Books on my Shelf: Vaca Reads

I was on vacation in Aruba last week (the best!) and I was so happy to have so much time to read. Reading is one of my favorite things ever, especially on vacation.

I got to read so many great books and have some awesome recommendations for your summer reading list!

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Here is exactly what I read, what I thought, in the order that I read them:

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This was a great mystery and suspense read. I’ve read a ton of Lisa Scottoline books and loved them all. This one was different from her crime and mystery books because instead of being about a lawyer, it focuses on a judge. This took barely any time to really get into the story and was all around worth reading. Very suspenseful!

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Sophie Kinsella’s books are always so funny. She has such an easy way of writing and telling a story that I can never put her books down. I loved the characters in this book and the story that developed around them. This book was a little bit predictable – but in a good way. You love what you know is going to happen next and can’t stop reading to ensure that it does. It’s that kind of story.

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Wow. I loved this book. I was a little bit weary of it because it didn’t get amazing reviews on Good Reads. It was reviewed to be more…average. But, I think those reviews were oh-so-wrong. I loved this story and seriously could not put it down! I loved escaping to the Nantucket island where this book took place and getting lost in the minds of the characters. I really loved how it was set in all of their voices rather than just one characters. Definitely a fast paced book and a perfect summer read.

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Nicholas Sparks always writes a good story and this is no exception. I will but a warning that this is an emotional read. It definitely had me going. I don’t want to give up too much – but have tissues nearby! Totally worth reading.

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At first I was really skeptical about this book. The story line of it seemed really weird. But, I have to say it turned out to be an amazing tale. It was even educational and eye-opening. I loved the way the female took on a different and unique role in the novel and thought all of the characters and problems surrounding them were developed really well. This book did a great way of dealing with a real-world issue (that doesn’t get nearly enough attention) in a touching fictional light. I can’t wait to read more Kristin Hannah books!

What have been your favorite reads so far this summer?

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Books on my Shelf: Picoult Oldie but Goodie

Now that it’s summertime, I’ve been trying to read as much as I can. Between the beach, the boat, sitting on the deck, and vacation…it’s hands-down the best time to read.

Anyways, I just finished an old Jodi Picoult book that I’d never read. Second Glance started out weird but ended up being oh-so-good. And intriguing. And weird…in a good way.

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I’m someone that loves weird, strange, and slightly creepy stories. This was right up my alley.

I will say that it starts out a little slow and confusing. It’s not an initial hook like many of Picoult’s other reads. But, it’s more than worth trudging through the slow beginning to get to the fast-paced, suspenseful, I-can’t-put-this-down middle and end.

One of the most interesting things about this book is that the middle section is a major flashback. Without giving too much away, this book is unique in the way it spans across time, which makes the story super cool.

This is a great summer read if you’re into mysteries and suspense.

Ways to Welcome {Summer}

The weather has finally turned and it’s time to get your tan on, soak up the rays, attend and host barbecues, and head out on the boat. It’s SUMMER.

My favorite season by far, it exudes warmth and fun, fun, FUN. It’s an understatement to say I am happy about the season finally being here. I feel like we suffered in the cold for way, way too long this winter (um, goodbye to a blizzard named Nemo).

Anyways, there are so many ways to celebrate summer’s arrival! Here are some of my favorites:

summer

Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand | Pure Paradise Body Wash | What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty | South of the Border Bon Shopper | Essie Summer 2013 Collection

  1. Incorporate citrus! – Citrus is without a doubt the flavor of the season, so bring it into your life in one way or another. You can try baking a citrusy recipe (lemon bars, anyone?) or even just adding it to your cooking or drinks. I personally love lime.
  2. Switch your handbag (and all your accessories!) – Switch out your handbag to a more summer-friendly option. I know that in the winter I tend to stick to black, while in the summer I love using my bright pink JPK bag and fun green Longchamp.
  3. Change your scent – summer comes with a whole new pallette of scents – so take advantage of them! Switch your body wash, lotion, and perfume to something that you love and that reminds you of summer!
  4. Paint your nails – every occasion calls for a perfect nail color, so why not paint yours in a festive summer color? There are so many great ones out there that really make a statement!
  5. Stock up on beach reads – go to Barnes & Noble and stock up on some fabulous summer reading books! There are so many to choose from and this is one of my favorite things about the summer.

