July 2019: Month in Review

Once again, I’m late posting this, but, well, sometimes you feel like posting and sometimes you don’t. Apparently I can either run a blog regularly every day or I will neglect it for months at a time. Ah well.

Though I DID read a lot of books. Maybe that goes without saying, but…I did.


Saving June by Hannah Harrington

I received this book for free from YA Books Central in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Saving June by Hannah HarringtonSaving June by Hannah Harrington
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 1, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 322
Format: Paperback
Source: YA Books Central
AmazonThe Book Depository

‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

One of my missions in 2019 has been to read more of the books that I own and get rid of the ones that aren’t for me or aren’t something I would want to reread. This goes book-in-hand with the mission to buy copies of my favorite books that I don’t yet own but that I haven’t had space for because phenomenal library powers but

My reading mission has been super successful in that I’ve stuck to it, gotten rid of a bunch of books, and bought several favorites from the last few years. It’s been unsuccessful in the sense that very few of the books have been good (for me). Saving June totally did not excite me, something I’ll blame that bummer of a cover for, but it turned out to be such a fantastic read, one that will continue to reside in my library.


Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly

Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie TromlyTrouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly
Series: Trouble #3
Published by Kathy Dawson on April 2, 2019
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

Happily Ever After gets a serious makeover in this swoony, non-stop, thrill-ride of a conclusion to the Trouble Is a Friend of Mine trilogy

Digby and Zoe have been skirting around each other for so long that you might think they'd lose their magic if they ever actually hooked up. But never fear--there's all the acerbic wit, steamy chemistry, and sarcastic banter you could possibly hope for.

Now that Digby's back in town with a new lead, he's plunged Zoe (and their Scooby Gang of wealthy frenemy Sloane, nerd-tastic genius Felix, and aw-shucks-handsome Henry) into the deep end on the hunt for his kidnapped sister. Sure, it could require breaking into a government research facility (not to mention a little light treason), and yes, Zoe could be jeopardizing her Ivy League future. But dating Digby was never going to be short on danger, and it's worth it if it helps him get the closure he so desperately needs. The schemes might be over-the-top but this Breakfast Club cast is irresistibly real as they cope with regular high school stuff from social media shaming to dating your best friend, all with a twist no one will see coming.

Rereading this series was such a joy. I’d read the first two books, Trouble Is a Friend of Mine and Trouble Makes a Comeback, back in June 2016, and I loved them. Somehow, though, I totally missed book three getting released. Obviously I forgot most everything, because that’s what I do, so I got to enjoy these anew. My terrible memory is both blessing and curse. Trouble Never Sleeps caps off the series satisfyingly and without losing any of its quirky humor.


Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Her Royal Highness by Rachel HawkinsHer Royal Higness by Rachel Hawkins
Narrator: Karissa Vacker
Length: 7 hrs, 44 mins
Series: Royals #2
Published by Listening Library on May 7, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can't believe her luck when she's accepted into one of the world's most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille's roommate Flora is a total princess.

She's also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other--Flora is both high-class and high-key--but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn't a fairy tale . . . or is it?

I’d actually forgotten Royals slash mixed it up with Prince in Disguise, so I was looking forward to this but also not quite as much as if I’d remembered Royals accurately. So obviously I reread Royals, again on audio because a) it’s what I had and b) it’s fantastic. How could I forget how funny and voicey and snarky that book was? Also, freaking precious. If you loved Royals, you will enjoy the hell out of Her Royal Highness as well, because it’s got all the personality and cuteness of the first book.


The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi WaxmanThe Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
Published by Berkley on July 9, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Humor
Pages: 333
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

The author of Other People's Houses and The Garden of Small Beginnings delivers a quirky and charming novel chronicling the life of confirmed introvert Nina Hill as she does her best to fly under everyone's radar.

Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own...shell.

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They're all--or mostly all--excited to meet her! She'll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It's a disaster! And as if that wasn't enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn't he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It's time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn't convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It's going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

God, I love this cover. These covers give me life. Like, I know I’ve talked about this ad nauseum in my I’ve Got You Covered posts, but it bears reiterating how amazing the cover art work being done at Berkley is. Also, it bears mentioning, particularly since this is a review, that it’s not just the cover art that’s good. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill‘s a very atypical sort of romance, and I’d urge you to think of it more as a contemporary novel because stylistically it really doesn’t fit the romance novel genre. BUT omg it’s so cute and funny and quirky and unique, and I loved it so much.