What’s On My Summer 2020 TBR

Hello again!

It has been quite some time since I last sat down to write a blog post (see my Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes review from freakin’ MAY!). I figured if any kind of post could jumpstart my blogging slump a Top Ten Tuesday would be the one. My TBR has been all kinds of an organized mess so far this summer, so I am glad to prioritize ten books I want to read this season.

Let’s jump right in…

you say it first by katie cotugno

You Say It First cover

Katie Cotugno is an auto-buy author for me now. I won an ARC of 99 DAYS forever ago, and I have been hooked since. I absolutely love everything Katie writes, so when I saw a new book by her I immediately bought it. This book seems like a perfect mix of romance, humor, and politics. I can’t wait to read an opposites attract trope!

love and gelato by jenna evans welch

Love and Gelato cover

I have eyed up Jenna Evans Welch’s books for more than a few years now. Barnes and Noble had a deal starting this past week, so I finally bought the first book in this series. From the synopsis, I got Mamma Mia vibes. I am LIVING for it! I know this will be the perfect summer read.

six of crows by leigh bardugo

six of crows cover

I know, you’re probably thinking, “YOU HAVEN’T READ THESE BOOKS YET?” Well, I tried reading her Grisha trilogy and could not get into it. When quarantine hit, however, I decided to jump aboard this series train and order SIX OF CROWS. I’ve been told this series is what gets people interested in the Grishaverse. With the Netflix show in production, I was getting a serious case of FOMO.

with the fire on high by elizabeth acevedo

With the Fire On High cover

I adored Elizabeth’s THE POET X along with the rest of the world. WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH comes highly recommended by Shealea (an amazing member of the book community!!) but has sat on my shelf for a year. I have decided this summer will be the summer of WTFH.

you don’t live here by robyn schneider

You Don't Live Here cover

Robyn Schneider is another one of my auto-buy authors. She released a new book this summer that tackles being bisexual, society’s expectations, and probably so much more. I cannot wait to dive into this book which will be sure to make me cry. If you haven’t read any of her other books yet, please do!

peter and the starcatchers by dave barry and ridley pearson

Peter and the Starcatchers cover

PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS is part of my ‘12 Book Recs From 12 Friends‘ challenge as recommended by Evie. Evie is an absolute angel, and she always has the best book recommendations. I have known her for just over a year now from book club. I cannot wait to read one of her favorite books this year!

the beautiful by renee ahdieh

The Beautiful cover

When this book came out, I heard so much hype about vampires returning to YA. One of my best friends recommended this book to me last year, and I never got around to it. After another one of my friends, Hannah Marie, watched THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, I knew I needed to get a vampire fix from somewhere. I am pumped to jump into a vampire world again.

unfiltered by lily collins

Unfiltered cover

UNFILTERED is definitely a shift from all of the above books. I fell in love with Lily Collins in THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS movie, though, and I got this book from a thrift shop a while ago. I am trying to incorporate non-fiction books into my TBR for the rest of 2020 (and beyond!). When I saw this one sitting on my shelf, I knew this would be my next NF read.

queen move by kennedy ryan

Queen Move cover

In the past year, I keep adding romance books to my TBR in order to expand my comfort zone. Through Instagram, I found The Romancetheque Book Club which always strives to bring in a variety of romance. I can’t wait to dive into this book since it’s a childhood friend to lovers trope. Nothing is truly more wholesome.

becoming by michelle obama

Becoming cover

BECOMING was also a book rec for my ‘12 Book Recs from 12 Friends’ challenge. This turned into a buddy read from Amber who recommended the book. I absolutely have been failing at the buddy read, but I hope to fall into a routine with my busier work schedule soon to allow me to read more. The chapters I have read, though, blow me away. Michelle is an amazing writer, and I can’t wait to fall into its rhythm.

stamped by jason reynolds and ibram x. kendi

Stamped cover

I added this book to my TBR when it first released, but I didn’t realize it was a YA version of Ibram’s STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING. When I saw C. Forte’s read-along starting on Juneteenth, I knew now was the time! I am still waiting on my order for STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING, but I’m hoping to supplement the two titles together.

What’s on your summer TBR? Have any bucket list items for summer? Let me know in the comments!



