10 SUMMER READS: July & August Review Round Up #1

As the avid summer reader that I am, I have been reading SO many books over the past three months, but I am SO not writing reviews as much as I am reading, oops. I have been reaching more for the full review format more than usual lately, but I am here today to share my thoughts I have books I have loved over the past few weeks, including a 2021 favorite, some really cute YA reads, and more beach reads. 

The Guncle by Steve Rowley – The Guncle is absolutely a must-read perfect for the summer – and let’s be honest, any point in the year. This book is absolutely worth all the hype it’s been getting, following an ex-sitcom star who takes in his niece and nephew for the summer when their mother (& Patrick’s best friend) passes away and their father enters rehab. When I say that I laughed out loud so many times while reading The Guncle, I seriously mean that I laughed over so many scenes and dialogue in this one – mostly over Grant and Patrick’s conversations and what was lost in translation.There is an emotional element to it with the loss of Grant and Maisie’s mother, but I loved the balance between the heart-warmness, heartbreak, and humor. My Rating: 5/5 Stars

It’s Kind of A Cheesy Love Story by Lauren Morill – It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story was such a super cute YA read, following sixteen year old Beck who starts her first job in the pizza shop she was literally born in. This was a really fun & light read. I loved the atmosphere of the pizza shop & seeing Beck grow close with her work friends. My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Between You, Me, and the Honeybees by Amelia Diane Coombs – Between You, Me, and the Honeybees was another really cute & light YA read. The book follows recent high school graduate Josie, who wants to stay home & help run her family’s honey business instead of going away to college. Sidenote that I really like YA books that take place in the period between high school and the early college years. Josie also develops feelings for the son of the rival honey business and has to hide both her relationship & post grad plans away from her family. I devoured this book in under four hours, having loved the unique setting. The book also has great anxiety & mental health representation. My Rating: 4/5 Stars

From Scratch by Tembi Locke – Everyone knows that I’ve had so much wanderlust over the past year, thus looking for ways to travel through books. Enter Tembi Locke’s From Scratch, following her marriage to her Sicilian husband, Saro, and the years after Saro dies from cancer.  This book was really emotional, but I loved the storytelling, as Tembi Locke transitions between her relationship & marriage with Saro and the summers after spent in Sicily with her daughter and Saro’s mother. I had no idea until I followed Tembi Locke on Instagram that the book is currently being filmed for a Netflix TV show adaptation! My Rating: 4/5 Stars 

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle – Rebecca Serle’s The Dinner List has been on my TBR ever since I devoured In Five Years. Like In Five Years, I devoured The Dinner List in one afternoon. The book transitions between Audrey’s ten year relationship with a man named Tobias and a dinner with her dream five people, living or dead (think along the lines of someone asking you’d like to have your dream dinner party with). The book had a really interesting concept that made me want to keep reading, but it did leave me wanting more explanation about why Sabrina is at the dinner and depth overall. My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand – I’ve basically been reading one Elin Hilderbrand book a week this summer. Barefoot is one of her most popular books, following three women who escape to Nantucket for the summer while dealing with personal tragedies and problems of their own – Vicki has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, her sister, Brenda, has just been let go from her teaching job, and Melanie’s husband is having an affair & she’s just found out she is pregnant. True to Elin’s books, the Nantucket setting was really atmospheric and I loved the storytelling. My Rating: 4/5 Stars 

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston – I’m so sad to admit it, but One Last Stop was mostly a miss for me. I was considering holding off on this one because I wasn’t super into the synopsis to begin with, but a few people in my book blogging circle loved this one & I have so much love for Red, White & Royal Blue that I decided to give it a go. I LOVED the side characters in this one, the diversity, & the witty dialogue & banter, but I felt mixed about the whole time travel plot and the mystery. I kept putting the book down over a couple days and started & finished reading about 3 books while doing so, which unfortunately is a sign that I’m kind’ve disengaged in a book.  My Rating: 3/5 Stars

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent – The Summer Job has received so much hype on summer reading rec lists – the cover alone screams summer. Birdy decides to pretend to be her best friend for the summer, working as a sommelier at a Scottish hotel..except Birdy knows next to nothing about wine and food pairings. It took me a little while to settle into this one and I ultimately wasn’t a super fan – while I liked the premise & setting, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Birdy and it felt like the story dragged until the near end. My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

To Sir, with Love by Lauren Layne – I’ve seen Lauren Layne’s Central Park Pact series float around the book blogosphere over the years, and something about To Sir, with Love just hooked me in. This You’ve Got Mail inspired read follows champagne-store owner, Gracie, who is fending off a handsome corporate developer from buying the family business while also sending daily messages to an anonymous ‘Sir’ on a dating app. This was another book that I flew through in just a handful of hours. I really loved the NYC and champagne shop setting and I thought Gracie and Sebastian’s enemies-to-lovers relationship was just so charming (you definitely just have to accept & go into this book knowing how it’s going to end, the predictability was still worth the read). My one ‘complaint’ is that I didn’t really see Gracie as the fairytale princess/hopeless romantic that her family made her out to be? My Rating: 4/5 Stars 

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley – The Invisible Husband of Frick Island was my first Colleen Oakley book and I really enjoyed it! It was a ‘quiet’ type of contemporary read, reminding me so much of a book like Sarah Hogle’s Twice Shy. The Invisible Husband of Frick Island  follows newspaper reporter, Anders, whose set to figure out more about Piper and her recently passed husband, Tom, who Piper acts as if is still alive. The book was really unique and I loved trying to guess more about Tom’s death and Piper’s perception. My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What have been some of your favorite books this summer? Share in the comments! 

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