Full Pour Review: The Push

Wow- what a fast paced, gripping story! I have been reading so many great reviews about The Push by Ashley Audrain and this story totally lives up to the hype! I love a good psychological thriller, and this story absolutely didn’t disappoint. I was hooked from the beginning and genuinely didn’t know where this story was headed until the very end where there was a surprising cliffhanger ending.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter—she doesn’t behave like most children do.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.

Then their son Sam is born—and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.

The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.

Ashley Audrain is a fantastic storyteller and I feel like she did a great job at getting the reader well acquainted with key characters in this book. The Push is written in Blythe’s perspective, switching between the past and present, but also focuses on the relationships between the women in Blythe’s family: her mother Cecelia, and her grandmother Etta. As readers, we get to see how each of these women experienced motherhood and how these experiences seemingly passed down to younger generations. I also applaud Audrain on her ability to create such an appropriate, slow burning build up to this book that would illicit chills and leave you needing to know what was happening next. The key events that occurred in this book did not feel over the top, which really played into the thrill factor and made this story feel even more realistic in an unsettling way. That being said, one thing that I would have really been intrigued to experience in this story would be the perspective of Blythe’s daughter Violet. I think it would’ve been really interesting to get her perspective on some key events that happened in this book. (Maybe a potential sequel or spin off idea?!).

This book was disturbing to read at some parts and will leave you with a lot to process- it does not come without some trigger warnings (death, miscarriage, abortion, psychological trauma, self harm, child neglect, postpartum depression, abuse, infidelity, and more). However, if you’re looking for a chilling, fast-paced psychological thriller, I honestly can’t recommend them enough. And if you’ve read this book already, please reach out to me! I would love to discuss it with you- especially your thoughts on the ending.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Push by Ashley Audrain is best paired with Bomb! by Prairie Artisan Ales. This delicious imperial stout is aged on Nordaggio’s espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Oh my god… what a beautiful, intriguing and mind blowing story! I wanted to kick off 2021 with something magical and that is exactly what The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab is – pure fucking magic.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.”

I can honestly say that this is one of the most beautifully written stories I’ve ever read. I’m normally not a fan of fantasy, so I was admittedly anxious about reading this one, but the storyline was so captivating and well put together, I was instantly drawn in to the magic of the blended fantasy/historical realism. The characters in this story are absolutely brilliant and I really enjoyed how the story bounced back and forth between timelines, locations, and even character perspectives at random times as we got to know more about Addie’s and Henry’s unique stories. I was so fascinated by this book that I slowly read it over the course of eleven days because I didn’t want to rush through any of it. This story was so incredibly gratifying and went down like a satisfying sip of champagne.

Needless to say, this book absolutely lived up to the hype that we’ve all been seeing online and I will happily add to it- I truly cannot recommend this book enough and already know that this will fall in my top 10 for 2021. This was the first book I’ve ever read by V. E. Schwab and I look forward to reading more by her 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab is best paired with Sour Me Unicorn Farts by DuClaw Brewing Company and Diablo Doughnuts. This incredibly unique glittered sour ale is brewed with fruity cereal mashed in, bringing forward a bouquet of fruit flavors & a hint of biscuit 🍻

Full Pour Review: Forever Wild

UGH MY HEART 😭🥰 can this series PLEASE last forever?! The Simple Wild series by K.A. Tucker holds such a special place in my heart and the final novella in this series, Forever Wild, the characters, plots and beautiful Alaska scenery was everything that I expected it to be and so much more.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “The holiday season is upon Calla and Jonah, and with the mistletoe and gingerbread comes plenty of family drama. Jonah is bracing himself for two weeks with a stepfather he loathes, and while Calla is looking forward to her mother and Simon’s arrival, she dreads the continued pressure to set a date for their wedding … in Toronto. Add in one bullheaded neighbor’s unintentional meddling and another cantankerous neighbor’s own family strife, and Christmas in Trapper’s Crossing will be anything but simple.”

My favorite part about this book, and this series in general, are the characters. These characters are magical, heartwarming and have so much depth. Calla and Jonah grew so much more as individuals in this book, and I loved being able to watch their relationship continue to strengthen and roll with the punches. I loved the return of so many beloved characters and seeing them continue to play such an important role in Calla and Jonah’s lives. One of my favorite relationships that I was excited to spend more time with in this book was Calla and Roy. It was beautiful to see them become closer and see more walls come down for Roy. It was also a pleasure to finally get to meet Jonah’s mother and stepdad, who we’ve heard about on and off in the first two books.

