Full Pour Review: Malibu Rising

Holy shit was this intense! Taylor Jenkins Reid blew it out of the water again, as per usual. I fully expected all of the usual TJR magic with Malibu Rising and not only did she deliver, but it was way more magical than anticipated- the characters, the storyline, the family dynamics, the Malibu landscape, the history… everything.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.”

I couldn’t get enough of the characters in this book. Specifically, the Riva siblings: Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit. They are truly badass and I was blown away by everything that they endured through out this book. I don’t want to give anything away, but these siblings experienced truly heartbreaking hardships and loss over the course of their young lives and their resilience is absolutely inspiring. Nina Riva is the most incredible of all and the roles that she assumed/decisions she had to make as a young girl because of these hardships are things that absolutely NO child should have to do but SHE 👏🏻 FUCKING 👏🏻 KILLED 👏🏻 IT.

I really enjoyed the deep dive into Mick Riva’s life and background. Readers get to familiarize themselves with his childhood, his relationship with June (his first wife and the true love of his life), his skyrocketing career and even the other marriages along the way. I LOVED how this story still connected (very briefly)in some ways to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo with a few quick mentions of some beloved characters.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is a fantastic storyteller and the queen of inventing dynamic characters who feel so realistic and make you become instantly attached to. I love how she addresses forgiveness, resilience, child neglect, spousal neglect, infidelity, acceptance, self love, and much more, in such a mature and thought provoking manner. One downside to this book is that there are A LOT of secondary characters that get introduced throughout the book and it can feel a little overwhelming at times not knowing who you should be focusing on.

If you’re a fan of TJR, or are looking for an engrossing, gut wrenching and heart exploding family drama that will suck you in from the very beginning, I can’t recommend Malibu Rising enough. This story will be released June 1st 💛 thank you so much NetGalley and Random House for this gifted eARC in exchange for my honest review.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid is best paired with Lil’ BB’s Brekkie Tastee by The Veil Brewing Co. This delicious smoothie-style sour ale is brewed with milk sugar, oats, maple syrup, strawberry, banana, and blueberry purée 🍻

Full Pour Review: Vanishing Falls

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Set in a small town of Tasmania, Vanishing Falls by Poppy Gee is a slow burning murder mystery full of intriguing characters with dark secrets and a fascinating glimpse into class separation and drug addiction.

DESCRIPTION: Celia Lily is rich, beautiful, and admired. She’s also missing. And the search for the glamorous socialite is about to expose all the dark, dirty secrets of Vanishing Falls…

Deep within the lush Tasmanian rainforest is the remote town of Vanishing Falls, a place with a storied past. The town’s showpiece, built in the 1800s, is its Calendar House—currently occupied by Jack Lily, a prominent art collector and landowner; his wife, Celia; and their four daughters. The elaborate, eccentrically designed mansion houses one masterpiece and 52 rooms—and Celia Lily isn’t in any of them. She has vanished without a trace.…

Joelle Smithton knows that a few folks in Vanishing Falls believe that she’s simple-minded. It’s true that Joelle’s brain works a little differently—a legacy of shocking childhood trauma. But Joelle sees far more than most people realize, and remembers details that others cast away. For instance, she knows that Celia’s husband, Jack, has connections to unsavory local characters whom he’s desperate to keep hidden. He’s not the only one in town with something to conceal. Even Joelle’s own husband, Brian, a butcher, is acting suspiciously. While the police flounder, unable to find Celia, Joelle is gradually parsing the truth from the gossip she hears and from the simple gestures and statements that can unwittingly reveal so much.   

Just as the water from the falls disappears into the ground, gushing away through subterranean creeks, the secrets in Vanishing Falls are pulsing through the town, about to converge. And when they do, Joelle must summon the courage to reveal what really happened to Celia, even if it means exposing her own past…

Poppy Gee is a talented writer. I really enjoyed the complexity of the characters and how the book was told from multiple POV’s- the interwoven character story lines gave me a Big Little Lies vibe. Joelle was an excellent protagonist and I adored her strength, resilience and vulnerability. I also adored her husband Brian and their relationship, but would’ve loved to have learned more about his character. I felt that out of all the characters portrayed in this story, I knew the least about him. I also really enjoyed the setting of the story. Poppy Gee did a fantastic job at illustrating a beautiful and intriguing Tasmanian rain forest setting, as well as the Calendar House occupied by Celia and Jack- I was fascinated by the concept of a house like this and would love to see it in person. The drug addiction and class separation portrayed within this small town was intense and Poppy Gee did a wonderful job at detailing the struggles that the characters (i.e. Cliff and Kim, Brendan and Karen) faced as a direct result of these things. I couldn’t help but feel pain and sadness for these characters.

