July 26, 2017

Bestie Beatriz Binge // The Collected Works


Kelly and I spent a few weeks reading through all of Beatriz Williams' books, and it was honestly one of the best reading experiences of my life. I loved the books, just as I'd expected. But even more than that - I loved reading them with my friend! We texted constantly while reading (with no spoilers, of course!) and then had lengthy phone conversations after we finished each one to chat about our reactions to all the twists and turns. We wanted to celebrate the power of books to bring friends together, and so Bestie Beatriz Binge was born. Today, we're sharing mini reviews of all nine books (and don't worry - no spoilers!):

OVERSEAS
Short & Sweet: In 1916 France, a young American woman, tracks down a handsome British officer, to give him vital information about his upcoming reconnaissance mission. He doesn't recognize her - or how she'd know about his life. In New York in 2007, a Wall Street analyst falls for a billionaire... and can't figure out why he seems so familiar.

You Had Me at: This was the fourth Beatriz Williams book that I read, but I believe it's the first one she published. Although it's probably my least favorite, I love that you can see the beginnings of so many things that become more prominent in her later books: gripping dual timelines, life-changing love, and mysterious connections. The time travel element was intriguing and unexpected, and I liked both settings! 

A HUNDRED SUMMERS
Short & Sweet: It's 1931, and Lily Dane and Nick Greenwald fall in love and get engaged. Everything seems perfect! But fast forward to summer 1938 in Rhode Island. Nick Greenwald is married... to Lily's former best friend. What drove Nick and Lily apart all those years ago? A natural disaster brings alllll the tension to the surface.

You Had Me at: This was my very first Beatriz Williams book, so I'll always have a special place for it in my heart! This was the book that made me realize I could fall in love with dual timelines, that transported me to the 1930s, and that highlighted Beatriz's love for scandalous secrets and delicious drama. I loved 1931 Nick and Lily so much that I was anxious to learn what happened and hoping they'd both find happiness in the end.

THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT
Short & Sweet: In 1964, Vivian Schuyler receives an unusual piece of mail that's postmarked from overseas and addressed to Violet Schuyler. She's naturally curious, and her investigation leads her to a crime of passion in 1914 Berlin that's a long-buried family secret. Who was Violet - and what happened to her husband?

You Had Me at: Within two chapters, I knew I was going to love this book! Vivian and Violet are such compelling heroines, and I loved the way their stories mirrored one another and intertwined overt time. They both defy family expectations to follow their passions, which made me cheer them on from the beginning. There's one scandalous aspect to this story that shocked me, but I still loved the way everything unfolded.

TINY LITTLE THING
Short & Sweet: In 1966, Christina Schuyler is the sister who has it all together. She and her husband Frank make the ultimate political power couple: rich, smart and attractive. But dark secrets lurk beneath the surface, and Tiny's sister Pepper, some incriminating photographs, and Frank's cousin Caspian act as the perfect storm to unmask them all.

You Had Me at: Oh my goodness, I have such a fondness for this book and heroine! We first hear of her in The Secret Life of Violet Grant, and she far surpassed my expectations. She's got a dry wit, a sharp mind and a laser focus on achieving her goals. But I loved seeing how she responded when cracks start to appear in her perfect life. Bonus: Caspian might just be my favorite boy in all of Beatriz's books...

ALONG THE INFINITE SEA
Short & Sweet: In 1966, Pepper Schuyler is praying that selling the rare vintage Mercedes she's restored will give her enough money to take care of herself and her unborn child. When she meets the car's new owner, she learns the startling history of the car: a Nazi husband, a Jewish lover, and a daring escape from Europe during WWII.

You Had Me at: I loved Pepper, but I think the historical timeline was the star of this book. It was so gripping and emotional that I flew through this story in a matter of hours! The setting came to life, the romance took me by surprise and the characters drew me in. I was never sure what would happen next, which is trademark Beatriz Williams. She always surprises me! I'm thrilled that the contents lived up to the gorgeous cover.

A CERTAIN AGE
Short & Sweet: In Jazz Age New York, Mrs. Theresa Marshall has fallen in love with her much-younger paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano. Things shift, however, when Octavian meets Miss Sophie Fortescue, the fiancée of Theresa's brother Ox. There's more to the Fortescue family than meets the eye, as everyone will soon learn.

