Tuesday, September 7, 2021

☀ TOP 8 BOOKS OF THE SUMMER ☀

Looking for a new book, friends? I've got you covered! Today I'm rounding up some of my favorite books that I read/listened to over the summer in case you're looking for a new one. A lot of these are reviews from previous posts over the summer but I wanted my favorites to be all in one place.



I did my best to get through my Ultimate Summer Reading List that I posted back in April with all the new releases from this summer but there was no way to get through them all by Fall. I still have so many I want to read. There are also several on the list that got mediocre reviews and I'll just skip those. But the ones listed here all got 5 stars from me!

I hope this helps you find your next great read (or listen)!


This first one did not appear on my Ultimate Summer Reading List because I saw it randomly one day while I was browsing Audible. It was actually free with my Audible membership too which was another big plus!


Back in the Burbs was just the sweet little rom-com we all crave! 

Ever have one of those days where life just plain sucks? Welcome to my last three months—ever since I caught my can’t-be-soon-enough ex-husband cheating with his paralegal. I’m thirty-five years old, and I’ve lost my NYC apartment, my job, my money, and frankly, my dignity.

But the final heartache in the suck sandwich of my life? My great-aunt Maggie died. The only family member who’s ever gotten me. Even after death, though, she’s helping me get back up. She’s willed me the keys to a house in the burbs, of all places, and dared me to grab life by the family jewels. Well, I’ve got the vise grips already in hand (my ex should take note) and I’m ready to fight for my life again.

Too bad that bravado only lasts as long as it takes to drive into Huckleberry Hills. And see the house.
There are forty-seven separate HOA violations, and I feel them all in my bones. Honestly, I’m surprised no one’s “accidentally” torched the house yet. I want to, and I’ve only been standing in front of it for five minutes. But then my hot, grumpy neighbor tells me to mow the lawn first and I’m just...done. Done with men too sexy for their own good and done with anyone telling me what to do ever again.

First rule of surviving the burbs? There is nothing that YouTube and a glass of wine can’t conquer. 

Sounds so cute, right?! It was! Maybe you won't love it as much as me. Maybe you will. I make no guarantees, y'all. But it put me in a good mood, made me happy and I just love love stories like this. You're going to fall in love with the hot lawyer and Mallory. She's just strong and hard-working and independent and kind. 

Don't forget that if you have an Audible membership, it's free!



This was the mini-sequel to 28 Summers. If you haven't read that yet, go back and read that! It's amazing and it's the only way this sequel really makes any sense. 

I wasn't sure if I should include this one or not in my favorites because I wanted so much more!! So that was a tad disappointing. But still. So glad I got at least this much more. 

So, for those of you have HAVE read 28 Summers but haven't grabbed this one yet, you should. The only problem is that it ends abruptly and it just made me think that Elin got tired of writing and just said "the end". Boo. I would have loved a full book. But it was so fun to see how the gang is doing after Mallory's death. (Different Mallory than the one in Back in the Burbs. 😉)



If you love twists and turns and "What in the actual (bleep) just happened?" type books, this one's for you!! I love the ones that keep me guessing and I love when I'm wrong and then WHAM it's all explained at the end. This one might be one of my favorites of the year actually. I just really enjoyed it and it kept me up late at night listening and it was the first thing I turned on every morning because I couldn't wait to hear more.

This book is about a woman who goes for a run and never comes home and then that is quickly followed by another woman and her 6yo daughter vanishing too. No one has a clue what has happened until 11 years later when the little girl (now a teenager) suddenly appears. Of course, everyone wants to know what happened to her and her mom and where she's been this whole time and that's when all the pieces to a story that someone has been trying to hide for years begin to unravel. The story goes back and forth between the years so you get to hear what went on in "real-time" when it jumps back to the past and then how it's going in the present.

There are surprises until the very end. Read this!

THE SOULMATE EQUATION

I mean, does Christina Lauren ever let us down? No. The answer is always no. We love her (them actually...they are a duo).

The Soulmate Equation was my latest read and it has a really cool storyline.

Single mom Jessica Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents—who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno—Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father was never around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard...and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: one of GeneticAlly’s founders, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond Match” that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

 I'm kind of bummed this science doesn't actually exist because it would be so cool (or not??) to run the DNA of people to see who is the best match for each other! Although, I can see this getting already married couples into trouble. haha

This one is insanely sweet and you will fall in love with this cute Diamond couple.

LIFE'S TOO SHORT


Ok, this can absolutely be read as a stand-alone but if you haven't read The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist, they are part of this series and their characters make cameos in each of these which is always fun. The Friend Zone is one of my all-time favorites so...highly recommend. All of her books are hilarious and sweet and you fall.in.love. with the characters.

When Vanessa Price quit her job to pursue her dream of traveling the globe, she wasn't expecting to gain millions of YouTube followers who shared her joy of seizing every moment. For her, living each day to its fullest isn't just a motto. Her mother and sister never saw the age of 30, and Vanessa doesn't want to take anything for granted.
 
But after her half-sister suddenly leaves Vanessa with custody of her baby daughter, life goes from "daily adventure" to "next-level bad" (now with bonus baby vomit in hair). The last person Vanessa expects to show up offering help is the hot lawyer next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. No one warned her that he was the Secret Baby Tamer or that she'd be spending a whole lot of time with him and his geriatric Chihuahua.
 
