People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Book Genre Block - "Rom Com" couple on bench
People We Meet on Vacation book cover with palm trees and two people on
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book spoke to me. Like I am infatuated with this story. I need to own a physical copy now so that I can hug it every once in a while. It’s amazing.

This book is a friends to lovers trope, and I’m gonna be super honest here. I hate that trope. I have always been a firm believer that once you hit the friend zone, you can’t hit that romance space. I know that’s not true, but I’ve just never found a story where I’ve been convinced of the romance…UNTIL NOW.

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How Lucky by Will Leitch

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

First of all, this book was AMAZING! Just absolutely wonderful. Leitch’s writing makes this story such a joy!

Second of all, don’t go into this thinking it’s a thriller. That will be really disappointing for you. This is a story about life and finding joy and experiences even when you have incredibility tough circumstances. There is a mystery and there are some action scenes, but I really wouldn’t put this in the thriller category.

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The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen

Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

This was a lovely trip to Italy spanning two timelines. The beautiful descriptions of Venice truly transport the reader, making a vivid, picturesque story to read!

Caroline has just had her husband leave her when she receives a letter that 90-year-old great aunt is dying. She makes it to her aunt in time for her to give Caroline her dying wish. Great Aunt Lettie gives Caroline a box, three keys, and a sketchbook, and mutters “Venice”. So off to Venice she goes to unravel a great mystery.

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Everybody Fights: So Why Not Get Better at It? by Kim Holderness and Penn Holderness

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
Book Cover of "Everybody Fights" with
Book Genre Block "Inspiring" with letter tiles spelling "Do Not Give Up"

This book has changed my marriage. For Real! I will literally be re-reading this book for a long time. Each chapter speaks to a different part of your relationship, and it was just amazing!

If you are not in a relationship, I STILL think you should read this book. There’s a chapter on intimate connection, but other than that, I really think this book teaches us how to listen to and interact with humans in general. Not just the one you’re married to. I’m using things I’ve learned in this book to better communicate with my kids too!

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No Pain, No Gaines: The Good Stuff Doesn’t Come Easy by Chip Gaines

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
Book cover with author Chip Gaines
Book Genre Block "Inspiring" with letter tiles spelling "Do Not Give Up"

Wow. Just Wow. I really, really loved this memoir! Chip Gaines wrote this book to inspire and motivate me. I know, I know…that’s not really true, but sometimes when you read a book, it feels like the author was thinking of how to motivate you, and that’s how this one felt to me.

I haven’t ever watched Fixer Upper, which is the TV show that Chip and his wife are known for, so I wasn’t drawn to this book because of the fame, I was drawn to it because of the blurb about hard work. It sounded interesting. But it’s not just interesting, it’s filled with commentary that really made me pause and think about my life and the way I am living it.

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Survival of the Thickest by Michelle Buteau

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Book Genre
Book Cover with author on cover
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Hilarious! I laughed out loud reading this book more than I have in a long time. Michelle Buteau is hilarious. She also had the ability to create extremely emotional moments that had me bawling while I listened. This is a book that you should listen to the audio if you have the chance. Michelle narrates it, and she does an absolutely phenomenal job!

This is a memoir that will take you on a journey of Michelle’s romance situations, both absolutely hilarious and heartwarming, her friendships, her family, her job, her journey to being a mother, and her overall thoughts on life.

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The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and
Book cover flowers with corked bottle
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book phtoo

A woman helping women kill their husbands in the 1790s through her apothecary shop? That got my attention! I loved the way this story was told through present and past day! It was a beautifully written, gripping novel that I thoroughly enjoyed!

The two characters we are focused on are Nella in the 1790s and Caroline in the present day. Nella is using her apothecary shop to help women kill their husbands with poisons. She has very strict morals about this killing. It must always be men, never women. She will destroy potions and refuse service to any request that has the intent to harm another woman. I really enjoyed her character. She was smart and resourceful, but also emotionally wounded, creating a character that I was deeply invested in.

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Hadley and Grace by Suzanne Redfearn

Rating: 5 out of 5.
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Loved this book!!! It was very Thelma & Louise, but seriously so much better! I loved the addition of children, and how that changes the choices available to the women. This was a fast-paced, wild ride following two women and their children as they run from one danger after another.

I loved the characters Hadley and Grace. They were an unlikely and accidental partnering that created this amazing dynamic. The two bicker like sisters, and yet clearly care for each other. Their stories created wonderful character growth for each of them, which was honestly, extremely surprising. Running from the law, trying to protect their children, they somehow managed to have their own personal moments of inspiration and change.

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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Genre Tag "Fantasy" with image of

Okay, this book is a beautiful, amazing, stunning journey that you MUST read! I was completely and utterly in love with Addie and her invisible life. I am now a complete V.E. Schwab fan and must go devour all of the other books by her!

Addie LaRue’s deal with the devil reduces her to a fleeting, forgotten memory to every single person she meets. She can’t die, but she can’t leave a mark on the world. I loved reading about her journey as she learns how to live with each stumbling block.

Just think about it, you can’t rent a room because the person will forget that you paid, you can’t start a relationship because you are forgotten the moment you use the restroom, your family doesn’t remember you, and you live forever…

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The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Wow. This book was beautiful. Just absolutely, heartwarmingly wonderful.

This entire story was a feel-good heartwarming read that I just wanted to hug and say thank you to. Do yourself a favor and read this one!

“Sometimes,” Mr. Parnassus said, “our prejudices color our thoughts when we least expect them to. If we can recognize that, and learn from it, we can become better people.”
Quote from The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

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Dragons Don’t Dance Ballet by Jennifer Carson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This story, you guys, I was inspired by it! My kids adored it, but I did too! As a parent, I like it when a children’s book can be enjoyable for me to read, but I love it when I actually take something away from it!

Esmeralda Dragon works at the ballet company, running the spotlight for the dancers. Once the dancers go home though, she takes the stage and performs for no one but herself to the whistling of the janitor. When auditions open for the ballet company, the janitor encourages Esmeralda to audition. Everything goes a bit right, then a bit wrong for her, but at each juncture, she chooses to not give up. But, then she does give up, and she has a friend who reminds her not to.

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Alex Six by Vince Taplin

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a crazy, thrilling, all-encompassing ride! I loved it from start to finish! This is a thriller with a psychological aspect that was creepy, and I was entranced! I couldn’t put this one down!

The characters are very distinctly created. Vick is a bit off-putting at times. His inner-monologue had me laughing sometimes and cringing other times. He’s a bit crass, but also is clearly a smart, good guy who wants to do the right thing. Overall, I liked him. I think his personality made him stand out as a character and kept me extremely interested in what was coming next.

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