The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

It’s the second Tuesday of the month which means that it’s my favorite Tuesday of the month because I get to fill my To Be Read list with way more books than I’ll ever read. But hey, that’s half the fun right, seeing if you can make it through a never ending list. This month was a month of audiobooks and a reread, a really good book, and a not so great book. So buckle up and get ready for some good book recommendations!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In March

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ★ 5 stars

When we found out that they were making the miniseries on HBO, I knew that it would be fun to reread this book with Chris. Since we both had enjoyed listening to Sharp Objects so much, we decided to listen to Big Little Lies since we were still driving a lot in February and March.

We both loved this book so much, but I just wish that we’d had a little bit of a break before starting up the TV show. I’ve had a lot of experience in reading a book and then seeing the movie or TV show right afterward and knowing to not expect things to be exactly the same, but unfortunately Chris didn’t quite realize the same thing. He got irritated with some of the differences between the show and book that were small, but that he thought was important.

While I really enjoyed the show a lot the one part that really irritated me was the fact that Madeleine ended up having an affair in the show. I seriously don’t understand how that added anything to the storylines at all, and in my opinion it made her extremely unlikeable. I mean Madeleine in the book was definitely overbearing, but she was still likeablel.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In March

Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler ★★ 4 stars

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

I’m a huge fan of light-hearted teeny-bopper types of books, and while this one was kind of predictable I still really enjoyed it a lot!

When high school junior Harper gets the opportunity of a lifetime to be a summer intern at Shift magazine as their dating blogger, she immediately jumps at the opportunity. The idea of living in NYC and doing the thing that she’s so passionate about has her beyond excited, although there is a slight problem of the fact that she’s never really dated before. This book takes you on a summer journey with Harper as she learns about friendship, love, and living in NYC!

Like I said I love light YA books, so this was right up my alley. I identified with Harper, the clumsy and clutzy girl that never really knows what to say. It was more like 3.5 stars, but I rounded up to 4!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In March

What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman ★★ 4 stars

I really loved this book and didn’t want it to end. The story follows two different women from different decades, one from the 30’s and one from the 90’s, as they both struggle with mental illness in slightly different ways. I was horrified to learn about how the mentally insane were treated in our country and how some people were even committed against their will.

While sometimes the different storylines can be confusing, I thought that the author did a really good job of alternating view points and also of linking the storylines as well. There was a little bit of mystery to the storyline, which y’all all know that I love as well. This is a great book and one that if you’re a little bit interested in historical fiction you should pick up!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In March

The Girls by Emma Cline ★★ 3 stars

This was a book that was selected for the Beyond Words: A Blogger’s Book Club for this past month, and I wrote a detailed review here. Set in the 1960s, this book had an interesting premise of revolving around a cult and how easily people can be influenced to do horrible things.

This book follows a young Evie who sees a group of ratty girls that is gallivanting around her small town on the outskirts of San Francisco. She is immediately drawn to those girls and the cool lifestyle that they seem to lead, but especially to Suzanne who has an air and confidence to her that Evie can’t get enough of. Eventually Evie meets those girls and they introduce her to Russell who is the leader of the group that promotes love for everyone. Evie spends her days that summer at the ranch and is drawn in even more by Suzanne and the other girls, until something horrible happens that changes everything.

Once I got into the book it held my interest, but I felt like it took too long to get to the part about the cult and then after you found out what happened the book just ended. I also didn’t care for the characters and couldn’t relate to them at all.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In March

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh ★★ 4 stars

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

This is actually the book for the Beyond Words: A Bloggers Book Club for April, so I’ll write a more detailed review later on. When a horrific hit and run accident kills young Jacob, the police will stop at nothing to find out who fled the scene of that horrific scene. At the same time Jenna flees her home in Bristol in order to start a brand new life away from that horrific scene. Through alternating chapters you can see how Jenna starts to build her life again while the police struggle with too little evidence in order to bring a murderer to justice.

