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Weekend Book Review: Summer Classics

Reading is something I have always enjoyed, even as a child. In fact, there is a funny childhood story about a time when I had a friend over for a play date and was so engrossed with my current book that I sat on my bed reading while my friend played with my toys. Socially, I have become a bit more apt over the years [thank god!] but I laugh at my eight year old self in that story since I can still become that captivated by a good book.
Whether your weekend plans include a walk to the beach, hanging out by a pool, or even a quiet relaxing night at home, here are a few of my favorite summer reads that I can’t help but come back to each year.  
  
Quite possibly the funniest series you’ll ever come across. It takes place right here in Jersey and each one in the series is better and more hysterical than the last – a rare thing for a series. I’ve gotten my entire extended family hooked on these books by now and the only complaint I ever heard: it’s embarrassing to read when you’re alone in a public place [beach, pool…] because you will laugh out loud. Often. The nineteenth book in the series was released a few weeks ago and I’m just as hooked now as I was years ago when I read the first one. While starting at the first one and continuing in order isn’t mandatory, I would at least read the first six or seven in order as many new and recurring characters are introduced. My personal series favorite: To The Nines. I read it every summer and every summer I reach a scene in the book where I am laughing the can’t-breathe-tears-pouring-down-my-face type of laugh. Which scene is it? You’ll have to just read to find out!
This book was originally bought for me when I entered middle school by a well-meaning family member and it’s a book I’ve gone back to read a number of times since. Luckily, the “birds and the bees” conversation happened early in my house so twelve-year-old me wasn’t shell-shocked by some of the content. Lesson learned, the words “Judy Blume” and “kids book” are not necessarily synonymous. Best part: It’s a long book, and will easily take up a number of full beach days reading it. Defining an entire week by one long book and a little bit of sunburn – to me, there’s nothing better.

                                                             

I’ll start by saying that no, it does not count if you watched the movie. I’ve refused to see it since I’ve heard the ending is different and to me, the ending of this book was genius. It was a great book until the last page, where it became phenomenal. Be prepared to cry. I was warned about this and shrugged it off; I never cry at books. And I didn’t cry – until the very last page [where the use of the word cry to describe my actions would be the understatement of the century]. My Sister’s Keeper is, far and away, my favorite book of hers although Nineteen Minutes and Handle with Care are tied for a close second. 

Enjoy the weekend – and happy reading!

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