March Reading

Real Life Dinners by Rachel Hollis (releases May 8, 2018)

⭐⭐⭐/5

This book is filled with easy, practical and approachable dinners for busy families. I enjoyed the stories in each chapter about Rachel’s dinner memories and favorite meals. I loved her desire to involve her kids in the cooking process and appreciated the simple and clear photography to accompany the recipes. Most recipes we’re nothing new and matched many I already have in my recipe box from family, friends or tested and beloved online finds.

I think this book would make a great gift for a recent graduate moving out and having to cook on their own for the first time, or for a new parent looking for some easy recipes to keep dinner time exciting in the midst of the chaos of parenthood.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my review.

Last of the Summer Moet by Wendy Holden

⭐⭐⭐/5

This book was funny, entertaining, and filled with an eclectic, over the top cast of characters. I enjoyed the setting and pacing of the story, found the characters humorous and relatable, and thought this would make a fun movie by Netflix. Since reading, I’ve learned this book is part of a series, and I would definitely read more about this protagonist.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my review.

Fat Girl On A Plane by Kelly Devos

⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

This book had fun humor and heart, and a fun, if slightly far-fetched, plot. It dealt with body image, heartbreak, messy families, dreams coming true and falling apart, and still the protagonist felt authentic and relatable. I really enjoyed meeting Cookie and experiencing this moment in her life and would recommend this book as an enjoyable young adult read.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my review.

Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure by Amy Kaufman

⭐⭐/5

This was an interesting sociological examination of The Bachelor franchise. The author clearly did her research over several years, and was intimately familiar with each season and iteration of the show. There were interviews with contestants from various seasons, references to their books, conversations with previous production crew, and access to behind the scenes documents and procedures. The psychology and sociology behind The Bachelor franchise are definitely part of the appeal of the franchise, and this book spoke to those interests by pulling back the curtain and exposing much of the reality behind the fantasy.

While this book was interesting, I felt like parts were disjointed and it was dry reading in certain respects despite the very juicy content being discussed. However, if you are a fan of the franchise or the fictional UnReal, or if you just want to understand reality television better, than this book is worth checking out.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my review.

Ottercombe Bay: Where There’s a Will… By Bella Osborne

⭐⭐/5

This book begins a series about a girl with a messy family life, but with an Aunt who deeply cares about her. She is used to running away from her problems by traveling the world and never putting down roots, until her Great Uncle passes away and in his will gives her a reason to stay for a year.

While it was an enjoyable read, it was also fairly forgettable, thought I have book two to read, and will probably read the other books in the series so that I know how the story resolves.

I would not necessarily recommend this book, but that’s just because it felt bland in comparison to other books I’ve enjoyed this year.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my review.

Ottercombe Bay: Gin and Trouble By Bella Osborne

⭐⭐/5

This second book in the series read fast, as you knew the characters and the town. I enjoyed the creativity in how the protagonist chooses to invest her inheritance. This book felt like the stakes should have been higher with burglery, business concerns, and small town relationships. However, all this excitement fell flat.

I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

There is something so satisfying about revisiting books I loved growing up, and the magic, love and influence of Harry Potter is just as captivating at twenty-ninth as it was in 1998 when I met Harry Potter for the first time. When we first met, we were the same age, well, I was a year younger I guess. Reading about characters who were my age was such a fun attraction to the book, and growing up alongside them as the books were published cemented their role in my life.

I love reading about eleven years old Harry Potter learning what it means to belong, what it means to be loved, and what friendship feels like. I love discovering the world of magic alongside him, and adventuring together to make sure that light shines through darkness. I love how rich the descriptors are, and how endearing each character is. This book truly transports you to a new, but familiar, world and makes you want to know more and experience more as you grow alongside Harry, Ron, Hermione and the other characters.

I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to recommend this series enough, but this first book is so special in the world and characters it introduces, and I so look forward to the day I can introduce my future children and nieces and nephews to the magic.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

I truly don’t think I will ever tire of returning to Hogwarts to adventure alongside Harry Potter. While I do try to wait a few years between rereading this series, the delight I have with each turn of the page fuels me to devour the books quickly because I cannot get enough.

I had forgotten about some of the fun details in this book since my last reading. The Death Day party was hilarious, Filch’s squib status shame, and even the extra moments that happen within the Chamber of Secrets. It is utterly enchanting and delightful and these books have aged so well!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

This book has had me laughing out loud every couple pages and utterly delighted and enchanted by the detail and events happening during Harry’s thirteenth year. The introduction of the Marauder’s Map, the excursions to Hogsmeade, the intense quidditch matches and new professor’s and classes have my heart rejoicing to be spending time at Hogwarts again.

It’s fun to read these stories that I feel I know so well and notice new details and moments of significance that you miss as a younger reader, or as someone who isn’t initmately aquainted with the story. I love feeling like I’m visiting with old friends and meeting new characters with fresh perspective on the story.

Rereading this series continues to cement them as the best series I’ve ever read and increase my desire to introduce every child in my life to the magical world of Harry Potter.

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

⭐⭐⭐/5

The story of Anastasia Romanov is one that has fascinated and captured our imagination for generations. Admittedly, I do not know as much about Russian history as I would like, and that makes the mystery surrounding the claims she survived the assassination of the Russian royal family that much more intriguing.

This book dips in and out of time, flowing between many different years and places, which can be kind of hard to follow in places. I did enjoy how the author wove the various narratives together and appreciate her use of fiction to combine several characters to make it easier to follow as a reader.

The story was interesting and frustrating and captivating simultaneously. There is mystery, suspence, heartbreak and hope. As a lover of historical fiction, this book embraced so many of my favorite story telling devices.

If you are interested in history, royalty, or mystery, I would recommend this book.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my review.

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4 thoughts on “March Reading

  1. I have a passing interest in the Anastasia book, but historical fiction is not my sweet spot so I wonder if I’d have a hard time getting into it.

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    1. It jumps around a lot in time, which made it hard to follow. It was an enjoyable read overall, but I love historical fiction. If I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t have finished it honestly.

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