Recent Reads – SUYB June 2018

Linking up with Steph and Jana today for Show us Your Books June!! I’m going to try my best to reply to comments via e-mail despite blogger still not EMAILING ME any comments.

Here are some of the books I read in the past month since the last link up. I didn’t share every book here – you can check out my Goodreads for everything I read πŸ™‚

The Heart's Invisible FuriesThe Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Despite hearing from several trusted bookish friends that this book was incredible, I put off picking it up for quite awhile because it just didn’t sound like my kind of book. I think I actually finally picked it up at EXACTLY the right time though because it held my attention the whole time and I absolutely loved this story.

Cyril’s character was so wonderful. The story of his life was at times heartbreaking to read but there was also so much happiness at times too. Overall, this was such an interesting look at a setting and time period I was completely unaware of, and I appreciated that so much for what it was. One other thing I loved SO much about this book was the way it was written. Often times, an entire chapter would start right in the middle of a different part of Cyril’s life and you could kind of guess or figure out how he got there until it was made obvious. That element was SO much fun as a reader.

This story was highly readable and although it *is* long, I was quite consumed by it, which isn’t always the case with this type of story. There are parts of it that are a bit racy/overly descriptive and a fair amount of swearing/talk about sex but it is all in the frame of a character trying to figure out his sexuality and what to do about it in a country where homosexuality is not accepted.

Send Down the RainSend Down the Rain by Charles Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book absolutely took me awhile to get into, but at about 30% I was all in and finished the remainder of the book in a day. I think it was because it was a bit unclear at the beginning what (and who) the story was actually about. So if you’re a bit lost at the beginning, forge ahead!!! For some reason (probably the setting and the back-and-forth of the past and present) this book reminded me a tiny bit of Beach Music though it is not nearly the same epic as that one was. Still, the ending of this was superb and the whole storyline was unlike anything I’ve read lately so I really, really liked it. This will certainly not be my last book by this author.  Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas-Nelson publishing for the complimentary advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

How Hard Can It Be? (Kate Reddy, #2)How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me way too long to finish this book, but once I really got into it, I really, really liked it. I haven’t read the first Kate Reddy book but this one was hilarious and the parenting/relationship issues were spot-on and very funny. I’m sure this might have been even more funny if you were closer in age to Kate, but I still really related to her dilemmas. I had a bit of a feeling that one of the major plot points was coming, but it didn’t matter in the least because there were a few big surprises and the ending was quite heartwarming. Definitely appreciated the British setting and phrases too πŸ™‚ This would make a great summer read if you like contemporary family type fiction. Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for sending me an ARC of this funny book. 

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1)The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really loved this one – super fun characters, great pace, great chemistry – loved Stella and her personality and her interesting job. Michael was great too as the male lead – very different from others I’ve read lately, so that was quite refreshing. I listened to this and I think I would have enjoyed it a bit more in print but I *couldn’t* wait that long to get it from the library!! I will absolutely be buying this sometime.

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1)A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the characters and the set up of this novel. It was just so fun and different! Such a unique fictional cultural component. I figured a few things out ahead of time while reading this but it didn’t take away from the plot points. Highly recommend this one if you are looking for a bit of a departure from the usual royal romance reads.

The Thing About LoveThe Thing About Love by Julie James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, this was a super enjoyable way to pass an evening. I had forgotten how much I loved FBI fiction. πŸ™‚ This had been on my radar for awhile and a friend mentioned it last week which gave me the nudge to read it immediately. These characters were so much fun – and I really liked their undercover project too. My favourite read from her so far.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome LifeYou Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although this book was inspiring at times, there were parts that I totally didn’t agree with. I listened to it and I’m grateful to have the kindle version too so that I can see some of her lists in print.

If you’re looking for a bit of extra motivation to change your life in some small way, this one is a good one to pick up. Just don’t paraphrase parts of it to your husband unless you want him to DREAM BIG and start talking about quitting his day job to follow his dreams. πŸ˜‰

Listen to Me (Fusion, #1)Listen to Me and Close to You by Kristen Proby
My rating: 3-4 of 5 stars

This might even be 4 stars based on enjoyment. These characters were adorable. I liked the second one a bit better than the first in the series even though both were fun and I will probably continue with it because my library has them all πŸ™‚ Kristen, you will probably like this series!! (and the author’s name! haha) Total fluffy enjoyment perfect for the beach or pool or a random weekend night.

The Start of Something Good (Stay, #1)The Start of Something Good by Jennifer Probst
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This passed the time (literally one evening in one sitting) just fine but a friend asked me about it several weeks after I read it and I barely remembered it – so there’s that. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve liked a couple of her other books better.Thank you to Netgalley and Montlake Romance for the ARC of this novel. All opinions expressed here are my own.

The ListThe List by Patricia Forde
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This had been on my Netgalley shelf (thank you, Netgalley and Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for the ARC!) for WAY too long (like over a year?!) so when I saw it on audio on Hoopla, I downloaded it immediately. This wasn’t my favourite for this genre but it was definitely a unique concept and I appreciated that about it. It’s about a society in which words are limited to only 500 and Letta is a wordsmith who is responsible for sharing those words with people. It was an easy read and had some interesting ideas, but it fell a bit flat for me overall. Most of all, I am just super in love with the cover…isn’t it gorgeous?

And…the best reading experience I had in the last month was this one with my daughters (All the tears! All the emotion! What an amazing story!!!)

Charlotte's WebCharlotte’s Web by E.B. White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading this with my children was such a joy, tears at the end and all. I had forgotten what an amazing book this is. Charlotte’s friendship is something that I wish to strive for in my own life. A few favourite quotes:

β€œWhy did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”
― E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

β€œIt is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”

I also re-read The Royal We this month after watching the royal wedding and THAT WAS LOTS OF FUN!!! :):)

Currently reading: Spin the Golden Light Bulb and Everything I Never Told You <— finding this one a little bit heavy but still good so far.

By the way, I can’t stop talking about how incredible Us Against You is and it came out last week, so if you’ve already read Beartown and enjoyed that, you should definitely consider picking this one up. If you haven’t read Beartown yet, what are you waiting for? πŸ˜‰ (I know we all have different tastes but these are books I *cannot* stop recommending).

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