It’s July, folks and if you don’t have your Beach Reads picked out you’re way behind. But don’t worry, I’m here to help. I’m going to hook you up with my top five Summer Reads so you don’t have to do any of the leg work.
Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand
I could not put this book down. Yes, I am a Hilderbrand fan. I have been for years. I love how the author’s characters co-mingle; turning up in other novels and have a depth I’ve never really witnessed in what’s termed “Chick-Lit.”
This story takes place on the island of Nantucket and Martha Vineyard. In 1969, the draft still existed, the Kennedy’s were the it family and getting your Mrs. degree was all the rage. The Levin family is in a bit of turmoil. Jessie, the youngest is forced to summer on Nantucket with the dreaded “Nonie” and her mom. Kirby, has to figure out life pretty quickly if she wants to stay out of trouble. Blair is married and pregnant, now she’ll never be the next Betty Freidan. Tiger, the only son has been sent to Vietnam and mom, Kate is spiraling down a long black hole. This is an easy read, and completely relatable if you’ve ever had to sacrifice, dated someone deemed inappropriate or frankly been driven to drink. Buy this!!
Brutally Honest by Melanie Brown
Yes, the Spice Girl. I can’t lie, I bought it as a Daily Deal on Audible. For some reason, I was curious about her side of the story, since her divorce from two abusive men. I was really surprised at her transparency, as well as her willingness to take responsibility for her actions. There were times when I teared up, the emotion was real. Mel B. describes her heartbreak of a romance with Eddie Murphy and even touches on her issues and complexities with family, the Spice Girls and her own children. I was ready to reach out to her after I finished the book. I felt like she needed a trust worthy friend in her life. Read it!
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
I have no idea why I didn’t want to read this book, but I’m so glad I did. It starts off at a funeral and kept me hanging on until the end. As a parent of a special needs child, I can certainly understand what it’s like to have your child misunderstood. Khai Diep is a man without feelings, who also happens to be on the spectrum. His mom decides she needs to arrange a marriage for him, and travels to their homeland of Vietnam to find the perfect bride. Esme Tran is the one. Without giving away too much, there’s romance, laughter and some tough moments. Check it out.
The Farm by Joanne Ramos
I adored this book and it was not what I expected. Girls are essentially paid to live on “The Farm” (Golden Oakes), while carrying the child of a wealthy client. In other words, they are surrogates and are micro managed in a very demeaning way. The book tells the story from many perspectives, which I love. Jane is a tough luck Charlie, who finds herself single, raising an infant and living in a boarding house while trying to make ends meat. The story centers around Jane and her trials and tribulations. The richness of the characters brings this book to life. I’m not sure I agreed with the processes at Golden Oaks, but that’s what makes the book fun.
Searching for Sylvie by Jean Kwok
This book was so touching, and sad. I didn’t expect the book to pack such a punch and keep me guessing. Sylvie is a beautiful, brilliant woman who seemingly has it all, when she suddenly travels to the Netherlands to see her beloved grandma who is dying. Except…Sylvie doesn’t return. Where is Sylvie? Amy, the younger, sheltered sister of Sylvie steps out of her shell to retrace Sylvie’s steps and find her sister. The Lee’s are hard working immigrants, who have become a bit disillusioned by America and their attempts at providing a better life for Sylvie is a main piece of the storyline and sheds some light as to why Sylvie is missing.
What’s on your list for the Summer of 2019? Are you waiting with bated breath for a new novel to be released? Share! Comment below.