All the Books I read July 2023

All the Books I read July 2023

1. Adelaide

Oh Adelaide. I was so frustrated reading this book because I just wanted to yell at Adelaide during the entire book. Adelaide is 26 years old, educated, bright, funny, beautiful and a great friend. She has a successful career and a loving supportive friend group. And then she meets Rory Hughes. Rory is storybook handsome, charming but a complete commitment-phobe who can’t seem to get his life together. Adelaide thinks she can enjoy her time with Rory and keep things casual, but her feelings grow while his stay rooted under a ton of baggage he is unwilling to unpack. Maybe she can change him or help him through his issues? Doubtful and Adelaide must learn the hard way. Rating: 7

2. The Chateau

There was so much buzz surrounding this thriller and how it was gripping from the very beginning so I had to read it of course! Sadly, it wasn’t a hit for me. Enjoyable, sure. Keeping me on the edge of my seat, nah.

Darcy and her three friends reunite at Darcy’s grandmother’s French chateau for a fun weekend together to reminisce and catch up after time apart. All 4 met 20 years ago while studying abroad in France and became lifelong friends. But Darcy’s grandmother, Seraphine, organized this reunion specifically to share something with them that has been haunting her her entire life. The news she plans to share will forever change their relationships and could put some in danger. But before Seraphine can relieve herself of this lifelong secret, she is murdered in her sleep. One of the friends had to be responsible for this horrific crime but who? It’s entertaining and I kept reading because I wanted to know what the secret was, but it definitely isn’t a top pick for me. Rating: 7.5

3. Nora Goes Off Script

One of those feel good cheesy romance books that you need to read every once in a while to make you feel hopeful about the world, amiright?!

Nora is a single mom of two and opening her home up to a Hollywood movie crew to shoot the film adaptation of the book she wrote. She wrote the story of the demise of her marriage and how she found solace in the small tea house at the back of her property that the former home owners built. The book became a best seller and soon was being made into a movie. And the person playing her ex husband is the uber famous and ultra handsome actor Leo Vance. Once the movie wraps, Nora is happy to get her home back and resume normal life. But Leo Vance is not yet ready to leave. He shows up and asks to stay for the next week to get a break from the public. Nora allows him to stay never thinking anything could happen with this a-list megastar. But of course it does and that’s why we love reading books like this! Ha! Rating: 8

4. The School For Good Mothers

Good grief. I don’t even know what to say about this book because it was a true emotional roller coaster. And I did know this going in to it and put off reading it for a long time because I wasn’t sure I would want to. But the story and many of the messages in it are important to hear and think about. However it is really hard to read.

Frida is a single mother, divorced from her husband with a two year old daughter that she shares custody of. Frida is a good mother and one that loves her daughter with every bit of her being. However on a particularly difficult day after a string of many sleepless nights and mental exhaustion, Frida makes the poor decision and leaves her 2 year old daughter home alone for a few hours while she runs a quick errand and stops by her work for something she needs. Her neighbors call the authorities and what is set into motion is something that will forever alter the course of Frida’s life.

In lieu of prison time, the judge sends Frida to a newly formed reform school for women to learn how to be better mothers. The state will measure her success within the program and if they feel she didn’t do well enough after the year long course, she will need to sign over her parental rights and never have contact with her daughter again.

The book walks a thin line of presenting improbable scenarios and terrifyingly possible scenarios simultaneously. I think it’s an important book that will spark discourse within yourself about so many things – the support mothers receive, the idea of redemption, the role race plays in how successful a mother can be, the broken child welfare system and the mental strain of being a parent. Rating: 8

5. Happy Place

This book had potential but ended up being sorta cheesy in my opinion. Harriet and Wyn are a couple and also part of a friend group that has been best friends for nearly 10 years. Only problem is that Harriet and Wyn have broken up but the friend group doesn’t know yet. They are reunite at one of their favorite places – a cottage in Maine that they all retreat to every summer. Harriet and Wyn are not thrilled to be together and decide to not tell anyone about their relationship status until the very end of the trip. So they must act like they are still a couple despite their complicated feelings. But this time together brings up all the feelings and emotions run high between the two. Are they over each other? Or can they actually make things work? Rating: 7

6. Demon Copperhead

This has been on my ‘must read’ list for sooooo long so I finally tackled it. It’s a long one but when you are listening to books instead of reading, you actually enjoy the very long ones. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it did win the Pulitzer Prize so it is highly regarded as a phenomenal book.

It’s a story of the people that live in Appalachia – a place often looked down upon by the rest of the country or belittled in media or movies. Demon is a boy born to a teenage mother with no father present in a trailer in Appalachia. His life is already destined for despair by many accounts and his life is anything but easy. He struggles through foster care, abandonment, addiction, abuse – and fights to find his place in the world. And whether that world in supposed to be in Appalachia or if he should leave it for possible success somewhere else.

I really liked it, but it wasn’t as good as I was hoping. It definitely is a book that is perfect for an English lit class to dissect and analyze as there is so much meaning and poignancy in Kingsolver’s words. I definitely think it is worth the read but it won’t make it to my best of the best. Rating: 8.5

PS. Here’s last month’s book roundup.