The Perfect Love Song: A Christmas Story by Patti Callahan Henry

Ah, Christmas time; the most wonderful time of the year! It’s no secret to my family that I love Christmas! I especially love getting my hands on a good Christmas book each year!

Thank you Tandem Literary and Thomas Nelson for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Brothers Jimmy and Jack Sullivan live a nomadic life doing what they love: touring with their band, The Unknown Souls. But Jack’s recent engagement to Kara has everyone looking forward to a Christmas destination wedding in Ireland. Unlike his brother, Jimmy never expected to fall in love. But he feels a sense of peace and happiness whenever he’s around Kara’s best friend, Charlotte—which has him wondering what he’s missing. Over Thanksgiving, Jimmy and Charlotte write a song while sitting together on the back porch. When the band sings it at a Christmas concert the next night, Jimmy insists it’s the perfect love song—but a manager for another famous duo is adamant that it’s the perfect Christmas song. Before Jimmy knows what’s happening, he’s on tour with the hottest country band around and suddenly everyone knows his name. But fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Jimmy finds himself far away from those he loves—especially Charlotte. Only a Christmas miracle—or two—will be able to lead Jimmy back to Ireland, to his brother, and to love. 

If you’re into Hallmark Christmas movies, then this book has your name written all over it. I love a good romance book, but this was a tad too cheesy for me. It kind of reminded me of an adult gushy version of a young adult romance novel. I’m all for a young adult romance novel when it is written well. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Patti’s writing because everything just flows together so easily. This just wasn’t my cup of tea. The remake of the cover? SUPERB!

3/5 Stars

Twenty-One Truths about Love by Matthew Dicks

Do you find yourself as more of a type A person or type B? Are you one to make lists just so you can check off what you’ve completed? If you love lists, you’ve come to the right place.

Thank you St Martin’s Press for my finished copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: 1. Daniel Mayrock loves his wife Jill…more than anything.
2. Dan quit his job and opened a bookshop.
3. Jill is ready to have a baby.
4. Dan is scared; the bookshop isn’t doing well. Financial crisis is imminent.
5. Dan hasn’t told Jill about their financial trouble. He’s ashamed.
6. Then Jill gets pregnant.
This heartfelt story is about the lengths one man will go to and the risks he will take to save his family. But Dan doesn’t just want to save his failing bookstore and his family’s finances—he wants to become someone.
1. Dan wants to do something special.
2. He’s a man who is tired of feeling ordinary.
3. He’s sick of feeling like a failure.
4. Of living in the shadow of his wife’s deceased first husband.
Dan is also an obsessive list maker, and his story unfolds entirely in his lists, which are brimming with Dan’s hilarious sense of humor, unique world-view, and deeply personal thoughts. When read in full, his lists paint a picture of a man struggling to be a man, a man who has reached a point where he’s willing to anything for the love (and soon-to-be new love) of his life. 

So, like I said previously, if you love lists, you’ll love this book because it’s written entirely in lists! I’m really glad I got the chance to read it because I think it’s such an interesting way to tell a story. I literally felt like I understood the characters way more than I ever have in any other book. Reading his lists just catapulted me into his brain and into his heart way deeper than any other book has. I consider that such a unique experience that I’m glad I didn’t miss out on. It wasn’t my favorite story to read and I think it’s because it was a tad disjointed due to reading it in short segments. I wouldn’t pick it up again to read, but I’m glad I got the opportunity to do so.

3.5/5 Stars

Make Your Own Beauty Masks by Emma Trithart

Self-Care is crucial! Don’t ever go without it! I was so excited to find a book that was unique enough to provide me with tips and tricks and physical treats to enjoy some self-care of my own!

Thank you Odd Dot for gifting me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: This book has simple and fun recipes that feature wholesome ingredients you can find in your fridge or pantry. Whether you are dry-skinned, oily, or just want refreshing “me-time,” find a recipe that best suits your needs. Mix the ingredients together in a blender or a bowl and apply the mask for ten to twenty minutes. You’ll finish with gorgeous, fresh skin!

First of all, I LOVE that the book comes with 10 of your own face masks to make! They are super adorable! I’m even more in love with the recipes in the book – they are so colorful, simple, refreshing, and organic! I even feel safe using these face masks recipes with my toddler! My skin feels refreshed, rejuvenated, and alive after using much of these recipes. I admit that I blew through all 10 of my face masks very quickly, but now I have the recipes to be able to make tons more whenever I want.

5/5 Stars

100 Words of Affirmation Your Wife and Husband Need to Hear by the Jacobsons

I recently posted a review on the Jacobsons other latest book releases – 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and Wife. These books go alone with their release as well.

Thank you Revell Reads for my gifted copies in exchange for my honest reviews.