You Had Me at: I'll be honest and tell you that the first chapter of this book made me so nervous because I hated Theresa. Thankfully, Sophie was a delight! I was rooting for Octavian to fall for her as soon as they met, but I never imagined all the obstacles that would stand in their way. A courtroom drama added intrigue, and quotes in each chapter from historical newspaper columnist Helen Rowland provided a good laugh.

THE WICKED CITY
Short & Sweet: Ella Hawthorne impulsively moves into an apartment in an old Greenwich Village building that's haunted by its former life as a speakeasy. In 1924, Ginger Kelly is a regular at this club until she's caught up in a raid and has no choice but to help a Prohibition agent investigate her stepfather, a notorious bootlegger.

You Had Me at: Once you start reading Beatriz Williams' novels, you'll notice familiar characters popping up throughout them all. For me, this is the book where I saw just how many threads she is able to weave together and how deliberate she is in her writing. It made it even more fun to binge these books! The time period was so vibrant in this story, and the heroine was a total firecracker. I can't wait for her story to continue.

COCOA BEACH
Short & Sweet: Virginia Fortescue flees her home for the battlefields of WWI France where she marries Simon, a charming British surgeon. But the more she learns about him, the more she regrets it. She returns home, determined to forget the past. Five years later, Simon's death propels her to Florida to uncover the secrets surrounding him.

You Had Me at: This book could best be described as a psychological thriller, so the tone is totally different. Y'all, I didn't know what to believe or who to trust! Every book has had moments that shocked me, but none more so than this one. The tension just builds and builds to a tipping point that made me text Kelly: "I'M SHOOK!" I loved that it had trademark Beatriz elements I've come to know and love - but with a twist.

THE FORGOTTEN ROOM
Short & Sweet: This multigenerational saga of soulmates and heartbreaking loss introduces you to three bold women in different time periods: 1892, 1920, and 1945. They're seemingly all connected by a ruby necklace and a single room in a Gilded Age mansion, but the story will leave you guessing until the very end. 

You Had Me at: This book was written in collaboration with two other authors, which is a fun change. The three heroines and timelines were a bit confusing at first, but I soon found myself swept up in the mystery at the heart of the book and couldn't wait to see how everything was connected. I loved how the story flowed and maintained a fast pace, especially considering it was written by three people!

Stayed tuned for more Beatriz Williams love tomorrow,

July 25, 2017

Bestie Beatriz Binge // Five Reasons to Read Beatriz Williams


It all started back in 2013. I was on a beach vacation with my family and made sure to visit my favorite independent bookstore, Sundog Books, while I was there. I spotted a gorgeous hardcover on the New Releases table - A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams - and knew that I had to buy it. I couldn't resist! I didn't read it right away, and it ended up just sitting on my bookshelf back at home... as did each subsequent Beatriz Williams book. Yes, you read that correctly. I kept acquiring each new release - in hardcover, no less! - even though I hadn't read any of them yet. At least I can admit that I have a problem?

I just had this feeling in my gut that she'd become a new favorite author! I finally picked up A Hundred Summers last year and fell in love. But I never reviewed it, which I blame on my postpartum forgetfulness. Then Kelly came to visit earlier this year, and it changed everything. She was browsing my shelves and noticed all the Beatriz Williams. She was curious, too, and added them to her TBR. She knows how to manage her TBR like a boss and started her first Beatriz book almost immediately. I could tell from her texts that I was missing out. I finally had the motivation I needed to get started: we could binge them together!

We spent a few weeks in June reading through all of Beatriz Williams' books, and it was honestly one of the best reading experiences of my life. I loved the books, just as I'd expected. But even more than that - I loved reading them with my friend! We texted constantly while reading (with no spoilers, of course!) and then had lengthy phone conversations after we finished each one to chat about our reactions to all the twists and turns. We wanted to celebrate the power of books to bring friends together, and so Bestie Beatriz Binge was born. To kick it off, here are five reasons to read Beatriz Williams:

When I started making my list of reasons to read Beatriz Williams, I knew that the characters had to come first. There's something so magical about the way she writes about these people that live in her imagination - you start to believe they might be real! I've always been a huge fan of movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, and the dialogue in these books totally captures those same special patterns of speech. I could almost hear it all in my head while reading! The characters are all well-developed, vibrant and compelling, and they don't feel repetitive. They have their own histories, desires and fears. I may have favorites, but I loved them all.

