Double Feature * Jojo Moyes *

JoJo Moyes

Happy October!  This is the first in a few posts featuring two books by the same author.  First up is the amazing Jojo Moyes.    I am late to her “party” as I have had Me Before You sitting in my TBR pile for weeks.  When I was sent After You I knew it was time to read them back to back.  I had heard so many amazing things about Me Before you and rightly so- this book was one of the best books I have ever read.  Period.  After You was an equally and satisfying sequel and the two solidified Moyes as a new favorite author of mine.

Me Before YouAfter You

Without giving any spoilers away I can tell you both novels center around Lou.  Lou lives in London and is in constant search for what her life’s purpose is or will be.  Her family is in need of extra income and Lou knows she needs to find a steady job.  She decides to take a caretaker position for a wealthy family whose son Will, is a quadriplegic.  Will is hot- blooded and resentful due to his current situation.  Lou being the colorful character that she is, makes it her duty to soften Will and establish a relationship.  Both novels span the duration of their journey and show the growth of Lou and purpose that she is meant to serve.  With a colorful cast of characters, both of these books center around personal growth, relationships and never taking anything for granted.  Lou and Will are two of the best book characters I have met.  Each completely different yet always in sync.

JoJo Moyes

Jojo Moyes is an author who can tell a story where your heart beats so fast at the end of each chapter you have to continue to read to catch your breath.  She is that ah-mazing.  If you haven’t done yourself the favor of reading any of her books then you are missing out.  I know years from now Me Before You will be a book I pick up again and I am thrilled it will be coming to the big screen.  Happy Fall Reading and thank you Jojo for sharing your gift with us!

All the Difference by Leah Ferguson and Cold Feet by Amy Fitzhenry- Berkley Books Double Feature

Berkley Books

Each time I write a review I think to myself how lucky I am that I get to write about such amazing books!  In this case I was  sent two amazing debuts from two fabulous authors, Leah Ferguson and Amy Fitzhenry.  I was excited to receive these as both plots sounded interesting and I love supporting first time authors.  Both books feature a strong female character that are put into difficult personal situations.  Ferguson and Fitzhenry each tell a complex story with a light heart and relatable voice.

Leah FergusonAll the Difference

All the Difference by Leah Ferguson tells the story about Molly and her boyfriend Scott.  Molly finds out right before New Year’s Eve that she is pregnant.  Excited and nervous she is contemplating the way she will tell Scott.  As the evening arrives and they are at a party with friends, Scott decides it will be the perfect time to pop the question.  Not always having the best relationship Molly is caught off guard.  She is faced with the decision to say YES and choose to complete her growing family with Scott or say NO and face single-motherhood and the triumphs and tribulations that entails.  In alternating chapters, the reader gets to see the story that each of these decisions tell.  I loved this and felt like I was getting two books in one.  Ferguson tells the stories of Molly’s decisions seamlessly and keeps the reader guessing as to what the final outcome will be.  I loved both stories but was completely satisfied in the path that Molly ultimately chose.  It brings up a great discussion for the reader about our own paths and the decisions we make in life reflect our journey.  I can’t wait to see what other stories Leah has to tell!  She is a sweet and thoughtful voice in women’s fiction and thankfully for us just getting started.

Cold FeetAmy Fitzhenry

Cold Feet by Amy Fitzhenry is about Emma Moon.  Emma is a week out from getting married to Sam.  Sam and Emma are perfect for each other.  Emma and her friend Liv are celebrating her last days as a single woman with a girls spa trip.  Before even checking into her vacation Emma has an epiphany and decides she needs to find her father, a man she never knew.  Liv being the perfect side-kick, decides this is an amazing idea  and the two embark on a road trip to find Hunter Moon.  While on this trip Emma finds out a shocking revelation that puts her future marriage in jeopardy.  The search for her father isn’t as easy as she thought and the people that she meets along the way start having her question her past, present and future.  I loved this book and the story that Fitzhenry had to tell.  Emma is an unstoppable character who is strong yet vulnerable.  She is searching for that perfect ending but finds things aren’t always what they seem which is typically life for us all.  Fitzhenry has a down-to-earth way of telling a story creating characters that you would want to be your friends.  I would love to know how Emma’s life plays out, maybe in Fitzhenry’s next book, as I think we will hear a lot from her which is a treat for us!

