Tuesday, August 6, 2019

SUMMER BOOK REVIEW | JUNE/JULY

Hey book lovers! I'm back today with a 2-for-1 book review because I completely let June get away from me!  So I just decided to combine June and July and get back on track starting now.

If you don't care a darn bit about books, no hard feelings.  ;)  I'll see you next week.  But if you do love a good book or audiobook, then you've come to the right place!

Since I am combining two months worth of reading, I'm just going to review the books that I think you DEFINITELY need to add to your list.  I'll go ahead and link them all though if you want more info.  But the ones I'm reviewing are my favorites.

JUNE


Sophie Last Seen 3.5 stars
Hello Lovelies 4 stars
Drawing Home 4.5 stars

Clearly, I liked all these books.  I'd pass on The Friends We Keep and Sophie Last Seen.  Both were good stories but there are better out there.  Passion on Park Avenue was really cute.  Total chick lit with the whole enemies to lovers thing that I really enjoyed not to mention the main character is a total boss and running a thriving jewelry empire.  I love that.  So definitely go check that one out.

But there were two that stuck out more than the others so I wanted to make sure to mention them.


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First things first, Hello Lovelies is only available as an audiobook.  BUT, did you know that you can try 2 audiobooks for free when you sign up for an Audible trial?  They make it really easy to cancel too so you can grab your two free books and then cancel immediately if you wanted!  Y'all know I love my audiobooks.  :)  Anyway, just wanted to let y'all know that in case you really want to read it but don't have an Audible membership.  There are work-arounds!

But Hello Lovelies was such a cute read.  It caught my attention when I saw that it was about bloggers/influencers! Ruthie is a stay-at-home mom who is lonely, bored and longs to be BFFs in real life with her favorite mommy-blogger, Jesca Pine.  When Jesca announces that she and several of her other blogger friends from all over the country will be coming together to host a cruise, and that there will be a giveaway with the winner receiving the honor of staying in Jesca's actual cabin with her during the cruise, Ruthie cannot wait.  She has to win and goes all out to make it happen, securing her place as Jesca's new roomie.

But during the cruise, it's not all roses.  Since Ruthie is getting to spend so much time with her idol, she's also able to see that NO ONE'S life is perfect all the time.  The behind-the-scenes of being an Instagram influencer and blogger are a lot different than what she was expecting.

I thought the whole thing was a very light, modern, chick-lit story.  Was it the best book ever?  No, not at all. I just thought the premise was cute and clearly appealed to me.  Are any of my own blogger friends like the ones in this book?  NO!  So please don't think that.  I'm sure there are bloggers and influencers who do the things that they do in the story but honestly, I couldn't relate to much of it at all, even as a blogger myself.  But was it a fun read?  Yes!



This was my favorite book of the month.

Summer has started in idyllic Sag Harbor, and for Emma Mapson that means greeting guests at the front desk of The American Hotel. But when one of the town's most famous residents, artist Henry Wyatt, dies suddenly, Emma learns he has mysteriously left his waterfront home - a self-designed masterpiece filled with his work - to her teenage daughter, Penny. 

Back in Manhattan, legendary art patron Bea Winstead's grief at her lifelong friend and former business partner Henry's passing turns to outrage at the news of his shocking bequest. How did these unknown locals get their hands on the estate? Bea, with her devoted assistant Kyle in tow, descends on Sag Harbor determined to reclaim the house and preserve Henry's legacy. 

While Emma fights to defend her daughter's inheritance, Bea discovers that Henry left a treasure trove of sketches scattered around town. With Penny's reluctant help, Bea pieces them together to find a story hidden in plain sight: an illustration of their shared history with an unexpected twist that will change all of their lives. 

Drawn together in their battle for the house, Emma and Bea are forced to confront the past while facing a future that challenges everything they believe about love, fate, and family.

This was such a great one!  It's set in Sag Harbor so it's perfect for summertime, there's a love story, and there's a bit of mystery!  The ending is awesome and wraps it up so well even after you are screaming at the book halfway through thinking there is no way all these people end up happy.  I'd put this one on your list!

JULY


And then came my July reads and I loved each and every one of these books except one.  Three of these are now my Top 3 picks for summer and maybe even the whole year so far!

The Friend Zone 5 stars
Summer of '69 4 stars
Mrs. Everything 3 stars


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This is in my top 3 books of the summer, friends.  I loved it!  It was sweet, sassy, funny, and had a great ending.

