Sarah’s Summer Reading Book Report

It appears as though I’ve taken the concept of summer break quite literally around these parts when it comes to reviewing books. I took a look at my “to review” log the other day and was SHOCKED when I realized how big my back log was. So, apologies for totally dropping the ball and not sharing my thoughts about so many books I’ve read lately.

What HAVE I been doing this summer when I should have been posting reviews? To be honest…not much! Since my husband and I had big international trips planned at the start and end of summer, and the fact that he’s in grad school right now, we’ve been staying close to home and taking a lot of day trips throughout Massachusetts. We’ve explored the trails at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, strolled through the quaint coastal town of Marblehead, caught some gorgeous sunsets right down the road from our apartment and made more memories at the family beach house on Martha’s Vineyard. I’ve shared some photo highlights below to give a taste of what summer in New England is like…absolute perfection.

My husband would like everyone to know that HE took the epic Milky Way photo! LOL!

You can always follow along on my adventures, bookish and otherwise, by following me on Instagram (and Twitter). In the mean time, let’s check out my summer of reading!

Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland

A Prep School Girl with a Hollywood Dream

Becca Harrington is a reject. After being rebuffed by every college on her list, she needs a fresh start, so she packs up everything and moves to LA, giving herself one year to land an acting gig or kill herself trying.

Unfortunately, not everything turns out as planned, and after a few grueling months, LA is looking like the worst idea ever. As hard as she tries, Becca can’t land an agent, she’s running out of cash, and her mom is hounding her to apply to more schools. In an act of desperation, Becca and her friend Marisol start posting short videos online—with the help of their adorable filmmaker neighbor, Raj—and the videos catch the attention of a TV producer. Could this be it? Her big break? Or will she have to move back home with nothing but some bad head shots and a monstrous credit-card bill?

Becca may not get the Hollywood ending she was hoping for, but perhaps she’ll learn there’s more than one way to achieve her dream.

Readers will love every page of this funny, romantic, aspirational, and ultimately triumphant novel about a girl who just wants to make it on her own.

PRE-ORDER: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIE BOUND

This book is the perfect Summer read with its California vibes and sweet moments. I read “Hello, sunshine” in the middle of a fantasy/sci-fi binge and it was such a refreshing change of pace. Becca was a little too naïve for me at times and sometimes I wanted to shake her, but overall I really enjoyed watching her make her way through the LA scene. Final Grade: B-

Want by Cindy Pon

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is or destroying his own heart?

PRE-ORDER: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIE BOUND

I REALLY wanted to love this book! It checks off so many things that I love in a good book…futuristic society, high stakes drama and a good mystery identity trope. At the end of the day though, I just couldn’t connect with the story. Which was frustrating for me since I really loved the characters. Final Grade: C

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

PRE-ORDER: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIE BOUND

I absolutely adored this book! There wasn’t one thing about it that I didn’t enjoy. Elle is the perfect protagonist and I was rooting for her the entire time. Every nerdy fangirl will see themselves in her. She’s been through so much in her young life and I wanted only great things to happen for her. This book also had the mystery Identity trope I love so much and it totally worked for me this time. FINAL GRADE: A

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

PRE-ORDER: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIE BOUND

I’m a little nervous to share my thoughts on this one. I do love this series and ACOWAR was a thrilling conclusion. BUT I can also recognize that certain aspects were problematic for me. It was frustrating to see diverse characters being introduced for the sake of diversity and to have them be so one-dimensional. I also felt the revelation of one character as LGBT+ was a little disingenuous. ACOWAR DEFINITELY would have benefitted from a stricter edit since the pacing felt off and some parts were sooooo slow. I originally rated this a 5-star read but after some more thought and consideration, I dropped it to 4-ish stars. FINAL GRADE: B-

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

She’s a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

PRE-ORDER: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIE BOUND

Guys! This space odyssey was such a fund ride!Noemi and Abel made a totally unlikely pair and I loved watching them navigate being thrust together and forced to rely on each other for survival The twists and turns in “Defy the Stars” are amazing and I cannot wait for the next book! MAJOR bonus points for all of the epic worlds we get to discover in this one. Final Grade: A+

 

Sarah

2 comments for “Sarah’s Summer Reading Book Report

  1. I recently finished Geekerella and I like it so much! A perfect summer read.

    Carmen / Carmen`s Reading Corner

  2. I agree, there’s almost nowhere better than New England in the summer (and fall!). SO many gorgeous coastal areas to check out.

    Btw, you’re not alone on ACOWAR… I was pretty damn disappointed in that one 🙁

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