I’ve been flying through audio books since my last Audio Book Review post. I am addicted to listening to books and have been bingeing through 1-2 books a week on 1.5 speed while I’m running errands, doing chores around the house, cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry, taking a bath and sometimes I even pop my AirPods in during the middle of the night if I wake up and can’t go back to sleep.
Many of my recent books were reader recommendations so THANK YOU for sharing your favorites with me! I am also working my way through my friend Abby’s book recommendations (mostly historical fiction), and have also recently listened to several books from Veronika’s book review posts!
Rating 3/5: Phew — I finally finished The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah! It was such a loooong book, and while I thought it was good enough to finish, it was just so slow and heartbreaking. Unpopular opinion, but I liked The Four Winds so much better and would recommend that book before this one!
Book Summary: In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says good-bye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gaëtan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France—a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
Rating 4.5/5: I recently flew through Verity by Colleen Hoover in two days at the recommendation of another reader. Similar to The Push, you’ll love or hate this book! This thriller requires so many “warnings” that I can’t capture them all. It is a deeply disturbing, incredibly DARK, sexually explicit and mindblowing. At times I was so anxious and horrified that I found myself gasping out loud. I wanted to put it down at times to take a break…but I couldn’t. It’s a twisted page turner. This book is definitely not for everyone (particularly parents), but if you want a book that will rock your world…and leave you stunned…this is it.
Book Summary: Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
Rating 5/5: A few weeks ago I devoured The One by John Marrs in two days. This is one of my very favorite books I’ve read this year and only the second one I’ve rated 5 out of 5 stars. The plot was sooooooooooo fascinating and the characters were unique and well developed. I recommend reading this book and then watch the Netflix series afterwards (although the series is very different from the book)!
Book Summary: How far would you go to find The One?
A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner the one you are genetically made for.
That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.
Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Rating 4/5: We just finished Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb and it was a hit among all the girls in Community Group. In fact, this was probably one of my favorite books we’ve read as a group. This candid memoir is highly entertaining and packed with humor which allowed us to fly through it in two sessions. The characters were all interesting and it was fascinating to deep dive into both sides of the couch which led to lively discussions. I highly recommend this tell-all book to anyone, but especially to those who have been in therapy or are interested in demystifying the therapy process! And this book is currently being developed as a TV series with Eva Longoria too!
Book Summary: One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.
As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives — a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys — she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.
With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is revolutionary in its candor, offering a deeply personal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds and providing the rarest of gifts: a boldly revealing portrait of what it means to be human, and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.
The Echo Wife
Rating 3.5/5: I waited 8 weeks to finally get my hands on this book from the library! While this book had an absolutely incredible story line, I felt like it fell flat. I got through it in two days at 2x speed yet it still felt like it took forever to finish. There were some great twists and turns but overall it was a slow read.
Book Summary: I’m embarrassed, still, by how long it took me to notice. Everything was right there in the open, right there in front of me, but it still took me so long to see the person I had married.
It took me so long to hate him.
Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be.
And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband.
Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and both Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up.
Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty.
Behind Closed Doors
Rating 4.5/5: Woah, woah, woah. I immediately reserved this book after reading Veronika’s review and agree with it 100%. This psychological thriller is wildly disturbing, twisted, bizarre and fascinating. I could not stop listening to this book and was completely blown away by the storytelling and the ending. At times I felt the story was a bit ridiculous and implausible otherwise I would have given it a 5/5.
Book Summary: Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.
Rating 4.5/5: Another book I could not stop listening to!!! This psychological thriller is all about a missing child and there are so many twists and turns — and a wild ending! It is a roller coaster of suspense that will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time! Highly recommend!!!
Book Summary: Overwhelmed by tragedy, a woman desperately tries to save her marriage in award-winning author Jennifer Hillier’s Little Secrets, a riveting novel of psychological suspense.
All it takes to unravel a life is one little secret…
Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix.
The After Series: After (Book 1)
Rating 2.5/5: I have SO many (very unpopular) thoughts on this book…the first was “what the hell did I just read?” after I finished it. This is a wildly popular series (over a billion reads) with rave reviews and was turned into a movie. I binged through it in two days…but was mad the entire time. I hated the characters so much that I found myself getting SO angry that I wanted to stop listening but also wanted to keep going to see how the story unfolded. And there are TWO more books to go!!! I want to finish the trilogy because I hear it gets SO good and yet I don’t. The writing is mediocre, there is no plot and yet it’s like a car crash that I couldn’t look away from. Also, warning: This is a very sexually explicit book (similar or maybe more explicit than 50 Shades of Grey).
Book Summary: Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.
But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.
But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.
He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.
Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?
Unless…could this be love?
Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!
There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER … Life will never be the same.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Rating 3.5/5: I am a sucker for a story with an unusual premise — and this book definitely offered that and drew me in! The characters are well developed, the writing is absolutely lovely and the narrator is excellent. However, the story unfolds at a slow pace and is repetitive at times so it took me a little longer to get through. This tale will take you on an emotional and complex rollercoaster as the story flips back and forth between two timelines — present and past.
Book Summary: A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
Find other book reviews here!
Have you reas The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave? I’m listening to it now and cannot stop!!! Check it out!
Adding this to my library list!!! Thank you!!!
Katie P NC says
I started this book last night and I had to force myself to put it down so I could go to bed.
Christina, your book recommendations are always SPOT ON to how I feel about the same books. I love that you post these, I just put The One on my reserve list after reading. I’d read everything else! 🙂
Thanks too for the Uptown Charlotte restaurant recommendations, two of the places weren’t open so we ended up at Haymaker for drinks before the baseball game. We had an absolute blast!
YAY!!! This makes me SO happy to hear!!! We LOVE Haymaker!!!
I’m loving your book reviews. I’m in two book clubs but read a lot more than two per month. I just finished The invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Even thought it’s not what I usually read, I thought it was a good story and a good read. I’m looking forward to your other recommendations.
So many amazing recommendations! Thank you so much x