In general, I'm not a fan of dual timelines in books. While it's something that makes Kelly more likely to pick up a book, I'm usually the opposite. I don't know why exactly, but I have this internal bias against them. And I tell you that because all of Beatriz's books have dual timelines, and I loved them. Y'all, I had to put this on my list because it was so shocking for me! There wasn't a single book where I preferred one timeline over another or wished one timeline didn't exist. In every case, they both drew me in, made me more invested in the book and felt absolutely necessary to the story being told. Plus, the format heightened the tension and drama!

If I had to describe Beatriz's books in just a few words, romantic and dramatic would definitely make the short list! These sweeping sagas are packed with love stories that survive time, distance, and numerous obstacles (both internal and external). And here's the thing: most of the romances fall into "instalove" territory, but Beatriz somehow makes me believe in all of them. I set my skepticism aside while reading and just enjoy the dramatic twists and turns - rooting for the hero and heroine to find happiness and for love to prevail. And the path it takes to get there is almost never what I expect. Beatriz constantly surprised me, in the very best way. 

I love historical fiction, and I'm so happy that I've found a new favorite author in this genre. And you know what makes it even better? Beatriz Williams often focuses on a unique time period or aspect of history. For example, she writes about the 1938 New England hurricane, Manhattan socialites in the 1960s, and Florida in the 1920s. And even when she tackles more well-known time periods, like the two World Wars, there's an interesting lens, such as a female ambulance driver on the Western Front and a female physicist in prewar Germany. Of course, I can't forget about the Jazz Age with its bootleggers, prohibition agents and speakeasies. So fun!

And finally, I've got to take a moment to praise the writing. These books are so readable and engaging! You'll find high-stakes drama, whip-smart dialogue, all-consuming love, life-like characters and well-developed settings on every page of these books. But they contain important questions and themes, too, like defying societal expectations for women. These books are fun and a little soapy with all their intrigue, but I love that they've also got depth, intelligence and complexity. And to me, that comes down to the writing. I became so invested in what I was reading and found it endlessly discussable with Kelly. What more do I need to say?

Beatriz Williams is so talented and creative - something that was highlighted by the fact that I binged all of her books in like two weeks. I honestly never got tired of reading them and sincerely wish there were more! I hope my post today has helped put her on your radar if she wasn't already there... but I've still got three days left to convince you if you're still on the fence. We've got some fun things planned, y'all.

Check back tomorrow for more from the Bestie Beatriz Binge,
and be sure to look at Kelly's five reasons, too!

July 21, 2017

Quick Lit: June 2017

This is going to be a shorter Quick Lit post because I've only got one book to review... though I did write more about it than normal! June was one of the best reading months EVER, and I discovered so many new favorites. However, I ended up writing full reviews for almost all of them... and have something special planned for the others. Check out Quick Lit at Modern Mrs. Darcy to see what other bloggers have been reading lately.

In case you missed it, in June I reviewed The Mothers by Brit Bennett, The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn, the Haven Point series by RaeAnne Thayne, The Memory Book by Lara Avery, The Penderwicks and The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall, and Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin.

I'll be talking about two other June favorites in a Picky Pledge post later this year, and I also binge read all of Beatriz Williams' novels and have a fun event coming up to celebrate this new favorite author!


ON SECOND THOUGHT BY KRISTAN HIGGINS | I hadn't read anything by Kristan Higgins before, but Estelle specifically recommended this book to me after she finished it earlier this year. I think she suggested it because she knows that I'm drawn to books about sisters, and she was definitely spot on with this recommendation! On Second Thought is about two sisters and the losses that bring them together. Ainsley O'Leary is expecting her boyfriend to propose - not to break up with her and write about it in a blog post that goes viral! She turns to her older half sister, Kate, who is facing the unimaginable: she became a newlywed - and then a widow - in the space of four months. Complicated family dynamics have always kept the sisters distant, but their shared heartache begins to bring them together. 

