Full Pour Review: The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett

What a BEAUTIFUL story! 🥰 I can easily say that The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons is one of my favorite books from 2020 and one that will stick with me for a long time. With an emotional and heartwarming story line, and charming characters whose personalities and growth will leave you smiling, I found this story to be thought provoking and hard to put down.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “It’s never too late to start living.

Eudora Honeysett is done with this noisy, moronic world—all of it. She has witnessed the indignities and suffering of old age and has lived a full life. At eighty-five, she isn’t going to leave things to chance. Her end will be on her terms. With one call to a clinic in Switzerland, a plan is set in motion.

Then she meets ten-year-old Rose Trewidney, a whirling, pint-sized rainbow of sparkling cheer. All Eudora wants is to be left alone to set her affairs in order. Instead, she finds herself embarking on a series of adventures with the irrepressible Rose and their affable neighbor, the recently widowed Stanley—afternoon tea, shopping sprees, trips to the beach, birthday celebrations, pizza parties. 

While the trio of unlikely BFFs grow closer and anxiously await the arrival of Rose’s new baby sister, Eudora is reminded of her own childhood—of losing her father during World War II and the devastating impact it had on her entire family. In reflecting on her past, Eudora realizes she must come to terms with what lies ahead. 

But now that her joy for life has been rekindled, how can she possibly say goodbye?”

Annie Lyon’s is a wonderful author and storyteller. For this story, I loved that it was told solely from the perspective of Eudora and that it flipped back and forth between her past and present so that you could really gain an understanding of the difficult life that Eudora has lived and why she was ready to take control of her death. Eudora experienced a very difficult life full of heartache, loss, guilt and regret and at 85 years old, she is incredibly aware of her mortality and is simply tired and ready to end her life. Being able to see Eudora change over the course of the book and watch her slowly let go of the past that weighed her down so much over the years was liberating.

The intergenerational friendship that Eudora develops with Rose and Stanley is incredibly tender, pure and healing, showing Eudora that life is worth living when you have wonderful people in your life. I couldn’t get enough of Rose’s eccentric, witty, loving personality and infectious energy. Stanley is a very funny, loving and loyal gentleman who is recently widowed, and through their shared heartbreaks, Eudora and Stanley were able to help heal one another and find the strength to continue living their lives to their fullest while they still have time.

I honestly can’t praise this book enough. If you’re looking for a story that will make you laugh, cry, and smile all at once, I highly recommend you check out this book. This is the first book that I’ve read by Annie Lyons and I can’t wait to check out more by her. Thank you so much WilliamMorrow for gifting me this incredible story in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons is best paired with Baby Shark by Aslin Beer Company, a delicious citra dry-hopped IPA 🍻

Full Pour Review: Ten Rules For Faking It

OMG MY HEART. I can’t express enough how much I loved Ten Rules For Faking It by Sophie Sullivan. I fell in love with this story instantly and adored every single character. This one was tough to put down and left me feeling so many emotions because it is so relatable and came at a perfect time to help me address/sort through some of my own personal struggles with anxiety at this moment.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “What happens when your love life becomes the talk of the town?

As birthdays go, this year’s for radio producer Everly Dean hit rock-bottom.

Worse than the “tonsillectomy birthday.” Worse than the birthday her parents decided to split (the first time). But catching your boyfriend cheating on you with his assistant?

Even clichés sting.

But this is Everly’s year! She won’t let her anxiety hold her back. She’ll pitch her podcast idea to her boss.

There’s just one problem.

Her boss, Chris, is very cute. (Of course). Also, he’s extremely distant (which means he hates her, right? Or is that the anxiety talking)?

And, Stacey the DJ didn’t mute the mic during Everly’s rant about Simon the Snake (syn: Cheating Ex).

That’s three problems.

Suddenly, people are lining up to date her, Bachelorette-style, fans are voting (Reminder: never leave house again), and her interest in Chris might be a two-way street. It’s a lot for a woman who could gold medal in people-avoidance. She’s going to have to fake it ‘till she makes it to get through all of this.

