June was a real, real good reading month. I honestly covered a plethora of genres and media, which I am super excited about. I participated in one readathon – Scifi Summer – although I only had two library books come through that were science fiction. But doesn’t matter, I read a lot and that is what counts and what makes me happy, especially since I had a bit of a slump in May after Dewey’s readathon.
***SPOILERS POSSIBLE *NOTE: UNDERLINED TITLES WERE SHOPPED FROM MY OWN SHELF
Salem’s Lot (Stephen King) ♠♠♠♠
Reminiscent of Stoker’s Dracula, King slowly, almost painfully so, builds this world of blood-suckers and how just one vampire can spread this “disease” throughout an entire town – creating despair and hopelessness. Don’t get attached to any characters because King will ruthlessly get rid of them. This was a story after my own heart!
I am biased but I think you should read this book because it’s King. Don’t read it if you get scared out of your wits by horror – or better even, read it because of that!
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (Gail Honeyman) ♠♠♠♠♠
This book took me by surprise. I listened to it as an audiobook and somehow that made the story feel even more personal. It was as if I was in Eleanor’s therapist’s office listening in to her conversations. Books that demystify mental illness are so important. Books that take that even further and make you fall in love with the character and make you identify with them are brilliant. This is one of those books. The author was able to hit a tone of humanity that I haven’t come across very often.
I think everyone should read this book. Period.
The Great Gatsby (Scott Fitzgerald) ♠♠
This novella had been on my TBR for a long time. I finally watched the most recent movie and decided it’s time to read this book. I honestly couldn’t relate to the characters. In fact, I often actively disliked them. I had hopes that Fitzgerald’s writing style would give more insight into the psyche of his characters – things I was missing in the movies – but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. This book left me disappointed. It will just go down as one of those books that I can say ‘yeah, I read it’.
Pick it up if you like: period pieces, want to fulfill the 1001 books-to-read-before-you-die-challenge
Put it back down if you are looking for: literary brilliance, well-developed/impactful characters
The Strange Library (Haruki Murakami) ♠♠♠♠♠
What a delight!!!! This book was truly strange and I loved every minute I got to spend time with it. A true Murakami treasure. I don’t think you should know too much about the story – just prepare yourself for this surreal adventure full of whimsy, oddities, and fun.
This book is for you if you like: the weird and weirder, lively language
This book is not your thing if you: cannot suspend belief in reality
The Boy on the Bridge (M.R. Carey) ♠♠♠
Ugh, I don’t even know how to explain why this book was just meh. First of all, why there was a need for a “parallel” prequel to The Girl with All the Gifts is beyond me. That book was perfect as a stand-alone. Secondly, this novel was full of periods of straight-up boring. And these interludes felt disruptive to the story. I think this book would’ve been better as an action-packed, fast-paced story. I know the author cares for character development, and I so appreciate this, but it just seemed that the novel was only occupied with that. The ending was the most exciting part and that was the only time I was really engaged. All in all, this wasn’t a bad book. No, it was quite decent. It just wasn’t special, particularly compared to Carey’s first book.
Read it if you like: continuations in a certain universe, appreciate sci-fi fantasy crossovers
Don’t read it if you: are looking for a suspenseful thriller, didn’t read The Girl with All the Gifts yet
Matchmaking for Beginners (Maddie Dawson) ♠♠♠♠
This story was colorful! I think that sums it up best. The characters were quirky and fun, their interactions ranged from entertaining to deeply emotional, and the main plotline (albeit somewhat cliché) was relatable. I highly recommend this book as a summer read or a pick-me-up. I could see this turning into a cute movie.
Get yourself a copy if you: want to relax with a fun book by the pool, enjoy many different characters, don’t mind a little chaos
I wouldn’t recommend this book to you if you: need a lot of depth in your characters, don’t like a little romance
The Song of the Orphans (Daniel Price) ♠♠♠♠♠
Book 2 in the Silvers series was really, really good! All the things that irked me in book 1 disappeared or became clear to have a purpose. The biggest improvement was the character development – huge leaps were made and the story really benefited from that. Although it took me a moment to get into the book, once I was hooked I was hooked! The world-building also took off in book 2. I loved all the new characters and their interactions with the protagonists. This book, just as book 1, had tons of plot twists, and several were quite surprising. I am looking forward to book 3!
You should read this if you like: sci-fi series, parallel timelines, lots of characters, complex worlds
You should not read this if you: do not like 700-page books – this series is long!
A Murder in Music City (Michael Bishop) ♠♠♠ and 1/2♠
You guys, this was a fascinating read! This story is twisted and corrupt. The characters are manipulating opportunists. And the scary part – this really happened! The writing, however, was only so-so, thus the spade deductions. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, which I just recently read, was just so well written that it became really apparent that this book had no writing sophistication or finesse. Though, I still recommend it, especially if you ever want to visit Nashville – you’ll look at all these tourist attractions and Nashville staples in a whole new light.
This is a must-read for: Nashvillians, people who love a good conspiracy, true-crime fans
I doubt you’ll love the book if you: need well-rounded writing
Scrappy Little Nobody (Anna Kendrick) ♠♠♠♠
Most importantly, Anna Kendrick is from Maine – so, naturally, I already love her memoir. Secondly, she is funny af. She reads her own book, which made this audiobook great. She is real and honest. She is animated and loud. She talks about impactful experiences and gives non-sense advice. She gossips. She teaches. She shares.
I think this is definitely a book to listen to, especially if you like Anna Kendrick or loud, petite people. If you’re not into celebrity memoir’s you already know that you won’t like this book. No recommendations needed here.
The Marriage Pact (Michelle Richmond) ♠♠
Honestly, I was mostly annoyed while reading this book. The concept is interesting but the execution was at times really infuriating. I didn’t like any of the characters and I didn’t like The Pact – actually, I just didn’t care either way – should there be The Pact, shouldn’t there be? The author didn’t sway me either way. Of course, for real life having a pact like that is utter nonsense imo, but for the book it would’ve been nice to be pushed in either corner. One thing that came across though is the author’s mature writing style. I would read another book by her simply because of her knack for words.
This story is for you if you like: closed-door secrets, wonder at times what your neighbors are up to, would love to be a fly on the wall to spy on people’s private lives
This story is not for you if you: are looking for twists and turns in a story, lots of suspense
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge (Paul Krueger) ♠♠♠
I listened to this as an audiobook as well. It was entertaining. I’d say it’s equivalent to a fluff pool-side read. The characters are very YA and the story is like one of those cheesy 80s sitcoms. I do like the idea of cocktails having special powers. That would make happy hour quite unique 😉
You’ll like this story if you: are looking for pure entertainment, like superhero powers, enjoy 20-somethings trying to figure out life
This is not your cup of tea if you: get annoyed by fluff reads, don’t like to read about cocktail recipes
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (JK Rowling) ♠♠♠♠
I am glad I listened to this book as the sound effects really made it special. I think every HP fan will have already read it or has it on their TBR. I also think this would be fun for younger kids as the fantastic beasts are truly magical and unique.
If you love HP this book is for you. If you have never read HP, I’m not sure under what rock you’ve been living but I’d change that ASAP.