I’ve been taking a break from my usual YA Fantasy binging, and indulging in a few easy summer reads over the last month. There’s something about summer that has me reaching for a good romance, or a light hearted women’s fiction novel. There’s still time to get your summer reading fix, so here’s the low down on a few books I’ve read and loved this summer.
The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary.
If you follow any book bloggers on Instagram, chances are you’ll have seen this one!
It sounds awful but light hearted women’s fiction is rarely something I buy in hardback, because I tend to read them, enjoy them, and promptly forget about them (harsh but true, sorry). This one though, I kept seeing it everywhere, and when I finally spotted a signed copy in my local Waterstones, on a day where I had a voucher burning a whole in my pocket, well, it seemed like fate.
And honestly, this is a book I could never regret splurging on the hardback for. I LOVED this book, I loved Tiffy and her relatable little quirks, I loved Leon and his shy, reserved, fierce way of loving. I loved the so typical of London flatsharing plot (only in my beloved, but ridiculous city would two people share a bed not just a flat), I loved the notes, I loved the emotions, yeah okay, I bloody loved this book.
With these kind of lighthearted fiction books, meant to be enjoyed and passed along to your pals, perfect poolside easy reading, it can be hard to differentiate yourself from the countless other romance books out there. It’s also especially hard to toe the line between easy reading, lighthearted fiction, and pointless fluff. I loved the way the author incorporated the emotional abuse storyline in this plot, it addressed a serious topic appropriately, adding depth to the plot without taking away from the light hearted feel.
Beth O’Leary’s first novel is something special, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
I Heart Hawaii – Lindsey Kelk.
I Heart Hawaii is the final chapter in Angela’s journey, the final book of Lindsey Kelk’s well known I Heart Series. It’s a bittersweet one to read, knowing this story is finally coming to an end, but it’s a fitting send off every bit as enjoyable as it’s predecessors.
Kelk’s books are the very best of easy reading women’s fiction. They’re the perfect mix of charming, relatable, laugh out loud funny, and just aspirational enough to make you want to buy a Marc Jacobs handbag and book a trip to New York. How Kelk managed to keep the spark of this series alive so well through out eight books which arguably are fairly same-y is beyond me. I’ll certainly miss being able to pick up the latest book in the I Heart Series to take on my summer vacation, but this was a fitting send off. I’m excited to see what comes next from Kelk!
(Thanks to the publishers for an advanced copy of this book!)
The Summer House In Santorini – Samantha Parks.
My most anticipated read of 2019, mostly because I happen to know the author and was so excited to finally see her book baby released into the wild! When your friend writes a book, there’s this weird pressure before you read it, because what if you hate it?
Thank god that wasn’t the case here because The Summer House in Santorini is everything I want from a romance novel. The writing flows easily from chapter to chapter, narrating Anna’s journey smoothly and easily, like you’re being told it by a friend. Sam’s descriptions of Santorini have you feeling like you’re right there on the cobbled streets, looking out at the sea.
The plot is compelling enough to keep you on your toes, it’s a sweet, fresh start kind of novel that leaves you itching to make a change (and book a holiday to Santorini!). I found myself rooting for Anna (despite not LOVING her from the get go), and praying for that happy ending.
It’s an easy, pick me up, poolside read, perfect for binging on a sunny weekend preferably with a cocktail in hand. I can’t wait to see what’s next from Sam!
(Thanks to the author for the advanced copy.)
Conversations With Friends – Sally Rooney.
I know everyone’s praising Sally Rooney’s Normal People right now, but it’s her earlier novel, Conversations with Friends that’s stuck with me. There’s something about Frances and Nick’s relationship that I just found pure addictive. It’s such a raw, real representation of a relationship, and the emotions of life in your twenties.
The characters aren’t likeable, so if you struggle with books where you don’t love the characters this one may not be for you. But if you can get passed that, this book is incredibly insightful, and I found myself not wanting it to end.
Got any summer read recommendations?