Book Love Is In the Air

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I loved having Ryan home for an extra day – we managed to see Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, do a little shopping and make some headway on the laundry room renovation before crawling into the Olympics hole. #TeamUSA! With Valentine’s Day only a couple days away, love is definitely in the air … or for today’s purposes, book love is in the air! (isn’t that always the case in my world, though? 😉 ) It’s time for my monthly book roundup, so let’s jump in!

Book Love is In the Air

Couldn’t Put ‘Em Down …

Wasted Words by Staci HartWasted Words by Staci Hart – 4 stars

Hart has quickly become one of my favorite authors – I love her modern takes on Jane Austen classics. This was a really loose interpretation of Emma – so cute! Cam owning her nerd status was everything, although I did get kind of sick of her poor me/I’m not good enough attitude toward the end. Tyler was the typical jock with the good-guy complex that you’d expect, but I loved him all the same. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author!


All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn GreenwoodAll the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood – 4 stars

This was a tough read, but is it weird for me to say that I enjoyed it? Don’t get me wrong – I was uncomfortable several times when it came to Wavy’s and Kellen’s relationship. Kellen was older and knew better. That said, I do also feel like he was trying to protect Wavy since clearly nobody else was. Wavy’s aunt drove me insane – anyone else believe that she only cared about herself and supposedly doing the “right” thing? To me, she didn’t take two seconds to think about what was best for those children … Okay, I probably could talk/debate this book all day. I can see why it has mixed reviews and whatnot, but it’s also kind of a beautiful story of forming your own weird family under the crappiest circumstances.

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland StoneEvery Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone – 4 stars

I don’t think this book necessarily captured the depth/feelings of someone suffering from OCD, so honestly I tried not to focus on that too much. It obviously was a main component of the story, but the author did skirt over the issue in a fairy tale kind of way. Relating to Sam in other ways was pretty easy – as girls, I think we ALL had a group of friends growing up that we were afraid to leave or go against. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be part of a secret society at their high school at that age? I would’ve killed for a place/creative outlet like these kids have.

Enjoyable Enough …

This Time Around by Tawna FenskeThis Time Around by Tawna Fenske – 3 stars

I chose this book from Amazon Prime Reading solely for the cover. Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver in the way that I was hoping. It wasn’t a total lost cause … I liked the relationship between Jack and his daughter and some of the moments between Jack and Allie, but the history and relationship development between Jack and Allie was a dud. There needed to be more for me to feel more invested in the characters. Also, what was with the ex sister-in-law attacking Allie at Jack’s reunion? Random. The end was pretty cute, though so that warmed my heart to three stars.

Skip …

Withering Hope by Layla HagenWithering Hope by Layla Hagen – 2 stars

Nope. Nope, nope, nope. The premise reminded me of The Island, but nope. The epilogue was the only okay part of the book. I’m proud to say this book officially ended my BookBub days. Bye!



Winter Street by Elin HilderbrandWinter Street by Elin Hilderbrand – 3 stars

I discovered this series at Christmas when I was gifted with the fourth/final book. So, I figured I might as well start at the beginning for context … ELIN, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Hands down the worst book I’ve read from her yet. The story is all over the place, there’s next to no character development … honestly, I only gave it three stars because I sort of like the daughter and her love triangle. She should just have her own series. Otherwise, take it or leave it.


Currently reading: The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand and A Little Too Late by Staci Hart

What are you reading right now?

Don’t forget to check out last month’s book recs!

Linking up for Show Us Your Books.

Leave a Comment


  1. 1.28.19
    Heather said:

    I love Staci Hart’s books too! I need to read her newest one this month. I really liked the Winter series for what it was – fluffyish Christmas family drama. haha.

    • 1.28.19

      Haha, I’m all about fluffy holiday drama, but this one just didn’t do much for me. Still planning to read the last book, though since it was a gift. I can’t wait to read the latest Austen adaptation from Staci Hart, so good!

  2. 1.28.19

    i am with you on staci hart! love her Austen books. haven’t read any of her other books yet, i’m afraid i won’t love them as much as the Austen retellings. all the ugly and wonderful things is on my kindle and hopefully i’ll get to it soon, i’ve heard a lot of people say the same thing though, they liked it even though it made them uncomfortable at times. i keep going to start it but then thinking ‘…eh i don’t want to’ lol. bummer about winter street, i haven’t read it (or any of her books actually) but i do own it so i’ll get to it one day.. probably next christmas lol

    • 1.28.19

      Well, I’m obviously alone in my feelings toward Winter Street based on other comments (lol), so maybe/hopefully you’ll enjoy it! I’m still going to read the last book in the series since my mom gave it to me and all. I just finished A Little Too Late from Staci Hart, and it follows Charlie from A Thousand Letters – loved it, even though it wasn’t an Austen retelling!

