Book Recommendation Roundup

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I have read so many good books lately and thought it would be the perfect time to post a recommendation roundup.  Here are some that made the list:

  1. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood – This was one of the most well written and heart wrenching books I’ve ever read.  It’s been dubbed in many reviews as “controversial” and it’s easy to see why once you start reading.  The plot deals with a young girl, Wavy, whose parents are immersed in a lifestyle of producing and using meth.  Wavy is left to virtually raise herself and her younger brother. She forms an unlikely bond with one the men who works for her father and he becomes the only semblance of family she has.  As their friendship develops into a romantic relationship, they are faced with scrutiny from those outside their own insular world.  The characters in this book are so complex and you can’t help but form connections with them as the plot progresses.  The author challenges you to see their side of the story and determine whether you believe their relationship is wrong or something pure. (5 out of 5 stars)
  2. The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer – I came across this book on Goodreads and was immediately curious to see how the story would play out.  After a little girl is kidnapped, her mother goes on a long and difficult journey to bring her home.  The author switches back and forth between the mother and daughter’s points of view, explaining how they are both affected by the kidnapping.  Although information is gradually revealed throughout the story, the author leaves some elements up to the reader to determine what they think really happened. (5 out of 5 stars)
  3. The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell – Lisa Jewell is one of my favorite authors and this book was just as good as others I’ve read by her.  The plot deals with a middle aged man who has been married three times and managed to keep his ex-wives and current wife happy.  From vacations to family dinners, the three women and their children spend time together frequently and seem to be one big happy family.  After the third wife is killed in a stunning accident, secrets begin to emerge that challenge the tenuous balance the family has created.  Similar to many of Jewell’s books, this story switches point of view with each chapter.  The story is told from the perspective of each family member including, the husband, wives and children.  Jewell keeps you guessing up until the very end, when all the family secrets come to light. (5 out of 5 stars)
  4. The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter – I am a huge fan of Karin Slaughter’s and her Will Trent series.  Her latest addition to the series follows the shady dealings of an NBA star and how he is connected to the murder of a retired cop.  Although the plot is about connecting the dots between the player and the murder, it is just as much about Will’s relationship with his girlfriend, Sarah, and his estranged wife, Angie.  If you’re looking for a suspenseful and  dark new series, I would recommend this one in a heart beat. (5 out of 5 stars)
  5. You by Caroline Kepnes – This is definitely the most disturbing and chilling book on the list.  The story is told from the point of view of a man, Joe, who becomes obsessed with a girl who walks into the bookstore he works at.  He becomes determined to make her his girlfriend and goes to terrifying lengths to ensure he succeeds.  This story was so much different than others I’ve read because of the way the story is told from the point of view of the stalker.  If you’re looking for a scary read, this may be a good one to check out. (5 out of 5 stars)
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Book Review: The Girls by Emma Cline

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Genre: Fiction

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I hope everyone’s Monday is off to a good start!  This weekend, I finished reading The Girls by Emma Cline, after hearing a ton of hype about it over the past few months.  The plot focuses on the Charles Manson cult and follows a fourteen year old girl, Evie, who is drawn into it.

The premise of the book is thought provoking and the author does a good job of illustrating why someone would gravitate towards a group as dark as this one.  After Evie’s parents divorce and become preoccupied with their new significant others, Evie struggles to find a sense of belonging.  She meets a few of the girls that belong to the cult and they bring her in to their inner circle; sharing everything with her from clothes to drugs.  They introduce her to the cult leader and she quickly becomes immersed in a lifestyle that is different from anything she has ever known.

Although the plot held my attention overall,  the conclusion was a bit more drawn out than I was expecting and I was hoping for a better resolution for Evie.  I would recommend this book but warn that it does not offer a happy ending.

Blog Feature: Frugalwoods

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I read so many blogs on a daily basis, so I thought it would be fun to start sharing some of them on A Sunny Disposition!  First up, is the Frugalwoods.  The blog is run by a husband and wife duo in their early thirties and details their frugal lifestyle.  They recently retired early, to a property in Vermont, and plan to continue living frugally on their new homestead.

