July Naptime Reads

I spent a lot of time reading this month, mostly to relax myself from what has proved to be a particularly trying month of parenting: breakfast-time vomits, poop-in-the-crib blowouts, an abundance of emergency baths, and plenty of tantrums. Naptime reading time was my saving grace. Here’s what was on my list this month:

Lilac Girls by Martha May Kelley: You guys. This book wrecked me. I’m glad I read it earlier in the month so that I could have some down time before I had to write my thoughts about it, because WOW. It has haunted me. This novel traces the story of three women (based on real people — the kicker) during WWII, including experiences at Ravensbruck, and how the girls eventually cross paths. It’s heavy, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s impactful. Great, now I’m crying over my cereal. 8/10

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Not Pictured); P.S. I Still Love You; Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han: These are, of course, books I’ve read before, but I re-read the trilogy in anticipation of the Netflix adaptation coming next month (can you say Return of the Rom-Com??!). Lara Jean is one of my literary kindred spirits, and I’m in love with this story, and this world that Jenny Han has created. She inspires me as a writer. I mean, check this out:

From the birth of a story idea to a movie adaptation. Writers, there is hope for all of us! DREAM ON. Plus, the whole writing-love-letters-that-get-sent-out thing? I feel like that TOTALLY could have happened to me in my teenage-hood. #letterwritersuniteAlso, as much as it kills me, I feel like I fell a little more in love with Josh and John Ambrose during this re-read….? Fellow fans, what say ye? 10/10

House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg: It’s no secret that I love love love Anne of Green Gables. I was excited to read this history (technically considered a Junior Reader version) chronicling Maud’s life, and to understand better the events, experiences, and people inspired her stories. Not only was she an incredibly gifted writer, but she was a powerful female influence in a time when strong, independent women were not encouraged or supported. As an author as an a person, Maud inspires me. Plus, I am eternally indebted to her for creating my precious Anne into being. The writing was a bit dry at times, but overall, a great read. 8/10

Save the Date by Morgan Matson: I had heard great hype about Morgan’s new YA, so I was anxious to get it from my local library. I dove in eagerly, but then…I was totally turned off by the first chapter. It was jolting and strange and didn’t give me a good taste in my mouth for the rest of the book. Plus, it didn’t make me love the main character like I wanted to — like a readers should. I ended up finishing the rest quickly, and eventually grew to like the characters and some of the unique story elements. Matson is a great writer, and taught me a lot about YA writing through this novel. I felt like the end was rushed and things concluded in a way that left me wanting in some areas. But, still a fun read, and definitely great writing by the author. 7/10

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West: Another light, fun YA read. I’ve read several others by West and enjoyed their storylines. So inspired by all these YA authors, and they teach me a lot as I work on my own YA. I can usually map out the romance in these books pretty well, but this one, for some reason, caught me off guard. Loved the podcast-romance setup and the fun, totally-could-be-your-BFF characters. 7.5/10

Crystal Blade by Kathryn Purdie: Last month, I read Burning Glass, and Crystal Blade is the second int he series. (The third and final novel is coming later this year!) This is just a really solid, unique and enjoyable series by Purdie, and I find myself recommending it to all my friends. 8/10

What have you been reading this month? What should I read next month? Share your picks with me in the comments below!

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