Happy happy MAY BOOK DAY!
This month, I read four books…all fiction…and all a little different.
Did I like them? Did I not? Was one phenomenal? You’ll have to read my reviews below to see 🙂 .
We are officially in my favorite season for reading…SUMMERTIME! As much as I love reading year around (those cozy days of January are super nice!), nothing gets my heart happier than a warm day, a pool or the ocean and a book.
Settle in, grab that iced coffee (try it with a pump of macadamia!) and open up your Amazon app, it’s time to get R-E-A-D-I-N-G!
Happy Place by Emily Henry
Emily Henry knows how to write a cute book. I had this one preordered and delivered to my Kindle the day it came out because…even though her book Beach Read wasn’t my favorite a few years ago, last year’s Book Lovers was super cute. This novel here? Another cutie 🙂 .
This is the story about six college friends who return each summer to one of their father’s Maine coastal home for the week to reconnect. I’m not going to lie, the story gets a little predictable (which is fine, it’s still cute!), but the last sentence of the first chapter shocked me and had me hooked. #didntseeitcoming
On this trip to Maine, the father is planning on selling the vacation home, so this will be their last hoorah in this town, in this house. This book was a super quick, light read, a little Rated R, but the main theme really is about growing up and growing past certain chapters in life…and how that’s okay. As we get older, our lives go in our own directions and things just don’t happen like they used to because we’re different people.
Cute book, easy read, very light, you’ll read it in no time!
Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
This novel is by the same author who wrote MY 2ND FAVORITE BOOK OF 2020 (out of the 54 books I read that year!). You guys, I LOVED THIS ONE TOO!!!!
Now, here’s the thing, in the other book, you know right away what the “point” of the book is going to be (not in a bad way, but in a “of course this has to be about the soul survivor of a plane crash” way), but in this book, it took me a long time to really grasp “the main point” as it could have had so many.
This is the story of four sisters (a la Little Women…sort of a nod and a wink), but also about mental health, and about a boy growing into a man who has a complicated past, and about parents, and about moving on and growing away from where your roots were planted…you guys, IT’S SO GOOD! This book covers forgiveness, making choices for ourselves and not for others, it’s about following your heart despite the consequences…it’s rich. The plot spans from the 1960s until 2008, and you won’t want to put it down.
Right this minute, my notes on this book are long, but I will refrain as I don’t want to give too much away. Needless to say, read this novel! Start reading it today.
Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune
Okay, in full disclosure, my opinion of this book changed after I read Book #4 this month, so please bear with me as I explain…
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.
I loved it.
I even referenced that book again in last year’s 2022 BOOK REVIEW RECAP POST, and this is what I said:
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Oh this book here might be the #1 book I recommended to friends and family this year. This was just everything I love in a fictional story. It’s fabulous! Make sure you read my full review!
If this was my #1 book recommendation for the year.
So, yeah, clearly I LOVED her first book last year and was SO excited about reading this Book #2. I had also preordered this one to my Kindle and dove in as soon as I could. And um, well, I didn’t like it.
Here are the reasons why I didn’t like it per my notes that I keep on each book (and then we’re going to circle back, so stay with me): The plot was weak, the main character wasn’t super likeable, the ending seemed way too obvious, I didn’t really love any of the sub characters, kind of boring, too cheesy, not my fave.
I was so bummed by the end of this book. The main character goes back home to her mom’s small resort on a lake in Canada from “the big city” after she dies and has to figure out whether to keep it running herself or sell it…and of course, there’s a boy. I mean, it sounds like a “Shay book” but based on how high I had set the bar after reading her debut novel, I was super disappointed. I wrote my little notes and moved on to Book #4 (review below) and then about halfway through reading that book, it hit me…I was being unfair to author Carley Fortune and super generous to author Nancy Thayer.
The book below is like my 978th Nancy Thayer book to read. I’ve read them all and this is her brand new one for 2023. All of her books are set on Nantucket, they’re all cheesy, the writing is fine but not nearly as good as Elin Hildebrand (who writes pretty much the same type of novel), they are all predictable, all happy, all light, all easy to read and none of them “stellar” but always a good read. I was going to give the book below glowing remarks based on how low I had set the bar when…it’s honestly not any better than Carley Fortunes’ book here, so I need to chill a bit on Carley.
If you’re looking for a great read this summer, grab Every Summer After, if you’re looking for something light and simple, grab her newest book here or Book #4 below 🙂 .
Side note, both of Fortune’s novels are Rated R where Thayer’s are always PG.
All the Days of Summer by Nancy Thayer
And so here we go, this checks all of my boxes for “easy summer reads”.
This novel is set on Nantucket (check!), it’s about a woman finding herself (check!), it’s about delicious food (check!), it’s about family (check!), it feels very beachy and summery (check!) and your mind can read this while resting from the horrors that are surrounding our news these days (CHECK, CHECK!!).
This is the story of a woman in her late 40s heading to Nantucket for the summer after splitting from her husband only to find her son is also going to be there living in the garage apartment over his girlfriend’s parents’ house who are very “well to do” on the island.
If you want an easy beach book, here you go.
Okay, whew! That wraps up my MAY BOOK REVIEW!
Please leave recs for all of your beach books for this summer please! I want all the good book recs on my Kindle, and you ladies, always know which ones I need to read!
One more thing before we go…
…last year, I shared SHAY’S ULTIMATE MAY BOOK REVIEW, and it’s still a MUST READ this year too! I stand by all of these books for your summer reading this year too!
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.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2022 (all 60 of them), click here.
That wraps up Book Day! I hope you had a wonderful long weekend. I’ll see you all back here tomorrow! xx