This was my first novel by Poppy Gee, and I look forward to reading more by this author! If you’re looking for a slow burning murder mystery with intriguing, complex characters and an illustrative setting, I recommend checking out Vanishing Falls. Thank you again so much to WilliamMorrow for gifting me this book in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER DESCRIPTION: Vanishing Falls by Poppy Gee is best paired with Dunkin’ + Pumpkin by Harpoon Brewery. Inspired by everyone’s favorite fall pumpkin latte, this “Spiced Latte Ale” is brewed with real pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, and a splash of coffee. Light in color and easy-drinking, it’s a perfect blend of all the autumn flavors we love, with just a touch of espresso-like roast 🍻

Full Pour Review: Little Deadly Secrets

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

To say that I enjoyed this book would be a great understatement. Little Deadly Secrets by Pamela Crane is officially one of my favorite suspense novels this year. The opening scene was intense and eery, setting the tone for the rest of the book super fast.

DESCRIPTION: Three best friends. Two unforgiveable sins. One dead body. Mackenzie, Robin, and Lily have been inseparable forever, sharing life’s ups and downs and growing even closer as the years have gone by. They know everything about each other. Or so they believe. Nothing could come between these three best friends . . . except for a betrayal. Nothing could turn them against each other . . . except for a terrible past mistake. Nothing could tear them apart . . . except for murder.

The characters in this book were phenomenal. Pamela Crane did a wonderful job connecting the reader with each of the characters and immersing them into their worlds. I loved that the story was told in multiple POV’s and not just from the adults, but even some of the children. Each character took me on an emotional roller coaster through their intense story lines and I loved how much their strength and vulnerability seeped through the pages. It was incredibly hard not to fall in love with all of the characters and their triumphs, failures and flaws.

I don’t want to go into particular story lines and give too much away, but the drama within this book is very similar to Big Little Lies– domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault, drug addiction, infidelity, murder, alcohol abuse, dark secrets, betrayals and more. The building tension, surprise twists and explosive ending kept me on the edge of my seat and made it incredibly hard to put this book down.

I truly can’t recommend this book enough. If you are a fan of Big Little Lies and looking for your next binge-read, I think it’s safe to say that you will love Little Deadly Secrets as well. Thank you again so much to WilliamMorrow for gifting me this amazing book in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Little Deadly Secrets by Pamela Crane is best paired with Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin by New Belgium Brewing Company. Not only is this my absolute favorite pumpkin beer, I’ll bet it’s unlike any pumpkin beer you’ve had before 😉 Not too spicy and not too sweet, this pumpkin ale was brewed with Saigon Cinnamon and Habanero and De Arbol peppers for an explosion of flavors that’ll keep you coming back for more 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Nanny

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Whew! The suspense was real with this one! 🙌🏻 Full of dark secrets and bizarre twists, I thoroughly enjoyed The Nanny by Gilly MacMillan. This book was really well written; containing rich characters that evoke so many emotions and a story line that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.

DESCRIPTION: When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind. Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew. Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…

This book was a solid thriller about misperceptions that we mistake as reality, sucking you in from the very beginning. I really liked how this book was told by three different perspectives- Virginia (the mom), Jocelyn, and Hannah. I liked being able to see Jocelyn and Virginia’s side of the story in real time and learn about the family’s dark past. For Hannah, her perspective was mainly told in past tense and while I don’t think anything was missing from the story, I think it would have been really cool to see her perspective in present tense as well. I would have also enjoyed getting some of Ruby’s perspective as well in regards to her relationship with Hannah. The depth of the characters was great too and they evoked a lot of emotions in the reader. I felt like I really got to know Jocelyn and Virginia well and I enjoyed the “love-to-hate” feelings I had for Virginia along with the ability to feel some understanding behind why she does the things she does. I also really enjoyed the setting of the story and found the ending to be surprising and very satisfying.

