Summer of 2022 Reads

I won’t lie– the summer reading program at the library has been the most motivating factor for me this year. While that may seem like a bad thing, it’s been refreshing to fall back in love with reading again. College came and went, and though I tried my best to stay on top of my StoryGraph challenge, I didn’t truly take the time to enjoy what I was reading because there were all sorts of worries floating around in my head, everything from math exams to speaking presentations. This summer (if we’re counting June and July alone), I was able to finish over 11 books. And no, I won’t be reviewing all of them; but I’m excited to share a few today!

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (aka the Queen of Romance): This was my third Emily Henry book, and it didn’t disappoint. I read it while lounging on Bethany Beach, and it was the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon or two. It was well-written and funny, albeit a bit predictable. I appreciated the banter between Alex and Poppy very much, and I thought the plot was original and cute. This was a book that could have been shorter though, and I was hoping there would be a bigger punch at the end, something grittier. Still, I’d give it 4.5 / 5 stars just for being an easy, lighthearted, relaxing read.

Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price: As you probably know already, I am a huge fan of Jane Austen. It’s one of my core personality traits. As such, I try to track down as many adaptations as I can, and this book — along with its predecessor, Pride and Premeditation — satisfied me as a die-hard Janeite (yes, there’s a term for us). Who doesn’t love a little murder with their regency era storyline? I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat as the Dashwood sisters began to unravel the mystery of their father’s death and investigate an impending opium crisis. I particularly liked how Price honors Austen’s characters while bringing on new twists and such, while staying (relatively) true to the time period. In fact, in each author note in the back of the books, I found myself learning more about a few of the historical references and plot points. The one critique I had was that the climax felt a bit rushed at the end. But who would I be if I gave this specific novel anything other than 5 stars?

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: I’ve seen so many different reviews on this book, particularly in the extremes. Some absolutely hated it, while others thought it was deep and reflective. As for me– I fall in the middle of those categories. I thought the idea behind the Midnight Library was fantastic, and honestly, could have been explored even more. But the main character, Nora, seemed dry to me. And as I started, the first few chapters were not appealing. They were so very depressing, and while I understand that the whole point of the book revolved around that theme, I wish the format had been a bit different. This would have worked WONDERFULLY as a short story or novella, in my opinion. Anyway, both the book and the chapters were short, so it was easier to read. I’d rate it 3.75 out of 5 stars.

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell: A short, fun read where I didn’t have to think too much. I can’t believe I never read this (or the other books in the series) as a kid, given my obsession with the movies and television series’. A true tragedy in my life. Although, I had a lovely Sunday afternoon basking in the sun and igniting my inner child. I think everyone needs a couple books, every now and then, that does nothing but elicit a smile. Like I said in my last review, I did enjoy The Midnight Library, but it was heavy, and I needed something lighter to stir in my heart. So, I picked this up from work and had a blast (granted, it was very different from the movies, but wonderful all the same). 5/5 stars for the laughs.

Dune by Frank Herbert: I am buddy reading this with a friend. At first, I was intrigued. Now I am 60% through the book, at 400 pages, and I just want it to end. 1/5 stars because I’m annoyed with it. Props to all the hardcore sci-fi fans out there who can stomach twenty pages of politics per chapter.

Thanks for reading! What books are you currently working through? Would love to hear the titles below!

A Reader’s Tip: StoryGraph instead of Goodreads!

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