Summer is almost here! If you are anything like me, I am already trying to narrow down what books I want to cross off my To-Be Read list. But the worst thing is when you get your chair set up, sunscreen lathered, drink in your hand, and........
*Que record scratch
THE BOOK YOU CHOSE STINKS.
There is only one thing worse than that and that is spilling your drink before you get a sip. I can't help you with that problem, but what I can do-and have done- is vet a wide variety of books and break them down so that I can guarantee that you will fall in love with them and simply revel and relax in the sunshine as the pages fly by!
Read below for spoiler-free reviews and see which picks you want to read for yourself!
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
Let me know!
What is your favorite go-to summer reads??
#5. Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐3.5
Lighthearted: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋10 Intrigue: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋10
Comedy: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋10 Sad: 1𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10
Serious Topics: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋10 Naughtiness: 1𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10
This book falls onto my re-read shelf along with these 4 others. Though a little longer than the other selections, it definitely doesn’t feel that way as you luxuriate in the awkwardness and struggle right along Bernadette. I have not struggled to find the words for a review in a while, but this book did it. Not because of any fault of its own; simply because this book was one that touches on so many different things, and shifts your world view that it was hard to put in words.
So I will just start my reveling at the beginning. The book is actually a collection of sorts compiled by Bernadette’s daughter after her mother suddenly vanishes one day. It includes emails, letters, and essentially a journal reminiscing about the days leading up to and after her mother’s disappearance. Bernadette is a kooky, yet completely relatable mother in Seattle, Washington married to a brilliant husband who is well-known for his hard work with Microsoft. What is little known about her is the fact that before giving birth and devoting her life to her miracle daughter who was born with a slim chance of survival, she was an award winning and genius architect.
When one crack, then two, then a fissure opens up in her marriage and life her world starts to crumble and she has no choice other than to flee; aided by an extremely unexpected ally.
This humorous, yet heartbreaking tale of self-discovery will sweep you up and have you asking the question right alongside the characters; Where is Bernadette Fox?? My one complaint — which isn’t really one— this is the first time I have ever preferred a movie ending to the book. Not that it is hugely varied, only the idiot and asshole husband is WAY more idiotic and infuriating in the book than the movie. In the book he is entirely unredeemable in my opinion whereas in the movie, he comes to realize the error of his ways yet he didn’t screw up nearly as bad as the book. Either way though, the tale is filled with so many twist and turns that keep it unpredictable and devourable.
#4. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐3.9
Lighthearted: 1⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10 Intrigue: 1𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10
Comedy: 1⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10 Sad: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋10
Serious Topics: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫10 Naughtiness: 1𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10
In a single word to describe this book… Heartbreaking… but in the best way! Imagine 13 Going On 30 but instead of a seventeen year jump it is a five year jump and instead of living in that life and having the opportunity to find out what all got you to that point, you only have an hour or so and no answers.. Just the inevitable counting down of the clock of what is inevitably going to happen. Even if you don't have a clue how.
For organized, controlling Dannie this is a complete nightmare when it is nothing like what she has meticulously planned out for her future with her fiancé David.
This novel has so many twists and turns to get Dannie lined up with the glimpse she got five years prior. But in the end, though you will probably end up in tears, like I did, it is in the most beautiful way. Rebecca Serle spins such a great expel of the different great loves once can experience in your lifetime and even when that love is lost, the memory and bonds will last forever.
Ugh. This book made me want to scream, cry and throw it across the room. All at once. But dang it. I couldn’t put it down... And on the list it goes!
#3. The Proposal by Jasmine Gullory
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐4
Lighthearted: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫10 Intrigue: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10
Comedy: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫10 Sad: 1⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10
Serious Topics: 1𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10 Naughtiness: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋10
No... this version doesn't have Betty White chanting along as Sandra Bullock dances to Get Low in the woods, but this book is a close second! Look no further for a perfect light, no fuss romance! The Proposal checks all the boxes of that wish list. Jasmine Guillory does an excellent job of tying her series together in a way that you can read them as a series of not and they are fantastic either way.
While getting proposed to via the big screen at a baseball game might be some women’s dream come true...it is not Nikole’s and especially not from a man who she has been only casually seeing and after only five months is definitely not in the same place as her hopeful beau. Despite the facts, nobody else knows this and she only comes off as cold-hearted when she rejects him in front of the entire stadium. Lucky for her, a sympathetic brother and sister decide to be saviors and intervene before a camera crew can make the situation any worse. But it doesn’t end there. Unable to get the attractive male doctor, aka the savior brother, out of her mind. She reaches out, solely with friendship in mind — of course… :P Yet the two cannot seem to be able to keep apart from each other. Sparks fly and fire catches, turning their friendship into something more.
This modern twist on the classic love story hooks you with its charm, and even better, it’s set in California and the sunny backdrop is the perfect bright read for a summer day.
#2. 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐4.5
Lighthearted: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋10 Intrigue: 1𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10
Comedy: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10 Sad: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋10
Serious Topics: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋10 Naughtiness: 1⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10
This amazing contemporary read is so perfect it even has sunlight in its title. Though 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons dives into some very tense and real topics, it is done in such a way that it is still uplifting.
Telling the story of two teens; one an amputee, the other a victim of a drunk driving accident that took her sight. The twist, she has no idea that the boy who answers an ad for someone to help her transcribe her writing is an amputee. This twist crafts the perfect story of falling in love with someone’s soul versus appearance. Throughout the novel you too will find yourself cheering these two on and groaning when they act like the connection isn’t there.
Both of their stories, while inspiring, however, like I mentioned before, touches upon real issues so it definitely opens your eyes and makes you grateful and appreciate things that we take for granted daily.
All in all, this book will be added to my annual beachside reads list and it will blend in perfectly with its colorful sunny cover. For the first novel from this indie author, it absolutely deserves its place in the top five list.
#1. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐5
Lighthearted: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫10 Intrigue: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋10
Comedy: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫10 Sad: 1𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10
Serious Topics: 1𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋10 Naughtiness: 1𑁋𑁋𑁋𑁋⚫𑁋𑁋𑁋10
Sophie Kinsella was my first real introduction into contemporary novels and to this day is my go-to grab for a summer poolside read. Always lighthearted and good for a laugh, her characters are adorably flawed and so incredibly relatable!
Samantha Sweeting is a beyond model employee. A driven and overworked lawyer in complete denial. The queen of perfection however slips up and the mistake costs her millions, her reputation and her job. Shock sends her tumbling out into the street and onto a train. Ending up in the middle of nowhere, she approaches the nearest house to ask for help; only to confused for the help. Thanks to an interesting combination of alcohol, a migraine, and a handful of headache medicine, she takes the job and helps herself to the guest room. “Just for the night.”
What happens next? Well… lets just say chaos. This is the same woman who simply ordered an entirely new vacuum to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that she doesn’t know what vacuum bags were. Yeah, she is now a housekeeper with the brain of an extremely intelligent lawyer. She can figure it out! Right? No. Hilarity ensues as she stumbles her way through the tasks, racking up quite a bill in repairs as she goes. At last, the gardener, who has been watching the ordeal at a distance, offers to help her out.
This book is a perfect alight hearted summer read that you will devour. Mystery, comedy, romance; all rolled into one bundle with just enough of each to keep you drawn in as you absorb the summer rays!