Check out my summer reads of 2019!
Unfortunately, I haven’t been reading too much this summer because school has pretty much taken over my life. I did manage to read six books though, and for the most part, I loved all of them (the exception being Night Circus, yikes!). Since I’m so ahead of my Alphabet Reading Challenge, I temporarily threw the challenge out the window so I could read more books that are on my TBR list. Thankfully, I still have plenty of time to complete the rest of the alphabet. Here are all of my summer reads!
UGLY LOVE BY COLLEEN HOOVER
Completed on May 1, 2019 | Published on August 5, 2014
This was my first time reading a book by Colleen Hoover, and now I finally understand what all the fuss is about. Ugly Love follows two main characters – Tate Collins and Miles Archer. When their paths cross unexpectedly, the spark is there, but the desire to be with one another isn’t. The two decide to do a friends with benefits situation, but inevitably, feelings start to develop. Unfortunately, Miles has a dark past that may keep him from opening up to Tate in the way that he knows she deserves.
I ate this book up. I kept going back and forth with my frustrations with Miles because the book is told through alternating chapters of present day with Tate and the past with Miles. If the story didn’t dig into Miles’s past the way that it did, I don’t think I would have loved him as much as I ended up doing so, but knowing what he went through and only being able to imagine how he must have felt, the empathy just poured out of me.
I also loved Tate because she was actually a believable and relatable female lead character. So much of the book focuses on Miles and his past because it’s a huge part of why he is the way he is in relationships, and even though we don’t dive into the past with Tate, I just loved her because she’s someone that I could genuinely relate to as far as how she dealt with her feelings and emotions with the cards that she was dealt.
Apparently this is going to be made into a movie, and I had no idea until I started to write this blog post. I’m interested to see how it all plays out on screen. I also can’t wait to read more books by Colleen Hoover.
THE NIGHT CIRCUS BY ERIN MORGENSTERN
Completed on May 18, 2019 | Published on September 13, 2011
I’m so disappointed that I didn’t like this book. I had literally been wanting to read The Night Circus for years, and now that I have, I almost wish I had skipped it. This book is about a circus, obviously, but the circus is actually pretty much the main character. There are some characters that you follow throughout the book, especially toward the end, but for the most part, it’s about a circus and how the circus affects those in it and those who attend it. Celia and Marco were handpicked at a young age to participate in a magical competition, and the circus was formed to be the venue for it. Within the circus, you meet lots of magical and non-magical characters.
I wanted to like this book so much, but I was genuinely bored. As mentioned, the circus is the main character, and one common thing around the books that I fall in love with is that I can connect with the characters. That didn’t happen for me with The Night Circus. The descriptions of everything happening with the circus and the magic was so beautiful, but the storylines of the characters were so disjointed until the end. I felt like I didn’t really get to know anyone. While the storyline does pick up toward the end, it didn’t save the book for me. It took me forever to truck through this one, and I’m disappointed that I didn’t like it more than I did.
My favorite thing about the book is the fact that Erin Morgenstern wrote it during NaNoWriMo. As someone who participated in it a few years ago, I can definitely respect that, and kudos to her for having such a popular novel published from a month of intense and disciplined writing.
ROOMIES BY CHRISTINA LAUREN
Completed on May 29, 2019 | Published on December 5, 2017
I’ve been loving the Christina Lauren books I’ve been picking up, so I was excited to check this one off too. While Roomies wasn’t my favorite book that I’ve read by them, I still thought it was a super cute read. The story follows a girl named Holland who goes out of her way to go to the subway station so she can see her street performer crush, aka Calvin. One day, she gets attacked in the subway, and Calvin is there to see and help, but he doesn’t stick around when the authorities come by. She decides she wants to pay him back, so she gets him an audition to be in the orchestra for her uncle’s Broadway show. It goes so well, and he’s offered a job. Too bad he’s an illegal citizen. Holland offers to marry him so that he can be in the show and so she can also pay her uncle back for his generosity over the years – triple win, right? Because Holland also gets to marry her crush. Of course, things get messy because life, and the story goes on from there.
