In July, Garrett and I were in Greece (Athens and Santorini), the U.K (London), Ireland (Garrett spent 24 hours in Dingle for my cousin’s stag party), Italy (Praiano on the Amalfi Coast and Taormina, Siracusa, and Modica in Sicily), and Germany (Bacharach and Munich). We were visiting my cousin in London and traveled with our friends throughout Italy: 3 days each in Praiano and Taormina, 2 days each in Siracusa and Modica, and finally met up with Garrett’s parents in Germany. We didn’t stop moving, and we didn’t stop laughing. It was a whirlwind of a month.
Since we were with friends and family for more than half of the month, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to read. Actually, four of the five books that I read last month were all finished in Santorini by July 12, before we met up with everyone. It took me the rest of the month to get through my final read, The Night Circus, because, well, I didn’t really love it and I was prioritizing time with my travel companions over time with my books.
That said, I still surpassed my goal of reading two books in July. I read Summer of ‘69 by Elin Hilderbrand and the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, and Always and Forever, Lara Jean, and, finally, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Here are my thoughts on each!
Summer of ‘69 by Elin Hilderbrand was the book I’d been searching for all summer. I love seasonal reads. Between June and August, I like to read books set in New England summers; between November and January, I like to read books set in cold, wintry backdrops. You’d be surprised at how few of these types of books exist and are actually good. Summer of ‘69 is one of them. It’s told from the perspective of four different family members making their annual summer trek to Nantucket. They’re all faced with their own struggles, but at the root of everything is the absence of their brother, Tiger, who has been sent off to fight in Vietnam. The story feels real, it feels heartfelt, and it feels like summer. The time to read this is now!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han was so cute. Is it weird for a 30-year-old woman to read young adult novels? Maybe. But after watching the To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before movie on Netflix and really enjoying it, I thought I’d give the books a read. Plus, a friend of mine read and like them, too, which means I’m not the only grown woman out there reading books made for 15-year-olds. So there. And I’m glad I read them! These books were so sweet, the writing was good, and I read each book in a day. All three (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, and Always and Forever, Lara Jean )were a nice, light read. Really cute. And totally appropriate for young teens to read (and apparently grown women, too).
The Night Circus by Erin Morgensten was not my favorite. I was so gripped by the first few paragraphs that I was certain it was going to be a good read, but I was wrong. I found the storyline to be too broken and a bit confusing to follow: new characters kept getting introduced for unclear reasons and each chapter either jumped forward or backward in time. The story had a great premise and great potential, but just wasn’t delivered on well. I wouldn’t recommend this one but I seem to be the odd woman out because it has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon with nearly 7,000 reviews.
Here are book reviews from months past: