It has been another month, so I have another list of books to share! I was actually quite (surprisingly) busy this month, so I didn’t get to read as much as I would have liked. However, I did have some time to dedicate to summer reading and found some really great books that I wanted to introduce–two of which are brand new summer releases! Check out my opinions as well as a (spoiler-free) summation of the plots below!
Disclosure: Please keep in mind that any of the links provided below are affiliate links which means that I am compensated if you do decide to make a purchase. Whether or not you do so is completely up to you!
This first book is not a new release; actually, it was written in the 1970s by an author who writes amazing historical fiction novels. Dodie Smith is a best-selling author who is probably best-known for writing 101 Dalmatians. I read Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle–another of her popular books–after it was recommended by a friend and absolutely loved it, so I was really excited to try another book by her!
This story is about two sisters who are married to a pair of brothers and the struggles of their marriage lives. One brother is hugely successful while the other is a struggling writer. Because of this, the wealthier couple convince the other couple to live on a cottage on their property, bringing the entire family into close proximity.
This move really sets the plot moving with so many things happening; one of the brothers falls for his sister-in-law, three generations are brought under the same roof with all related shenanigans. It’s a book that explores familiar bonds (and eccentricities), love, and trust. I found it to be relatively straightforward yet really enjoyable! I love to include simple books like this in my summer reading, and found it to be such a nice escape from my normal day-to-day life!
The only complaint I have about this book is that the hardcover version is only available for $95.00 on Amazon which is outrageous and forced me to stick with the kindle version. Once it is safe to do so, I will be scouring bookstores for a copy! The cover art is so beautiful, and I am dying to have it on my bookshelf at home!
This next book is a Young Adult fantasy book that was just released at the end of June. After finishing All the Stars and Teeth last month, I was still feeling like I had a YA fantasy itch and wanted to find another book to read in that same genre. The blurb on Goodreads said that fans of Ember in the Ashes would really like this book, and since I am a huge fan of that book I decided to dive into this one! And again–pretty cover–so I at least wanted to put it on display on my bookshelf if nothing else.
As the title hints, this story is about two sisters–Evadne and Halcyon–who were separated for nearly a decade when Halcyon left to serve in the army. When Halcyon is scheduled to come home, Evadne is thrilled to be reunited with her sister. However, Halcyon comes home earlier than planned, and Evadne discovers that it is because her sister is being accused of murdering her commander’s son and is on the run.
Not wanting to lose her sister once more, Evadne agrees to serve part of her sister’s sentence in her place, earning five years of servitude in the commander’s household while Halcyon needs to spend five years on a quarry and five years in prison.
Of course, Evadne discovers that there is more to what happened between Halcyon and the commander’s son–Xander–than what it seemed. They had taken on a secret mission that Evadne–along with Xander’s younger brother, Damon–decide to finish in their place.
I am a sucker for familial love in a book, and I thought that the bond between these sisters was both believable and beautiful. I also loved the mythology of this fantasy novel. There are gods and goddesses, magic, and powerful relics. If you are looking for a quick, enjoyable, and immersive YA book to include in your summer reading, I definitely recommend this standalone novel!
The last book on this list is another new release this summer, but this time it is a Young Adult Mystery novel. There is something about summer that makes me want to read mysteries and thrillers, so I was really excited to try this one out. I was definitely not disappointed!
This was another book that caught my eye because it mentioned a book I had read, Sadie, by Courtney Summers, in the Goodreads blurb. However, I had actually thought that the summary sounded reminiscent of Sadie before I noticed that connection in the blurb, so I was already eager to purchase this one!
The novel’s main character is a girl called Anna who will be spending her summer nannying in The Hamptons. When she arrives, she finds that the neighborhood is reeling after a girl named Zoe Spanos mysteriously disappeared. It turns out that people are particularly shaken by Anna’s presence because she bears a very close resemblance to the missing Zoe.
This leads to Anna taking it upon herself to learn more about Zoe and her mysterious disappearance until Zoe’s body is found in a lake a few months later. Anna is charged with manslaughter, but her confession is off and feels weird to the host of the Missing Zoe podcast, Martina, who is friends with Zoe’s younger sister. Anna thinks that she did murder Zoe, but she can’t remember what happened.
This thriller was gripping from the start which is what I need to actually finish a mystery novel. The way in which details of Zoe’s life and her disappearance were intermingled and slowly began to peel away the mysteries of what happened to her really hook the reader and were executed so well. This style reminded me a lot of Sadie, and adding in the mystery of the connection between Anna and Zoe made me so eager to know how it would end!
I kept coming up with my own theories throughout the book that kept getting debunked by multiple twists and turns of the plot. I found that I was able to finish this book quickly just because I kept thinking about the mystery when I wasn’t reading and wanted to see if my theories were correct (they weren’t). If you are a fan of true crime podcasts or TV shows, you will definitely want to check this book out!
What are your favorite genres to read during the summer? Are there any upcoming releases that you are excited about? Let me know, and happy reading!