Friday Favorites – Summer Edition

It’s hard to believe that it’s September! It feels like it was yesterday that I was anxiously awaiting the start of my summer break and wondering what the fall would like. Well, fall is here and it looks pretty much the same way that the spring/summer did but at least we’ll have the beautiful trees to look at! I read 49 books from Memorial Day to Labor Day and I wanted to highlight some of my favorites!

Fiction

Anxious People ( 5 stars, 352 pages )

This book is good for your heart. I was in a bit of a reading slump and wasn’t wanting to pick up any books to read but I thought I would give this one a try and I am so grateful that I listened to my inner librarian. The characters that Backman created will certainly be staying with me for a long long time and I will be reading this book again, plus I will be recommending it to everyone. I laughed ( out loud ) on multiple occasions, cried and felt my heart grow in size thanks to this beautiful book.

Romance

The Heir Affair ( 5 stars, 446 pages )

I had so many laugh out loud moments (mainly at Gaz’s expense) and then I shed countless tears. There were some very real moments nestled within the pages of this book — I would like to give a trigger warning for pregnancy loss, if you have any concerns about reading the sequel, please message me so we can chat. I truly felt such real emotions while reading this story and I did not expect to have any of them. In the 464 pages of this novel, I became so incredibly attached to the characters (including The Queen) that I genuinely did not want this book to end. 

Red White and Royal Blue ( 5 stars, 421 pages )

Oh, my heart! What a fun (and steamy) book this was! I was hooked from page one and devoured this beauty in a little under 48 hours; I couldn’t put it down and when I finally did finish reading it, I wanted more of Alex and Henry. I wanted more of all of the characters in this book. They were all so refreshing and I felt like my heart grew five sizes while reading this story.

Dear Emmie Blue ( 5 stars, 311 pages )

I highly recommend this one to anyone who is looking for a book to transport you into its pages and leave you feeling as if you are leaving a dear friend behind as you finish the last chapter. For me, this book captured the essence of what it means to feel like you will never reach a point in life where your life feels settled but, in reality, that is what your life is doing. At some point in time, we all look back and realize that the things that we so desperately wanted actually happened.. but maybe not in the way that we always anticipated them too.

The Switch ( 5 stars, 336 pages )

I couldn’t put this book down. Eileen’s characters had me dissolving into a fit of giggles as I pictured my grandmother having this experience. And then there was Leena, who I related to on countless levels. Oh, and let’s talk about that heart-throb Jackson – I looked forward to his interactions with Leena because he was just perfection. 

Fantasy

A Court of Mist and Fury ( 5 stars, 626 pages)

I don’t think I need to give much of a review for this book. Before reading the ACOTAR series, the only fantasy books that I’ve ever truly loved were the Harry Potter series. But, thanks to this incredible series (and Rhys), I can’t get enough of this genre. I definitely plan to re-read this series again, just so I can relive all of those incredible scenes.

Historical Fiction

The Exiles ( 5 stars, 370 pages)

I went into this book thinking that it would be interesting as I am not familiar with this period or with the colonization of Australia through English prisoners. But, what I got was a heartbreaking story following a young woman who suffered such a terrible injustice and her journey aboard the Medea slave ship. From the jail to the slave ship, the conditions were unbearable; it made me feel sick to my stomach just thinking about someone being treated that way and forced to leave their life behind.

The Last Train to Key West ( 5 stars, 320 page )

Cleeton has the way of transporting the reader directly into the storyline and to the destination that she is writing about. I loved reading this book and I didn’t want the storyline to end. Each one of the women that this book focused on were extraordinary in their own way. I loved the alternating perspectives of the women that each chapter offered.

Young Adult

The Hate U Give ( 5 stars, 320 page )

This book left me at a loss for words. It was a powerful, moving, and poignant reality check for me. Within the first chapter of this story my heart was broken at the all too real reality of what many in our Black communities face every day. We all must realize that what happened to Starr and Khalil is not a work of fiction, it is a reality that should not be.

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