Happy, happy Monday, friends!
Guess what? I have EXACTLY what your Monday morning needs…it’s my JUNE BOOK REVIEW!
Okay, you know how last month, I really thought I hit it out of the ballpark…
…well guess what? Take those eight books above and now add these six below because so far this summer, I have read THE BEST BEACH BOOKS!
Thanks to all of your suggestions, I have read so many cute, light, happy and summery books! This month, I read six books…five of them would fall into the “chick lit” category and one would fall into the “ways to make your life a bit more inspired” category.
If you have a vacation coming up, a pool to sit next to, a flight to catch or just a lazy afternoon on your patio, here are the books you need to read starting with…
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Well, this one was just adorable. Two years ago, I reviewed her book Beach Read and found it just okay…but this novel here, I thought was SO CUTE!
This is a fictional story about a literary agent who winds up in a small North Carolina town with her pregnant sister for a three week vacation and…low and behold, someone she does not like professionally (he’s in publishing) is in the same small town too for the summer. I mean…could that be set up more perfectly for my Hallmark-loving heart or what?! This book checks all of my boxes: adorable characters, charming town, cozy bookstore, a little mystery woven in, and a whole lot of love. Plus bonus, so many great references to book writing and publishing too. This novel is rated R, so if you’re sensitive to that, please be aware before you buy. When I’ve been asked recently by friends which book they should pick up for their next vacation, this one keeps being the one I recommend. It’s just light, happy and cute. Who doesn’t need more of that right now?!
Meant to Be by Emily Giffin
I have a mixed review on this novel here. I really love Giffin’s older books (Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof…), but the ones I’ve read from her in recent years just haven’t stacked up to those from ten plus years ago. I thought this novel was okay. It’s a fictitious story about a man whose life mirrors that of real life JFK Jr and his girlfriend who is not “a Kennedy”. Giffin talks about the plot and why she wrote a book very loosely based on JFK Jr and Carolyn Bessette at the end of the book in the acknowledgement section, and it stems from just a curiosity/fascination with the couple, but for me, it made her novel a bit too predictable. This book was just okay for me. The female lead frustrated me, and I never really connected with her as I read. I don’t know…it wraps up well at the end without leaving you hanging in any way (which I loved!), but I just didn’t enjoy this one nearly as much as I did her older books. I would love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this one too! I thought the most interesting part of the book was her childhood, but some of the current day portions just fell a little flat for me. Am I crazy? Did you love it? I would love to know! Also, this novel is rated R as well.
Living the Simply Luxurious Life by Shannon Ables
I read Shannon Ables first book last month and loved it so much that I immediately dove into her second book. If you listen to her podcast or follow her blog, then you know that she is the queen of encouraging simple and yet luxurious living every day. I love to read a few pages of her books in the morning after I finish my Bible study because I find her ideas for living well practical, simple to implement, motivating and always seasonal. I don’t read many “self-help” books but her books help my self 😉 . If you just need some motivation in your every day life, some ways to make whatever season you’re in a bit more elevated, significant, and meaningful, read these books. I promise that you will finish each chapter encouraged and motivated to live your best life every single day.
Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins
The first page of this novel had me sucked in. Oh my word, if you just want an easy, laugh out loud, super cute beach read, here it is. This is the story of a Cape Cod woman whose husband leaves her for a younger woman…and then, the chapters start to toggle back and forth between her perspective and that of the new wife. You guys, this is adorable. This woman is scorned. Her husband leaves her, her son is going off to college, her whole life has crumbled and she’s not taking it well. Then…flip over to the next page where…the new wife quickly realizes the grass isn’t necessarily greener with another woman’s husband. Super fun, easy to read, lots of laughter, delicious food references, a cute little Cape Cod setting…the perfect recipe for a fantastic beach book!
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Well after I finished the last page of this book, I immediately texted three people I know who also read a ton and told them all to read this one. I was shocked to learn that this is the debut novel of this author. It’s written like a seasoned pro of chick lit. This is the story of a 13 year old girl whose parents buy a lake house a few hours from her life in the city…and it just so happens to be next door to two brothers who live there year around. That’s chapter one. Chapter two is present day. Chapter three is the summer she’s fourteen. Chapter four is present day. And so on and so on until the chapters meet up. I flew through this book. I could not put it down. I was obsessed. In fact, I stayed up until 1:00 AM to finish it one night because it wasn’t predicable enough for me to know how it was going to end (and I HAD to know!). This one is also Rated R but geez, it has substance. This was the perfect blend for me of light and summery with a dash of heaviness and real. A must read this summer.
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
My favorite author wrote a novel loosely based on my favorite hotel…and I did not like it.
I will say, the first third, I absluletly hated, but it did improve a bit after that.
Here’s the deal. I love Elin Hilderbrand. I love her so much. If her publisher is out there looking at her analytics and trying to find her demographic, IT’S ME! I do not think it’s humanly possible to find a more “Elin Hilderbrand” consumer than Shay Shull. I am 40. I am a voracious reader. I prefer chick lit. I’m obsessed with Nantucket to the point that I now go there multiple times a year. There is no one more “quintessential Elin Hilderbrand” than me. So the fact that her last TWO novels have contained a ghost as a primary character BLOWS MY FREAKING MIND.
Whhhhhhhhhhhhy do we now have ghosts in all of her books?
Last year, Golden Girl had a ghost (you can read my review HERE) that I also didn’t enjoy, but I will say that ghost was a relevant part of the book. This ghost? This ghost was not important AT ALL. I just can’t do a ghost in my chick lit. I just can’t. This is a novel about the cast of characters that work at The Hotel Nantucket (which is a fictitious version of the lovely The Nantucket Hotel & Resort) and honestly, I thought the portions of the book about them, their relationships with each other/their significant others was really on point for a great chick lit book…but this dang ghost was just not a necessary part of the plot, so it ruined the whole book for me. I’m going to quote a ghost now…boo. I waited all year for her newest book about my favorite place and well, it was not my fave.
And that my friends, wraps up my JUNE BOOK REVIEW post!
What did you think? What are your thoughts? You ladies have been NAILING the book recs this summer! I am just so grateful to you all because, thanks to you, I’ve read some amazing summer novels! What do I read next? Please share!!
Also, don’t forget…
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.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2021 (all 59 of them), click here.
That wraps up Book Day! Sending you all so much love on this Monday! xx