My Girlish Whims Book Club #18

It's officially summer time and for me that means lots of time at the pool, lots of time at the beach, and lots of time READING!!! I'm back to round up my four most recent reads since my last book reviews and there are definitely some good options here if you are looking for a fun beach read yourself!

I'm actually typing this up while I came down to Ocean City New Jersey with my parents for a quick weekend trip. We got to sit on the beach for a few hours yesterday and it was quite the ideal situation for getting some reading done! The beach actually got to be pretttty hot in the afternoon, so after a few hours we headed back to the campground that my parents keep an RV at for the summer and relaxed there for the evening as well. I got to do all my favorite activities at the beach this weekend: run on the boardwalk in the morning, spend the afternoon at the beach, and hang out with some wine at the campground for the evening (with more reading as well!)
I read about 200 pages of my current novel just between Friday and Saturday down here, so its definetly time for me to get these last reviews up before I start working on more :)  Here are the past few books I've read!

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It's Always the Husband

By Michele Campbell. Synopsis from Amazon:

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, despite being as different as three women can be. Kate was beautiful, wild, wealthy, and damaged. Aubrey, on financial aid, came from a broken home, and wanted more than anything to distance herself from her past. And Jenny was a striver—brilliant, ambitious, and determined to succeed. As an unlikely friendship formed, the three of them swore they would always be there for each other.
But twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge, and someone is urging her to jump.
How did it come to this?
Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door. But how can these three women love and hate each other? Can feelings this strong lead to murder? When one of them dies under mysterious circumstances, will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

A suspenseful, absorbing novel that examines the complexities of friendship, It’s Always the Husband will keep readers guessing right up to its shocking conclusion.

Ugh. I believe that this is officially the first book picked for our in person book club that I did NOT like! In fact, when I got to about 25% of the way through the book I actually felt like quitting it – and I ALWAYS finish my books! I am kind of glad that I ended up finishing it because the end was a lot better than the middle (and I like to think that I’m not a quitter, hah!) but still.  This was just not a winner for me.  I think the biggest problem was that between all three of the main character girls, there really was not one of them that was completely likeable! They were either too bratty, snobby, clingy, back-stabby, jealous, etc. etc. etc.  During their college years all 3 of the girls just had extremely annoying and immature personalities and I could not find myself rooting for any of them.  At the beginning of the book, the book flashes back and forth a bit between the future and college years, but overall the college/younger years consists of almost half the book and I just could not get into that portion.  When the story returns to present day with all 3 girls reunited I actually did gain interest in the story again.  There was a decent amount of mystery and small amount of suspense and honestly the ending did take me by surprise.  However, the ending was NOT worth suffering through the beginning part of the book and overall it was just a DUD for me. This is nothing like Big Little Lies or any of the other popular thrillers it was compared to.  I would SKIP this if I had to do it all over again!

The Wedding Date

By Jasmine Guillory. Synopsis from Amazon: 

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...

After not liking It's Always the Husband very much I really wanted to switch to something I thought I would enjoy.  I had seen a ton of posts and reviews regarding this book and the second one called The Proposal written by this same author and the general consensus was everyone loved the I decided to give them a try too! I started with The Wedding Date and luckily I loved it as well :) It's an easy read of the love story between Alexa and Drew and it was definitely fun to follow their story from their unlikely fate meeting in that elevator and watch their relationship grow and progress from there. This book is totally a PG-13 verging on R rating due to some of the extra cirricular activities that Drew and Alexa partook in ;) but it definetly is more chick-lit than romance novel and I didn't think anything was over the top (but still deserves a warning!) The only thing I did not like about this book was that Alexa's character was very self-deprecating.  At the beginning it was ok, but it got old really fast.  The author describes her as this bad ass babe with a great job and as such a strong female...and then she makes Alexa the most insecure and doubtful girl - she NEVER thinks she is good enough for Drew throughout the book when obviously she was.  I think there was just a bit of a character disconnect there, but overall I still really liked the book and would definitely recommend it.


