Reading Challenge: May, June & July!

Oh my goodness, I hadn't realized how long it has been since I last updated! I could have sworn that I had updated for May but I guess not, and I actually didn't finish ANY books in June (I know!) so I'm going to catch up now. June was very slow for me because I got caught up in a couple books that were slow reads for me so while I was reading during June I didn't finish them until July.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

This was a book club read that I thoroughly enjoyed! A teenage girl is found drowned in a nearby lake and the story takes place from the perspective of herself leading up to what happens as well as her family members. Her father comes from Chinese immigrant parents, her mother never followed her dreams of becoming a doctor, and her brother is doing everything he can to get out. All of these things contribute to the choices she makes in the last days of her life. The characters in this book are very well developed and I sometimes hated and sometimes love them. The ending left me thinking about it for days, very good read! ... Learn more here.

Recipes for A Beautiful Life by Rebecca Barry

I loved this book so much. Rebecca Barry is so relatable as she struggles with her writing career, raises a family and supports her husband in a small town in New York. Her children are some of the funniest and bright kids I've ever read about and I was laughing out loud at their wonderful quotes. Intermixed with funny recipes (for food but with commentary) there were times I was laughing, and times I felt like crying because I completely understood where she was coming from. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. ... Learn more here.

The Lost Isle by Melissa De La Cruz

So I was looking for something really light and fun and turned to children's literature because that seemed like a good place for that. This book took me a while to get through though because it is definitely written for a young audience, and while there is some great literature written for children that adults can also enjoy this one might have been a little too simple. I did love the concept of all these children of famous Disney villains and liked the spin that the villains and their kids have all been exiled to an island and we get to see glimpses of the kingdom they left through the narration of Ben, the heir to the throne and son of King Beast and Bell. ... Learn more here.

Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel

Another great read, apparently I like stories of distraught teenage girls. This story follows a fourteen year-old girl who is accused of bullying and her guardian. I don't want to give too much away here but from the beginning prologue you know something is amiss and theirs more to the story than the narrator (the guardian) could even imagine. I will say that I figured it out early on but was compelled to keep reading until my suspicions were confirmed. I was happily surprised in the end though. ... Learn more here.

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan

This is another book club book and I started this one in June and had to force myself to read it. I really wanted to like this one, it reminded me vaguely of The Glass Castle, which is an excellent book but this one fell a little flat for me and there was no real conflict that compelled me to keep going. Not my favorite but I do think that if I had listened to it on audio book I would have liked it a lot more, also there is a movie that we're going to watch at our next book club meeting and I hear that is better than the book so maybe just watch the movie if you're interested in this story. ... Learn more here.

The Secret Place by Tana French

I love all of Tana French's books and I actually hadn't realized this one existed so I was very happy to stumble upon it at the library! I started with In The Woods which is great but of all her books my favorite so far has been The Likeness. Anyway, I'm here to talk about The Secret Place. This follows 2 groups of girls at a private school in Dublin who may or may not be connected to the death of a boy the previous school year and two detectives who have to figure it out. What I like about her books is that she brings in side characters from other books and makes them central in the storytelling. For example, in this book one of the girls (a central character to the story) is Holly Mackie, the daughter of the detective in another of her books. Read her books they are so good! ... Learn more here.

Goal standings:
19/35 total books (one book behind, drat!)
2/5 Happy Books
1/5 Business Books
2/5 Biographies

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