Full Pour Review: You Love Me

It’s been almost five years since Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes was released- the second book in the You series. FIVE YEARS! How crazy is that?! Of course I was BEYOND excited when I discovered that the third book in this series, You Love Me, was set to release this year because I’m obsessed with this series and needed to know what creepy Joe Goldberg’s been up to after all this time 😂 as expected, You Love Me was full of surprise twists and turns and ultimately lived up to my expectations.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Joe Goldberg is done with the cities. He’s done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cozy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.

He gets a job at the local library—he does know a thing or two about books—and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old-fashioned way . . . by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.

The trouble is . . . Mary Kay already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s . . . busy.

True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He’s ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kay will do the right thing and make room for him.”

As anticipated, we got a new setting and cast of characters in this book and similar to the first two books, there are characters you’ll love and others that will make your skin crawl. All of the characters worked well in this story and we even had a few quick appearances of some old favorites (Hi, Love and Ray!). I loved that we still had a connection with The Quinn family, as anticipated, but the way this connection played out was not at all what I was expecting. Without giving anything away, I feel that some aspects of their role in this book felt rushed and out of place, and others were not focused on enough and left me wanting to know more about what was going on or wishing for a different outcome.

I found the ending of this book to be a pretty surprising twist and a part of me hopes that there will eventually be a fourth book, as I feel that there were some loose ends in this story that could be tied off or further explored in the future. Overall, while I found this book to be less scary than the first two, it was still suspenseful and incredibly hard to put down. I am so excited to see where we go with the third season of the TV series and what aspects of this book will be adapted to the show. If you’re a longtime fan of the You series, or into psychological thrillers and looking for something new, I can’t recommend You Love Me and this entire series enough 💛

If you have read this book and want to talk more about it in greater detail, PLEASE feel free to reach out to me! There’s a lot I want to say but feet that I can’t so that I don’t spoil anything.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes is best paired with Summer Fruittata by Aslin Beer Co. This delicious desert style sour ale is brewed with plum, blueberry, peach, vanilla, and milk sugar to mimic the perfect summer fruit tart🍻

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: Detransition, Baby

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is one of my top five favorite books I’ve read in 2020 and I cannot recommend it enough. This story is so unique, witty and heartbreaking and had me hooked from the very beginning. I walked away from this book feeling so many different emotions and I still feel like my words won’t be able to do this book the justice it deserves.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

Ames isn’t happy either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese—and losing her meant losing his only family. Even though their romance is over, he longs to find a way back to her. When Ames’s boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she’s pregnant with his baby—and that she’s not sure whether she wants to keep it—Ames wonders if this is the chance he’s been waiting for. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family—and raise the baby together? 

This provocative debut is about what happens at the emotional, messy, vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can’t reach. Torrey Peters brilliantly and fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender, sex, and relationships, gifting us a thrillingly original, witty, and deeply moving novel.

Detransition, Baby is essentially a study of motherhood and three women: Amy/Ames, Katrina and Reese. Ames is a former trans woman who detransitioned from Amy and began dating his cisgender boss, Katrina. When Katrina became pregnant, after Ames was convinced he was sterile due to his 6 years of treatments while he was Amy, he finally came clean to Katrina about his past as a trans woman. Reese, also a trans woman and Amy’s ex girlfriend, wants to be a mother more than anything in this world. After finding out that Katrina is pregnant, Ames comes up with the unconventional idea of proposing to Reese and Katrina that they raise this baby together. The story flips back and forth between pre-conception and post-conception, giving you a detailed view of Amy’s transition, her relationship and life with Reese, the reasons why she ended up detransitioning and how her life led her to Katrina and their current situation.

I was truly blown away by the characters in this book. They are raw, real, complex and leave you with no choice but to be utterly invested in them- I couldn’t get enough of Amy/Ames’s and Reese’s stories. What I loved the most about them was how messy and honest these characters are and how eye opening their experiences are. You will not be able to read this without feeling their pain, fear, triumphs, joys, hopes, disappointments, and more.

Torrey Peters is an incredibly talented writer and storyteller and after reading her dedication in the beginning of the book, I need to know about her story and everything that inspired this book. Detransition, Baby is an incredible thought-provoking book that taught me so much about the lives of white trans women. Peters does an incredible job at exploring so many other themes such as divorce, parenthood, womanhood, unconventional family structures, sexuality, gender, mental illness, body dysphoria, friendship and more. The exploration of these themes made for quite a few moments of discomfort throughout the book, but they were absolutely necessary and I how thought provoking they were.