I can totally see why everybody loved this book. While the beginning was a little bit slow, at about 45% of the way through, I seriously couldn’t put this book down. It was glued to my hands and I didn’t want it to end! Definitely pick this up if you’re looking for a good story, thriller, and character development.

Have you read any of these books? Are you going to add any of these books to your list?

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Show Us Your Books- What I Read In March 2017- Big Little Lies, Little Black Dresses Little White Lies, What She Left Behind, The Girls, I Let You Go.

My Erin’s Book Challenge 6.0 Choices:

My Erin’s Book Challenge 6.0 Results:

5 points:  Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages.
The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney (320 pages, 4 stars).
10 points:  Read a book with six words in the title.
Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler (320 pages, 4 stars).
20 points:  Read a book with a homonym in the title.
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (371 pages, 4 stars).
20 points:  (Submitted by Linda) Read a book by your favorite author.
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella (400 pages, 5 stars).
30 points:  (Submitted by Peggy) Read a “Rory Gilmore” book.  
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (256 pages, 3 stars).
30 points:  (Submitted by Stef)  Read a book from a genre that you’ve never read (or rarely read.)
Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler (264 pages, 4 stars).

PREVIOUS POINTS: 85
TOTAL POINTS: 115

  • Nadine

    Ohhh I hadn’t seen BLL yet, just a huge fan of the book. Chris and I were saving it to binge all at once. I didn’t know that Madeleine was going to have an affair in the show! That is a big difference from the book! Little Black Dress sounds really cute. I have to be in the mood for a book that swaps time. You have to pay attention haha

    • I know what you mean about being in the mood for books that swap time! If you’re not in the mood for it, you’re just not going to like it. And I hope that you get to watch BLL soon! It’s the perfect little miniseries to binge watch because it was only 7 episodes. While I hated the affair part in the show, it wasn’t a huge part of the storyline, which was nice.

  • Emily Dunham

    I have heard such mixed reviews on The Girls – think I am going to keep that one off the list for awhile.

  • I loved Big Little Lies when I read it two summers ago and so I was so excited to see it turned into a miniseries. I was little irritated with the Madeleine cheating storyline too, didn’t think it was necessary at all. But other than that I thought it was really well done. And I’m glad they did a miniseries as opposed to a movie because they wouldn’t have been able to get everything into a movie. Oh and the music was on point!

    • There’s no way that they’d be able to get everything from the BLL storyline into a movie! I’m so glad that they did the miniseries, and I think that Reese Witherspoon was a big push behind getting it going because she loved the book so much. Oh my goodness, the music seriously was the best in BLL! I think that I need to download the soundtrack if they have it available!

  • Lots of good books here! I finally just bought a copy of Big Little Lies because I’ve had it on hold at the library forever. I had to take a break from The Girls but plan to come back to it. I just couldn’t quite get into it knowing I had other books that I wanted to read!

    • I know how you feel! I started a book on Monday and while it’s ok, I just don’t really feel like reading it right now and would probably get into more of a thriller. Hooray for getting a copy of BLL! I hope that you get to read it soon and love it! It’s a little different from the show, but I thought that the show did a good job of adapting the book.

  • I hope to read BLL next month. 🙂 We’ve got the mini series on the DVR. What She Left Behind sounds really interesting. 🙂 Looking into that one now! 🙂 XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • Yes! I hope that you end up loving both the book and the miniseries, although you might need some time between when you watch it and when you finish reading the book. What She Left Behind was really good, and I think that I was surprised by how much I ended up loving it.

  • I felt the same way about The Girls! It wasn’t nearly as good as everyone made it out to be.

    • I was really surprised by how great the reviews ended up being because while the cult part was good, it just seemed like it took forever to get there. Oh well, I guess that I’ll know for next time!

  • I really want to read big little lies, we loved the show. I have the girls and I will not rush to read it. I need to pick up what she left behind for sure!

    • I think that you’ll love the book even more since you loved the show! There were a few behind the scenes moments that they couldn’t capture in the show. And I definitely don’t think that you’re missing much when it comes to The Girls, but I think that What She Left Behind is a definite must read!

