girl. I've loved reading for as long as I can remember, rarely going anywhere without taking a book along. One of my favorite things about summer was the summer reading program at my local library. I could read as much as I wanted, and I got prizes for it! I probably still have one of those t-shirts around here somewhere.
Well, this summer I have read a lot, and my prize is having discovered some amazing stories. I have read 32 books since mid-May, not counting books I reread immediately after finishing them the first time (four of them) or audiobooks I listened to during my commute (three of them). I haven't read that much in one summer in quite some time, and it feels great. To give some comparison, I read a total of 44 books in all of 2014.
Some of my summer reading was rather meh, but a lot was simply spectacular. Come with me through the jump where I'll tell you about the best books I discovered during my summer reading.
My summer reading adventure started with an advance copy of the first installment in the new Devil's Isle series by my very favorite author. You can read my full review here, but this book was fantastic because of Chloe Neill's knack for writing strong, layered female characters, because she created a riveting world so different from her well-established Chicagoland World, and because her world-building in this novel was superb. An excellent series debut, I can't wait for book two, The Sight!
I wasn't going to read this. I was not. But Zee knows what melts my butter, and I had to check it out. Not just for the filth (and it is filthy. In the best possible way). But also because I love when a book gets me thinking about the grand scheme of things, and Priest did exactly that. Thank you for corrupting me, soul sister. Check out Zee's review here, and then pick up the book, if you dare.
Yes, Please by Amy Poehler and Fat Girl Walking by Brittany GibbonsMy reading choices this summer were varied and wide-ranging, from lots of romance to sci-fi to memoirs. And these two memoirs were fantastic. Anne is going to tell you about Fat Girl Walking soon, so I'll just say that everyone should read this book. If you are a fat person, if you love a fat person, if you've ever called yourself a fat person, you should read this book. And Yes, Please--I really don't have words for how amazing Amy Poehler is. May I please be her when I grow up? Because she is just a superb human being, and a kick-ass woman. Gah, women rock!
Everything ever written by Alisha RaiOkay, I've only read three of her books so far, but she is now a fave. Check out Zee's reviews of those three books here. Beautiful portrayals of characters of color, taking sexual fantasy tropes like blonde twins and billionare boyfriends and turning them on their heads, scorching sex scenes, realistic depictions of depression and anxiety. I, quite simply, loved these books, and Alisha Rai is my latest girl crush. Can we be besties, please? Look for more thoughts about this wonderful author and her books soon!
This book. Damn, this book wrecked me. It's one of the books I reread immediately. Okay, I have to confess that I only reread most of it. I skipped the really brutal parts. I told you about this book here, but the bottom line is that it was incredibly dark, gritty, brutal, with a stunning love story at the center. I understand that not everyone will want to, will be able to handle a book this dark, but one of my favorite things is finding the beauty in the darkness, and Ricochet does that. Magnificently.
The Maritan by Andy WierI am not generally a sci-fi girl. On paper I should be, but it just doesn't usually work for me. The Martian just worked for me, though. Anne told you about it here. A tale of perseverance and survival with great characters including a hero that was brilliant, sarcastic, smart-assy--yeah. This one kept me riveted and entertained to the very last page. I'll be dragging my dear husband to the Matt Damon movie, probably opening weekend. I can't wait to see this one on screen.
It had been a while since I read a book that ripped out my heart, stomped on it, and then put it back together again. I've read several of those this summer, and Ugly Love was the first. I told you about it here. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I opened this book, but it certainly wasn't this. I flew through this book, cried a bunch, have bought not only my ebook, but also a paper copy so that I can share it with all the readers in my life. I've read three other CoHo books, and Ugly Love remains my favorite. Just a wonderful, wonderful book.