Friday, July 7, 2023

Mini Reviews: Summer Fun Edition


Summer is all about the beach reads, right? Especially if it's a really indulgent, maybe out of your comfort zone, beach read. Well, I've got you covered! I'm sharing a delicious romance as well as a romance/mystery/guilty pleasure that was perfect for a lazy day by the pool with a margarita in hand. If I were going to a tropical island this summer, one of these books would be perfect!

Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum
Pages: 272
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 23, 2023
Publisher: Flat Iron
Source: Library
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "A whip-smart, propulsive debut about infidelity, backstabbing, and murderous intrigue, set against an exclusive summer haven on Fire Island. None of them would claim to be a particularly good person. But who among them is actually capable of murder? Jen Weinstein and Lauren Parker rule the town of Salcombe, Fire Island every summer. They hold sway on the beach and the tennis court, and are adept at manipulating people to get what they want. Their husbands, Sam and Jason, have summered together on the island since childhood, despite lifelong grudges and numerous secrets. Their one single friend, Rachel Woolf, is looking to meet her match, whether he's the tennis pro-or someone else's husband. But even with plenty to gossip about, this season starts out as quietly as any other. Until a body is discovered, face down off the side of the boardwalk. Stylish, subversive and darkly comedic, this is a story of what's lurking under the surface of picture-perfect lives in a place where everyone has something to hide."


Fire Island, New York, home to seasonal beachgoers with questionable behavior and ethics = a very entertaining beach read. Bad Summer People is filled with vapid adults visiting Fire Island for the summer partaking in all sorts of debauchery as well as tennis, cocktails, parties, and more. It reminded me of an adult Gossip Girl where the people mostly care about money, gossip, and a good game of tennis. Enter Rachel, who loves gossip. See the trend here? Then there's Sam, a lawyer, and his best friend Jason, an investor. Major problems though. Sam and Jason are best friends, but compete with each other, even over Jen, Sam's wife, whom Jason once dated. Cue the drama! There's Lauren, the resident ice queen, and don't forget the hot tennis pro that everyone wants private lessons with. But Bad Summer People isn't just cocktails and tennis, there's a murder. Who did it? More importantly, who died? Rosenblum fleshes that out as the story progresses and shares points of view from each character, which I will admit was overwhelming at first, but then it became easier to remember which awful person was engaging in what scandalous and highly questionable behavior.

Each character in
Bad Summer People has their own set of baggage and problems, so mix that with a 4th of July boozy barbeque, cheating individuals, and gossip mongers, not to mention, Susan, the 70-year-old widow who resides over them all and all of this equals a raucous time. I will say I felt a little gross reading all the drama and scandals, but it was like a really bad car accident. I wanted to get through it, but I also wanted to press my face against the glass as we drove by. Oh, the drama! All the incorrigible people who I loved to hate! If you are looking for a juicy Gossip Girl-esque adult summer read, look no further! Bad Summer People, a debut beach read, will leave your mouth wide open with shock as you take in all the scandal this summer at Fire Island. 



Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
Pages: 389
Genre: Adult Fiction/Romance
Pub. Date: June 13, 2023
Publisher: Little Brown
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Love Hypothesis,
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "The many lives of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway have finally caught up with her. By day, she’s an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure. By other day, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs. Honestly, it’s a pretty sweet gig—until her carefully constructed Elsie-verse comes crashing down. Because Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and broody older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere. And that same Jack who now sits on the hiring committee at MIT, right between Elsie and her dream job.Elsie is prepared for an all-out war of scholarly sabotage but…those long, penetrating looks? Not having to be anything other than her true self when she’s with him? Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt her to put her most guarded theories on love into practice?"

Dr. Elsie Hannaway is at MIT as a professor of theoretical physics and hoping to gain tenure. She can barely scrape money to get by, so she moonlights as a "fake girlfriend." One night she discovers her favorite client's brother is none other than Jack Smith, an infamous MIT professor and the very person who possibly stands in the way of her tenure. As one would expect in one of Hazelwood's laugh-out-loud STEM romances, there's a lot of witty banter between Jack and Elsie. Also, there's a slow-burning enemies-to-lovers romance in Love, Theoretically filled with a lot of academic politics, too. Jack isn't just a well-known physicist, but also someone responsible for messing things up for her mentor. How could she have feelings for him? Perhaps it's his good looks and epic brooding? Or maybe she just wants to take him down -- academic style. Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood is her third installment in the STEM romances and doesn't disappoint.

I think that Hazelwood's legions of fans will enjoy Elsie as she engages in romance, academic sabotage, academic politics, and tons of witty banter with Jack Smith in
Love, Theoretically. While this wasn't my favorite of Hazelwood's romances, I still enjoyed it and it would be the perfect book to accompany a sunny day at the beach. I do feel that her romances are becoming a bit formulaic at times, but that didn't stop me from swooning right along with Elsie. 

So, are you a fan of Hazelwood? Have you read Love, Theoretically yet or Bad Summer People? Both are solid choices for your beach bag this summer. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



  1. I am a huge Ali Hazelwood fan! I have this book checked out from the library now and hope to start it soon.

    1. Hazelwood's writing is just so good! I hope you enjoy this one! Thanks for dropping by!

  2. I haven't read Hazelwood yet, but I really should try this new one, as I haven't seen a bad review yet!

    1. You should definitely read Hazelwood! I think you'd like her. My favorite is The Love Hypothesis. Thanks for visiting, Angela.


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