May Book Reviews + Crochet Peplum Top

This month I'm trying something different by separating my book reviews out from my usual end-of-month recap. I also added a category for "Books" to my drop down menu at the top (under "Categories") so if you need a good book to read for the long weekend or an upcoming vacation, hopefully you can find something here! With that said, let's get on to the outfit of the day and then the book reviews!

Top: Charming Charlie | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Dolce Vita "Sand Nubuck" c/o Amazon (Budget Option) | Bag: c/o Amazon | Necklace: Stella & Dot

This top was an accidental Charming Charlie find (I went into return one thing and came out with this. I'm sure you've all been there!) It has a really cute crisscross detail in the back which unfortunately I cannot photograph for you, but you can see it in the product photo on the website. I sized up to a Small in this but only because it was all they had in store, so I didn't get a chance to try an XS (what I have typically ordered in their tops). I was happy with the fit of the Small, loved all the fun details of the top, and the fact that the fabric was very lightweight and breathable but still provided a lot of skin coverage. It is sheer so it does require a cami, and I'm wearing this $5 one from Target.

I shared several other of my Charming Charlie favorites in this post along with coupon codes you can use this month if you want to pick up a couple of things for yourself!

To get $10 off any order of $60 at Charming Charlie use this code Online: RBTOGOSY 
Or use this code In-Store: 720000000233 
(Both codes expire May 31, 2017)

I love these Dolce Vita Effie sandals and have seen them on quite a few other bloggers already but they add so much fun to otherwise simple outfits (the kind I often wear!) and like they can easily be dressed up or down. But I wasn't sure which color to order because the color displays across various retailers were inconsistent. I knew I wanted a cool-toned neutral sandal since I have a few warm-tone options, but the color displays varied across various retailers. Mine are "Sand Nubuck" which looks more warm-toned and tan on the Amazon site, but they are in fact more of a whitish-grey as shown in my photos.

Front View:
Top: Charming Charlie | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Dolce Vita "Sand Nubuck" c/o Amazon (Budget Option) | Bag: c/o Amazon | Necklace: Stella & Dot

May Book Reviews:

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
This book opens with a hit-and-run accident that causes the death of a child. The story covers the police investigation into trying to find the responsible party, and those left rebuilding their lives after the death of a child. The story has Part One (trying to figure out who caused the accident) and Part Two (trying to catch the killer). Part One for me was incredibly slow for me and I was not really into the book, but I hoped it would get better so I kept reading. (One Amazon reviewer said it was like "watching paint dry" and I have to agree.) Once it got to Part Two...whoa. It picked up and I was very into it. That said, I have to say I am not a fan of reading graphic, detailed accounts of domestic violence by very twisted methods. And this book contained a lot of that so I found myself skimming to get past those scenes. Would I recommend it? Eh, it's okay. If you know people who have read it and want to read it for curiosity's sake, sure. Otherwise it's not high on my "must read" list.

Before We Were Strangers by Renée Carlino
A few ladies I follow on Instagram have been doing Marci's book club and I thought it would be fun to join so I could read the same book at the same time as other people I know.  This was their selection for May and I really liked it! This is the second book I have read by Renée Carlino and so far my favorite of the two. I liked the first one I read ("Swear on this Life," see my full review here) well enough, but I liked this one even better. No real reason, just personal preference I guess! The story opens with a man who has a successful career but an unhappy personal life (recently divorced and he has to work with his ex and her new husband). One day as he's waiting for the subway, he just misses the train and happens to lock eyes with a woman who just got on...and it's a woman that he used to know very well. We learn their history/love story and how they try to re-connect after this chance sighting. If you're in the mood for a quick, easy, chick-lit read this is perfect.

Where they Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
In this book, a newborn baby's body is found in the woods. A local newspaper reporter is given the task of covering the story and we follow her as she tries to solve the mystery of the identity of the baby, who were the parents and how it ended up there. On top of that she is dealing with her own grief of a stillborn child, making the case even more emotional for her. Despite the fact that the premise of this book sounds very sad, the story itself really wasn't. I don't like to read too many sad books and this was more about following the leads and solving the case. I enjoyed the book and found it very easy to get into the story right away. It had a couple of twists that I didn't predict at all, and I would definitely recommend it if you like the mystery/suspense genre. Thanks to Gretchen for recommending this!

