Best Books of Summer 2019!

Summer is officially coming to a close! Summer doesn’t really mean the same thing to me anymore since finishing school, but it was still quite a good reading season for me! I would say that in general, my favorite books this summer ended up being cute debuts with a little bit of magic.

Summer is officially coming to a close! Summer doesn’t really mean the same thing to me anymore since finishing school, but it was still quite a good reading season for me! I would say that in general, my favorite books this summer ended up being cute debuts with a little bit of magic.

A SKY PAINTED GOLD BY LAURA WOOD

I haven’t posted my review for this one yet, but spoiler, I LOVED it! It was gentle and soft, and the atmosphere was so captivating. I saw a lot of myself in the main character. This kind of historical fiction, where it isn’t set specifically in a certain historical event, is what I like from the genre.

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE BY CASEY MCQUISTON

This new adult romance took the internet by storm this year and I could not agree more with the hype! It was cute and diverse and left me feeling hopeful about what could happen in the future.

HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS BY ERIN. A CRAIG

I definitely think this book is more fitting for fall or winter, since it is spooky and dark, but it was so fun! I was so scared but I could not put it down. It is definitely creepier than your typical YA fantasy.

WICKED FOX BY KAT CHO

Another super fun YA fantasy debut! I truly felt like I was reading a KDrama while making my way through this one and I loved every second! The relationships between friends and parents are really what stands out to me.

SORCERY OF THORNS BY MARGARET ROGERSON

What could be bad about magical books, demons, and sorcerers? Nothing, that’s why I loved this book! It was fun, magical, and cute, and I couldn’t put it down.

HEARTSTOPPER BY ALICE OSEMAN

This romantic graphic novel is probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever read! The main characters are so soft and their relationship is so good.

THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY & AQUICORN COVE BY KATIE O’NEILL

I think these graphic novels are intended more for a younger audience, but I really loved them! The art style is absolutely the cutest and the stories are soft, but still important and full of diversity.

What were the best books you read this summer?

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Books with Satisfying Endings!

This might seem like a late post about how bad the Game of Thrones ending was, but nope (I jumped ship on that one years ago), I’ve just been pretty disappointed with book endings lately. There have been so many books that I’ve loved, then the ending just falls so flat, so it got me thinking about books that actually have satisfying endings!

This might seem like a late post about how bad the Game of Thrones ending was, but nope (I jumped ship on that one years ago), I’ve just been pretty disappointed with book endings lately. There have been so many books that I’ve loved, then the ending just falls so flat, so it got me thinking about books that actually have satisfying endings!

While writing this post, I realized that I have a specific type of ending I love: wrapped up, but still somewhat open-ended, so you can imagine what the characters are up to in the future. I don’t like it when endings are super neat and easy.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I just reviewed this book, but I loved it so much that I need to talk about it again! The ending to this book was really, really good. It has been one of the only satisfying romance endings that I have read recently. It doesn’t feel rushed and pretty much everything is wrapped up, but it is left open enough that you’re not absolutely sure what happens in the future. The ending to this book also left me feeling super hopeful!

The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson knows how to write a damn good ending, both for each book in a series, as well as for the series as a whole. His endings leave me absolutely breathless. Usually, the climax is so action-packed, but at the same time, everything makes sense within the world that he’s made. The Hero of Ages, the last book in the original Mistborn series, had a spectacular ending! I’m pretty sure I walked around in a daze for the rest of the day after I finished this book because I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor

It has been a little while since I read these books, but I remember feeling so satisfied with the ending! It wraps up the conflict of the story, but it is open enough that, once again, you can imagine what happens to the characters next. The ending of this duology was great, but honestly, these entire books were SO good!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is the only book on the list that doesn’t end in an open-ended, anything could happen next kind of way. It has a pretty definitive ending, but it just felt really powerful and I left the book feeling very satisfied. This book gets recommended everywhere, but it is so worth it.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The ending of this book definitely gave me a classic “lay in bed and stare at the ceiling while thinking about the amazing book you just finished” moment. This is a big book, so there is a lot to wrap up, but it was done so well. Things that needed answers got answers that made sense considering the world.

LGBT+ Book Recommendations!

Happy Pride Month! This is a perfect time to share some of my favorite books that include characters in the LGBT+ community!

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Synopsis: In this Snow White retelling, the relationship between Lynet and her stepmother Mina seems to be doomed from the start, unless both of them can change.
Why I Liked It: Aside from featuring a F/F romance, this book is a super unique retelling and the mother/daughter relationship is so interesting!

