Happy July Book Review Day!
Wow, July flew by for me… I began the month very pregnant and ended it with our little baby in my arms. July 2023 will always be the hardest and best month of my life – it’s the month I became a mom 🙂 It sounds unbelievable, but I’m incredibly grateful for our little family. I hope to maintain my reading habit while adjusting to all our newborn’s needs. I knew a newborn would demand a lot of my energy and attention, but I wasn’t mentally prepared for the constant demand. It’s quite an adjustment, but my husband and I are slowly getting into a good rhythm. Fun fact: I even managed to read a few chapters of my book while in labor. Only after the epidural, of course, HA! Thank God for modern medicine. Now, back to books…
If you missed my June Review:
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
This book has been on my shelf for well over a year now. I have no idea why I waited so long because this story is absolutely moving. The book is a fictional tale of a mother and her young son’s tumultuous journey. The story starts with them living a simple life in Mexico until they find themselves on the run from the cartel and need an escape to America. The first chapter will suck you in. Despite their story being fictional, it feels tragically real. Concerns over the American-Mexican border can be very polarizing. Many people see the issue as black and white, but it would be hard for you to read this and not see the gray area. The characters are put into so many challenging scenarios and have to make choices I wish no one would ever have to make. The author brings a level of understanding to the challenges of an immigrant that people tend to overlook. This book struck my heart, especially now as a mom to a baby boy. I wondered, “What would I do if I were in her shoes?” This story is about grit, survival, and sacrifice. My only criticism is that I found the middle section of the story a little slow. Overall, I enjoyed this book much more than I had expected.
As an aside, I struggled with rating this book. I didn’t want to label it as R and deter anyone from reading it. However, there were some intense and uncomfortable topics involving violence and sexual content that led me to label it as R.
Hello Stranger by Katherine Center
Earlier this year, I read my first Katherine Center book called The Bodyguard and found it adorable. So, when I heard she was releasing a new book, I knew I had to read it right away. I received an early release of this book through the Book of the Month.
Sadie Montgomery’s life as an artist turns unexpectedly after becoming a finalist in a major art competition. However, her life quickly turns upside down when she suddenly develops a brain condition. As she grapples with her new situation, she strives to maintain a sense of normalcy through her artistic aspirations, navigating complex family issues, and caring for her dog. Among these challenges, she finds herself drawn to two very different men. The timing couldn’t be worse. Overall, I found this story adorable and very predictable. It was the light and easy read I needed after my previous book.
Happy Place by Emily Henry
When I saw that Emily Henry had released another book, I knew I had to read it. Even though her book Beach Read wasn’t my favorite, I absolutely loved Book Lovers. She has a knack for crafting cute and easy summer reads. This story is about six college friends who return each summer to a New England home owned by one of their fathers. On this trip to Maine, the group gets together one last time since the father plans to sell the vacation home. Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple for the past six years. Only now, they are secretly broken up and have to get through this trip. Despite the friend group’s efforts to relive the good old days, the central theme is about growing up and pursuing one’s own direction in life. The story is predictable but enjoyable. My only complaint is that I find miscommunication so frustrating. Maybe it’s my personality, but I find myself yelling at the characters to tell the other person how they really feel. Ugh, I get it… We wouldn’t have a story if they did that right away. Overall, this was a quick and enjoyable read.