I came across their blog after finding one of Mrs. Frugalwood’s blog posts about not purchasing clothes for an entire year – which she continued to stick to well past the year!  It’s a really interesting read and could be a fun challenge to try, if even for just a month or two.

This is a a great blog to check out if you’re looking for some financial inspiration!  Below, I listed some top posts from their about page:

If you have any favorite blogs, be sure to mention them in the comments!

 

Book Review: The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

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Genre: Thriller

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I just finished reading The Night Sister, and it was one of the best books I’ve read in awhile!  It was so suspenseful and had a twist I never saw coming.

The book alternates between three different points of time and tells the story of three generations of women from the same family.  At one point, there is a thriving motel that draws tourists from all around the country, until the new highway system is built and leads former motel guests to drive past the motel, straight to their destination.  Eventually, the motel becomes abandoned and serves as merely a fun place to explore for three childhood best friends, Amy, Piper and Margot.  However, the girls stumble on to a terrible secret from the motel’s past that changes the course of their friendship and tears them apart.  As the girls grow up, they attempt to leave the secret behind them, until a tragic event forces them to confront what they uncovered, all those years ago.

If you’re looking for a thriller that has a surprising ending, this might be a great book for you!

Fall Trend Report: The Loafer

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One of the fall trends I’ve been noticing in stores and around the web is the loafer.  I’ve always loved wearing moccasins in the fall and winter and these remind me of a dressier version of them.

Here are some of my favorite loafer styles:

  1. Similar to the Moccasin – Steve Madden Weverly Loafer
  2. Glam – Bandolino Niverta Loafer
  3. EmbellishedLC Lauren Conrad Women’s Pointed Toe Loafers
  4. ComfyAnn Klein Orra Loafer
  5. CasualDorothy Suede Loafers – Merona
  6. Budget FriendlyH&M Loafers

I hope everyone is having a great start to their week!  Thanks for stopping by the blog.

Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

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Genre: Thriller

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

After reading In a Dark, Dark Wood (reviewed here), I knew I had to read Ruth Ware’s latest novel, The Woman in Cabin 10.  While I really liked In a Dark, Dark Wood, I was totally hooked to The Woman in Cabin 10.  The plot follows a young travel journalist, Lo, who is given the assignment to write about a new luxury cruise ship.  After Lo boards the ship, she witnesses a woman in the cabin next to her being thrown overboard.  The only problem is that no one believes there was a woman ever staying in that cabin and she is assured that all of the passengers are accounted for.  As Lo searches for answers, she realizes the murderer will do anything to keep her from uncovering the truth, including making her their next target.

If you’re a fan of thrillers, this is a great book to check out.  The author does an excellent job of building suspense and keeps you guessing right until the very end.

Favorite Finds: September Edition

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Happy September 1!  As we get one step closer to fall, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite finds for this month.

  1. Favorite Drink – It will probably come as no surprise that my favorite drink pick for this month is the pumpkin spice latte!  The famous Starbucks version will officially be available September 8.  If you’d prefer to make your own, click here and here for homemade recipes.  (The first is a healthy version and the second is more decadent!)
  2. Favorite Show – One of the best shows I’ve watched in awhile is Stranger Things (I briefly mentioned it at the end of this post). It’s the perfect show to watch, with October right around the corner.  I love the 80’s vibe and that it’s a little creepy without being overly scary.  Now I can’t wait for season 2 to come out!
  3. Favorite Nail Colors – Throughout the summer I stick to lighter nail colors so it’s always fun to start using darker colors in the fall.  Here are some of my favorite fall shades: dark purple, taupe and burgundy.
  4. Favorite Accessory – When it starts getting cooler later in the month, I love to throw on a light blanket scarf, like this one.  It’s the perfect way to stay warm and dress up a casual outfit.
  5. Favorite Photo – There’s nothing better than taking the time to curl up with a good book, which is probably why I love this photo.  How cool does that library look?!

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I hope everyone is having a great week so far!