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Summer Book Reviews (Part I)

I'm excited to share the books I've read so far this summer. If you're a longtime reader, you might remember a few of the summer reading posts I shared last summer, including this one and this one. This summer's selections probably won't be much different, consisting majorly of beach reads and light fiction, but nonetheless hopefully you will find some of these books appealing!

I am constantly updating my Goodreads page with not only the books I've recently read, but also an ongoing list of books that I want to read. According to my blog posts and my Goodreads updates, I read 14 books last summer!!! I always forget how much I love reading throughout the school year. It's so nice to spend my free time in the summer just relaxing and reading. I spent all day on Sunday reading when it was raining outside and the time just flies by! I also love having a good book to look forward to before bed every night.

Here's what I've read so far this summer:

(I know I gave a lot of these books high stars, but I really I loved them! This was truly a good round of reading!)

As the summer approached last month, I started doing a little research on what books I wanted to read and as soon as I discovered this book in this post by Grace, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I actually thought about it for days until I finally got a hold of it. 

I don't think I can describe this book as well as Grace did, but I'll give it a shot! Lucy, who is beautiful and incredibly naive, is in love with Stephen, who is charming and captivating and a couple of years older than her. Their relationship is very on and off, he will never change or commit to her, and she can't get over him. They have amazing chemistry and she gives up a lot to be with him... even though he's not worth it at all. The story is told from each of their perspectives and paints a very realistic image of those relationships that seem so perfect and are so close, but not quite there.

Like Grace, I could relate to Lucy and many of her feelings while trying to make things work with Stephen throughout college and afterward. If you have ever been in a relationship with or even just really liked someone who you wanted it to work out with, but they wouldn't commit... or you hoped they would change... or they weren't worth your energy... or made you think you're crazy, you must read this book. And even if you haven't been there, it's still so good!

The Opposite of Loneliness is a collection of short stories and essays written before Marina Keegan was killed in a car accident four days after her graduation from Yale. Marina's professor and family had this collection of her short stories and essays published after her death, which range from light fiction all the way to her personal theories on random topics. The talent with which these stories were written was the most captivating part to me; her ability to express so many different ideas and tell stories in a way that was both beautiful and extremely clear was beyond impressive.

This isn't a novel or your average beach read, so this one stands out from the rest of the list. It was recommended to me by a friend and I didn't no what to expect but it drew me in within the first page.  From relationship problems to the feeling you get graduating from college... this covered so many different bases. I think anyone could get something out of this!

This is a book that has been on my list forever and one that I'd heard so many people talk about-- I just needed to finally sit down and read it. I actually started reading this one before finals were over and had to return it to the school library before I could finish it, so I was very excited when I found it at my own library again a couple of weeks later. It's so good! Definitely lived up to the hype.

This story takes place in a perfect little town in Ohio where the "perfect" family, the Richardson's, rent a house to single mother Mia and her daughter Pearl when they move to town. Mia, being an artist, is quite the opposite mother from Mrs. Richardson who follows all of the rules and has been in Shaker Heights her entire life. As Pearl grows close with some of the Richardson kids, the two families intertwine and influence each other in more ways than Mrs. Richardson ever would have imagined when she handed over the keys and welcomed the two to town. The book explores teenage love, friendship, and so many secrets. 

The book also focused a lot on motherhood and how different Mia was from Mrs. Richardson as a mother, and how loving your children can be the most rewarding experience or the most heartbreaking struggle. Quite a few different things were happening at all times, so I recommend reading the actual summary here if you're interested!

This. Book. Is. So. Good!! I might be biased because it's the most recent one I've finished, but I absolutely loved it. At it's core, this book is pretty similar to Little Fires Everywhere... one very wealthy family, another single parent/daughter duo who are outsiders in a posh community, one thing happens, and everything changes... very similar when it comes to motherhood themes and teenage love too. 

This book is based in a wealthy part of Nashville and explores a scandal caused by Finch, who's en route to Princeton at the end of the year. One photo taken of Lyla at a party intertwines her and her father Tom into Finch and his mother Nina's lives. As Tom and Nina try to handle the situation, Finch and Lyla experience the struggles of a gossipy town and high school drama.

The end of this book was insanely captivating. I read this so fast because little curveballs kept coming out of nowhere and I didn't really know what was going to happen! This tells the story of how one action can change so many peoples' lives and how people aren't always who you think they are (lots of lies! I'm sensing a theme in these books! hah)

This was another one of Grace's recommendations, but my least favorite of these books. The story is based on Nantucket, which of course sounds dreamy in and of itself. A handful of teenagers are selected to be brand ambassadors for a posh island-based designer and romp around for the season. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into it and had to stop about halfway through. 

The biggest turnoff for me might not have been the plot itself, but rather the writing style. From early on, (this feels so mean to say but just giving my honest opinion!) it felt like the writing was below my reading level to a point that it wasn't just noticeable but actually made it difficult to enjoy the book. I think for a younger audience it would be perfect... if I were still in high school I totally wouldn't have this opinion and probably would've liked this a lot more. I just couldn't really get past the sentence structure at points... but that's just me.

More Suggestions:

The books I read in summer 2017 are in this blog post
The books I read in summer 2018 are in this blog post, and the second half are in this post.
...and many more on my Goodreads page!

What have you read recently?! I would love to hear your recommendations as well!


  1. I'm so glad you shared this - I have been needing some new books for summer, and you always have the best recommendations. Right now I'm reading By Invitation Only - it's the story of a wedding between two people of different backgrounds, and it's told from the perspective of the mothers of the bride and groom!

    xo, brooke

    1. that sounds so good!! I’ll definitely check it out!

  2. All of these sound so good! I recently read The Idea of You (after hearing Grace talk about it actually!!) and it was so good!


    1. Ohh I've heard that's great! It's on my list!!



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