Books – July 2022

Coming at you with some more book reviews. I flew through several really good books this month, so let’s just get right to it!

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

In Five Years

I am trying to decide how I feel about the ending to this book? I am still undecided. So let’s start from the beginning. I was immediately drawn into the book and wanted to see where it was going to go. It took a turn I wasn’t really expecting but I didn’t hate that. This book is a beautiful story about friendship and how life doesn’t always turn out like you planned. Shocker, right? I enjoyed the premise and finished this book in less than 24 hours. So I suppose that says a lot about it.

Bottom Line: Read it.

Dream On by Angie Hockman

Dream On

The premise of this one was so interesting to me. Waking up from a coma with memories of your boyfriend, only wait, they were made up?? While I didn’t love this near as much as Shipped, it still passed the time just fine. I felt like there was so much more that could have been done with the premise of the book, and it took a turn I definitely didn’t think it would. You see it a mile away, but still not where I would have gone with the book. Anyways, it was cute but the characters were not all that interesting. They felt a bit immature at times. I really only enjoyed Perry. I felt like there were many scenes with Cass and Devin that were very cringe. Also, I am confused with the ending, as it was steamy while the whole rest of the book was not. It was like the ending was written by a different author.

Bottom Line: It passed the time just fine.

**I received a copy of Dream On from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Things I Should Have Said by Jamie Lynn Spears

Things I Should Have Said: Family, Fame, and Figuring it Out

I don’t get too caught up in celebrity lives and drama. I don’t find many of them very relatable, and could honestly care less about their opinions on things. However, I did follow everything that unfolded with Britney Spears out of curiosity. When I saw that my library had Jamie Lynn’s audiobook I figured, why not. I am not sure how much Jamie Lynn had to do with Britney’s conservatorship, she claims none, but I do find the timing of this book a little gross. Like she is piggybacking off Britney’s recent attention the last year. I was interested to hear what she was going to say. She definitely plays victim the entire book, and takes no responsibility. I know her parents are very messed up, and it had to be growing up in the shadows of Britney, and being a child star. But every story is about how she was kind, good, didn’t do anything wrong….but her parents did her wrong, Britney did her wrong, her ex did her wrong, etc. I also didn’t like how much she jumped around in the book. You never really know how old she is in a story, 5, 8, 16, recently. Who knows? She goes back and forth so much. I felt like she only touched on stories and was kind of vague about things. If you are going to open up about something, go all in or don’t mention it.

Bottom Line: While it was an interesting read, it was exhausting trying to keep up with where Jamie Lynn was in her life for each story. The victimhood was gross, and she sounded very immature at times. I did this on audiobook, and Jamie Lynn read it herself. It went by quickly, so if you are interested to hear her side….it won’t take much of your time.

Bottom Line:

Meant to Be by Emily Giffin

Meant to Be

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book, as I tend to not care about celebrities/fake famous people in a lot of books. From the start, we alternate between Joe and Cate’s POV and I was immediately hooked. I absolutely loved this book and had the hardest time putting it down. I didn’t know much about JFK Jr or Carolyn Bessette, so I was completely captivated by this story. I went and read up on them after I finished the book, and feel like there are enough differences for this to stand on its own. This is the perfect summer beach read!

Bottom Line: Read it!

**I received a copy of Meant to Be from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez

Part of Your World

I loved this book so much. I have loved all the books I read from Abby. Alexis, our leading lady, grew so much in this book. I absolutely love the little town she fell into, and of course Daniel! All the towns people sounded wonderful, and I loved how they were there for each other. I felt like there was a good balance between the serious undertones of the book (emotional and physical abuse) and the banter and wit we love to see in a romcom. I flew through this one, finishing it in less than 24 hours. I could not put it down.

Bottom Line: Read it!

Verity by Colleen Hoover


Another book that I simply could not put down. This is different than some of CoHo’s other novels. The chapter’s of Verity’s book were really hard to read at times, they were so messed up. This book was quite the ride, and I don’t want to say much else about it to give anything away. I pretty much knew from the start how the book was going to end up, but that didn’t take away the enjoyment from reading it.

Bottom Line: Read it!

How to Fake it in Hollywood by Ava Wilder

How to Fake It in Hollywood

I was expecting this to be a light romcom, but wow. It was so much deeper than that. This book dealt with some heavy topics including addiction and grief. I love a good fake relationship troupe, and this definitely hit that craving. There were some fun, steamy parts balanced with heartbreaking drama. I really loved both Grey and Ethan. While this wasn’t what I was expecting when I picked it up, I quite enjoyed it. I believe this is a debut from this author. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Bottom Line: Read it!

