Books

What I Read…

Last (standard) Show Us Your Books link-up for 2018! WHAT EVEN!?

Seriously, though. I truly feel like this year flew by. I wouldn’t call it my best or worst year- just another year. But we’ll do a recap some other time. Today is all books, books, books.

This month was a month of short ones. Kind of. I don’t know… just keep reading. Lol

Until Harry by L.A. Casey
★★★/5 
Lane’s been away from home for 6 years and she’s devastated to be returning just in time for her Uncle Harry’s funeral. The time and distance hasn’t changed a thing for Lane… Has it changed anything for her childhood bff Kale?
This book was depressing. And kind of forgettable. Honestly, it wasn’t my favorite and it was a true 2.5 ★ (but I round up). There was a ton of death in this book- a depressing amount. I mean, the titular character dies right off the bat. I can’t remember why I downloaded this to my Kindle, but the romance wasn’t even that spectacular. I hated the cheesy af nicknames and the overly protective ENTIRE family. Again, there was just a lot of heavy stuff squeezed into a romance novel. I like the back-and-forth timeline, though. And Kale, the male protagonist, sounded hot at least. *shrug*
Should you read it? Nah.

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
★★★★★/5 
As Carrie reaches out to David she has no idea what to expect. What do you say to the husband of the woman your husband is having an affair with? And what will he say back?
This is my second TJR book. (The first was Evelyn.) Obviously I loved it. I’ve never read any of her contemporary stories, but I feel like I’d love them. This almost felt like a Daisy Jones teaser- if only because there’s a quick reference to her in the story. I really loved this book, though. It was short and sweet. I absolutely felt for Carrie and David (the affairees) and I wanted things to work out… which sometimes meant their marriages getting fixed and sometimes didn’t. It was sweet and complete. I loved getting lost in another TJR vintage story. And obviously now I’m salivating for Daisy Jones.
Should you read it? Yes. It’s short and captivating and worth it.

A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews
★★★★/5 
Sophie doesn’t mind marrying beneath her if it will help her family… so long as it’s for love. After months of being courted by Mr. Sharpe, Sophie makes the executive decision to end the arrangement… but was she too hasty?
My summary sucks and doesn’t do the book justice. Sorry. First of all, that cover art 😍 Secondly, this was the sweetest little holiday novella. Tons of cheeky banter and winter wonderland scenes. And the romance really seemed genuine. I was sad to see the story end. It was the perfect read to kick off the cozy holiday season.
Should you read it? If you enjoy clean romance & historical fiction, yes.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
★★★★/5 
After the passing of her aunt, Willowdean is at a loss. Drifting away from her bff, feuding with her mother, and juggling the stress of boys isn’t helping the situation. Throw in a beauty pageant and Will’s just about ready to throw in the towel.
I have mixed feelings on this book… I certainly didn’t hate it, so let’s get that out of the way. Also, I loved the two main boys in Willowdean’s life. I thought they were both respectful and sweet as Texas tea. I also loved the gals from Odessa 😉 The teenage drama annoyed me at first (Will’s angst, her feuds, everyone’s attitude, etc.) but I just so happened to read through one of my hs diaries while I was reading this book. Daaaaang- I was an angsty, senseless teenager, too. I get it. This is teen/ya book through and through. So any point docking I did for that was reversed. Some folks on GR disliked the ending, but I was good with it. I wish we’d have gotten more pageant fun and shenanigans. Overall, it was an enjoyable teen book. And now I can watch the movie on Netflix 🙂
Should you read it? If any part of my review strikes your fancy, sure.
*I watched the movie the day after I finished the book. The movie left a lot out, so read the book first. That said, the pageant party is more fun in the film.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
★★★/5 
Holly Golightly can’t be caged, occasionally suffers from the mean reds, and is pursued by playboys and criminals alike. She is fragile but resilient, bold but self-conscious.
I watched the film a long time ago, so I can’t speak to the similarities and differences. Also, this book has NOT held up well to the political correctness of time… So just fyi there. I loved the story, though. You know how on Mad Men everyone is a little effed up and broken? I would say that Miss Golightly would fit right in. She’s bold and spontaneous, but so sad and lonely and self-conscious deep down. Part of the time she’s a lovable doll, sometimes she just a child, and half the time you want to smack her. She’s definitely an interesting literary character- and even a little relatable when you boil it all down.
Should you read it? If you like the movie, you owe it to yourself to read the book.


