Summer Reading

Summer Reading: Big Little Lies and Fireflies

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SummerReading

The next two books in my series of Summer Reading Reviews are probably my two favorites so far. One had me in tears by the end, while the other was really difficult to put down (a problem, since I started it on a busy weekend where I didn’t have time to just sit and read).

Firefly LaneFirefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Title: Firefly Lane
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publication Date: February 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4 stars

I’ve never read anything by Kristin Hannah, but this book had intrigued me since it’s original publication. I think it was probably the cover that initially attracted me. (It’s just so pretty! And there are fireflies!). Overall, I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I used to dismiss popular fiction – particularly women’s fiction like this – for no reason other than I believed it wouldn’t interest me. I’m quickly finding out I was very wrong in that assumption.

I loved the first half of the novel, then it seemed to drag just slightly during the second half, but by the end I was hooked again. And even with it’s slow parts, it’s just a beautiful novel of friendship – Kate and Tully have their share of ups and downs during the course of their friendship, but ultimately they’re always there for each other and that’s what friendship should be. Warning: I was definitely in tears by the end of this novel, so have some tissues ready.

Beach Read Rating: StarfishRatings
While I loved this book, it felt more like a good spring/fall book to me – unless you’re the type who likes to have a good ugly cry at the beach!

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4.5 stars

I’ve been wondering about this author for a while, as her books have become increasingly popular and I had no idea what the appeal was. Finally, I decided it was time to find out for myself, and I did not regret it.

This novel is full of materialistic, vain, petty elementary school mothers and to my surprise I loved every second of it. It’s exactly the kind of novel I thought I would never enjoy, but something about the over-the-top craziness of these moms and then the added mystery that’s foreshadowed throughout the entire novel just made this almost impossible to put down. I seriously loved this book so much I cannot wait to try another one of her novels.

Beach Read Rating:    StarfishRatings
This is exactly the kind of book I would like to have with me at the beach – it’s not too dark or deep but there’s plenty of juicy drama to go around.

Introducing Summer Reading Reviews

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SummerReading

Since I’m reading a lot of older books as part of my summer reading list, I decided I probably won’t do full-length reviews for each one. Instead, I’ll do a series of “Summer Reading Reviews” that look at 2 or 3 of the books I’ve read at a time. This way, I can share my thoughts on each book, without feeling like I’m struggling to write a full review of the book.

For each book I’ll also include a “Beach Read Rating” which is my totally subjective opinion on whether or not I think this book makes a good beach read. This rating may not necessarily match my regular rating – books I would typically give a lower rating may still make great beach reads. Remember, this is completely subjective as everyone has their own definition as to what constitutes a good “Beach Read.”

Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews

Spring_FeverTitle: Spring Fever
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Rating: 3.5 stars

My goal this summer was to read books I wouldn’t normally choose, and to try out some lighter fiction than what I am accustomed to. This is why Mary Kay Andrews’s books appealed to me, as they fit both categories. This certainly wasn’t the kind of book I would normally choose, but I found myself enjoying quite a bit of it.

I would describe this novel as a chick flick with the added drama of a soap opera. In a lot of ways it had the predictability and humor of a chick flick, but with the extra sudsy appeal of a soap opera. Normally I would have rolled my eyes, but I actually found myself enjoying the book to my surprise. It took me a little while to really get into it, as I had trouble identifying with the characters, but once I finally fell into a rhythm with it I found it to be a quick, fun read.

Beach Read Rating:    StarfishRatings
This book is my definition of a beach read – light, and fun with just the right amount of sudsy drama.

The Last Letter From Your Lover by JoJo Moyes

Last Letter LoverTitle: The Last Letter From Your Lover
Author: JoJo Moyes
Publication Date: January 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4 stars

I really enjoyed Me Before You, and wanted to try another book by the author. This one was chosen somewhat at random since it was the only one on the shelf at the used bookstore where I was shopping. However, the bright pink cover appealed to me so I picked it up. (Yes, I do judge books by their covers, but I know I’m not the only one!)

While reading this book, I found myself really getting into the part of the story taking place in the 1960s, though the present day storyline didn’t interest me nearly as much except where it overlapped with the characters from the past. I think the characters in the 1960s storyline were just fleshed out better and more interesting. Much like the character of Ellie in the present, I was drawn in by the love story and a desire to know what happened to the couple.

Beach Read Rating: StarfishRatings
This book isn’t as light and fun as Spring Fever, but it would certainly look bright and colorful in your beach bag!