Perhaps she’ll make a list: The Ten Rules for Faking It.

Because sometimes making the rules can find you happiness when you least expect it.”

First, these characters are magical. Let’s start with Everly, who suffers from severe social anxiety. I can personally relate to Everly’s character so much and the positive and delicate way that her social anxiety was addressed in this book made me tear up a few times because I felt like Sullivan was also indirectly helping me to understand the need to be more gentle and positive with myself. Everly’s character was raw, real and wonderful and I loved how much of her growth we got to experience throughout this book as she bravely overcame a lot of difficult things. Chris’s and Stacey’s character were truly incredible as well and I was in awe of their sensitivity and care toward Everly’s anxiety. They were both so encouraging, consistently reminded her of how brave and strong she truly was, and not once did they ever make her feel like her and her anxiety were too much. That finally leads me to the emotional connection that Everly and Chris shared- it truly was a breath of fresh air. Sullivan couldn’t have done a more perfect job with creating such a beautiful, more relatable relationship that didn’t focus heavily on the steam or physical connections found in most rom-com’s.

Once I was done reading this book, I immediately went online and preordered myself a physical copy. I wasn’t expecting this one to leave such an impact on me, but it did and I’m very grateful for that 💛 I was really impressed with the way that Everly’s social anxiety was handled in this book and I truly can’t recommend this book enough if you’re looking for a sweet, light hearted, not-your-typical rom-com that will not only leave you thinking about the story long after you finished it, but leave you feeling a little stronger if you suffer from general/social anxiety like I do. Ten Rules For Faking It hits shelves on 12/29 and really is a terrific palette cleanser for ending at 2020. Thank you so much NetGalley and Griffin for gifting me this incredible eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Ten Rules For Faking It by Sophie Sullivan is best paired with Out of Shape Superhero by Black Flag Brewing Company and Fourscore Beer Co. This boozy, delicious hazy TIPA is brewed with Citra, Strata and Mosaic hops 🍻

Full Pour Review: Wicked

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

WOW. I can’t believe I waited so long to read this one!! Wicked by Gregory Maguire blew me away with his incredible storytelling and magical worlds. I went into this book having never seen the Broadway show and not really knowing what to expect, other then the fact that this book told the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. This book wasn’t at all what I was anticipating and it was darker than I imagined it to be, but it was pleasantly surprising overall!

DESCRIPTION: Gregory Maguire’s groundbreaking New York Times bestseller redefines the land of Oz, its inhabitants, its Wizard, and the Emerald City, viewing the world created by L. Frank Baum through a darker and greener lens. Brilliantly inventive, Wicked offers a radical new portrait of one of the most feared and despised villains in all of literature: the universally maligned Wicked Witch of the West who, in Maguire’s imaginative retelling, isn’t nearly as black-hearted as we imagined…

First, the characters in this book are all truly remarkable and complex. I loved learning about Elphaba’s story and following her along her journey. I viewed Elphaba as being incredibly misunderstood and not the evil witch she is portrayed as in The Wizard of Oz. She was very compassionate and heavily involved in advocating for Animal rights and committed to her “cause,” which was incredibly brave and noble of her in a place like Oz, which was full of crooked politics and an evil dictator (the Wizard).

Gregory Maguire is an incredibly talented writer who painted a beautifully complex world that allowed the reader to truly escape from the real world into something magical. The amount of detail that went in to describing these characters and these worlds were truly remarkable. At times, I was almost overwhelmed with how much detail was written in this book and found myself having to re-read some sections to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

If you are looking for a dark, racy and complex fantasy book that will serve as true escapism while reading, I highly recommend checking out Wicked. After the ending of this book, I’m really curious to read the others in this series and see where Gregory Maguire takes this story. Thank you so much to WilliamMorrow books for gifting me this fascinating (and BEAUTIFUL 25th anniversary edition!) book in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire is best paired with Wizards and Gargoyles, a delicious hazy coffee IPA brewed in collaboration with Stone Brewing and Modern Times Brewing 🍻

