It’s BOOK REVIEW DAY!
Friends, I have SEVEN books to review this month!!!
As you can see from the titles, they’re all deep, dark and depressing 😉 .
(Seriously, if your book has the word “beach” in it, I am reading it this summer. Bahahaha!)
I have so much to say about these books, so let’s dive in starting with…
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
I clearly love Taylor Jenkins Reid.
I didn’t love Malibu Rising.
I know so many of you recommended it to me and so many of you told me it’s your favorite book of the year, but when I was done, I was kind of like “eh”. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. I thought it was okay. The premise was super original. The way the book was laid out was unique. The characters were very different. I just thought no one was really likable, several people were incredibly selfish, and the whole thing was depressing. I didn’t finish it and think “that was hard but so worth it”…I finished it and thought “that was just exhausting”.
Sooooo…I’m starting off the month by irritating most of you. Ha! I’m sorry! I so wanted to love it!!
This is a fictional story about four adult siblings, but also about their parents (the book toggles back to the past). Dad is a famous musician, mom gives up everything to stand by his side even though he’s a hot mess behind the music. They have four kids (sort of)…there are addiction issues, lying, terrible and horrible problems…and then, you fast forward about 20ish years and you have their four kids. I was hoping for something a little more from the kids, but I just felt sad at the end. I applaud this author for another super original story. It’s unique, it’s captivating, I could not put it down because I had to know what would happen…but it left me disappointed at the end. I will say, it’s rated R as well.
I’m sure you’ll all disagree. Sorry!!!!
Next up, I read…
The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren.
Eh, this one was okay too.
Eeeeeeeeks! I hate when I don’t like books by authors (or in this case, an author duo) that I typically love.
This one was fine…it’s the chick lit that I love (but rated R), but it just didn’t hit the mark for me. It was okay, but I wasn’t blown away and probably won’t recall it later to ever recommend it to someone. This is the story about a girl looking for love who meets a guy that just started a dating website (the makings of a perfect novel, no?). In my opinion, this one was super predicable and yet, the story was just a little flat. I didn’t love either of the main characters, I thought a lot of their relationship was just a little too easy/simplified…I don’t know? This one was just unremarkable for me. I just could never really sink my teeth into the story or the characters and was just kind of ready for it to be over. Ugh. I do love their books, so this one was a disappointing for me too.
What wasn’t disappointing for me?
The Sixth Wedding by Elin Hilderbrand.
I LOVED IT! So, this novel is unique. Last year, she wrote 28 Summers which is such a fantastic book (you must read it!), and this year, she came out with a little sequel (it’s only about a fourth of the size of the original book) only on Kindle. You know how I read her latest novel Golden Girl last month and didn’t love it? Well, in my opinion, she should have skipped Golden Girl and just made this story longer. This novel brought back so many great characters from the original story and then continued on after that 28th summer. The only thing I didn’t love? It was too short. I thought the book ended too abruptly. Instead of being a “mini” book, I wish they would have released this one as a standard novel. I was so sad when this was over. You should all read both 28 Summers and The Sixth Wedding. (Side note: this was a great story with a bad title. I think she could have named it anything else besides The Sixth Wedding. It just didn’t do the story justice…but be that as it may, I loved it 😉 ).
The fourth book I read this month was another beachy, summery, lovely little chick lit novel…
…Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst.
Ohhhhhh this one is good, friends!!
This novel checked all of my boxes for a delicious summer read. It’s the fictional story of three generations of women who take a once in a lifetime vacation to Italy to find themselves and inevitably, each other. I did think this one was a bit slow to start, but once it picked up, I couldn’t put it down. I was thoroughly invested in all three women and their stories (each one woven in and out of the novel). I couldn’t get enough of the food references (hello, Italy!), the tours and traveling, the site-seeing, the people…this will probably be my favorite beach read of the summer. If you can’t get to Italy this summer (and really, who can?!), this book will take you there. It’s a really good one.
The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak.
I was so excited to dive into this one! Just look at the title!
THAT’S SO ME!
But friends, I was sooooooo disappointed.
Agh! Please tell me some of you have read it and thought the same thing too?? First of all, it’s really not AT ALL about either a bookstore or a beach. It’s really about a mom and her two teens who head to her mother’s house for the summer. Sounds pretty good…except it takes some twists and turns that are so unrealistic and unbelievable that I was convinced an alien might appear at any moment due to the way things were going. This was just really let me down. The title was wrong, the plot was too unbelievable and far-fetched, there were too many crazy storylines that didn’t really add up, a whole lot of characters I didn’t care much about and it was rated R.
I sure hope someone else out there agrees with me. I was really disappointed in this one! I felt very duped by the title of the book too.
The Nantucket Inn by Pamela Kelley was my sixth book of the month and well, it was so cute and easy to read!
For years, so many of you have suggested this author to me, but for some reason, I just never got around to her. This time though, I was in Nantucket and wanting to read a Nantucket-y book, so I dug in and couldn’t put it down. This is apparently the first book in the series, and I will totally be reading them all.
This cute little novel is about a women living in Nantucket who turns her home into a bed and breakfast. She has four grown kids that weave in and out of the story too…plus…a man…it’s all very Hallmark-y, happy and exactly what we all need this summer. I loved the lightness of the book, the sweetness of the book…it was exactly what I needed. If you were unhappy with Golden Girl earlier this summer, read this one. You’ll get your Nantucket fix for sure! I can’t wait to read more Pamela Kelley novels now!
The Beach House by Jenny Hale was the seventh and final book for me this month and…it was okay.
Um, I think this month was weird for me. I loved a few and then didn’t care for others…and this one kind of fell in the middle.
This is a novel about a woman who inherits her grandmother’s money along with a wish from her to buy a specific house on the beach and turn it into a bed and breakfast. (I know, sort of similar to the book above…) I liked this woman and several of the other characters, but one minute there’s a hurricane and the next, she’s obsessing over some old letters and really…it’s like the same day, and I just kept thinking it was too unrealistic and a bit corny. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it…it’s just fine. (Honestly, I’ll remember Malibu Rising more fondly…)
Everyone brace yourselves.
You might need to sit down.
I think I’ve reached my limit on beach books for the season and that might be part of my problem.
(You’re all stunned and shocked right now. I am too.)
Soooo…if you have any fresh and new suggestions for my August, please let me know! I pretty much exclusively read beach books in May, June and July, but now, I need something else. A biography? A thriller? A meatier work of fiction? Come on…what do you have? I’m all ears 🙂 .
That’s it for this month’s BOOK REVIEW!
Don’t forget, I keep a running list of every book I’ve read in 2021 right HERE!
To see the complete list of books I read in 2015 (all 63 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2016 (all 62 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2017 (all 62 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2018 (all 61 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2019 (all 54 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2020 (all 54 of them), click here.
Happy Thursday, friends!!! I can’t wait to read your recs!!