The Last Anniversary Review

The Last Anniversary

By, Liane Moriarty

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Wow, this book was fabulous!!! I would give it more than 5 stars if I could. Ah, I loved everything about this story!

Sophie’s life changes when she finds out the deceased aunt of her ex-boyfriend, Thomas, has left her a house. This isn’t just any house, though. This is a house on Scribbly Gum Island, home of the famous Monroe Mystery. Thomas’s Aunt Connie and her sister, Rose were the ones who found the famous Monroe baby, Thomas’s grandmother. Grace and Connie were teenage girls when they went to have tea with their neighbors, the Monroes, and found them missing, with the kettle boiling and the marble cake ready to be iced. Their baby was crying in the crib and the girls took her and raised her as their own.

The Monroe house has been kept intact and the island residents (all part of the same family) give paid tours. When Sophie moves onto the island, she is expected to be part of this tradition and becomes something of an unofficial family member. This isn’t just Sophie’s story, though. Veronica, granddaughter of the Monroe baby, wants to uncover the mystery once and for all. Grace, another granddaughter, finds that she isn’t reacting to motherhood in the way she expected and concocts a plan. Aunt Rose is learning how to live without her sister’s constant oversight and counsel. Marge (Veronica’s mother) is dealing with a lot of self-esteem issues due to being overweight and the way her husband treats her.

This book had such fascinating characters with fascinating stories! I loved Sophie. Sophie wants to get married and have children, but thinks she’s running out of time. She wonders if she made a mistake by breaking up with Thomas, but she was missing the passion in their relationship. Sophie is beautiful and kind. She is also human. She deals with extreme, uncontrollable blushing. She has selfish thoughts that she tries so hard to fight. You would normally hate Sophie due to jealousy, but she’s too darn sweet and human to hate.

I loved Grace, as well. Poor Grace broke my heart and I wished I could go to her house and help her and talk to her. I think the problems she dealt with made her so very relatable. Her childhood memories played a role in the story as well. I love that this is a family who seems to be doing so well- owns their own island, has a profitable family business- but every member has a lot going on underneath the surface.

This book ended beautifully on SO MANY LEVELS. Everything about the ending was just perfect, but not predictable, and not happily-ever-after. This book was incredibly well-written. The characters were complex, flawed, relatable, and likeable. Their development was really deep. I enjoyed the story so much even though it was a 12 hour audiobook, I listened to the whole thing in about 3 days. I had my headphones in constantly because I was so interested in the mystery and the characters’ stories. This book was part chick lit/women’s fiction and part mystery/suspense. It had everything you could ever want in a story. I can’t say enough good things about this beautiful book!!

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I Heart New York

I Heart New York

By, Lindsey Kelk

Genre: Chick lit, romance, travel

This book has been on my to-read list for a while. I think a friend suggested it or they wrote a good review on it. I’m not sure because it was a while ago. The book began with main character, Angela, being a bridesmaid at her best friend’s wedding when she discovers that her fiance is having an affair! Angela takes running from her problems pretty seriously and flies to New York! She doesn’t have any specific plans, but she ends up in a hotel where she meets a friend. That friend leads to getting a place to meeting two hot guys to writing for an online magazine about her New York experiences.

This book was pretty engaging. The big event at the beginning really draws you in. I have been to New York only once and I don’t think I went to any of the same places that Angela did, but I really enjoyed seeing New York and its magic through her eyes. She has a lot of interesting and fun experiences.

So why am I only giving this book three stars? This book was pretty unrealistic, which made it hard to relate to Angela. She meets a friend her first night in New York, even though all she does is check-in at a hotel. This friend takes her on as a project, almost literally. This friend has a friend who happens to have a connection at a huge magazine and gets Angela a job. Angela also meets two extremely desirable men while in New York, one of whom is a rock star. The other takes her to Tiffany’s on their second or third date. These kinds of things just don’t happen to normal people in a short amount of time.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted book with some romance and aren’t concerned about its realistic-ness, then this is a fun read. I wouldn’t mind reading the others in the series, but I don’t plan to seek them out.

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Weekend Immune System Review

Weekend Immune System

By: Holly Tierney-Bedord

Genre: Choose your own adventure, chick lit

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I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. This was such a fun read! I love grown-up choose your own adventure books so when an author I already love said she had written one, I was way thrilled! You “play” as Juniper, a girl who isn’t in the greatest situation. She has a lazy, broke on-and-off boyfriend. She has to move out of her apartment due to developers. She works spraying lawns with pesticide, which pays decently, but isn’t exactly fulfilling.

You get to choose what happens to Juniper from there. Will she get a new job or a new boyfriend? Will she live happily ever after or die alone? Will she be a wife and mother or a career woman (or both)? The endings to this book are extremely varied, which I loved. There are many different ways for Juniper to end up happy and fulfilled and it didn’t seem like there were as many where she ended up not-so-happy (although they exist). I do love a happy ending! This was a fun, quick read and you can choose how long you want to spend finding different endings. I would definitely recommend this fun chick lit to fans of the choose your own adventure genre!

*Book cover provided by the author*

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Coached Book Review

Coached

By Holly Tierney-Bedord

Genre: chick lit

This was a cute, little story. Ro-Ro or Rowan is working as an administrative assistant in a job that she hates and she wants her ex-boyfriend back. She decides to go to Crystal the life coach for help. Crystal encourages Rowan to change herself in almost every way possible. Rowan goes along with it because she wants to be cool and she wants to get back her ex.

Rowan was a pretty clueless, but loveable, main character. You have to be prepared for that, as some readers will get annoyed at her. She is still young, only 23, and trying to figure the world out. She is very kind-hearted and sweet, though.

I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read for me and Rowan definitely grew from the beginning of the story to the end, which I love. It was wrapped up a little quickly and easily, in my opinion. Rowan had some funny situations in this story and I found a lot of her thought processes to be hilarious. At one point, she makes a huge list of petitions she wants to write, including things like bras being uncomfortable. LOL. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, humorous story, pick this book up!

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Swept Off Her Feet Review

Swept Off Her Feet

By Hester Browne

Genre: chick lit, romance

This was a cute and sweet book. It felt very similar to Browne’s “Finishing Touches” novel where the past has an impact on the future. Main character Evie works for an antiques expert and she is obsessed with the past. Every object tells a story and she’s more interested in that story than the object’s value. Evie’s sister, Alice, gets her an opportunity to go stay in a proper old English castle/mansion to find some valuables the owners can sell off to pay for the place’s upkeep. Most of the story takes place over the week Evie is there. She uncovers a romantic story about the past and meets the heir to the house, Robert, who she is inexplicably drawn to. She also gets roped into learning dances for a ball, although she has a horrible history with dancing.

Evie was a very loveable character. She had a sweet personality and a real passion for antiques. Not only does she fantasize the past, she fantasizes about men who aren’t real or who are unobtainable. I sometimes made relationships out to be more than they were in my younger days (don’t all girls?) so she was very relatable. Evie meets some interesting secondary characters, including the business-like and unsentimental Robert. As usual, opposites attract.

I loved some of the objects Evie discovered at the house and the stories that went along with them. Evie feels like she knows Violet, the American woman who fell madly in love with the castle’s previous owner, by the end of the story and so do we. That was a fun aspect to the story.

The book moved slowly in parts, but otherwise, it was a very enjoyable read. Great for fans of chick lit and romance and those who are looking for a lighthearted story.

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