Books I’ve Read (Summer 2022)


New York Times

Did you read any books over the summer? Do you want to read more coming into the new year?

Azzurra Degliuomini, Editor

My biggest goal for 2022 was to make sure I read at least 20 books, which I managed to complete by the end of the summer, reading a total of eleven books from the start to the end of summer vacation. Today, I will be talking about all the books I’ve read over the summer, and consequently rating them. So, if you’re a big fan of reading like I am, I hope I’m able to give you a few book recommendations in this article. 


     1. Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters 

This book was a perfect start for Pride Month. It followed two childhood best friends, Isaac and Diego, and their summer before Isaac heads off to college. Both of them are particularly excited since they’re both planning to attend their very first Teen Pride and Legends Con, a convention that has Isaac’s favorite comic book involved. But, when Isaac’s crush comes into the picture, their long-term friendship begins to strain, potentially leading to a heartbreaking ending between the two of them. 

This book quickly grabbed my attention once I began reading it. I’ll be honest, I can most definitely be a sap for cute romance stories, and this was exactly it. Following Isaac and his journey to becoming a proud out gay Black man and experiencing many of his firsts alongside him was something that pulled on my heartstrings. I also loved his and Diego’s dynamic, and how a long-term friendship could lead to something more. 

While there was slight miscommunication throughout the book, it wasn’t enough to make me become turned off from the story. I’ve rated this book 4.5/5.


     2. Love from Scratch by Kaitlyn Hill

Love from Scratch follows Reese, a Southern girl moving to Seattle to pursue an internship on Friends of Flavor, a popular cooking channel and one that Reese has fawned over for years. But, she quickly realizes she has competition in one Benny Beneventi. When producers tested them and noticed their on-screen chemistry when recording videos for their channel, they decided to pair them together and have them compete with each other in order for one of them to earn their spot with Friends of Flavor and ultimately get a long-term internship with the company. The only problem? Their chemistry is off the charts, and the internet took notice of it, too.  

I had no idea what this book would entice when I first picked it up at the library, but I certainly don’t regret picking it up The relationship between Reese and Benny, both of them trying to rightfully earn their spot in the company while simultaneously trying to fight their chemistry, both on and off screen, was something entertaining to watch. But, we also see Reese’s thought process, including why she’s so reluctant to pursue a relationship with Benny. Her backstory and why she chooses to try and move on from her past was nothing short of heartbreaking, and the way she, a young woman trying to make it big on social media, has to continue battling those problems is simultaneously angering and awe-inspiring. 

I mostly adored this book, but the miscommunication that created unnecessary problems was something that irked me just a little. Even though that’s the case, the resolution made up for the stubbornness the heroine has. I’ve rated this book 4.5/5.


     3. The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

Okay, listen, I know you’re probably like, “You haven’t read Percy Jackson?” I never got around to reading the series when I was younger, and in light of the Percy Jackson Disney+ series beginning filming over the summer, I’ve decided now is the best time to read the series. 

If you don’t know what the Percy Jackson series is, it follows the titular character and how he gets thrown into the world of Gods, Goddesses, and Demigods when at the age of 12, he nearly gets killed by a mythological creature and gets accused of stealing the Zeus’ lightning bolt. Oh, and Poseidon, the God of the Sea, is his father. Something that comes as a shocking revelation, given the fact that the Big Three (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades) swore to never have children following WWII. 

Throughout the series, he discovers that he may most likely be the Demigod mentioned in a prophecy that was to take place when he turns 16, a prophecy that talks about the potential destruction of the Gods and the end of civilization if Kronos, the father of the Gods, were to rise again and defeat them. 

The Percy Jackson Series very quickly became one of my all-time favorite series, and reading the series makes me feel like the child in me was finally content with reading an incredibly popular franchise. I rate all five books a collective score of 4/5.


     4. The Roommate by Rosie Danan

This book has been on my TBR (To Be Read) for nearly a year now, so I was very happy I finally was able to get around to reading it. It follows east coast elite Clara Wheaton, who makes the dumb mistake of following her childhood best friend and crush to the west coast in order to start a new life away from the infamy of her family name back on the east coast. But, she comes to find out that her best friend ends up going on tour with his band, leaving Clara to have a complete stranger as a roommate. Come to find out that her roommate, Josh, is known in the entertainment industry, just not the Hollywood kind. This book follows the two as they journey through romance and an unkind industry. Clara just has to hope this news never makes it back home, otherwise, it would be the biggest scandal yet. 

I quickly fell in love with the story, and even quicker with the male protagonist, Josh. This book takes an industry, which is usually catered to men, and flips it around, allowing women to take the forefront. I enjoyed the ways that this book tried to create a safer space in a predatory industry and how to cater to the female gaze. 

Although there were some parts of the book that made me want to rip my hair out due to the stubbornness between the two main characters, in the end, they would find a way to make it work. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and rated it a 4/5. (WARNING: this book has mature themes involved)


     5. Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson 

Meet Me in the Margins follows book editor Savannah, who works at a smaller, but reputable publishing company. She’s also in the process of writing her very own book. The problem? It’s a romance book. And her boss hates romance books. In fact, she hates them so much, that her company is not allowed to publish romance books or commercial fiction in general. So, Savannah has to keep what she’s doing secret, but that proves faulty when she one day puts her manuscript in a secure place and comes to find out that someone has been writing notes on her manuscript. Soon enough, she begins forming a somewhat unconventional relationship with this mystery editor. 

To be quite honest, I genuinely didn’t know if I was going to enjoy this book or not. I’d never heard of this book prior to me picking it up, unlike most of the other books on this list. I bought it with the hopes that I was going to like it, which I thankfully did. Some characters, like Savannah’s sister and her ex-boyfriend, were sometimes very questionable. But, I did enjoy the route their characters eventually took, and the growth that Savannah had as a person. The book was at times very predictable, but it wasn’t predictability that caused me to dislike the story. I enjoyed being able to guess what would happen next. I rated this book a 3.5/5. 


     6. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry


People We Meet on Vacation follows Poppy and Alex, two polar opposite college best friends who choose to go on vacation every summer with one another. They kept the tradition going for ten years until two years prior to the story’s present, when something happened that ruined those vacations, and nearly their friendship, for each other. So, Poppy reached out to Alex one last time and asked him if he would like to go on a trip, and luckily, he agreed to it. They had one last chance to fix their friendship, and potentially fall in love. 

Emily Henry, despite the fact that this was the first book of hers that I read, has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I loved the humor between Alex and Poppy and their dynamic has totally opposite characters, but two who seemed to work perfectly together. I also loved the way the book was set up, alternating between the present and going back every few chapters to all of their previous summer vacations and how we saw them interacting with each other and the places around them. I absolutely adored this book, and have put the rest of Emily Henry’s books on my TBR list. I rated this book a 4.5/5. 


     7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 


Fangirl follows College Freshman Cath and her way of navigating a whole new world without her twin sister, who has chosen to break away from her. She also finds solace in fanfiction writing, particularly for a fictional children’s book series called Simon Snow. Now, Cath, pretty much all alone, has to try to break out of her comfort zone and potentially finally move on from a series that has had her heart for many years, while simultaneously putting up with her roommate and her boyfriend, a potential friend in a handsome classmate, and a teacher that hates fanfiction writing. 

This book was… disappointing, to say the least. I’ve had this book on my TBR for years now. I’ll admit, I’m also a fangirl myself, so I was able to relate to that part of the story pretty well, which is actually what drew me to the book in the first place. I’ve been really excited to read the book, but once I got around to it, it’s like the energy was drained out of me. Now, it could have been because of the fact that I had already read ten books prior to this, but it could have also been the fact that it was a slow book to start with. It was sometimes also frustrating, especially when it was clear how much the dynamic between Cath and her twin sister changed, even if Cath kept trying to keep it the same. 

I understand that change is hard, but she wasn’t even trying to try changing a little, and it became infuriating. I DNFed (Do Not Finish) the book a little less than halfway in, but, I may be willing to go back and try reading it again one day. I rated it a 1/5.