Now she's feeling things she's vowed not to feel. Because the only thing worse than falling for Adrian is finding a little hope for a future she may never see.

Y'all. I mean, there's a precious baby who needs a mama, cranky old dog that just needs some loving, a YouTuber who's trying to live out her best life not knowing how long she'll get to do it and of course, the hottie next door who is OF COURSE, the perfect man in every way.

It's funny, it's sweet, it will have you hoping and crying and laughing and all the things. Read all her books. Thank me later. ;)




Mary Kay Andrews is one of my favorite authors! They are all great beach reads but all of her books have some sort of crime/mystery thrown in on top of an adorable romance. So it's like getting a 2 for 1 deal and I love it!

The Newcomer was just as good as I hoped it would be and left wanting to go buy a rundown motel on a Florida beach.

In trouble and on the run...

After she discovers her sister Tanya dead on the floor of her fashionable New York City townhouse, Letty Carnahan is certain she knows who did it: Tanya’s ex; sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield. Even in the grip of grief and panic, Letty heeds her late sister’s warnings: “If anything bad happens to me - it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.” So, Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road....

With a trunkful of emotional baggage and her wailing four-year-old niece Maya. Letty is determined to outrun Evan and the law, but run to where? Tanya, a woman with a past shrouded in secrets, left behind a “go-bag” of cash and a big honking diamond ring- but only one clue: a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel in a Florida beach town with the improbable name of Treasure Island. She sheds her old life and checks into an uncertain future at The Murmuring Surf Motel.

The No Vacancy sign is flashing and the sharks are circling And that’s the good news. Because The Surf, as the regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit flock of retirees and snowbirds who regard this odd-duck newcomer with suspicion and downright hostility. As Letty settles into the motel’s former storage room, she tries to heal Maya’s heartache and unravel the key to her sister’s shady past, all while dodging the attention of the owner’s dangerously attractive son Joe, who just happens to be a local police detective. Can Letty find romance as well as a room at the inn - or will Joe betray her secrets and put her behind bars? With danger closing in, it’s a race to find the truth and right the wrongs of the past.  



Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car-share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
 
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven't spoken since.
 
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
 
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

Ok, you will straight up be jealous as heck when you see the relationship between Alex and Poppy. Total opposites and yet absolute best friends. The trips they take will make you have major wanderlust. You will wish you had a guy friend like that back in the day that was just your platonic friend who you could bare your soul to, be yourself with, laugh with, cry with, travel with...all the things except makeout with...even though there's a tiny part of you that wants to. ;)

So why not just BE TOGETHER, you ask?! Well, we all ask. And you'll get to see all the things play out in the book. And it will make you a little frustrated at times. And then there will be times when you're all "Duh, guys!". But that's all I'll say. ;) This was a great one.

GOLDEN GIRL 


On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she's assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.

From the Beyond, Vivi watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes—with or without a nudge of help from above—while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.

With all of Elin’s trademark beach scenes, mouth-watering meals, and picture-perfect homes, plus a heartfelt message—the people we lose never really leave us—Golden Girl is a beach book unlike any other.

I thought this book (while a little far out), was emotional and heartfelt and sad and happy and tragic and just all the things. It didn't feel like a typical Elin book but I really enjoyed something different than chick lit or thrillers...those tend to be my 2 go-tos. It was a high note in my summer reads though and most people seem to agree! If you love a little magic/ghosts/angels/etc, you'll like this one!

So there you go! 

Now on to FALL reads! Any recommendations to get me into the spirit? 

Right now it's 91 degrees here in Texas and the closest thing I have to fall in my house right now is an orange pillow on my couch. I tried to muster the energy to bring down all my fall decor this weekend but I'm going to need the house to myself and right now the boys have Cvd so they are stuck here for another few days. (They just had mild symptoms that only lasted a couple of days plus some random ones like they each had a pink streak across one eye which I've since learned, is apparently a new symptom of Delta. Who knew? Plus some eye pain and mild muscle aches. But for the most part, just some sniffles, congestion, and the occasional headache.)

Once they go back to school, I'll revisit. But for now, we're stuck with one orange pillow. 😂

Have a great day, friends!

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9 comments

  1. Daniela5:38 PM

    Your book reviews are my favorite posts! I’ve read pretty much everything from your summer list and loved them all. Just finished When stars collide! So good!

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    1. Well thank you so much, Daniela!! I have When Stars Collide on my list for this month!!

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  2. Alexis9:25 PM

    Your book reviews are always my fav! And clearly we are book buddies because I read 6 out of 8 of these this summer and loved every single one of them!!! 👯‍♀️😂
    Just finished Falling - great thriller!
    To Sir With Love by Lauren Layne is ADORABLE. Read it! You will love it. And if you haven’t read The Prenup by her - that’s another great one!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Alexis! ❤️ I’m going to add those suggestions to my list for sure! I’ve had The Prenup on my wish list for a long time!

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  3. I loved Local Woman Missing! Just added Back in the Burbs to my audible library. Thanks!

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    1. Back to the Burbs is a great one after you finish a creepy thriller! 😂🤪

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  4. I loved LIfe's Too Short! So cute and sweet! I love her books.

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  5. I really liked The Newcomber and Soulmate Equation but I was disappointed in Golden Girl.

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