My Girlish Whims Book Club #10

It's the season for reading! I've gotten a little behind on my updates - I've been an avid little reader lately from summer vacation so I better get this review shared so I can share my next one in not too long! 

My last in-person book club met last week for our one year anniversary! I'm so glad I decided to start a local book book: I truly call these ladies my friends now and most of them I didn't even know before book club started.  We read The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand and met at Paladar Latin Kitchen in King of Prussia, PA.  One of the families from this book actually lived near King of Prussia and so this town and some local attractions were actually mentioned in The Perfect Couple which I thought was pretty cool! No one in my book club had ever read anything by Elin before (who is one of my most favorite authors) but they all enjoyed the book and we all of course enjoyed some good wine and conversation over out met up :)

Here's the full round up of the the last four books I've read since my last update!
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Maybe In Another Life

By Taylor Jenkins Reid. Synopsis from Amazon:

From the acclaimed author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

Do you remember those adventure books you could read as a pre-teen where you had an option to choose one outcome of the story and then “flip to page 70” or choose another outcome and “flip to page 90” to see what would happen instead? That’s what this book almost reminded me of – but instead of getting eaten by a dinosaur if you chose option number 1 and have the story end; or making it to the buried treasure at the end of the book if you chose option 2…you actually got to see two different story lines play out for an entire novel.  I picked up this book because The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has been one of my most favorite books I’ve read with my book club so far, and this is the same author who wrote that book.  It was fun to watch the two different story lines play out in this book.  Sometimes a new conflict came up in one story line earlier than the other story line and it was pretty interesting waiting to see how the conflict would play out in the other version of the story.  Overall I found it to be a very heartwarming book: I don’t know quite what my takeaway was for if we really only do have “one soul mate” or what level “chance” plays in determining our fate…but I do know I liked the book and found it interesting to read a story that literally had two different endings that both seemed to work out to satisfy me as the reader when the book was done!

The Perfect Couple

By Elin Hilderbrand. Synopsis from Amazon: 
It's Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer-the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom's wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate.

But it's going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony-and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom's famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from The Castaways, Beautiful Day, and A Summer Affair, The Perfect Couple proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read

Another good read from Elin Hilderbrand – and literally the only time I have declared martial law with my book club to decide that this was the book we were going to read for August with no voting involved!!! I always love Elin’s books and since this was just released this summer I knew I had to give it a read. There was an actual mystery in this book: a dead body is found the morning of an extravagant wedding and we get to follow both the story lines of all the family members involved in the wedding AND the police officer & detective working on the case to figure out the mystery.  Elin has such a good writing style of allowing us to read the story line from so many different character’s viewpoints WITHOUT it becoming confusing.  I think it really added a lot to the story line to be able to read about the mystery and all the family drama going on behind the scenes from so many different viewpoints.   I truly was kept guessing as to what the outcome of the mystery was going to be up until the end of the book and would definitely recommend this as a great book to add to your reading list this summer!

The King Tides

By James Swain. Synopsis from Amazon:

Nicki Pearl is the perfect daughter—every parent’s dream. And that of strangers, too. Wherever she goes, she’s being watched. Each stalker is different from the last, except for one thing—their alarming obsession with Nicki.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Nicki’s father is turning to someone who can protect her: retired private detective and ex–Navy SEAL Jon Lancaster. Teaming up with FBI agent and former abduction victim Beth Daniels, Lancaster can help—his way. He’s spent most of his career dispatching creeps who get off on terrorizing the vulnerable. Unlicensed, and unrestricted, he plays dirty…But this case is unusual. Why so many men? Why this one girl? Does Nicki have something to hide? Or do her parents?

Trawling the darkest depths of southern Florida, Lancaster faces a growing tide of secrets and deception. And the deeper he digs, the more he realizes that finding the truth won’t be easy. Because there’s more to this case than meets the eye.
This book was a freebie read for me that I got from my amazon prime subscription.  I was having issues getting my new books to download so I tried to download and start reading The President is Missing but apparently I started this one instead.  I really liked how the book started but then I was like..."hm, when are they going to start talking about the president??" and then I realized I was reading The King Tides instead! I actually am kind of glad for my slip-up though, this wasn't a book I was planning on starting anytime soon (since it was a freebie) but I really liked it! The mystery about why all these random men were stalking Nicki was pretty interesting, but then the story line turned into something much bigger.  Jon Lancaster was a gruff but smart and amicable protagonist and it made for a nice read to watch him work this case. I was kept very interested in the story line and very intrigued to know what would happen next. I would definitely recommend giving it a read!    

It Ends With Us

By Colleen Hoover. Synopsis from Amazon:

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

There were parts of this book that I loved, and parts of this book that frustrated me and seemed cliché. This was the first book I ever read from Colleen Hoover so I didn’t quite know what to expect.  She had been recommended a few times to me on my Instagram account so I figured it was finally time to read one of her books!  I loved the opening scene of the book where Lily meets Ryle for the first time. The writing style and the connection between the two characters was enough to really spark an interest in this book for me.  I liked the story overall but as the book progressed I found parts of the storyline to be too coincidental to be believable.  Sure, it’s a fiction book, but still: some of the plot just “fell into place” way too easily.  Regardless, I did enjoy the conflict from the book and really didn’t know which way Lily was going to go in her love triangle and honestly I didn’t even know which way I wanted her to go either until the end of the book.  It hits on a very interesting subject matter – one which prompts a warning in the description of the book.  Maybe I’ve just read too many books about domestic abuse but I do not think that this book was overly graphic enough to warrant a warning.  I’ve read far more gruesome/detailed books than this.  I enjoyed the mental conflict that this book gave me trying to decide which characters to like and how I wanted the book to end.  It was an interesting read but I just wish parts of it were not so “fictional” to make a good storyline – especially after I read the epilogue from the author and how this story idea actual was based on real life events in her family.

As always, let me know if you've read any of the same books! I'm hurrying to finish another Elin Hilderbrand book now so I can start the book for my next book club meet: Crazy Rich Asians was the winner in our poll to read for next month and with all the great reviews around the movie out right now, I'm hoping the book is just as good!

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