The Nanny truly is another great debut thriller that hit shelves on August 4th. If you haven’t already added this to your TBR list, I highly recommend checking it out! This was my first time reading a book by Gilly MacMillan and I definitely look forward to reading more by her. Thank you so much again to WilliamMorrow for gifting me this book in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Nanny by Gilly MacMillan is best paired with Good Gourd by Cigar City Brewing. This delicious imperial pumpkin ale is brewed with cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla to emulate the flavors of a decadent, piquant pumpkin pie 🍻

Full Pour Review: Black Sunday

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Fuck. This one took me on a roller coaster ride. Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham is not a book that I have seen much on Bookstagram and it deserves SO MUCH attention.

In 1996, twin sisters Ariyike and Bibike are enjoying a comfortable life in Lagos until their mother suddenly loses her job and in the midst of facing poverty, their family becomes drawn to a new church with an enthralling pastor who worships earthly wealth and possessions. Shortly after joining this church and befriending the pastor, the girls’ father wagers their family home on a bet and loses the home. As their parents marriage collapses, the girls and their two younger brothers are forced to live with their grandmother. Once inseparable, Ariyike and Bibike are now forced to diverge down separate paths of self discovery and independence.

Tola Rotimi Abraham is a truly incredible writer and story teller. The story line and character plots throughout this book provoked a lot of intense emotions, making it incredibly hard to put down. My heart ached for what Ariyike, Bibike and the rest of their family experienced and how it altered the courses of their lives. I loved the way she explored various themes like social and political strife, poverty, violence, religion, the nature of regret, and the power of redemption and self-reliance. It is incredibly hard to believe that this is Tola Rotimi Abraham’s debut novel and I look forward to the possibility of reading more books by her in the future.

I feel like my words can’t do this book justice. If you’re looking for a quick, captivating and addictive read that’s packed with a lot of intense themes, or are a fan of the storyline and writing style by Chelsea Bieker in Godshot, I highly recommend checking this one out!


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham is best paired with Fresh J’s by RAR Brewing. This delicious, juicy triple IPA is triple dry hopped with calypso, moteuka and zyrhos hops, resulting in a smooth and hoppy tropical flavor🍻

Full Pour Review: The Simple Wild

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

WOW, you guys… I am speechless. I went in to this book with high expectations due to all of the praise this book has received on Bookstagram and without a doubt, The Simple Wild absolutely lived up to the hype and is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I can’t even begin to describe all of the feelings K.A. Tucker made me feel with this one, but it was a wild ride and now I DESPERATELY need to get my hands on Wild At Heart.

24 years ago, Susan Fletcher left her husband Wren and life in Alaska to return home to Toronto with their 2 year old daughter, Calla. During those 24 years, Calla has neither returned to Alaska or seen her father. Now, 26 years old, Calla finds out that her father has been diagnosed with lung cancer and decides to fly to Alaska to meet her dad and reconnect with him in the remaining time he has left. During her time in Alaska, she meets Jonah, who lives next door to her father and helps him run his charter plane company, Alaska Wild. While Calla initially struggles to adjust to the vastly different life in Alaska, Jonah can’t imagine living anywhere else or adapting any other lifestyle. Calla thinks that Jonah is a brooding, stubborn asshole and Jonah thinks that Calla is way too pampered to handle life in Bangor. Determined to prove him wrong, Calla and Jonah wind up forming a bond that slowly develops into a romantic relationship- one that Calla is too scared to pursue long term out of fear of choosing the same path that her parents attempted, and failed at, many years ago.

There are so many things that I LOVED about this book: the budding relationship between Calla and Wren, the friendship of Agnes and Maybel, the steamy romance and witty banter of Calla and Jonah, the Alaska Wild family, the unwavering sense of understanding from Simon, Calla’s growth and maturity during her time in Alaska with her father, the love between Wren and Susan… I could honestly go on and on. K.A. Tucker is an incredible writer and storyteller- this story left me utterly floored and the ending was incredibly heart wrenching yet satisfying, and left me immediately wanting more.

This book deserves all of the stars. If you’re looking for an incredible story with romance, complex relationships, family drama, and a beautiful journey of self-discovery that will leave you breathless, make you smile, cry, laugh and cheer, The Simple Wild is your next must-read.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker is best paired with Dragon’s Milk White by New Holland Brewing. Dragon’s Milk White is a light and smooth bourbon barrel aged white stout with notes of coffee, vanilla, cocoa and oak🍻