what i've been reading

I decided to try something new for the blog today, and I'm joining my first ever Show Us Your Books link-up with Stephanie and Jana to share the books I read in June!

Party Girl, by Rachel Hollis:  A few weeks ago I logged into my Amazon account, only to realize that I'd been the beneficiary of $17.00 in credit thanks to a class action lawsuit I didn't even know I was a part of.  I decided to download Rachel Hollis' series since I am a big fan of her website, The Chic Site, and had been dying to read her books for quite some time.  Party Girl is the first book in the series, and I read it in a few long porch sitting sessions over the course of a weekend.  The book is based on the author's life, and how she got her start as a Hollywood party planner.  I was rooting for the main character the whole time, and the book was fun, light, and made me laugh.  Which is something we could all probably use these days.

The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica: I've heard that this is similar to Gone Girl, but I didn't read that so I can't speak to the similarities.  It was about a young woman who disappears, and the chapters are each written from the point of view of a handful of characters related to her.  Each chapter is written from the particular narrator's perspective either before, during, or after the disappearance.  This was a little bit confusing, and a few times I had to flip back to the chapter title to see the time period, but overall it was an effective way to tell the story.  The story itself was gripping.  I couldn't put it down and just when I thought I had the plot figured out there was a major twist.  In one chapter I'd find myself liking a character I felt like I should hate, and hating one I felt like I should like, and then in the next chapter I'd change my mind completely.  Five stars.

The Shop on Blossom Street, by Debbie Macomber:  I read this in a few hours while I sat on the beach, and it was a perfect beach read because I didn't have to concentrate too hard on it.  I could read a few pages, people watch, read a few pages, people watch.  It was totally predictable from the first chapter, but it made me want to move to a tiny town and open my very own yarn shop.

And I don't even knit.

The Bright Forever, by Lee Martin:  Well, I think I've met or exceeded my annual quota for books about people who disappear.  This one was about a little girl who rode her bike to the library, and never came home.  The book details the investigation and I felt like I was watching an episode of Law and Order: SVU.  It was sad and to be honest, the end got weird.  I work in the child welfare field, so reading a book about a missing child and the people she should've been able to trust but who didn't protect her when it mattered wasn't enjoyable for me.  I'm glad I finished the book, but I wouldn't recommend it, and it made me want to pick up lighthearted Party Girl again.

This weekend I finally joined our local library, so I feel like I have the literary world at my fingertips.  I got three books this weekend, and two audio books.

And none of them are about mysterious disappearances!

Any suggestions for me?


I've read a few of Debbie Macomber's books here and there and enjoyed them. Nora Roberts' Bride Quartet series might be something you'd enjoy too.
If you like YA, you would probably also enjoy Sarah Dessen's books or Anna and the French Kiss. Nice summer reads :) Liane Moriarty's books are great too if you haven't read any of them! My favourite so far is What Alice Forgot. I haven't read The Good Girl yet but I didn't love Gone Girl so I'm not sure if I'd like it.
I used to work in child welfare so books like The Bright Forever affect me differently, too. I actually almost started crying (had I not been in public, I would have) reading a few scenes in Holding Smoke. I mean, I'll still read it, but with a different eye and opinions, I think.

The Good Girl is on my TBR and I have yet to get around to it.
Kristin said…
I think Gone Girl was better written than The Good Girl (which I thought was okay). Gone Girl seemed to spark a lot of these similar stories.
I remember feeling the same way about The Shop on Blossom Street when I read it a few years ago, I just loved the small town feel of the book. There are other books in the Blossom Street series that are equally as easy to read while summer lounging.

Yayyy for joining the library! I started really using the library about 3 years ago and it's made a difference in the books I choose to read. With Goodreads, this link up, and book posts on several sites my hold list is rarely empty.
Finding $17 in amazon credits is like Christmas! haha I'm not familiar with Rachel Hollis, but I'm definitely in the mood for something a little more light and fun. The Shop on Blossom Street sounds really cute too!
Hurrahhh for joining the library!

I am joining the OCNJ library too just so I have two libraries to call home.

I think I have The Good Girl on my To Read list.
Kayla MKOY said…
Those random class action lawsuits are kind of nice, ha! Free money! I love reading reviews. I may need to add one of these to my list!
If you liked The Good Girl you will definitely like Mary Kubica's other books, which I actually enjoyed more! And I was so excited when I saw all my money back from the Amazon class action, I got $48!
Rebecca Jo said…
I am a knitter so you know I loved that Debbie Macomber book - & all the books in that series :) Just easy fun reads. I have all the knitting pattern books that go with the books too.
Tanya said…
I discovered a nice chunk of change in my Amazon account too and it totally made my day! The Good Girl is already on my TBR. I like getting different narrative perspective but agree that it can sometimes be confusing to keep everyone straight. I may need to check out the Debbie Macomber book too. It sounds like a good, summer read.
woohoo free money! The Good Girl is on my kindle and your review makes me super excited to read it. yay for joining the library! my library doesn't have the best selection of 'real' books but i get a ton of ebooks from there.
The Good Girl and Pretty Baby (by the same author) is on my list! The teacher of the writing class I took last semester (who is also an author) knows her! Not that has anything to do with anything! LOL.
Sarah said…
I've been meaning to ask you for weeks if you had read any of Rachel's books! I haven't yet but they're on my list. #chictribe I read that Debbie Macomber book and it was the epitome of an easy read. I liked it because it was about people which is the very reason Christopher wouldn't like it. lol
I just downloaded the Party Girl on my Kindle! I am glad to hear it was a good one. I am a huge fan of Debbie Macomber and I can totally understand the want to move to that little town and open a yarn shop...even if I have never knitted either!
i visit my library every week so yay for joining! i loved the cartel, all the light we cannot see, unbroken.
I just read a book about a woman who moves to a small town and opens a bakery. Those books are strangely addicting.
I really liked The Good Girl too. I totally thought I had the plot figured out, and then BAM, I was wrong.
We both read The Good Girl this month! :) Blossom Street sounds like a fun read. :)
Kristin said…
I have this theory that The Good Girl was trying to be Gone Girl. TGG was okay. GG was really good. It's worth a read!
I love SVU (I judge those that don't), so I added The Bright Forever immediately.
A couple of Mary Kubica books are on my to read list. Guess I need to get on those.
Thanks for the recommendations! I like light reading during the summer, so Party Girl sounds right up my alley!

I just started First Comes Love by Emily Giffin (the author that wrote Something Borrowed, one of my favorite books of all time) and it is great so far! She is so great at developing her characters. You feel like you know them. Anyway, I'm only 4 chapters in, but it's really good so far and I have high hopes for it. I mean, Emily Giffin has never written a bad book!
BKCsquared said…
We just started reading "The Secret History" by Donna Tart. It's definitely not a new book (it was published in 1992!), but it is quite the page turner!

xo, B&K
Steph G said…
I'm on the library list for The Good Girl - I've heard lots of good things. Can't wait.
Allison said…
Welcome to the amazing world of the library! I'm seriously obsessed. I get audio books and regular books there all the time. Also an amazing resource for cds. And The Good Girl sounds like a great read!
Law_Fal said…
Great recommendations!!!!
Lux G. said…
I've never read any of these but I'll surely start reading them soon.Thanks!
Just added The Good Girl. :) I can relate to the Blossom Street comments. I have read most of the series and have loved it. It's so fluffy. It makes me feel good. I also don't knit... it's just a guilty happy pleasure. haha There were two that I loved the most and two that were really boring and less happy. But overall I like Macomber's fluff and I'm not ashamed to say it! haha XO - Alexandra

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