Full Pour Review: Jackie and Maria

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Historical fiction is a genre that I have not explored much of, but am working on changing that! Jackie and Maria by Gill Paul is a wonderful historical fiction novel that focuses on Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas and their connection with one another through their involvement with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, one of the world’s most richest and captivating men. I was so intrigued by these women and their experiences that I binged this book pretty quickly, struggling to put it down.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: The President’s Wife; a Glamorous Superstar; the rivalry that shook the world…

Jackie Kennedy was beautiful, sophisticated, and contemplating leaving her ambitious young senator husband. Life in the public eye with an overly ambitious–and unfaithful―man who could hardly be coaxed to return from a vacation after the birth of a stillborn child was breaking her spirit. So when she’s offered a holiday on the luxurious yacht owned by billionaire Ari Onassis, she says yes…to a meeting that will ultimately change her life.

Maria Callas is at the height of her operatic career and widely considered to be the finest soprano in the world. And then she’s introduced to Aristotle Onassis, the world’s richest man and her fellow Greek. Stuck in a childless, sexless marriage, and with pressures on all sides from opera house managers and a hostile press, she finds her life being turned upside down by this hyper-intelligent and impeccably charming man…

Little by little, Maria’s and Jackie’s lives begin to overlap, and they come closer and closer until everything they know about the world changes on a dime.

Gill Paul is an incredible writer and storyteller and I found myself in awe of her skills. She will take you on a mesmerizing emotional rollercoaster with this one as you navigate through the years preceding JFK’s presidency and after his assassination. Alternating between both Jackie’s and Maria’s perspectives, this book was full of glitz and glamour that featured a lot of beautiful Mediterranean background. I was INVESTED in these characters- I absolutely adored learning so much fascinating info about these two beautiful, complicated women and my heart ached for them throughout the book as I learned about the infidelity and fertility issues that both women faced and how these experiences shaped their lives. The small glimpse of the PTSD experienced by Jackie Kennedy after JFK’s assassination was truly heartbreaking to read about as well.

I enjoyed this book so much and if you haven’t already read this book, I highly recommend checking it out. Not only is it a wonderfully written and captivating story in general, it’s a wonderful read for those interested in Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas, as well as anyone (like me!) who doesn’t read much historical fiction or know much about these women at all! Thank you so much WilliamMorrow for gifting me this wonderful story in exchange for my honest review! I will be thinking about this one for a while 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Jackie and Maria by Gill Paul is best paired with Native Peach by Downeast Cider House. This deliciously refreshing peach cider is both sweet and tart with subtle flavoring in the beginning that grows with every sip 🍻

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: When No One Is Watching

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I haven’t read many thrillers this year, and that. needs. to. change. 👏🏻 That being said, I’m happy to say that the few thrillers that I have read so far this year have not left me disappointed and When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole was definitely no exception! Compared to Rear Window and Get Out, the fast-paced storyline for this deeply unsettling novel is unlike any other thriller I’ve read before. Not only did it have me hooked, but Alyssa Cole weaved so many important messages into this book that left me with so much for think about.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?

There are so many things that I enjoyed about this book. First, the storyline. It’s a gripping psychological thriller with gentrification being the main focus, while police brutality, racism, harassment, financial struggles, loss of loved ones, all play large roles too. There are several characters (i.e. FUCKING KARENS) in this book that had me so fired up. Alyssa Cole did a great job with immersing the reader into the story. I felt like I was witnessing everything right alongside Sydney and Theo and while I enjoyed their characters and friendship, I felt their romantic relationship was a little out of place and unnecessary.

If you’re looking for an exciting and intriguing psychological thriller with a side of conspiracy, I highly recommend reading this book! Thank you again to WilliamMorrow and HarperCollins for gifting me my review copy in exchange for my honest review 🤗


BEER RECOMMENDATION: When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole is best paired with The Fear by Flying Dog Brewery. This delicious pumpkin beer has bold pumpkin and spice flavor complimented by notes of chocolate and graham cracker 🍻