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The Week in Review: 05.18.2018

May 18, 2018


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Annie Brown has one great skill – using her vivid imagination to invent useful products and write ads for them.  Her best friend Savannah seems to be perfect at everything.   When Annie decides to try out for a new web show that’s being produced locally, she figures she’s a shoe-in but things don’t go as she planned – she feels like she flopped at the audition and she’s afraid she’s lost her best friend too.  ANNIE B., MADE FOR TV by Amy Dixon is an adorable middle grade book about friendship, family, and pursuing your dreams.  I fell in love with Annie from the very start and know tons of kids will relate to her.  She’s smart, kind, and loyal but sometimes that doesn’t seem to be enough.  She loves Savannah but can’t help but be jealous from time to time.  I thought this book was cute and clever and feel sure middle grade readers will as well.  It may even inspire some of them to come up with a few commercials of their own!  (Review copy provided by Running Press Kids.)


BONFIRE by Krysten Ritter is the story of environmental lawyer Abby Williams.  She’s been sent to Barrens, the small Indiana town she grew up in, to investigate Optimal Plastics, the company that has single handedly revitalized the dying town.  The people of Barrens are protective of Optimal so Abby has to tread carefully and dig deep.  What she digs up turns her world upside down.

Even though some of the plot felt a little cliché, I thought the story was well structured and Abby was a strong character, but I still didn’t find the book particularly compelling.  I’m not sure if it was the story or Karissa Vacker’s narration but I found my mind wandering as I listened to it.  So, I’d say I liked this book but didn’t love it.   Having said that, I’d happily try whatever Ritter writes next.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


Recently widowed Cara feels the need to get her life back in order and decides to return home to live in the beach cottage her mother left her.  Her niece, Linnea, has just graduated from college and is back home as well.  Taking guidance from Lovie, the late family matriarch, the two come to realize what is meaningful to them.  BEACH HOUSE REUNION is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Mary Alice Monroe.  It’s full of fabulous characters and a great storyline and includes some environmental elements.  It’s not necessary to read the other Beach House books to enjoy this one but you’ll want to after you read it.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time revisiting the fabulous Rutledge women.  I also enjoyed learning more about sea turtles – I had no idea the sex of loggerhead turtles is determined by the sand’s temperature.   This is a great book for fans of women’s fiction to read at the beach or any other time.  (Review copy provided by Gallery Books.)

On the Screen

I watched Dancing with the Stars with my mom and my sister this week.  I still don’t have a favorite but the two of them are rooting for Adam and Jenna.  We were all disappointed to see Tonya make it to the finals and felt Marai should have had her spot.  This season hasn’t been a favorite for any of us.

Off the blog

  • I’m at the beach with my mom and my sister for our annual Mother’s Day celebration week.

What’s going on in your corner of the world?

21 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2018 4:35 am

    ENjoy the beach 😀

  2. Beth F permalink
    May 18, 2018 7:23 am

    I always enjoy Mary Alice Monroe and am looking forward to the sea turtle aspect of this year’s beach book. Enjoy your time with your mom and sister.

  3. May 18, 2018 7:52 am

    I have yet to read any Mary Alice Monroe, but I caught some of The Beach House on Hallmark last weekend and it caught my interest. I may have to pick one of those books up.

  4. May 18, 2018 9:45 am

    It’s really hard to get excited about a 4-week season. I guess Idol was the reason for that. And I totally agree that Marai should have gotten that final spot.

  5. May 18, 2018 11:33 am

    I am so envious of your beach getaway! Enjoy!!

    I enjoyed Bonfire; sorry your mind wandered. I know mine would if I were listening to a book. LOL. I want to read Beach House Reunion, and all the other Mary Alice Monroe beach books I might have missed!

  6. May 18, 2018 12:07 pm

    Have fun at the beach!

    I don’t have anything too big planned for the weekend. We have the choir banquet but I didn’t plan it and it’s simple and fun with a taco truck doing the catering. My daughter made JV volleyball and we are waiting on the results from choir auditions to see i f she add another choir to her belt.

    My happy Friday was ruined when I opened FB and saw that there’s been another school shooting.

  7. May 18, 2018 1:20 pm

    All those books sound good, especially the Monroe book. I hope you’re having a great time at the beach!

  8. May 18, 2018 1:47 pm

    Hope you have a wonderful time at the beach!

  9. May 18, 2018 1:50 pm

    I wanted to let you know that I am reading Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid based on your review and I am crying my way through it. What a great story!

  10. May 18, 2018 2:42 pm

    Glad you are getting to spend some time with your Mom and sister. Know you will enjoy it! I’ve read several of Mary Alice Monroe’s books, some of them in the Beach House series. I’ll probably try this one at some point as I do like her writing. And I’m planning on trying Bonfire. I’m still fascinated that Krysten Ritter is ‘Jessica Jones’ in the Marvel series.

  11. Patty permalink
    May 18, 2018 4:05 pm

    Oh yum! You are at the beach,,,it is so wet and rainy here. We have been running around and trying to stay dry. I got my hair all blonde up and I kind of feel like a new person! We are getting ready to watch Black Panther…if Den can stay awake!

  12. May 18, 2018 9:52 pm

    Loved the first Beach House book and look forward to reading the others. Enjoy your time at the beach!

  13. May 19, 2018 10:09 pm

    Too much is going on around here and some TLC at the beach sounds like Heaven.

  14. May 20, 2018 12:11 pm

    I like the sound of a reunion of Mary Alice Monroe’s characters. They do feel as if they are real. I hope you are also enjoying your time at the beach with your mom and sister.

  15. Literary Feline permalink
    May 20, 2018 3:16 pm

    I love the sound of Beach House Reunion. I hope had a wonderful time at the beach with your mom and sister, Kathy!

  16. May 20, 2018 5:06 pm

    Annie B… sounds especially good! I hope you’ve had a wonderful week at the beach with your sister and mother.

  17. May 20, 2018 8:26 pm

    I watched the Royal Wedding from beginning to end! I was enraptured by the pageantry and the traditions (not so much the dress which everyone was going ga ga about). It looked picture book perfect including the weather!

  18. bookingmama permalink
    May 21, 2018 6:43 am

    It sounds like I need to pack BEACH HOUSE REUNION for my trip to the Outer Banks in a few weeks.

  19. May 22, 2018 11:36 pm

    Other than The Book Club, I don’t think I’ve read any of Mary Alice Monroe’s books. Hope you’re having a great time at the beach! Our weather is back to being chilly and overcast.

  20. May 25, 2018 5:07 pm

    Sand temperature & turtle gender? Who would’ve thought that. Glad you liked Beach House Reunion!

  21. May 30, 2018 10:39 am

    I have the Annie B book in my stack too. Looking forward to the light and happy read this summer!

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