With the wedding over, I am so excited to finally have a little bit more free time on my hands. No longer are nights spent going through my wedding to-do list. I’m now digging into my TBR pile that has been taking up space in my office for more months than I would like to admit. I was able to make a nice dent this last month and finished five books I’ve been dying to read including the Summer I Turned Pretty series.
What I Read in September
THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY BY JENNY HAN
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer—they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
My Review: While this isn’t a new book, after watching the TV series, I absolutely needed more so I decided to finally get around to reading the series. And much to my excitement, I loved the book just as much. In the first book of the series, Jenny Han provides us with all of the background we need to learn about the relationship Belly has with the brothers and her mother’s relationship with Susannah. We fall in love with each character and root them each on for different reasons. And you’re bound to pick a side: Jeremiah or Conrad? I couldn’t put this one down!
My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU BY JENNY HAN
Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?
It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.
But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started—at Cousins Beach.
My Review: Continuing my need for more Belly, Conrad, and Jeremiah, I picked up It’s Not Summer Without You and devoured it quicker than I was expecting. After a rough year, Conrad is MIA and the group gets back together to find him. This book (second in the series) where I really start to be angry with Belly and frustrated with Conrad. They make things right but it’s a rollercoaster ride getting there.
My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER BY JENNY HAN
It’s been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college—only, their relationship hasn’t exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It’s time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.
My Review: The third and final book in The Summer I Turned Pretty, We’ll Always Have Summer is the heartwarming end we all needed to finish this series. Yes, Belly is finally making her final choice and honestly, I couldn’t be happier. As with the other two books in this series, I couldn’t put this book down! I loved how Jenny Han brought all three books together and didn’t leave any questions unanswered.
My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
THE GOLDEN DOVES BY MARTHA HALL KELLY
Two former female spies, bound together by their past, risk everything to hunt down an infamous Nazi doctor in the aftermath of World War II—an extraordinary novel inspired by true events from the New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls
American Josie Anderson and Parisian Arlette LaRue are thrilled to be working in the French resistance, stealing so many Nazi secrets that they become known as the Golden Doves, renowned across France and hunted by the Gestapo. Their courage will cost them everything. When they are finally arrested and taken to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, along with their loved ones, a reclusive Nazi doctor does unspeakable things to Josie’s mother, a celebrated Jewish singer who joined her daughter in Paris when the world seemed bright. And Arlette’s son is stolen from her, never to be seen again.
A decade later the Doves fall headlong into a dangerous dual mission: Josie is working for U.S. Army intelligence and accepts an assignment to hunt down the infamous doctor, while a mysterious man tells Arlette he may have found her son. The Golden Doves embark on a quest across Europe and ultimately to French Guiana, discovering a web of terrible secrets, and must put themselves in grave danger to finally secure justice and protect the ones they love.
My Review: There is no book that Martha Hall Kelly can write that I won’t read. Famed author of Lilac Girls and Lost Roses, she brings us another historical fiction following two young women as they begin working for the French resistance. Throughout The Golden Doves, I found myself both cheering for and cursing Josie and Arlette, especially when it came to putting themselves in dangerous situations. But alas, I found myself on the edge of my seat the entire book. From getting back together after the war to holding German scientists accountable, this book shares a survivors story while giving us twists along the way.
My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
THE SUMMER OF BROKEN RULES BY K.L. WALTHER
Meredith Fox has been going to Martha’s Vineyard for the summer as long as she can remember. But this summer is the first one back since the death of Meredith’s sister. It will all be overwhelming, but even more since since the entire extended family will be together for her cousin’s big wedding.
Unfortunately, Meredith’s longtime boyfriend unexpectedly dumped her two weeks before the wedding, leaving her dateless. Luckily, she has the perfect distraction. Her family has a tradition of playing the ultimate game of Assassin every summer, and this year it will take place during the week of wedding festivities.
But her target just happens to be a very cute groomsman. She’s determined to not let herself get distracted, not let herself be lost in another doomed relationship. But as the week progresses, she can’t help falling for him, which may cost her not only the game, but also her heart.
My Review: There’s nothing better (in my opinion) than a feel good novel that is filled with nostalgia, summer romances, and a little drama. After her sister’s tragic death, we follow Meredith and her parents first trip back to Martha’s Vineyard one family member short for a family wedding. Taking place over a week, we learn more about Meredith’s family’s traditions, which includes a family game of Assassin. This gives major camp vibes that I absolutely loved! And while the love story aspect isn’t super long in this book, it was sweet and relatable. The perfect summer read.
My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️