Buzzwordathon Wrap-Up | June 2019 | YOU

For my second round of Buzzwordathon, a readathon hosted by booktubers Booksandlala and Chanelletime, I went in with the much more (in my opinion) reasonable goal of 4 books in 7 days. [As opposed to my last, highly ambitious attempt of 7 books in 7 days – read about how that went here!]

For those not familiar with Buzzwordathon, it’s a week-long readathon with the goal of reading only books with a particular word in the title. This round’s buzzword was “you.” I chose 4 books on my owned TBR to tackle, and I’m happy to say that I completed all of them! Below are mini-reviews of the books I read and my thoughts on each of them – I’m very happy to say that not only was it a great week for my page count, but also for my enjoyment. No books lower than 3 stars, and two 5-stars!

Title: I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This
Author: Kate White
Genre: Female Nonfiction/Business Self-Help
Pages: 345
My Rating: 5 stars

Brief Summary: Kate White, the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, wrote this book to be a complete career guide for young women in any industry. It covers everything from how to apply for and land your first job, to how to impress your boss, to how to get promoted, to how to manage other people, all the way up to how to handle reaching the “big job” that you’ve spent your whole career striving for.

My Thoughts: I wrote on Goodreads that this is one of, if not THE, best career-focused self-help books I’ve ever read. Even though my industry is COMPLETELY different from the magazine/media industry, there were so many helpful tips throughout this book. It’s long enough to actually flush out all of her points (a big pet peeve of mine in self-help books is when they say a catchy, inspirational tip but then don’t follow up on how it’s actually useful), but moved quickly enough to cover a LOT of ground – pretty much an entire career. I didn’t ever find myself skimming or getting bored. Overall I’m just really happy to own and have read this book, and I can absolutely see myself reaching for it again as I reach different points in my career.

Title: The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 196
My Rating: 3 stars

Brief Summary: This novel follows Eddie, an amusement park maintenance worker who suddenly reaches the end of his 83-year-old life. After death, he goes through a journey of meeting five people who have died before him and were integral in his life, whether he knew it at the time or not. He learns lessons about his life, his death, the world around him, and the impact his seemingly simple life left.

My Thoughts: This book is as heartwarming and inspirational as the title makes it seem. I think it is aimed at a younger audience, so I’m not surprised that I found the stories to be pretty simple and the life lessons a little cliché, but they are good life lessons nonetheless.

Title: Do You Realize?
Author: Kevin A. Kuhn
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 400
My Rating: 5 stars

Brief Summary: This book follows George, a middle-aged man who finds himself completely stuck in a rut in his life. His relationship with his wife is fine, his kids are fine, and his job is fine, but he is not fulfilled in any way. Suddenly his life is shifted when he meets a strange man on the subway offering to let him beta test an app on a new Apple watch that lets him travel to parallel universes and alternate realities of his life, effectively letting him time travel and relive key moments in his life. Around the same time, one of his family members is in an accident that has him wondering if he is living his life to the fullest, or if he could be doing more, a major question that shifts his entire mindset.

My Thoughts: This book – which I picked up on a complete whim on my Bookstore Scavenger Hunt – was the BEST surprise! I absolutely loved this story. It’s reminiscent in a way of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter – so if you enjoyed that book, I think you would enjoy this one, too. But, it’s also very different. Both books explore parallel universes, but Dark Matter does it in a thriller-y way, while this book is much more contemporary in style. Not only did this book keep me entertained, it also made me think deeply about some of life’s biggest mysteries and left me feeling fulfilled and even inspired.

Title: How Lucky You Can Be
Author: Buster Olney
Genre: Sports Memoir
Pages: 215
My Rating: 3 stars

Brief Summary: Don Meyer was a well-renowned college basketball coach who was in a car accident right before his 2008 season. This book tells the story of his coaching life before and after the accident, trying to prove himself as an effective coach and then having to re-develop his entire coaching style after losing one of his legs.

