It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a book review post, but I’ve been reading up a storm this summer. I read 8 books in July and am already on my third August book. I’m linking up with Steph and Jana to show you my books.
Here’s what I’ve been reading and what I think of them.
Queen Bee ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
I was pretty excited to read this book because Dorothea Benton Frank wrote one of my favorite books, The Hurricane Sisters. My mom and I saw Dorothea on tour for this book and decided to make it our summer family book club book. It was a perfect pick! Family stories are always fun to read and this one had some really funny moments. As always Dottie Frank’s description of the low country made me want to hop on a plane immediately. I learned a bit about bees, too! This is a perfect beach read!
Summer of ‘69 ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
Elin, the queen of the beach reads is back! After meeting Elin with my mom on tour for this book, I was intrigued. I had no idea that the Apollo landing on the moon, Woodstock, and Ted Kennedy’s crash at Chappaquiddick all happened within such a short period of time while the Vietnam War was going on. This historical fiction book was definitely a different kind of book for her, but I think she did a great job capturing 13 year old Jessie’s summer on Nantucket in 1969. Jessie’s brother Tiger is in Vietnam and his letters to her teach her a bunch. Her two older sisters, pregnant Blair who comes to Nantucket after her marriage is falling apart and Kirby living on Martha’s Vineyard and working at the hotel where Ted Kennedy was staying that infamous night, don’t seem to have much time for Jessie. Jessie’s mom shrinks away as she tries to deal with her son in Vietnam. Her dad is in Boston working for most of the summer. This leaves Jessie trying to figure out what she wants to do, how she wants to do it, and with whom she should do it. Even though it was a little different than a typical Elin book, I loved it and highly recommend it!
The Friends We Keep ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
After meeting Jane Green, without my mom this time, I was so excited to read this book. I’ve been reading her books for 20 years! After reading it, this book wasn’t at all what I was thinking it would be. The story follows three friend that meet in college and have a friendship they are certain will last forever. Even though the book wasn’t what I expected, I loved the twists and turns that the three friends’ lives take. It made me think about how I would react to a close friend’s betrayal and just how forgiving I could be. I shared the book with my mom and I can’t wait to hear what she things.
Second Chance Summer ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
This book was quite a surprise for me. The cover made me think it was going to be a fun, light beach read. Well, as I was reading, I looked it up and found that it was a second cover. This book was definitely steamy like a romance novel! I don’t typically read romance novels so it caught me a little off guard. This was my second Jill Shalvis book and I liked it. I enjoy family dynamics and this one focused on two families and their attachment to a resort in a small Colorado mountain town. It was a good summer read.
Drawing Home ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
I have become a big fan of Jamie Brenner, and this book didn’t disappoint. I loved the story of Penny a young girl who befriended a famous artist in their hometown of Sag Harbor. When the artist dies, he leaves his estate to Penny no one is happy about it. The artist’s lifelong friend Bea swoops in to town and tries to take charge of the estate. Watching Bea, Penny, and her mom Emma navigate this estate and how it changes everything was wonderful. Jamie Brenner truly captured all the ups and downs in a charming way. This is a great book! *I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
The Floating Feldmans ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
I was so excited to read this book because I’d heard a lot about it. A dysfunctional family on a cruise together for a week had the makings of a funny story, but it fell a little flat for me. I was a little bored with the characters and their storylines. I did like how it ended but not enough to recommend it. There are too many great books out there!
Watching You ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
This was my first Lisa Jewel book and it blew my mind. I loved it! I don’t usually read suspenseful books because they can give me nightmares, but I will be picking up more of her books soon! The book starts with a suspected murder and you spend the rest of the novel trying to figure out which one of these crazy people is crazy enough to murder someone. I spent the whole books saying “____ did it. No wait, it was ____”. I couldn’t wait to finish this book. I even ignored all the people we were having a bonfire on the beach with to finish the last 25 pages. Jeff’s reading it now and I think he would recommend it too! Go read it!!
Grace After Henry ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
This book was recommended at a Publisher’s Book Talk at my favorite bookstore, A Likely Story. Grace and Henry are in the process of buying a house, when Henry is killed in a bicycle accident. Grace shrinks away as she tries to manage her immense grief. She thinks she sees Henry everywhere, until one day she does see him. Or at least someone who looks exactly like him. It is Henry’s long lost twin that no one knew existed. Following Grace as she tries to figure out what to do with this new knowledge that Andy, the twin, exists, and how to tell Henry’s parents made for a good book! I enjoyed it and would recommend it for a great summer read!
The Favorite Daughter ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
Patti Callahan Henry typically writes books in the low country of South Carolina and she does a great job of weaving the beautiful landscape into her stories. Lena Donahue comes back to Water’s End, South Carolina when her brother summons her after 10 years in New York City. Their father has Alzheimer’s and it is advancing quickly. Lena is happy to be there for her brother and father, but plans to avoid her sister who betrayed her 10 years ago by marrying Lena’s fiancé. As the siblings try to capture as many of their father’s memories as they can before he loses them, they uncover a major family secret. Watching them lose their father to Alzheimer’s was heartbreaking, but seeing Lena follow in her father’s footsteps was heartwarming. I really loved this book. *I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Lilac Girls ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
My mother-in-law recommended this book and then it was a book club pick for the pool. It was a good story of how three women’s stories come together during World War II and after it ends. It was a heavy book to read in August. It took me a whole week to read it because I really had to pay attention to all the historical details. There are other great World War II stories that I would read first, The Nightengale for example, but this was a great book to read in the winter.
The Unhoneymooners ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
I read about this book in a few places and was so excited to find it lived up to the hype. It was a great summer read! I laughed out loud and was excited to keep reading. I finished it in less than 3 days. Twin sisters Ami and Olive look exactly alike but couldn’t be more different. Olive is a bit pessimistic and unlucky. Ami is as lucky as can be. Ami is getting married and entered enough contests to win a mostly free wedding. Unfortunately all the guests at the wedding get food poisoning that can take weeks to recover. The honeymoon that Ami won is nontransferrable and the dates can’t be changed, so she sends her sister and her husbands brother. They hate each other, but after spending a week in Maui you can probably guess what happens. It was very cute and I recommend it!
I am reading Mary Alice Monroe’s The Summer Guests. I love her books for summer reads and can’t wait to dive into it on this cloudy day! A bunch of these books were on my Beach Reads recommendations list.
As always, you can see what I’ve been reading on my Books page.
Have a a great day full of sunshine and books!