Y'all, I absolutely loved this book! Higgins writes with such warmth and humor, even when aspects of the story are heavy. I was worried that the book would be too sad, but it really wasn't. The complex family situation was so interesting, and the emerging romantic relationships were swoony in all the right ways. I loved that the book alternated between Kate and Ainsley's point of view because it helped me get to know them on a deeper level. Higgins blends just the right amount of action and introspection! I recently read a similar(ish) book about sisters, First Comes Love by Emily Giffin, and it was enjoyable but without enough spark to make it a favorite. On Second Thought delivered everything that I was looking for - characters I was rooting for, excellent pacing, an emotional premise and writing that brought it all to life. I So Loved It and hope you'll check it out if you're a fan of contemporary romance or women's fiction. It's the perfect blend of the two genres!

What have you been reading lately?

July 20, 2017

So Obsessed With: The Baby Edition #3

Last year, I talked about how overwhelmed I was the first time I walked into a baby store. I'd imagined it being fun, but I spent way too much time researching everything. After my baby was born, I decided to make my own list of favorite baby products. The result was So Obsessed With: The Baby Edition #1 and So Obsessed With: The Baby Edition #2, and now I'm back with the third installment of my favorite baby products!

My first two lists were more generic and geared towards expectant mamas who were creating a registry. I featured fifty favorite items and tried to highlight "need" vs "nice to have" in my description for each. Today's list is a little different because you won't need/want these items right away, so they're all optional in a way. But here are a few things I've found useful and the stuff my boy is so obsessed with lately.

I didn't include any books because that post is coming up soon. I'm so excited about it!

1. Neat Solutions Neat-Ware Table Topper ($10) - I took my boy to Chick-Fil-A one day, and the high chair had a little plastic thing folded in the seat. It took me a minute to figure out it was a disposable place mat. It was a gamechanger! I ordered a big pack on Amazon, and now we always keep some in the diaper bag.

2. NumNum Pre-Spoon GOOtensils ($10) - I read about these on a blog and randomly added them to my registry. Now, I'm so glad I did! These little spoons are great to teach self-feeding because babies don't have to hold them a certain way. You read more about them on their website, but our boy loves holding them himself.

3. Re-Play Bowls ($5) - I have no idea how I found the Re-Play brand, but I love their stuff! Their products are made out of recycled milk jugs, so the plastic is nice and sturdy. We've mostly used the bowls and divided plates so far, but we have the flats plates and utensils, too. They sell individual colors and cute mixed sets.

4. Ubbi Tweat Snack Container ($10) - We like to keep some food in the diaper bag, and I randomly found this snack container while browsing at the baby store one day. I love the little handles, the flip top and the spill guard. It's nice that Cheerios don't go stale even if they've been in there a few days. Plus, it's cute!

5. Fisher-Price SpaceSaver High Chair ($50) - We ended up getting this SpaceSaver when our boy was six months old because he was too small for the more traditional high chair that we had. I was excited to find a high chair with a fabric pattern that I actually liked, and this chair has been exactly what we needed.

6. Playtex Sipsters Straw Cups ($8) - I exclusively breastfed for the first six months and hated pumping, so our boy never ended up using bottles. We started introducing sippy cups around six months, and it took a few tries before we found some he loved. He definitely prefers drinking out of a straw, so we stocked up on these cups! 

7. Munchkin Soft-Tip Infant Spoons ($3) - When we introduced solids, we used these spoons a ton! Our boy has moved on to finger foods now, but they're still great for a bowl of oatmeal and such. (Also, I made my own baby food initially and The Amazing Make-Ahead Baby Food Book was a great reference.)

8. Bella Tunno Wonder Bib ($14) - I found these Bella Tunno bibs in a children's boutique while shopping with my mom one day and fell in love. They're so cutre, waterproof, dishwater safe, have an adjustable neck and a nice pocket to catch dropped food. We've got one for home and one for the diaper bag!


9. VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker ($35) - I can't remember how old our boy was when we bought this walker. Maybe nine months? It could have been earlier because I know he used to just sit and play with the front. Regardless, this was a great toy to help him practice walking! And now he doesn't need it... *tears*

10. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around the Town Learning Table ($40) - This is another toy that he doesn't use anymore but loved for a long time. When we first got it, we left the legs off and he'd sit and play with it. Once he started pulling up, we put the legs on and he'd have fun pressing the buttons, flipping the switch, etc.

11. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Crawl-Around Learning Center ($50) - My parents got this for our boy for Christmas, and he ended up loving it. The shape sorter thing on the side was a big favorite, as was the little window that you could slide up and down. My only complaint? It takes up too much room. Haha!

12. Round Kiddie Pool 20 Gallon ($10) - We had our backyard fenced in last summer, and I figured the only benefit was not taking the dog out on a leash anymore. Well, I was wrong! This year I discovered an additional benefit: reading outside in my swimsuit in private. And, of course, setting up the baby pool for my boy. 

13. Bubble-N-Go Toy Mower ($22) - Although our boy is a great walker, he still finds it a little difficult to push this with enough momentum to create bubbles. However, he LOVES when we help him and the bubbles come out in a steady stream. It's so cute to see his fascination and delight with something so small!


14. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Puzzle ($10) - I love wooden puzzles, but it can be hard to find ones for our boy's age range. Thankfully, Melissa & Doug have a few cute ones! I love the big wooden handle. He likes taking the puzzle pieces out more than putting them in, but it's still an entertaining activity!

15. Green Tones Llama Shaker ($10) - At a boutique, I discovered a few really cute wooden teethers and shakers. They're a different brand than this one, but I can't find the ones we have. But this one is pretty close and equally adorable! He liked the wooden teether better than any of the other ones we bought.

16. Chewbeads Baby Gramercy Stroller Toy Attachment ($15) - Although he liked the wooden teether a little more, I still had to include this one! I loved that it could attach to his stroller or car seat so he wouldn't drop it, and the bright colors definitely caught his eye. The silicone is soft and flexible and perfect for chewing.

17. Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks ($11) - This seemed like a dumb toy to me, but he loves it. Just goes to show that some things are simple and classic for a reason! At first, he just liked dumping the shapes out. Then, he moved on to filling up the bucket. And now, he's starting to figure out the shape sorting aspect.

18. Mega Bloks Big Building Bag ($14) - He got these blocks for his birthday, and it's fun to watch him dump out the bag and start to put one or two blocks together. It's so cool to watch him figure things out! These are like the baby version of Legos, and I know my husband can't wait for the day he's old enough for those.

19. Little People 'Lil Movers School Bus ($15) - We love anything and everything from Fisher-Price's Little People line! This school bus is one of his favorites, but we have almost everything - the camper, farm, tractor, Noah's Ark, nativity, fire truck, etc. He loves the songs they play and all the different characters!


20. Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll 'N Trike ($110) - A Radio Flyer trike was one of our boy's birthday gifts, and he loves it! We got a slightly different one with a place on the back for a second child to stand, but it's the same in every other respect. He always wants to go for a walk in it and tries to steer himself!

21. Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat ($350) - We had a Chicco infant seat and can technically still use it because he's under the weight limit. But we could tell he wanted to sit up more! We decided on the Britax for a variety of reasons, but the biggest was ease of installation with the ClickTight technology.

22. Maclaren Triumph Stroller ($225) - This was a random thing we splurged on that is definitely not a necessity, though I love it. Rather than get a cheap umbrella stroller, I really wanted something that would last longer, could recline, had a huge umbrella and was still super light/portable. And this was what I decided on!

July 10, 2017

June 2017: On My Shelves + Recap


I mentioned previously that I was hoping my fantastic May was a sign of good things to come for the rest of the summer. And it seems like it was because June was equally wonderful! I made so many great memories.

1. Culling My TBR + Book Buying Ban - Kelly is in complete control of her TBR, and I've always been envious of her for it. She was my life coach in June and helped me take a long, hard look at my shelves and majorly cull them. In addition to the cull, I instituted a book buying ban for June. I successfully completed it - my only purchase was a book I'd already read and pre-ordered prior to June. Honestly, I think I'll continue the ban!

2. Celebrating My Sweet Friend - One of my best friends from college is having a baby in August, and I'm just so excited for her! I was thrilled to be able to celebrate her by attending a baby shower for her in June. An added bonus? My mama kept my boy for the day, and I got lots of alone time. I had to drive pretty far and got to use that time listening to an amazing audiobook! It felt like such a treat to have so much time to myself.

3. Best Bookish Surprise - Nick was traveling all of June for work, which was a bummer. We miss him so much when he's gone! His longest trip was to Japan, and I asked him to bring me back a Japanese edition of Anne of Green Gables if possible. He was able to find an adorable copy and came home with another incredible surprise: Japanese editions of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I was on cloud nine!

