It’s my JUNE BOOK REVIEW!!!
Eeeeeeeks! I love book day!!!!
Okay, per your request, this summer, I’m not just reviewing books, but we’re going to have a little book club discussion too. Typically, I don’t publish comments with spoilers, but for today’s books, in the comment section, you can talk spoilers if you want. My review here WILL NOT contain any spoilers for those of you who haven’t read the books yet (just make sure you don’t read the comment section!), but there will be spoilers/discussion in the comment section for everyone who has already read the book(s). I will not be publishing any comments that are hateful/ugly. There are a lot of book clubs if you want to express your thoughts in that way, but mine will not be one of them. You can absolutely say you don’t like a book and list reasons, but we’re going to even keep that in a positive, upbeat way or else it won’t be published for the discussion.
Also, at the bottom of this post, I’ve also included our summer book club picks for July too.
One last thing, I’m off right now to the cutest little 4 year old’s house to wish him a happy birthday and then…
…this weekend, we have July 4th, so I’m going to take a little break and try to unplug a bit this weekend. I will see you guys back here on MONDAY.
Lots of fun stuff, so let’s get started…
This month, I kicked things off with…
Okay, I liked this book but didn’t love it. It checked a lot of boxes for me (light, summery, easy to read, cute, a little cheesy…all of my faves), but looking back, I’m kind of “eh” about it (after reading my other books for the month). This novel is about two writers who were frenemies back in college and somehow, several years later, both end up living next door to each other in small cabins in the middle of nowhere…both struggling to write their next book. There’s banter, there’s chemistry, there’s a cute little town as the backdrop with some adorable side characters…but when it was over, even though the book wraps up nice and neat (which I love), I still had questions that felt unanswered. I wrote in my notes 3.5 stars out of 4 when I finished reading it. If you’re looking for an easy little book for your summer, here you go! I will say, due to language and content, I would say this one is more rated R as well. I can’t wait to read the comments about this book…it was just okay to me.
The second book I read this month was more than okay, it was really, really eye-opening…
…at the beginning of the month, I asked readers to give me suggestions for some racially diverse books to include in my monthly reviews and White Fragility was by far the most recommended to me. I didn’t even read the synopsis before I cracked it open because I wanted to go in “fresh”. I knew that so many of my readers wanted me to read it, so that was enough of a rec for me.
I was really surprised when I did start reading because it’s written by a white woman. As I began reading though, I loved that it was written by a white woman because it gave me (a white woman) a perspective from “my seat” versus someone else’s. Make sense? I found myself reading and re-reading sentences, paragraphs and portions of what she was saying because so many of her relatively simple points had been going right over my head (so her perspective spoke to me). As someone who was called into large corporations for diversity training, she observed so much about white culture and how, even the most well-intended white people, can really cause racial divide without even realizing they’re doing it. I read this book really quickly because once I got started, I couldn’t put it down…and what I loved was how many great conversations it lead me to have with Andrew, my kids, my friends, my family about how we’ve become extremely desensitized in our roll in racial divide. I also loved that this book really addresses how we (as a society) are not going to change the minds of truly racist people (because those are people whose minds cannot be changed), but we can make personal changes that will hopefully create less racial divide and more unity. Change has to come from the lives of those who are not racist at heart but the rest of us who, even if we’re not aware, might be contributing to the problem instead of eradicating it. Does that make any sense? I am certainly not qualified to recap a book with this much information in it about something so important. That point (of how eradicating racial divide is not about changing the hearts of racist people) really hit home to me because in my family, we are diverse and definitely teach our kids that everyone is equal, made perfect in God’s eyes just the way they are and how we should love one another…but change in society will really will come from our hearts and our homes (we can’t keep thinking “oh, we’re not the problem, we need those horrible racists to change” because that’s never going to happen). The change starts with us. I’m excited to see the book review portion of this in our comment section and hope many of you read it too.
The third book this month on our book club list was…
Okay, the only thing I didn’t love about this novel was the title. Looking back, after reading the book, I just don’t think it fits with the actual story. (I know that’s silly, but it’s what I thought about!)
Nancy Thayer novels just never let me down. They always have amazing settings (this one is in Nantucket!), they always make me feel good, they’re never rated R, they’re always upbeat, there is always an ending and they’re always charming. That’s the word I would use to describe all of her books…charming. This is a story about a woman in her 50s who has been a single mom for many, many years…well, she falls for a younger man (in his 40s) at the same time her kids are falling for people too. It’s a lot about moving on, not looking back, being okay with yourself (the main character really struggles with dating a man 10 years younger). There are cozy cottage references, lots of lobster being cooked, beach scenes, cobblestone roads discussed…everything I love about summers in Nantucket in one book. If you need an easy little beach book, here you go. Loved it.
Speaking of books I loved…
…my favorite author wrote one of my favorite books so far this year.
I loved 28 Summers.
Now, you know I love me some Elin Hilderbrand…so I was super anxious for this one to come out this year. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT! I do, however, think this little chick-lit might be controversial in our comment section because you have to be okay with a “same time next year” mentality when you read this book. Am I okay with that in real life? No. Did I love it in this book? Yes. Would I end my husband’s life if he had a “same time next year relationship”? You better believe it. Did I find this story endearing? Yes. Ha! You can’t ask questions…you either have to go into this one accepting it or don’t read it. This novel is about a man and woman who have one amazing weekend on Nantucket and then for 28 summers after that, they meet at the same time each year to be together despite what’s happening in their personal lives. I loved so much about this book. I loved how at the beginning of each chapter, there was a synopsis of the year, I loved how we had a narrator pop out every now and again to give us scoop on “our girl” or “our boy”, I loved how the book toggled back and forth between our two main characters, I loved that it was based in Nantucket but you got glimpses of other cities too. I loved how original I thought the plot was, how well-written and thought out it was, how there were a million little snippets of different years woven seamlessly into each chapter, I loved it. Now, I’m about to head to the comment section though because my gut tells me many of you did not. I highly recommend this one though. This book is a great example of why I love Elin Hilderbrand so much.
Okay, that’s my JUNE BOOK REVIEW!
For July, we have two books for Shay’s Summer Book Club that you can read along with me and we’ll discuss at the end of the month…
…I am excited to dive into both of these.
From here, if you do not want to see any spoilers, click off and come back Monday. If you want to read spoilers/participate in our book club discussion, that’s happening below in the comment section.
Happy Book Day!! I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful July 4th weekend!! xo