What I Read in June

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Another book down, another eight books read. June felt like the longest month in terms of reading - it was like I just had tons of time to read. I'm about halfway through a few other books, too, so I have a feeling July may be a big reading month, as well.

I'm also really excited about the book I chose as July's Book of the Month Club pick: Riley Sager's The Last Time I Lied. I loved Sager's Final Girls, & this one sounds even better! Here's the quick synopsis from BoTM: "A summer camp shuts down when four girls go missing. 15 years later, we find out the chilling reason behind their disappearance." Yessss. Can't wait to read it! Get a free book when you sign up for Book of the Month Club using my referral code.

Without further ado, my June reads...

Landwhale: On Turning Insults Into Nicknames, Why Body Image Is Hard, and How Diets Can Kiss My Ass by Jes Baker

I don't follow or know much about Jes Baker, a.k.a. The Militant Baker, but I knew I was interested in this book, a memoir about her experience living as a fat woman &, in more recent years, a "body liberation" activist. This collection of essays is equal parts vulnerable & powerful, showing Baker to be a thoughtful, intelligent, & compassionate woman who has put great effort into turning her personal struggles into public good - & she's funny, to boot. A quick & powerful read. ★★★★★

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

I recently added to my to-read list a whole bunch of YA books with protagonists of color (& written by authors of color), & this was one of them - a 2018 Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner. Jade is a poor & therefore "at risk" high school junior on academic scholarship at a prestigious - & primarily white - private school. After she befriends a young white woman & is paired with a mentor - a young black woman from a wealthy family - Jade begins to uncover lessons about microaggressions, black-on-black stereotyping, self-worth, friendship, police brutality, & so much more. ★★★★★

Marlena by Julie Buntin

This was a long-ago Book of the Month Club buy that I hadn't gotten to, &, though short, it took me awhile to finish because it's just... heavy. After her parents divorce, one-time goody-goody Cat relocates to a new town & befriends the local bad kids, namely the magnetic - & drug-addicted - Marlena. From the start, you know that Marlena dies in a heart-breaking way, but the book isn't really about her death; it's just as much about the struggles of her life, a look at the tragic confluence of drugs & poverty in small-town America. ★★★☆☆

The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #1: Kristy's Great Idea by Ann M. Martin & Raina Telgemeier

I wanted to reread the first book in this iconic late-'80s/early-'90s series, but when it came through on Overdrive, it turned out that I'd borrowed the graphic novel version of the story - which I didn't know even existed. I was pretty excited to read it, even at age 33! It was adorably illustrated & totally captured the essence of the story & the characters. A cute twist on an old favorite. ★★★★★

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Weird premise: Dude talks to a pretty stranger on an airplane about his wife's infidelity; pretty stranger convinces him that he ought to murder her. Out there, right? But just as you're thinking that this plot is a liiiiittle much, something big happens, & the story is flipped on its head. I don't typically read novels written by men (not necessarily a conscious effort, it's just worked out that way), but I think Swanson does a good job of making you feel the characters, not just telling you about them (which is usually my beef with male novelists, especially when they write about women). This one had me bug-eyed at the end. ★★★★★

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maureen Goo

When Clara takes a prank too far, her dad punishes her with a summer job working for his food truck alongside her archnemesis. If you're looking for a deep & meaningful YA novel, this isn't it. But if you don't mind a plot you've seen before - albeit done well, with charming, colorful characters - this is the right fluff read for you. It'd be the perfect poolside or beach read, no thinking required - in a good way. ★★★★☆

These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen

This isn't the most creative story I've ever read, but again, it made for a good summer read - written with a light touch, but tackling some important subjects. Cate & Renee both work for a fashion magazine in New York City; they take in a third roommate, Abby, whose older brother is a famous. journalist. All three women are struggling with serious personal issues, & all are afraid to reveal those issues more broadly - but when they do, of course, they learn the power of coming clean & relying on friendships, even new ones. ★★★★☆

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

I was on the waitlist for this book seemingly forever, & it was absolutely worth the wait. What a cute YA novel; what a creative idea for a plot! When Mila's best friend Riley drowns in the creek, Mila refuses to believe it was suicide. She concocts a powerful spell to bring Mila back from the dead - just temporarily - to tell her what really happened, but she also accidentally brings back June & Dayton, two other classmates who recently died. With the undead girls' help, Mila sets out to find out who killed all three of them. ★★★★★

Comment to tell me what you're reading, then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch & see what I've read in months past.

My "What I Read in..." posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but if you do, it will help me buy more books.

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