What I’ve Been Reading Lately

book recommendations and books to read


I’ve been a pretty slowww reader these summer months but I’m feeling the urge to really be reading again and I’m excited. This is why I always let my reading desires ebb and flow because sometimes I just need to read a lot less/slower and enjoy other things! I always end up coming back to reading consistently. What have you guys been reading?? Tell me in the comments!


First up for me was:



The Changeling Sea by Patricia K. McKillip

The Changeling Sea by Patricia A. McKillip


About In A Sentence or Two: When her father is lost at sea and her mother slips into a deep depression leaving her staring off towards the sea, Peri decided to hex the sea — an action that will bring the sons of the king into her life, a magician and the knowledge that a realm under the sea exists.

Thoughts: This was such a short little fantasy novel that I ended up liking but didn’t love. I think what appealed to me was how fairytale-like this novel was and how breath-taking the prose was. It had this enchanting quality as she described the sea and everything that was going on in the story. The romance was interesting because I super felt that bittersweet longing towards their situation but at the same time it was literally like “they meet and share like a conversation and now they are in love.” I’m not at all opposed to ~insta-love~ but this was just weird and therefore some of the FEELS I should have felt towards the longing and bittersweet love just were not there. I so was intrigued by the idea of this realm that exists beyond the sea and so wished for even more of that. I think if you are looking for a beautifully written, short standalone fantasy that feels part fairytale, part sea lore then this is a good one.





Then I read:


Some Kind Of Happiness -- a magical book!

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand


About In A Sentence Or Two: Finley is sent to her estranged grandparent’s home for the summer so that her parents can work on things between themselves. Finley’s been having a hard time not feeling sad and overwhelmed in general and relies on her notebook and the fantasy world, Everwood, that she’s created on those pages to be her refuge. When she explores the woods behind her grandparent’s house and unearths hidden secrets and mysteries she realizes the Everwood is real and she and her cousins must save the Everwood and unlock the mysteries hidden — all the while trying to keep her sadness hidden from her family as it threatens her even more from within.

Thoughts: I rarely read Middle Grade books and after reading this one I realized what a shame that is! This book is MAGICAL and just kind of perfect. The kind of book you finish and just hug tightly to your chest. I loved the way Finley’s Everwood and her actual adventures living with her grandparents intertwined. Literally there was so much to love about — her getting to know her family that she’s been estranged from, the bonding and adventures with her cousins, the mysteries of the forest, family secrets, the raw way Finley sees her parents’ marital troubles and the poignant and very real way Claire Legrand writes Finley’s anxiety and depression. This book was just SO SO perfect and wonderful. I highly, highly recommend it even if you don’t like to read kidlit. It’s imaginative and beautiful written and, oh, will it coil itself around your heart for maximum feels. One of the best books I’ve read this year for sure!




 Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies -- perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Meg Cabot

Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler
I received this for review consideration from the publisher but these opinions are all mine…pinkie swear!

About In A Sentence Or Two: Harper gets her dream internship in New York City at a magazine as the dating column intern…the only problem is that she may or may not have used her best friend’s story on her application because she has very little dating expertise at all. She spends the summer in the city trying to fake her way through it and getting ~on the job~ dating experience to impress her scary boss and potentially land the magazine feature all the interns are competing for at the end.

Thoughts: Oh man…I flew through this book!! It was exactly what I needed to read in a summer that has been busy and I’ve been reading less/having less of an attention span to read. It was addictive and fun and I LOVED the New York City setting. It had that feeling of classic ~chick-lit~ (I say chick-lit like that because I don’t really like that name but a lot of people know what I’m talking about when I’m saying it) that’s just fun and fluffy and compulsively readable — reminded me of what I’d always enjoyed about Sophie Kinsella and Meg Cabot’s books.  I loved watching Harper try to fake being a dating expert and loved the lessons she learned along the way — plus it was really fun to just watch her have FUN with it all. I really loved all the office and intern shenanigans and it was really refreshing to see some of the interns be giving a little more personality than just being these vapid mean girls that you can see so often in books like this. Definitely recommend you squeezing this one in before summer’s end because this would be a perfect poolside or beach read. Definitely if you are fans of classic Sophie Kinsella and Meg Cabot books!




Have you read any of these? What did you think?! Any of these going on your TBR? Tell me what you’ve been reading!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I’d be interested in Little Black Dresses it sounds like a fun read

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

    • It’s seriously that book you have to pick up when you are in need of something that will be so addictive and fun! I’ve been in such a weird reading mood and I just FLEW through it. My husband even noticed how quickly I was gobbling it up!

  2. I just went and added Some Kind of Happiness to the top of my TBR after seeing this! I tend to read YA/adult/etc. books during the day and only Middle Grade books at night, so this is next on my nighttime reading list because it just sounds so perfect. 🙂 Really interested in checking out The Changeling Sea, as well. Thanks for sharing these great books!

