My Top Five Summer Reads – 2011

by Maryse on August 10, 2011 · 27 comments

in Book Recommendations, My Book Reviews, My Favorites

Lately I’ve been asked for my newest “favorites” list or my recommended summer reading list, so here it is. I’m going to cheat a bit by stretching back to June, but here in Florida June is summer, so I think it counts. Out of 26 books that I’ve read and completed (since June), I have picked my top five. Maybe this list’ll help keep you entertained for what’s left of these hot summer days ;)

Plus, I can’t contain myself. I’m absurdly excited that I’ve found so many great reads in such a short amount of time. Stuff that actually made me react, and react intensely. In fact, looking at this list again, I’m already wishing I would’ve made it longer. Oh well, I’ll eventually make an overall “Best of the Year” list.

Here are a few signs that a book is rocking my world (and therefore, probably has me in a frenzy).

  • dreaming about the book
  • staying up all night to finish it (even on work nights)
  • hiding to sob (cause I don’t want to explain that I’m crying over a fictional character)
  • sending panic emails to my best book bud, cause of a surprise twist in a book
  • thinking and talking about the book for days after it’s done.

If I have that profound of a reaction, than I have to share.

As I’ve said before, if I lived it, I loved it… and I’m certain you will too.



Falling Star
I loved this one, ’cause the “normal” girl didn’t recognize the “rock star” that was wooing her. She was oblivious, and he was smitten. He could finally be himself, without fear that she was only interested in him for his fame. Except, at some point, he realized he had to tell her. Oh yeah. That part was so good. Fun, exciting, sweet read, with some angst. Just enough of the good stuff that I can still remember every moment of the book. I loved this one just for it’s fluffy sweetness, that still had me swooning. Sometimes, I need an easy going, and fun read that doesn’t try to “kill” me in the process. This was one of those. The perfect beach read.

My Book Review of Falling Star



Flat-Out Love
No rock stars to be found in this one. Not even a bad boy. But it was SO good. For me, five star good. And having this book at #4 just feels wrong. This one feels like it should be my #1, but they can’t all be, and there are a few that are vying for that spot. I already have a sure winner for my #1, but there are two after this one that had me reacting just a bit more intensely.

This one however, was pure perfection in every way. Intelligent, witty, insightful writing, characters that I loved, a story that I became a part of, and a twist that had me gasping. This is a feel good story, all the way. An absolute MUST read.

My Book Review of Flat-Out Love



How to Kill a Rock Star
This book also wants to be my #1, and leaving it at #3 feels wrong too. I have never had a reaction to a book, like I’ve had with this one. I read the premise: girl moves to NY and moves in as a temporary roomate with her brother’s “singer” (they’re in a band that is “almost there”). As expected, the singer has the typical rock star attitude that goes with it (but also an artsy introspective side that steals your heart). They warn her… (and I was SO excited that she wasn’t paying the warning any heed).

But this book is SO much more than “that”. The situations contained herein are deep (well, deep for “up and coming” misunderstood rock star angst), and thought provoking. So moving, and heartbreaking, that at one point, I was crying so hard, I had to get out of bed so as not to wake my husband. An AMAZING read. This is not the “typical” rock star romance book. There’s just so much more to it. How it is at my #3 level, I have no idea. I can only say it’s cause I just can’t let anyone beat the “hero” of my #2 book, except for the hero of my #1.

My Book Review of How to Kill a Rock Star



Rock Me
Brian, I’m so sorry about this. Do you forgive me? In real life, you’d be my #1 for SURE. No doubt. You’re everything a “good” bad-boy should be. Compared to Travis, your thought process is stable and not scary, your love, while not easily given away is pure and patient, your tattoos and piercings are so *wow* and you’re also more age appropriate for my crush ;) But, while I felt every moment of your love and angst, and everything you said and did also made me thing you were real, my #1 book made me crazier for longer than yours did.

Why do I like “over the top” book heroes over more stable heroes? I guess in my “book world” I like a side of erratic freak-outs, irrational thought processes and unrestrained emotion, with my crush. If I hadn’t “met Travis, you know where you’d be right now. Again, real life… you win.

My Book Review of Rock Me



Beautiful Disaster
Travis, Travis, Travis. There hasn’t been a book since “Twilight” that had me obsessing like this. Oh I’ve found plenty of awesome books, that are forever burned in my brain, and I even have a hero that, I think will always be my favorite (even since reading you). BUT there are only two books that had me reading, absorbing, researching, anything and everything I could find to continue to feed my addiction.

And come to think of it, I haven’t even read Twilight twice.

I’ve only ever read two books twice, and only one, twice IN A ROW. Yours. Your every emotion had me wound up so tight, your arrogance, your tough guy stance, your jealous reactions, your cuddly ways… when you love, you love intensely, with abandon, without shame. Your intensity can almost be scary at times, but hey, it’s just a book. Fantasy, after all. Let’s relish the “crazy” with abandon. And I sure relished yours. Perfect in all your imperfections. For me, you are the true epitome of the perfect “bad boy”.

My Book Review of Beautiful Disaster


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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Deanna August 10, 2011 at 8:25 PM

I could not agree with you more! I have read 3 of your 5 so far and will make sure I hit the other 2!
Way to go Jamie!!!!

