another.

Read on but Beware: Spoilers!

Continue reading “Necessary People”
TBR

More Time to Read!

Well it’s Daylight Savings again folks!

(well, for most of us that is. I’m a bit jealous of you in Arizona and other states that don’t have to adhere to this ridiculous time changing. But I’m not bitter. Anyways…)

With this Daylight Savings comes longer days (YASSS) and you guessed it, more daylight to READ READ READ!

(wait, is that a bad thing? Should I be outside more? OUTDOOR READING. #FTW)

So. As this beautiful Spring weather approaches, what is your TBR?

I’m late in the game for March (wah, wah) but I’m not out! So here’s my current TBR…

#1- Finish the one I’m currently on. (Not super thrilled to be honest, not a great start…)

The Second Wife

#2: Start this HIGHLY talked about book:

NO EXIT

#3- If I have time (because my life just got so incredibly busy) I will try to get in two of my shorter books:

Am I Enough
S.M.I.L.E.

So. Have you read any of these and what did you think? I would LOOOOOVE to hear from you! Let me know what your TBR is and I’ll see if there’s any I can add to my list, too!

Take Care, Lovelies ❤

Book of the Month Club · Fantasy · Fiction

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance


author: Ruth Emmie Lang


I looked over at Weylyn, who was still leaning out the window, blinking heavily as rain ran into his eyes. A bitter smile crossed his face, as if he knew I was watching him; as if he were answering the question that was on the tip of my tongue: Did you do this?



It all started in Holbrook, Michigan (1968) when little baby Weylyn Grey made his way into the world. It was June 29th and with his first breath came a snow storm. In just a few minutes, six inches or more had fallen and the world was changed forever.


The child turned one eye on me, then opened the other like a backward wink. His irises were molten pools of solder that had not yet set, and for a moment I thought I could see a fire behind them, keeping them liquid.


Weylyn Grey was orphaned at a young age and raised by wolves. Through extraordinary circumstances, he meets the lovely Mary Penlore and unknowingly changes the course of their lives forever. Through many trials and many unexplainable storms later, he lives many lives and meets many people. He becomes the happy owner of a magical horned pig named Merlin. Together they stop tornadoes, hurricanes and occasionally a rainstorm or two (though you won’t ever find Weylyn taking credit).

Weylyn quickly realizes the dangers he brings upon those close to him and decides it best to seclude himself, to run back to the wolves. He tried to make the best of life, tried to love but when that love came crashing down in yet another (deadly) pile of snow, he vanishes. Anyone who knew him could tell you, reader, that you hope he reappears. You hope you do not have to go through life without a Weylyn Grey in the midst of it.


As he bent down and scratched her behind the ears like she was a harmless dog, I felt a sadness more acute than anything I’d ever felt before. Weylyn Grey didn’t belong in my world. He belonged in theirs, and there was nothing I could say to convince him otherwise.


Thank you Ruth Emmie Lang, for Weylyn.

Thank you for opening your mind and creating a character so real, so loveable as Weylyn that it breaks your heart knowing he’s not real.

I don’t know. I’m beginning to think maybe he is… somewhere.
He’s too incredible not to be. ♥️

If you have not yet picked up this book, you really really should.
It’s magical and you will never forget Weylyn or many of the others in this beautiful story.


P H O T O + C R E D I T: @lifeinlit (instagram)

View all my reviews

For Fun

Top 5 Fave of 2018

2019 Has begun as has my newest reading challenge!
(which I’m proud to say I’m actually ahead of schedule!)
Before I got too deep into the year, I wanted to go back through my books of 2018 to see what I had read and to share them with all of you!


I met some incredible people in these books. People that went through some hard times, not sure how they would survive. Some dealt with the loss of someone they loved, while some simply learned the value of friendship and that we are stronger than we give ourselves credit.


So here we have it.
Here are my top 5 faves and my 5 runner-ups.

Please find one you like and add it to your TBR stack this year.
You will not be disappointed.


Please note: these are listed in the order I read them,
not in the order to which I like them.
That was simply not possible LOL

(the date is when I finished reading them)

1- Love, Anthony (5-24-18)

2- Britt-Marie Was Here (6-29-18)

3- Beartown (7-7-18)

4- Girl Made of Stars (9-8-18)

5- Us Against You (Beartown #2) (10-13-18)



And the 5 runner-ups…

(again, in order of read)

1- The Ghost Writer (3-24-18) *first book read of 2018*

2- If you only Knew (3-28-18)

3- On Second Thought (4-10-18)

4- Every Note Played (6-11-18)

5- In Search of Us (8-11-18)


What were some of your favorites from 2018?
I’d love a good recommendation if you have one!

Well, thanks for taking the time to check out my faves. Some of these books will stay with me for a very, very long time. If you want to know my thoughts on any of these books, please feel free to ask or check out any reviews HERE.

Take Care, Lovelies! ❤

For Fun

My Year in Books (2018)

So since I started my blog this year, I didn’t get a chance to post about my books in 2018. Every year before, I would only read about 1-2 books tops. I know…

I KNOW…

I can’t believe it either. Can you imagine? A life…a world where you read practically nothing for a whole year. I would read one of Jodi Picoult’s newest books and that would be just about it.

So what suddenly made me switch gears?

I have no idea to be perfectly honest. I just suddenly went from 1 or 2 books a year to about 2-3 per month. I know this isn’t a lot for some (I mean, I know people who read 1-2 books every other day…what is THAT?! Do you even work? Just kidding of course you do.. what else pays for your #bookobsession?)

Anyways.. so now here I am.

If you would like to see the 34 books I read last year, click here and take a look!

Keep an eye out for my next post!

-My top 5 faves of last year and their runner-ups-

Take care, Lovelies ❤