Memory makes reality. That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?

Wow.  Wow, wow, wow.  I really enjoyed this book.  And I read it FAST! I loved Blake’s last novel Dark Matter which I reviewed previously here. This newest novel was released by Blake on June 11th.  I started it that same week and finished it by the weekend! I was so intrigued by the story line that I just wanted to keep reading and reading and gobble it up until it was gone.  One of the reasons why I love this book is that there is such a good story and mystery and drama and action all combined together around a scientific thriller base.  HOWEVER – it’s not so scientifically based that if you are not scientifically inclined, you can still enjoy the book.  The science and experiments are definitely a prevalent factor in the book – but in a kind of creepy and mysterious “what – it” situation instead of being too complex or boring.  As someone who reads a lot of chick-lit, I really LOVED this book and the story.  It’s always fun to switch up the genres that you read and this is definitely THE BOOK to read if you want to dig into a good scientific thriller that still has an amazing and interesting story along the way. 

The Islanders

By Meg Mitchell Moore. Synopsis from Amazon:

Anthony Puckett was a rising literary star. The son of an uber-famous thriller writer, Anthony’s debut novel spent two years on the bestseller list and won the adoration of critics. But something went very wrong with his second work. Now Anthony’s borrowing an old college’s friend’s crumbling beach house on Block Island in the hopes that solitude will help him get back to the person he used to be.

Joy Sousa owns and runs Block Island’s beloved whoopie pie café. She came to this quiet space eleven years ago, newly divorced and with a young daughter, and built a life for them here. To her customers and friends, Joy is a model of independence, hard-working and happy. And mostly she is. But this summer she’s thrown off balance. A food truck from a famous New York City brand is roving around the island, selling goodies—and threatening her business.

Lu Trusdale is spending the summer on her in-laws’ dime, living on Block Island with her two young sons while her surgeon husband commutes to the mainland hospital. When Lu’s second son was born, she and her husband made a deal: he’d work and she’d quit her corporate law job to stay home with the boys. But a few years ago, Lu quietly began working on a private project that has becoming increasingly demanding on her time. Torn between her work and home, she’s beginning to question that deal she made.

Over the twelve short weeks of summer, these three strangers will meet and grow close, will share secrets and bury lies. And as the promise of June turns into the chilly nights of August, the truth will come out, forcing each of them to decide what they value most, and what they are willing to give up to keep it.

I wanted to read this new novel because my favorite author Elin Hilderbrand recommended it as a good summer read while on her recent book signing tour that I attended. It was a light and easy read that took place in the summer on Block Island (I recently read and enjoyed the book The Summer Wives and reviewed that one which also takes place on Block Island) but I don't think the author did as great of a job of painting/describing the Island's beauty the way that Hilderbrand describes Nantucket.  She does it so well that I fell in love with the island and booked my own trip there! I did at least really enjoy Anthony's character and the build up to learning why he was such a disgraced literary star. The other two main characters are likeable enough...but I just didn't find myself falling in love with any of them. Also the drama and build up in this book is just SO predictable.  Of course if you lie about your past to a new love interest it's eventually going to come back to haunt you.  Of course if you hide a secret project from your husband he's eventually going to find out about it and you will have to have a tête-à-tête when he finds out what you are up to.  While there were parts of the book I liked, waiting for the climax/breaking point for these drama situations just seemed kind of expected and cliché to me.  Overall it was an ok summer read, but I wouldn't go out of my way to pick this one up to try this year.

My in person club meet this past month at a winery store front called Vintner's Table in Phoenixville, PA for some wine flights and book discussion! It was a great time to catch up and chat and we all agreed we were ready for one more easy summer read to pick for our next book too.  I'll share next time what we picked!

1 comment

  1. I just finished It's Always the Husband, and felt exactly the same. I wanted to be done with it, it was grueling getting thru the first 2/3. Kate was such a *itch and the other two were just awful too. It felt like there was a lot of just filler to add pages to the book maybe.