Monthly Book Review | January

Book Reviews

HEY! Welcome to my first book review here!!

I typically read about 5-6 books a month of various genres from non-fiction autobiographies to the super lame chick-lit rom coms. LOL. I definitely didn’t think I was going to make it to my usual number of books this month just because I was in a funk and trying to get back into a routine with my kid’s homeschool after the holidays.

Shall we begin?

1. American Royals by Katherine McGee


What if America had a royal family? If you can’t get enough of Harry and Meghan or Kate and William, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha.

Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown. 
Two girls vying for the prince’s heart. 
This is the story of the American royals.

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American.

My thoughts:

Honestly, waste of time. This author had a HUGE opportunity to make this book well and for me, it just flopped. It felt so vapid, boring at times and kind of predictable. I know that with “rom-com” type books, they’re all pretty predicable, but this was bad. I saw one review of the book after I finished, and someone equated this book to an analog version of the Kardashians. The characters are terrible and whiny about all the things. I was half tempted to read the remaining 3 books, but I didn’t feel like my time would be well used by doing so.

My Rating: ⭐ 1/5

2. Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

Synopsis :

When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as a serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Now 20 years later, Chloe is a psychologist in private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to get. Sometimes, though, she feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. And then a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, and seeing parallels that aren’t really there, or for the second time in her life, is she about to unmask a killer?

My thoughts:

This is one of those books that feels like I’m not going to like it at the beginning and end up quitting (yes, I’m a book quitter) because it’s boring or I just can’t get into it. I gave it a chance, and thankfully I did. I ended up like it, and almost devouring it. There was parts of it that was a bit predictable and I could guess whodunnit halfway through the book. Which is fine, maybe I’m just that good at these detective type books now after reading so many and watching a TON of detective shows.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐. 4/5

3. Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie

Synopsis :

Tommy and Tuppence Beresford have just become the proud owners of an old house in an English village. Along with the property, they have inherited some worthless bric-a-brac, including a collection of antique books. While rustling through a copy of The Black Arrow, Tuppence comes upon a series of apparently random underlinings.

However, when she writes down the letters, they spell out a very disturbing message: “Mary Jordan did not die naturally.” And sixty years after their first murder, Mary Jordan’s enemies are still ready to kill. 

My thoughts:

So this is the final book of the Tommy and Tuppence series, and actually the final book Ms. Christie wrote before her death. I’ve read the previous books and I’ll be honest, not my favorite. It was a bit boring and didn’t really grab my attention like the others in this series.

My Rating : ⭐⭐⭐ 3/5

4. Built to Belong: Discovering the Power of Community Over Competition by Natalie Franke


Many of us feel more alone than ever despite living in the most connected society in human history. We need to belong in the same way that we need oxygen–our physical bodies require it. We perform better and have greater successes as individuals when we are connected to the collective. Together we’ll uncover how to:

Kick scroll-induced jealousy to the curb and transform the way that social media makes you feel about yourself and others Overcome loneliness by finding your people and cultivating true community in your personal and professional world. Strike the balance between camaraderie and competition so that you can live a deeply fulfilled and joyful life
Human beings are not highlight reels—we’re done fanning the flames of comparison, drowning in our insecurities, and being pitted against one another. We’re saying no to the endless rat race of getting ahead and goodbye to the narratives that leave us feeling left out and alone.

My thoughts:

Being an entrepreneur in the world we live in is hard. I bought this book after hearing the author on one of my favorite podcasts and thought I’d give it a whirl to see what she has to say about being an entrepreneur and working and celebrating entrepreneurship with others that are in the same boat as me or rowing along in their own boat in the same stream. I loved the first part of the book on how we need to work together to lift each other up and not put each other down in the small business world.

I’ve been in SO many groups that relate to small businesses or photography for that matter and they are just so mean and not helpful, and it’s hard breaking that someone who is trying to achieve their dream of being an artist, designer, etc, and asking for help from fellow artists and they put you down. Or you deal with the ever present green eyed monster of jealousy or imposter syndrome because its EVERYWHERE on social media. The second half of the book lost me. I don’t know if I just wasn’t in the mood at that point to read a self-help book or not.

My Rating : ⭐⭐⭐ 3/5

5. We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange

Synopsis :

When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation, and they’ve got questions. 

Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets—secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way forward, together.

My thoughts:

Again, this was one of those books where I thought I was going to quit by page 40. Definitely not the case. I seriously hope the author writes more books, LOVE her writing. I don’t know what else to say about this book other than it was a family drama story that I didn’t expect and ended up loving. There are multiple perspectives in the story, so if that’s not your jam maybe skip it?

My Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5/5

6. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Synopsis :

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up — she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

My thoughts: Holy buckets. This was the IT book of last year and oof, I can see why. I got the book as an add on with my BOTM and was waiting until after Christmas to read it. Trigger warning for this book, it talks about abuse, so if that is something that triggers you, I highly suggest you skip it.

Colleen Hoover has become one of my favorite authors, and this book did not disappoint. I do not condone violence or abuse of any kind, just saying that she wrote the story beautifully to shed light on a sad and terrible subject.

That’s it for this month!! Let me know if you’ve read any of these books I’ve read this month and your thoughts on them below!!

  1. Dewey says:

    I was going to ask “Why do you even start reading a book if it’s ‘one of those books where I thought I was going to quit by page 40’?”, but I guess it’s because of BOTM membership?

  2. Teresa says:

    Good to read your reviews. I may read a couple of them sometime and will let you know. I look forward to next months reviews.

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