Recent Short Book Reviews of ARCs and Audiobooks (Show Us Your Books Link Up!)

Steph mentioned this on her Instagram stories the other day and I agree – where did this month of reading go?! It feels like we were all just here chatting about books for Show Us Your Books with Steph and Jana. I also feel like I’ve read nothing – which is far from true, but my reading life has been a bit helter skelter lately. I still read plenty of books but not gonna talk about all of them because some aren’t worth sharing 😉 What have you been reading lately?! The good news is that I DID finally catch up on my Goodreads goal, but we’ll see how November and December shake out! 🙂

GO check out the link up and see what everyone else has been reading!!

Books I loved Lately:

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, NewfoundlandThe Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was absolutely delightful. I laughed a few times and teared up at other times. It was so fascinating to read this story about a part of 9/11 that isn’t often discussed (besides the musical COME FROM AWAY). The book basically shares a lot of small stories about all of the flights that got re-routed to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland after no planes were allowed into the US following the terrorist attacks. The residents of the town opened their homes and their lives to these stranded passengers and it was just amazing to read about. The audiobook was phenomenally narrated.

The Comfort BookThe Comfort Book by Matt Haig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This little book was just as excellent as I expected it to be and I definitely need to go through and write down a bunch of the actual little quotes to remember often. Matt Haig has such a way of making others feel seen.

The Fastest Way To FallThe Fastest Way To Fall by Denise Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really loved this book a lot – I’m not surprised – I also loved the first book by this author earlier this year. This is contemporary romance at its best – multi-dimensional and realistic characters, a unique and different “meet-cute”, not a LOT of extreme angst but enough character conflict to keep things interesting, and best of all, happiness at the end (hope that’s not a spoiler – isn’t that we expect in this genre?) 🙂

In this book, we are introduced to Britta, a journalist who is trying to advance her career and hopes to do so by taking followers along on a health journey on an app. I could relate to this having pursued a similar app myself – it was very relatable and the approach taken to health felt right to me. Britta meets Wes, her coach on the app, who she is inspired by and grows close to — but there are some real life conflicts of interest that neither of them are quite aware of, and that’s about all I’ll say!!! The way this evolves was super fun to read – I especially enjoyed all of Britta’s social media posts about her journey on the FitMe app. There were some appearances from Jake & Naya from the author’s first book and I enjoyed that a lot.

State of TerrorState of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This political thriller was excellent – so captivating and hard to put down and quite a pageturner.

(also, #SorryNotSorry but I don’t intend to stop posting book pics with our deck view anytime soon – I can’t be the only one obsessed with it 😍).

STATE Of TERROR is a political thriller (i.e., a bit of a departure from Three Pines for Louise Penny) about a fictional female Secretary of State, Ellen Adams, under a new government in the US post the unbelievably inane fictional 4 years of the “Eric Dunn” administration. I think this book will appeal to the masses, especially if you enjoy a fast-paced story line (the characters in this book don’t spend any of the pages sleeping LOL) and it reminded me of a James Patterson book or the feelings I experienced while reading The Da Vinci code almost 20 years ago. At one point I had goosebumps and my heart was racing, though I am finding myself very immersed in my reading life lately 😂

Fans of the Gamache series will also enjoy some parts of this book near the end 😊😊

The audiobook narration was excellent but I needed to own the paperback as well. I loved this one so much and would highly recommend it.

The Love HypothesisThe Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I sat down to read this book, read the first 50% of it without even realizing it, went to sleep and then woke up and finished the rest. These characters were so fun to be with and the premise of this story (fake relationship in an academic setting) felt so original and different and nerdy and well done. I loved it. In some ways, it gave me a few similar vibes to The Hating Game and Christina Lauren books but it was very much its own book. Adam and Olive and their lovely friends were great to spend time with between these pages and if you are a fan of contemporary romance I believe you’ll find this among one of the best in the genre this year much like I did.

PS – if you’re wondering what my 10 year old daughter thinks of the cover as she saw it lying around, the answer to that would be “ick”. 😉

Books I Really Liked Very Much:

The Forgotten GardenThe Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My dad often buys us books for Christmas and he bought me this Kate Morton book in about 2009 and I finally got around to reading it! I’ve read a few of her books but they are such a time commitment (for some reason) so the audiobook helped me get through it. Her writing is excellent and her stories always come together in a magnificent way but I do find her books daunting.

The Forgotten Garden was truly great though – I really liked it and would recommend if you enjoy historical fiction with dual timelines… Just know that you’ll have wished a few excerpts were maybe edited out. I definitely enjoyed the characters and a few of the twists.