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in...well, everything. Her identical twin sister, Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag), and she's managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she's forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren't affected are Olive and Ethan. And now, there's an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn't mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of...lucky.

You will be so happy you chose this book!  It's just so dang cute.  I honestly felt like I had just watched a movie after it was over.  The vomiting scene during the wedding was hysterical, the Hawaiian resort setting was perfect and you will fall in love with Ethan and Olive.  This was my first Christina Lauren book but there will be more in my future!


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Say hello to another one of my top 3 books of summer!  I love Nancy Thayer books just as much as I love Elin Hilderbrand.  Her books are all so beachy and perfect summer reads and this one was no exception.  I still find myself thinking back to it which is how I tend to make my top choices.  If I'm still thinking about it days or weeks after it's over, it was a good one!

Keely Green always dreamed of leaving the beautiful shores of Nantucket to become a writer. Now she's a bestselling novelist living in New York City, attending glamorous cocktail parties, mingling with the literary elite, and dating a charming pediatric surgeon. But a moment of clarity strikes when Keely's boyfriend suddenly wants to settle down and her editor rejects her latest novel. With her personal and professional lives in shambles, Keely longs for the island way of life. 

Growing up, Keely and her best friend, Isabelle, were inseparable. Nothing could come between them - except, as it turned out, Keely's high school boyfriend, Tommy. Returning home means facing Isabelle's bitter betrayal and seeing for herself the family Tommy and Isabelle have created, the life that should have been Keely's. 

But when Keely's mother falls into a deep depression, Keely knows what she must do, even though she is reluctant to face her estranged friend. And encountering Isabelle's older brother, Sebastian - Keely's longtime crush - only complicates things.

In one incredible summer, Keely must confront the mistakes of the past if she has any chance of finding true happiness in the place she will always call home. Nancy Thayer shines yet again in this uplifting tale of forgiveness and self-discovery.

Don't skip this one!!


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Every summer, I look forward to a new novel by Elin Hilderbrand!  MOST of the time, they are amazing.  Last years' release was ok.  I liked it more than others I think but the vibe was off since it was set in a different location.  But this year, Elin is back with what she knows best.  Nantucket.  Was it my favorite book that she's ever written.  No, but I mean, she's written so many!  But it was solid and definitely worth a read.

Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the 20th century. It's 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year, the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother's historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha's Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country. 

In her first historical novel, rich with the details of an era that shaped both a nation and an island 30 miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.

Add it to your list, Elin fans!


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Ok.  This was a good story.  But it wasn't my favorite.  I found it interesting but let's just say it was a LOT to handle.  I can see some people absolutely loving this book though so if the summary intrigues you, I'd definitely suggest looking into it!

Do we change or does the world change us?

Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.

Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.

But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?

In her most ambitious novel yet, Jennifer Weiner tells a story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world? 


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And finally we get to The Friend Zone.  The other book in my Top 3!  This was also a book that I just kept thinking about after I read/listened to it.  It was light and sweet but also so stinkin' funny and it just felt REAL.  I loved the banter between Kristen and Josh and the writing style reminded me so much of The Honeymooners.  Kristen has no filter and a bum uterus, Josh (the hot fireman) has a big ole heart and you just want to hug him, and then there are their best friends who are also super loveable.  When tragedy strikes toward the end of the book it is heart-breaking.  But even with that, this book has a beautiful ending.  

Kristen Petersen doesn't do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don't get her. She's also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend's wedding is bittersweet for Kristen - especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He's funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he'd be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it's harder and harder to keep him at arm's length.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.

They should totally make this into a movie.  READ THIS ONE!

And don't forget that you can find ALL of my Book Reviews in one place! Just click HERE to see them all.

Happy Day, friends!

Linking up for Booknificient Thursdays

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8 comments

  1. Nooooooooo! I don't need any other books to read...and now, you just gave me more ;) . We always have the same taste!!!!

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  2. Since you loved The Friend Zone, you should totally follow the author on Facebook/Twitter. She is HILARIOUS. Stuntman Mike is her real dog and her stories with him and her husband crack me up!

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  3. I can't wait to read The Friend Zone! Thanks for the great recommendations!

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  4. Kristy11:03 PM

    Love this!!! I just started the unhoneymooners. If you haven’t read class mom or you’ve been volunteered by Laurie gelman they’re hilarious (and fitting for this season of life)

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    1. I read the Class Mom last year but I haven't read You've Been Volunteered! Adding that one to my list! Thanks for the rec!

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