Hey everyone! How are you today? I hope you’re good. In this post I want to recommend you the best books I read this summer (in the months of June, July and August.) I’ve compiled this list from worst to best, but I love and recommend them all. Let’s get started!
*This does not include re-reads such as The Hate U Give or The Hunger Games trilogy.*
Honourable mentions: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff and The Color Purple by Alice Walker
5) Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Content Warning: slavery, rape/sexual abuse, assault, racism, violence, abusive language, queerphobia (Highlight to read.)
This is such a powerful novel that spans generations, yet still manages to build a connection between the reader and every single character. The book speaks about racism during and after slavery in a way I can only describe as powerful and heart-breaking. That makes it a very important read, one that I would recommend to everyone. I learned about pieces of history I didn’t know had even happened, for example how free black people were stolen from American streets and forced to work in the mines, many finding their deaths there. I was hit most by the stories of Esi, Effia, Quey, Ness and H. Overall, I would most highly recommend this book! I gave it 4.25 out of 5 stars to be precise.
4) When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
This novel was an amazing surprise! It has become a new favourite of mine and obviously I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. After the average response this book had, I didn’t think that would be the case. However, this book made me really happy to read. I’m talking Simon vs. levels of happy. I read this with a smile on my face. I totally shipped the romance as it was so swoon-worthy! Rishi really plans the best dates ever. I really liked the main characters. Yes, both of them. I didn’t have any problem with Dimple, contrary to the general opinion. I liked that she wasn’t perfect. That felt way more realistic. The plot was entertaining and fun, although a bit cliché at times. Overall, I absolutely loved this for how happy it made me. It was also perfect to read during the warmer months of the year. I’d highly recommend this!
3) Dear Martin by Nic Stone
CW: racism, sexism/misogyny, violence, police brutality, death(Highlight to see.)
This was an amazing novel, one that I would highly recommend! It’s the kind of book everyone should read. It’s thought-provoking in its look on today’s society. Nic Stone does an amazing job of showing all the big and tiny ways of racism. I love that this book affected me, from feeling angry, frustrated and powerless in certain scenes to self-reflection and cheering for the romance. The romance was only a tiny portion of the book, though and it was relevant. The main character Justyce was great and I liked the other characters and the nuances they brought as well. The pacing was good and made me fly through this novel. I swear I was halfway through before you could say ‘Dear Martin’. Overall, I would most highly recommend this, especially if you liked The Hate U Give! I gave it 5 out of 5 stars as well.
2) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
CW: sexual assault, rape, domestic abuse, cheating, homophobia, biphobia, alcoholism, mentions of suicide, death of a parent, death of a child (Highlight to read.)
This has been hyped up so much lately and I definitely think it deserves that. This was such an entertaining and intriguing novel that went a lot deeper than you would think. It has two of the most well-rounded female characters I’ve read in a while. It’s essentially a character study about an actress in old Hollywood. Evelyn tells her tumultuous life story and it’s one you don’t want to miss. As well as being a character study, this book gave wonderful commentary on the racism, sexism and heteronormativity of the 1960’s mainly. With Evelyn being a bisexual Cuban immigrant, Monique being biracial and a cast of LGBT characters, it did a wonderful job. It also deals with domestic abuse and handles that topic amazingly. The story was heartbreaking at times and it made me sob. Twice. Overall, I would most highly recommend this and I gave it 5 stars as well!
1) Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
CW: underage drinking, sexual assault (including rape), victim-blaming, PTSD (panic attacks and sex-repulsed as a result of being sexually abused as a child), queerphobia (also internalized; challenged)(Highlight to see.)
How can I give this anything but five out of five stars? What an amazing novel! It made me sob twice. The story is so heartbreaking yet hopeful at the same time. It deals with such difficult topics in such a fantastic way. It was told from a unique perspective as the main characters twin brother rapes her best friend. The nuances that came with that were so wonderfully written and discussed. The way their whole community reacted felt realistic as well. This book also shows the side of the rapist, without condoning his actions or making the reader feel for him. I really liked the writing style and I loved the main character Mara. I also liked Charlie, her ex-girlfriend (who’s genderqueer!) and Hannah. I loved the bisexual rep. It’s the best I’ve read so far. This is one of the best books of the year. It’s definitely going to be in my favourites list. I can only gush right now and scream READ IT!!
What is your top 5 this summer? Have you read any of these? Will you do so now? Let me know down below!
That’s all for this post. I hope you enjoyed it! If you did, follow me for more 🙂 Thanks for reading!