Heart of Thorns book cover

Rules of Summer (Rules of Summer #1) by Joanna Philbin | Bring the sunscreen

Rules of Summer (Rules of Summer #1) by Joanna Philbin | Bring the sunscreenRules of Summer (Rules of Summer, #1) by Joanna Philbin
Published by Poppy on June 4, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eBook

There are two sides…to every summer.

When seventeen-year-old Rory McShane steps off the bus in East Hampton, it’s as if she’s entered another universe, one populated by impossibly beautiful people wearing pressed khakis and driving expensive cars. She’s signed on to be a summer errand girl for the Rules—a wealthy family with an enormous beachfront mansion. Upon arrival, she’s warned by other staff members to avoid socializing with the family, but Rory soon learns that may be easier said than done.

Stifled by her friends and her family’s country club scene, seventeen-year-old Isabel Rule, the youngest of the family, embarks on a breathless romance with a guy whom her parents would never approve of. It’s the summer for taking chances, and Isabel is bringing Rory along for the ride.

But will Rory’s own summer romance jeopardize her friendship with Isabel? And, after long-hidden family secrets surface, will the Rules’ picture-perfect world ever be the same?

Headed to the beach this Summer? This is the perfect book to bring along!

Unlikely friendships. Isabel and Rory come from completely different worlds. Isabel has a few siblings, no responsibilities, and is handed just about anything she wants. Rory is an only child, with a needy, selfish, immature mom, and has to work hard for everything. I liked how Isabel helped Rory gain more confidence and step out of her comfort zone. In return, Rory helped Isabel, well, become less of an entitled b*tch.

Isabel’s not the greatest. I hated her the moment she was introduced. She was that classic, rich, snobby, mean girl, who had it all, and appreciated none of it. Thankfully by the end of the book, I hated Isabel a little less, because she had started to mature.

Jarring POV swaps. The POV swaps between Rory and Isabel were rough.  The switches happened pretty sudden, and by the time I got re-acclimated with one of the girls, another switch would happen, and I was thrown off again.

Why should you read this book? Because it’s the perfect Summer read! There’s forbidden romances, family drama, flawed characters, and so much more!

Side note: I’m really looking forward to book two and how it skips a year.

Heart of Thorns book cover

A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody KeplingerA Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Published by Poppy on June 5th 2012
Pages: 291

Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.

Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.

A Midsummer’s Nightmare was fast, fiery, and fabulous! My first Kody Keplinger book, but mostly certainly not my last. I applaud Keplinger for creating such a rich and believable storyline and pairing it with deep and intensely emotional characters.

Whitley is pretty much the perfect example of strong book heroines. In the beginning although part of me felt sorry for her, a larger part really disliked her. She made a lot of foolish mistakes like staying out late, drinking a lot and hanging out with practical strangers. Whitley had one of those glass half-empty point of views, always overlooking the good things and people in her life. Luckily as the book progressed she started to open her eyes. However, unfortunately, it does take one or two really bad and emotional situations to get her to wake up and basically smell the love. I found her journey towards self-realization to be practical and very-well paced. She didn’t immediately realize the error of her ways, it took a lot of bad decisions and consequences to get through to her.

Nathan a.k.a. Whitley’s one-night stand a.k.a. Whitley’s father’s soon-to-be stepson is basically a sweet heart. He’s caring and uber-protective of both his little sister *swoon* and Whitley. What I found so remarkable was the fact he never gave up on Whitley. Every step of the way Whitley fought Nathan’s kindness, but that didn’t stop him. I think Nathan’s just generally a good person that recognizes Whitley’s pain and doesn’t plan on giving up like others seem to have.

At the time that I read this book it was still summer and therefore I was declaring it the perfect day at the beach or day by the pool read, however now that it’s Fall and pretty frigid outside that perfect reading location doesn’t really work. I’m now declaring A Midsummer’s Nightmare the perfect all-around book to relax and escape with. It’s perfect for snuggling up in a comfy chair with a fuzzy blanket and cup of cocoa and maybe a snack or two because like I said, this is one book you will not be able to put down!