July 2016 Wrap Up

No, no, no, no, no. No. This teacher is saying, “No” to this summer that wants to come to an end for SOME REASON. I had my usual strange mix of books this month – a little contemporary romance with a touch of Christian historical fiction, thrown in with a little bit of randomness. I still technically have a few days before this month ends. Hoping to squeeze in one more book! Saint Anything, I’m coming for you! (EDIT 7/30: I did it! I finished Saint Anything today!)

This month, I read a total of SEVEN EIGHT books!

A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

  • Third read through. Favorite. Inspired.
  • My rating: 5 stars, always and forever.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

  • Read in a day. Impossible parents. Second chances.
  • My rating: 4.5 stars

An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers

  • So many tears. Beautiful. Thought provoking.
  • My rating: 5 stars, because I have to.

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

  • Parent drama. Sweet boy crush. Didn’t feel like 400 pages.
  • My rating: 4 stars

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

  • Last 50 pages. Better than I expected. Some things never change.
  • My rating: 4.5 stars

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

  • Kind of freaky. Lots of questions. Crazy ending.
  • My rating: 4.5 stars

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

  • Great audiobook. Unrequited love. Broken engagements.
  • My rating: 4.5 stars

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

  • A lot going on. Great minor characters. Last of Dessen’s books!
  • My rating: 4 stars

What books did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading! – Caitlyn


The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Welcome to Week 5 of Sundays with Sarah!

“‘Listen…the truth is, nothing is guaranteed…So don’t be afraid. Be alive.'”

truth about forever

Synopsis from GoodreadsA long, hot summer…That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father. But sometimes, unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to question her sheltered life.

Feelings: This is one of two Dessen books that I’d read previously. And I loved it the first time around. I couldn’t remember why I loved it, I just knew that I did. After reading it a second time, I can safely say that I still love it. I’ve heard a few people say that this one isn’t their favorite of Dessen’s books, but it might be mine. I think that’s because I connected with Macy on so many levels. I understood her – her fears, where she was coming from, her motivations – and I wanted to heal alongside her.

Issues: I think the only thing this book was missing was a little more conversation about her belated gift from her dad. A little more closure there would have been nice.

Characters: As I said before, Macy is a character that I could really relate to. She’s experienced tragedy and been stuck in a limbo of healing ever since, unsure how to tip toe around her family members and wanting to please everyone. She’s stuck in a relationship that feels safe and steady, something she’s been desperate for. Then the beautiful Wish Catering crew come along and show Macy how to truly be alive. I want to run away and join a catering business after meeting this band of misfit toys.

I loved how this group ran on chaos. They didn’t need perfection and good luck made them antsy. They were the antithesis to Macy and her Jason-centered universe, which meant that she needed them desperately. I loved Wes’s calm, confident demeanor and the way he balanced Macy out, reassuring her of her worth and value. Every girl wants a Wes. [This girl included.]

Macy’s relationship with her mom and her sister was something that kept me a little bit on edge. I wasn’t sure how things would develop or whether things would have to get worse before they got better. In the end, I was ok with how things turned out. I wouldn’t say it was a beautiful, miraculous, tear-jerking come to Jesus meeting at the end, but sometimes that type of ending just isn’t real.

Final thoughts: I liked this one about the same amount that I liked Someone Like You. It just all felt very realistic to me. It was easy to read, easy to connect with, and easy to enjoy. This is a good summertime read!

Pick this up if you liked:

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins and others

Goodreads rating: 4.14/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.6/5

My rating: 4.75/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn