July 2019 Books

August 8, 2019 No Comments

July 2019 Books

August 8, 2019 No Comments

// Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This was absolutely the bookstagram hit of last year and unfortunately I thought it was just okay! The writing is gorgeous and I learned a lot about birds and nature. Kya is young when she’s abandoned by both her parents, and she’s forced to make a life and grow up alone, frequently learning through struggle. There’s also a suspicious death woven in there. This book has a love story, a murder mystery, and a woman learning how to trust people for maybe the first time ever. It has poetry and science and survival in difficult situations. It has a lot of really great elements, so I’m not sure why I felt meh about it. It happens, I guess! // ★★★

// Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

I absolutely loved this book. It tells the story of one family during the tumultuous summer of 1969. The Boston-based family normally spends all summer in Nantucket, but this year their son Tiger is fighting in Vietnam, their rebellious daughter Kirby has absconded to Martha’s Vineyard for the summer, and Blair is pregnant and staying in Boston with her husband. That just leaves thirteen year old Jessica to spend the summer in nantucket with her mother and grandmother, and she’s dreading it. I loved this book. I found it charming and fun and emotional and so well-researched. It really made me feel like I was there with the characters. I’ve only read a few Elin Hilderbrand books but somehow this felt deeper than the ones I’ve previously read – maybe because it’s historical? I definitely recommend it for your next summer read. // ★★★★★

// Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

I loved this story of two families that live next to each other in suburban New York and how their lives intersect and diverge and come back together again. It covered a lot more time than I expected it to. At times the story could move slowly but I found myself flying through this in under 24 hours. It got me thinking a lot about families and growing up and legacies and mental illness and addiction. I really liked it and will likely reread it one day. // ★★★★

// Wilder Girls by Rory Power

I thought this was going to be one thing and it was another thing entirely — in a good way. The Raxter School for Girls is under quarantine due to a mysterious illness called the Tox, which killed off most of the teachers and left the girls with strange and foreign bodies: second spines, masses growing under their eyes, all sorts of weird and horrifying reactions. They’re supposed to stay put in the school, and Hetty’s intention is to follow the rules, but then her best friend disappears. The search for her best friend teaches her more about the illness, and what she learns is pretty troubling. • This was definitely body horror (and has on-the-page self harm and death, FYI) but it turned out to be the kind I could handle. I was so intrigued by the cause of the Tox and the mutations. I loved the relationships between the girls and how they survived together. // ★★★★

// The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

I really liked this sweet story of two people in England who share a flat; Leon is there during the day, and Tiffy, desperate for an apartment, signs up to sleep there while he works nights. They don’t meet when she first moves in. Instead, Leon’s girlfriend facilitates the arrangement. They start to communicate via notes and snacks left for each other in the flat, and share more about their lives than they ever would’ve expected. I enjoyed it! Definitely a fun read that gets kind of deep. Tiffy is a sort of Me Before You character in that she’s very quirky and lovable, dresses strangely, etc, and I got hints of the book Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine too. Maybe it just reminded me of other British novels? Whatever the reason, I enjoyed it! // ★★★★

// The Vacationers by Emma Straub

This book was meh. A family heads to Mallorca for a two week vacation, a chance to be away from the stress of their lives in Manhattan. But you bring yourself and your problems with you, and of course they can’t escape. There was family drama, and…. not much else, honestly. I found the ending confusing. This was one I probably should have put down instead of pushing through. // ★★

// The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger

Liked this one a lot! It’s the story of a group of friends whose lives go haywire when a competitive school for gifted kids comes to their town in Colorado. Best friends of over a decade find themselves turning on each other in order to get a leg up in the admissions process, and the kids (I think they’re 10 or 11) get caught up in it at all too. It’s about privilege and achievement and hard work and what people deserve, as well as competition and the lengths parents will go to so their kid will be admitted. I went to a pretty cutthroat, test-admissions based school from grades to 7-12, and yet I’m glad there was none of this. I recommend this one! // ★★★★★

In total:

Total number of books: seven
Number of fiction books: seven
Number of nonfiction books: zero
Books by people who are not white dudes: six
Total number of books this year: forty one

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Ellie | 26 | Los Angeles
I write things on the internet, run a lot of miles, and read a lot of books.

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