  • What She Left Behind sounds really intriguing- and The Girls has been on my list! Need to check that.

    • I really enjoyed What She Left Behind, and it really held me attention well, which is saying a lot considering that I only listened to it sporadically since it was on audible. I definitely recommend picking up a copy!

  • Oh yeah, never-ending list is right. The struggle is real!

    I hadn’t heard of What She Left Behind. It sounds really good.

    • I seriously just looked at my “Want To Read” list on Goodreads and it’s almost 1,000 books long. I don’t know if it’s possible to even read that many books in my lifetime! What She Left Behind was definitely one of my favorites this month, and I hope that you get to pick it up sometime soon!

  • oh man, i haven’t watched big little lies yet, i was waiting to binge as well. bummer about the affair, that’s already tainting my opinion of the show. i loved i let you go. so good! i think the fact that it was so slow in the first half made me love it so much because it was such a shock. so good!

    • I bet the fact that it’s set in the US instead of Australia is probably tainting your opinion of the show too! I really wish that they’d kept in Australia, even though the California setting made for some beautiful scenes! Overall though, they did a really good job adapting it, and I think that you’ll enjoy it! And I totally agree with you about I Let You Go! I was totally not expecting anything that happened in the second half of the book! I’m looking forward to reading her next book!

  • Ohhh that sucks about the affair in BLL! I haven’t watched it yet but hoping to get to it soon. I know what you mean about reading a book and then very quickly watching the movie or show…it can definitely ruin the show for me unintentionally. It happened to me with at least two of the Harry Potter movies and with a Dan Brown one too. I really enjoyed I Let You Go too – I feel like there should be a disclaimer on the cover that tells you to stick with it until the halfway point because I honestly almost gave up before that. lol.

    • The same thing happened to me with a couple of the Harry Potter movies! I’ll always remember going to see the 5th movie with a friend who hadn’t read the books and I had just finished the 5th book that day. She came out of the theater loving it, and I came out thinking it was the worst movie ever! I definitely try to plan better now! And they really do need a disclaimer about I Let You Go! I’m pretty sure that I put that you have to stick with it in my review on Goodreads because so many people had told me the same thing and I was glad that I stuck with it!

  • BLL is my favorite Moriarty book. Some of the plotlines that they changed for the show were irritating, like the affair, but I get why they did it.

    I felt lukewarm about The Girls. It could have been much better but it wasn’t horrid.

    • It’s a toss up between BLL and What Alice Forgot as my favorite Moriarty. I love how she’s able to do the multiple storylines like in BLL, but What Alice Forgot is really good too! I understand why they did some of those things too, but it just reinforces the fact that books are always better than the movies!

  • Deborah Starling

    “What She Left Behind” sounds awesome! Thank you so much for including a historical fiction read in this list. It is definitely be added to the TBR list. I think historical fiction gets a bad reputation but there are so many phenomenal books out there. A really awesome series that I recently got into is called the “Empire Baron” series and the first book is “Robbing the Pillars” by Kalen Vaughan Johnson
    (http://kalenvaughanjohnson.com/). The book follows a Scottish family that moves to California during the gold rush in hopes of wealth and a better life (not to mention the father is fleeing from the law!). I like it because the book focuses on this family and their hopes and dreams but also gives a real feel for the greed and corruption during this time period and what exactly the poor miners were faced with; it was such a dangerous job! It is a fantastic book and I can’t wait to see what else this series has to offer. Perhaps it can make it on a future list! Thanks again!

  • I found The GIrls to be so disappointing. I thought it started so strongly then ended weirdly and just lost momentum. I really loved I Let You Go but was severely disappointed in I See You. I love the cover to Little Black Dress, so cute! I’m adding What She Left Behind to my TBR, if it’s not already there. It sounds familiar and my TBR is unwieldy. 😀

    • The cover definitely drew me in for Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies too, and I was glad that it was such a cute book. I’m right there with you a crazy TBR list! If What She Left Behind isn’t on your list already, definitely check it out! It was one of my favorites this past month. I got I See You from Netgalley, and I was so sad when I read your review of it. I think that I’ll give it a few months or so before I read it so I’m not comparing it too much to I Let You Go.