This book will make you feel so many different feelings and I encourage you to sit with those feelings afterward. I am so impressed with this compelling story and I truly cannot applaud Peters enough for writing such a fantastic debut novel. I look forward to reading more by her and watching her career grow. Thank you so much NetGalley and Random House for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is best paired with Cobbler: Blueberry Peach by Black Flag Brewing Company. This delicious fruited sour is brewed with cinnamon tincture, vanilla, lactose and over 450lbs of blueberries and peaches 🍻

Full Pour Review: Home Before Dark

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Well, it should come as no surprise that Riley Sager did it again! Home Before Dark has been one of my most highly anticipated books so far this year and it lived up to all of my expectations! This story was incredibly spooky with several surprise twists that I wasn’t expecting and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the emotional roller coaster that this story took me on.

25 years ago, Maggie Holt and her parents, Jess and Ewan, moved into Baneberry Hall and only lasted 20 days before fleeing in the dead of night and leaving behind all of their personal belongings. Ewan ended up writing a story called House of Horrors about their horrific experience in that house, consisting of tales about encounters with ghosts and evil spirits that rivaled with The Amityville Horror in both skepticism and popularity. This book has haunted Maggie all of her life, making her an outcast among peers. The worst part? She doesn’t remember any of her time at Baneberry Hall, convinced that nothing in the book actually happened and that her parents have been lying to her all of her life.

Now, at 26 years old, Maggie discovers shortly after her fathers passing that her family never sold Baneberry Hall and that she has now inherited this house. Since Maggie has her own home restoration business with her best friend, she plans on renovating the home and putting it up for sale. In addition, Maggie ultimately decides to use this project as an opportunity for her to finally figure out what really happened in this house and what made them suddenly flee and never return. Despite her disbelief that the house is haunted, it doesn’t take long for Maggie to begin experiencing weird, unexplainable events in the house- events so strange, that she begins to wonder if the tales that her father wrote about in House of Horrors are actually true… and if the real secrets that are hidden within the house are much more terrifying than anything her dad wrote about in his book.

Riley Sager is an incredible storyteller. I absolutely love the way he writes and how he draws the reader in so quickly with his stories, keeping them on the edge of their seat the entire time. I flew through this book because I NEEDED to know what happened next. One of my favorite things about this book was how the chapters rotated between Maggie’s present day experience, and chapters from House of Horrors.

I also really enjoyed the spookiness to this story. I am such a baby when it comes to scary/haunted things and I do NOT like horror movies. I was traumatized with The Amityville Horror in 6th grade and still make an effort to distance myself from things that have to do with haunted houses and evil spirits to this day (including haunted houses/hay rides around Halloween 😂). However, while this book definitely came me there spooks and despite there being several comparable events in this book that resemble events from The Amityville Horror, I was actually able to fully appreciate and enjoy everything taking place in the book and manage to sleep at night just fine 😂

So happy that my favorite bookish girl gang decided to do this as a buddy read this month! 🤗 If you’re looking for a really spooky thriller with a lot of surprises twists and a wonderful surprise ending, I highly recommend picking up Home Before Dark. I was sold on Riley Sager being an auto-buy author for me after reading Lock Every Door last fall, and after finishing Home Before Dark, I REALLY need to finally check out his other two books.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is best paired with Roast Coffee Cider by Bold Rock Cider. Partnered with Pisgah Coffee, this delicious cold brewed hard cider is infused with a medium roast coffee, resulting in a rich coffee aroma and wonderfully balanced flavors 🍻

Full Pour Review: Here For It

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Okay, this is officially the best memoir I’ve read so far this year 👏🏻 Within the first few pages, Here For It by R. Eric Thomas had me smiling and cracking up, and I continued to smile and laugh throughout the entire story. To be perfectly honest, I knew I was going to be hooked on this book by like page 3 of the prologue 😂

Here For It is a collection of essays where R. Eric Thomas examines his personal experiences on what it was like to be an “other,” his struggle with reconciling his sexual and religious identities, finding his way during and after college, poor dating decisions, accidentally getting famous on the internet (a few times!), and stumbling upon his career with Elle. R. Eric Thomas ultimately takes all of these lessons learned along the way and uses them to answer the questions we’re all trying to figure out ourselves: is the future worth it? Do things really get better? How do we power through when things only seem to be getting worse?