The various character plots through out this story were also perfect and provided the reader with the closure we desired. This story also wouldn’t be the same without the other nerve-wracking “life or death” plot twists that K.A. Tucker is so good at delivering, and she packed so much punch in this short novella.

I don’t want to give anything away, but this book gave me all the feels and truly was the perfect ending to this series. I am beyond excited for the spin-off series with Marie that will continue to feature some of these same beloved characters we’ve become attached to. If you haven’t read this book yet, or The Simple Wild series at all, I highly encourage you to boost it higher on your TBR list. I personally know that I will continue to think about this series and these characters for a long time 💛 I also am officially obsessed with K.A. Tucker’s writing skills and look forward to reading more books by her this year.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Forever Wild by K.A. Tucker is best paired with Christmas Morning by Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. This delicious beer is one of the famous variations of Hardywood’s original gingerbread stout, brewed with a blend of Brazilian and Sumatran coffee beans from Richmond, Virginia’s Blackhand Coffee Co. 🍻

Full Pour Review: Lana’s War

I really enjoy a good World War II historical fiction story and Lana’s War by Anita Abriel definitely did not disappoint! This was a captivating story that takes place during WWII on the French Riviera with intriguing characters and wonderful imagery.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano.

A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband. 

Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead.”

There were quite a few things that I really liked about this book. First, I enjoyed the fact that this book started off at a really fast pace, making this a fairly quick read. Within the first few pages, Lana’s world comes crashing down when she experiences the death of her husband and her unborn child at the exact same time. Shortly after, she receives an offer to join the resistance on the French Riviera that will change her life forever and then we immediately get to join Lana on her new adventure, which is regularly packed with surprises.

Second, the imagery. Anita Abriel did a fantastic job at illustrating both stunning landscapes and heartbreaking scenes in this book, allowing me to feel immersed in Lana’s world.

Third, the characters. I absolutely adored Lana and her bravery. She experienced such tragic loss and it was liberating to witness her strength and resilience from this loss, and ultimately helping to honor her late husbands life by carrying out his mission of protecting Jewish families from the Germans. Her heart was also incredibly pure and kind, and I love how her relationship developed with Odette, a young Jewish girl, throughout the story. I also really liked Guy Pascal and the relationship he developed with Lana.

Finally, the ending. I thought Anita Abriel did a wonderful job at tying up all of the loose ends. While I would have appreciated more focus on Guy and Lana’s relationship, that ultimately wasn’t the point of this story and I was still satisfied with the way it ended- it was beautiful and heartbreaking, yet fulfilling all at once.

If you’re looking for a new historical fiction story, or are relatively new to historical fiction and trying to step out of your comfort zone, I recommend checking out Lana’s War by Anita Abriel, coming out 1/12. Thank you so much to Atria Books and NetGalley for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Lana’s War by Anita Abriel is best paired with Apple Pie Blonde Ale by Flying Dog Brewery. This highly enjoyable seasonal blonde ale is brewed with apples, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla and lactose 🍻

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: Wild at Heart

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

OH. MY. GOD 😭 Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker was everything I was hoping it would be, and more. After falling in love HARD with The Simple Wild, I was eager to dive in to Wild at Heart so I could find out what would happen next with Calla and Jonah and the second book in this series absolutely did not disappoint.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.

But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price—a log cabin in rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra. With Jonah gone more than he’s home, one neighbor who insists on transforming her into a true Alaskan, and another who seems more likely to shoot her than come to her aid, Calla grapples with forging her own path. In a world with roaming wildlife that has her constantly watching over her shoulder and harsh conditions that stretch far beyond the cold, dark, winter months, just stepping outside her front door can be daunting.

This is not the future Calla had in mind, leaving her to fear that perhaps she is doomed to follow in her mother’s fleeing footsteps after all.

Once again, the Alaska setting was absolutely captivating and K.A. Tucker does an incredible job at painting vivid scenes that suck you in. I loved being able to be a part of Calla and Jonah’s journey of buying a house and navigating their new life together in Alaska. I felt that both characters grew a lot throughout this book, especially Calla, as she tried to find her place in her new home. I enjoyed the new relationships that Calla developed with Toby, Muriel, Roy and Teddy- it was rewarding to see the part they all played in her growth and overcoming fears throughout the book. I also enjoyed the return of Agnes, Mabel and Marie and getting to know them more.

