I love to read. Right now, I’m always too tired to read.

Hi friends!! I tried SO hard to combat it this year, but my annual summer reading “slump” is upon me. I’m still reading almost every day (and lots of audiobooks on dog walks), but my brain just CANNOT focus on the words on the pages sometimes at the end of the day because MOM life with two sweet little kiddos and a puppy that doesn’t listen is #exhausting. lol. I love it, but it’s tiring! PLUS, we are allowed to socialize more and more, yay, and it’s sunny and hot and great beach weather…any Canadian will tell you, the summer is for the living and the other seasons are better for staying home and reading 😉 Anyway…I still read and listened to some great books in the last month and I’m excited to share those today – linking up with Steph & Jana for July Show Us Your Books!!

Books I LOVED:

Come Away with MeCome Away with Me by Karma Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book absolutely tugged at my heartstrings from the first moment and left me blurrily wiping away tears as I drove to pick up my kids at school while finishing it. What an absolutely beautiful love story told amidst a wonderful vacation setting.

There are a few content warnings for this book, one of which is in the synopsis, but feel free to DM me if you want to know. It’s a tricky one to review without any spoilers, but basically the plot centers around a young recently married couple full of love who are on their way to a Christmas party when they hit black ice and have a very tragic car accident. The story spirals from there as our main characters Tegan and Gabe Lawson cope with their grief and mental health. They decide to take a trip to three locations for experiences they had put in a wish jar many years ago. The descriptions of the trip amidst flashbacks to the couple falling in love was so good to read – it felt so immersive to travel alongside this couple and meet all the people they met, but emotions abound as well while reading.

Karma Brown’s writing is absolutely incredible in this book and I highly recommend this story if you can handle an emotional ride. I had a tiny inkling somehow of where it might end up, but I wasn’t completely right and instead I was completely shocked and dumbfounded and WOW.

Highly recommend the audiobook narration.

People We Meet on VacationPeople We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book absolutely absorbed all my attention in a way a book hadn’t in a while. This was a totally wonderful and well-written escapist read that was a blast to read. I absolutely LOVED this book. I loved Poppy and Alex, I loved their banter and their serious moments, I loved the way this story was told, and I loved their vacations. I loved their story, and I just want to be friends with them and trek along on their vacations from now on. Is that possible?? I’m still thinking about it a bit weeks after finishing it.

If you’ve seen this one floating around Instagram with a positive review, then let me just add my vote to the box and say that the hype is real with this one. I *might* even go so far as to say I liked it more than Beach Read by this author that I loved last summer. It’ll definitely earn a coveted spot on my bookshelf as soon as I can get my hands on it!!

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur (The Henna Artist, #2)The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After immensely enjoying The Henna Artist last year, I was delighted to revisit these characters 12 years later with a focus on Malik, who was just a child in The Henna Artist. Lakshmi and Jay and Malik have moved, but Malik returns to Jaipur for an apprenticeship & witnesses a tragic event that he finds out afterwards could have been prevented. There is a bit of a mystery element to this plot, and Alka Joshi’s writing is impeccable as are her descriptions of life in 1969 Jaipur, India. I enjoyed the introduction of a new character, Nimmi, as well as some strong character development in Malik and many of the others as well. A well-crafted story and such a pleasure to have a zoom chat with the author this past weekend and hear more about her writing process and how this trilogy came to be!

AutoboyographyAutoboyography by Christina Lauren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was absolutely adorable and I listened to the whole entire thing in one day. My goodness I loved these characters and the way this story was told. Some of the religious stuff felt a bit AHHH to me, but very true for this area of the US and very interesting to view everything through that lens. Tanner and Sebastian were so adorable & despite not falling in love with most YA books the way I used to, these ones wormed their way into my heart :):)

Books I’d Recommend if it’s your Genre:

When Stars Are ScatteredWhen Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This touching graphic novel about a boy and his brother in a refugee camp was very well narrated, and I enjoyed the illustrations in the physical book as well. I passed this one on to my almost 10 year old to broaden her horizons a bit. I really enjoyed Omar and his tenacity and concern for his younger brother.

