Category Archives: beach reads

Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles

Love In Lowercase

This book follows a lonely man who searches for a past love after seeing a glimpse of her on the crowded streets of Barcelona, where he lives and works as a linguistics lecturer.

While this book was cute and an easy read, it was very existential. He got into many conversations about life and the moon and how to find what he is searching for, and while conversations like these have their place the book may have had too many. But romantics tend to be existential.

The book flowed well and had a good mix of surprises. The chapters were short which made it easy to pick up and put back down-a good summer read.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by:  Jessie Vislay
Rating:  Recommended
Challenge: A book published in 2016

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook

I brought this book with me to the beach to read in about a day. It’s a very short, easy read and I loved the movie, so I decided to give the book a try.

Nicholas Sparks books aren’t typically my go-to, but compared to The Last Song (the only other Sparks book I’ve read), this book was rather simple, and I believe the plot could have been a little bit more complex. However, the character development is very clear.

This book also had slight differences from the movie. This made it more interesting for me, as it wasn’t 100% predictable from what I saw in the film.

All in all, I would only recommend this if you are an avid romance reader and want a quick book to get through. I was not as emotionally invested as I thought I would be, but it was interesting and well-written nonetheless.

Availability:  COSMOS, USMAI
Review Submitted by:  Reilly Cook
Rating:  Recommended with Reservations

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

The Sugar Queen

I need to preface this review by saying that I love Sarah Addison Allen’s novels. They are chick lit to the core, so if you’re not into that, you won’t enjoy them in the least bit. The Sugar Queen is the story of Josey Cirrini. She has a complicated relationship with her mother, sugary sweets, unfulfilled dreams and a stranger who has taken up residence in her closet. The story follows Josey’s burgeoning independence from a bitter and controlling mother, new relationships with friends, and a developing romance with Adam who is facing his own internal struggle. Allen includes a touch of magic and whimsy in her novels which make them a feel-good read.

Availability:  COSMOS, USMAI
Review Submitted by:  Sandi Hauenstein
Rating:  Highly Recommended

The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand

The CastawaysThe Castaways is the story of four couples who have been friends for many years and seen each other through various trials in life. When the unthinkable happens to one of the couples, secrets start to surface, relationships change, and the future looks uncertain for the relationships of this group dubbed as The Castaways.

I recommend this only as a beach or vacation read. I found the characters annoying and overly self-involved. I would have put it aside any other time.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by:  Sandi Hauenstein
Rating:  Recommended with reservations

Angel: Maximum Ride Novel by James Patterson

Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel
I love James Patterson. This is the first young adult book of his that I have read. It was an and fun read. The book was fast paced with a good plot. I’m not into fantasy, but I can see the appeal to teenagers and fantasy lovers. These fantasy books are good to get young people interested in, and to keep them reading. I won’t be reading the other books in the series, it’s just not for me. But I am going to recommend the book for lovers of fantasy.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Shelley Clark
Rating: Recommended

A Tine To Live, A Tine To Die By Edith Maxwell

A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die


This is a cute little cozy mystery. The plot and the characters kept me interested in the book, and wanting to get to the end and find out the killers’ identity. There was interesting information on organic farming and locavores. I had never heard the term “locavore” until I read the book. This book is the first in a new series from this author. I will be checking out other books written by Edith Maxwell, and continue with this series.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Shelley Clark
Rating:  Recommended

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty

I love reading Liane Moriarty’s books. She always grabs my interest, and I’m usually a little surprised at her twists. I rushed to buy the e-book when it was published at the end of July. While I enjoyed the read, I feel like it was definitely one I could have waited a few months for on hold at the library. At about 200 pages in, I felt like the “secret” had been revealed, and I couldn’t imagine what the next 200 pages could possibly do. I was pleasantly surprised by the end at a couple of developments, but I found the overall story predictable and not as exciting as some of her other novels. The story touches on marital relationships, parent/child relationships, neighbor issues, struggles of infertility – especially when one partner desires a baby more than the other, and the way we respond when life challenges us in dire and unexpected ways. I would give the book a 3 star rating just because of my fondness for the author.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by:  Sandi Hauenstein
Rating:  Recommended
Challenge: Book published in 2016