Sadly, that’s not me in the photo, reading on a lakeside dock. July is over and I have not been anywhere near water aside from the normal showering. What happened in the last two months? Well, I wasn’t able to go on my family’s vacation – no one went, it was canceled back in the spring. My city still held a 4th of July fire work show. They actually split the show into three separate ones so people wouldn’t have to gather around one location. And I got to read a few books. So here is what I read in June and July.
The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (advanced reader copy)
Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book. I was really excited to get this one because I loved Next Year in Havana and enjoyed When We Left Cuba. This book, The Last Train to Key West, did not disappoint. It was a perfect read for me at this time. It’s a feel-good book that I would classify as a historical romance.
A little on expectations: Do not go into this book expecting a deep history about the veterans from this time. They are a part of the book but they are not at the center of it. This book is about three women who are in Key West for different reasons and their love stories. I thought the three women’s lives were going to connect in a bigger way but they stayed pretty separate. They came in contact with each other but they didn’t become part of one story in the end – they had separate stories the entire time, just set in mainly the same place. But I still enjoyed how they connected at the end.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy historical romances! It was a page turner for me.
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
It took me about 25% of the book to get into this but I liked it more and more as I kept reading! There were two things I didn’t expect from this one: how steamy it got and how I actually agreed with Emily when she thought about breaking it off with Simon. This book follows the typical enemies to lovers, then break up then make up formula. Usually books annoy me where the characters could just solve all of their issues by talking it out but they act too immature to do so. In this one though, Emily didn’t dwell in her thoughts for too long before talking things out, which helped me to not get annoyed!
The book started off very funny. I was laughing out loud. The chapter about childbirth and healing/dealing afterwards scared me about the recovery process. The rest of the book had no real meaningful information. It’s definitely not a “guide.” It’s also kind of a negative book which isn’t great for a worrier like me. I hear enough negativity about babies and having children, I prefer to see the positive side of things when I can.
Overall, this book didn’t have any real takeaways or useful tips for me like a guide should. It’s warning you about the first year’s difficulties and maybe it could make some moms feel like they’re not alone if they read it after having a child already.
Open Book by Jessica Simpson
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (audio book)
I enjoyed this book on audio. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because it’s not really a book that will sit with me over time and make me think back to it but it was fun to learn about Jessica’s life and career.
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
I’m not sure what to rate this book. I’m settling on 3 stars because of how much or little enjoyment it brought me. I wanted to give up on this book before I was half way through but decided to finish it because I loved Kristin Hannah’s other books I’ve read.
I think this book was more of a character-driven novel rather than plot-driven, so that’s why I didn’t like it as much as her others. It’s a long book for character developments and not a ton of plot. The writing was great though, of course.
Also, I didn’t realize how sad this book was going to end up being! I don’t typically pick sad books. I’m starting to realize this may be a Kristin Hannah thing. The Great Alone made me cry once or twice but I absolutely loved that book – my favorite of all time probably.
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
I like books with a strong sense of place and this book’s ‘place’ was the Bartholomew building in NYC. The book was pretty quick moving, which was what I needed. The ending wasn’t really anything special but it was a nice ending to wrap things up.