Best Summer Reads (part 2)

Yes, I know, for many people Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer. This post has been patiently waiting in my draft bin as the blog went through some changes (noticed anything different around here…?). After about two weeks of beating my head on my desk (seriously, I have dent marks) I mostly finished my switch from Blogger to WordPress. I’ll tell you that story another day.

Today is all about books.

I devoured SO MANY fabulous books during these sweltering summer days. Several of my favorites listed below aren’t new, but if you missed them, I highly recommend you pick them up.  And if you missed the books I reccomended on my Best Summer Reads (part 1), check them out here.

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

I’m still not sure if this book is a romance, YA, New Adult, or just fiction. I don’t care.
This book Blew. Me. Away. Read the full review at Bookshelf Bombshells. 


Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

I’d heard so much about this one. While Louisa had a Bridget Jones quality to her (that wonderful self-depreciating English spunk) this story dove into some deep places. What else can you expect from a love story involving a quadriplegic? This book made me cry (dammit, I hate crying), but it also left me filled with beauty and hope. Thrilled Jojo Moyes’ The Girl You Left Behind is waiting on my Kindle, as she could become one of my favorite authors.

One and Only by Lauren Sandler

A humorous, tough-minded, and honest case for being and having an only child.

Journalist Lauren Sandler is an only child and the mother of one. After investigating what only children are really like and whether stopping at one child is an answer to reconciling motherhood and
modernity, she learned a lot about herself—and a lot about our culture’s assumptions. She brings a passion and a laser-sharp intelligence to the subject that cuts through the anxiety, doubt, misinformation, and judgment about what it means to
be an only child and what it means to have one.

In this heartfelt work, Sandler legitimizes a conversation about the larger societal costs of having more than one. If parents no longer felt they had to have second children to keep from royally screwing up their first, would the majority of them still do it? And if the literature tells us that a child isn’t better off with a sibling than without one, and it’s not something parents truly want for themselves, then whom is this choice serving? One and Only examines these questions, exploring what the rise of the single-child family means for our economies, our environment,
and our freedom. Through this journey, Sandler has quite possibly cracked the code of happiness, demonstrating that having just one may be the way to resolve our countless struggles with adulthood in the modern age.

As an only child raising an only child, there is SO much I need to write about this phenomenal book. That’s why my full review is up at Bookshelf Bombshells. If you’re an only, raising an only, or debating if you should have more kids just because you’re “supposed to,” read the review, then read this book. {If you have a bunch of kids and love your life, you’ll probably hate it. Vive La Différence!} 


The Glass Wives by Amy Sue Nathan

Evie and Nicole Glass share a last name. They also shared a husband.

When a tragic car accident ends the life of Richard Glass, it also upends the lives of Evie and Nicole, and their children. There’s no love lost between the widow and the ex. In fact, Evie sees a silver lining in all this heartache—the chance to rid herself of Nicole once and for all. But Evie wasn’t counting on her children’s bond with their baby half-brother, and she wasn’t counting on Nicole’s desperate need to hang on to the threads of family, no matter how frayed. Strapped for cash, Evie cautiously agrees to share living expenses—and her home—with Nicole and the baby. But when Evie suspects that Nicole is determined to rearrange more than her kitchen, Evie must decide who she can trust. More than that, she must ask: what makes a family? 

This book reminded me of growing up in South Florida, for some reason.  Maybe because I miss my Jewish friends and their rich traditions (and I long for a real bagel?). The characters felt like people I knew, and I enjoyed following them along on their journey. Poignant, funny, and fresh.

What are you reading now? Anything worth recommending?

6 thoughts on “Best Summer Reads (part 2)

  1. Kerry Ann Post author

    I’ve been reading more & more YA—there’s just so much out there. Have you read Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park yet? Just finished that charming read.

  2. Nina

    HI Kerry! First, the new blog looks GREAT!

    Second, we have similar reading tastes. I have all of those books except Sandler’s on my Kindle right now. Have only read Glass Wives so far. I just finished The Returned–different genre for me, but I still liked it. Am reading Early Decision now by Lacy Crawford. It’s good!
    Nina recently posted…Saving My RelationshipsMy Profile

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