Can you even believe that summer is half over? Here we are, mid-July, and it’s time for another Quick Lit post to share short reviews of what I’ve been reading lately. As always, I’m linking up with Anne Bogel over at Modern Mrs. Darcy. Need some books to add to your summer reading list? I’ve got ’em today!
What I’m Reading
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
I adored this book. Each chapter reads like a story from the point of view of a different character, and yet all of the chapters are woven together seamlessly. It’s about cooking and delicious food and epicurean passion. Very well written and uplifting. 5/5 stars
The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey
This book is creepy and dark, but completely different from Keith Donohue’s novel of the same title (which I loved, by the way). Set on the remote St. Brigid’s island in the 1950s, it’s about family and female bonds, as well as superstition and desire. So rich in Irish folklore that you can practically hear the characters speaking aloud as you read. The setting for this one is windswept and gorgeous. 4/5 stars
The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller
A fun little romp, reminiscent of Jenny Colgan and Amy E. Reichert, this novel is about a city baker who takes a job in a remote country village and is changed for the better. Of course, there’s romance and lots of mouthwatering descriptions of food. A great summer read that I thoroughly enjoyed. 4/5 stars
The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert
Speaking of Amy E. Reichert, I gobbled up her latest novel as well this month. Fun, lighthearted, and romantic, this was a perfect summer read as well. It’s the story of a single dad and his young son who decide to spend their summer working in a country apple orchard. What happens there will change their lives forever. 4/5 stars
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
This is dystopian fiction at its finest, and a thrilling adventure. The first book in a trilogy, it’s sort of a mashup of Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Game of Thrones. With a little Percy Jackson thrown in as well. I listened to this one on Audible and found it exciting and addictive. I’ll definitely be following up with the next two in the series. 4/5 stars.
Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: while on a much needed cruise vacation, two couples’ children disappear within an unnamed South American country. Although there are definitely some thriller aspects to this novel, it’s more about the characters, their marriages, and how relationships start to unravel as the search for the missing kids continues. Reminded me of Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, which I loved. A slow, smoldering read which will terrify you and make you reconsider your own closest relationships. 4/5 stars
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
This is the story of a young couple caught up in a war torn country, who escape through magical doors into the heart of a full blown refugee crisis. The plot of this novel is eerily similar to today’s headlines. Although I found the prose to be exceptional, and I was completely drawn into the setting, the novel fell a little flat for me in the end. 3/5 stars
Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge
Warning: I am going to gush about this book! It’s a classic castaway story of two people stranded on a tiny island somewhere in the South Pacific, but it’s so much more. This was one I simply could not put down because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. There’s plenty of foreshadowing along the way, so the ending isn’t a complete surprise, but wow — Huckelbridge can write! This was my favorite book by far this month and it would made an absolutely perfect beach read! 5/5 stars
The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan
Jenny Colgan is simply one of my favorite authors. Although all her novels follow a similar plot line, they are all delightful, breezy, wish-you-were-there stories that capture my heart every time. This one is no exception. It’s not my favorite of Colgan’s, (that honor belongs to The Bookshop on the Corner) but it’s still a worthy read that’ll make you swoon. 4/5 stars
I Found You by Lisa Jewell
This is billed as a psychological thriller, and for about the first two thirds of the book, I was totally drawn in. I kept waiting for the twist. I just knew it was coming. Hmmmm. It never came. No twisty, interesting mystery here. It wasn’t terrible, but if you’re looking for a suspense thriller that will keep you guessing, pass on this one. 3/5 stars
Whew!! That’s a lot of reading so far this summer! Can you tell I’m enjoying it? Hope you are, too! And I’d love to hear what you’re reading lately!