My Thoughts: I think my reading experience would have been a lot better had I known who Don Meyer was before this book. [This book actually belongs to my husband, a big sports fan – I never would have picked it up if we didn’t already own it]. However, I can still appreciate a well-written book with heart-wrenching and heart-warming stories about an incredible coach and person. Very inspiring.


And with that, my second round of Buzzwordathon is over! Though 4 books in a week may not be the MOST impressive, I’m still really happy that I read and enjoyed four full books. Not only that, I’m left feeling refreshed (not burnt out) and ready to finish out June strong! How’s your June going?!


He Will Kill You: Spoiler-Free Book Review

The Book

Title: He Will Kill You
Author: Charlie Gallagher
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 289
Release date: TODAY! March 15, 2019
Content Warnings: Domestic abuse, rape

The Synopsis (Spoiler-Free)

Grace Hughes is a victim of domestic abuse and a prisoner within her own home. Although she has spoken with the police before, she’s too scared to seek the help she needs in order to escape and become safe from the danger she’s in.

Maddie Ives is the detective with a passion for saving abused women and is doing everything she can to bring Grace to safety. Maddie’s also on the police team for an unrelated crime within the same city: a car bomber on the loose and sure to strike again.

Told through multiple perspectives, this thriller follows the victims, and police, and multiple other civilians that all work together to tie this story together.

My Review

I LOVED the first half of this book. Many different storylines and characters were continually introduced, and I was immediately captivated by Grace and wanted nothing more than for her to break free from her abuser. Unfortunately, about halfway through the book, things happened that changed the main storylines (the big twist I suppose, hard to give any details without spoiling!) and I kind of lost interest. The book became more heavily focused on the police-chase aspect of the story and less on the civilians, which were the characters I personally felt more connected to.

The storytelling and pacing of this book were great to the end, and I think there are a lot of people who will really enjoy this entire book. I would certainly recommend it to the people who are into police-focused mysteries. I do think it noteworthy to mention that the book is pretty heavy with police and European jargon, which went over my head a lot of times – but there is a glossary in the back that defines all of the acronyms and specific terminology, which is very helpful! Wish I would have known about it going in!

My overall rating of this book is 3/5, and I do think I would pick up another novel by Charlie Gallagher if the synopsis were of interest to me!

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me in ebook format by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and Joffe Books!


The Girl He Used to Know: Spoiler-Free Book Review

The Book

Title: The Girl He Used to Know
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 291
Release Date: April 2, 2019

The Synopsis (Spoiler-Free)

The Girl He Used to Know is the love story of Annika and Jonathan, told through two different timelines. The first is the year the couple first met, in college at a chess club meeting. The second is ten years later, when the two unexpectedly meet agian in a grocery store and their love rekindles. As the book alternates in timeline and perspective, the entire story is revealed including what happened within those ten years and all of the struggles Annika and Jonathan have had to face, both as a couple and individually.

My Review

This was EASILY a 5-star read for me. I fell in love right alongside the characters and was completely engrossed in the story until the very end. As charming as the story is, it’s also raw and deeply vulnerable at times, and I could not get enough.

The topic of mental health is addressed beautifully in my opinion, as Annika struggles with an autism-spectrum disorder that makes it difficult for her to pick up on social cues and read other people’s emotions. I love that it is not depicted as Annika’s entire identity, nor as a disability. In fact, Jonathan – and I as a reader – fall in love with Annika not despite her disorder, but because of the way she copes with it. The way she navigates social situations and treats other human beings is special.

Before reading this book, I truly didn’t think I was a fan of romance books. Something about this one, however, is different, and the word romance doesn’t seem appropriate for the level of respect, love, and trust these two characters have for each other. I see myself rereading this book several times in the future, and am looking forward to exploring more novels written by Tracey Garvis Graves.

Disclaimer: This Advanced Reader’s Copy was sent to me by St. Martin’s Press and the SheSpeaks program in return for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to #ReadTheGirl!