I promised book reviews for two beach reads weeks ago but am just getting around to it.

As y’all know I’m frugal & typically stick with the library or paperbackswap to receive books. But when I saw the latest Mary Kay Andrews‘ book Summer Rental at Costco, I couldn’t wait. I have adored everything she’s written. Southern, quick light reads but with a little more depth & punch than your average “chick lit”. As you can guess by the title & cover, it’s about friends who put aside their normal everyday lives for a month & take off to Outer Banks. Loved that it’s set in NC & the women are my age so I can definitely relate. I’m even considering hanging on to this one for a re-read {which I rarely do due to lack of space}. Also due to fact that before I’d even open the cover, I spilled a tiny bit of water into it while in my beach bag {thus making it ineligible for PBS}.

If You Were Here is Jen Lancaster‘s new book. This one is harder for me to review because I have triple puffy heart *loved* each & every one of her memoirs. Like laugh-til-I’m-hysterically-crying-&-Moe-&-Husband-are-looking-at-me-funny loved. I wanted so badly to get that with If You Were Here which is her first go at fiction. I heard Jen’s distinctive voice loud & clear, but I kinda missed something. Hard to put my finger on it. While I was fine with it, even enjoyed it, I definitely didn’t love it & for me it fits into that big pile of average “chick lit”. I wanted so badly for this to be more but it just wasn’t for me. But if you’re looking for light-hearted summer reading, it’s fun & Jen’s funny still shines through in parts. I will definitely read what’s next from her though so don’t think I’m off the Jen Lancaster wagon ~ whether or not it’s another stab at fiction.