17 Summer Must-Reads

books to read this summer

books to read this summer

 

Every time we hit mid-August, I panic. It means summer is almost over and I’m just….not okay with that as a person who LIVES for summer and spends most of the other seasons huddled under blankets. Even at 30 years old, I very distinctly see the end of summer as when it’s back to school time (hand raise if you actually miss going back to school. Me!). But HONESTLY…we still have until mid-September before summer is officially over. I feel like by THAT point it’s always FUHREEEZING here (okay full disclosure anything below like 75 is freezing to me) in Pennsylvania but I’ve been trying to remind myself that I have at least a month left of summer to soak in.

This time in August is ALSO that time in which I find myself trying to CRAM in all that summer reading while my pool is still open and the weather is still pleasant enough to sit outside in the sun. So, if you are like me and are trying to squeeeeze every last bit out of Summer that you can…I can help you with the books you absolutely should try to squeeze in before the official end of summer (you know, as if you couldn’t read them any other time).  I mean, suuuure this might be aiming high to think we can get all this summer reading done before the end of summer BUT I’ve never met a reading challenge I didn’t like.

I’ve made of mix of books I’ve already read and think are the absolutes to get to this summer and some that are on MY list of summer reads to finish before the worst day of my life the end of summer. So, don your bikini and a floppy hat (don’t forget that sunscreen!)….we’ve got some summer reading to do, friends!

[Keep Reading]

All I Need by Susane Colasanti | Book Review

20130501-213622.jpgAll I Need by Susane Colasanti
Publisher/Year
: Viking Juvenile May 21, 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA – Realistic Fiction
Series: No!
Other Books From Author: When It Happens, Waiting For You, Something Like Fate, Take Me There, So Much Closer

Amazon| Goodreads | Twitter |

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

Every summer Skye hopes to find the boy that will sweep her off her feet during her time at her beach house. When she meets Seth, a guy she has never seen before, at the last party of the summer it’s evident that they both feel this incredible connection to each other. Seth doesn’t show up when they are supposed to meet before they both go back to school for the year and Skye is left wondering why he never showed up, if she was just the only one feeling the connection and, if they COULD find each other again, would that spark still be there.

This was one of those breezy, romantic books that I need once in a while; despite some things that bothered me which I’ll address later. It wasn’t a favorite by any means, it didn’t blow my mind or really stick with me but it’s the kind of feel good story that makes a perfect beach read. It’s light, sweet and very much captures the essence of summer romances and the ups and downs of starting a relationship and really getting into the nitty gritty of getting to know each other. It’s like those rom coms that I always watch wherein I predict most of what happens and don’t really walk away feeling CHANGED but I have that ooey-gooey “YAY love!” feeling in my heart. Sometimes you just NEED THAT, ok! Or I do. I am a former closet romantic — for years I hate-watched chick flicks and my college roommate was appalled that I didn’t squeal watching Sweet Home Alabama with her. I secretly did. SHHH.

The romance in All I Need by Susane Colasanti falls under the realm of insta-love so if that bothers you, you have been warned. I do feel like summer romances is my favorite place to let insta-love shine because it really is how summer romances typically are in real life (experience speaking here!) — they are a whirlwind and you everything speeds up because you know you only have the summer. I loved that Susane showed that whirlwind aspect of it despite sometimes the intense feelings were eyerolly at times because it went from crush to soulmate feelings very fast. I personally would have liked it a little better if the “OMG HE/SHE is the ONE!!” factor would have just been turned down a smidgen. I get whirlwind but the intensity of the feelings to me seemed a little forced.

I really liked how the story ventured outside the summer as well and dealt with life AFTER a summer romance and the troubles of their relationship. It showed that period of time when the honeymoon period is over and you start to really SEE that person — their flaws, their dreams, what they want in life, etc. I thought it portrayed that period really well and I enjoyed seeing them struggle and triumph in trying to define and figure out their relationship.  HOWEVER, the book takes place in a span of 3 years so things feel a little clipped sometimes and the time shifts just were sometimes jarring how they would jump suddenly and I just didn’t feel really connected to it.

 

This was a quick & fun read that I thought was good — not amazing though. Just a solidly light, cute read that would be perfect on the beach or when you are craving something that reminds you of those feel good, romantic chick flicks. I didn’t particularly love the characters or felt it stood out but I did enjoy reading it and thought that the insta-love summer romance was fun but a little TOO “omg he/she is the one” so soon. It did coax a few “awwwws” out of me during the cute, romantic parts.  It’s my first Susane Colasanti novel and I will probably be checking out her other stuff when I’m needing a cute romance that really embodies what it is to be young and in love — in all its messy glory!