**I received a copy of How to Fake it in Hollywood from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

What Happens in Greece by Sue Roberts

What Happens in Greece

I loved all the experiences in Crete and Charlie’s enthusiasm for it. The food, people and scenery were all great. I loved reading about all the different people Charlie meets in Crete. The description of the book tells you that Jamie goes back home after the move, but this doesn’t happen until 40% into the book. And it was very anti-climatic when it happens. Where is the conflict? They were supposed to be together for quite awhile, I just thought there would be more emotion. While I liked some of the dialogue and such, the first half of the book could have been a lot shorter. I would have liked to see a little more excitement, emotion, conflict, spark. I didn’t feel any spark between any of the characters that are attracted to each other. I would classify this book as women’s lit, definitely not romance.

I received an audio copy of this book, and really enjoyed the narration. I felt the narrator did a great job of bringing the characters to life and adding to the enjoyment of the story.

Bottom Line: This one passed the time just fine. Great for a beach read, or if you want to escape to somewhere fun but can’t get away.

**I received a copy of What Happens in Greece from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan

How to Love Your Neighbor

An up and coming interior designer falls for the man next door while she designs his house. The premise was fun, and I enjoyed the interior design aspects of this book. I loved how strong Grace was as a character. The book passed the time just fine, but I wasn’t swooning over these two. There were no LOL moments or witty banter. There was no spice. There was a lot of repeating the same hesitant inner dialogue these two had. I felt at times they were a little immature for their supposed ages. This was supposed to be enemy to lovers, but there wasn’t much friction in the beginning, and not a lot of swooning as a reader after the little bit of friction dies down. I just wanted more from the book all around. Also, I didn’t like the third person POV when we switched between Noah and Grace chapters. It wasn’t doing it for me.

Bottom Line: It was cute and passed the time just fine, I wouldn’t rush to read it.

Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smartt

Memory-Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home

This book is full of ideas and encouragement for moms who want to make the best memories with their kids. It isn’t always about doing everything, but choosing what is special and important to your family, and building traditions on that. I sat with a notebook when I read chapters from this, taking notes on how I want my family to look, ideas for different holidays and traditions, key lines of inspiration and thoughts from the author. One of my favorite lines was: “You never know what traditions your children will treasure the rest of their lives.” I know I have certain memories from my childhood that I hold onto and try to recreate for my daughter. I hope that she has the same. This is written by a Christian author, but you do not have to be Christian to take away good points from the book.

Bottom Line: Read it!

You’re Always Enough by Emily Ley

You're Always Enough: And More Than I Hoped For

This is such a sweet read for kids. It has a great message about being yourself and that always being enough, even when you are sad or mad or not feeling the best. This teaches kids that mistakes are ok. The art was fantastic and the book is described as being for children 4-8, which I found very appropriate for my 5 year old. This book would make a great gift for any child or baby shower.

Bottom Line: Read it! Perfect for kids.

**I received a copy of You’re Always Enough from Netgalley in exchange of my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

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  • Reply Danielle July 28, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    I LOVED Verity. One of the best books I read. I wanted to read Jaime Lynn Spears as I wanted to see her side of things, but I don’t think I can read it without thinking she is lying. Ha. You read some great books this last month!

  • Reply Laura July 29, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Damn woman, you did read a lot! I loved Verity, and have Hollywood on the wait list at the library. I don’t know if I could get into the Jamie Lynn stuff. I don’t like the playing the victim stuff all the time – it makes my stomach turn. I’m with you – be real about all of it, or don’t say anything at all.

  • Reply Kristin July 30, 2022 at 9:14 am

    Verity was my first Colleen Hoover book and I was SO DISAPPOINTED that her other books weren’t similar to it. I don’t think I ever really finished the others I tried after that. (Was Layla hers? That was an awful book lol)

    I really, really enjoyed In Five Years. Such a great plot.

  • Reply Biana August 1, 2022 at 9:11 am

    In 5 Years basically had me crying like a baby at the end!! Didn’t expect it to go that way either! Meant to be will go down as one of my favorite books of the year for sure!! I’m about to start one italian summer!

  • Reply ShootingStarsMag August 4, 2022 at 10:34 am

    I was just recently gifted a copy of Verity so it’s one I’m planning on bringing on vacation with me!

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