ranch life

Bookshelf Review January- August 2023

Happy Friday! In the past, I have been with it enough to review books by month as I’ve read them, but I’ve got several months to catch up on, so I’m going to give a rating/ short review for every book I’ve read so far in 2023, and shout out my top three favorites so far! Starting in January, I’ve read:

  • Rock Paper Scissors- Alice Feeney ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is a super twisty thriller that I couldn’t have predicted if I tried. There are two weaving story lines and just when I thought I had it figured out, it would jump in a totally different direction. Kept my attention and finished it really quickly!
  • Remarkably Bright Creatures- Shelby Van Pelt ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This was just precious- partly told about a few human characters, and partly told about an octopus living in an aquarium, and all the storylines merge together at the end. I enjoyed this one so much!
  • Mad Honey- Jodi Picoult ⭐️⭐️ The big twist of this book was not mentioned in the book synopsis, and honestly, had I known, I don’t think I would have even started it. By the time this is revealed, I was invested in the mystery aspect of the story, so I finished it, but I didn’t love what felt like an agenda. This is not my first with this author, and I should have skipped based on that alone because I don’t think I’ve really liked any of hers, but I’m always a sucker for a mystery.
  • Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun (#3)- Elle Cosimano ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I’ve said before that cozy mysteries are one of my favorite genres, and I have loved all the Finlay Donovan books!
  • Nora Goes Off Script- Annabel Monaghan ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This was a really cute rom com, and was about a divorced mom with two older kids falling in love with the hunky actor that comes to film at her house, which was a nice twist from the normal rom com character set up.
  • The Kind Worth Saving- Peter Swanson ⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is a follow up to The Kind Worth Killing, which I thought was a great thriller last year. This one was darker than the original, and a little stranger, but overall a decent thriller.
  • Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone- Benjamin Stevenson ⭐️⭐️⭐️ This had dark humor, which I appreciate, and is a very off the wall whodunnit. It felt like a lot of characters and plot points to keep up with, so it didn’t keep my attention as well as the average mystery, but I thought it was interesting enough to finish.
  • The Soulmate- Sally Hepworth ⭐️⭐️⭐️ I love Sally Hepworth and usually finish hers in 48 hours or less. This was good, but not my favorite of hers. I feel like she’s had twistier plots and juicier story lines, but this was still solid.
  • It Was an Ugly Couch Anyway- Elizabeth Passarella ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ *TOP 3* I LOVED this one! I loved Elizabeth’s first book- Good Apple– but this one I think I loved more. This is Christian non-fiction, and just hilarious and poignant and such a great read. (I actually listened to this as an audiobook, which made it even better because she’s like a hilarious girlfriend you are chatting with, and it’s just a whole experience then)
  • Her Every Fear- Peter Swanson ⭐️⭐️ Another Swanson thriller, but super dark, like thrill stalking and killing dark. This was well written, but tough to get through.
  • Every Crooked Nanny- Mary Kay Andrews ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is a little meatier than a typical cozy mystery, and is part of a series, which I love. I really enjoyed this one, and am waiting for the library/ Kindle Unlimited to get the next in the series to keep going.
  • Happy Place- Emily Henry ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Not my favorite Emily Henry, but still pretty cute. I had to suspend belief a little on her depiction of medical school/ resident life, but good overall 😉
  • Inheritance- Katherine McGee ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is just a short prequel novella in the American Royal series. I enjoyed the extra details in that story, and am looking forward to the next in that series.
  • Someone Else’s Shoes- Jojo Moyes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ *TOP 3* This is a super cute chick lit kind of story with a little more meat to it. It had decently flawed characters that you really wanted to root for, and I just really enjoyed it. It was also fun to read after we had been to London because it is set in London.
  • Fervent- Priscilla Shirer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is what I would consider a “business read”- a book related to Bible study or gaining knowledge of some sort. This is a great read on transforming and bolstering up your prayer life and I learned a lot about how to structure my prayers and how to be more plugged in to my prayer life.
  • Yours Truly- Abby Jimenez ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is a “they hate each other, but come to love each other after being forced to pretend to date” rom com. It was cute and light, although things seemed so perfect with their relationship so early on that I got a little bored wondering why there was so much left to go, but I enjoyed the final ending.
  • Marlowe Banks, Redesigned- Jacqueline Firkins ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Another “they hate each other because they really love each other” rom com. Overall cute!
  • The Five-Star Weekend- Elin Hilderbrand ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ *TOP 3* I usually love Elin Hilderbrand, but this one tops the list! I thought the storyline and characters were fantastic and I really enjoyed it!
  • Find Your People- Jennie Allen ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Another business read- all about the importance of community, and how to find and cultivate yours. Definitely recommend!
  • Pineapple Street- Jenny Jackson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I’m not sure how to really describe books like these- family dynamics books? Lifestyle literature? Either way, I loved this one, and thought it was funny and heartfelt.

And that catches my reading up through August! In 2021, I read 50 books, so when 2022 rolled around, I tried to shoot for the fences and upped my Goodreads goal to 72. I actually ended the year with 66, not anticipating moving twice, and being busier through the fall. So, I cut way back this year to hopefully set myself up for success and am shooting for 36 books this year. If you are also on Goodreads, I’d love for you to follow me here, and sound off in the comments if you have also read any of these and what you thought! Happy weekend! 🙂

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