Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I cannot begin to express how incredibly amazing this story was. Colleen Hoover creates characters that are absolutely true to life. They are messy and complicated and full of emotion. She takes those people and places them in impossible situations and creates this beautiful story that you literally cannot put down.

Kenna has just been released from prison and then a transitional housing place, and is now moving back to the town she used to live in. With no family or friends, she feels alone in the world, and her focus is on getting the chance to meet the daughter she gave birth to and then immediately lost custody of due to her long incarceration. There are roadblocks for Kenna at every turn. She’s in a town that hasn’t forgotten the terrible thing she did, and the parents of her boyfriend that died have custody of her child. Can she find forgiveness for herself and from others?

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The Passing Storm by Christine Nolfi

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was my first book by Christine Nolfi, and I found her writing to be captivating! She writes with such amazing emotion; you can’t help but become invested in the characters and the story!

The Passing Storm introduces the reader to Rae, a mother trying to cope after the unimaginable loss of her daughter. As Rae tries to heal and move forward in some fashion, we watch her work through her grief. She takes a chance on a young teen who needs help, and through him, we hope she can find forgiveness.

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Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Man, what is it about Colleen Hoover’s writing that just breaks me?? Ugly Love made me ugly cry. It was another wonderful book from Hoover’s amazing mind.

The story is told through present day and through Miles’ past. The narration alternates between Tate and Miles, and it unfolds in little pieces that make it impossible to put this one down. I literally read this in a day, and it’s been a long time since I have done that.

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30 Things I Love about Myself by Radhika Sanghani

White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Alright, in a world where we are finally opening up about mental health and the importance of self-care, I feel like this book is so needed! Nina goes on quite the journey from sitting a jail cell after a break up to being a self-loving successful 30-year-old. I was right there along with her, and I spent a lot of time thinking about myself and ways that I can love myself more.

The premise of this story is a woman who follows the advice of a self-help book over 12 months and challenges herself to find 30 things she loves about herself. In the process she goes through awful downs and amazing highs, and finds ways to handle all of them.

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The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was just a haunting, sad, and yet beautiful story. Chamberlain is such an outstanding storyteller, and I have loved each book I have read by her.

The characters are so compelling and impossible to walk away from. Once you start this story, you will need to see it through because there will be so many answers you need!

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Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Wow, this book took me on a ride. I really don’t want to give any spoilers on this one, so I’m not going to give a synopsis. Read the back of the book if you want or go in blind, but it’s amazing.

I loved the story. I was in love with the location in some of the story. I found myself googling so I could see what the character was experiencing. I fell in the love with the characters and really connected to the MC. I was grieving the losses that she had, as well as celebrating the joys. This was a wonderful story that will stay with me for a long time!

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With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
With or Without You book with painted woman
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Oh wow, this book is a beautiful, emotional story that feels like a real view into someone’s life. With or Without You is a look into a middle-aged life that hasn’t gone quite as expected. As events unfold, the reflection on where one’s life is now and where one thought it would be take the reader on a beautiful journey!

The characters are the stand out win from this story. You get to know them and you connect with them, and you ultimately cry and celebrate with them. I loved that this story made you friends with the characters. While this was an emotional journey, this is still a light at the end of the tunnel, and the character growth throughout the story provides the reader with satisfied and comforted feeling.

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When She Comes Back by Ronit Plank

Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
When She Comes Bac
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When She Comes Back is an absolutely amazing, yet heartbreaking memoir. The strength of Ronit throughout this story is amazing, and it speaks volumes to the determination to overcome that she had.

Her story takes us through her parental abandonment of her and her absolutely devastating childhood. Ronit provides a view of her life through the lens of hope rather than devastation though, which makes this emotional read one that provides an uplifting feeling for the reader.

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The Accidental Suffragist by Galia Gichon

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
The Accidental Suffragist book cover of woman's outline with woman's face filling outline
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a wonderful view of the Suffragist movement! I loved having one woman as the MC. I was able to follow her story through her work, her homelife, and how the movement fits into all the facets of her life.

Helen, the main character, is one that drives inspiration and action. As she is pulled into the suffragist movement, she begins to have the movement impact her life, her marriage, and her safety. I really enjoyed Helen’s story, and it’s going to stay with me for a long time.

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The Wave by Kristen Crusoe

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Cover The Wave with large wave
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book wrecked me a little bit. This is definitely an emotional read, and it is one that I will provide some content warnings for (see below). It is a parent’s worst nightmare and their biggest fear coming true on the page. Crusoe takes that terrifying story and brings life to it, providing character insight into the situation, and bringing the reader on a journey.

The author has truly written a beautiful story that is hard to put down. The character journeys are wonderful, and Crusoe brings so much detail and depth to them. I found this to be a quick read, and one that I didn’t want to put down. I needed to know what was going to happen.

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Serious Little Catholics by Kathy Gereau

Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
Serious Little Catholics book cover with photo of three children
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a wonderful memoir! Kathy’s personality is fun and really comes out through the words on the page! I really enjoyed that she writes this book with light-hearted stories and a lovely attitude.

Serious Little Catholics is a story of growing up Catholic. We see Kathy’s thoughts and perspective of being in Catholic school and beyond. She tells stories that make you laugh, and she provides great context around the faith that she grew up in.

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When in Vanuatu by Nicki Chen

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Cover "When in Vanuatu" with hand making
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is one of those stories that gave me such an expanded view of a location I didn’t know a lot about. I loved the setting in the Philippines.

When in Vanuatu is a story that follows Diana and her husband to Manila. We follow her focus on having a baby, and the struggles she has. At her doctor’s encouragement to destress, she moves to Vanuatu.

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