EEE!!! I did this post last Summer and I love it so freaking much!! I can’t even explain to yall how much I love to read. It’s the weirdest thing to me because I don’t have a lot of other people in my life that are as obsessed with reading as I am. Jared for one just doesn’t understand it because he regularly gets mad at me for ignoring him while I’m racing through a new book. My mom however is one of the very few people that can get into a book like I can and we usually share books back and fourth!
Next Level Basic by Stassi Schroeder
Millions of Vanderpump Rules viewers and podcast listeners know Stassi Schroeder as a major defender of Basic Bitch rights. There’s nothing more boring than people who take themselves too seriously or think that you have to be pretentious to be cool. Stassi champions the things that many of us are afraid to love publicly for fear of being labeled basic: lattes, pugs, bubbly cocktails, millennial pink, #OOTD (outfit of the day, obvs), astrology, hot dogs, the perfect pair of Louboutins, romantic comedies…the list goes on and on. This book is for people tired of pretending they would rather see a Daniel Day-Lewis movie about sewing or read War and Peace than watch a Saw marathon or read…well, this book! In Next Level Basic, the reality star, podcast queen, and ranch dressing expert gives you hilarious and pointed lessons on how to have fun and celebrate yourself, with exclusive stories from her own life and on the set of Vanderpump Rules. From her very public breakups to her most intimate details about her plastic surgery, Stassi shares her own personal experiences with her trademark honesty—all with the hope you can learn something from them.
(Personal Opinion: I don’t know what took me so long to read this book because Stassi is my QUEEN. OMG, I just love Vanderpump Rules so much and although Stass and I have had our ups and downs, the second I saw she was writing a book I was like YASSSSSS, need it now. But then of course like everything else in my life, if it isn’t instantly in my hands, I forget about it. But needless to say I came across it at Target the other week, bought it and read it in like two day. It is kind of like a self help book which I am SUPER not into those genres but she makes it so dang fun and tells the funniest stories that it is so hard not to like this book!)
Roommates by Tara Brown
This sexy and heart-filled romantic comedy from bestselling author Tara Brown brings the unlikeliest of Roommates together, with one rule, don’t fall in love. But every rule is meant to be broken at some point. Life is full of expectations. For Brady Coldwell it’s always been about the game. Hockey is and always will be, his life. His family sacrificed everything to get him here and he won’t let them down. He knows what’s expected of him. Natalie Banks is no different. She too knows what it means to have everyone sacrifice for you. She knows about the debt that’s left owing in the end and the price you pay for making up your own mind. But when an innocent mistake lands them as roommates, neither of them is prepared for the feelings they have or the consequences of their actions. How do you negotiate matters of the heart? How do you say no when it simply feels so right? Roommates, an unlikely romance!
(Personal Opinion: I read this book for the first time years ago and didn’t really remember it so decided to give it another go a couple of months ago and I forgot how good it was! Then I found out it was actually the second book in a series of three so of course I had to track down the first book and read it too. It was really good as well but this book was definitely my favorite of the two. There is a third one and I will eventually read it but I haven’t yet because when I was going to buy it I came across an Abbi Glines (see below) book I had never read before and it took my immediate attention.)
As She Fades by Abbi Glines
On the night of her high school graduation, Vale McKinley and her boyfriend Crawford are in a terrible car accident that leaves Crawford in a coma. They were supposed to spend the summer planning for college, for a bright future full of possibility. Together. Instead, Vale spends long days in the hospital, hoping Crawford will awaken Slate Allen, a college friend of Vale’s brother, has been visiting his dying uncle at the same hospital. When he and Vale meet, she can’t deny the flutter of an illicit attraction. She tries to ignore her feelings, but she’s not immune to Slate’s charm. Slowly, they form a cautious friendship. Then, Crawford wakes up . . . with no memory of Vale or their relationship. Heartbroken, Vale opts to leave for college and move on with her life. Except now, she’s in Slate’s territory, and their story is about to take a very strange turn.
(Personal Opinion: Okay so if yall haven’t already figured it out, Abbi Glines is my absolute favorite author. I don’t know what it is about her books but they ALL know exactly how to reel me in and keep me there. I also love that she writes very lengthy series because it continuously gives me a new book to read. This book however was not a series so I was originally a little confused because series are all I know when it comes to Abbi Glines but I gave it a change and damn. So freaking good. I don’t want to give anything away but I will say that this book had me SHOOK. Like beyond shook and I honestly wasn’t sure if I loved it at first but after I read it again the story is just so intense that it drew me in every time I reread it.)
After by Anna Todd
There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER… Life will never be the same. #Hessa Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way. But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, and tattoos, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to. But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before. He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper. Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her? Unless…could this be love?
(Personal Opinion: This book was my obsession for a HOT MINUTE. I seriously read the first book of this series like ten times in a two month period. Then I found out it was going to be a movie and holy cow, I freaked out (I would also like to throw in a disclosure that I have yet to see the movie, ugh I suck I know). I love this whole series so much, it is seriously so addicting and I will continue to keep reading it over and over (except for the last book, I just low key kind of wish it ended just a little differently).
