Do you have a personal book reading challenge that you’ve set for yourself for the year? I personally used to be such a bookworm! My all-time favorite author is James Patterson, and I used to collect all of his hardback and paperback books, but I haven’t read him in probably over a decade now. Writing this post makes me want to carve out time to start picking up his books again, though! The last book that I read was Cat & Nats’ Mom Truths. Krista is the group’s bookworm, and last year she started a personal book reading challenge for herself which carried into this year! See Krista’s top 20 reads for adults this summer, six of which are Kindle Unlimited options, below!
Krista says, “I love reading…it gets me out of my head, and sometimes I feel like my brain is actually working versus sitting and watching a TV show – though I do love to binge-watch a good show! When I left my office job and started working fulltime for Frugal and Thriving, I told myself that since I was going to be home a lot more, I will not be sitting and watching TV on my down time – I will pick up a book a read! Last year I was able to read 31 books, and this year my new challenge was to read 35 books. As of today, I’ve read 30! I love to keep track of my books on the GoodReads app, where I can mark off the books I’ve read and rate them. I can also see what my friends are reading, and that’s where I keep track of my challenge for the year!”
These are her personal book reviews on her favorite 20 so far!
1. It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover – This was the first book I read this year, and I’m not going to lie, I did not have high hopes as It Ends with Us (the prequel) is one of my top 5 books. I loved every word of that book and recommend it to everyone, but I’m not a fan of sequels. Let’s be honest – most of the time they aren’t as good as the first one. With that said, I actually thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you read It Ends with Us and enjoyed it, I would say give this book a shot because it wraps the story up for all the characters and lets you know how they are doing. It begins right where the story left off and I wish that I read it sooner, but I should’ve known I wouldn’t be disappointed with anything by Colleen Hoover. I gave this book a 4/5
2. Meet Me at the Lake by Carly Fortune – I went into this book thinking it was going to be like Every Summer After (Carly’s other book), and while the writing is still great, the story was completely different and I really loved this book! Just like Every Summer After, this book switched between the present and past, but this time it was only one day in the past. The book is set in a place that reminded me of Dirty Dancing, and I just loved the story line. I recommend this book if you’re looking for an easy read but with a fun location, tension-worthy romance, and that past and present buildup! I gave this book a 4/5
3. Happy Place by Emily Henry – I’ve only ever read one other book by Emily Henry and to be honest it wasn’t my favorite, but this one was recommended to me, and I am glad that I gave it a chance! It’s the perfect read to get you out of a slump or a book hangover…it got me out of my hangover from the Court series. It has relatable characters, fun writing, and keeps you intrigued the whole time! It would be a great vacation read! This book will be your new ‘Happy Place’ – see what I did there! I gave this book a 5/5
4. Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez – This book was all over TikTok, and it has been on hold for weeks at the library, so I decided to splurge and buy it. I rarely do this, but I am so glad I did! If you have ever suffered with anxiety, you can relate to this book, and it was written so beautifully. Told from the point of view of the leading male and female, I literally fell in love with them both. I never thought anxiety could make me laugh but it truly did! I loved every word of this book and I didn’t want it to end. I found out it was the second in a series and I can tell you from experience, you don’t need to read book #1. I didn’t even realize it until I went to rate it on Goodreads! This book is so uplifting, truthful, and funny! This book should be added to your must-read pile! I gave this book a 5/5
5. Beartown by Fredrick Backman – I found this book when a friend had recommended another book by this author, and I was intrigued when I came across it. When I first started it, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it – the writing style was very different and it took me some time to really get into but once I did, it turned out to be a great book. There is no comedy or romance, so it’s not my typical read, but I am so glad I went for it. It’s an eye-opening book, and while it’s fiction, I know stories like this happen all over in the real world. I just discovered as I was getting the link for this book that there is another in the series, and honestly, I may even read it just to see what happens! I gave this book a 4.5/5
6. Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan – This book has it all – past/present storytelling, a run-in with the ex, celebrity romance, comedy, and the beach as a backdrop! The writing was easy to follow, and it takes place in the perfect beach town (I never knew Long Island had beach towns)! If you loved Every Summer After and The Summer I Turned Pretty, then you will fall head over heels for this book! I gave this book a 4/5
7. True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren – Well this book broke all my rules – I usually dislike sequels very much because they never live up to the first ones and I am always left disappointed, but man I was WRONG. This book is the second to Soulmate Equation and I was so nervous reading because I LOVED Soulmate, but man oh man this book was EVERYTHING! I laughed the whole time, I cried, I fell in love, I was angry, and did I mention I laughed because I really did the whole time! True Love is about the best friend from Soulmate, and I thought I loved her then, but this book being about her made me want to be her! It seriously has everything from a dating show trope and forbidden love to a strong female character, relatable male character, and so much comedy. If you love a rom-com then I highly recommend True Love Experiment! I gave this book a 6/5 (really 5/5 but If I could do 6/5 I would!)
