The Summer I Turned Pretty is the first out of three books in the series written by Jenny Han. These books are about a young girl named Belly and her summers at the beach with her mom’s best friend’s family. The drama/humor/romance of the story comes out of the fact that Belly’s mom’s best friend just so happens to have two attractive, adorable, and caring sons.
I read the first book in this series the summer I was sixteen and I fell so deeply in love with everything about it. I wanted to be Belly, I wanted to have a beach house, I wanted to have family friends like Jeremiah and Conrad, I wanted to fall in love, etc., etc., etc. For some people this book is a light and fluffy summer read, but for me it was a way to experience the life I wanted so desperately without having to leave the comfort and safety of my bed.
As the other two books came out and I got to follow the story that resonated so deeply within me, they started to become less of an escape and more of an inspiration. I didn’t want to live vicariously anymore, I wanted to get out there and make it happen. I don’t mean to make this all about me, I just wanted to explain to you how great these books are and the best way I can do that is through my experience with them.
Now, I understand that this type of novel (YA, girly, romance-y) is definitely not for everyone and there will be a lot of people who dislike it, but if it sounds like it’s up your alley you should most definitely check it out. If there are any books that made you have some sort of a realization/epiphany, let me know! I would love to give any book a try that sparked that kind of feeling in someone.
The books I’ve been reading lately have been really surprising me in an awesome way! As I began to read this book, I thought it was going to be some boring and technical biography of a Navy SEAL. Wrong! Fearless: The Heroic Story of One Navy SEAL's Sacrifice in the Hunt for Osama Bin Laden and the Unwavering Devotion of the Woman Who Loved Him by Eric Blehm has almost, if not already, made its way into my list of top ten favorite books.
This novel is about the courageous Navy SEAL Team SIX member Adam Brown. Adam had his ups and downs all throughout his life, but ultimately he worked hard at everything he set his mind to and is such an inspiration to me (and anyone who reads this book…I guarantee it). Fearless accurately covered the important aspects of Adam and his life in an entertaining way that left me wanting to know more. By the end of the book I felt like I had a personal relationship with everyone that was in it and I think that’s a great accomplishment for the author, Eric Blehm, because he portrayed the people in such a way that I was able to connect with them on a deep level.
Speaking of Eric Blehm, I would like to take this moment to thank him for existing. If anyone else wrote this book I just know I wouldn’t have loved it so much. His passion and appreciation was evident with every word I read and I am so glad that he chose to be the one to share Adam’s story. If it wasn’t obvious enough, I think everyone in the universe should read this book and learn all you can about the wonderful man that is Adam Brown. Prepare to laugh, cry and feel frustrated, but most of all, you will feel inspired.
I’m choosing this as a topic for a blog post because I need reassurance that I’m not the only one that gets book separation anxiety when I finish a story. In case you don’t know what book separation anxiety is I’ll give you the five most common (and incredibly painful) symptoms.
1. You can’t stop thinking, “But what happens next? I NEED to know!”
Even if the book has a totally satisfying end you just NEED it to continue so you can get a glimpse into the lives of your characters (/friends) and what they’re thoughts and opinions are on things that you care about.
2. You think about the characters all the time and wonder what they would be doing at that moment.
Am I the only one that is having a conversation with someone or observe something and think, “Oh my gosh, if so-and-so was in this situation he/she would totally say _________”? This happens to me for a solid two weeks after I finish a good book and then every once in a while after that.
3. You begin writing fan fiction in your head.
If the end of the book doesn’t feel complete and I wish things went a different way I will daydream fan fictions. It’s an incredibly fun past time and it makes me feel better about the book because I know that there is a possibility for things to have gone a different way.
4. Something you see in your day-to-day life reminds you of the book and you get a stabbing pain in your chest.
Like, a stabbing pain. It’s worst when you’re caught of guard and hear a song or see something that reminds you of a character or the book and it’s like your body realizes it before you mind does and it hurts. :(
5. All you want is to do is continue living in the world of that book for a little bit longer.
Overall, book separation anxiety is not being able to let go of the world that you were immersed in for however long you read the book. No matter how satisfying the end, no matter how many books there are in the series, it will never be enough (an obvious example: Harry Potter).
I wish all of you the best of luck with dealing with your book separation anxiety! I wish I had some suggestions for way to deal with it, but I still struggle with it myself. I think that although it hurts, it’s a good kind of pain. It’s the kind of pain that reminds you what it’s like to love.
The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner is an easy read that is perfect for the summer. I have to be honest with you…I had high expectations and this book didn’t really live up to the hype. I thought it was definitely fun and cute, but it just wasn’t awesome.
The story is about a girl that struggles with the fact that she has a scarred face from a childhood car accident that killed her parents, and moves to California with her grandmother to become a TV writer. The main character Ruth really bugs me in the first part of the book. I think that has something to do with the fact that I always try to see a little bit of myself in a main character and she was doing things/thinking things that I would be mad at myself for doing/thinking. Nevertheless, she got much more likeable as the book went on and I ended up becoming very fond of her.
This novel is funny, filled with heartbreak and romance, and gives an interesting inside look at the Hollywood TV industry. I learned a lot and my mind was opened to quite a few things while reading this book. I don’t think you’ll regret reading it, I just think you’ll need an open mind when going into it!