Summer Book Review

10 Great Summer Reads

Pre-baby, I had been reading a lot more than usual because it helped me calm down before bed, and we had spent so many weekend days at the beach, aka my favorite place to dig into a good book. Since Amalia’s arrival, I haven’t cracked one open yet, but I’m hoping to get back into it in the next few months.

Whenever I post a book on Instagram, you guys ask what I think about it, so today I’m sharing a little review of the last 10 books I’ve read with a rating for each.

PS I’m not counting the parenting/baby books that I caught up on in between novels. If you’re interested in that, you can find a list of my five favorites here.

Before I get started, I want to shout out my friend Grace’s Book Club page where she reviews the books she’s reading. It’s where I get a lot of ideas for what to read next!

The Light We Lost: A
On Grace’s recommendation, I picked up this love story with a twist that is guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings. It is a beautifully written story about a New Yorker named Lucy who falls in love with one man and ends up marrying another… who she loves in a very different way. The raw truth to how she talks about being torn between the two strong loves is incredibly real, and something that I’m sure many people can relate to.

The Futures: A-
This is another NYC based love story, but the 2008 financial crash plays a big role as well. I remember that time living in the city so vividly, that it was interesting to read about it from another perspective. As someone who spent my early 20’s living, working, and dating in Manhattan, The Futures was extra relatable for me. But even if you didn’t, it’s a great read!

Hello, Sunshine: B
I loved Laura Dave’s last book, 800 Grapes, and was excited to see Hello, Sunshine on my Amazon recommended list. It was a quick read and a fun story line, but there was something lacking for me that made it not quite as great as 800 Grapes. None of the characters were particularly likable, and it was pretty predictable. I’m glad I read it, and it certainly entertained me for a few days. I’d say it’s a good one for a beach trip.

Startup: A-
If you work at a startup or are at all involved with startup culture, you’ll love this book. The satirical story is told from three alternating perspectives in the startup world. I loved that the female characters run the show, and the way that it pokes fun of a world where egos can be bigger than even the biggest valuations. It’s well written and a good plot line.

The Perfume Collector: A
I was impressed yet again by another Grace recommended book, The Perfume Collector. Set over the span of several decades (1920s-1950s), the story is told from the perspective of two women: Grace Munroe, who inherits a ton of money from a complete stranger, and Eva d’Orsey, an extraordinary perfume maker from New York who inspired Paris’s greatest perfumers. It’s a beautiful story, and you learn quite a bit about the power of scent which is randomly quite interesting!

Rich People Problems: B+
This is the third in a series of novels based in Singapore, following the lives of the ultra rich and fabulous. They’re fun reads with quirky characters and beautiful descriptions of the fancy homes, food, and clothes in their lives. I recommend all three books if you’re looking for something upbeat and just plain fun.

The Dollhouse: A
If you’re into historical fiction, this book is a good one for you. “The Dollhouse” refers to the Barbizon Hotel, a home for young women aspiring to be models, secretaries, or just looking for husbands back in the 50s. Like The Perfume Collector, the story follows two women based in different eras (today and in in the 50s) living in the space which is now an apartment building. It’s mysterious and complicated, and I promise you won’t be able to put this book down. SO SO GOOD!

Commonwealth: B
Ann Patchett is one of my favorite authors of all time (If you’ve never read Bel Canto, please do yourself a favor and get on it immediately!) but this wasn’t my favorite book of hers. I love the way she develops characters, and I felt connected to each and every one of them in this story of two California families intertwining. The reason for the B rating was that the middle was a little slow, but it picked up at the end and I ended up liking it a lot!

The Interestings: B-
People love Meg Wolitzer’s work, and this book was even turned into an online series, but I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. The story follows a group of creative teenagers who meet at summer camp, and remain friends in New York City for decades to come. It tells a story of friendship, wealth, and betrayal, but never quite sucked me in the way I hoped it would.

Luckiest Girl Alive: B+
I picked up this seemingly trashy novel at an airport a few months ago, thinking it would be awful but entertaining. Turns out, I couldn’t put it down! I don’t even want to tell you what it’s about, but know that the twist at the end will shock the pants right off of you. Another good one for the beach.

The Regulars: C+
Listen, this book was entertaining, sure, but it was kind of like watching bad reality TV… Sometimes you just need it, but you feel guilty the whole time. That being said, a lot of people I know loved it! The story follows three young women who are unhappy in their lives. They all drink a secret potion that makes them stunningly beautiful. At first, all of their dreams come true, but as you can imagine, it doesn’t last forever!