8. Something Wilder by Christina Lauren – I will start out by saying Christina Lauren is one of my favorite authors and I read the majority of her books and always give her books over 4 stars, but it pains me to say this book is my lowest rated on this list (but I am including it because I will always support Christina Lauren!) I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. It has the great romance and great writing that all her books have, but it has this crazy treasure hunt in it and a Wild West thing (which I thought I would like but honestly hated). The characters were a bit much too, but if you like treasure hunts, the Wild West, and crazy characters, go for it! For me though, I’ll stick with Christina’s other books! I gave this book a 3/5
9. The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren – I debated not adding this book on here because I read it for the first time last year (I rented it through my library), but I LOVED this book and decided to purchase it and reread it this year because it is one of my favorite books! It is one of the best rom-coms, and of course has my favorite kind of character…the grumpy hot guy! This book has so much to it and to me, the story is really different from any others I’ve read! This book had me falling in love – and it was the book that made me fall in love with Christina Lauren. I gave this book a 5/5
10-14. Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin, A Court of Frost and Starlight, A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Mass – I am not the biggest sci-fi reader. While I am a huge fan of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and the Divergent series, that’s about as far as I’ve ventured into the sci-fi world. TikTok (my main source of book recommendations) was constantly telling me to read this series though, and man oh man was I blown away! It took me about halfway through the first book to really be hooked, but once I got there, WOW – I could not stop! It is about fairies (this is my first fairy book), and the majority of my January and February were wrapped up in this series. Every character is amazing, there is the best romance, lots of thrills, and even comedy plus hot fairy men. Sarah J. Mass is an amazing writer! I am telling you, I literally completed the series and immediately went back and re-read books 2, 3, and 4. I would be torn to say book 2 or 3 is my favorite, but this series is up there with Harry Potter for me. If you feel like you can handle some sci-fi- in your life, I say give this series a try – just get through book 1 and it is SO worth it. I gave every book in this series a 5/5
Summer Reads for Adults
I do have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, and I do read a lot of my books from there, so I am including these because I know as an avid Kindle Unlimited reader, I am always looking for more good books!
1. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score – I was so late to the reading game on this book. I am not going to lie, I started this book once before and just could not get into it, but I needed something to read and didn’t want to spend the money, so Kindle Unlimited to the rescue! I was pleasantly surprised by this book and it has fun characters (um, hello grumpy hot guy?!)! I was not such a fan of the ending (without giving too much away it got into more of a mob boss deal that was a little much for me), but overall, for a Kindle Unlimited book, it is totally worth the read! There are 2 more books within this series, but I have not read them yet and I’m not sure I will (I am not the biggest fan of sequels). I gave this book a 4/5
2. Inmate by Freida McFadden – I have to be in the mood to read a thriller and I picked this one off of KU because I liked Freida’s other book The Housemaid. Any time I pick up a thriller, about halfway through I lose patience and read a spoiler, but this time I did not and I am glad I didn’t because I might’ve easily guessed who the killer was…I did not guess the twist in the end! To me, if you can’t guess the twist that’s a sign of a good thriller, and this one is definitely worth the read! I gave this book a 4/5
3. Six Summers to Fall by CW Farnsworth – I read another book by this same author this year, but I enjoyed this one more, so I decided to feature this one! The title alone led me to believe that this book would have an Every Summer After feel, but I was totally wrong! I love a good book that has a celebrity/normal person romance PLUS a fake relationship (my two favorite book tropes)! If you are looking for a fun, easy read, I’d say go for this one! I gave this book a 4/5
4. Simple Wild by K.A Tucker – My friend was reading this book and she said I need to give it a try, and I am glad I did. Set in Alaska, the writing made me feel like I was there! Between the landscape, the romance, and the fact that the main character was a social media influencer (her blog was not much different than Frugal and Thriving), I fell for this book hard! Now keeping that in mind, this book is book 1 of 4, and I’m not sure I will read the others because I enjoyed this one and am fearful it would ruin it reading more of them! I gave this book a 4/5
5. A Flicker in the Dark by Stacey Willingham – This is a thriller that was recommended by TikTok. This book was set in Baton Rouge (I love a book set in Louisiana!) and has a Girl on the Train vibe. There are several times I changed my mind about who the killer really was, and in the end I was pleasantly surprised, though I did read a spoiler on this one LOL. If you enjoyed Girl on the Train and have Kindle Unlimited, I say give this book a go — BUT I’m not sure If I would spend money on this one! I gave this book a 3.5/5
6. Rock Bottom Girl by Lucy Score – After I read Lucy Score’s Things We Never Got Over, I wanted to try another one of Lucy’s books (that wasn’t in the series). This one was also a KU, and I really enjoyed it! The main character is hilarious, the supporting characters are memorable, and it even has some soccer in it! I love a good redemption romance story and this one definitely hits the ball through the net! If you’re in the mood for some fun, sporty romance and hot guys, give this book a try! I gave this book a 4/5
Summer Reads for Adults – Kindle Unlimited
If you really love the frugal life, you can get digital credits to use towards Amazon purchases of e-books, movies, and music! The next time you go to place an Amazon order, check out your delivery date options – you’ll see there if you have the opportunity to select a later delivery date for those digital credits. This is especially awesome if you read off a Kindle (or the Kindle app on your phone or tablet) – you can use those credits towards your next book download!