Fall Book Review

Happy Monday! I’ve been M.I.A on social media this weekend due to Florence, I’m sorry. Charlotte was very lucky not to get completely hit, but there was still some damages and a lot of rain. In the time I had inside going stir-crazy, I was able to get some reading done. If you are anything like me and love a good book, here are my three suggestions going into the fall. These choices range in genre, but have kept me turning each page rigorously trying to see how each chapter would end and begin. Let me know if you end up reading any of these and tag me or use the hashtag #atabookreview.  Without further to do, here are my favorites going into fall!

1. Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave 

“Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream, she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor. And then she gets hacked. When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home, and the estranged sister, she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life. In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.”

This specific book felt slightly relatable in a way to my personal journey. I think we all at some point in our lives feel like an impostor which made me root for the main character. Without giving too much away, there are times in this book where you want to throw it across the room, but then you’ll quickly run and get it to continue reading to see what actually happens! This is my kind of book. It makes you hate and love Sunshine all at the same time, you find a little bit of yourself within her, and it has a big shocker as well. This is a 241 pager and I read it in just over a day with not one single regret.

2. Boy, 9, Missing by Nic Joseph

“In the tradition of Defending Jacob or Drowning Ruth, this is a suspenseful debut that explores the ramifications of revenge, justice, and the aftermath of a terrible night in the lives of two families.

It should have been just a quiet evening with friends. But Francis lost his brother that night in what was ruled a tragic accident. He’s tried to move on in the last twenty-three years, even though his father certainly hasn’t. Indeed, his father still blames the lone witness, Sam, the nine-year-old son of friends. Perhaps if Sam would have just said something, anything, about what happened that night, but Sam still seems unable-or unwilling-to utter a word about the accident…
And now, twenty-three years later, Sam’s own nine-year-old son has disappeared.”

Boy did this one keep me on my toes! This book threw me for a loop and I am completely okay with it. I am not one usually for some suspense, but this book has actually been the gateway to trying to read more books like it! Coming in at 324 pages, this novel pushed my emotions as any good read should. I cried, gasped, and became happy in many chapters within these pages. The way this is written as well hooks you. As you flip through each chapter and secrets unravel, you just want to know what happened to this poor nine year old boy. You start to make assumptions and with each one you make, you are met with the truth or another clue. This book will keep you engaged and wanting more once it’s done. 

3. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

“In this tale of a kidnapping gone wrong, Mia, the black-sheep daughter of prominent Chicago judge James Dennett, impulsively decides to go home with Colin, a young man she meets in a bar. The one-night stand quickly turns into a nightmare when Colin forces her into his car in the middle of the night, and Mia learns he’s been sent to abduct her for ransom. But just before the drop-off point, Colin, for reasons unknown, decides not to hand her over to the man who has hired him and instead takes her to a remote cabin in Minnesota. Back at home, Mia’s mother, Eve, cannot understand why James doesn’t seem to take the news of his daughter’s disappearance as seriously as she does. Gabe, the detective assigned to the case, wonders the same thing. The narrative unfolds in four different perspectives—from Mia, Eve, Gabe, and Colin, in alternating chapters—which are also structured as “before” and “after.” The organization can prove puzzling, but Kubica’s debut thriller builds suspense steadily and will have readers guessing what’s really going on until the final pages.”

This book was a wild card for me as I found it through Amazon’s suggestion based on one of my monthly free books I get. Well Amazon did not let me down as this 399 pager forced me to take breaks from reading. Each chapter is a different perspective that throws you into the story more and more. As you devour all the information of one chapter, you are met with new information the next that changes what you thought previously and it goes on like that until the very end. This book truly struck a cord with me about deception, love, and life. It will make you question everything you read by the end due to the shock it’ll cause from the last few chapters. Who knew an ugly fictional story about a kidnapping could make you have goosebumps…at least it did for me. 

With each book I suggested, there was a turning point that made me grateful to have them in paperback so that I may reread them all over again. I hope you find some time to decompress and pick up a book. Now that fall is here, some hot cider, an oversize sweater, and a comfy couch will be calling my name for more literature to be read and judged. Keep checking in for more suggestions every month or so and if you have any must-reads, comment down below! As always, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you next time. 

xx Alicia

Getting to Geraghty: You’re Engaged, Now What?

Getting to Geraghty: You’re Engaged, Now What?

Hi guys! Welcome back to my blog. It’s an exciting time in my life and I wanted to share it with each of you. I am starting a wedding series to document my time planning and what better way to kick off that series than with some things I’ve learned so far…being 4 months in. 

When you get engaged, you are so overwhelmed with love and happiness. Dan and I were in Upstate NY and we spent a lot of time with my family before ever telling anyone or announcing it on social media. This would be my piece of advice, take some time together and soak in all of the emotions and memories before announcing the news to friends or on social media.

Now you’ve taken the time and everyone knows you guys are engaged, what now? Well, I say TREAT YO SELF! After the initial surprise went away I picked a few wedding magazines to indulge in, The Knot being a favorite of mine, and I also bought myself a small “bridal” gift. My friends and family gifted us things as well, but I really just wanted to treat myself to a few small things to celebrate my excitement. Side note, if you have never stopped by Simple Sentimental on Etsy- you are missing out! I got a gift from a friend of mine from her shop, which is where I purchased my first gift for myself!

Dan and I got engaged in May and we already knew wanted to give ourselves time so we decided on 2020 fairly quickly. With that said, we decided to go over a few things and pick up planning again in October. This is from personal preference, especially as we were getting into the summer and had a lot of travel plans on the calendar. Along with the year, we discussed our budget, an ideal season, a rough headcount, and an area. My advice would be to discuss those big pictures items first and then decide on when you want to start getting into the actual planning of the wedding. That will vary for everyone, but it was nice to know we were on the same page and prepared for when we started planning. When you talk about those things beforehand, it can really set the stage for what kind of wedding you may have which I think is really important and will take a lot of stress out of the process for you.

Once we got settled, we planned a casual engagement party for our friends back in NC. If you have the time, try and celebrate with your friends! It’s one of the best memories you’ll have and it’ll mean even more when you get to share it with friends you love in person! This will be your village throughout planning so a celebration, no matter the size, I would highly suggest.

My last tip for you would be to start a Pinterest board. I know, I know, a lot of girls already have them, but I didn’t and if I did I think my board would look a lot different. My taste has changed over the years and I suggest you start fresh with a new set of eyes on everything. Keep in mind not everything may be Pinterest perfect on the wedding day, but it’ll be great to draw inspiration from everything you find. Along with a board, I keep a notebook of ideas and lists as well.

Oh, I forgot, I also bum rushed to Facebook and joined all the Wedding related groups for fun. Yup, I’m one of those…

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Either way guys, I am just getting into the waters of actual planning, but with this series I’ll keep you updated with any books, resources, items I buy for this process. I’ll also be sharing a lot of this on my YouTube channel, especially when we go to knock off one of our to-do’s…our venue being one this coming October! Take this advice and these simple tips I have shared and use them to start your engagement on the right path. I am just so grateful I have had an enjoyable engagement thus far and I’m so excited to continue to share my experience with you!

If you’re engaged and planning as well- let me know! This is a series I am looking forward to and I hope you are to. If there are things within the process you will want me to ensure I document, let me know and I’ll do my best to slip it in a blog post or video. As always, thank you for stopping by!

xx Alicia