I cannot believe how quickly summer went by this year. I picked up a bunch of books to read this summer, but really didn’t get started on my stack until the end of July!! I finally got through a good chunk of books, and am excited to share a review on them! So today I am sharing my end of summer reading list 🙂
My End Of Summer Reading List
I challenged myself to get out of my typical crazy chick takes over someone else’s life genre with a super light beach read and even added a noir novel to my end of summer reading list! Keep reading to see which book I didn’t love!!
Velvet Was The Night
Have you ever read a book that really kept you on your toes? Velvet Was The Night is a noir novel that was SO suspenseful!
Del Rey Books sent over an early copy just before the release of Velvet Was the Night, by the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Velvet Was The Night is set in Mexico in the 70s, in an area filled with political unrest, this edgy noir is packed with tense character interactions (which are my favorite), and a few twists that kept me turning page after page!
I mean, a story with two main characters who both desperately want more out of life, drawn together by the need to solve a mystery? Throw in some danger and suspense, and what isn’t there to love? (I will note there is some violence, blood, etc but it’s done very tastefully, and very “noir”, it doesn’t really cross the line into “twisted thriller”)
This twisted historical novel perfect for lovers of smoky noirs and anti-heroes just hit shelves, and should make it’s way onto your end of summer reading list!
Island Affair is probably the “fluffiest” book I’ve read in a loooong time. but guys, I did NOT want this one to end! Now, when I grabbed Island Affair: Keys to Love at the airport bookstore, I didn’t realize it was part of a series! But I am SO excited about it. I will continue reading!
Island Affair was STEAMY. It was filled with sexual tension as a native islander named Luis who also happens to be a gorgeous firefighter with a heavily-guarded broken heart meets a popular Instagram Influencer, named Sara. As Sara’s plane lands, she finds her boyfriend is a no-show and enlists Luis (whom she just met) to be her stand-in boyfriend for the week on her family’s vacation. What could go wrong?
Aside from them dodging Luis’ nosey (but loving) large family on an island covered in his friends, fooling Sara’s family (with whom she has a strained relationship), add in some sexual tension, along with a few dark secrets and boom. There’s a page-turning novel!
I started Island Affair on the plane to Marco Island, and finished on the way home. This was such a feel good story, and had the kind of ending that made me wish I had just a few more chapters!! I am hoping Luis’ brother is the focus of the next in the series! 😉
The Perfect Ruin
I spent the first half of The Perfect Ruin eye rolling and comparing it to The Last Mrs Parrish, and then I spent the second half of The Perfect Ruin flipping pages as fast as I could to see how it ended! (Read about The Last Mrs Parrish here)
The Perfect Ruin, by Shanora Williams was a good read, but not rave-worthy. Ivy’s grown up angry, her life was derailed by a tragedy, and Ivy’s spent her life waiting for the day she could make the person who ruined everything pay.
Then, one day, Ivy is given the name of the woman who took everything from her: Lola Maxwell. A quick internet search reveals Lola is rich, beautiful, and loved by all… and so unworthy of it all, according to Ivy.
Little by little, Ivy infiltrates Lola’s elite circle, becomes her new best friend. She fixates on Lola’s handsome, devoted surgeon husband, and falls in love. Everything seems to be going according to her master plan. Just in time for a HUGE twist. And soon, an insidious someone will twist Ivy’s revenge into a nightmare of deception, secrets, and betrayal that Ivy may not wake up from.
The ending was NOT the same as The Last Mrs Parrish, which I was happy about. Once I hit the last third of The Perfect Ruin, I couldn’t put it down. Despite her anger and her revenge-driven lies, you can’t help but feel for Ivy, and the ending had me sitting there in my feelings for about 10 minutes!
The Disappearing Act
I read The Disappearing Act in two sittings. I picked up on page 29 for the second sitting. While the beginning was a bit slow, this story had me turning page after page. I just had to find out how this one ended. Without giving too much away, a British actress named Mia, gets dumped right before heading to LA for audition season. She makes her first friend named Emily, and ends up getting caught up in a “wrong place wrong time” scenario, as Emily mysteriously vanishes, and Mia is the last person to have seen her. How involved will Mia get, and what will she risk to find out the truth about what happened to Emily?
There were quite a few twists here, most of which I did not see coming. In a word, this one was intense. I found myself wanting Mia to just hop on a plane and head home, but also found myself completely engulfed in this mystery Mia was dragged into! The fact that I instantly liked Mia (she was successful, but humble and relatable) definitely helped me get sucked into this one so quickly!
The Disappearing Act is labeled as a thriller, but this was more of a light thriller, despite a fairly heavy #metoo moment. I definitely do recommend this book!
Admittedly, not my favorite from this list, it took me ALL summer to finish That Summer. I picked it up several times, but just didn’t connect with the characters. There was also just too much happening, and so many details, it was really hard to read. I had to re-read quite a few paragraphs to fully digest the details… but then, most of the details were useless info. I honestly feel like this book could have been cut in half, and still tell the same story.
The first half of the book, NOTHING happens. I was expecting a fun, summer read that was fully of juicy chick drama. Instead, I was confused the whole time. One Diana starts to get emails meant for another Diana, they both live very different lives, but quickly become friends over this whole mixup. Only, it turns out it may not have been a “mixup” at all. It might have been planned. Sounds suspenseful, right? I don’t even know what I read but it wasn’t that 😂. It was a book full of way too much information, unlikeable/unrelatable characters with no depth, and a confusing plot.
I also really don’t like how That Summer is being marketed as a “beach read”. Island Affair? TOTAL BEACH READ. This? Leave this one off your end of summer reading list, guys.
Have you read any of the 5 books on my end of summer reading list?