So what should I read next? What was your favorite book this summer?

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  1. graceatwood said:

    omg you read so many of my favs – thank you for the shout-out!!!! I finished Commonwealth and Hello Sunshine this month and agree with pretty much everything you said!! Hope you guys are doing well over there! xoxo

    8.3.17 · Reply
  2. Sydnee B. said:

    I’m currently reading The Memory Watcher by Minka Kent. The Light We Lost is next on my list!

    8.3.17 · Reply
  3. Aliza Ladd said:

    I just read Light We Lost – I loved it as well. I’m now reading All The Light We Cannot See. Similar titles, but very different. Historical fiction, told from the point of view two people. A longer book, but it flies by!

    8.3.17 · Reply
  4. Rachel said:

    I’ve read a bunch of those books too. The Dollhouse was probably my favorite! I’m currently reading Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. It’s a pretty quick read, and it’s so funny!

    8.3.17 · Reply
    • Kristie W said:

      The description on Amazon had me laughing out loud. I just added it to my wishlist!

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  5. Kristie W said:

    Great reviews! I have several of these waiting to be read on my Kindle and added a couple to my wishlist. A fun and easy read from last month was The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand.

    8.3.17 · Reply
  6. Daisy said:

    I just posted my book review today too! Looks like we share a fondness for The Perfume Collector. I read Luckiest Girl Alive a couple years ago and also could not believe the twist!

    8.3.17 · Reply
  7. The only one from this list I’ve read is The Luckiest Girl Alive! OMG that twist at the end. It was such a good book and I didn’t want to put it down either.

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  8. Daria Ed said:

    Love this! Beautiful blog post x

    Good job on your blog !


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  9. Virginia Merati said:

    Loved the Perfume Collector! Can’t wait to try some of these. Love these posts 🙂

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  10. Mary Fremeau said:

    Oh! I am adding the A’s to my Goodreads app as we speak. Thanks for sharing! I always LOVE summer reading recs (school year reading is mostly just what my kids are reading/I’m teaching). I am currently in the midst of “We Need to Talk About Kevin”, and it is GOOD, but dark. Have you read “A Man Called Ove”? It was seriously one of the best books I’ve ever read, in my life!

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  11. Cassi said:

    Thank you for sharing! I cannot wait to read some of these!

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  12. Liz said:

    Great reviews! Bel Canto is a book I always recommend! I loved the story. Being that it’s not a newer title it’s a good recommendation. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a beautiful read. Like the Perfume Collector, you learn a lot about the meaning and significance of flowers. The story follows a teenage girl who is mitriculating out of a group home due to the fact that she is 18. The story weaves past and present. She has a talent for understanding the meaning of flowers and uses that talent to change the life of others as she struggles to deal with her past.

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  13. Wendy said:

    Faithful by Alice Hoffman is a great read. Just finished The Shark Club and enjoyed that as well. I could not get into The Interestings.

    8.4.17 · Reply
  14. Stephanie said:

    We have such similar taste in books! The Dollhouse was one of my favorite books I’ve read this year.

    You should check out Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Wicked City.

    8.4.17 · Reply
  15. Taylor Cannon said:

    Going to add a few of these to my book list!

    Taylor |

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  16. Inspiralized said:

    Reading ‘How To Murder Your Life’ – it’s amazing!! And I can’t believe you only gave Luckiest Girl Alive a B+ but Startup an A- !! Luckiest Girl Alive was one of my favorite books I’ve read in a LONG time and I thought Startup was kinda pointless?? Def try How to Murder Your Life – and if you want something a bit more serious, try ‘The Glass Castle’. Love this post!

    8.6.17 · Reply
  17. Elizabeth Petite said:

    I read The Perfume Collector on your recommendation a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I just started reading A Gentleman in Moscow which is good so far. You should check out A Man Called Ove and The Nightingale if you haven’t read them yet. Also – tip for reading with a newborn is to read on the kindle app on your phone while breastfeeding!

    8.7.17 · Reply
  18. Emma said:

    I always love getting book recommendations-thank you for sharing these! I just read Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America. Nerdy, I know…but I love anything about food culture and it was so good! Never thought I’d be recommending a book about grocery stores…ha!

    8.31.17 · Reply