June 2020 Book Reviews

Just like that, I blinked and it’s already time for the Show us Your Books link up. I’m still having a precarious relationship with books because I no longer have my usual 90 min transit commute to work nor does my brain always have the capacity for audiobooks after listening to adorable children chatter all day. This is just the reality these days. πŸ™‚

Here’s what I’ve been reading lately. A couple of hits and a few “misses”. Linking up with Steph and Jana!!!

The Last Letter from JulietThe Last Letter from Juliet by Melanie Hudson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This audiobook was extremely well done. The story itself was definitely captivating and I truly enjoyed the dual perspectives, which is typically the case for me with historical fiction. I had some issues with some of the content but I did really enjoy the characters.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the long-ago ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Experimental Marine Biology (Chemistry Lessons, #5)Experimental Marine Biology by Susannah Nix
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have enjoyed all of the books in Susannah Nix’s Chemistry Lessons series, but I think the 4th was still my favourite of them all. That being said, this book was adorable and sweet and fun. The characters were a blast and I enjoy series in which you get to “catch up” with past characters from the earlier books. This would make a good summer read especially if you enjoy female characters working towards STEAM careers and standing up for what they believe in.

Thank you to the author for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review πŸ™‚

I Was Told It Would Get EasierI Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book and devoured it in less than 24 hours when nothing else was really sticking, so I appreciated t\that boost to my reading life immensely. Abbi Waxman has such a humorous tone to her writing, and I found myself laughing out loud several times while reading the paradox between a mom and a daughter’s reactions to the same situation in this book. In my opinion, this use of the two points of view worked so well and allowed us to experience the feelings of both main characters.
Overall, this story was sweet, hopeful, and heartwarming, and exactly what I hope for in this genre.
Emily and Jessica’s relationship seemed so realistic and although I don’t have a teenager yet, I’m close to it and this was eye-opening to me despite it being fiction.
I highly recommend this fun book as a lovely summer read!!

Thanks to Edelweiss and Berkley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Oona Out of OrderOona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I went into this book not entirely knowing what to expect, but I absolutely loved it. What an interesting concept and so well done! At times, I wanted a little bit more, that is, I wanted to follow almost EVERY year of Oona’s out-of-order life, but I was blown away by a few of the surprises that popped up, and I was rooting for future Oona throughout the book. I would never want to live my life this way, but I loved thinking outside the box while listening to this!!

What I Like About YouWhat I Like About You by Marisa Kanter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I’m in a reading slump or just too tired to get into whatever good book I’m reading, I have always been able to get into a good YA novel and this one fits the bill wonderfully. This reminded me quite a bit of Tell Me Three Things, which I also loved. Halle and her brother Oliver were fantastic characters, and I adored their sibling relationship. I loved their grandfather, and though I didn’t support some of the decisions they made (lol! so YA of me!), I enjoyed the resolution of this book and found it SO FUN to be immersed in the high school life of a book blogger. πŸ™‚ If you also turn to these types of YA books in busy times, this one is worth a try!

Someday in ParisSomeday in Paris by Olivia Lara
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book just a little bit more. The concept was very appealing and it started off really strong and I had a hard time putting it down. Then, rather quickly, I was left with a bit of a sour taste and I just didn’t quite get past that. Overall, while I did want to read to the end to find out how these damaged people all worked out their complicates lives, I found the premise just a little bit too coincidental and the flow a bit off and far-fetched.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

So You Want to Talk About RaceSo You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely flew through this audiobook and found it absolutely eye-opening, clear, and helpful in knowing how to navigate difficult conversations about race moving forward. Oluo’s advice is spot-on and she describes exact situations that I’m sure many of us have been in, and what that situation felt like for her or her brother or friends. At times deeply personal and at other times over-arching in terms of discussions of affirmative action and politics, I found this so compelling and cannot recommend it enough if you’re looking for a place to start when it comes to standing with the Black Lives Matter movement that none of us should be ignoring.

The Vanishing HalfThe Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was absolutely fantastic. It took me a little while to get into, just because it provides perspectives from various characters at various times in their lives, but by the end, I was flipping pages really quickly and wanting to know more. I was beyond impressed with Brit Bennett’s debut novel The Mothers but I think I enjoyed the content, the characters, and the writing even more in this book. This falls firmly in the category of fiction – there is not really a mystery element to it, but there is some family drama and prevalence of themes of race, privilege, opportunity, identity, family, and growing up. It is so worth the read.