What are you doing to welcome summer?

Books on my Shelf: A Different Kind of Read

I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to. Or blogging nearly as much as I would like to be. But I am definitely starting to get back on track…with both of those things.

That being said, this week I finished a book I’d been reading: Once Upon a Time, There Was You by Elizabeth Berg.

I picked this book up in the bargain book section of Barnes & Noble because I thought it sounded really good. And it turns out, my gut feeling was right. It was a great read.

The great thing about this book that it was so different. Berg does a great job touching upon underlying themes that she doesn’t exactly mention, but you know they’re there. You can feel them. Things like loneliness. Letting go. Lost love. Those things that everyone can relate to on some level, big or small. That’s what it was about this book that made it worth reading.

If you’re looking for something totally out of the ordinary, I’d definitely recommend this book. It’s not at all what you would expect after reading the book jacket, but it’s still a very great story.

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Books on my Shelf: Don’t Go

I’ve definitely blogged before about Lisa scottoline books and how much I love them. She’s definitely one of my favorite authors. And that’s why I have been so excited to blog about her latest book Don’t Go.

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My mom gave me this book last week and I started it that night, woke up, and finished it the next morning. It was so, so good.
In this novel, she writes such a compelling story. One of the things I loved most about it was how different it’s been from her previous recent novels. I mean, it was similar in the sense that the story draws you in insanely, but different because of the characters and they’re unique situations. I especially loved that the point of view m a male perspective.
This book made me realize, once again, that scottoline is such a versatile
Writer. She writes her novels in so
Many different tones and styles, all of which are interesting in their own way. As a writer, that’s a huge talent.
I definitely recommend Don’t Go as a must read.

Books on my Shelf: Series I Wish Contintued

I love reading and I love finding a good series. I get so addicted to them! Seriously, though. I stalk release dates and after I finally get the book, practically lock myself in my room so I can read it cover to cover.

But all series must come to an end. That’s the sad part. I have seen many of my favorite series end. It’s depressing!

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Some series I can live without, but some I desperately wish would make a comeback. Here they are:

  1. The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty – I love these books! The main character was so cool and I loved reading about her life. McCafferty wrote about J. Darling with such humor and ease that I would have read fifty more books in the series.
  2. Harry Potter – I mean…duh. I don’t even need to say anything.
  3. Private by Kate Brian – this is probably my favorite series ever. I was creepily obsessed with it. It was kind of the first PLL for me. It’s just so scandalous. I would have read that young adult series for literally ever.
  4. Stolarz Series – I have blogged about these book a lot because they’re so good. So suspenseful and creepy (in the best way!). I would have loved a few more of these.
  5. Gossip Girl – I was such a GG junkie back in the day. Yes, I love the show, but the books were my first love. It would be so fun to read what adult S and B are up to in the book version now!

I know there will be series to come that I’ll love. But, I’ll always miss these.

What are your favorite current series that I should read? Which do you miss the most?

Girls’ Gift Guide

Are you looking for a quick gift for one of your friends? Sometimes it can be tough to think of the right thing to get someone. Especially for people who seem to have everything.

But don’t worry…here are quick, easy, and cute gifts for every friend on your list:

bookworm

Vera Bradley Book Light | Potbelly Bookends | You are Here Bookmark Pad

beach

Lilly Insulated Beach Cooler | Tile Beach Towel | Aqua Floral Beach Towel

girly girl

Large Cosmetic | Essie Play Date | Essie Madison Ave-Hue | Essie Head Mistress

housewife

Bistro Kitchen Towels | Macaron Oven Mitt and Hot Pad | Squirrel Candleholder

relaxed

Tie-Dye Days Set | Coconut Lime Breeze Bubble Bath | True Blue Foot Soak

What are your best quick and easy gift ideas?