Synopsis: Every one of us has tremendous power to either build others up or tear them down through the words we speak every day, and nowhere is this more evident than in our marriages. Are you being purposeful in how you use the power of your words to speak encouragement, strength, and love–breathing life into the heart of your spouse? Or are careless words having a negative impact on your marriage and on the heart of the one you love most? Matt and Lisa Jacobson want you and your spouse to discover the powerful ways you can build one another up in love with the words that you choose to say every day–words that every husband and wife need to hear. These books offer you 100 Things to say to your husband or wife that deeply encourage, affirm, and inspire. Start speaking these words into each other’s lives and watch your spouse–and your relationship–transform before your eyes.

If I had to choose between these books and their other books (100 Ways to Love Your Husband and Wife), I would totally pick these. I won’t go into much of the review of those books since you can check it out in my feed, but these were the books I should’ve picked up in the first place. These books are great resource books to quickly grab and flip through to give you that date-night inspiration or the right words to say when your spouse has had a bad day. This one fit my husband and I way better than their other sets of books. It wasn’t over-the-top cheesy and reminded us of our love languages and the important things to say even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal in the moment. I really enjoyed these.

4/5 Stars

Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee

Did anyone ever tell you that if a boy hits you on the playground, that must mean he likes you? I thought about this as soon as I saw this title and knew I had to read it to find out more.

Thank you Alladin books for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: For seventh grader Mila, it starts with an unwanted hug on the school blacktop. The next day, it’s another hug. A smirk. Comments. It all feels…weird. According to her friend Zara, Mila is being immature, overreacting. Doesn’t she know what flirting looks like? But it keeps happening, despite Mila’s protests. On the bus, in the halls. Even during band practice-the one time Mila could always escape to her “blue-sky” feeling. It seems like the boys are EVERYWHERE. And it doesn’t feel like flirting–so what is it? Mila starts to gain confidence when she enrolls in karate class. But her friends still don’t understand why Mila is making such a big deal about the boys’ attention. When Mila is finally pushed too far, she realizes she can’t battle this on her own–and finds help in some unexpected places.

I don’t think this book could’ve come out at a better time than now. I personally experienced sexual abuse by a neighbor as a child and have been able to heal from it. But I think it’s important that we share stories to bring awareness of how to find strength, growth, and healing through it all. I was nervous to read it at first, but Mila is a wonderful character and I was so happy to read her story. The ending was so perfect and I think will help any girl (or boy) who has been in a situation like this.

5/5 Stars

Only You Can Be You by The Clarksons

If there is one thing I can do when raising my child, it’s to show her and let her know how amazing and spectacular she is in her own way. Books like this are perfect for just that.

Thank you Tommy Nelson for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: In their first picture book, bestselling author Sally Clarkson and her son Nathan encourage children on the journey to discovering their strengths. Mother and son duo draw on themes from their first book, Different, the emotive story of Nathan’s experiences growing up with mental illness and learning disabilities and Sally’s journey to loving him unconditionally. With the powerful truth that what makes you different makes you great, Only You Can Be You will help children embrace their differences and celebrate the differences in others. The irresistible rhymes paired with Tim Warnes’s whimsical illustrations encourage your children with the reassurance they’re looking for in their own uniqueness. Whether they are quiet or artistic, funny or boisterous, your children will love this heartwarming read that assures them that they’re wonderful exactly as they are. 

The artwork in this book was absolutely beautiful. My toddler loved the animals and how each child was dressed. She would point to them and name them which was fun it itself. What I wish I saw more in the book was a better rhyming scheme. Some pages rhymed and seemed to fit together perfectly, while others seemed a little off balanced. The moral of the story was wonderful and exactly what I was looking for in a book like this. It really illustrates how amazing we all are.

4/5 Stars

Believe In You by the Gimorelli Sisters

As a high school teacher and someone who loves to help with the youth group at church, I am always trying to keep up to date with the latest trends. I hadn’t noticed the popularity of the Gimorelli sisters up until now and I was so excited to check out their latest book!

Thank you Tommy Nelson for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: As Christina, Katherine, Lisa, Amy, Lauren and Dani tour the world with their music and read their social media messages, they meet and hear from thousands of girls sharing their hearts. Now, in Believe in You, the sisters are connecting with young women who have the same concerns.

The teen years may be difficult, confusing, awkward and scary, but it’s a lot better when you have someone to go to for advice and some positive, encouraging words. Reading Believe in You is like receiving a big hug and the assurance that you never, ever have to try to change who you genuinely are to be like someone else. You are amazing and unique!

This was really cute! I love that each chapter has different viewpoints from the sisters which makes this book unique and stand apart from others like it. Their advice is sound in the gospel and stuff that I wanted to hear as a teen from someone who’s been through it all. Highly recommend this one!

5/5 Stars