    • Oh yay!! I hope you love it!! (Also, totally here for any and all excellent MG recs you have!)

      Another older YA fantasy that I’ve talked about this year that is YA but totally could make a great night-time read because it’s like a comfort read that you will totally want to curl up with at night is Summers At Castle Auburn! She starts out younger because the book is her coming of age each summer at Castle Auburn. One of the best books I’ve read this year!

  3. i love what you said about letting your reading ebb and flow because i know i feel a lot of pressure (self-imposed but pressure nonetheless) to read as much as i can during the summer before school starts & my time is split a hundred different ways again. summer is also for doing other things though, even if other things means just lazing around in bed a lot of the time, and i’m trying to remember that so as to not give myself too hard a time for not finishing five books a week.

    so happy you enjoyed some kind of happiness! i was first attracted to it because of the cover but it’s great to know that the actual story is awesome too. i tend to overlook middle grade a lot but this one sounds really good so i think i’m going to make it a priority in the near future! little black dresses, little white lies also sounds really good. i love sophie kinsella books so i am glad to hear that this book reminded you of hers! also spending a summer in nyc interning for a magazine is pretty much my dream (maybe not the dating columnist part though…) so this book definitely sounds right up my alley!

    i’m currently reading the raven king which is okay… i don’t really know how to feel about it since i was never really a huge fan of the series at all but it is pointless to not read the last book when i’ve read the first three so trudging on… the next book on my tbr is the winner’s kiss though which i am sooo excited for so i think i’ll be using that as motivation 🙂

    • Ah yes! I can imagine how when you are still in school that you feel like summer is that only real time to fit in a lot of books and how it would be EASY to put pressure on yourself. But like you said summer is also a time to do A LOT of other things and I’m glad that you’ve been doing those things too! Give yourself a break, lady xoxo. Your brain needs to relax, too! I feel like in my slower reading pace I’ve been appreciating the good reads even more!

      SAME GIRL. I always pass over even excellent sounding MG books. I honestly picked this one up because 1) the cover 2) I love Claire 3) my book club picked it but it definitely made me want to pay more attention to MG. God it’s so hard to be a lover of ALL KINDS OF BOOKS….so many to choose from. Oh many you should absolutely read LBD, LWL if you love Sophie’s books AND you want to intern for a magazine. It honestly was the perfect book to read this summer because I gobbled it right up and had been feeling, like I said, like I’d been reading sooo slow..so it was a nice boost to read a book SO QUICKLY. Even Will was like WOW haven’t seen you devour a book that quickly in a while.

      I have only read The Raven Boys and am suuuuper intimidated to finish that series lol. GOOD LUCK. The only other thing I would say is if you feel like you are trudging is maybe find a super spoilery review or make a friend who read it to tell you what happened. THE WINNER’S KISS…such a satisfying finale!

      So good to hear from you!!!! <3

  4. Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies is on my list to check out soon! I’m a sucker for any book with an NYC setting, and I’ve recently gotten into Gossip Girl, which makes me even more intrigued about this book, haha. Right now I’m reading two books: The Wrath and the Dawn which is beyond amazing, and Suffer Love, which took me some time to get into, but I’m starting to like that one as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • SAME. I love NYC settings especially when you feel like they come alive in the book! And YAS GOSSIP GIRL. I think you will really enjoy Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies then! Another book that I thought was decently fun (but tbh didn’t love though I will likely read the next book) was City Love by Susane Colsanti…that had a great summer in NYC feel.

      I need to read both of the books you are reading and BOTH have been high up on my TBR so I’m glad you are enjoying both!

  5. Some Kind of Happiness sounds like one of my favorite books when I was in middle school, The Hidden World by Alison Baird. Have you read it? The connection to Ireland (I myself am Irish) made it even more magical for me and I remember loving it so so much. I should re-read it and then perhaps find a copy of Some Kind of Happiness to go along with it… 🙂

  6. Hana Brown says:

    Have you read “The war that saved my life” yet? If not I highly recommend it for your MG list.
    Thanks for these great reviews!

  7. Some Kind of Happiness sounds wonderful! I’m adding it to my TBR right now. 🙂

  8. You certainty peaked my interest about the last one. Would you classify it as chick lit? Cause I never read this – maybe this one will me my maiden voyage down that genre!

  9. I can’t wait to read Some Kind of Wonderful after reading your review. I haven’t read it, but based on your description, you might like Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley as well.

  10. I LOVED “The Changling Sea,” so it was interesting to read your take on it just being so so. Part of what attracts me to the novel is its dry but lyrical prose, so within that context the suddenness of the romance worked for me in a way it wouldn’t have in another book, ya know? The writing style feels like McKillip is recounting a legend, so that changes my expectations. Just my two cents 😉 Have you read any other books by her?