July 2019 Book Recap & Ratings | Monthly Book Wrap-Up

July 2019 book ratings

The Month of July:

July was filled with lots of family visiting, a wedding, berry picking and lots of time in the water, either on the lake or at the pool. It was a hot and humid the last few weeks for us around here and I am very grateful to have air conditioning both at work and at home. When I was growing up I remember summers sleeping next to a huge box fan and I still love sleeping with the sound of a fan now.

Reading Recap:

I actually read a lot more than I had expected. The only way I keep track of all my books is on Goodreads, so it is always a little bit of a surprise when I add them all up at the end of each month. I read a lot on Kindle, a few audiobooks and a couple of hard copy books.

My daytime reading was pretty low but I made up for it with audiobooks and reading before bed and also on some early mornings. I have the best memories of reading during the wedding weekend while drinking my coffee and having the most beautiful Jay Peak mountain view.

Reading Highs

My favorite books this month and my only 5 star reads were After The End by Clare Mackintosh and Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler. They were both powerful in very different ways (one is fiction one is non-fiction)and ones that will really stick with me!

The Perfect Summer Reading:

The Escape Room, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and The Unbreakables were perfect books for a summer reading list. They were enjoyable, a bit different and had enough back story to fill my quota for understanding the WHY!! which is my general problem with some books these days…I like details that helps everything all come together and these were satisfying in that way!

Reading Lows:

I had a bit of a frustrating month with the “thriller genre” and The Turn of The Key and Lock Every Door were just 3-star reads and not ones I would recommend.

And while City of Girls started off well for me, it ended up dragging and felt a bit…boring?  Maybe I was just in the wrong mood for it because I have read a lot of amazing reviews for it as well…

July Book Ratings:

5 star book

After The End by Clare Mackintosh

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*My full review of After The End can be found HERE.

book review of The Idea of You

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*My full review of The Idea Of You is coming soon.

book review of The Unbreakables

The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Unbreakables is coming soon.

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City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of City of Girls is coming soon.

book review

Mine by Courtney Cole

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

*My full review of Mine is coming soon.

book view of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill can be found HERE

book of the month selection

The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Reckless Oath We Made can be found HERE

book review of Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler

Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*My full review of Limitless Mind can be found HERE

book review of The Escape Room

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Escape Room can be found HERE

book review

You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of You’ve Been Volunteered is coming soon.

book of the month selection

The Turn of The Key by Ruth Ware

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Turn of The Key can be found HERE

book of the month book review

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of Lock Every Door can be found HERE


How was your last month of reading? Did you have any favorites? I would love to hear!

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The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe | Gallery Books | Book Review

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe

The Summer Guests Book Summary:

“Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. A perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also peak hurricane season.

When a hurricane threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flees for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. They bring with them only the few treasured possessions they can fit in their vehicles. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.

During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them once they leave.

With Mary Alice Monroe’s “usual resplendent storytelling” (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author), The Summer Guests is a poignant and compelling story of self-discovery, love, and redemption.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Mary Alice Monroe is one of my very favorite authors and I adore her Beach House series. The Summer Guests is a spin-off of the Beach House series which I think definitely affected my reaction and perspective while reading this book.

Every year I look forward to another installment to this series and I love seeing what the Rutledge family is up to. Over the years new characters have joined in but the regulars were always there too.

The Summer Guests introduces us to a whole new crew of characters and also shifts from the usual focus of turtle rescue to the world of horses, dressage and rescue dogs. While interesting, I had a harder time connecting with these characters and the new themes. I do think that might have to do with my expectations for it being another Beach House book instead of a new stand-alone novel.

I did enjoy the involvement of Cara Rutledge but it was fairly minimal and the stories in the book didn’t connect as well as they normally do with Monroe’s storytelling. All in all this book was okay, just not my favorite.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Night Olivia Fell | Book Review

Book Review-3

Quoted from Goodreads.com

“In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heart-wrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?”


The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald was a suspenseful and engaging read. I have found that I am very drawn towards domestic thrillers and this book kept me on the edge of my seat.

I loved the alternating narratives and I was able to really connect with each of the main characters who were imperfect but real because of McDonald’s ability to portray them with such complexity. It was a very emotional read and kept me guessing until the end. I definitely recommend this one and it was a solid four-star book for me. Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.