June Books

With June being the first full month of unemployment, I had A LOT of free time to read. I made it through 13 books this month – a few great ones, a series I fell in love with, some OK ones, and one that I found awful.

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#1 Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology {Leah Remini} B+ I don’t have a lot to say about this one, just that her whole experience was so crazy and astonishing! Definitely read it if you’re curious about that whole “cult” type.

#2 Meet Cute {Helena Hunting} A Definitely an easy summer read! Kailyn become friends with Dax, a child celeb turned lawyer, during law school. He “betrays” her and she writes him off. Cue 6ish years later, Dax ends up as his sister’s guardian and needs Kailyn’s help as her lawyer. Their relationship has its ups and downs but the story was fun to read. It was also interesting to see the redevelopment of the relationship between Dax and his sister, as well as with Kailyn. Perfect for a day by the pool!

#3 Washington Decree {Jussi Adler-Olsen} A- As an initial fan of House of Cards and a current watcher of Designated Survivor, this book clicked with me. The murder of the new president’s wife completely transformed the mental state of the president and changed the way America runs. With the gun debate forever in the spotlight now, seeing how Adler-Olsen took the policy and laws to the extreme was intense. If you are into political thrillers, this one is golden!

#4 Stay Up With Hugo Best {Erin Somers} F I read this book as an easy fluff piece after the heavier Washington Decree. It was absolute garbage. I kept thinking there was going to be something substantial or some life lesson at the end, but no. The only thing I liked about this book was the inflatable swan on the book cover. Don’t waste your time.

#5 Shadow Tyrants {Clive Cussler & Boyd Morrison} A A classic from the Oregon Files series. Cussler is still one of my favorite authors and I always read the books he churns out for the NUMA series and the Oregon Files. This book was just straight constant action and fun to read. I feel like the AI plot is a common theme right now, as I’ve read a few other books by my standard authors that featured a similar theme. Regardless, its an extremely fun series to follow, especially if you’re a fan of action movies!

#6 She Lies In Wait {Gytha Lodge} B+ A young girl, Aurora, disappears on a camping trip with friends and is never found nor is the case ever solved. 30 years later a child stumbles upon her corpse and Jonah, a cop who knew Aurora and her friends in school, has been put on the long-cold case. There is some good suspense throughout the book, and the flashbacks to the night she disappeared slowly fill in the holes as Jonah gets closer to figuring out who murdered her that night.

#7 One Day in December {Josie Silver} B- I enjoyed the book but also hated some of it. I put this on my to-read list awhile, so snatched it up when I spotted it at the library and read it in one sitting. Laurie spots a guy outside the bus stop and shares “a moment”. They never get to meet because the bus pulled away before he could get on so Laurie dreams about him all the time fully believing in love at first sight. Her and her best friend, Sarah, look for him everywhere they go but to no avail. Shockingly, she does meet him again but as Sarah’s new boyfriend, Jack. Cue 10 years of drama and whatnot between the 3 of them. Things I liked – Sarah’s path to happiness, Laurie finally moving her life forward instead of remaining stagnant. Things I did NOT like – that Laurie got married then divorced in those 10 years (I don’t think her relationship with Oscar should have gone that far). And that Sarah flipped out [way after her relationship with Jack ended] when she found out Jack was “bus-boy” and then no-showed Laurie’s wedding where she was the ONLY bridesmaid! Sorry for the spoilers but I hated those 2 plot points.

#8 The Banker’s Wife {Cristina Alger} B+ A fun, kind of thriller spy read. The book highlights offshore banking and the criminal activity happening around it. There are 2 plotlines/main characters in my opinion – Annabelle, who is devastated to learn her husband was in a plane crash but more shocked to learn he had plenty of secrets he was hiding from her. Marina – a reporter who is given an opportunity to investigate and write a sensational piece about the accounts. I really don’t want to give too much away because the twists are fun. Go read!

#9 The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding {Jennifer Robson} Not one of the recent royal weddings! This book serves flashbacks to Ann in 1947 while she worked on the wedding gown for Princess Elizabeth (now Queen, obviously) and to Heather in 2016 while she tries to figure out what the embroideries she found in her Nan’s things have to do with the British Royals and famed textile artist, Miriam Dassin. The history surrounding the gown was interesting to read, but overall the story itself was dull.

#10 Winter in Paradise {Elin Hilderbrand} B+ I feel like there was bad reviews surrounding this one when it first came out so I put off reading it for awhile. I actually really enjoyed it, though the ending pissed me off before I realized she had a second book planned. Yet another book where the husband dies in a plane crash and the wife finds out he had a secret life. The book follows the Steele family, Irene and her 2 grown sons, as they travel to St. John and attempt to figure out who their husband/dad really was and why he died. Some plot points I wasn’t a huge fan of (ie Baker’s attempted relationship with Ayers, Cash’s continual drunkenness) but overall it was enjoyable and I’m looking forward to the follow-up.

#11-13 The Three Dark Crowns series –  Three Dark Crowns, One Dark Throne, Two Dark Reigns {Kendare Blake} A Definitely a YA series, but sometimes those are the best ones (hint, hint Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Mortal Instruments, Divergent…)! I’ve had the first one in my sample iBooks account for ages and finally bought it on my last trip. And then promptly tore through all 3 books. The story focuses on the island of Fennbirn and the Queens battle to reign. Every generation the queen gives birth to triplets. Starting on the 16th birthday, these sisters have to fight to the death to determine who will rule next. There are 5 different “gifts” a queen can be born with – elemental, oracle (these are drowned at birth due to a crazy past queen), poisoner, war (rare, not very prominent anymore), and naturalist. In the current generation, Mirabella is an elemental – she can control all the earth’s elements; Katherine is a poisoner – she has a talent for creating poisons, and is supposed to be able to heal others and have an immunity to all poisons bestowed upon her; Arsinoe is a naturalist – she controls nature and animals. When I first started the books, I wasn’t sure who I wanted to root for and now with everything that has happened I still don’t know! All 3 characters are fantastic both with their strengths and character flaws/weaknesses. The 4th and final book (Five Dark Fates) comes out late Fall so I’m looking forward to seeing how this story is going to end! {side note there are 2 prequel novellas that highlight other legends in the stories} READ!!

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