Thank you to Riverhead Books and Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book is out now and making huge waves in its first week of release!!

Until the End (Final Hour #3)Until the End by Juno Rushdan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It did not take me long to fly through this fast-paced book and I read the second half more-or-less in a single sitting. These books certainly keep you on the edge of your seat and this one was no exception. I enjoyed the romantic storyline a bit more in the first and second novels in this series, but I think I enjoyed the suspense storyline a bit more in this one, especially at one point when my jaw nearly dropped with a twist I did not anticipate in the least. Castle and Kit were fun together and the whole group is so intelligent and courageous and the entire reading experience certainly takes me out of my current reality and into a whole new world in some ways. LOL.

I enjoyed the inclusion of several new characters and I am quite excited to see what direction this series will go in (I had somehow assumed/been informed that it was a trilogy but this left the story open to continue, in my opinion). Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Vanishing Girls (Detective Josie Quinn, #1)Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book sucked me right in and I loved Josie’s pluck when it came to her job. The mystery itself did not go where I expected it to, and it came to quite an intense and unexpected conclusion (in my opinion) which left me reeling a little bit. If you enjoy police procedurals at all, this series is going to be on my radar moving forward and I intend to read the second just as soon as the library will re-open and give it to me.

I’ve also read a bunch of Penderwicks books to my kids (we’re on book 4 of 5 now and we have ADORED this series. If you have children in your life, consider sharing these with them). I re-read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on audio (time EXTREMELY well spent!!!) and I’m almost done The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon (So far, really good!) and Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. I’m also listening to The Henna Artist. I’m trying to find a bit of my groove again after a lot of days when I just couldn’t even pick up a book due to mental fatigue. Haha.

12 responses to “June 2020 Book Reviews”

  1. I will definitely give What I Like About You a go. It sounds like great escapism.

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  2. shootingstarsmag Avatar
    shootingstarsmag

    Looks like you read some awesome books this past month! I really want to read I Was Told It Would Get Easier – glad to see you enjoyed it.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  3. Vanishing Half and Talk About Race are two of my priority reads for June – glad you liked both! I might have to take a deep dive into Juno Rushdan books – I could use a mental escape about now!

    Karly
    https://www.whatkarlysaid.com

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  4. Waxman keeps coming up, need to give her a try. Purchased The Vanishing Half but haven’t read it yet…I LOVED The Mothers so looking forward to it.

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  5. I want to read oona & the abbi Waxman ones bad, I keep seeing it everywhere.

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  6. I’m starting The Vanishing Half tonight if my brain will allow it after reading posts all day.

    Having a precarious relationship is a good way to put it.

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  7. You got through so many regardless of the recent circumstances! I’m with you- an easy YA almost always pulls me out of a slump, and the MC is a HS book blogger you say?! Count me in! That Abbi Waxman sounds right up my alley as well. I really want to read Take A Hint, because Duh! But I figure I should read Get A Life,… first!

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  8. Im seeing Oona out of order everywhere! Adding it to the list. I have the vanishing half and I really need to get to it.

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  9. I recently read Oona and will review it in next month’s post. I have put I Was Told It Would Get Easier on my to read list after another blogger wrote about it. I agree that a YA book helps get me out of a reading slump….or a good chick-lit/romance usually does the trick as well.

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  10. Yay! So many good reads recently. I hate it when something starts strong but falls off toward the middle though. :/ I am so glad you reviewed So You Want to Talk About race on IG and here. I have added it to my list for very soon. πŸ™‚ XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  11. I Was Told It Would Get Easier does sound funny – my daughter is 12-years-old now. LOL Thanks for sharing and enjoy your month!

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  12. i thought i commented on this, how rude. hmmm i’m on the fence about the last letter from juliet. i need to continue that susannah nix series! i’m so glad you enjoyed Oona πŸ™‚ I am with you, can’t wait to see what Juno comes up with next! Need to get to the Penderwicks asap, gahhhh Guernsey was so good! I’m waiting on Vanishing Girls from the library.

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