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July Book Review

I thought June was a good month for books, but somehow July was even better! This month saw seven books including a memoir, a YA series, some historical fiction, a beach read and suspense novel. Grab a glass of iced tea and open up your Goodreads account so you can add some of these books to your TBR list!

My first read of the month was Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye. I was at the library looking for a different book when I saw this one and picked it up on a whim. I love the show and listened to Tan France's audiobook last year so I was excited to learn more about JVN and get some inside scoop on the show. That being said, I wasn't that impressed with the book. It mostly talks about his wild days and I do appreciate his vulnerability speaking out about mental health issues and how left untreated, it wasn't healthy -- or safe. I think I just went into the book with different expectations but that being said, I'm glad I read it.

Next up was Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena. A podcast I listen to selected this book as a book club read several months ago, but working full-time and grad-school full-time didn't leave me a bunch of time to read and the book had a waitlist a mile long at the library. I finally got my hands on the book though! I love a good suspense book and this story starts out at a murder scene of a husband and wife in their family house after Easter dinner. Throughout the book, we learn about their three children and how they all have motives and no alibis. I found the book to be underwhelming and by the end, I didn't really care, I just wanted to know who the killer was and to finish the book. In my opinion, none of the characters were likable -- not even the parents. Because of this, I didn't have a connection to anyone or really care about who the killer was.

I LOVE Jenny Han and had to read The Summer I Turned Pretty series before I could watch the TV show. The series focuses on Belly and well.....the summer she turned pretty. She spends every summer with her family and best friends at the beach where she chases around her older brother and wants to be included with the boys. Then one summer, Belly grows up and suddenly she's getting attention. Throw in a love triangle consisting of one boy she's had a crush on since she was 10 and drama will follow! I read each book in about a day and wish there were more! Jenny Han is one of the few people who can make me nostalgic for high school and her books never disappoint. I'm jealous of everyone who gets to read this series for the first time because it's that sweet and good!

I didn't realize until just now that The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel was inspired by true events and now it's even more fascinating and I want to learn even more! Set in World War II with glimpses of the future in 2005, the story focuses on Eva Traube who is a Jewish girl forced to flee from Paris after her father is arrested by Nazis. Trying her best to survive and help others, Eva works as a forger making papers and documents to help other Jewish people escape to Switzerland. Eva forges lots of documents for children and she doesn't want them to forget their names and where they came from so she comes up with a coding system to document everyone's birth names. Even as someone who doesn't usually read historical fiction, I was hooked and look forward to reading more books from this author.

Is it even a beach trip if you don't read a book by Nancy Thayer? A Nantucket Wedding focuses on Alison, a widower in her 50s who is getting married again. There's nothing quite like a wedding to bring a family together and there's nothing quite like a remarriage after a death to cause drama between a family. Throughout the story, we see sisters become closer, marriages put to the test and two families try to become one. Even though I've never been to Nantucket, I love all books set on the island and this story didn't disappoint. It made me want to pack my bags and set sail to the island for a family weekend trip of my own.


  1. I've already watched TSITP and I am reading my way through the books right now. I do like Han's writing a lot. Thayer's books do make perfect beach/vacation reads and I love a good factual based historical fiction novel.

    1. I think I'm slowly entering into the genre of historical fiction! I never thought it was really for me, but I've read a couple lately and see a few more that sound good.


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