  • Jen

    I’ve heard so many people talk about Big Little Lies! It seems like something I would enjoy. Do you like audiobooks? I think it is something that I would enjoy since I do quite a bit of driving.

    • I usually don’t listen to that many audiobooks, but Chris and I actually listened to BLL when we were doing so many driving trips earlier this year and we loved that copy! Sometimes the narrator can make or break the book, but I liked the BLL narrator a lot, and that might have something to do with her Australian accent!

  • I hated The Girls! I thought it had so much promise with a very interesting premise.

    I liked Big Little Lies the book much more than I thought I would.

    • I totally agree with you about The Girls! A cult would be so interesting to read about, especially one that killed people, but it just fell flat.

      I’m glad that you ended up liking BLL! It’s one of my favorites from Moriarty!

  • I have had What She Left Behind on my list forever! I definitely need to read it soon. I STILL haven’t read Big Little Lies. That needs to happen ASAP too!

    • Yes it does! I think that you’d love BLL and What She Left Behind. What She Left Behind was definitely a little bit sadder of a book because of how horrible psychiatric patients were treated, but it was definitely interesting!

  • Erin sent me Big Little Lies and I am so excited to read it. I’ve actually never read it before, but I really must now that it’s a TV show I might want to watch one day. And if a TV show has Alexander Skarsgard in it, I will probably want to see it at some point. I also want to read I Let You Go – I’ve heard so many good things about it.

    • Hooray for Erin sending you BLL! It’s one of my favorite Moriarty books (I think that a lot of people like The Husband’s Secret more, but this one I think is better), so I hope that you like it and then get to watch the series. And Alexander Skarsgard’s character definitely has some “flaws”, but he’s still just so attractive, you can’t help but like him! I Let You Go I got from Netgalley forever ago, and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t read it sooner! It was so good!

  • I’m so glad you guys finished BLL! It can be sooo hard not to compare so I totally understand why Chris was frustrated in the differences. The affair annoyed me too and I think the only reason they added it was to have another storyline that could be based around sex (it is HBO, lol), but definitely didn’t make you really emphasize for Madeline at all. I also wished they would have given more explanation for the bulling with the kids and why Amabella blamed Ziggy at first– that was such a big plot point and then in the end it got brushed over, where from what I remember, they explained it more in the book. I’m inching closer to it being my turn on the wait list for I Let You Go and I’m so excited to finally read it!

    • That’s what I was thinking with Madeleine’s affair too, that HBO just needed more sex for the storyline. Usually their first season of a new show is filled with it and then it slowly stops being so prevalent. And I think that what you were saying as far as the backstory on the kids and the bullying was one of the reasons that my husband got irritated. They definitely put more into the show than they ever would have been able to do if it had been a movie, but there’s still no way they could do it all. Hooray for finally getting I Let You Go! It’s such a good book, just remember to stick with it until you hit the 50% mark!

  • That’s how I felt about I Let You Go. The first half of the book, I kept thinking… “Why is everyone raving about this?” Then wham! The other shoe dropped and everything changed.

    I will have to go back and see what you thought about Chelsea Handler’s book (for Erin’s challenge). I listened to it last summer.

    • I think that I normally make the mistake of not listening to comedians books and I read them instead. I’m sure that Chelsea Handler’s book was way more funny to listen to than to read. And you’re totally right about I Let You Go! I couldn’t believe it when the other storyline pretty much just popped up!

  • shootingstarsmag

    I see a lot of people aren’t really loving The Girls, so I think I’ll pass on that one. I do want to read Big Little Lies at some point!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

    • Yeah, The Girls kept my interest, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite book that I’ve read recently. I think that I would have been fine without it. BLL is a fantastic book, and I hope that you get the chance to read it soon!

  • Big Little Lies is my favorite Moriarty book! I wasn’t a fan of The Girls either but enjoyed I Let You Go. I love a good YA book and both Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies and What She Left Behind look like books I’d enjoy.

