This Is Not How It Ends, Rochelle Weinstein

I chose This is Not How it Ends for my December Amazon First Reads choice. And boy am I glad I did.

The first chapter of This Is Not How It Ends took my breath away and I’m still trying to catch it. I could not turn the pages fast enough. Charlotte, Phillip, Ben, and Jimmy all completely stole my attention and heart. I wanted to crawl inside their lives and watch them pull the pieces together (isn’t that what reading is all about?).

I managed to hold it together until I read the author’s acknowledgments, then all the emotion is held in throughout the book spilled out.

I know this is only my second book of 2020, but there is a good chance it will remain one of my favorites.

The Summer Wives, Beatriz Williams

I think Beatriz Williams might be my favorite historical fiction author. The way she weaves together dual timelines and multigenerational stories leaves me breathless and captivated. The Summer Wives was a beautiful story of love and never giving up on those that have stolen our hearts.

Decade in Review

I don’t even know where to start this. Ten years ago, I was a different person. I was 28 and on the verge of graduating college. I worked in a men’s clothing store and had dreams of working in politics. I’d also written my first novel (may it forever rest in peace in a box under my bed).

I was single and was convinced I would always be. And, I had no clue what the next day would hold, much less the next decade.

Ten years later, I’ve now written almost ten books. I’m married and a mom. I finished my undergrad and went on to get my MBA. I have a career (in retail, but using those overpriced pieces of paper). I’ve self-published three novels, and I’m currently submitting my work and querying agents.

Those are all of the tangible changes. The biggest changes are the ones you can’t see. I’m finally working towards finding comfort in my own skin. I’m finding my words and my voice. But, most importantly, I’ve laid out a clear vision for the person, wife, mother, and author I want to be. I’ve accepted that perfection is neither obtainable nor an option—and, I don’t want it.

In the last decade, I’ve become the person I never knew I wanted to be, but I still have a lot of growing and learning left to do. Cheers to the next 10 years.

PS 2020 in an election year. So, make sure you’re registered! And, of course, VOTE.

Dear Edward, Ann Napolitano

I knew this book would wreck me emotionally. I knew it, and yet it still surprised me.

From Edward being the sole survivor to leaning the stores of a few of the passengers to Lacey’s and John’s marriage struggles, Dear Edward hit me in all the feels.

The book flows in a unique timeline, with every other chapter alternating between the flight and Edward’s life after the flight. At times it was difficult to learn about the characters knowing their fate, but it made the ending that much sweeter.

I expected a few more tears, but all in all, this was an excellent emotional read.

Meet Me on Love Lane, Nina Bocci

Meet Me on Love Lane was a solid romance novel with relatable characters. I absolutely loved Emma and Cooper’s story, so I was worried that Charlotte’s and Henry’s wouldn’t live up to my prior experience. But they did.

I did miss the small-town politics from the first book, and I found myself getting a bit annoyed with Charlotte constantly reminding us that she didn’t remember anything yet she hated this town without knowing why.

All in, if you love a classic romance novel in a quirky, quaint setting, this is one you won’t want to miss.

You Were There Too, Colleen Oakley

You Were There Too, Colleen Oakley
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (1/7/20)

Wow. Guys, I don’t even know how to put into words how amazing this book was. I fell in love with Mia, Oliver, and Harrison.

The characters were so rich and real, I felt like I was right there with them. The story felt so unlike anything I’ve read and it propelled me forward.

You Were There Too is one of those books you want to read fast and slow at the same time.

2020 Word of the Year: Intentional

Are you a habitual scroller? I can lose hours on social media. HOURS. I scroll and scroll and I don’t even think I’m actually paying attention. But I love it.

It’s a problem.

My word of the year for 2020 is Intentional.

I want to be intentional with my time and energy. To have a clear purpose. To be goal-oriented and focused. To ensure that everything I do is driving those goals and purposes forward. And, lastly, to be present in every moment I can.

This means implementing discipline around my social media usage. So, I’m sitting down now to make a plan and shift through those goals and intentions.

Edge of Darkness, Maria Ann Green

I’ve now read all three of The Darkness Series book. The first book was my favorite. Or, so I thought. This one, from Tuesday’s (Aidan and Bee’s daughter), is my new favorite.

The unique format of weaving in the podcast and emails really drew me in. That and I just loved Tuesday. She’s relatable in that “my parents are serial killers” way. Seriously. 

Tuesday was the perfect ending to this amazing and suspenseful trilogy.

If you’re a fan of thrillers/suspense novels, this series is a MUST read. Like, stop what you’re doing and go get them all. I’m serious.

Love Lettering, Kate Clayborn

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy.

Love Lettering was perfect. I adored Meg and Reid and every other character that graced the pages. They were all flawed and real. I could relate to each of them.

The way Meg saw letters in everything and Reid saw numbers really made this book unique. Plus, I have this newfound love for books that make me root for a couple no matter what. From the instant they met again, I couldn’t wait for them to have their happily ever after.

Holly Banks Full of Angst, Julie Valerie

Oof. Holly Banks Full of Angst hit me right in all the feels. From her relationship with her mother to her fears as a mother to her daughter starting kindergarten. I connected to all of it.

While I’ve never been in the PTA, I felt the anxiety that Mary-Margret St. James created.

I really loved the unique way this was written. It truly reflected the main character and made her more real and unique.