How Sweet It IsHow Sweet It Is by Dylan Newton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Things I loved about this adorable book:
1) Drake Matthews’ job as an author was SO interesting and fun
2) Their meet cute (SO CUTE)
3) A great setting in a Victorian mansion (mostly)
4) Some hilariously funny predicaments and scenarios our characters found themselves in
5) A broody man male lead who had some grovelling to do at some point
6) Pretty much everything 😉

This is a great contemporary romance involving a horror author and an event planner hired last-minute to put on an amazing book release event for him on Halloween. There are some great fall moments (but I’m still trying to enjoy my summer, here!) and I was beyond delighted to learn that there will be forthcoming books for the other two Matthews brothers! Yay!!!

Thank you to Netgalley and Forever for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book is out today!

The HuntedThe Hunted by Roz Nay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book blew me away. It was impossible for me to put down even though I was creeped out from the first few pages. It definitely makes for a perfect summer beach read. Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I instantly felt myself rooting for Stevie, who seemed a bit lost and in need of the reader’s attention. I liked a few of the other characters too, but as was likely intended, I really felt for her the most and didn’t want ANYTHING BAD TO HAPPEN TO HER. 😉 I don’t want to say too much about how this book unfolds but I will say that it did NOT unfold the way I anticipated and I was impressed with both the character development and the chill I still felt when I turned off my kindle after reading. I can’t wait to watch this book succeed this summer.

The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious, #4)The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It sure was fun to be back in a book with Stevie Bell and her friends. This time, they are solving a decades-old mystery at a summer camp in a very small town. Stevie’s inner dialogue with herself cracks me up, especially on audio, and I was quite impressed with how this murder mystery unfolded at the camp based on all the clues from many years ago. I think it’s safe to say I’ll be picking up anything written with these characters in the future!

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Postscript (P.S. I Love You, #2)Postscript by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s been years since I read (and watched!) P.S. I Love You, but I couldn’t resist this sequel when the publisher offered to send the paperback my way! Then I promptly didn’t read it for months. Haha. I actually ended up listening to most of this one, and the narration was excellent. I loved the turn this story took overall, and it was fun to revisit this family and Holly’s friends as well. If you’re a fan of the first book, I think this one would be well worth your time.

(It’s also, like the first, pretty emotional, so keep that in mind – I was in the mood for an emotional read so it worked well for me that way…and it isn’t QUITE as gut-wrenchingly sad as P.S. I Love You but there is still a lot of sadness in some of the characters’ lives).

Anne of ManhattanAnne of Manhattan by Brina Starler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are a purist AOGG fan, this book might not be for you. But if you’re the kind of reader who enjoyed Eligible as a variation on Pride & Prejudice, I’d put this one in the same vein as that retelling. This is Anne of Green Gables set in the Hamptons/Manhattan with Anne and Gilbert studying under the same supervisor while completing their Masters degrees in English literature. FUN TIMES! I really enjoyed this book despite one storyline that didn’t REALLY work for me and since they are one of my favourite literary couples of all time, I was delighted to imagine them in a different and more modern scenario 🙂

Malibu RisingMalibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has been all over Goodreads/Blogs/Instagram lately for good reason. Taylor Jenkins Reid sure knows how to write. This was not my most favourite of hers, which is maybe One True Loves or After I Do or Evelyn Hugo, but I do believe I enjoyed this one a smidge more than Daisy and the Six and I LOVED this audiobook narrated by Julia Whelan. I know a few people had a hard time getting into this book, but I was hooked almost instantaneously and absolutely loved the Riva siblings. I loved the alternating timelines learning about June and Mick and then in the 80s when the Rivas were young adults hosting a crazy party each summer. Overally, I would not hesitate to recommend this one as well to anyone whose reading preferences I’m not in tune with because I think there’s a little something there for most of us in this book.