    • If you’re looking for a cutesy YA book, then definitely pick up Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies. It’s a really cute and light read that’s perfect for the summer, plus it’s set in NYC, what’s not to love! BLL is one of my favorites from Moriarty too! I also really love What Alice Forgot as well.

  • Ooooh thanks for putting Little Black Dresses on my radar, and I still need to read Big Little Lies. Hello tv mini series <3

    Green Fashionista

    • Yes, definitely read Big Little Lies even if you’ve seen the miniseries! I think that it would only help you to love the characters even more! And Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies was so cute, definitely a great summer book!

  • I really want to read What She Left Behind…it sounds like such an interesting read! Thanks for sharing this great book list!

    http://roadesque.com
    http://ourruins.com

    • Thanks for stopping by! What She Left Behind was so interesting, and I loved that it gave you a peak into what it was like psychiatric patients in the United States in the early 1900s.

  • Biana Perez

    I felt the same way about her affair – like why did they have to write that into the show!! It made me not like her character! I’m definitely going to add I let you go to my reading list!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    • It was beyond frustrating to me! I loved Madeleine’s character, and she already had some flaws, so I didn’t understand why they needed to add an affair on top of that. You definitely need to add I Let You Go to your list! It’s a really good thriller, it just takes a while to get into it!

  • I felt differently about the Madeline storyline. I think it added a more complex layer to her character. I thought Reese did a good job with the acting performance. I actually felt her guilt, shame, and pain.
    You know that you and I often have the same opinions about books we read. I DNF The Girls. And, I don’t quit books often, but I just did not like the author’s writing style at all.
    I really want to read What She Left Behind. I need to see if my new library has it. The one I went to before didn’t.

    • I thought that they all did such a good job with their performances in BLL, and I think that the scene with Madeleine and her daughter when she tells her about the affair was so well done. I think that I just had it in my head that Madeleine was just so nice and I really liked her and it just seemed out of character for her to have an affair. It’ll be interesting though to see if any of them get Emmy’s this year for their performances!

      I totally understand why you didn’t finish The Girls. I hate not finishing books, plus this one was for a book club, so I wanted to finish it up for a review. I hope that you get to read What She Left Behind! My mom had it randomly on her audible and I’m so glad that she did because I loved it!

  • Cat

    Oh I’ve had I Let You Go on my reading list for a while but just haven’t gotten around to reading it! Glad to see you liked it, maybe I’ll have to read it soon. And I’ve seen the cover for The Girls around but never really picked it up or looked into it. The cover does look kind of cult-y haha. The other books look good as well, definitely adding to my reading list lol!

    • I was the same with with I Let You Go! I don’t understand why it took me so long to pick it up and read it, but I’m so glad that I finally did! It’s such a good book! I was really intrigued by The Girls cover as well, which was another reason that I was disappointed with how it ended up turning out.

  • I bought BLL last May and have never read it! It’s on my list esp now bc of the show!!

    • You have to read it soon, especially because of the TV show. It’s such a good show and definitely worth the read!

  • Ugh I thought the same thing about BLL and Madeline. I wish they filmed it in Sydney like the book.

    • Me too! I loved the landscape for the show, but Sydney definitely would have been beautiful too! Plus I would have loved listening to the Australian accents!

  • I loved BLL. It was such a great book. The show is pretty good as well.

  • I just read Big Little Lies last month! I didn’t like the things they changed in the show either. At least with a potential S2, we won’t have a book to compare the show to!

    • That’s so true! Overall they did a really good job making the book into a tv series. It’s definitely not easy to do well!

  • Wow, you’ve had a great month. I think books are a great way to travel and meet wonderful people without leaving the house. 😀

    I would want to read these. They look interesting.

    • I totally agree! I don’t think that my husband understands why I like to read so much, but I love the escape it gives me! If you haven’t read some of these I hope you pick one up soon!

