What I Read- July 2023

The book Same Time Next Summer lays on a picnic table on the beach

Hat: J.Crew Beach Table: Business & PleasureĀ 

Back to reality here after an amazing vacation! Today is a super rainy day at home and instead of laundry, basically all I want to do is curl up and read, so will be doing that later šŸ™‚ In July I read four good summer books- they were all what I would classify as good summer or beach reads so it is great timing to share in case you need a few recommendations for your August reading list!

The Perfect Couple– This Elin Hildebrand novel was on my radar as they are currently filming the adaptation on the Cape. On the morning of the biggest wedding of the summer, the maid of honor is found dead on the shore of the groom’s Nantucket home. The wedding party and families are suspects throughout this novel which is a little bit beach read and a murder mystery “Who Done It” at the same time. Throughout you learn that just about every character has a secret and you’ll be trying to figure out who did it alongside the Police Chief. If you have any interest in watching the adaptation or like Elin books, I’d recommend reading it first! My grade: A-

Meant To Be– Another author I’ve loved for years, Emily Giffin! Meant To Be was inspired by JFK Jr. and Carolyn Besette, but not a retelling, I’d say loose inspiration which made it more interesting. Joe Kingsley III’s family is American royalty- he’s grown up in the public eye after his father died in a tragic accident as an astronaut. Joe has a heart of gold, but likes adventure and to have fun, to the dismay of his mother. Cate Cooper grows up in New Jersey with a mom who is always dating and looking for happiness in a man when she meets her husband who ends up being abusive. Cate sees her looks as an out when she is approached by a modeling scout. A chance meeting between Cate and Joe results in an intense connection- and the question are some things meant to be? I really enjoyed this book- without any spoilers, the only thing that was bothering me was I felt like poor Cate could not catch a break! I loved her as a character and I felt like bad things kept happening to her. Definite trigger warnings for domestic violence/abuse so keep in mind! My Grade: B+

Same Time Next Summer– Named the book of summer by so many sites, I knew I had to read this one on vacation! Sam is a successful young woman engaged to a doctor, Jack. She has given into her mother’s requests and come to visit the beach town in Long Island she grew up visiting every summer to tour a wedding venue. Shortly after Sam arrives, she realizes someone else is also there- her neighbor Wyatt, the love of her teenage life. But why does she care so much about a boy who broke her heart fourteen years ago when she is engaged to be married? This is a cute first love, rekindled romance read- if you liked Every Summer After by Carley Fortune, I’d recommend this one too, but Every Summer After would be my fave out of the two. Many of you also messaged me about Nora Goes Off Script by the same author so it is on my list to read soon! My Grade: B+

The Lost Summers of Newport– This was my book club’s pick for the month, but the book had been on my radar for a bit as I’ve enjoyed other Beatriz Williams’ books I have read in the past. The Lost Summers of Newport follows three characters all connected to a summer mansion in Newport, from the Gilded Age to present day. In 2019, Andie is a producer and host on an HGTV-esque show Mansion Makeover that focuses on restoring historic homes and is set to begin work at Sprague Hall, a crumbling Newport mansion home to Lucia “Lucky” Sprague. In 1899, Ellen Daniels arrives at Sprague Hall for a job as a music teacher to prepare Maybelle Sprague for a performance in front of an Italian prince her brother hopes she will marry to elevate their social status. In 1958, Lucky Sprague is in Newport, married to Stuy Sprague living in the same home her grandmother lived in before her marriage to the prince. As Andie works through the restoration of Sprague Hall, we learn about the family in present day and the past as secrets come out. Overall, I liked this book, but didn’t love it- I figured out at least one of the “secrets” early on so maybe made it a bit more anticlimactic. I’m honestly most curious about how three authors co-write a book, so I feel like I need to research their process! My Grade: B

What have you been reading this summer? Have we read any of the same books recently?

xoxo, Jenna

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