What I Read in July

6 Books to Read ASAP

Year after year, July always ends up being a good reading month from me. Maybe it’s because it’s the only time I truly take time off of work, or maybe it’s because it’s hot and humid and I’d rather spend my time inside. Either way, this past month, I was able to check six books off and each of them were as good as the last. The standout? Isn’t It Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams. Her fourth book in the Bromance Bookclub series was (of course!) one of my favorite reads for the month!

Looking for a fun, easy read for your next beach/pool day? I got you!

ISN’T IT BROMANTIC? BY LYSSA KAY ADAMS

Goodreads Synopsis:

Elena Konnikova has lived her entire adult life in the shadows. As the daughter of a Russian journalist who mysteriously disappeared, she escaped danger the only way she knew how: She married her childhood friend, Vladimir, and moved to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player in Nashville.

Vlad, aka the Russian, thought he could be content with his marriage of convenience. But it’s become too difficult to continue in a one-sided relationship. He joined the Bromance Book Club to learn how to make his wife love him, but all he’s learned is that he deserves more. He’s ready to create his own sweeping romance—both on and off the page.

The bros are unwilling to let Vlad forgo true love—and this time they’re not operating solo. They join forces with Vlad’s neighbors, a group of meddling widows who call themselves the Loners. But just when things finally look promising, Elena’s past life intrudes and their happily ever after is cast into doubt.

My Review: Alyssa Kay Adams does it again, people! In the fourth book of the Bromance Book Club series, we finally “meet” Vlad’s mysterious wife, he gets his bowels in check (iykyk), and he writes a book – which we get a glimpse of. I think I read this one in under 24 hours, it was that good! Continuing on from the rest of the series, Adams does such a wonderful job building out each character and the story line, while still brining in details from her previous books. Now the question is – are we going to get a fifth!?

My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

FLORENCE ADLER SWIMS FOREVER BY RACHEL BEANLAND

Goodreads Synopsis:

Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the small apartment above their bakery. This is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence. Now Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.

When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truth—at least until Fannie’s baby is born—and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal after tragedy.

My Review: If you want a good romance mixed with tragedy, this book is for you! After tragedy strikes, Florence’s mom struggles whether to keep it a secret from her other daughter and with the decision to do so, pulls her family into a web of secrets and lies. Narrated by seven characters, we see so much, including a budding romance. It is a slow story, but is written so beautifully you won’t be able to put it down.

My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

LIVE YOUR LIFE: MY STORY OF LOVING AND LOSING NICK CORDERO BY AMANDA KLOOTS

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the early spring of 2020, Broadway star and Tony Award nominee Nick Cordero was hospitalized for what he and his wife, Amanda Kloots, believed was a severe case of pneumonia. Entering Cedars-Sinai, there was no indication that Nick—a young man in the prime of life with no pre-existing conditions—would never return home. Diagnosed with Covid-19, this rising star—who only a few days earlier was the picture of health—soon deteriorated. Suffering a series of complications – minor heart attacks, an amputation, sepsis—he was kept alive for weeks, hooked to a ventilator, bypass machines, dialysis, and a specialized heart-lung bypass machine.

 Staying strong for Nick and their infant son, Elvis, Amanda shared their journey on social media, documenting Nick’s condition and the risks of Covid-19 for all ages. Her updates quickly made an impact, inspiring millions of followers around the globe who offered positive thoughts and virtual prayers, and danced each day to Nick’s hit song Live Your Life. When Nick passed away after 94 grueling days in the ICU, the world grieved for Amanda and her family’s devastating loss.

My Review: Oh. My. God. Oh my god. This freakin’ book. So many tears. I think we can all agree that the last year and a half has been heartbreaking, overwhelming, scary, and full of unknowns and for a lot of us, things are starting to feel a lot more normal. But Anna Kloots and her son Elvis are learning what they’re new normal without their husband/dad, Nick Cordero. I’m Live Your Life, Kloots opens up about the days of Nick first getting symptoms of COVID, his days in the hospital, and ultimately losing him. The story is heart breaking but so eye opening.

My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

WE ARE THE LUCKIEST: THE SURPRISING MAGIC OF A SOBER LIFE BY LAURA MCKOWEN

Goodreads Synopsis:

What could possibly be “lucky” about addiction? Absolutely nothing, thought Laura McKowen when drinking brought her “to her knees.” As she puts it, she “kicked and screamed . . . wishing for something — anything — else” to be her issue. The people who got to drink normally, she thought, were so damn lucky. But in the midst of early sobriety, when no longer able to anesthetize her pain and anxiety, she realized, with more than a bit of amazement, that she was actually the lucky one. Lucky to feel her feelings, live honestly, really be with her daughter, change her legacy.

She recognized that “those of us who answer the invitation to wake up, whatever our invitation, are really the luckiest of all.” McKowen addresses issues such as facing facts, the question of AA, and other people’s drinking. Without sugarcoating the struggles of recovery, she relentlessly emphasizes the many blessings of an honest life, one without secrets and debilitating guilt. McKowen flips the script on how we talk about sobriety and shows readers that the question we should be asking in our lives is not, “Is this bad enough that I have to change?” but rather, “Is this good enough to stay the same?”

My Review: This one was recommended to me by a family member that recently got sober and went in with no expectations – but it was so good! In ‘We Are The Luckiest,’ Laura McKowen shares her struggles with alcohol, the moments she realized she had a problem, and her struggle to get sober. What I really liked about this book was that McKowen repeatedly mentions whether drinking is your thing, over eating or over dieting is your thing, or maybe it’s working too much, we have the ability to shift our focus and push through whatever it is we’re struggling with. Whether you’re trying to get sober, are sober, simply don’t want alcohol in your life, or are facing another demon, this is a must read.

My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

MALIBU RISING BY TAYLOR JENKINS READ

Goodreads Synopsis:

Malibu: August, 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

My Review: I want to start off by saying I reallllly enjoyed this book but do not understand they excess hype about it on Instagram. OK – now that I got that off my chest… Taylor Jenkins Reid is a phenomenal writer and in her latest book, we follow Nina Rivera and her three siblings, on the night of her annual end-of-the-summer party. Nina’s already not looking forward to the party so when things start spiraling out of control, you can only imagine the tension that builds up between siblings. A great book to pick up and read on your next pool/beach day!

My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

WE ARE THE BRENNANS BY TRACEY LANGE

Goodreads Synopsis:

When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation, and they’ve got questions.

Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets—secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way forward, together.

My Review: Think your family is messed up? I bet the Brennans have more family woes. From lying and deceit to retribution, ‘We Are The Brennans’ has it all. After Sunday wakes up in an LA hospital after a drunk driving accident, she heads back to her hometown in New York, ready to rebuild her relationships and come clean with her family about why she actually left. As she works through her issues, her family has its own set of issues, but they come together as a family and make it through the other side. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and you won’t be able to put it down!

My Rating: 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

PSSSTTT.. Looking for more book recommendations?


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2 Comments

  1. 8.18.21
    Lovely said:

    You had some interesting reads in July! Isn’t it Bromantic sounds wonderful!
    xoxo
    Lovely
    http://www.mynameislovely.com

  2. 8.20.21
    Demi said:

    Wow, I love “Isn’t It Bromantic?”!! This list looks great, thanks for this!!

    Demi | https://demibang.com/