One thing I loved about this book was that I could totally identify with Holland. She’s been kind of taking odd jobs because she wants to be a writer, but she also has zero confidence to pursue her dreams. Um, hello. Hi, me. While marrying an essential stranger isn’t the push that I needed to start pursuing my own dreams, it fit perfectly with her personality. I’m convinced she’s a type two Enneagram because literally all she wanted to do during this book was help everyone else. She wanted to pay Calvin back for helping her in the subway, and she wanted to pay back her uncle for everything that he’s ever done for her. She focused on the happiness of everyone else before coming to the realization that she needed to follow her own dreams. That’s type 2 if I’ve ever heard of it. I also heard that the book has been picked up to be made into a movie, which I’m so excited about. I think this book will translate beautifully to the big screen.
IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY BY NED VIZINNI
Completed on June 12, 2019 | Published on May 1, 2007
I watched the It’s Kind of a Funny Story movie years ago before I even realized it was a book. When I found out it was a book, I put it on my TBR list, and in true Tiffany fashion didn’t read it for way too long. I’m so glad I finally got around to it because it was one of my favorite reads of the summer. I usually don’t fall in love with books that have male protagonists (besides Harry Potter, of course) because I find myself having a harder time connecting with the character, but this was definitely an exception.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story is about a teen named Craig who has his eye on the prize as far as academics go. He’s an over-achiever, and when he gets into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, he’s so excited. But when the actual schooling starts, he finds himself overwhelmed and falling behind to the point where he throws self-care out the window and nearly kills himself. His suicidal episode scared him enough to check himself into a nearby mental hospital where he meets people that change his life, and he’s finally given the chance to confront his anxieties head on.
As someone who struggles with anxiety on a daily basis and has had my own suicidal episodes, this book spoke to me on so many levels. While I’ve never been in a psychiatric hospital myself, I can speak to the fact that prioritizing my mental health and going to therapy have helped me battle some of my worst demons. I loved this book so much, and I already know that I’ll be rereading it over and over again in the future.
AGAIN, BUT BETTER BY CHRISTINE RICCIO
Completed on June 27, 2019 | Published on May 7, 2019
Christine was one of the first BookTubers I ever fell in love with, so getting to watch her writing journey from beginning to end on her YouTube channel and finally getting to experience the beauty of Again, But Better after it was published was such a treat for me. The book is about a girl named Shane who lives in the shadow of what her parents want. She’s pre-med but has a love for writing, so while she makes incredible grades and is the perfect daughter, she is unsatisfied with her college life. She decides to apply to do a semester abroad in London, but what her parents don’t know is that she’s doing a writing program, not a pre-med one. Her goal is to get outside of the boring bubble she’s put herself in by making actual friends, getting a boyfriend, and just living life, but the struggle is having to push past her anxieties and self-doubt and also making sure that no one in her family finds out.
Being an anxious person with a love of writing myself, I saw so much of myself in Shane. I was surprised by the amount of bad reviews this book received because I genuinely enjoyed it. This is a book that I wish I had read when I was in college. I feel like I would’ve taken some more chances and tried to push myself a little more. I also love that so much of Christine’s personality was poured into this book. I think that’s one thing that made me enjoy it even more. There’s also a sprinkle of a magical element that I wasn’t expecting, and I loveloveloved it.
WHAT IF IT’S US BY BECKY ALBERTALLI & ADAM SILVERA
Completed on July 3, 2019 | Published on October 9, 2018
I heard so much talk about this book that I knew I needed to get my hands on it as soon as possible. What If It’s Us tells the story of Arthur who is visiting New York for the summer, and he’s a big believer in true love and romance. There’s also Ben who just had a nasty break-up, and he’s on his way to the post office to mail a box of things to his ex-boyfriend. The two meet at the post office, Ben with his break-up box in hand, and Arthur is convinced that the universe is hand-delivering him the perfect romance. Unfortunately, they get separated, but fortunately they find each other again because that’s how the universe works, right? The first date doesn’t go as planned, so they have a second first date, then a third, but Arthur is all in while Ben is still confused. How will this adorable novel end?!
I was immediately swept away in the romance of it all. This was the cute book that I needed this summer, and let me tell ya, it delivered. Not only did the book show exactly how awkward dating can be (and ya girl can relate), it also forced me to get swept away into the most precious love story and had me cheering for them the whole time. There were also several Harry Potter references made, so of course I loved that aspect of it. Without giving anything away, I will say that my least favorite part was the ending. I won’t say why, but I will say that it’s 100% worth the read.
What was the best book you read this summer?