Show us Your Books – Book Reviews for January 2020

Hello there! Back for the first Show us Your Books post of 2020! Here I am including some brief thoughts on the books I’ve read since the last link-up in mid-December. There are some good books here if you need to expand on your 2020 TBR list!! 🙂 Check out Steph and Jana’s blogs for even more book review posts today too 🙂

The Place on DalhousieThe Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta

Note: There are two books by Melina Marchetta that would be best read before this one: Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son. It’s not necessary to read the other books first, and honestly I didn’t remember them extremely well having read them years ago but I don’t think I would have felt HALF the feelings I felt reading this book if I hadn’t familiarized myself with some of those characters earlier. This book absolutely surpassed my expectations and I had gone through the past few years never hoping or feeling the need for a sequel to those other two books but this was wonderful, lovely, emotional, and so good. Marchetta’s writing is excellent and her way of weaving a story together is just so good. I can’t recommend this one enough: it’s not too long but it has a lot of substance, it is very Australian which is super fun, it is both a coming of age and an aging gracefully story. Go get it now!! (It’s on KU too!)

Headliners (London Celebrities, #5)Headliners by Lucy Parker

I absolutely loved so much about this book. I have come to adore the entire series, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this and read about Nick and Sabrina. The story itself exceeded my expectations and was just to read during the holiday season this year. It takes place leading up to Christmas, so I loved that about it as the plot followed a bit of an “advent calendar” timeline. The work setting and supporting characters were beyond fun as were all of the mishaps that these two found themselves in. Despite all of this, the book had a level of depth that I really appreciated and I enjoyed every single second of it. If you are looking for an excellent contemporary romance, look no further. This is the 5th in a series but I’d say it stands alone – EXCEPT for quite a few events in the 4th book that would be necessary to understand in relation to the characters in this book. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

PS – isn’t this cover just perfect!?!?

The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding, #1)The Princess Plan by Julia London

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, much more than I expected to. The set-up was a bit unique, the characters were really fun, and the romance was totally swoon-worthy. I enjoyed the inter-cultural component of it which made it feel a bit different from other historical romances. Will definitely continue with the series and am dying to read the next already.Thank you to Edelweiss, Netgalley, and Harlequin for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said? It’s one of the best books ever written, period, end of story. 🙂 (I know this is still my opinion but it is just sooo good). This Audible narration is exceptional too and this was just such a gift to have this story in my ears during a busy season of the year. It felt like a hug from a good and familiar friend 🙂

You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life
You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life by Neil Pasricha

I have followed this author’s blog for years (I’m sure most people have heard of him) but I think this is the first full book of his I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In some ways, there’s nothing TOO new here if you read a lot of inspirational/self help type books but I love reading these types of books in the new year to just build myself up and keep working on a more positive and uplifting mindset. This is perfect for that. Some really great points here about reframing your story, self talk, shame, gratitude, and all of that. Highly recommend.

The Honey-Don't ListThe Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

It took me a little while to find my footing with these characters because there were certainly some very unlikeable/awkward/cringe-worthy moments, especially at the start but also throughout. The format of dual perspectives and interview components also took a second to get into. HOWEVER, by the end of this book I was pretty much definitely on board with the characters I loved and the ending pushed this into 4 star territory for me. James and Carey were so fun and I LOVED that they wrote a character with a movement disorder – I see patients with these in my work life so I just found that part really well handled and interesting. Loved the chemistry and steam between the characters too. All in all, I was not disappointed by this upcoming release but it didn’t make me laugh QUITE as hard as My Favorite Half-Night Stand 🙂 Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.  I read this for Erin’s challenge 12.0.

The Mother-in-LawThe Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

This audiobook was so well narrated and I could not listen fast enough to find out how everything worked out for this family and what actually happened. It isn’t 100% thriller-paced but it is definitely compelling. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives and the past/present switch. Ultimately, my heart broke for the difficult relationships in this family but the story itself was utterly addictive to listen to. Looking forward to reading some of her other books!! Trigger warning: infertility I read this for Erin’s challenge 12.0.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

I’d read this years ago but it is a bit more meaningful after seeing the Fantastic Beasts movies. The kindle motion version of this book is SO wonderful and beautiful and I adored it immensely!!! It’s on Kindle Unlimited so it’s worth a browse just to see all the animals move, if you’re interested in magical creatures from the HP world 🙂

StayStay by Catherine Ryan Hyde

This was an emotional but unputdownable read. I resonated so much with Lucas and his worry for others around him. I was saddened by the difficult events and relationships in this book, but ultimately hopeful. In some ways, probably because of the era, this reminded me a tiny smidge of one of my most beloved books, The Wednesday Wars – but it is more intense than that and not written for middle grade. I really need to read more of her backlist because this writing is incredible. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.  

Currently reading: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain (comes out today!) and Mermaid Inn by Jenny Holiday

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