Happy Monday, friends!
Have you read any good books lately? I feel like I have been solidly moving through books this summer, but definitely have found more time to read when I’m traveling than when I’m home. My days have been so busy these last few weeks that by the time I crawl into bed, I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone read more than two or three pages.
I’m currently reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and while I will give y’all a full recap in the next on my nightstand post, it is so good so far that I’m hoping I can make a little more time to read this week. As always, you can find what I’m reading in real time over on Goodreads.
IF YOU ONLY KNEW // KRISTAN HIGGINS
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while—I think Kristan Higgins might be my new favorite author. The story follows two sisters. Jenny Tate is a successful wedding gown designer who was dumped by her husband unexpectedly and moves into a rental home just outside of New York City in the same town as her sister Rachel. A mother to triplets, Rachel realizes that her husband is cheating on her and has to decide whether or not she should try to save her marriage. Meanwhile, Jenny’s ex-husband and his new wife have a baby, something he never wanted before, and she finds herself falling for the emotionally unavailable landlord who lives downstairs.
Would I recommend it? 1,000 times YES!
THE DATING BENDER // CHRISTINA JULIAN
Christina Julian’s debut novel follows Samantha, a feisty protagonist who gets married as a way to escape her hypocritical family. Within the first year, her marriage crumbles as her husband takes a job in a different city, with no immediate plans to return home. A family friend offers Samantha a job in Colorado and she takes it—and quickly begins her dating bender. I loved following along with all her escapades because they are pretty representative of all the mistakes either my friends or I have made while dating as 20-something gals. Added bonus, the chapters are short, so it’s easy to crush this one in an afternoon or couple of evenings.
Would I recommend it? Definitely—a great read for any vacations you’ve got during the dog days of summer. A note that I was gifted a copy for review—all opinions are my own.
BEAUTIFUL RUINS // JESS WALTER
I had really high expectations for this book, but really couldn’t get into it. I rarely don’t finish books, but I ended up putting this one down with about 50 pages to go. The story flashes back and forth between Italy in the 1960s when an American movie star, Dee, comes to a small resort and makes a big impact on the inn keeper, Pasquale, and modern day when he tries to track her down in Los Angeles after not seeing her for 50 years. The time jumps were often hard to follow, and I didn’t find myself rooting any of the characters—they all were extremely flawed with few redeeming qualities.
Would I recommend it? Hard pass.
THE IDENTICALS // ELIN HILDERBRAND
It’s no secret that Elin Hilderbrand is one of my all-time favorite authors—I’ve read all her books! The Identicals is her summer release, and the story follows two twin sisters, Harper and Tabitha. When the girls were young, their parents divorced and separated them Parent Trap style. Harper moved to Martha’s Vineyard with their dad, and Tabitha stayed on Nantucket with their mom. After more than a decade apart, their father’s death and mother’s accident leads them to trade places for the summer. Harper comes to Nantucket to parent Tabitha’s teenage daughter and run the family boutique, while Tabitha heads to Martha’s Vineyard to flip their father’s house to sell for a profit.
Would I recommend it? Yes!
MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE // TAYLOR JENKINS REID
I thought about this book for days after I finished it—don’t you love when that happens? Maybe in Another Life follows Hannah, who has just moved to LA after spending the last few years bopping from city to city. On her first night back in town, she heads out to the bars with her best friend, Gabby, and high school boyfriend, Ethan. In one storyline, she decides to forgo a nightcap with Ethan, is hit by a car, rendered unconscious, and wakes up in the hospital to a long recovery road ahead. In a concurrent storyline, the accident never happens and Hannah goes home with Ethan that night, which begins a whirlwind romance. As the two alternate realities run their course, the reader can see how the little decisions we make can have a big impact on where we end up and who we love.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely—but read One True Loves first.