Saint Anything Review // #sdessensummer

saint anything instagramPeyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

I remember loving SAINT ANYTHING when it first released, and now I remember why. The story captures so many issues in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the reader. From younger sibling status to older brother issues, first loves to new friendships, and everything in between, SAINT ANYTHING left me wondering how the world connects.

I absolutely adore the slow development of Sydney and Mac’s romance throughout the book. I say development instead of burn because they didn’t flirt or act like a lot of slow burn romances do. Instead, Sydney and Mac grew into a friendship that developed into something more naturally. Seeing how their relationship grew made my heart flutter and pound simultaneously. Mac is literally the dream book boyfriend.

My favorite part of SAINT ANYTHING, I’m pretty sure, is all the relationships. The group of friends Sydney makes and all they go through together is amazing. Honestly, Jackson High has the best friend groups possible (see WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE for more proof). The reconnection with her brother Peyton makes me smile when they realize they have more in common than they thought. The only relationship I will never support from SAINT ANYTHING is any of the ones involving Ames. Sarah Dessen does a creepily good job of writing creeper characters. *shivers*

My one issue with SAINT ANYTHING is how hungry I became every time I started reading. Pizza and french fries quickly became all I craved which did not help. The consistency and importance of food in the book, however, became more than a simple place filler for the characters to be doing something. The food became part of the story. How did I know something sad just happened? Layla ate the Trifecta. How did I know Mac was near? Pizza was being delivered. I love it!

I am so glad I finished this book and still loved it. My greatest fear is that I will not like a book after I re-read it. But now I can read JUST LISTEN! If you didn’t catch the synopsis in my review for WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE, I got you again:

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.



What did you like about SAINT ANYTHING? Have you entered the summer-long giveaway yet? Are you sad the end of summer is arriving? Let me know in the comments!

Miss Charley (2)

Find me on social media!

That Summer Review // #sdessensummer

34119493_1670165833098457_6003272563545866240_nFor fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She’s nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister—the always perfect Ashley—is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley’s reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future.

The first book of my Sarah Dessen Summer Readathon has officially been read! I am glad I chose a short read since my week became crazier than expected. But that story is for another post… on to my thoughts!

I do not remember much from the first time I read this book (over five years ago according to Goodreads!), so I went into reading this book virtually blind. One of my favorite parts of THAT SUMMER is probably the multiple references to the title. For Haven, everything came back to the one summer with Sumner. I definitely made multiple puns inside my head while reading about Sumner’s summer…oops, it just slipped out. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Reading about the sister relationship reminded me of growing up with an older sister who is also five years older, like Haven and Ashley. Similar to Haven, I can relate a lot of what happened in my life according to which boyfriend my sister had at the time. At first, I did not see a focus on the sister relationship until the end when Ashley finds Haven in the woods (not a spoiler, don’t worry!) and Haven’s mind clears up. I’m not sure if this comes from my perception of where the story was headed or not. I definitely wanted more Ashley and Haven scenes throughout the book.

THAT SUMMER gave me some William Faulkner’s SOUND AND FURY vibes toward the end when Haven starts acting strangely and sort-of out-of-body, if that make sense. Due to the first person viewpoint, events got morphed according to Haven’s perceptions which is the point of first person. However, the story just did not flow well for me, a feeling I also got from Faulkner. The vibes only came at the end once Haven started processing her feelings.

I had completely forgotten about the Sumner “plot twist” which sort of sets Haven on the road to normalcy again. Everything from the past to the present suddenly made sense with Ashley’s development, her relationship with Haven, and how Haven developed. I liked how I was able to connect a lot of the dots about the characters’ behaviors throughout the story.

Overall, I would say THAT SUMMER was a bit of a rough start to my summer of Sarah Dessen books. I am, however, not surprised that Sarah Dessen’s debut novel was not my favorite compared to her newer novels. I cannot wait to dive into SOMEONE LIKE YOU next week! Here’s a quick look at the synopsis:

Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she’s carrying his baby, she’s devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it’ll never break—because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever. (GOODREADS)


What did you think of THAT SUMMER? Will you be reading SOMEONE LIKE YOU with me next week? Let me know in the comments below!

Miss Charley (2)

Find me on social media!