It’s here!! It’s my JULY BOOK REVIEW!
For all of you non-readers out there, I know you’re all…
…zzzzzzzz right now at the thought of a bunch of books (you should binge watch Grey’s Anatomy then!!). But for all of you readers? You’re like this right now…
That is EXACTLY how I feel!
So, in June, I declared it the BEST BOOK REVIEW of the year so far which means, July has a lot to live up to. After my June review (where I read SO MANY great books!), I went through your comments (over 250!) and wrote down suggestions from them on a sticky note to read in July. So many of the books in my lineup today came from your comments. Now, I read some fantastic books this month, but I also read two that fell short for me. So, we’ll see if you agree or not.
But guess what?
I’m going to do something different today…today, I’m going to give you the names of FOUR books that I will be reading in August and then we can all chat about those books during my AUGUST BOOK REVIEW.
I typically don’t tell you what I’m going to read in advance because…I don’t know what I’m going to read (I get my suggestions many times from the comments here!), but I had enough suggestions in June to make my list extra big, so at the end of today’s post, I’ll tell you what I’m going to read and if you want, you can read along with me and then we can discuss next month. Sound like a plan?
First though…my JULY BOOK REVIEW.
Some, I loved.
Some, left me wanting more.
…SUMMER RENTAL by Mary Kay Andrews.
I don’t know why I forget to read books by Andrews because I always like them! You ladies suggested this one to me and it was the PERFECT summer read! It’s light, it’s easy, it’s about summer (duh!), it’s just feel good chick lit that of course, I’m obsessed with. This novel is about four women who share a summer house together. All four are escaping some realities of life (marriage problems, job problems, etc.), and they come together one August to share a house and well, they sort some things out. I found this book charming. It makes me want to read more Andrews books this fall. Looking for something fun to read? This is it!
If you’ve read my book reviews for any length of time then you know Beatriz Williams and I have a complicated relationship. I either LOVE her books or don’t like them at all. It’s so darn weird how it works like that. I think I’ve read 5 or 6 of them and two of them were in my top three for the year. Did you read that…FOR THE YEAR! A Hundred Summers and The Secret Life of Violet Grant were so good that I put them in the top three in 2016 and 2017 (out of over 60 books read each year!). However, I’ve read a few other Williams books that I just flat out didn’t like (yawn, boring, not interested in them at all). So you see? Complicated.
Her newest novel, THE SUMMER WIVES, came out this month, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Let me tell you, friends, this one scored in the top tier of books I’ve read this year. I really loved it! Now, I don’t know if it’s “top three for the year” good, but it is definitely “I need to recommend it to my friends because I thoroughly enjoyed it” good.
This novel is about several generations of women living on Long Island and how their lives all intersect and connect. In this fictitious tale, each chapter flips back and forth between each woman and her story and then by the end, you see how they’re all woven together. I wouldn’t call Williams’ books “chick lit”. They’re not light, frivolous, beach reads per se…they’re just really good pieces of literature (although, you know how much I love those light reads!). For those of you who like it when I put a rating, I might caution that this book leans a little rated R, so buyer beware. I just really loved this one. This one reminded me of why I love Beatriz Williams so much…most of the time 😉 .
Soooooo…Emily Giffin’s newest book, ALL WE EVER WANTED let me down.
I love Giffin novels SO DARN MUCH! Something Borrowed and Something Blue are two of my FAVES, but this one just fell short for me. First, I do believe every other Giffin book that I’ve read has been a relationship/love story kind of book, so I was assuming this would be the same…then, about halfway through, when I realized, okay, no romance here, I was disappointed with the overall outcome of the book. I didn’t really think justice was served in the end, and it left me feeling kind of blah. I wanted some vindication for our main character, but instead, I just felt like it was incomplete. Am I crazy here? I did not enjoy this one. I would also say, for those of you who still want to read it after this glowing recommendation (ha!), that this one is probably rated R too.
I did though, enjoy this one! I saved SUMMER HOUSE to read in Nantucket because it’s set there! This is quintessential summer reading right here…chick lit at its very best! A novel about a family getting together one summer on Nantucket to hash out some details about their family’s land and future. There is a little drama, a little romance, yummy food references, and a lot of Nantucket (Thayer’s favorite “character”!). This is just an easy beach read, poolside read, airplane read, just because read. I loved every single page.
THE GREAT ALONE was the number one recommended book last month and friends, you nailed it. I loved this book so much! It was my favorite Hannah book to date!
This novel is about one family’s journey as they move from the lower 48 to Alaska in the 70s. This is not chick lit. This book is a powerful piece of literature that for sure has me thinking top three for the year. Men and women alike will love this story about their struggles, their triumphs, their sacrifices, their love for community and so much more. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I read it. I had no idea how it would end (the story goes decades forward as you read) or how beautifully it would capture the people of Alaska. This one is a must read for sure! I cannot say enough great things about this novel. As soon as I put it down, I was sad it was over. Read it, friends!
Oh man. I was disappointed by THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO too.
Okay, here’s the thing…I think I approached the book with expectations that were just too darn high. Last year, my VERY FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR, was a Taylor Jenkins Reid book. Of the whole year. Out of 62…I picked her One True Loves as my favorite. So, the bar was probably set a little to high this time around. I liked the idea of this book, but honestly, I was turned off by the main character from start to finish. This novel is about an actress, who in her older years, has decided a biography should be written about her life and her seven husbands. Cute premise, but she wasn’t super lovable at all. I did enjoy many of other characters (Celia and Harry for sure!), but she even makes a point several times as she’s having this writer compile her biography that she isn’t a nice person. I really couldn’t find many things about her that I liked, and the characters I did like…well, their tragic demises made me so sad (and were they really necessary???). Also, Monique, the writer who is capturing Evelyn’s story…well, I thought her part in the book could have been elaborated on even more. Sigh. This is not the way I wanted to end my month…but it is what it is. This one is rated R as well, so if you’re thinking you might want to give it a go, just a heads up. In my opinion, read One True Loves instead.
Six books for July! Funny enough, three of the six have the word “summer” in the title. Needless to say, this is a good “summer” list for you.
Now tell me…what are your thoughts? I love, love, love going through the comments and reading your thoughts, opinions and recommendations! I also want to say before we move on to my August books that I have people recommend that I read Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love every.single.month, and friends, I read it years ago and yes, I loved it! You should all read that one too!
So, what are we going to read in August? How about these…
…now, I typically don’t tell you what I’m reading next for several reasons. First, I don’t know. Ha! I usually get my recommendations from the comments on this post, so I can’t predict what I’m going to read until after you all comment. An second, my mood shifts, I get inspired, I get bored, I just randomly pick up something. But this next month, let’s try and read these four together so we can discuss after the August Book Review. Sound like fun? Let’s see!