July Reads and Reviews
For some reason, July was a really good reading month for me. I'm not typically one to read a book a week, but this month I managed it. I had all kinds of genres as well- a romance, thriller, drama, and celebrity memoir. I would highly recommend all of these (except for the one book I did not finish). Enjoy!
Life's Too Short by Abby Jimenez
Vanessa lives life on her own terms — one day at a time, every day to its fullest. She isn’t willing to waste a moment or miss out on an experience when she has no idea whether she shares the same fatal genetic condition as her mother. Besides, she has way too much to do, traveling the globe and showing her millions of YouTube followers the joy in seizing every moment.
But after her half-sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her infant daughter, she is housebound, on mommy duty for the foreseeable future, and feeling totally out of her element.
The last person she expects to show up offering help is the unbelievably hot lawyer who lives next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. But as they get closer, Vanessa realizes that her carefree ways and his need for a structured plan could never be compatible for the long term. Then again, she should know better than anyone that life’s too short to fear taking the biggest risk of all. . .
This is the third book by this author that I've read (and third in the "Friend Zone" series) and it did not disappoint. The characters are so multi-faceted and dynamic that everything feels so realistic. The situations aren't always perfect (in fact they're usually pretty messed up) but you just can't put the book down. I love how all the characters cross over somewhat but every book in this short series can stand on its own!
My Rating - 5/5
Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.
When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
This book is definitely not for the faint of heart- explores some really dark themes and was really hard to read at times. The characters in it were so vibrantly portrayed and I loved following all of the different relationships. Everything felt so realistic from the conversations to the feelings that Claudia had throughout the book. I felt angry and frustrated right alongside her and was shocked when we got to the end with the final twist. This is a book you need to re-read after you figure out what happened- such a unique way to write and set up a book. Will definitely read more by the author but hope it's a little lighter subject matter.
My Rating - 5/5 and going on my Favorites list!
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend's marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.
But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.
After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.
That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.
I loved this book so, so much. It drew me in right away and had such a unique premise- if you saw a glimpse of your future, how would you react? How do you get to that point? This book had so many ups and downs and I loved how it was more of a love story between two friends than a traditional romance novel. When we actually get to the twist I absolutely loved how it was revealed, even if I was sniffing back tears during that part of the book. Lovely read and would love a follow up!
My Rating - 4/5
The Wreckage of my Presence by Casey Wilson
Casey Wilson has a lot on her mind and she isn’t afraid to share. In this dazzling collection of essays, skillfully constructed and brimming with emotion, she shares her thoughts on the joys and vagaries of modern-day womanhood and motherhood, introduces the not-quite-typical family that made her who she is, and persuasively argues that lowbrow pop culture is the perfect lens through which to understand human nature.
Whether she’s extolling the virtues of eating in bed, processing the humiliation over her father’s late in life perm, or exploring her pathological need to be liked, Casey is witty, candid, and full of poignant and funny surprises. Humorous dives into her obsessions –and areas of personal expertise—Scientology and self-help, nice guys, reality television shows—are matched by touching meditations on female friendship, grief, motherhood, and identity.
To be honest, I'm never a huge fan of memoirs written by comedians. It always feels like they're pushing too hard to be funny and quirky and different, so it makes it almost feel like a chore to read. This book is the exact opposite though. Casey is absolutely hilarious and the way she tells stories makes me feel like I'm witnessing the mishaps first hand. I especially loved all of the stories involving her parents who just seem hysterical and almost too over the top to be real. I would love to listen to this book and hear Casey tell the stories in her own voice! My only criticism was that she almost seemed apologetic about everything in her life, which was nice and made her seem more relatable, but seemed like she added in these warnings as an afterthought so people wouldn't "cancel" her for being a privileged white woman instead of seeming authentic.
My Rating - 4/5
Did not Finish - Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
What did you read this month?