Summer Reading Update: books that have been my hits & misses lately



Hi Reading Friends! I’m back with a summer update of books I consider my hits & misses these last few months. It seems my blogging hiatus lasted quite a bit longer than I expected. My reading life has been on such a roller coaster of ups, downs, and one major slump lasting over a month that I wondered if I’d ever get my reading mojo back. Good news, it’s back and I’m very excited to get back into the blogging world and catch up on all things books and reading! I do think it’s important to share that even avid readers which I consider myself to be can occasionally find themselves hitting a wall and sometimes the best thing to do is to take a step back, relax and regroup. I’m very happy to be back and sharing some of the books I’ve loved over the last few months. I’ve also got a few average reads that were either disappointing or just didn’t blow me away as well as some DNF’s (Did Not Finish). I’ve decided to make it a priority to put down any book I’m just not enjoying which is actually pretty freeing and has led me to really enjoy my reading life again.

A Few of My Must Read Books

36249638How To Walk Away

Published May 15th by St. Martin’s Press

I wish I could break my rating up for the first 85% of the book…5 stars…and the last 15% 3.5 stars because I really enjoyed almost the whole story. Almost. This love story that starts with a plane crash had me completely engrossed until the last 15% which I felt completely left the rails. Maggie and Ian, the main characters, did some things I just can’t believe based on what we already knew about them and I spent the majority of my time eye rolling and wishing the author wouldn’t have taken that path. If that last part would’ve played out differently this would’ve been a 5 star read for me. But, I do still recommend it and a final positive thought, I’m so glad we got an epilogue.



Summer Wives

Published July 10th By William Morrow

I really enjoyed this book! Told in alternating time periods between 2 women, I really feel that Beatriz Williams is one of the few authors who can pull this type of narrative off SO well. I loved the setting…a little island…and how she was able to evoke the details of time and place so that I felt I was there, sipping one of MANY cocktails with the characters in the story. I thought she weaved a fantastic story and although I may have had a tiny issue with an event at the end, it wasn’t enough to influence my enjoyment of the way the story unfolded. Definitely a summer must read that I highly recommend! 



Tiger Woods

Published March 27th By Simon & Schuster

Hear me out on this one! This was SO much better than I expected. In fact, I couldn’t put it down which believe me was a total surprise to me. I’m not a huge golf fan but my husband and son play. I’ve seen Tiger play in person and I’m familiar with many of the other players on Tour which did help with my enjoyment.  I’ve never actually been all that interested in Tiger as a person but as a parent and someone who’s always loved to study human behavior, I was very interested in how he rose and fell so greatly. The authors did not disappoint, providing a riveting, well balanced, often depressing, yet fascinating, look at the creation of Tiger Woods the golfer which eclipsed Tiger Woods the person by leaps and bounds. There were many juicy details I’d never heard before and the writing and narrative was extremely well paced. I listened to about half on audio and it was also fantastic. An unlikely summer must read in my opinion!!


36315374Jar of Hearts

Published June 12th by Minotaur Books

Murder, drama, revenge…yes please. I loved this book! I read this in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed myself. This was the perfect read to get me out of my month long reading slump. Bizarre, crazy and with enough turns to keep me guessing the entire time. There’s mystery, suspense and some fantastic writing to be found here. This book saved my summer reading and was just SO good!

My Disappointing Reads

You might be surprised to see these popular bestsellers on my list of disappointments and actually I am too because they were all on my highly anticipated list. I’m convinced, however, that these big hitters led to my reading slump. The Outsider , at almost 600 pages, was a huge investment of time and while I absolutely loved the first half of the book, the second completely fell apart for me. Also, I felt like this could’ve had about 200 pages cut and the story would’ve been better for it. Us Against You ended up being just ok for me. I thought it lacked the tension, drama and suspense of Beartown (My Review) and felt bogged down by the political aspects of the story. The Perfect Couple seemed like it would be the perfect beach read, especially since it involved a mystery but overall it didn’t work for me. While I loved the setting and her writing which is always fast paced, the story itself didn’t wow me and I thought there were many holes in the plot of the mystery.

My Summer DNF’s (Did Not Finish) 

Visible EmpireAll We Ever WantedThe Kiss Quotient, and Little Disasters are some of my surprising DNF’s because based on the blurbs and early reviews, I thought I’d really like all of these. Whether it was the narrative structure (Visible Empire & Little Disasters) or the story (All We Ever Wanted & The Kiss Quotient), I couldn’t get into these books and happily made the choice to put them down. The only one I feel like I might give another try to at some point is All We Ever Wanted because I do love Emily Giffin’s writing and most of her past books.

So that’s it for now, I do have some other must reads I’ll share with you soon but in the meantime, I’d love to hear which books have made YOUR summer hits & misses lists so feel free to leave a comment below.   Have a great reading week everyone!









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51 thoughts on “Summer Reading Update: books that have been my hits & misses lately

  1. My favorite book this year was HOW TO WALK AWAY. I’m also disappointed with THE PERFECT COUPLE. It’s just not grabbing me! I haven’t read THE OUTSIDERS yet. It’s on my Kindle so I do plan to read it eventually. May I recommend LIES by T.M. Logan? It’s a fantastic read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like we have similar feelings on a couple Vicklea! I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts when you read The Outsiders. Thanks so much for your recommendation, I haven’t read anything by that author but I’m adding that to my tbr now:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Renee! I was so excited to see your post this morning. Let’s talk books. Your complaints about How to Walk Away are exactly the same ones I had. I listened to that one and I think that helped a lot. Like you I couldn’t finish The Kiss Quotient either. Just too ridiculous! I have to disagree with you on Us Against You. I actually liked it more than Beartown because of the more political side to things. Ah, well. I don’t see myself reading it, but the Tiger Woods book does sound really interesting. Have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Susie, so happy to talk books with you again! I’m glad to hear we’re in agreement on a couple, I know I’m in the minority with my thoughts on Us Against You:) Keep Tiger Woods in mind for a juicy, intriguing audiobook sometime, I think you’d be surprised and really like it. Have a great reading week!