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
Oh this was sooooo good. Kristen recommended this book and classified it as, "couldn't put it down." I am 100% in agreement! A woman in a troubled marriage goes out for a trail run in the mountains. She is knocked unconscious on her run and when she wakes up, she's being held captive in a cabin by a mysterious man. (I have to say, all through the story this man was giving me Dexter vibes. If you watched that show and would like to imagine an alternate ending for Dexter...read this book with him in mind!) She has to figure out how she ended up there (she can't remember anything prior to setting out on her run) and how to escape...but there's so much more to her situation than she knows. If you love suspense novels (à la Girl on the Train, The Woman in Cabin Ten) this is a must! After I finished it I immediately ordered another book by the same author (Sting, by Sandra Brown). I noticed most of her books have really great ratings and I'm excited to have a new go-to author!

The next two selections were my Audiobooks of the months, so technically I listed to them rather than read them, which does affect the experience. I try to pick nonfiction, enlightening or motivating books to listen to in the morning when I'm getting ready or while folding laundry, driving, etc.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
This book examines all the decisions we make and information we process in the blink of an eye...without even being aware ourselves that we are doing it. It was pretty interesting, but unless you're particularly interested in psychology and human behavior, it's probably not going to be your thing. I read Tipping Point by the same author several years ago and I thought was better and would recommend that to most people over this.

Mini Habits by Stephen Guise
I thought this book was excellent and had very practical, realistic suggestions for creating new habits. I posted a more detailed review of this book in this post.

If you've read any of these books I'd love to know your thoughts on them, or if you have suggestions on similar books I might enjoy I always appreciate those too!

If you have a recent outfit or fashion-related post, Amy Ann and I would love to have you link up with us below for Style on the Daily!

Linking up with:
JillCarrie | ErikaAndreaNarci | JoLynne | Lindsey | Steph & Jana

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  1. Very very cute top!! I agree that the details are fab and it would have caught my eye as well!
    Caryl | http://morepiecesofme.com

  2. Love this top and your sandals are even cuter. I wish I could read some of these, they really sound interesting.


  3. This is such a cute top, I don't often go in Charming Charlie but when I do I'm always finding things I didn't expect too! And I'm obsessed with your sandals! Thanks for the book summaries & for hosting today:)

  4. I need to get into Charming Charlie more often. That top is the cutest and I love those sandals! Before We Were Strangers and Mean Streak sound like great reads! Thanks for sharing your reviews and the linkup!

    Doused In Pink

  5. Oh I'm so glad you added the book recommendation category. You've made some great recommendations for me in the past and I seem to enjoy the same books you do. I'm now going to have to pick up Mean Streak.

  6. Love the top and sandals! Peplum looks so cute paired with jeans, and I am starting to re-think my old basic tee shirts. It's hard to reach for those when you have adorable tops such as this one! The sandals are also the perfect color. I'm wanting a pair of blush shoes instead of nude.

    I love murder mysteries so I'll have to look into a couple of these. As long as they aren't cheesy, I'll go for it! Nate says I need to stop with the depressing music, shows, movies, etc. but I can't!

  7. Oh wow! I love that top! Charming Charlie has the most unique pieces.

  8. I've been finding myself reading more lately and have a list going of books I'd like to read next. Definitely adding a few of your recommendations to my list!

  9. I too found I Let You Go very very slow in the beginning! If you enjoy Nonfiction audiobooks, I would recommend The Residence, especially if U.S. history interests you at all!

    1. Ooh, yes! I do love history! And I've just been thinking I need a break from the psychology stuff after my current selection. Thanks so much - I'll definitely check it out.

  10. I love that top on you. Sometimes peplum is too dramatic but this one is just subtle enough to be interesting but not overwhelming. I'm so glad you liked the book I recommended, and I agree about I let you go. I actually stopped reading it because it was too boring for me at the beginning!

  11. I really want to read Before We Were Strangers. I loved Swear on this Life!


  12. Cute top! I really need to read Mean Streak. Everyone is loving it this month!

  13. I read Where They Found Her on vacation two years ago and really liked it.

  14. I really loved Before awe Were Strangers, it's a lot less popular than Swear on this Life but I think just as good! I read her new one, Wish You Were Here this month and I say you must read it too!!!! I have Mean Streak on my list and glad to hear another rave review. I'm going to add Where They Found Her to my list.

  15. I've never thought to look at clothes in Charming Charlie, but that's such a pretty top! I loved Swear On This Life by Carlino, but have never read Before We Were Strangers for some reason, but I'm definitely intrigued now!


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