This was a whirlwind summer. Not that I did anything fun or exciting, but just a lot happened. Well, I guess one or two exciting things happened (more on that down below). I wasn’t planning on doing one big summer recap, but I forgot to do one for June, and then I didn’t finish any novels in July, and alas.
Looking back, these books were a better selection than some others I’ve read so far in 2023; eight months into the year, and I’ve only read three five-star books. Though, according to my coworker, I should learn how to DNF books.
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My first Tessa Bailey novel…and potentially my last? Though, I did say that about Layla by Colleen Hoover and ended up reading two others of hers, so who knows? I just didn’t see the hype? It wasn’t anything special, and a lot of the ‘spicy’ scenes didn’t seem to make sense to me in how they related to the plot and the characters. Also, side note: Hallie almost kissed a boy when she was in high school and then stalked him for over a decade while simultaneously not allowing herself to get close to any other men??? What??? I hate rating books less than three stars, but I didn’t hesitate with this one.
My most recent five-star read. I absolutely could not put this one down, and as the pages went on and on, I found myself wishing it wouldn’t end. I absolutely fell in love with Annie and Liza and wanted the absolute best for them. This was such a sweet Sapphic YA romance from the early 80s that I think more people should read. From my understanding, Annie on My Mind is one of the earliest YA novels that portrays a young, Sapphic couple and there’s such an importance in that.
Okay, so I didn’t finish any traditionally published novels in July, but I beta read/edited roughly six manuscripts, so that has to count for something, right? I truly love having the opportunity to help authors with their manuscripts and it provides me with the opportunity to discover new genres. (You can check out my Fiverr profile here if you’re interested!).
Now for the exciting part of the summer…I self-published my debut YA novel! This was such a labor of love, and very time consuming while balancing work, freelancing, and everything else. But I loved every minute of it, for the most part. It’s still so surreal to say that I have a whole freaking novel out there for anyone to read?? If any of y’all are interested, you can check out 24 Hours with Lucas Jennings here!
I started this one back in July, but because of the busyness mentioned above, I only got about halfway through with it. Typically, I don’t like spreading books over months (I know, it’s weird), but I really wanted to finish this one. On paper, it sounds like a dream romance for me: academic lovers to enemies to lovers set in a literature PhD program. Unfortunately, something about it fell flat. Nothing about it was bad, I just didn’t fall in love with it like I thought I was going to.
In an effort to lighten my physical TBR, I suggested this one for a mini book club that I have with my coworkers. They weren’t as into it as I was, but that’s okay...I have a feeling I won’t be into some of their suggestions either. As someone who doesn’t read thrillers and mysteries, I really enjoyed this one as I genuinely could not tell what was going to happen, and found myself shocked when the big twist and murderer were revealed. I don’t know if I’ll seek out more by this author, or others in this genre, but I’m glad I branched out a little.
No one hate me, but I didn’t see the hype behind it? The pacing and plot fell sort of flat for me. But, on the other hand, it didn’t take me too long to finish it because I couldn’t put it down? I haven’t seen the show, so I didn’t know too much about the story besides the fact that it was a love triangle involving two brothers. Obviously, Belly was going to go after Conrad no matter what, though I am #TeamJeremiah and hope to see them together in the later books.
All in all, the summer wasn’t too bad and I’m excited to continue falling in love with books page after page.