I can’t say enough amazing things about this book. This has been my favorite series in a long time, and I am in awe of K.A. Tucker’s skilled writing. Just like The Simple Wild, it is a perfect, feel-good romantic read and I know that I will be thinking about this book for a while. Even though it hurts knowing that Calla and Jonah’s story is soon coming to an end, I cannot wait to read the third and final novella in this series, Forever Wild, that was just released on 12/1.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker is best paired with Winter Blend by Downeast Cider. This delicious spiced cider is aged on toasted oak chips with cinnamon and nutmeg, resulting in a wonderful taste that resembles homemade apple pie 🍻

Full Pour Review: Such a Fun Age

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Such a Fun Age was an impressive, quick read that all at once was entertaining, enlightening and a little uncomfortable at times. From the very beginning, I was completely engrossed in the story and finished the book in two days.

In this book, Kiley Reid provides timely insights on several important topics such as race, privilege, social biases, power struggles and boundaries in a comical way through the complicated relationships between characters Emira Tucker, Alix Chamberlain and Kelly Copeland.

Alix Chamberlain is a young blogger who hires 25 year old Emira Tucker to babysit her 2 year old child, Briar. One late evening while Emira is out celebrating a friends birthday, Alix calls her in an emergency, hoping that Emira could help them by entertaining Briar away from home while Alix and her husband Peter addressed the situation. While walking around a local grocery store with Briar, another customer became concerned that a young black girl was out so late with a white toddler and reported her to the grocery store security guard. In front of a small gathering of customers and while being filmed by one of the them, Emira is verbally harassed by this security guard and customer; completely mortified to be accused of kidnapping Briar. Alix is shocked that this incident occurred in her neighborhood store and with the best of intentions, goes out of her way to help make things right for Emira.

At this moment in her life, Emira has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up; concerned that she has not discovered her talents or passions as easily as the rest of her family, and growing increasingly concerned that she will be kicked off of her parents health insurance plan prior to finding a full time job with benefits. While Emira absolutely adores Briar and being her babysitter, she is not the biggest fan of Alix and is wary of her sudden deeper interest and desire to help her.

Kiley Reid’s storytelling ability is incredible and it’s hard to believe that this is her debut novel. While the personalities and lives of Alix and Emira were vastly different, I found them very relatable. I thoroughly enjoyed how entertaining and thought provoking this story was, leaving the reader with so much to reflect on long after they have finished the book. If you’re looking for a fun, dramatic, contemporary fiction story that you can easily power through, I highly recommend checking out “Such a Fun Age.”

Beer Recommendation:

Such a Fun Age is best paired with NOBO by Monument City Brewing Company. NOBO is a delicious New England style IPA that was double dry hopped with Citra and El Dorado hops. This juicy, citrusy beer starts with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel and finishes mildly bitter 🍻

Full Pour Review: Judgement Detox

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Judgment Detox is a really light and refreshing, “feel good” spiritual book that will leave you wanting to reference it long after you’ve finished reading. You do not need to be a religious person by any means to enjoy this book and appreciate the valuable lessons that it provides. Gabby’s Judgment Detox is a six-step practice that provides the reader with thorough direction on how to decrease judgment in their lives through the practice of witnessing their own judgments without judgment, honoring their wounds and trauma, surrendering fear-based judgments by choosing to see the light, making an effort to see people for the first time, and understanding the importance of forgiveness in order to let go of harmful resentments that have been held on to.

Each step builds off of the other and within each step, the reader is called to take action on the lessons taught via journaling prompts, meditating, praying, experimenting with The Emotional Freedom Technique (also known as “tapping”), and more. Each of these principles are intended for the reader to implement in their daily lives in order to help let go of resentments as well as to develop a healthier relationship to judgment that will allow them to be more mindful of how they respond to it when it arises. These steps and principles are easy to follow and serve as loving, gentle guides to helping you let go of judgments and resentments you have developed. Many of these techniques also provide “miracle moments” of quick relief that help raise your mood in an instant, allowing the reader to see just how quickly and easy it can be to change our thoughts and how much power we have in creating our happiness.

If you’re in a slump and feel like your mind is constantly focused on the negatives, are tired of feeling guilty of judging yourself and others, or simply want guidance on how to create your own happiness and transition your fear-based thoughts to a place of love, this is the book for you. In a time when we are surrounded by so much judgment and negativity, this book couldn’t have come at a better time to remind us that we are not so different from one another after all, and how important it is to take a look inward and do our best to be the light we want to see in the world in order to best serve ourselves as well as others.

Beer Recommendation:

Judgment Detox is best paired with Guayabera by Cigar City. This tropical, juicy pale ale with citrus notes and Citra hops is light and refreshing with a nice little punch of bitterness to it. Like this book, Guayabera will taste like the mental vacation you didn’t realize you needed and leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired.