Lightness of Body and Mind, Sarah Hays Coomer

**Review**
Lightness of Body and Mind, Sarah Hays Coomer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a writer’s retreat all about overcoming obstacles that women face. I met Sarah Hays Coomer there and learned more about her approach to health and mindfulness. After her first session, I went back to my room and bought both other books.

We’ve always been taught to push ourselves until we break. Starve until our jeans button. Focus on the scale. Lightness of Body and Mind shatters that approach. Sarah promotes the mindset that how we feel is more important than how we look or what the number on the scale says. It dismantles the idea that to be healthy we must stop every bad habit. Instead, work to find what habits truly make you feel good. It’s not about deprivation or killing yourself on a treadmill. Replace the bad with good—if it feels good, keep it, if you feel like shit after, ditch it. Stop fighting your body.

This message resonated with me. I’ve been battling my body for as long as I can remember. Hearing the tips and tools in Lightness of Body and Mind changed my perspective toward food and exercise.

Winter in Paradise & What Happens in Paradise, Elin Hilderbrand

**Review**

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I won’t lie, I missed Nantucket, but I adored the Caribbean island setting in Winter in Paradise. The cast of characters was compelling and intriguing. I do wish each got more time as there was a lot of unpack with each character. The twists and turns were fun and kept propelling me forward.

As much as I enjoyed Winter in Paradise, What Happens in Paradise topped it. I fell a bit more in love with the island and it’s dysfunctional cast of characters. My favorite part was getting more of Rosie’s story.

I am a tad disappointed that I have to wait a whole year for the next book in this series.

American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld

**Review**
American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A good friend forced to read this book. She surprised me with it on my birthday after casually texting to see if I’d read it. When I told her I hadn’t, she replied, “don’t, it’s horrible.” Imagine my surprise and amusement when it arrived at my house a few days later. (Side note: get you a friend like this because they’re the best). American Wife started slow, but once Alice and Charlie Met, I couldn’t put it down. I also couldn’t not picture Laura and George W. Bush (the book is a fictionalized version of Laura’s life). So, that was fun during the intimate scenes.

This book was raw, emotional, honest and also amusing (even my son would’ve enjoyed all the fart and poop mentions). I laughed and almost cried a few times.

American Wife also shows what can happen if you learn to put aside differences and focus on the good.

Definitely recommend. Both the book and my friend.

SLAY, Brittney Morris

**Review**

SLAY, Brittney Morris

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m a white, middle-class suburban working mom who’s never gamed a day in her life. I also don’t read YA.

I loved everything about this book. The characters. SLAY. The story. The writing. All of it was amazing.

Keira is a strong, brilliant teenager. She recognized a need and rather than wait for someone else to build the game she needed and wanted to play, she built it. She created the community wanted to be a part of and gave a home and safe place to so many. I’m doing so, she found her voice and gave a voice to the hundreds of thousands of SLAY players in the world.

This is the universal story of SLAY—what everyone can connect to—the desire and need to be seen, understood, celebrated, and to be a part of something. To belong.

SLAY is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read this year and I’ll be waiting anxiously for Brittney Morris’s next book.

Right After the Weather, Carol Anshaw

**Review**

Right After the Weather, Carol Anshaw (10.1.19)

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Right After the Weather is like a beautiful slow burn, except you never quite touch the fire.

Cate is a dynamic, rich and relatable character. Her circle of friends and family are equally dynamic.

While the story didn’t propel me forward, the prose and characters did.

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Stillwater Girls, Minka Kent

**Review**

The Stillwater Girls, Minka Kent

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wow. From page one I was hooked. I needed to uncover everything and kept making guesses along the way. Some right. Some wrong.

The voice of this novel was amazing. The writing flowed easily and allowed me to immerse myself in the characters.

I absolutely loved this book and I need a sequel. Maybe even a where are they now novella.

Cilka’s Journey, Heather Morris

**Review**

Cilka’s Journey, Heather Morris (10.1.19)

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Tattooist Of Auschwitz was good. Very good, in fact. But Cilka’s Journey was amazing.

This young woman survived more than any of us can even imagine. She saw the absolute worst of the world during WWII, and then saw it again when she was sentenced to hard labor in a Russian work camp.

Despite this, she remained focused on the good. She fought for herself and her fellow prisoners. Cilka is the kind of woman who embodies love and hope.

The one thing I wish this book had was more of her life after the prison camp. I wanted to experience her life after and see her happy and free.

Perhaps that can be the next book.

As much as I loved Lale and Gita in the Tattooist Of Auschwitz, I felt more connected to Cilka and her story.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the gifted copy.

Our New Normal, Colleen Faulkner

**Review**

Our New Normal, Colleen Faulkner

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I read this book as I read most of my Kindle books—while rocking my daughter to sleep or sitting in her room while she plays. This may have influenced my relationship with Our New Normal.

I’m always drawn to mother-daughter books, so I was sucked in immediately. Liv’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Hazel, is pregnant and her boyfriend is a typical, irresponsible teenage boy. Liv wants Hazel to consider adoption, but her daughter refuses, convinced her boyfriend will step up. Shocking no one but Hazel, he doesn’t.

Add to this that Liv’s father is struggling with dementia and her mother has chronic pain. Oh, and her husband is distant.

Our New Normal was a brilliant book and it captivated me, forcing me to ask myself what I would do in Liv’s shoes. She’s spent her entire life being a mother and ignoring her dreams, now that her kids are grown, she thinks it’s her time. Than bad her daughter is pregnant.

I related to Liv’s desire to be seen for who she is and not just as the one responsible for picking up the right coffee creamer or chauffeuring her kids around town.

If you love complicated family drama, you need to pick this one up.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the gifted ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Waiting For Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey

**Review**

Waiting For Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Confession: I LOVE rom-com movies. Like, love them more than Chris Evans. Okay, maybe not that much. (If I’m being honest, Chris Evans is my Tom Hanks.)

Until this year, I didn’t love reading rom-coms. In fact, I swore them off. Then I read one. And then another. And, well, turns out that I do love them.

Waiting For Tom Hanks was a fun read with characters I adored. I loved Annie and Drew but Chloe stoke my heart, and I cannot wait for @kerrywinfrey’s next book because it’s Chloe’s story!

Another thing I loved about Waiting For Tom Hanks? It wasn’t set in NYC. It was set in Columbus, Ohio and in an area I’ve actually spent time in. Earlier in my career, I worked on the  Max & Erma’s marketing team. That restaurant started in German Village, where this book takes place. I love being able to connect to a book’s setting.

If you love a solid rom-com with lovable characters and Midwestern settings, you’ll enjoy this one. 

If Only I Could Tell You, Hannah Beckerman

**Review**

If Only I Could Tell You, Hannah Beckerman

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Beautiful. Tragic. Beautiful. What an emotionally draining read. It was also impossible to put it down, and I read it in under 4 hours.

The prose was absolutely beautiful. Figurative language that will gut you.

Audrey, Jess and Lily have survived the unthinkable. But, it takes them 28 years to come out on the other side.

I’m such a sucker for tear jerkers. As a mom and as a daughter who lost a parent to cancer, this story reduced me to tears more than once.