  3. 1.28.19
    shootingstarsmag said:

    I’ve never read All the Ugly and Wonderful things, but I do hear mixed things, you’re right. I’m definitely curious.


  4. 1.28.19
    Ashley Ziegler said:

    I love that picture on the bed! Beautiful! 🙂

  5. 1.28.19

    The Wavy/Kellen relationship was definitely uncomfortable and in 9/10 situations the world in general would not be okay with it but being pretty okay with it given the alternatives was part of the magic of the book for me – a good reminder that things cannot always be black and white. I hated that aunt.

    Love your opening pic!

    • 1.28.19

      I couldn’t agree with you more! That’s the perfect way to put it – not everything has to be black/white. The aunt was an evil troll, lol. Thank you!

  6. 1.28.19

    Winter Street was my first Hilderbrand book. I thought it was fun for a fluffy Christmas read, but didn’t understand why everyone raves about Hilderbrand. I’m happy to hear it isn’t her best book. It makes me feel much more inclined to read her other books. Which Hilderbrand book has been your favorite so far?

    • 1.28.19

      Based on other comments, I’m obviously alone in my feelings toward Winter Street – ha! I just think she’s so much better than what she wrote in that book. The Matchmaker and Beautiful Day are two of my absolute favorites from her – definitely check ’em out!

  7. 1.28.19

    I felt weird saying that I enjoyed All The Ugly and Wonderful Things too! I felt like Kellen and Wavy did belong together but the age difference when she was a teen was too much for me. It was better when she was at least in college. Every Last Word sounds like a really good read!

    • 1.28.19

      Yes! I couldn’t agree with you more. In real life relationships, age differences really don’t bug me (you love who you love), but I felt much better about the whole thing once she was 18 and in college. Made it a little more realistic, too I thought. I loved Every Last Word, good easy read!

  8. 1.28.19
    Laura said:

    Aw! I hate you didn’t like Winter Street. I loved that series.

    • 1.28.19

      Oh rats! It just didn’t do much for me for whatever reason. I still plan to skip the second/third books so I can read the one that my mom gifted me for Christmas. I’m hoping that it all wraps up nicely.

  9. 1.28.19

    I actually love all Elin’s Christmas stories! I’ve read all four in the series and love them. I love how the characters develop through each book and I love how they are shorter than her normal books! I recently picked up How to Find Love in a Bookshop based of your recommendation 🙂

    • 1.28.19

      Well maybe there’s hope for me yet to come around to that series! I don’t think I’m going to read the other books except the final one since that’s the one I was given. Do you think it’ll still make sense to me? I hope that you enjoy Love in a Bookshop, it’s the cutest!

  10. 1.28.19

    I’ve only read one book from the Winter series, and accidentally read it out of order, so I didn’t read the rest of them. It’s always such a bummer when you read a book by an author you usually love and end up not liking it.

    • 1.28.19

      So agree! Based on other comments I’m in the minority on not liking that book, but I guess it just didn’t do much for me right now!

  11. 1.28.19
    Caroline said:

    The first one and the third one sound good. I am half way through How to Find Loved in a Bookshop too and it is really good! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!!

  12. 1.28.19
    Biana Perez said:

    I’ve only read wasted words on your list! As always so many great recommendations to add to my list! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    • 1.28.19

      Yay! I liked A Thousand Letters better than Wasted Words, so you definitely should try that one if you’re not sure about Staci Hart yet!

  13. 1.28.19
    Debra Stachelski said:

    I always enjoy hearing about what you’ve read!

  14. 1.28.19

    I am loving having the Olympics on! Sounds like you all had a fun weekend, and this pic of you is so cute. Great book list.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  15. 1.28.19

    Ugly and Wonderful Things was a beautiful and uncomfortable book that really makes you think. And I know I read Every Last Word and liked it but I’m absolutely blanking on why.

  16. 1.28.19

    I’ve never read Staci Hart, but I’ll check her out. I desperately need to get back into reading- I love it so much and miss it.

    • 1.28.19

      Her books would be a good place to start! I haven’t read any of her other books that aren’t Jane Austen retellings, but I’m sure they’re just as enjoyable. I love her writing.

  17. 1.28.19

    All The Ugly and Wonderful Things has been on my TBR for a long time. I intended it to be my pick at book club but then we disbanded. I still definitely want to read it though. In this case, the mixed reviews actually make me more intrigued versus lessening my interest.

    • 1.28.19

      It really is a great read – it might make you uncomfortable at times, but it also makes you think. So worth it!

  18. 1.28.19
    Laura said:

    I haven’t read that particular book from Elin’s winter series, but I agree, I do love that daughter. I would totally read a series about her!