I can’t recommend each book enough.  I love fresh, female voices and these aren’t to be missed!  They are the perfect companions to the last days of summer or even with a Pumpkin Spice latte.  Let’s support these fabulous authors by “liking their Facebook pages, here and here as well as follow on Twitter, here and here.  Since we are winding down summer my “Blissful Beach Bag” picks will be on hiatus until next year but be on the lookout for my “Fabulous Fall Favorites”!  Also please comment below if you have any must reads for fall that I should be on the lookout for.  HAPPY READING 🙂

*Both books were sent to Bliss Beauty and Books for review purposes.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

The VacationersEmma Straub

As I have mentioned in previous posts we are in “beach-read” season!  I had heard so many amazing things about The Vacationers by Emma Straub and was thrilled to receive a copy from Riverhead Books!  What can I say other than that it met all my expectations and more.  I love books that transport you to an exotic location and this did not disappoint as I felt like I personally took a two-week trip to Mallorca.  Pack your bags blissful readers, this is one perfect, beach, page-turner!

The Post family is about to embark on a two-week trip to Mallorca, Spain, a beautiful beach destination.  Like all families the Post’s are dealing with a few family issues that may interfere with their trip.  Jim Post just left his job at Gallant magazine due to some guilty pleasures with a young co-worker and his wife Franny is fully aware of this.  Franny organized this trip and as the matriarch will not let “that” ruin her trip, she just takes every spare moment to let Jim know he’s not off the hook.  Their younger daughter Sylvia just finished high school and college is on the horizon so she decides she wants to make this trip memorable and hopefully lose her virginity.  Bobby Post and his girlfriend Carmen as well as family friends Charles and Lawrence meet the others in Spain filling up this beautiful vacation home with laughter, drama and love.  A Spanish adonis and former tennis star are added into the mix and show up just at the right time for the Post family.  From finance and commitment issues to young love and parenthood everyone has their share of problems and Straub, so perfectly orchestrates the realities of many families.

I loved this book.  I loved the family dynamic and the complexities that are depicted within each character and the family as a whole.  I was taken back to a few of my family vacations and the stories that we can laugh at now.  The Vacationers is one not to be missed.  It goes way beyond the beach this book has heart and soul.  This is my fifth “Blissful Beach Bag” pick and is perfectly paired with a lovely sangria and sand or sun!

The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford

The Pocket Wife

I am a huge fan of suspense and mystery and couldn’t wait to receive a copy of The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford.  This was Crawford’s debut novel and what a ride she takes the reader on.  The story centers on Dana Cantrell who is bipolar and suffers manic episodes.  Her neighbor and friend, Celia, has been murdered and the police are at odds as to who the killer is.  Dana is convinced it is her due to her illness and the fact that she was the last person to see Celia alive.  As she starts to reveal different clues about her husband, Peter, and constant interrogation from the lead cop on the case, Jack, she slowly starts to question her sanity.

This book grips you from the first page thanks to Crawford’s thrilling and descriptive narrative.  Just like Dana, I was questioning every character, their alibi and motive right until the last pages.  It was fast paced read with a deep plot.  The perfect read as long as you have a few hours to spare as you won’t want to put it down.  This being Crawford’s debut, I would say she is just getting started.  Can’t wait for her next book!

Author Susan Crawford

“The Pocket Wife” Red Lip ~ inspired but the chic cover

Scarlet Beautycounter Lip Sheer– The perfect universal red lipstick.

*I received a copy of this book for review purposes.