The Joy in Jolley

Book of the month club

Book 19- When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger

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Book 19 review: 🖤🖤🖤🖤/5🖤  When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
Length 352 pages
Welcome to Greenwich, Connecticut, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton does not do the suburbs. After leaving Miranda Priestly, she’s been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

When Karolina Hartwell, a gorgeous former supermodel, is arrested for a DUI, her fall from grace is merciless. Her senator-husband leaves her, her Beltway friends disappear, and the tabloids pounce.

In Karolina, Emily finds her comeback opportunity. But she quickly learns Greenwich is a world apart and that this comeback needs a team approach.

So it is that Emily, the scorned Karolina, and their mutual friend Miriam, a powerful attorney turned stay-at-home suburban mom, band together to not only navigate the social land mines of suburban Greenwich but win back the hearts of the American public. Along the way, an indispensable ally emerges in one Miranda Priestly.

With her signature wit, Lauren Weisberger offers an alluring look into a sexy, over-the-top world—and proves it’s style and substance together that gets the job done. My thoughts: hick lit is my favorite type of book as much as I try to venture into other genres. They are just feel good books, easy books. Some are a bit cheesy to me at times but Lauren Weisberger always delivers great books and this book is no different. It's a great book about girl power, friendship and redemption! I recommend this as a great pool time book!

Book 18- How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

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Book 18 review: 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤/5🖤. How To Walk Away by Katherine Center
Length 320 pages
Margaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked for so hard and so long: a new dream job, a fiancé she adores, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a brief, tumultuous moment. 
In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. First there is her fiancé, Chip, who wallows in self-pity while simultaneously expecting to be forgiven. Then, there's her sister Kit, who shows up after pulling a three-year vanishing act. Finally, there's Ian, her physical therapist, the one the nurses said was too tough for her. Ian, who won't let her give in to her pity, and who sees her like no one has seen her before. Sometimes the last thing you want is the one thing you need. Sometimes we all need someone to catch us when we fall. And sometimes love can find us in the least likely place we would ever expect. 
How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best―a masterpiece of a novel that is both hopeful and hilarious; truthful and wise; tender and brave.

My thoughts with spoile: OW did this book surprise me! From the minute I started reading I could not put it down. I love the family love story in it just as much as the romantic one and Maggie's determination and strength is so admirable. I fell in love with Ian just as quick as Maggie. The only part I could have done without was when Maggie went to Chip's wedding...I felt like they could have left that part out. But maybe I am just really not a fan of Chip! 🙃🤔 This is a must read, feel good book.

Book 17- Circe by Madeline Miller

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Book 17 review: 🖤🖤/5🖤 
Circe by Madeline Miller
Length- 400 pages

I‭n the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.

My thoughts: I am so disappointed with my overall thoughts of Circe, I mean it has over 800 5-star reviews on Amazon and is a #1 best seller! This book is beautifully written and the descriptions given are absolutelly amazing. I cannot even begin to imagine the time that went into writing such a detailed novel. With that said there were SO many characters that it was hard to follow at times and I cringe😬 writing this but I found it pretty boring! I felt like it was going to really pick up when she was banished to a deserted island but I felt like it kind of drug on... I love that this is written from a females point of view and the family dynamics were interesting!  PLEASE give this book a try though, 99.5% of people that read it really love it!

Book 16- The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

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Book 16 review: 🖤🖤🖤🖤/5🖤. The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
Length: 336 pages

A night out. A few hours of fun. That’s all it was meant to be.
They call themselves the May Mothers—a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.

When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar,they are looking for a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed. 
My thoughts: I like to pride myself on figuring out book endings especially mysteries before the author reveals anything to us but this book had me guessing until the very end. I was so completely surprised by the kidnapper! I loved the mom friendships that were formed in this book and that they show a realness to motherhood that was refreshing to read about. I believe I also read that this is the author's first book and she did an amazing job! This is a must read if you like a tamer psychological thriller. Note: just maybe not a great idea to read it on Mother's Day like I did, lol🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

Book 15- Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall

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Book 15 review 🖤🖤/5🖤. Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall
Length: 288 pages

Publishers summary: A spellbinding, darkly twisted novel about desire and obsession, and the complicated lines between truth and perception, Our Kind of Cruelty introduces Araminta Hall, a chilling new voice in psychological suspense.
This is a love story. Mike’s love story.

Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely, life before he met Verity Metcalf. V taught him about love, and in return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job; he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together.