 

 

All I need by susane colasanti review

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard of it? If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? Have you read any other Susane Colasanti novels? Since this is my first one which one do you recommend me trying next?

 

 

two-stars

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski | Book Review

How My Summer Went Up In FlamesBook Title/Author: How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Publisher/Year
: Simon Pulse – May 7, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Series: No!
Other Books From Author: None

Amazon| Goodreads | Twitter |

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

Rosie finds out that her boyfriend cheats on her and then he flaunts the girl in her face. The next thing she knows her ex’s car is on fire and she’s got a restraining order and, in trying to talk to him, is facing stalking charges. Her parents decide, to keep her from getting in any more trouble before the court date, to send her on a road trip across the country with their next door neighbor Matty, the sorta geeky boy next door, and his two friends. As the miles start to grow in between her and the situation at home she’s itching to get back and fix things and win him back — at all costs.

I’m really conflicted on this one. On one hand, especially as my gym read, How My Summer Went Up in Flames was precisely what it was supposed to be — a fun summer read with some entertaining and absolute LOL moments, some romance and a road trip! I read through it pretty quickly,  it was very enjoyable and I was always excited to pick it up — as excited as one could be excited  on a treadmill. But on the other hand, there was so much about it that irked me & pulled me out of it but it seems to probably just be a ME thing from all the rave reviews I’ve seen. All of my feelings are very all over the place… a lot of “I liked this BUT at the same time I didn’t.”

There were some really awesome parts of the road trip — some fun moments and also some self discovery moments where I wanted to hug Rosie. But on the other hand, this road trip was a lot like being stuck in the car with your annoying little sibling who keeps kicking the back of your seat — it makes it a little less enjoyable. Rosie was miserable for most of this road trip because she didn’t WANT to go and was all angsty about her ex boyfriend. That was hard for me to relate to because umm ROAD TRIP? The answer is enthusiastically ALWAYS. But whatever, I could go with it. But it was hard to actually ENJOY the road trip part of it because Rosie made 75% of it miserable because of her bad attitude. I’d be into the flow of their adventure and then she would pull me right out of it. LUCKILY, the boys and a sweet girl we meet along the way more than made up for it. They kept me reading during the moments when I thought I might push Rosie out of the car if I could. I seriously LOVED the boys. They were my favorites. I was really relieved in the moments when Rosie was ENJOYING the road trip and growing.

The romance! Ok, so there were some really swoony and cute parts. There were. The tension was written very well and I was so waiting for some kissing because of all the tension. But here’s the thing…throughout the book I felt like there was some MOMENTS where it felt like she liked or felt some maybe possibly confused feelings with each one of the guys in the car which I found weird considering everything that just went down with a breakup. I can’t explain it but there were parts where maybe they were goofing off and it seemed like there was tension with one guy or she’d be like “hmm he’s really kinda cute” and made me think, “OH is she going to go for him now?” There’s one kinda more OBVIOUS guy but there were just these weird moments I can’t explain without telling you. And then there’s a guy who comes into the picture and is suddenly smitten with her as well and the whole time I was confused as to WHY because there wasn’t much through the story where we saw any reason why she was so desirable or special.

Luckily there WERE parts where I felt like Rosie shined and I was like “Yeah,  I like this girl a lot — she’s feisty and can be fun and I GET her. ”  In those moments, I could see through the grumpy exterior and feel like I was getting to know who Rosie was and saw why people wanted to be friends with her — like how she talked on the phone to her dog or stood up for a friend. But, by the end, I still don’t think I quite got who she was or felt like I understood her though I feel like I was starting to.

 

Unfortunately, for me, How My Summer Went Up In Flames didn’t stand out. It had its moments and generally was entertaining and fun — the perfect type of summer read when you are craving something light that will take you no time to breeze through because it’s paced really well. I loved the secondary characters but there was a lot about the main character and her storyline that irked me and pulled me out of this romp across America. She had her moments where I was like,  “Girl, you rock!”  but never moved past that. It wasn’t that I DIDN’T like How My Summer Went Up In Flames but I just didn’t love it though I know SO many are going to not even notice the things that annoyed me. I did appreciate how realistic it was and that it wasn’t totally romance centric but it just never made me FEEL anything more than, “Ok, that was fun.” I will say that I will be picking up her next book Famous Last Words because I think she writes fun contemporaries.

 

how-my-summer-went-up-in-flames

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one??  Heard of it?  If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? Was I the only one who was drawn out of the story for these things?

 

 

ALSO I don’t listen to a ton of country music but this song and video are HILARIOUS and Miranda is awesome and it totally reminds me of this book in ways as it talks about the “crazy” some of catch during a break up. Even a reference to matches 😛

three-stars
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