  3. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like Us Against You (I’m reading it now and like it so far) and The Perfect Couple (I’m picking that one up next…I hope I like it). The Kiss Quotient was so overly hyped that it was ruined for me. I loved Jar of Hearts and How to Walk Away, too! I need to look into The Summer Wives. I’m glad you’re getting your reading mojo back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brandie, I know just about everyone else enjoyed Us Against You so I’m sure you’ll end up liking it, I didn’t hate it by far, it just felt mediocre to me. Wasn’t Jar of Hearts the best?! I may DM you about that one, I need to talk about it:) Let’s chat when you’re done with The Perfect Couple, I’ll be really curious to hear what you think of the mystery aspect

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Danielle, hope you’re doing well! I didn’t expect to lose Jar of Hearts like I did either, in fact I almost returned it to the library unread…SO happy I didn’t. I’ve liked so many King books too and the premise of The Outsiders was fantastic, I would love to talk about it with you when you’ve read it

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It is so good to have you back! That is great advice that we all need to remember – if you don’t like it don’t read it and take a step back when needed. I also really enjoyed Jar of Hearts. The Outsider is on my TBR, hopefully I will enjoy it more than you did 😊.

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  5. Welcome back Renee and I do love your advice on stepping away from books. I hate doing it but it does lead to a frustrating reading experience. I need to adhere to your words I think. I always hope a book will improve! Glad you’ve rediscovered your mojo. X

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome back, Renee! I agree that leaving a book that you’re not enjoying is incredibly liberating, although I do still feel bad doing it sometimes!

    I really like the sound of Summer Wives and Jar of Hearts!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved Jar of Hearts too! It’s funny, I’ve seen so many people who loved Us Against You but I don’t have any interest in picking it up, even though I thought Beartown was excellent. It can be so hard to put a book down when you’re not enjoying it, because what if it gets better? But sometimes it’s just necessary. Glad you got your reading mojo back!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s good to see you back here! I’m actually worried about Us Against You now, because it took me a long time to warm up to Beartown… I can’t wait to get a copy of Jar Of Hearts though!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yay! So glad you liked the Tiger bio – I listened to it on audio and was riveted! It’s on my Summer Reading Guide. And I totally agree with you about the How to Walk Away ending…too much 🙂

    You know how much I love DNFing, so I’m glad that’s working for you. I used to finish every single thing I started and I remember slogging through so many books I wasn’t enjoying. Ugh. No, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve really discovered these past few months that I truly feel so much better putting down books that I don’t like or don’t make feel excited about picking them back up…or reading the entire thing in one sitting! That’s really the best.


  10. I also DNF-ed The Kiss Quotient! I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews (until this!) but thought the writing was just … not good. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood, but I haven’t been compelled to pick it back up. I am really looking forward to The Summer Wives though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not alone on The Kiss Quotient Amy. I really gave it a good go…35% but I wasn’t feeling the writing or the story. I thought The Summer Wives was almost as good as A Hundred Summers which I really loved! I hope you enjoy it


  11. I really loved King’s book. I don’t know, it reminded me of his older books a little and I liked how he brought back a much loved character.

    I did not like Visible Empire all that much. I did finish it but probably should have just let it go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that I thought the beginning of The Outsider reminded me of old King but I just really struggled with enjoying the second half. I did love the return of that character though , saved the story for me and also kind of brilliant on King’s part to do that:)


  12. Sorry you were disappointed with “Us against you”. I loved Beartown and thought Us against you was even better. Just goes to show that two people can’t read the same book. Life wouldn’t be interesting if we all loved the same things.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m on the hold list for Jar of Hearts so glad to see you enjoyed it. And you’re one of the few bloggers who felt about Us Against You the same way I did. And for exactly the same reason- too much politics. It felt like such an angry novel, until the end which then didn’t feel realistic.

    Glad your slump is over. Sounds like more and more of us are having them these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Catherine and your so right about the angry tone throughout Us Against You. I felt like it was just so negative and more like an issue book rather than a story like bear town was. I really hope you like Jar of Hearts, it’s a little out there in places but was exactly what I needed to get me out of a slump


  14. Nice to hear that you had a number of good reads. I also enjoyed Jar of Hearts so I am happy to see it on your list of favourites. Sorry to hear about your experience with Us Against You. I do get what you mean about the politics though. I think what I liked about it was the characters, especially Benji.

    Looking forward to more reviews from you. Welcome back Renee x

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Happy to hear you are coming out of your slump & hiatus Renee!

    I’m finally adding Summer Wives to my TBR. I’ve just been seeing it EVERYWHERE so it’s time to see what the fuss is. Actually I am going to try and bully my book club members into picking it for our next book club selection.

    That’s too bad about Us Against You. I really enjoyed Beartown earlier this year 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really hope you can squeeze Summer Wives into your tbr before the end of summer, it’s perfect for this time of year and there’s lots to discuss for book clubs. I’d really like to chat about a part of the ending but haven’t talked to anyone else who’s read it, so let me know if you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

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