The Lion's DenThe Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read the first 25% of this book and then actually physically lost it in my home for 2 weeks before picking it up and finishing the rest of it in less than a day. It was definitely utterly compelling near the end and a suspenseful conclusion that I did not figure out. Absolutely ideal beach read, in my opinion, but not EXTREMELY memorable. I would recommend to someone who doesn’t read much and wants to take a book on vacation though!! Some great characters with glitz and wealth and a fun setting.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

EntitledEntitled by Cookie Boyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It may come as a surprise to none of you that as an avid reader, I have read A LOT of books about book shops, book lovers, authors, bookstore owners, librarians… you name it. Those books are my sweet spot 😉 However, I’d never read a book NARRATED by the book itself before until @CookieboyleAuthor offered to send me her book ENTITLED. This book (by a Canadian Author) was so fun to read. I was hooked pretty instantly and really enjoyed following the book on its journey through various owners and meeting a lot of “friends” (aka other books) along the way. If you can broaden your horizons a little and adapt to a book solely being told by an inanimate object, I’d recommend this one! It was heartwarming, funny, and so unique. The main character, the book The Serendipity of Snow, had such an interesting “personality” and so did all of the other books along the way. Such a cool way to tell this story!

Thank you to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

City of the Lost (Rockton, #1)City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a unique book that takes place in a remote setting with absolutely broken characters, but by the end, I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. I am certain I’ll continue with the Rockton series of police-procedural type books asap.

Passed the Time but Maybe not Worth It

Lost Immunity: A ThrillerLost Immunity: A Thriller by Daniel Kalla
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I read this book quite quickly and enjoyed it overall, especially the pertinence to our current-day vaccine discussions, I don’t know that it was a new favourite.

Currently reading: Project Hail Mary on audio with Kristen (LOVING IT), The Weight of a Thousand Oceans, The Therapist, Instamom, and Five Little Indians. Hoping to finish these ones off soon! lol

What are you reading? How’s your summer going????

11 responses to “I love to read. Right now, I’m always too tired to read.”

  1. I got Postscript for Christmas but I haven’t got round to reading it yet.
    It’s been raining for about 4 weeks here so there’s currently no chance of the sun distracting me from reading. I’m starting to wonder if we’ll get a summer at all this year!


  2. People tore Malibu Rising apart, lol. I really loved it. (I did not love Daisy Jones.) I’m glad to see someone else enjoyed it, too. It wasn’t earth shattering, but it was a nice story of siblings and their resilience in a sometimes cruel and unfair world. Mick is trash, though. Lol


    1. I agree! I really loved the siblings especially the two boys and the relationship they were able to lean on despite their circumstances etc. and LOL – I saw a hilarious poll on Instagram about the book; it said: Who was your favourite Riva: Nina, June, Kit, Anyone but Mick hahaha


  3. Nadine Mathews Avatar
    Nadine Mathews

    I really loved People We Meet on Vacation and it will probably be on my favorites of the year list. I am adding How Sweet It Is, it sounds good! And Come Away With Me Too. I love TJR as a writer and I was really interested in the back story of Mick in the beginning. But I couldn’t make myself care about the party and I wish she would stop writing for her books to turn into a show or movie and go back to her older style. One True Loves and After I Do were definitely my favorites and so much better than her new stuff! But I cant and wont quit her, no matter how frustrated I get lol.


    1. If you read Come Away with Me I would LOVE to chat about it with you afterwards!! 🙂 I think you would love How Sweet it Is!!! And I agree – those earlier books were more in line with my preferred genre but I did love a few of her lines in this book and appreciate her writing a lot.


  4. Sometimes my brain is at capacity for various reasons and I can’t settle with a book. I think that happens to all of us! And we need to be outside doing while the outside doing is hospitable and possible!


    1. Yep, exactly! It bugs me though because sometimes I really want to find out what is happening in whatever book I’m reading and I just can’t get my brain to focus on it LOL


  5. For a reading slump you sure read a lot! They all sound really great too and the only one I read was When Stars are Scattered. I had given it to my son for a history/ geography book and he told me I HAD to read it. He was right; it was fantastic!


  6. I really liked P.S. I Love you so will have to check out Postscript. I also read Malibu Rising and wasn’t a big fan. Definitely not one of my faves of TJR. Another blogger wrote about When Stars are Scattered, which I want to get for my son to read (and I’ll likely read it too!).


  7. I hate when reading slumps happen but it looks like you had a good reading month 🙂


  8. shootingstarsmag Avatar

    Yay for some great reads recently! I LOVED Autoboyography. And I want to read some of these too like When Stars Are Scattered and People We Meet On Vacation.



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