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

Synopsis: Vlogger and baker extraordinaire Bitty joins his college hockey team, and just might be in love with his team captain, Jack.
Why I Liked It: Bitty is absolutely adorable, as is the romance, and the friendships between the hockey team members are so good and supportive!

Simon Vs. the Homosapien Agenda by Bekcy Albertalli

Synopsis: Simon has not come out as gay yet, so he emails another boy at his school, both under fake names.
Why I Liked It: The romance was really cute and I love the email trope!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Synopsis: With tensions on both sides of the world brewing, Ead must secretly protect the Queen of Inys.
Why I Liked It: High epic fantasy with an amazing F/F relationship, other diverse characters, and a super interesting plot and world? Sign me up!!

The Seven Husbands of Eveyln Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Synopsis: Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo is finally opening up her years in the spotlight, as well as her seven husbands.
Why I Liked It: Eveyln Hugo seriously feels like a real person and I could not put this book down! I don’t want to say too much because I feel like it’s better to not know too much about this book going in, but it does feature multiple characters in the LGBT+ community.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Synopsis: Twins Hazel and Ben live on the edge of a forest inhabited by the fair folk, including a faerie boy asleep in a glass coffin.
Why I Liked It: This is such a good faerie book and it also features a M/M relationship!

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Synopsis: After the death of her sister, Rumi moves to Hawaii to live with her aunt.
Why I Liked It: This book deals so many things, including grief, so it can be pretty heavy, but the main character is also asexual!

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Synopsis: Each year, eight girls are chosen to be the concubines of the king, but this year, Lei is chosen as the ninth.
Why I Liked It: I really enjoyed the F/F relationship in this, as well as the fantasy setting!

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Synopsis: First Son Alex and HRH Henry of Wales must pretend to be friends in order to stop an international issue, but along the way, they fall in love.
Why I Liked It: This book features multiple gay and bisexual characters, the romance was cute, and I really enjoyed the rest of the plot!

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Synopsis: While living in a very Morman town in Utah, bisexual Tanner falls for the boy who is helping out in his writing class.
Why I Liked It: This had an interesting setting and discussion of religion, and it was overall pretty cute.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Synopsis: After the events of Six of Crows, the characters are left to once again fight for their lives.
Why I Liked It: This book features a cute M/M romance and also the friendships between all of the characters are great!

What are some of your favorite books featuring LGBT+ characters? I am always looking for recommendations!

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Synopsis: After being involved in a disaster at a royal wedding, First Son of the United States Alex must pretend to be friends with His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales in order to keep international peace. However, Alex soon realizes that they stopped pretending and that he even may have feelings bigger than friendship for the prince.

Romance, 423 pages, published May 14th, 2019

Synopsis: After being involved in a disaster at a royal wedding, First Son of the United States Alex must pretend to be friends with His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales in order to keep international peace. However, Alex soon realizes that they stopped pretending and that he even may have feelings bigger than friendship for the prince.

NON-SPOILER REVIEW:

Oh man, I feel like the hype precedes this book! I saw it everywhere before its release, so I figured I had better get on board. I haven’t stopped hearing about it since its release, and honestly, the praise is well deserved.

This is fairly long for a romance novel, and I did think it dragged a bit in the middle, but I definitely liked the length of it. I thought everything had enough time to develop and different situations had time to resolve. My recent romance complaint has been that endings feel rushed, so I’m happy to say that I don’t feel that way about this book!

My absolute favorite thing about this book was the relationships, both the main romantic relationship, as well as all of the platonic and familial relationships that were presented. Especially on Alex’s end, he always had such a large group of family and friends around him who supported him and gave him the cold, hard truth when he needed to hear it.

I really enjoyed that a lot of Alex and Henry’s relationship developed through texting and email. I love that trope, so I was super happy to see it used in this book. I think it is just an interesting way to have characters interact.

I think the writing of this book was modern without being too much. A lot of times when authors try to write about young people in today’s world, it comes off as just too many cringey pop culture references, but I think Casey McQuiston did a really good job with making it sound realistic. The characters are in their early twenties, and I am in my mid-twenties, and I would definitely talk and act similar to these characters.

Oddly, I kind of liked the political side to this book. Normally, I want to get as far away from politics as I can. I was a little scared going into this book because it feels kind of like a world that could have been – a female president with biracial kids, openly gay politicians, ect. Honestly though, the ending left me feeling hopeful about what the world could be. The world is not like that right now, but nothing will change if we don’t have hope for the future.

Normally, I’m just in romance books for the romance, but I really enjoyed this entire story and all the pieces of it! I’m glad I saw it all over social media because this is definitely one of my favorite releases this year!