It doesn’t start until January 1st, but here are my choices for Erin’s Book Challenge 10.0! All books must be 200 pages (unless noted) and only one reread is allowed. No doubling up on categories- 10 different books for the round. Find all the rules on the linked fb/gr pages!

| 5 points | Freebie: Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
| 10 points | A book that was made into a movie: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
| 10 points | Set in Europe: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
| 15 points | A Newberry Award winner: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
| 20 points | A friend or family member’s favorite: Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell
| 20 points | Published over 100 years ago: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
| 25 points | Six words (exact) in the title: The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
| 30 points | A compass or cardinal direction in the title: The North Water by Ian McGuire
| 30 points | Published in a different language: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
| 35 points | Begins with the letter “N”: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Find her rules & all the details here. We participate on GoodReads, too!

Thanks for hosting Show Us Your Books, Steph & Jana!!

Life According to Steph

30 thoughts on “What I Read…”

  1. well that Harry book sounds awful lol. i’ve not read anything by that author and none are on my list, so i’ll steer clear. I really liked Dumplin but it’s been a couple of years since I read it so don’t remember too much. Hoping to watch the movie this weekend.
    I was not a fan of breakfast at tiffany’s the book. the movie is better because she doesn’t abandon the poor cat (well, she does if i remember right but actually finds him when she goes back, but she doesn’t in the book if i remember right). awful person.

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    1. The Harry book WAS awful. I should’ve kept it at 2 stars. I like to escape in my romances- not get depressed. Dumplin’ was cute cute cute. I’m sad that Mitch didn’t make the movie.
      Holly Golightly is a screw ball. (And I don’t know why my review sounds so in favor of her… what was I doing what I wrote that?!) I was mad at her when she abandoned the cat. She sends the narrator back for the kitty and he sees that the cat found a nice home in a warm and sunny window. But still. (Probably some metaphor about the cat finding a home so Holly will to find a home. I dunno.)

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    1. I found the book and movie to be super different. I wonder what kind of take away I’d had from both if I would’ve watched the movie first… There were parts of both that I liked better than the other. Hope you enjoy both versions!!

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  2. Im actually reading evidence of the affair this week so Im stoked that everyone loves it. Ive had Dumplin and Puddin in my Up next folder of my kindle forever. Hopefully one day Ill get to them

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  3. I just finished up Dumplin’ and I really enjoyed it too, but I haven’t had the chance to watch the movie yet. I love all of the YA drama, so I didn’t mind it too much. Plus I really love that it was set in Texas too! And you have such good choices for Erin’s challenge! I’m also planning on reading Nine Perfect Strangers for my book that starts with a “N”, so I can’t wait to see what we both think of it!

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    1. I wished I’d have given myself a little bit of time to forget the book before I watched the movie. Lol. I’m not usually a fan of the drama a YA books so sometimes they’re a miss for me. I’m glad I overcame it with Dumplin’!
      I’m excited to see what we both think of Nine Perfect Strangers!

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  4. I still have not reading Dumplin’. Part of my problem is that it seems so beloved that my expectations for it are a little unrealistic and I don’t want to be disappointed. 😀 I need to grab Evidence of an Affair. Maybe a little Christmas treat for me to enjoy during a long layover I have in Vegas. Yay for holiday travel 😀

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    1. I know that I didn’t love it as much as others have. It was entertaining and enjoyable, though. You will devour Evidence of the Affair. It won’t take you any time at all to get lost in it and then get tossed back into the real world. LOL

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  5. I always said Dumplin is my spirit animal…. I love so much Dolly Pardon is such a big part of the book/movie. What I grew up on myself.
    I’m trying to finish Puddin’ right now too….

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  6. I don’t enjoy a lot of death in my romance novels. lololol oh no! I’m so glad that you loved Dumplin’ and A Holiday by Gaslight! ME TOO! 🙂 (I know you know!) I haven’t read that TJR yet, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s was pretty “meh” for me. I loooove Capote’s writing, but do not love Holly Golightly, *shrugs*! XO – Alexandra

    — is that an enthusiastic shrug? I dunno. LOLOLOL

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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    1. SO MUCH DEATH. Sheesh.
      Gaslight was the cutest. I need another one just like that 🙂 Got any recs?
      You will fly through that TJR book. It’s a nice little escape for 45 minutes. I’ll have to check out some other Capote books! My sister-in-law is a big fan of In Cold Blood. Haha.

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