As the school year is quickly approaching, I am reflecting on one of my favorite summer pastimes – reading. I am a full-time college student with a job and involvement in a handful of organizations, so it’s safe to say that I don’t have a whole lot of free time during the school year to read (literally I average maybe one or two ‘fun’ books a semester). Thus, I take full advantage of free time during the warmer months to squeeze in as much reading as I can. Here is a mini review of each book I’ve read this summer starting with…
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
As soon as I hear about a movie coming out that is based off of a book, I almost always pick it up to read first because one of my favorite things to do is to read a book and then watch the movie soon after to compare the two (yes, the book is always better). Also, I can shamelessly say that Nicholas Sparks is hands down my favorite author, and I think that The Longest Ride might be my favorite by him that I’ve read. I love that it has two separate but interlocking stories, and it focuses a lot on the struggles of relationships and dare I say the true meaning of life. The ending is simply perfection. The movie was good, but with the book, you get way more insight into the story of the elderly couple which was one of my favorite parts. I definitely recommend to anyone who is a fan of a complex, thought-provoking love story.
Paper Towns by John Green
Another book turned movie, this is surprisingly the first book I’ve read by John Green, and I have to say that my expectations were met and then some. The complexity of the characters and the mystery lingering throughout the book until the end made this a very easy, quick read. It was the perfect companion during my adventures in Spain, and it’s a story that will stick with me forever. The movie did a great job of staying true to the book, but I felt like the ending I perceived from the book was slightly different than what the movie tried to portray. I definitely think I’ll be picking up another John Green book in the future. Any suggestions from John Green fans out there? I might pick up Fault in Our Stars, but I’m not big on super sad things, and well, I’ve heard the story line.
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
This book is one that I picked up at Half Price Books because it was in one of those ‘new and noteworthy’ sections and the back sounded interesting. I have a serious addiction to reading the backs of books and thus spend over an hour in any bookstore simply reading the backs of books before I make any purchasing decisions and boy does it drive my sister crazy when she’s with me – anyone else have this issue? Anyways, this book was unlike any other book I’ve read, and at times I felt like this was made for middle school or pre-teen girls (maybe it was?) but nonetheless it kept me intrigued almost the whole way through. Very interesting plot line and plot twists kept the story moving but definitely not a super-fan. There is a sequel that I won’t be picking up any time soon.
Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado
Oh boy, this one was definitely my favorite read of the summer and one of my favorite books in general. It opened my eyes to a new way of looking at heaven and more importantly angels, and I found myself really relating to the main character despite her being a single mother of two kids and owner of a small-town coffee shop. Lucado has a way of really pulling at your heart strings and making you stop and think. It’s not a very long story, but it’s one that will absolutely stay with me the rest of my life and one that I am sure to re-read and pass along to friends and family. Truly a great book filled with faith, hope, and love. It’s also filled with wonderful descriptive passages to truly put you into the story. Recommend, recommend, recommend!!!
Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot
Now this one is still in progress, but I can say that so far it is certainly living up to my expectations. Meg Cabot is another one of my favorite authors, and I was a die-hard Princess Diaries book series fan back in the day. The discovery that she had come out with an adult sequel that follows Mia’s life post-college was literally a game changer. I don’t want to finish the book because I don’t want the amazingness to end!! Royal Wedding has the same witty journal entries from Mia that are iconic to the former books, but Cabot has definitely given it a more grown-up feel as Mia faces trouble with her overwhelmingly busy schedule, long-time boyfriend Michael, annoying eye-twitch, and dad who is seemingly going through a mid-life crisis. Will Mia be able to juggle it all or will everything come crashing down?! I know I can’t wait to keep reading and find out, and if you were a fan of The Princess Diaries, I highly, highly recommend this little pot of gold that is adult Mia.
I hope I have encouraged you to pick up one of these books and give it a go. Although I will be very busy soon, I’m always open to book suggestions, so if you have any that you think I might enjoy, please leave it in the comments below!!
*All pictures are from amazon.com*