4. Outdoor Reading + New Sunglasses - I've been taking my boy to the pool a lot this summer, and I've noticed one major life change since having a baby: I don't take any reading material to the pool anymore. Ha! However, we come home for his afternoon nap and I realized that I can read and sunbathe in the backyard now that it's fenced in. I've been in absolute heaven! Plus, I got some new sunglasses that I'm so obsessed with.

Read 11 Books | Favorites:
On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams

Honorable Mentions:
Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin
Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
“It’s funny how time is measured after you’ve lost someone.
Everything relates back to that second your life swerved.
The calendar isn’t measured by the names of the months or seasons anymore,
but by those significant dates. The day we met. The first time we kissed.
The first dinner with his family. The anniversary of his death. The date of his funeral.”
On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

 “Her heart kept splitting inside her. Growing and breaking, rended and rendered,
reminding her that she was so, so sick of death. All it carried. All it buried.”
Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

 “She had been so stubborn, thinking that she had to learn to count on her own strength.
She did. But leaning on a man - when he was the right man,
when he was good and kind and decent - didn't make her weak. It made her strong.”
Serenity Harbor by RaeAnne Thayne

“You have me. Until ever last star in the galaxy dies. You have me.”
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

 “It’s not about what I say, right? It’s what I do that matters here.”
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

 “I knew exactly where he existed in my heart; I had no idea where he existed in the universe.”
Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
In June, I started off the month with my May 2017 recap. Then, I talked about judging a book by its cover and how I almost missed out on The Mothers by Britt Bennet because of it. I shared ten reasons people should read The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn, a recent favorite read for me. I wrote about my love for The Haven Point Series by RaeAnne Thayne with another list-y review. Next, Alexa and I caught up on our Picky Pledge Reading Challenge! I posted my reviews for a book I bought because it was on sale (The Memory Book by Lara Avery), a book I bought because it was the next in a series (The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall) and a book I bought on audio (Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin). And finally, I wrapped up the month with my Quick Lit: May 2017 post, where I recapped what I read in May.
1. Reading with Kid: A Work in Progress by Christine at Buckling Bookshelves - This was definitely one of my favorite posts in June, and not just because I could completely relate to it! I loved Christine's look at how her reading habits have changed since her son was born, and it inspired me to ask myself the same question.

2. My Anne of Green Gables Collection by Rachel at Hello, Chelly - As a lifelong lover of Anne Shirley, I collect copies of Anne of Green Gables because it's meant so much to me as a reader. I love that Rachel collects it too, and I loved the updated look at her collection. She's a kindred spirit! Now, I've got some shopping to do...

3. Your Most Boringly Useful Websites by Jessica at Go Fug Yourself - I love Afternoon Chats at GFY, especially when it's about something I didn't know I needed in my life. There were so many great (and useful!) website recommendations in the comments that I saved the whole post for future reference. 


Favorite Song #1: "Strip That Down" by Liam Payne feat. Quavo
I think Twitter made me look up this song, and I was hooked from my first listen.
I can't even tell you how many times I played this song during the month!



Favorite Song #2: "Slow Hands" by Niall Horan
After loving Harry Styles' album in May and then Liam's single, I looked up Niall's song.
And what do you know? I couldn't stop listening to that one either! 

Beauty and the Beast (2017) starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens - I initially put off seeing Beauty and the Beast in theaters because I didn't want to deal with the crowds. Then days turned to weeks, and I realized that I'd missed my chance. Of course, I bought the Blu-Ray on release day. Although it was gorgeous, I didn't love it as much as I expected. I wasn't feeling the chemistry between Dan and Emma, among a few other things.


Life Unexpected, Seasons 1-2, starring Shiri Appleby, Kristoffer Polaha and Britt Robertson - I think I saw someone mention this show on Twitter, which made me look it up on Netflix. I watched the first episode because I like Shiri Appleby and Britt Robertson, and that was all it took for me to binge watch it in June. The relationship drama got repetitive by the end, but I still loved this sweet and funny show. I'm sad it was canceled back in the day!

Pre-Ordered Prior to My Buying Ban: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Used Existing Audible Credits: Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin and Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
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