For the second year in a row, I completed author Jessica Brody’s 30 Books in 3 Months summer reading challenge on Instagram. You can see all of the books I read over the summer in the image below, and I already posted mini-reviews on a few of them. Keep reading for a few more, but if you have questions about any of the books I didn’t cover, feel free to ask in the comments!
On to the reviews! I never review everything I read, and as I posted a couple of weeks ago, I was a bit overwhelmed with life and got behind, so here’s a roundup of the last several mini-reviews I posted on Instagram.
I love the setup of this book. It opens with a woman about to be inaugurated as president, holding the hand of her husband, who she met while in high school. We’re also given the clue that she was pressured at some point in her political career to take his kind of goofy last name. Then the story flashes back to senior year of high school and four best friends, all of whom keep encountering a boy with this same last name.
There are so many things I loved about this book—how individual each of these girls’ goals and struggles were, the strength of their friendship, their passion for saving the park where they met as kindergartners. The four POVs are extremely well done—so well done that I stayed in suspense about which girl would end up with the boy whose last name matched the soon-to-be-president’s husband right up to the end. Add in one scene that made me both swoon and laugh at the same time and multiple gasp-out-loud moments, and this became a book I will read again.
I’m really glad I read this on my Kindle the first time because I totally would have peeked at the ending and ruined it, but I will now have to get a hard copy too.
I read romance novels, and unlike Rowan in TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW by Rachel Lynn Solomon, I didn’t keep it a secret in high school. I even posted it as my goal in the yearbook that I wanted to write them—although after attempting a few, I later discovered YA and found that was a better fit for me.
Even so, I still have hundreds of romance novels on my bookshelves, including the Nora Roberts book that plays a key role in TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW 😀. This book includes one of my favorite romance tropes—enemies to lovers—along with a super-inventive scavenger hunt that sends the characters all over Seattle. It’s a fun read that also includes some deeper themes.
This picnic table is the closest thing I had to a bench…
I almost feel like I can’t say much about it because the description doesn’t give one of the very coolest things about this book away, and I don’t want to spoil it. So here’s what the jacket copy tells you—it’s about a girl who feels like she’s been doing college all wrong and goes to London for a study-abroad program. Her goals are to make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure.
Here are a few awesome things about it: London, other European cities, the Beatles (!!), a love for writing/reading, and a girl finding herself.
So, with those teasers, go check it out!
I was so into MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE by fellow PitchWars 2017 mentee Syed M. Masood I took an extra-long lunch break to finish it one day. It seemed appropriate, since the book has such a focus on food.
It’s about Danyal Jilani, not the smartest guy in the room but funny, gorgeous, and an aspiring chef. His career choice isn’t the most appealing to the parents of arranged marriage prospects (Danyal’s family is Muslim), and that matters most when it comes to his long-time crush. When Danyal gets selected for Renaissance Man, a school-wide academic championship, it’s the perfect opportunity to show everyone he’s smarter than they think. He recruits the totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time he spends with her, the more he realizes his priorities might be changing.
I’ve been excited to read this book ever since I first read the description, and it delivered so much more than I expected! I loved how it invited me into another culture and showed me so many different aspects of it. I loved the romance. And I also loved the more serious topic woven throughout that Danyal tackles for his Renaissance Man competition. Since it isn’t mentioned in the description, I won’t give too much away, but it’s a very insightful look at history and how it’s interpreted. I also just really enjoyed these characters, with all of their flaws and quirks.
I read all of GHOST BOYS by Jewell Parker Rhodes in a single day. The combination of a compelling story and short chapters that kept me turning the pages convinced me to read until I finished it just before midnight. Here’s a brief description:
Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he meets another ghost, Emmett Till, a boy from a different time. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father’s actions. It’s important to note that Sarah can see and speak with Jerome.
While told through Jerome’s viewpoint, this book does an excellent job of showing how both he and Sarah learn from each other. It also shows how history has led to an incident like what happens to Jerome in the story—how fear has become so prevalent today—and it ends with hope for change on all sides.
GHOST BOYS is on the Book Battle list for middle schoolers competing here in St. Louis, and I’m glad my son and others will be reading and discussing it.
What have you been reading lately? I’m always open to suggestions!
Also, I hope you’ve checked out my new website at www.michelleimason.com!