It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his e-mails or phone calls.
It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.

It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move, he’ll know just when to come to her rescue . . .

My thoughts: NOPE didn't love this book (at this point I am second guessing my botm club selections all together). I loved her writing style but was so confused by this story and the ending I had to reread it three times to make sure I was really following along correctly. I think the hardest part for me was that this story was only told from Mike's point of view...which I understand is the point but since he is a crazy person the book was hard to follow. The whole time I was wondering if he was reallly this nuts or if Verity was insane also?! Give me your thoughts...what did you guys make of the very last page?? Is V nuts too??

Book 14- As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

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Book 14 review 🖤🖤🖤🖤/5🖤

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

Length: 395 pages

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Publishers summary: In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters--Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa--a chance at a better life.

But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without--and what they are willing to do about it.

As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book! it is the first book I have ever read about the spanish flu and about working and living in a funeral parlor but  with that combined and all the death that occurs this is also a great story about love, forgiveness and family! This book is not a light-hearted read but it is a moving story that will stay with you even after you have finished

Book 13- Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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Book 13 review 🖤🖤/5🖤

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Length: 369 pages

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Publishers summary: Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?

My thoughts: This is the take all for disturbing stories...I mean it, what the hell! It is the saddest story and I cannot stand books with kids that are abused, so if you are sensitive to that this is not for you. It does have a love story that is a bit "off" and I just thought it was so sad how much Laurel and her ex-husband still loved each other but due to all the loss and pain they endured could not be together. Poppy is quite the character but she seemed a little creepy to me. And the nutcase tutor, oh my goodness. This story made me want to put my kids in a bubble and keep them there!

Book 12- Not That I could Tell by Jessica Strawser

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Book 12 review: 🖤🖤/5🖤

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Length: 336 pages

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Publishers summary: When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.


By Monday morning, one of them is gone.


Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce―and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her―and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions―especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.


As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors―and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.


My thoughts: This is not one of my favorite reads but I didn't exactly hate it either. It is a middle of the road mystery that is pretty easy to solve early on...there is one twist at the end of the book that I was really not expecting but loved! This is a great book if you like a mystery but are not into the psychological thrillers that are all the rage right now.

Book 10- White Rose Black Forest by Erin Dempsey

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Book 10 review 🖤🖤🖤🖤/5🖤
White Rose Black Forest by Erin Dempsey
Book length- 270 pages 

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Publishers Summary: In the shadows of World War II, trust becomes the greatest risk of all for two strangers.
December 1943. In the years before the rise of Hitler, the Gerber family’s summer cottage was filled with laughter. Now, as deep drifts of snow blanket the Black Forest, German dissenter Franka Gerber is alone and hopeless. Fervor and brutality have swept through her homeland, taking away both her father and her brother and leaving her with no reason to live.
That is, until she discovers an unconscious airman lying in the snow wearing a Luftwaffe uniform, his parachute flapping in the wind. Unwilling to let him die, Franka takes him to her family’s isolated cabin despite her hatred for the regime he represents. But when it turns out that he is not who he seems, Franka begins a race against time to unravel the mystery of the airman’s true identity. Their tenuous bond becomes as inseparable as it is dangerous. Hunted by the Gestapo, can they trust each other enough to join forces on a mission that could change the face of the war and their own lives forever?

My thoughts: This story drops you right in the middle of WW2 and does not waste time getting to the plot, which I love. It also has great character development which sometimes lacks when they jump right into the story. A surprisingly great love story too!

Book of the Month Club

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For the last few months I have been reading and just posting my reviews on Instagram and not on my blog like I had planned. So today while it was storming outside like crazy I got all caught up on my book review posts, they seem a bit impersonal because I just copied and pasted them from Instagram in order to save time. I am hoping to do better from here on out but I cannot promise that every time because my two little guys keep me busy. 

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Almost all of the books I read I purchase on my Kindle but recently I signed up for the Book of the Month Club and I absolutely love it! Every month they showcase five new books. They narrow it down from hundreds of new releases...sometimes the books haven't even been released to the public and you get to read them first!!  Each month you pay $14.99 and can select one book (they are hardback too) and shipping is free. I like to also purchase other books to ship with my selection because they are heavily discounted. This also would make a great gift!

If you use my referral link below you get a free book in addition to your first month's book that is two books for $14.99 with free shipping!! Oh and they ship to you really fast.

Happy reading!!