A Love Warrior and The Real Liddy James

The best part of coming down with a head cold? It’s the perfect excuse to wear pajamas all day and read {in between naps, of course!}.  Besides, my birthday is this Friday (!!!) and I’ve designated this entire week as Treat Yo Self week for me.  This weekend I caught up on a couple of books on my TBR, so let’s discuss!

The Real Liddy James

Author: Anne-Marie Casey

Release Date: out today, 9/20/2016

The Nitty Gritty:  Described as “forty-four, fit, and fabulous,” Liddy James is a powerful divorce attorney and mother of two who appears to truly have her sh*t together.  Her life runs on a strict schedule, she and her ex-husband have adopted a functional coparenting style {or have they?}, and a peaceful relationship with her ex’s new partner, Rose. Liddy’s secret to success? In her words, “I don’t do guilt.”

…until her housekeeper has to move away, Rose suddenly becomes pregnant and put on bedrest, and Liddy’s latest divorce case cuts a little too close to home.  Chaos predictably ensues, and Liddy ends up in her old home of Ireland questioning her life choices.

My Tables of Content Book Reviews

I feel like this was how Liddy felt at certain points of the novel.

Will we ever discover the Real Liddy James? *dramatic music plays*



Most of the time while reading this book, I felt like I was reading a script for a rom-com.  Predictably gorgeous main character {I can see Amy Adams or Isla Fischer slipping into this role with their Manolos and slick business skirts}, devilishly handsome men with a secret heart of gold, an ex-husband who’s jealous of Liddy’s success.  Which, honestly, made for perfect sick-day reading as it was light-hearted, predictable, and didn’t require a lot of thought.  ‘Cuz honestly, when I’m taking NyQuil, I’m basically Karen from “Mean Girls.”

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HOWEVER, if you’re looking for an original story line, move on along past this book.  Deep character studies? Not gonna get it here either.  Life-changing story arc that makes you re-examine your life? Nope.  I’m not saying you need these qualities to be a good or enjoyable read, but you do need to manage your expectations for this book.

I personally don’t mind an occasional read that seems to hit 85% of the “chick lit” tropes, though they are never my favorite read {I prefer stereotypes in movie form}.  Some parts of the book were more than a little silly to me {the mother-son fights were especially predictable, and the ending made no sense to me, but c’est la vie}.  However, other parts were quite lovely, and it’s fun to imagine a virtually perfect life and a getaway trip to Ireland, yes?

Tl;dr…is it good or not?:

I definitely wouldn’t give this a perfect score, but if you’re looking for something light and fluffy, this wouldn’t be the worst choice, just not in my usual wheelhouse.

2.5/5 Stars

Thanks to NetGalley for graciously sending me an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.  

Love Warrior 

Author: Gayle Doyle Melton (you know her from Momastery.com)

Release Date: Out now!

Nitty Gritty:

A former bulimic and alcoholic, in 2013 Gayle seemed to finally have her life together.  She ran a wildly successful blog about the struggles of parenting, Momastery, she wrote a book called “Carry on, Warrior” that was predicted to be highly successful, and she was raising three kids in a loving home with her husband Craig.  That is, until the eve of her book release when she discovers her husband’s infidelity.

The book deals with anger, grief, forgiveness, and everything in between in this new memoir by Gayle Doyle Mellon.



Y’all, this book was a whole lot darker than I expected.  But I also couldn’t stop reading.

My Tables of Content Book Reviews

I wasn’t smiling, but i was this addicted.

For those of you who don’t know a lot about Gayle {I didn’t until this book}, she is known for being brutally honest about the hard stuff of life, while also bringing you to a place of positivity.  A lot of her YouTube videos and interviews are stuffed with positive namaste-like sayings and happy-go-lucky images of rainbows and flowers.

But her writing in this book is raw and angry and {at times} really hard to read.  She opens the book by going back to her childhood, when she first became bulimic after watching someone on television purge.  She wasn’t abused or bullied (at least that she describes in the book), she just simply felt bigger than other girls and it hurt her deeply, and she was desperate to fit in.  And this is all in the first 20 pages.

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The book stays dark for most of the memoir – her alcohol and drug use, her depression, her abortion…Gayle has lived four lifetimes of struggle in her short life.  I cried so many times while reading, hurting for this woman I’ve never met.

Even though I’ve never had to struggle with so many problems, and never ones as serious as hers, I think we all can identify with times in our life that were hard or times when we just simply didn’t know what to do.  Our anxiety paralyzed us, and our pain terrified us.  Gayle is incredibly articulate at describing this pain.

The book is not all darkness, though. Gayle’s writing radiates when she talks about her kids, and about her efforts to make her marriage work.  The ending chapters of the book also focus a lot on meditation, and finding yourself, and forgiveness, and a lot of other “Eat, Pray, Love” style fodder.  At times it got a little too philosophical and religious for me, but it was also a nice way to see Gayle find some inner peace with all the sadness that’s happened in her life.

My main quibbles with this book are standard issues I have with these types of memoirs: sometimes I feel like the publishing company is playing with my emotions.  It’s a strategy to get us hooked on the book rather than genuine emotion from the author’s writing.  I don’t know, maybe that’s just me being ridiculous.  But it just sometimes feels like those animal shelter commercials Sarah McLahlan always does, you know what I mean?

My Tables of Content Book reviews


Tl;dr…is it good or what>:

For a memoir, this is a definite thumbs up.   It had the typical pitfalls that every memoir of this genre has, but Gayle’s life story is compelling and she is beyond talented as a writer and public speaker.

4/5 Stars

Next up, I’ll continue reading Dickens’ Bleak House and Jade Chang’s The Wangs Vs. The World.  Happy reading y’all!

Have you read these books? Have any book suggestions in these genres to add to my TBR? Comment below!


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