My favourite of hers is still The Secret Keeper!

November 9November 9 by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I binged this book in less than a day and found it utterly impossible to tear myself away from. I really enjoyed that the audiobook had two narrators – it was good! While there were parts of this book I didn’t COMPLETELY love, the story itself was absolutely captivating and the writing was very good. It was hard not to fall completely for these two damaged characters. I’m sure I’ll think of them every Nov 9 from now on 😉

The Witches of New YorkThe Witches of New York by Ami McKay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished this book on audio recently but was very glad of my hardcover to read along with as well. The audiobook is exceptionally narrated by my Julia Whelan and it added to my enjoyment immensely. It took me quite a while to engage properly with these characters but this book is wonderfully written and it is obvious that a great deal of research and attention to detail went into it. This is my first book by Amy McKay who is American born but lives in Nova Scotia. It won’t be my last! It was perfect to listen to leading up to Halloween. If you enjoy historical fiction & some witchy history, this would be a good choice!

The Certainty of ChanceThe Certainty of Chance by Jacquelyn Middleton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really, really enjoyed the characters in this book (both the main characters and the friends and family) – they were delightful and sweet. The setting was perfect – London around the holidays sounds amazing and it was so fun that one of the characters does tours so we all kind of got to experience this (I really want to go visit!!!!). Ultimately, it was a fun holiday read that I found hard to put down.

The Brightest Star in ParisThe Brightest Star in Paris by Diana Biller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I adored Diana Biller’s first book and this one was quite good as well. I did find one of the main characters in this book a bit less likeable and though I enjoyed the Paris setting, I missed the rest of the Moores for the majority of the book. I found this to be a great read for this time of year with the ghost elements, and all of the ballet info was quite good as was the sister relationship portrayed in these pages. Ultimately, however, this book just didn’t make me FEEL quite as deeply as the first and it was hard to really invest in the love story in the same way as I did with Widow of Rose House, so it lacked a little something.

I will definitely still pursue all of her future books though!!

Books that Were Totally Fine:

Heard It in a Love SongHeard It in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the audiobook narration of this book, but overall, the plot felt a little discombobulated at times and I didn’t connect with it nearly the way I would have liked to.

The Ex HexThe Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was allllllll over Instagram and I desperately wanted to read it, especially after a couple of my other witchy type books didn’t pan out very well. While I enjoyed much of the plot, I did NOT enjoy the audiobook narration, so that was my bad for continuing it. I really did like the characters though and look forward to continuing this series with the next book! It was highly unbelievable at times, of course, but what else is fiction for?!

I also continued The Keeper of the Lost Cities series, read the first in Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories series for my kiddos, and read the 4th Pages and Co book as a read-aloud to them (and a few other middle grade books). It was great!

What are you excited to read this month?! I am going to start 11/22/63 – WISH ME LUCK! 😉

9 responses to “Recent Short Book Reviews of ARCs and Audiobooks (Show Us Your Books Link Up!)”

  1. Savvy Southern Chic Avatar
    Savvy Southern Chic

    I loved November 9. I always enjoy Colleen Hoover’s work.


  2. Poop. I have heard it in a love song from Netflix and I’m not in the mood for meh LOL.

    Loved the Kate Morton, although I standardly think her books can stand to lose 150-200 pages without impacting them.

    Hello please don’t stop posting deck book photos! We love them


  3. shootingstarsmag Avatar

    I thought The Ex Hex was cute, but nothing too amazing. I am curious about the next one.
    I have November 9 and while I doubt I’ll be reading it today, I DO want to read it this month.

    Lauren @


  4. I liked State of Terror too.


  5. I enjoy reading Kate Morton although her novels are quite long 🙂 This one doesn’t sound like one I have read previously, so I will have to check it out.


  6. I really liked November 9. The Love Hypothesis sounds like a book I’ll enjoy! Just added it to my to read list!


  7. Yes, please to The Comfort Book! I’m getting my mom State of Terror for Christmas, meaning I’ll borrow it back to read in January. 😀


  8. Wow you did read a lot and so many of them sounds like fantastic books. I need a new audiobook to listen to so I’m going to request The Day the World Came to Town.


  9. I loved The Day the World Came to Town and only recently heard about Come From Away! I have been wanting to read a Kate Morton book! I actually started reading The Secret Keeper and stopped after the first few pages because I emotionally couldn’t handle what I thought was about to happen, LOL! I think I can try again.

    Here are my recent reads, if interested!


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