Every summer there are a few authors who generally have books that are published from May to September. They are usually touted as beach reads, and I pretty much auto-buy them for that reason. What is a beach read? To me, it's a book that has an engaging plot that makes you fly through the pages, but at the same time doesn't require you to think too hard in case you want to enjoy what is going on around you without losing the general plot (if you read it in fits and starts). This year there were five such books on my list. I've finished three of them, have one due from the library (audio), and have one more to read. With a week and a half until Labor Day, I think I can make it. So......how did these books stack up this summer season?
All Summer Long
Dorothea Benton Frank
I've read a bunch of books by this author, and I may need to take a break. There wasn't anything overly bad about this one, but the writing (other than her wonderful way of making you feel like you are in the lowcountry) is just okay. I got kind of bored with this one. I wasn't really feeling any of the characters, the plot was kind of just there, nothing really stood out to make it memorable. What really saved my rating for this book (and I give a big thumbs up) was that this was not a theme where a woman has to end up with a man (very common in Frank's books and usually annoys the heck out of me). I gave it 3 stars, but it's probably closer to 2.5.
It has a beautiful cover, there are some fun facts about bees, and I loved learning about the Limoges china patterns........but that was pretty much all I loved about this one. It took SO long to get to the point in this one that I almost put it down several times. The plot line with the china pattern was something that never would have worked out the way it did (no spoilers, so I can't really say what was ridiculous about it). I wasn't crazy about the sisters, and I found their pettiness irritating. And there is a secret at the end that is just kind of accepted by everyone that made me want to throw the book at a wall! I gave this 2 stars, but mostly for the bees and china.
Truly Madly Guilty
I liked this one, although not nearly as much as 2014's Big Little Lies. Moriarty follows a pattern with her books that may become problematic once she gets a few more under her belt. I say that because I felt like I was almost reading Big Little Lies over again, but with different characters and a slightly different plot. It took an extraordinary amount of time before something happened in this one, making the second half of the book way more interesting than the first. The characters were well drawn, but other than Oliver and crotchety old Henry, I didn't feel much for them. Some interesting twists toward the end left a satisfied taste for the novel as a whole, but you may feel like you are slogging through the first half. My rating for this was 4 stars.
Here's To Us
Waiting for Overdrive at the library to deliver this one on audio. I'm about 2 weeks out (I think) so it might be around Labor Day for this one).
Mary Kay Andrews
Here is another author that tends to write the same theme over and over again, but in her case I pretty much buy into it anyway. Why? Because this woman is just funny. Not the kind of funny that the Shopaholic series brings to mind, but there are always a few key places in Andrews books that I find myself guffawing out loud! While I'm saving this one for last in my beach reads, I did listen to another of her books, Hissy Fit, this summer and was delighted with it. I hope this one holds up to all her others. Stay tuned 🙂
Anyone read any of these "beach reads" this summer? Let me know what your thoughts were.