What I read in July

So, last month I mentioned getting a card to a newer, much bigger library….and wow..I have been a reading fiend. It’s gotten out of control! lol. Well, one of the books I read last month only took a few hours, but still…
This is what I read in July. Let me know what you are reading now! Or, have you read any of these books? 🙂

That Time I Joined the Circus

That Time I Joined The Circus by J.J. Howard – Lexi Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.

A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake–and facing a terrible tragedy–Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi’s mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.

When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn’t there . . . but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus’s fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.

But then Lexi’s ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it’s Lexi’s own future that’s thrown into question.

With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, and the importance of an excellent playlist.

Love Water Memory

Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge – Who is Lucie Walker? Even Lucie herself can-t answer that question after she comes to, confused and up to her knees in the chilly San Francisco Bay. Back home in Seattle, she adjusts to life with amnesia, growing unsettled by the clues she finds to the selfish, carefully guarded person she used to be. Will she ever fall in love with her handsome, kindhearted fiance, Grady? Can he devote himself to the vulnerable, easygoing Lucie 2.0, who is so unlike her controlling former self? When Lucie learns that Grady has been hiding some very painful secrets that could change the course of their relationship, she musters the courage to search for the shocking, long-repressed childhood memories that will finally set her free.

Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

French Twist: An American Mom's Experiment in Parisian Parenting

French Twist by Catherine Crawford – Adventures in Franco-inspired American parenting-a winning mix of witty cross-cultural observation, hilariously blunt French wisdom, and one American mom’s journey to create her own hybrid parenting approach.

Who among us hasn’t wished her kids wouldn’t talk back or whine or hoped for kids who are enthusiastic about more than “white” foods for dinner? Who among us hasn’t longingly read about the miracles of French parenting and thought “if only it didn’t require a move to France!” Catherine Crawford is certainly among us. Determined to “Frenchify” her two young daughters right here at home (and without obliterating their appealingly big personalities), Crawford set out to discover the essentials of the famed French approach. After journeying to the source-La Belle France-to see these “exotic” parenting practices first hand, she brought back wisdom and tricks that wouldn’t require a move across the Atlantic. From her efforts at Being the Chief (the key to French discipline) to the Chef (it’s all about expectations!) and every delicious moment in between, French Twist is a compulsively-readable narrative of the year in which she experimented on her unwitting family; it offers readers a “Battle Hymn” of witty instruction and pithy observation of the Franco-inspired variety.

Dear Lucy: A Novel

Dear Lucy by Julie Sarkissian – I go down the stairs quiet like I am something without any weight. I open the door in the dark and the cold sucks my skin towards it. It is the morning but there is no sun yet, just white light around the edges. It is the time to get the eggs. Time for my best thing. The eggs they shine with their white and I do not need the light to find them. The foxes need no light either. I am a little like the fox, he is a little like me.

Lucy is a young woman with an uncommon voice and an unusual way of looking at the world. She doesn’t understand why her mother has sent her to live with old Mister and Missus on their farm, but she knows she must never leave or her mother won’t be able to find her again.

Also living at the farm is a pregnant teenager named Samantha who tells conflicting stories about her past and quickly becomes Lucy’s only friend. When Samantha gives birth and her baby disappears, Lucy arms herself with Samantha’s diary as well as a pet chicken named Jennifer; and embarks on a dangerous and exhilarating journey to reunite mother and child. With Dear Lucy, Julie Sarkissian has created an unforgettable new heroine of contemporary fiction whose original voice, exuberance, and bravery linger long after the final page.

The Originals

The Originals by Cat Patrick – 17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets… until they discovered a shocking family secret. They’re actually closer than sisters, they’re clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life…

Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she’s not a carbon copy of her sisters; she’s an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.

This Is What Happy Looks Like

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith – When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I'm Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog

The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster – One would think that with Jen Lancaster’s impressive list of bestselling self-improvement memoirs—Bitter Is the New Black; Bright Lights, Big Ass; Such a Pretty Fat; Pretty in Plaid; My Fair Lazy; and Jeneration X—that she would have it all together by now.

One would be wrong.

Jen’s still a little rough around the edges. Suffice it to say, she’s no Martha Stewart. And that is exactly why Jen is going to Martha up and live her life according to the advice of America’s overachieving older sister—the woman who turns lemons into lavender-infused lemonade.

By immersing herself in Martha’s media empire, Jen will embark on a yearlong quest to take herself, her house, her husband (and maybe even her pets) to the next level—from closet organization to craft making, from party planning to kitchen prep.

Maybe Jen can go four days without giving herself food poisoning if she follows Martha’s dictates on proper storage….Maybe she can grow closer to her girlfriends by taking up their boring-ass hobbies like knitting and sewing.…Maybe she can finally rid her workout clothes of meatball stains by using Martha’s laundry tips.… Maybe she can create a more meaningful anniversary celebration than just getting drunk in the pool with her husband….again. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll discover that the key to happiness does, in fact, lie in Martha’s perfectly arranged cupboards and artfully displayed charcuterie platters.

Or maybe not.

Love and Leftovers

Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay – My wish is to fall cranium over Converse in dizzy daydream-worthy love.

(If only it were that easy.

Marcie has been dragged away from home for the summer—from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She’s left behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father.

By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this “summer vacation” has become permanent. She has to start at a new school, and there she leaves behind her Leftover status when a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up. But understanding love, especially when you’ve watched your parents’ affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? Can you even know it until you’ve lost it?

Love & Leftovers is a beautifully written story of one girl’s journey navigating family, friends, and love, and a compelling and sexy read that teens will gobble up whole.


ManicPixieDreamGirl by Tom Leveen – Sometimes the most dramatic scenes in a high school theater club are the ones that happen between the actors and crew off stage.

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Darcy’s dream of being a writer is starting to feel very real now that he’s sold his first short story to a literary journal. He should be celebrating its publication with his two best friends who’ve always had his back, but on this night, a steady stream of texts from his girlfriend Sidney keep intruding. So do the memories of his dream girl, Becky, who’s been on his mind a little too much since the first day of high school. Before the night is over, Ty might just find the nerve to stop all the obsessing and finally take action.

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4 Responses to What I read in July

  1. Cassi says:

    I normally don’t read YA fiction but that circus one sounds great. Thanks for the post

    • Jennifer says:

      I have been reading more YA than normal lately. I think because they have a lot more in the ‘new’ section at the library. And I hate to say it, but I am guilty of judging a book by its cover, lol. That book was pretty good.. Not five stars or anything, but I enjoyed it! 🙂

  2. Nicole says:

    Wow! You must read fast or a lot! I average one book every 3-6 weeks. This puts me to shame! My daughter reads YA and I thought she might be interested in the 13 reasons book. Do you think it’s appropriate for 13 year olds? Junior high age?

    • Jennifer says:

      Ohhh, I have to say, July was a freak month. My average is about four books a month. I don’t know what happened in July, lol. One book only took an afternoon though. The 13 reasons one…hmm…I would think it would be ok for a 13 year old. It is basically a girl that killed herself..and she sends out cassette tapes to 13 different people letting them know why they were one of the reasons why she did so. They don’t talk about her too much, they mostly talk about things that happened in her life and why she is upset about them. Some normal high school stuff in there…

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