July was an awesome reading month for me—not that I’ve read a million books, but the books I have read were books I really enjoyed, and I found myself wanting to pick up a book more often than not, which is always a wonderful feeling.
Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald
*Thank you to @randomhouse for sending me this free book!
If you follow me on Bookstagram, it’s no secret I loved this book. It’s a magical, romantic historical fiction page-turner set in the twenties, thirties, and forties, and it was total #SummerCandy for me.
A few people told me it wasn’t necessarily a quick read, but I didn’t feel that way at all—I read it so fast. This is a story inspired by a legend of a woman who disappeared from Grand Central Terminal in NYC, and it just had so many elements in a story I love: romance, time travel, mystery, history, et cetera.
I just felt it was truly lovely. The story itself was unique with some fun twists and turns—not that there was a huge thriiler-esque twist or anything—but it was bittersweet in all the right ways. I also really loved the ending.
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
*Thank you @duttonbooks for sending me this free book!
This is, without a doubt, my new favorite thriller, and I will absolutely pick up more of Riley Sager’s books! Katie and I read this book for the podcast (we interviewed the author and it was awesome—episode coming soon!), and I’m so glad we did. I’ve never been a huge thriller fan, but I think I’m turning a new corner in my reading life, because this one was so fun for me.
Most thrillers include characters (major or minor) that I just don’t connect with, and while I’m fine with flawed/morally gray characters, I need to be able to empathize with them. I loved Jules, the main character of Lock Every Door, and I loved her storyline. I also loved reading all about the Bartholomew, the historic and creepy apartment building. It was so atmospheric, it was basically a character in and of itself.
This thriller had the perfect amount of twists and turns, the pacing was excellent, the scenes were creepy and scary, and the character development was on point. The story itself was unique and perfect for summer, especially if you love reading NYC-based novels.
I had a friend visit me one night while I was reading by myself in the living room. It was so quiet that when she knocked I jumped out of skin! That’s the sign of a good book that’s sucked you in, and that’s definitely the sign of a great thriller. I’m sure I’ll share more about this great read when our podcast episode comes out.
Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge
This was a lovely summer read! Katie and I read this one for our patrons for the podcast. I had never heard of it, but it was on Katie’s TBR, and I trust her reading tastes more than my own. This is a desert island survival story (and love story!) that was seriously so perfect for summer.
A young baker and a french architect meet—by chance and tragedy—as the only survivors of a plane crash on some uninhabited island roughly 2,000 miles from Hawaii. I partly read it on my Kindle, partly listened to it on audio, and it was a very quick read. This book is full of adventure, history, romance, poignant moments, survival, and just the right ingredients for that bittersweet story I’ve mentioned so many times that I love.
The progression of their love story felt so real, and the prose was gorgeous, the ending flawless. This one will pull at your heart strings, so you’ve been warned, but I found it to be the perfect page-turner for a sweet literary romance.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
This is the second book I’ve read by this author (or should I say authors?), and I listened to it on audio thanks to @libro.fm (#partner #librofmlisteningsquad). It was such a pleasant, rom-com type of book that I devoured it in just a few days!
I wouldn’t say it was a new favorite romance/contemporary, but I did think it was fun, lighthearted, cute, a little steamy, and ticked off all my boxes for a summer beach read. The main character—and the love interest, if i’m being honest—did annoy me at times, but overall I rooted for them and found them to be pretty endearing. I’m not normally a fan of the hate-turned-to-love trope, but this story sets up the romance well.
I also really loved the twin relationship in this book, being a twin myself. There were so many relatable moments! I found myself smiling more often than not as I listened, and it was pretty easy to fall into this one, which sometimes isn’t easy for me on audio.
Recursion by Blake Crouch
*Thank you to @randomhouse for sending me this free book!
Oh. My. Goodness. This was a mind-bender for sure—just like Dark Matter—and it did not disappoint. I still think Dark Matter might be my favorite Crouch book, but there were elements of Recursion that were so unique and trippy, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and still find myself thinking about it.
The whole premise was so unique and the storytelling was so fast moving, I found myself enthralled with the two main characters the whole way through, even as they switched back and forth between different timelines. This book will have you bugging out about what’s real and what’s not, and it’s definitely a thriller-modern speculative sci-fi genre bender.
If you enjoyed Dark Matter, you have to give this one a go. I will admit that the first half was better than the second, but by the end, I loved it. I think because of the chaos/unraveling of the story, the second half of the book had to be choppy in the way that it was (without giving any spoilers), and I remain completely blown away by Blake Crouch’s mastery of physics, timelines/chronology, and storytelling. What a wild ride!
I still haven’t picked up Cribsheet by Emily Oster, so I’m hoping to get into this parenting book (as well as other parenting books) in August and September. Here’s to a few more weeks/months of reading as much as I can before this baby comes and turns our lives upside down!