Shreya August 11, 2011 at 1:03 AM

at first i was really discouraged by the front cover of “Beautiful disaster” … once i started readind it,i was like really lost in Travis & Abby’s world!!!! :D :D
hey one more thing…. :) since you are getting interested in the contemporary romance recently(which is a great news, ofcourse!!!!) besides our regular favs i.e PNR….. :D i was thinking if you could start a new link for recommending this sort of stories,,,,you know like your “My top 10 Vampire series” & “My top 10 Paranormal series”……it would be a nice place for those of us who follow your blog and are interested in Contemporary romance…..everyone could add their own favourites…..
just felt like telling you…. :)

LilyofDarkness August 11, 2011 at 7:25 AM

I have read all five of these books since she has. Just wait till I review “How to Kill A Rockstar” – I have some good dirt on that!

Jessica Park August 11, 2011 at 8:06 AM

Wow! Thank you so much! I am really flattered to have Flat-Out Love listed in your top summer reads, and now I have more books to add to my own reading list!

Maryse August 11, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Hi Jessica! The book rocked! What can I say? LOL!

Keep ‘em coming ;)

Maryse August 11, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Whaaat!!? What dirt? I’m intrigued. DId you pick something up in that book that I missed?

Do tell!!

Maryse August 11, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Hi Shreya! I was one from the group that was intrigued by the cover and kinda liked it. It caught my eye, and then the story synopsis made my stomach do a flip. Had to read it! And what a great idea, I will absolutely set up a “Favorite Contemporary Romance” list.

Cherrie Lynn August 12, 2011 at 1:18 AM

Aww, Maryse, don’t worry. Brian said he totally forgives you! ;-)

Maryse August 12, 2011 at 8:23 AM

He does!!? Awwwww now my crush on him is even bigger!!! That was so nice of you to pass his message along. ;) Totally made my day!!

Megan Hansen August 14, 2011 at 7:35 PM

This is a great list, can’t wait to get started on them!

Shreya August 17, 2011 at 2:27 AM

hey Maryse….
just finished reading “Between the lines by Tammara Webber…..& it was soooooo good….i laughed & cried so hard!!!!didin’t want the book to end….it jst left me wanting for more…when u get time jst give it a shot….u’ll definitely like it….:D :D

Maryse August 17, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Yay Shreya! I’m going to look that one up!

Maryse August 20, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Just downloaded it!!

Maryse August 20, 2011 at 10:46 AM

It really is a great list!! Was very hard for me to order them, since most of them are my “#1′s” LOL!

Shreya August 23, 2011 at 4:55 AM

Hey maryse….
there’s this book….”Boycotts & Barflies” by Victoria Michaels….you can check it out…’s full of fun & romance….not very intense but definitely FUN…!!!! :D

niki harwick August 26, 2011 at 10:40 PM

Hi Maryse,
Just wondering if you have read Patrica Briggs series Mercy Thompson its worth the read Mercy is a great heroine with some real hotties in there to boot!!!!

Scarleth Lopez April 9, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Have you read The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, and We’ll Always Have Summer. They are a series by Jenny Han, she has also written others like Shug, but The Summer series is the only one I’ve read.

Maryse April 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Thank you Scarleth for the recommendation. I will be looking these up ASAP!

heather May 24, 2012 at 6:01 AM

I definitely agree with your #1. I’ve read Beautiful Disaster book three times!

Jess July 2, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Ahh so annoying Im in the UK and How to kill a rock star is not available as a kindle addition here. No fair! Ive just discovered your site a few weeks ago and after reading 50 shades ive been searching for things to fill the void so ive been using your recommendations as a guide line and thank you so much!! I love your blog and I read Beautiful disaster twice directly after one another I loved it! and Rock on was amazing too had to read Unleashed after. Loved that too. much love xxx

Yvonne September 17, 2012 at 5:37 AM

finished reading Flat-out Love and must say how much I really enjoyed it. I had just read Beautiful Disaster before it so I didn’t think I could get Travis out of my head however Flat-out Love certainly kept me pleasently distracted. Wow, can’t stop thinking about it. Thanks for all your reviews. Now as soon as I finish one book, I’m straight to your site to see what to read next. About to start Love unscripted… yay!

Maryse September 17, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Oh I was sooo happy when I found this book after Beautiful Disaster. It wasn’t the same at all, but did give me that amazing book feel.

carrie September 24, 2012 at 5:59 PM

On Dublin Street was a nice read.

Louise September 25, 2012 at 6:03 AM

I have read all but Falling Star (will be reading soon). Loved everyone of the books on this list and for different reasons….surprised by Flat Out Love but thought it was so unique as is Slammed…….adored that book!
How to Kill a Rock Star really got to be though and just amazed by the stories these authors write…so real, geniune and awesome!

Stephanie November 5, 2012 at 2:41 PM

I so adore Beautiful Disaster and LOVE all your squee-ing! I just passed your blog onto a couple of my friends who enjoy books like these!! Thanks for some new books to read that are good! I am always on the quest!

Melodie November 30, 2012 at 2:55 PM

My top 3 would be : Beautiful disaster (and can’t really wait to add walking disaster to my list! !), flat out love and how to kill a rock star ! The story were perfectly written and made you really want the book to last forever !

youngmee March 10, 2013 at 7:51 PM

hi! i’ve been creeping on your website for a while now and i just have to thank you for the suggestion of Beautiful Diaster!!! It was so awesome and I read it TWICE back to back! haha^^;; thank you for this suggestion!!!

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