When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Under ordinary circumstances, Oakley Ford and Vaughn Bennett would never even cross paths. There’s nothing ordinary about Oakley. This bad-boy pop star’s got Grammy Awards, millions of fangirls and a reputation as a restless, too-charming troublemaker. But with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley needs to show the world he’s settling down—and who better to help him than Vaughn, a part-time waitress trying to help her family get by? The very definition of ordinary. Posing as his girlfriend, Vaughn will overhaul Oakley’s image from troublemaker to serious artist. In return for enough money to put her brothers through college, she can endure outlandish Hollywood parties and carefully orchestrated Twitter exchanges. She’ll fool the paparazzi and the groupies. She might even start fooling herself a little. Because when ordinary rules no longer apply, there’s no telling what your heart will do…
(Personal Opinion: I really liked this book. I don’t know how I came across it, probably a suggestion on Amazon or something but it was really good! Kind of one of those books that are super unrealistic but so cute that it’s totally worth the read!)
Life Will Be the Death of Me… And You Too! by Chelsea Handler
In a haze of vape smoke on a rare windy night in L.A. in the fall of 2016, Chelsea Handler daydreams about what life will be like with a woman in the White House. And then Donald Trump happens. In a torpor of despair, she decides that she’s had enough of the privileged bubble she’s lived in—a bubble within a bubble—and that it’s time to make some changes, both in her personal life and in the world at large. At home, she embarks on a year of self-sufficiency—learning how to work the remote, how to pick up dog shit, where to find the toaster. She meets her match in an earnest, brainy psychiatrist and enters into therapy, prepared to do the heavy lifting required to look within and make sense of a childhood marked by love and loss and to figure out why people are afraid of her. She becomes politically active—finding her voice as an advocate for change, having difficult conversations, and energizing her base. In the process, she develops a healthy fixation on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and, through unflinching self-reflection and psychological excavation, unearths some glittering truths that light up the road ahead. Thrillingly honest, insightful, and deeply, darkly funny, Chelsea Handler’s memoir keeps readers laughing, even as it inspires us to look within and ask ourselves what really matters in our own lives.
(Personal Opinion: Yall, my obsession with Chelsea Handler started a LONG time ago when my mom and I decided to read her first book and oh my gawddd can we say spirit animal. I know a lot of people don’t love her because she is very opinionated and straight forward but I find her hilarious. A true good time and no I don’t agree with everything she rants about but I try to take that with a grain of salt and laugh as much as possible when I read her books!)
The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when Emma was twelve. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges. Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family that she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl. When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is also divided into two people. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her. Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well. For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her—Emma or Saylor—will win out?
(Personal Opinion: Okay, so I have read every single book Sarah Dessen has written and can honestly say there has not been a single one that I didn’t love. As juvenile as these books may seem (they are YA novels) I will continue to read every book she puts out until the day I die no matter how old I am. That being said, this was one of my absolute favorites she has written!! I read this in three days and have already read it once more since then.)
Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery. Reese’s southern heritage informs her whole life, and she loves sharing the joys of southern living with practically everyone she meets. She takes the South wherever she goes with bluegrass, big holiday parties, and plenty of Dorothea’s fried chicken. It’s reflected in how she entertains, decorates her home, and makes holidays special for her kids—not to mention how she talks, dances, and does her hair (in these pages, you will learn Reese’s fail-proof, only slightly insane hot-roller technique). Reese loves sharing Dorothea’s most delicious recipes as well as her favorite southern traditions, from midnight barn parties to backyard bridal showers, magical Christmas mornings to rollicking honky-tonks. It’s easy to bring a little bit of Reese’s world into your home, no matter where you live. After all, there’s a southern side to every place in the world, right?
(Personal Opinion: I know that I’ve said something similar to this about a few of the other authors on this list but since the day I saw Sweet Home Alabama, Reese Witherspoon has been my Idol. In my eyes there is absolutely nothing she could do wrong. Seriously… she could probably run me over with her car and I would still be so giddy to even be in her presence. That being said, this book is absolutely everything! I was born and raised in the South and have always cherished my southern roots and I feel like this is what this book is all about.)
Like A Memory by Abbi Glines
One memory. One special summer. The one thing Bliss had lost herself in when the fear and sickness were too much, moments never to be damaged by the harsh reality that followed… until now. Bliss York didn’t live a normal teenage life. She didn’t go to Friday night football games, walk the halls with her friends every day, go to her prom or even walk to receive her diploma. It had all been taken from her the fall that she was fifteen years old and she was given the diagnosis no one ever wants to hear. She had leukemia. Seven years after spending a summer with a girl who he knew would always be his first love and the one who got away, Nate Finlay returns to Sea Breeze to help his fiancé open her new boutique clothing store. When the new employee walks in Nate is taken back seven years to the girl he thought he’d love forever. The one who never answered his calls or returned his text. The one who shut him out completely with not even a goodbye and broke his heart. They’ve each become someone different. No longer the young teens with stars in their eyes. But does that matter when your heart still says that’s the one.
(Personal Opinion: Okay, back to Abbi Glines. I’m not going to repeat the fact that she is my absolute favorite author over and over again so all I am going to say is that this is a crossover series from two of my favorite series that she has written and it is so good! This is the first of three books so far from this series and you should definitely read it ASAP!)
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor. On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.
(Personal Opinion: This is one of those very few books that I actually think I liked the movie more. However the book was very good too. It took me a while to get into this with all the flipping back and fourth but once I did, WOW! I have yet to read the other two books in this series but they are currently on my to read list so hopefully this Summer I’ll tackle them both!)
Okay like last time, I want to include my list of “to be read” books that is ever growing. I am currently in the middle of “The Rest of the Story” by Sarah Dessen (see above) so once I finish that I will start to tackle this list as well! Let me know in the comments below if you have any suggestions for me to add to my list!