Thursday, April 1, 2021

Book Club: March 2021

 


Today is Book Club Day and we couldn't be more excited! We did a lot of chatting back and forth about our books this month because they were just. that. good. 

At the beginning of the month we polled the good people of Instagram to see what are your favorite genres of books - just to see if we are aligned in providing you with good recommendations. An overwhelming number of you like mystery and thriller novels. We will try to incorporate more of those in our rotation. 

A close second was romance and beach reads. Well, we always have you covered there! 

A distant third was non-fiction and biographies. Hmm...we both struggle with this area. We will try to do be a better job of throwing one in the mix occasionally, but lets just say we read for escapism most of the time. 

March was jam packed with reading/listening...so let's get to it!!!





WHAT WE READ...


CARRIE BETH

Last month I quickly devoured book one of the Crave series by Tracy Wolff and loved it. It's so far fetched and the whole vampire/fantasy fiction thing usually isn't my jam, but this totally sucked me in.  

I immediately added the next two books in the series to my Audible app and listened to them pretty much non-stop. My kids made fun of me on a Friday night with my headphones in, but it was THAT GOOD and I couldn't stop until I knew what happened.  In book #2, Crush, the story continues to follow Grace, Jackson and his brother Hudson.  A major plot twist occurs when the evil Hudson starts living in Grace's head so that she can hear his every thought. At first she is annoyed by it, but then you see their estranged friendship start to turn into something more.  The love triangle continues throughout the book, but when Grace and Jackson's relationship is tested and Grace's life is in danger at the end of the story Hudson comes to a surprising rescue and realization.  When it ended with a major cliffhanger I gasped because I wanted so much more! Good news is, book #3 ready and waiting for me! 

Covet was a lot more magical and fantasy and not as much love story. I still enjoyed it and loved seeing how Grace and the love triangle managed to work itself out, but I think book #2 was my favorite in the series so far.  That being said, I don't know how I'm going to wait until September for the 4th and final book, Court, to be released!  

I don't know if anyone else is like this, but after I end a really amazing book I'm always hesitant to start something else just because I don't want to be disappointed.  I asked Jen for a recommendation of something she loved recently and she gave me a doozy.  Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren took my breath away.  I've read some of her other books before and this one was TOTALLY different.  Still a love story, but with so much more to it.  The story switches back and forth between present day and the past when teenage Macy has just lost her mother and meets the boy next door at their weekend home.  Macy and Elliot quickly form a bond that cannot be explained.  At first it is just friendship and then grows into more.  He is her only friend, her best friend, the ones who helps her grieve the death of her mother and is truly her everything for years.  During the present day chapters, Macy runs into Elliot and they begin to navigate their friendship/relationship by tip-toeing around the past. Lauren keeps hinting at something that happened 11 years ago that caused them to lose contact and not speak for all of that time.  I thought I had it totally figured out and knew what was coming, but I was SO wrong. I LOVED this book because I love books that make me really feel. The characters were so well developed and it made me so emotional to hear their stories.  I cried at several parts, smiled at so many more and just really can't say enough about how good it was. I highly recommend this one!



I totally switched gears for my last book this month and listened to the sequel of A Good Girl's Guide to Murder.  In book two, Good Girl, Bad Blood, we get to follow the same characters.  After Pip solves the town murder mystery as part of her senior project, she starts a podcast that gains lots of popularity.  She vows to never get involved in another investigation, but when a friend asks for her help finding his missing brother she can't say no.  Just like the first book, this reads like a mystery podcast for part of it and I found it so fun to listen to. I loved keeping up with the clues and trying to figure out on my own what happened!  If you like thriller/mystery type stories this one is for you. 


JEN

I read five books this month, and for the first time in forever I can say I loved all five of them. Each and every one of them I would say add to your reading pile ASAP. A few are top book of the year contenders, and a few have me anxiously awaiting sequels because they were just that good! 