“You’re exactly who you need to be. Each of you. It may not feel like it; it may seem like it would be much easier being anyone else. You may look back at the person you were at one point and wish that you could instead be the person you are now at that far distant, unreachable point in the past. But you had to be who you were to get to who you are. Every page in the story is successive; they’re all numbered and bound like a book.”

R. Eric Thomas, referring to the various versions of oneself at different ages

You guys, I didn’t want this book to end. I honestly couldn’t get enough of R. Eric Thomas’s quirky and witty remarks, pop-culture references and beautiful candor. Please stop whatever you’re doing and buy this book- not just because of how joyful, entertaining and deeply moving it is (and because you will want him to be your new BFF), but because this book is exactly what 2020 needs and I promise that there is something within it that will surely resonate with everyone 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Here For It by R. Eric Thomas is best paired with Guns ‘n’ Rosé by Oskar Blues Brewery. Guns ‘n’ Rosé is a fruit ale brewed with hibiscus and prickly pear, playing off of the dry, tart or fruity flavors and pinkish color of rosé wines 🍻

Full Pour Review: Untamed

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Wow. Where do I even begin with this book? Untamed by Glennon Doyle is the loving, inspiring and honest wake-up call that we all needed right now. At just under a month before my 30th birthday, the messages in this book honestly could not have arrived at a more divine time.

Glennon‘s stories are incredibly relatable and I greatly appreciated her gentle and therapeutic way of sharing her advice with the reader. The story felt like an incredible, yet objective, thought provoking conversation with your most trusted confidante. Through her empowering stories, Glennon earns the respect and trust of her reader by proving to be incredibly understanding of the things they mentally put themselves through while also urging them to take action and change the harmful habits and fearful thoughts they have developed over time.

Women are constantly striving to be the best version of themselves for everyone else while placing their own needs and desires on the back burner. We desire to be a good wife, girlfriend, sister, mother, friend, employee, and more. Often times, that desire to be good for everyone else eventually leaves us feeling unfulfilled, overwhelmed, stressed out, and stuck. This feeling leads us to wonder if we are missing out on something better, often asking ourselves “is this it? shouldn’t there be more?”

“Why do women find it honorable to dismiss ourselves?

Why do we decide that denying our longing is the responding thing to do?

Why do we believe that what will thrill and fulfill us will hurt other people?

Why do we mistrust ourselves so completely?”

Glennon Doyle, “Untamed”

Glennon assures women that these thoughts and tendencies are “normal” based on how we have been raised, as our society has unfortunately long been built upon the control of women. She grants the reader loving permission to finally break free from the anxiety-fueled lifestyle they have developed as a result of putting the opinions of others first, and inspires them to stop avoiding their pain and finally prioritize honoring their gut instincts by changing the things that are not serving us.

“Pain is not tragic. Pain is magic. Suffering is tragic. Suffering is what happens when we avoid pain and consequently miss our becoming. This is what I can and must avoid: missing my own evolution because I am too afraid to surrender to the process. Having such little faith in myself that I numb or hide or consume my way out of my fiery feelings again and again. So my goal is to stop abandoning myself— and stay. To trust that I’m strong enough to handle the pain that is necessary to the process of becoming. Because what scares me a hell of a lot more than pain is living my entire life and missing my becoming. What scares me more than feeling it all is missing it all.”

Glennon Doyle, “Untamed”

Overall, I was a huge fan of this book and couldn’t be more grateful that its messages arrived to me when they did. I look forward to using Glennon’s wisdom and guidance to better navigate my thirties by truly prioritizing my self-love, self-fulfillment, needs, wants, setting boundaries, etc. and making an effort to never again justify making decisions that do not benefit me in order to avoid disappointing others. Life is too short and beautiful to be wasting time shrinking ourselves to fit the molds that society and others have cast on us.

If you are looking for a book that will help you alter the course of your life, learn how to honor your truest instincts, set boundaries, and grant you the permission to unapologetically put yourself first, this is for you! Throughout this book, you are likely to experience sadness, laughter, joy, guilt, and inspiration all at once through Glennon’s magical storytelling abilities that will help you shed light on all of the areas we have been neglecting ourselves so we can take back control and live our truest life.

(Also, can we take a moment to appreciate how absolutely STUNNING this cover is?! It’s as magical as the content inside 😉)

Beer Recommendation: Untamed is best paired with Cuvée Peach by Hardywood Brewing. This delicious and refreshing peach tripel is aged in white wine barrels anywhere between three months to over a year. This highly enjoyable beer is both sweet and tart at the same time, producing notes of juicy peach, white wine, and light vanilla with a slightly dry finish 🍻