I can’t believe it’s the last Saturday of June! I saw a post the other day that we are now officially less than halfway to Christmas. How did that happen? It brought me back down to reality real quick about how fast this year is going by. It’s no mystery though that each year always goes by a little quicker. My Dad always told me that and I never believed him until after I graduated from college. That’s why it’s so important to live in the moment. Don’t get me wrong, having something to look forward to is such a fulfilling feeling as long as it’s not causing you to wish other time away. When it’s summertime with record-breaking high temperatures, it’s hard not to dream about pumpkin spice lattes, leggings, boots and football season. But once all of that is here, the box is checked and we can’t wait for Christmas. These days you can find a full blown Christmas section in large retail stores in October. Once Christmas is over, it’s a little depressing having to pack away all of the festive decor, realize the Christmas radio station has switched back to their previously scheduled airings and that people in general shrug off their extra cheery selves. And that week long period between Christmas and the New Year always feels so awkward. But again, we are looking forward to a new year with new beginnings and new goals. Then as soon as the clock strikes midnight it’s on to the next … spring. With it’s fresh blooms and warmer temperatures, we just can’t wait!
If you read my Spring Recap post, you know that things have been hectic and my reading got pushed to the back burner. I’m happy to say that I’m back at it and it has been so relaxing. In the spirit of summer, I am going to share my Summer Reading List: several reviews of my recent reads, books I’ve read that I think you should too and what’s on my summer reading list.
Recent Reads & Reviews
Next Level Basic
As a reality TV fan, I enjoy reading books written by some of the people I’ve watched and become invested in. A couple of months ago, I did a Bachelor Nation Book Review post. If you missed it, it can be found here. So, when Stassi was shown writing a book during a recent season of Vanderpump Rules, I couldn’t wait to see what all she had to share. I was late to this show, but after catching up on the first few seasons (a couple of years ago) and then having my DVR set for every one since, I was hooked. Sometimes it feels like I’m probably killing brain cells watching the show, but I can’t not watch. What a way to live. I couldn’t do it but I enjoy the laughs they give me (and my husband, though he would never admit to watching this with me) as they navigate their LA drama. Stassi has definitely come around and grown a lot since the show debuted. She’s my favorite to watch now and I basically stalk her Instagram waiting for Beau to propose. They are just the cutest ever. With all of that being said, I was really looking forward to her book. However, I’m sad to say it didn’t live up to everything I had built it up to be. I probably should have read the description first but was so ready to read it, I downloaded it to my Kindle pretty soon after it was released. Especially after I saw several friends post pictures of the book to their Insta Stories. #FOMO. I think had I known going into it that it is a more motivational type book with personal stories mixed in, I would have been in the right headspace to enjoy it. Just don’t expect a lot of behind the scenes info or insider scoop to Vanderpump Rules. Basically (no pun intended), the main gist of the book is to embrace who you are, find a style that suits you and just ‘you do you, girl!’
If you want to check it out, click here or on the picture of the book cover.
Behind Closed Doors
Any other fans of the Bobby Bones Show out there? I follow Producer Raymundo’s girlfriend, Laura, nicknamed Bae (Ray & Bae, get it?) on Instagram. I originally started following her when she was going through the early stages of her breast cancer journey. I’m happy to report she is now cancer free, in remission and doing well! She will occasionally post some book recommendations to her stories and when she does I take a screenshot because I haven’t been let down yet. I think she is how I found The Wife Between Us which is definitely the best book I’ve read in the last year. I’ve always been a murder mystery fan, but have since moved into the psychological thrillers since that’s where most recommendations come from these days. Behind Closed Doors is written by a British author, so though I like her writing style, some of the terminology was different but I knew what she was talking about.
The story begins in the middle of a dinner party. At first all seems well but the deeper you get into that first chapter, the more you can tell something is up but you’re just not quite sure what it is yet. The story flips back and forth from present day to the past telling the love story of Grace and Jack to how their life is now. Newlyweds, they portray that they are living the perfect life, but the #realreel is very different … behind closed doors.
It was definitely a page turner as I tried to figure out what was going to happen next, but I will say that I was super stressed reading this. I don’t want to give anything away, so just know that it’s a darker read if you decide to check this one out. But after I finished it, I put the author’s other 2 books on my reading list.
Find it by clicking here or on the picture of the book cover.
I told you I was going to read B. A. Paris’ other books. I went through this one pretty quickly since I was trying to get to bottom of what was really going on. Knowing the author’s style of writing and the fact that most of these books can twist the details to pin the blame on a character you are least suspecting, I tried to pick someone who I would normally least expect to be the character with ill will. Having done that I thought I had a pretty good idea of where the story line was going. It started to shift a couple of times as I got towards the end, but once I got to where the story unraveled and the main character started putting together the pieces, I was once again thrown for a loop and was way off. But that’s ok; the jaw dropping moment in books like this is what makes them so much fun to read.
Cass, the main character, is an unreliable narrator who is slowly losing her memory — and her mind with each passing day. The author creates tension but draws you in through Cass’ ability to go from confused to traumatized to full blown hysterical. This is what makes you want to keep turning the pages to see what happens next.
However, you may be frustrated with the ending. It all comes together rather quickly and feels like it comes from left field, so you may be wishing a few more hints were sprinkled in through the pages. This book definitely isn’t as dark or violent as Behind Closed Doors, but rather fast-paced and suspenseful.
Check it out here or by clicking on the cover picture if you want to see what I’m talking about.
An Anonymous Girl
I was so excited to finally get my hands on this book! As mentioned above, I loved the authors’ first book, The Wife Between Us. It was easy to let myself get whisked away in this book since I’m already a fan of the authors’ writing style. This was one of the few books I have read lately that I wasn’t trying to mentally jump ahead and try to figure out what was actually going on. This book was a for sure page-turner and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. I read it within 3 days, even around all of my mom-life responsibilities. I found that I preferred to read once the girls went to bed rather than watch my DVR, which isn’t always the case. I really enjoyed this one!
Jessica ‘Jess’ Farris, a struggling make up artist in New York City, happens upon the chance to participate in a 2-session psychological study on ethics and morality. She is quickly drawn in to Dr. Shields’ extended study as Subject 52 where she confronts her past but soon questions the motives behind the so-called ‘tests’ she is given and becomes uncomfortable with Dr. Shields’ motives.
I was neither shocked nor underwhelmed by the end. I was just content that everything came full circle, all loose ends were tied up and that there was a small glimpse into each character’s present state. Curious to give this one a read? Click here or on the cover of the book!
What I’ll Be Reading Next
Here are my top picks in no particular order from the books I have read and reviewed thus far on my blog.
Click on the cover pictures to be taken to Amazon or you can find my reviews of these books in the following links:
Can’t wait to dive in to my next round of books and share those with you soon! Happy reading!