What I Read in July 2022

This summer has been a doozy!

Haven’t read as many books as I would have liked, but the past few months have been packed! Last month we went to my sister-in-law’s wedding in Niles, Michigan. I was a bridesmaid, and my husband was a groomsman. The week-of, I contracted COVID for the first time since the pandemic. Then my parents moved to Knoxville, TN, just a few weeks ago, after living in Charleston, SC for the past 20 years. My dad was a head pastor at an Anglican church on Johns Island, so it was not only saying goodbye to my childhood home but also to a church family that has watched me grow up over the past two decades. And on the job front, July was my first month out of training for my new job. So needless to say, there has been a lot going on. But I did manage to squeeze in a few books this month!

So here are the books I read in July 2022…

Greenwich Park – Katherine Faulkner

Sorry for another three star book 😅 I did enjoy how each chapter was told through a different character’s perspective. However the ending was just sorta subpar. Took me longer than I’d like to admit to get through this book which in my opinion is a sure sign that it’s not the most compelling writing. 

Helen’s whole world changes when she attends her first prenatal class and meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be. Rachel doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Rachel is fun to be with. But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets being kept in the dark in Greenwich Park

Slowwww to build and not a whole lot of character development to keep you interested or engaged. Pretty lackluster for a thriller/mystery. I didn’t guess who was behind it all, but by the end of it, I was just happy that it was over.

The Maid – Nita Prose

I don’t often hand out five star reviews, but this book was absolutely cute, quirky, and wholesome. I couldn’t not give it what it deserved. It’s a tale of a girl who works in a posh hotel and happens upon a dead body and all the drama that ensues thereafter. LOVED!

Molly Gray is not your average maid. Her unique character along with her obsessive love of cleaning and etiquette make her the idyllic girl for the job. However she often struggles with social skills and is prone to misreading the intentions of others. But being a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel is her dream job and she will stop at nothing to bring it into a state of perfection. 

But her world is turned upside down when she enters the suite of the infamous Charles Black, only to find him dead in his bed. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, and she must find a way to prove her innocence. This would be the perfect vacation or summer read! It’s a great mix of mystery and drama without any explicit sexuality, which in this day-in age is hard to come by.

Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid

TRIGGER WARNING: this book does contain themes and scenes with explicit intimacy, divorce, abandonment, and drugs.

Malibu: 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party. Everyone wants an invite to party with the famous Rivas. Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. They’re a talented family, not to mention the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva. 

The story is asynchronous flip-flopping between  the relationship of the parents (Mick Riva and June Costas) back to 1983 as the “kids” prepare for their annual party. The story is immensely tragic. it doesn’t shy away from the downfall of being a celebrity and the toll it takes on both the individual and families. It’s a devastating tale of how stardom and money can’t buy you true intimacy. The family dynamic is pretty intriguing, including the resolution between the family at the end. Very unexpected. Overall a great read, stellar character development.

Nora Goes Off Script – Annabel Monaghan

Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Books for my ARC! Published June 7th, this is Annabel Monaghan’s first book since 2017. A fun, fast-paced read perfect for summer!

Nora Hamilton is a romance channel screenwriter who has gotten used to the formulaic way of creating the perfect plot line. However when her curmudgeon husband leaves her and her two kids, Nora decides to create a screenplay inspired by her marriage’s collapse. When it gets picked up for the big screen and they decide to film on location at her house, she is flabbergasted. But what’s even more shocking is when Leo Vance, one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, gets casted as her no-good husband and ends up staying at her house.

Was it predictable? Yes. Did I predict the ending though? No. So overall it was a surprising read that would be perfect for the beach or vacation. I did feel the last 3rd was a little long and repetitive, but all-in-all a great book for anyone in a reading rut or in need of a celebrity romance thread.

What books did you enjoy reading in July?

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