First up for the month was Love at First by Kate Clayborn. I read Love Lettering last year and really enjoyed it so when I saw a new novel was out by the same author I couldn't wait to read it. This is an adorable must read romance novel! It was just plain cute. I absolutely adored this story and am not sure how to let these characters go yet. Nora & Will meet in the briefest of ways as children, but it was instant love for one of them. Sixteen years later they are each coasting through life with different levels of emotions (or lack there of), and their paths cross again. It's a heartwarming story of love and finding family in the unlikeliest of places, and the ending left me with all the happy sighs. If you enjoy your romance novels a little more PG rated on the intimacy and language, Clayborn totally delivers on this one for you! 



Oona Out of Order has been on my reading list forever. I consider it was meant to be read when Good Morning America gifted me a copy. Loved this book in so many ways!!  The story is beautifully written, and the story is unique to anything else I’ve read. Oona faints one New Year's and wakes up in the future in a strange apartment with a kind stranger. She soon realizes from instructions she leaves that this isn't the first time she's "leaped" into a different year at a different place. Each of Oona’s leaps were super intriguing. As the book was coming to a close, I wanted more years to sink into with Oona, Madeline and Kenzie. I rarely give five stars to a book, but this one gets it - and might be a contender for my top three this year for sure! Such a great read and highly recommend!



Listen, sometimes a girl just needs a little teenage vampire fantasy drama in her life. I read the first two books of the Crave series earlier in the year. I then told Carrie Beth they were right up her alley and to read them right away. The third book, Covet, came out this month, and I instantly download the Audible. This series keeps getting better for me each book. I am thrown right back into those days where we were all obsessed with the Twilight series. Only the Crave series to me is slightly more mature. Just slightly. I'm totally sucked into the story, and it ends on the biggest cliff hanger. I already can't wait until September to get the fourth book in the series. Judge if you will, but I am all team Hudson and I don't care if you know about it. 


Next up for the month - a little politics. But my kind of politics. The romantic comedy kind. Meet You In the Middle was one of those Target cute book cover purchases that get me sometimes. But sometimes those impulse purchases in the book department while my kids are scouring for a Captain Underpants book they haven't read yet, turn out to be winners. This fun hate to love romance follows Ben and Katie, who are on opposite sides of the Senate floor. But after some back and forth pranking, spying, and bets gone wrong they find themselves a little more...bipartisan. ;) Loved it from start to finish, and it would make for a great Spring Break beach read if you need one! 


Okay mystery/thriller lovers - this one's for you. Good Girl, Bad Blood was another sequel I couldn't wait to get my hands on in March. I thought Good Girl's Guide to Murder was so so good, and had me at the edge of my seat the entire time I was listening to it. Good Girl, Bad Blood picks up where GGGTM leaves off. This is one of the few books that the sequel lived up to the hype. GGGTM #2 was just as good as the first. The story builds on the original with a focus on one of Pip's friends from the first book. With a popular podcast quickly gaining Pip a wide reach of audience, her friend Conner comes to her asking for help regarding his missing brother Jamie. Pip vowed to never step into role as investigator again, but left with no other option than possibly losing her childhood friend, she agrees. With her boyfriend/sidekick Ravi, she tackles issues of the past, endures twists and turns at every step of the investigation and leaves us with a cliff hanger that has me begging Holly Jackson to release GGGTM #3 ASAP!


WHAT'S UP NEXT...

CARRIE BETH

I thought I had read just about every Colleen Hoover novel, but when someone recently shared Ugly Love and how much they enjoyed it, I realized this was one I never read.   


Hoover never disappoints and the characters in her love stories always have me coming back for more, so I'm excited to start this one!   

JEN

I've heard nothing but good things about The Last Apothecary by Sarah Penner. I snagged a hard copy of this at a local bookstore, and am already excited about Spring Break next week so I can sink into my pool chair with this highly buzzed about mystery-suspense novel.


WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE ADD TO OUR LISTS? WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU READ LAST MONTH THAT YOU LOVED?


BOOK CLUB 2021




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HAPPY READING! 


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