Another solid month of reading for me! With starting to see my friends a bit more, it wasn’t quite as high as April and May’s tally of twelve books each, but I still managed to read eight books this month, or two per week. That brings me to 53 books read this year, which is 3 books ahead of where I need to be to hit 100 books in 2020. I think this is the first year I’ve ever been ahead at the halfway point! I feel good about keeping the momentum up, though – the more I read, the more I crave time to read, so I’ve been trying to carve that out for myself as a hobby I thoroughly enjoy.
Tiny Imperfections, by Alli Frank, Asha Youmans: Loved this light novel, and appreciated that it’s by a black author and touches a bit on race and privilege. For those who love women’s fiction to get a break from everything going on right now, this is a nice compromise to give you an easy read that still makes you think a bit.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins: This came out so long after I read the original Hunger Games series that it was hard to remember some of the connections (was Lucy mentioned in the original Hunger Games? I couldn’t recall). But, aside from wishing I had remembered more of that subtext, this was really engaging and I loved it. It was not necessary to read or remember any of the others to enjoy this.
The Proposal, by Jasmine Guillory: Not quite as great as The Wedding Date, but still a really fun read! Nik’s naivete was pretty annoying at times, and the “I love you” came far too fast to be believable, but I still enjoyed reading this and look forward to Guillory’s other books. As a bonus, Guillory lightly touches on race, where I gained a bit (not a lot, but a bit) of new perspective from this light novel.
The Holdout, by Graham Moore: A friend highly recommended this, and she was not wrong! This drew me in and kept me reading so I finished it in just two nights. I did find the ending a little bit predictable (in that I guessed what happened to Jessica) but the many twists and turns along the way were unexpected. However, one star off for needlessly spoiling the ending to several Agatha Christie novels I haven’t read yet.
The Lion’s Den, by Katherine St. John: This was the perfect setting for a light summer read, despite the dark thriller genre. It was fun to see the opulence of the yacht and how Belle experienced it, and it was interesting to see how transparent Summer was about trading a relationship / sex for money. I didn’t expect the twists, but really enjoyed them. Overall, a little bit shallow, but a lot of fun!
The Herd, by Andrea Bartz: I really enjoyed this book up until the very end. The final reveal seemed very rushed compared to the pacing of the rest of the book, and also a bit incomplete. I guess it was explained, but it didn’t feel satisfying or completely make sense with the characters. I also found the epilogue confusing – it made a big revelation in one line, and while I reread the entire epilogue a few times, I wasn’t 100% certain what it meant had occurred. However, up until the ending, I was really enjoying the book.
The Betrothed, by Kiera Cass: I absolutely loved The Selection, and was thrilled that the author is starting a new series. While this was a book that kept me reading, I was annoyed by many of the main characters. The heroine, Hollis, is so shallow and dumb that she comes off as extremely unlikeable; I was definitely rooting for Delia Grace over her, until Delia turned mean and self-centered herself. Meanwhile, Prince Jameson just has… nothing to him?? We never learned why he acted the way he does, or anything about his actual personality; he was extremely flat. Silas was also very underdeveloped, to where there’s no clear reason why Hollis falls in love with him (his eyes / looks, were all I could gather?), and I found the ending frustrating as a result. I will still read the second novel in the duology, just to see how it all turns out, but I wouldn’t see I’m overly eager for it.
The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett: This was pretty good, but not amazing – I never found it so compelling that I just had to keep reading. The storyline was somewhat interesting, but I wanted more to happen.
Any book recommendations for me? Follow me here on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading in real time.