  • Rachel

    I’ve making lists of books to buy/download before our trip in May so this post is so timely! I have to say, I love teeny-bopper books too…they are probably my favorite to read haha! The real world and life is so serious, I always see reading as my escape from all that so I’m always attracted to these light-hearted books. I will definitely be adding Little Black Dress, Little White Lies to my list — although predictable, it sounds really cute! Have a great weekend, Ashley!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde’s Moment

    • I totally agree with you! While I do enjoy thrillers every now and then, I really enjoy the light and easy reads (a lot of time they’re the teen books) because you get to escape from the craziness of everyday life. I think that you’ll like Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies! I thought that it was really cute and I loved that it was set in NYC too!

  • Ok, Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies is definitely on my next to read list! Not only do I love that cover but it sounds like an easy fun read and I need that right now! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

    • It really is! If you’re a fan of NYC and I know that you like fashion, I bet that you’ll like this book! Even though it was predictable, it was still really cute.

  • Oh my goodness, I literally want to read ALL THESE BOOKS! Great selection!

  • What She Left Behind sounds like a great read, totally adding that to my list! I am loving the miniseries Big Little Lies, but have yet to read the book but I am totally curious!

    • Even though you’ll already know the basic storyline of BLL I think that it’s still worth it to read it. It gives you a lot of background into the characters which is interesting. And What She Left Behind was so good! I definitely wouldn’t have picked it up if it wasn’t for my mom having it on her audible account.

  • I read one Liane Moriarity and didn’t love it, but I want to try Big Little Lies because I’ve heard such great things. I had The Girls on my list too, but I’ve seen a lot of so-so reviews so I might have to skip that one!

    • Definitely skip The Girls and pick up BLL or another Moriarty book instead! Which one did you read that you didn’t love? My favorites are What Alice Forgot and BLL but I also liked The Huabands Secret too.

  • BLL was such a great mini-series, HBO can’t do you wrong… and I bought like 4 songs off that soundtrack. I read somewhere that the director (with permission from L. Moriarty) added the cheating story line to the series because Madeline was “too likable”. He wanted to flaw her in a way like the other characters… and then he said that Perry was so unlikable that he wanted to make him a little softer by having him to go therapy, etc. Movies always do that kind of stuff, so I’m used to it too… like I wish The Girl on the Train was filmed in London, oh well lol.

    • I totally agree that HBO can do no wrong! I’m already looking forward to GOT returning! And I guess that I do understand why they added the cheating storyline I was just bummed about it. And I feel like no matter what I was going to hate Perry lol! And why didn’t they shoot The Girl On The Trajn in London? That was so dumb because the train hung is so much bigger over there!

  • I read BLL a while ago so when I was watching the show I couldn’t really remember what ended up happening, which I guess made it a bit more exciting to watch. The Girls was way too hyped up in my opinion, for the most part nothing really happened except until the very end. I almost didn’t finish I Let You Go because it was such a slow book until the ex husband’s narrative emerged halfway through the book, then I could’t put it down!

    • That’s definitely the way to go when books are being made into movies or shows, but I was definitely glad that my husband listened to it with me, even if it meant that he didn’t like the show as much. So I totally was falling asleep in I Let You Go, and then I got to that narrative too and I couldn’t put it down! It was definitely worth the wait!

  • I have so many thoughts for you! I actually loved the girls, but I do agree with your synopsis especially about the ending. as for big little lies, we already watched the show and then I bought the book haha – do you still think it’s worth reading? I have had I let you go on my bookshelf for a year and still haven’t read it… why?!?! I hear it’s great.

    • I think that it’s definitely still worth reading! If anything I think that it’ll give you even more insight into the characters. Plus there were a few other differences that I think that you’ll like. The miniseries really was so good and I was so glad that Chris listened to the book and watched it with me!

  • I just read The Girls recently and watched Big Little Lies but I’m definitely adding the others to my list. Do you think Big Little Lies is worth reading even if I’ve seen the show…?

    http://littlewhytebook.com/

    • I think that it’s still worth reading even though you’ve seen the show and know the basic plot. I think that it’ll give you more insight into the characters and why they did what they did.

  • This is perfect timing, I’m about to finish my current book and really needed a new one! Thank you!