I have been on a reading streak this month! So proud of myself. I am getting closer to my goal of 50 books for 2015. Right now it says I am 8 books behind schedule, but I will stay on a beach book streak, then read a lot of holiday themed books around Christmas as well. Hopefully I can make it! Here is a rundown of what I read in July:
I love Nancy Thayer! I always buy her books right when they come out. Nantucket Sisters has an average rating of 3.72 on Goodreads with 3,081 ratings. I rated it 3.0 as I enjoyed it, but I didn’t really LOVE it. It was a great book to kick off my summer reading with, though! Goodreads synopsis is: When Maggie and Piper meet as girls on the Nantucket beach, they are instant best friends—even though Piper’s mother would much prefer she play with the daughters of senators and statesmen than a seamstress’s kid like Maggie. But after many golden summers spent building sandcastles and sharing their dreams for the future, Piper and Maggie grow apart. In her twenties, beautiful and spirited Piper worries she’ll never amount to more than the glittering wife of a successful husband, while hardworking redheaded Maggie scrimps and saves her pennies, wondering if she’ll ever have the luxury of a passionate romance. It seems they have little in common…until Cameron Chadwick appears on the island. A wealthy Midwestern charmer, Cameron takes moonlit walks on the dunes with Maggie and whisks Piper away to New York City for lavish nights on the town. When both women discover they’re pregnant, it looks like the end of their already-distant friendship. But as Maggie and Piper struggle to decide what their lives will be, they realize more than ever before how very much they need a friend.
Next, I read The Summer After You & Me… I think this one came in one of my monthly book boxes, but I can’t remember. Maybe Lit-Cube? Anyway, it has an average rating of 3.61 with only 314 ratings, so it’s a newer book with not that much publicity. I rated it 4.0 and really enjoyed it. I am not sure if there is a sequel to this one or not, but I’d like a continuation. Goodreads synopsis is: Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it’s not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor. Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?
The very next day I started AND finished The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. I have been wanting to read this book for what seems like forever, but I just keep grabbing other things. Anyway, I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to reading the other two in the trilogy as well as her other books. It has an average rating of 3.99 with almost 80.000 ratings and I rated it 3.0. It really takes A LOT for me to rate a book above a 3, so a 4 or 5 is rare. Goodreads synopsis is: Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer–they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
Susan Mallery is another summer favorite. I love her writing style and characters and really just want to go to the places she writes about. Three Sisters is the second book in the Blackberry Island novels, but it’s not a sequel so you can read it without having read Barefoot Season. Three Sisters has an average rating of 3.91 with 6,717 ratings and I rated it a 4.0. Such a great story and you can really visualize the houses, the people, etc. She does a great job telling this story! Goodreads synopsis is: After Andi Gordon is jilted at the altar, she makes the most impetuous decision of her life – buying one of the famed Three Sisters Queen Anne houses on Blackberry Island. Now the proud-ish owner of the ugly duckling of the trio, she plans to open her own pediatric office on the first floor, just as soon as her hunky contractor completes the work. Andi’s new future may be coming together, but the truth is she’s just as badly in need of a major renovation as her house. When Deanna Phillips confronts her husband about a suspected affair, she opens up a Pandora’s Box of unhappiness. And he claims that she is the problem. The terrible thing is, he’s right. In her quest to be the perfect woman, she’s lost herself, and she’s in danger of losing her entire family if things don’t change. Next door, artist Boston King thought she and her college sweetheart would be married forever. Their passion for one other has always seemed indestructible. But after tragedy tears them apart, she’s not so sure. Now it’s time for them to move forward, with or without one another. Thrown together by fate and geography, and bound by the strongest of friendships, these three women will discover what they’re really made of: laughter, tears, love and all.
I was really looking forward to diving into Summer Secrets by Jane Green and was really disappointed. I rated this one a 2.0 because I just didn’t like it. The average rating is 3.72, so I may be in the minority, but there are a few one and two star ratings I see while scrolling through. My actual review is short and sweet ~ “2.5 maybe… I didn’t like Cat at all. I didn’t like flip-flopping between years. I felt like I needed to keep going back to figure out who we were talking about and when. It is definitely a quick read but not the greatest.” With that being said, don’t NOT read it just because I didn’t like it! Goodreads synopsis is: June, 1998: At twenty seven, Catherine Coombs, also known as Cat, is struggling. She lives in London, works as a journalist, and parties hard. Her lunchtimes consist of several glasses of wine at the bar downstairs in the office, her evenings much the same, swigging the free booze and eating the free food at a different launch or party every night. When she discovers the identity of the father she never knew she had, it sends her into a spiral. She makes mistakes that cost her the budding friendship of the only women who have ever welcomed her. And nothing is ever the same after that. June, 2014: Cat has finally come to the end of herself. She no longer drinks. She wants to make amends to those she has hurt. Her quest takes her to Nantucket, to the gorgeous summer community where the women she once called family still live. Despite her sins, will they welcome her again? What Cat doesn’t realize is that these women, her real father’s daughters, have secrets of their own. As the past collides with the present, Cat must confront the darkest things in her own life and uncover the depths of someone’s need for revenge.
All the Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank was another just “eh” for me that I rated 3 stars. It just came out in June and has an average rating of 3.64 with 1, 585 reviews, so not a whole lot of people have read it yet. I have read three of her books so far and all three I have given 3 stars, so nothing spectacular seems to be happening for me there. I may give Mrs. Frank a rest and stick with someone else. Last year I didn’t even read a book if it wasn’t rated 3.5 or higher on Goodreads, so maybe I need to do that again! Goodreads synopsys is: In this charming, evocative, soul-touching novel, she once again takes us deep into the heart of the magical Lowcountry where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman’s death. Through their shared loss they forge a deep friendship, asking critical questions. Who was their friend and what did her life mean? Are they living the lives they imagined for themselves? Will they ever be able to afford to retire? How will they maximize their happiness? Security? Health? And ultimately, their own legacies? A plan is conceived and unfurls with each turn of the tide during one sweltering summer on the Isle of Palms. Without ever fully realizing how close they were to the edge, they finally triumph amid laughter and maybe even newfound love.
I finally got around to finishing up Jenny Han’s trilogy. It’s Not Summer Without You is the second book and it was really good! I rated it 4 stars and the average rating is 4.18 with over 63,000 reviews. I started and finished it within a few hours, so it’s one of those you just can’t put down, especially with it being a trilogy. You just want to get to the end and see how everything wraps up! Goodreads synopsis is: It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come. But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started–at Cousins Beach.
The final book in the trilogy is We’ll Always Have Summer. SUCH a great ending, I truly enjoyed this series! Of course, it ends the way I wanted it to end, so had it went the other way I might not feel the same way. I rated it 4 stars again, and it has an average rating of 4.22 with over 53,000 reviews. That is CRAZY and really awesome, because rarely do I see books with a rating over around 3.5 or with that many reviews. Jenny Han really knows how to write and tell a story that keeps you engaged. I cannot WAIT to read her next series. Goodreads synopsis is: It’s been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college– only, their relationship hasn’t exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It’s time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.
So, that wraps up July’s books for me! Did you read anything good in the month of July?