When I sat down to count the books I read in June and July, I couldn’t believe how much reading I’d actually done! I tend to hit a slump in the summers, and it was the opposite of that this year. And not only did I read quite a few books in June and July, I read quite a few books I really loved.
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The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
I absolutely loved The Unhoneymooners. Olive ends up on her twin sister’s honeymoon with the best man, who is also her worst enemy and her sister’s new brother-in-law. I love the fake relationship that Olive and Ethan have to keep up, and I love how their romance blooms and grows from there.
This was a totally fun beach read and I loved it! The extra drama was a nice touch.
The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard
I did not enjoy The Atomic City Girls, a historical fiction novel set during World War II. I figured I would love it, because I do usually love this era of historical fiction, but… Meh. All of the characters were varying levels of awful, and it was hard to care about them.
What was more fascinating was the subplot of the people working in the factories to eventually produce the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Unfortunately, that was often shadowed by the melodramatic relationships between the other characters.
The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
If you haven’t followed along in a while, I’ve been listening to the Philippa Gregory series about the Plantagenets and Tudors on Audible for the last few months. The Constant Princess is about Katherine of Aragon. I’ve never been crazy about Katherine, even though I hated how she was treated by Henry VIII.
This book totally changed my opinion of her! She was a fearless and scrappy woman worth admiring. If you like historical fiction, I love this series and this is one of my favorites.
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
This was the much awaited “sequel” to The Kiss Quotient, which was one of my favorite books of 2018. I loved, loved, loved this story about Esme and Khai, who is a cousin of Michael, the love interest in The Kiss Quotient.
Not only was this a great beach read, but there was a lot of depth to it, too. I totally recommend it.
Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman
Good Riddance was Ashley Brooke’s April book club pick, so I got a delayed start on this one when I saw I could check the audiobook out on Hoopla!
I didn’t love it, although it was certainly fun and fluffy. The characters are all varying degrees of quirky and the plot is certainly unique. I just didn’t love how it grew more and more dramatic at every turn, and I didn’t love the love interest, either.
The White Princess by Philippa Gregory
Another book in the Plantagenet and Tudors series by Philippa Gregory! The White Princess is about Elizabeth of York, the daughter of the formidable Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen. I absolutely loved the story of Elizabeth Woodville, and of her mother, Jacquetta Rivers.
Their daughter and granddaughter, though, not so much. Honestly, it’s just sad what Elizabeth had to go through, with very few bright spots. That’s no one’s fault, but it was easy to get caught up in the very sad history of the mother of Henry VIII.
The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory
I loved The Constant Princess but I think The King’s Curse was even better. This was about Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, the cousin of Elizabeth of York. Her father was once a Plantagenet heir, so she lives her entire life as a threat to the Tudor dynasty.
This fascinating tale weaves the many ups and downs of Margaret Pole’s live. She was a tough woman and an incredible leader, and I really loved her story, all the way up until her untimely and unfortunate end at the hands of Henry VIII.
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
This was the second book of Jasmine Guillory’s that I’ve read, and I really, really enjoyed it! (Guillory has also written The Proposal, which I’ve read, and The Wedding Date, which is on my TBR as we speak.)
All of Guillory’s books are so fun and easy to read, and this one was no different. I loved Maddie and Theo, especially their very different jobs and the timeline of their story interweaving with Alexa and Drew’s story from The Wedding Date.
The Hundredth Queen, The Fire Queen and The Rogue Queen by Emily R. King
I flew through these three books on Kindle Unlimited on our trip to and from San Diego. In the world of young adult fantasy, these are definitely not the highest of quality. King has definitely appropriated many other cultures’ traditions and beliefs to weave her tale, and her characters are full of traditional YA tropes.
But I felt like a lot of people had read these and I wanted to be able to talk about them, too. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the story, but don’t care much for the main character’s intended love interest. I always go for the prince!
P.S. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read all four of these books for free! If not, they are all $5.99 or less.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Oh, my gosh – this is easily one of my favorite books of 2019!
Wilder Girls is deliciously dark and creepy and spooky (and a little gross, if I’m being honest). But I love the twisting tale of an all girl’s boarding school that suddenly gets struck by a mysterious illness that slowly kills all of the teachers except two and works its way through all of the students, too. The students are left with deformed or missing body parts and terrible flareups, and there isn’t enough food.
I love Hetty, Reese and Byatt, our three main characters, and just adored this story. It is totally worth reading.
Indecent by Corinne Sullivan
I really should’ve DNF-ed Indecent, but kept going until I finished it. It was one of those things I just couldn’t look away from. Indecent follows a teacher named Imogene, who engages in a relationship with an underage student. She quickly becomes totally obsessed with the student, despite the serious issues with their relationship, and even when he breaks it off, she keeps pushing.
Not only is Imogene taking advantage of a young student – she’s completely unlikeable as a character outside of that, too. It made this unbearable.
Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West
You can always count on Kasie West to write cute and fluffy beach reads. This one is no different – although it’s set at a lake this time. Kate hosts her school’s advice podcast, and thinks she’s giving advice to her best friend’s crush – while she’s developing feelings for him at the same time.
It’s cute, it’s fun and it was a fast read, which made it easy to overlook the general cheesiness of Kasie West.
If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
In this contemporary YA retelling of The Taming of the Shrew, incredibly unlikeable character Cameron Bright attempts to tame herself to make her crush forgive her for being totally nasty to a fellow student.
If it weren’t for Brendan, Paige and their group of friends, it would be hard to like any of the characters in If I’m Being Honest. Cameron is especially tough to get used to. But this was certainly fun, and it was nice to see things work out for Cameron in the end.