↠ July started with The BFG. Matt surprised me with tickets opening night and…I sobbed the entire time. Like, ugly crying. The whole works.
↠ We discovered Bay is NOT a fan of fireworks, so our 4th was spent cuddling inside which was totally okay by me.
↠ I reached book 100 for the year! Obvs it was a Roald Dahl and since then my books for the year has shot up 20+.
↠ My brother’s band released their EP!
↠ In July we celebrated one year of homeownership!
↠ The blog turned 5 whaaat!
↠ We celebrated #NationalDogDay at the dog park!
PAPER AND FIRE BY RACHEL CAINE was a classic case of Second Book Syndrome. This series about a near-future world where the Library of Alexandria still exists but knowledge and books are forbidden started off great with Ink and Bone, but Paper and Fire was a horrible letdown. No recapping whatsoever, a lifeless romance that the characters didn’t even seem to care about, and a plot that just bored me all contributed to my disappointment.
THE IMPERIAL WIFE BY IRINA REYN initially sounded like a book written just for me: Imperial Russia, art, drama, secrets, forbidden romance. I really didn’t care about the present day story or the main character’s marriage troubles (her husband sounded like a jerk anyway and only seemed to love her because she was Russian and his studies focused on the language and culture). Instead, I wish this one had been strictly historical – I was far more invested in Sophie’s story (who later became Catherine the Great).
GEMINI BY SONYA MUKHERJEE is a novel that’ll show up again on my Top Reads of 2016 post at the end of the year! This YA was nothing short of incredible and my review was basically a longwinded rambly love letter. The story follows a pair of conjoined twins as they finish their senior year of high school. One wants to get out in the world and experience all life has to offer while the other is more than content to go to the local college and stay nice and safe in their hometown where they no longer receive strange looks. Absolutely wonderful and I cannot wait to see what Sonya writes next!
GIRL IN THE AFTERNOON BY SERENA BURDICK thoroughly enveloped me in its story of art and scandal and France. I inhaled every word and was totally caught up in the lives of these characters to the point where I didn’t want it to end!
LEAVING LUCY PEAR BY ANNA SOLOMON was one of my most anticipated releases of the summer and, while it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t all I had expected. A wealthy young woman becomes pregnant and ultimately leaves her baby in a pear orchard, hoping she’ll find a new home. She does and this novels leads up to their reunion years later. Had the book just been a story about a baby left alone in an orchard and the mother left to pick up the pieces of her broken life, I think I would have enjoyed it far more. As it was, there were far too many unrelated and unnecessary storylines that I didn’t really care about.
HARMONY BY CAROLYN PARKHURST was phenomenal and completely surprised me. A family attends a summer camp for their special needs daughter and along the way discovers things aren’t quite what they seem. The story is told through the girl’s younger sister and their mother and these two voices were beautiful. I loved everything about this novel and am so glad I read it.
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS BY B. A. PARIS was a 5-star read. It’s absolutely worth the hype and I have been pushing it on EVERYONE. What seemed to be a fairly typical this perfect marriage isn’t quickly became SO haunting and disturbing and downright horrifying. I loved, loved, loved this book.
THE GIRL BEFORE BY RENA OLSEN was similar to Behind Closed Doors in that they both featured trapped women and secretive marriages, but holy moly. Told through alternating chapters, the book follows Clara as she’s brought into her ‘new family’ and groomed from an early age to be a perfectly subservient girl to a high-paying client. In the present day she’s locked away in a holding cell while her husband has been arrested for his human trafficking ring. Clara’s naivety shines and you never quite know whether or not she fully grasps what’s going on and what has been done to her.
FAMILY TREE BY SUSAN WIGGS just goes to show I should never judge a book by its cover. I assumed Wiggs wrote for older ladies but boy was I wrong! Family Tree was a perfect summer read and I spent the majority of this book out on my porch. A producer of a uber popular cooking show discovers she’s pregnant and when she rushes to the set to tell her husband (the star) the good news, she finds him being entertained by the co-host. As she rushes out an unstable piece of filming equipment crashes to the ground Annie is hit and sent into a year-long coma. Upon awakening she finds out she’s now divorced and is back home in Vermont with her family and childhood boyfriend. LOTS of drama in this one but oh so enjoyable.
TAILORED FOR TROUBLE BY MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF was my introduction to contemporary romance and I am HOOKED. After being ruthlessly sent packing from her job, a woman ends up launching a program for CEOs and other big shots where she’ll teach them how to relate to their employees. Things are going well until her latest client happens to be the man who had fired her. Hijinks ensue and I had such a blast reading this book.
THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR BY SHARI LAPENA was yet another disappointment that should have been great. A couple leaves their newborn at home while they attend a party and when they return they discover their baby is missing. What SHOULD have been a story about a missing baby instead turned into a tale of double- and triple-crosses and a tense relationship with the in-laws. This one read like the debut it is and everything was spelled out in painfully simple sentences.
GOODREADS RECOMMENDS…YA THRILLERS (since this post I’ve already read one of these and enjoyed it immensely!)