June Quick Reads

Well, I read two books on June’s TBR. Does anyone else never seem to follow the reading lists they make?

I’m starting a monthly/bimonthly quick reads section. Each book in this section is about 300 pages or less and was a “quick read.” In these reviews, I’ll give a small 200 word or less impression of each book.

 

The Missing/Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann 

At first, I was confused about tracking the name of this book. The American title is Cryer’s Cross, but the British release is titled The Missing. Personally, I probably would not have picked up the American version because Cryer’s Cross sounds too romance-novel for my liking. Overall, this book is not the most memorable. As I’m sitting here, I cannot recall many details of this book. I do know that the main character, Kendall, is likeable. Over the past six months, two classmates have disappeared. Kendall is the one who cracks the case and almost falls prey to the thing claiming souls. Every other chapter is a back and forth that leave you confused for the first half of the novel. The chapters in a “we” point of view are vague. But everything clicks into place…eventually. The novel is slow-paced. And the climax of the book doesn’t happen until the last few chapters. Then, everything is magically normal again. I’m not the biggest fan. It is well written and approaches OCD in a way I haven’t seen before. But that’s as far as the positives go. Still, it’s not the worst. Rating 2/5

 

You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart  

I LOVE Mamrie Hart. This is the perfect book for summer. Whether it’s a beach read or you’re sipping a glass of wine or taking shots, this is a must read. Like her YouTube Channel, YDAD is not only a fun series of stories, but a hilarious drinking game. At the start of every chapter, there is a new drink recipe. And you bet your ass I saved most of these drinks to return to later. My favorite biographies are a series of short stories, and Mamrie delivers. Most of her stories are of college or her twenties. They’re pretty relatable. And the ones that aren’t are hilarious. I suggest picking up this book and grabbing a drink. Hey, you have until February until her second book comes out. So, drink up! Rating: 5/5

A Million Junes by Emily Henry  

If you want to read a book that emotionally wrecks you and pieces you together, this is it. June experiences love, grief, heartbreak, wonder, and everything in between. She questions who she is and what she wants, all while learning about her family and the curse the Angerts and O’Donnell’s are plagued by. This is a beautiful story about love and loss. It’s even beautifully written. It’ll make you smile and probably shed a few tears along the way. A Million Junes is one book that you have to read. Rating 4/5

 

Starflight by Melissa Landers  

This was a cute book. The first half seemed slow and the end seemed a little rushed. The crew of the Banshee is an eclectic bunch. The two main characters, Solara and Doran learn about forgetting preconceived notions of people. And of course, it’s not a teen fiction book without a stereotypical romance. I loved the space pirates. And traveling through different worlds. You just can’t think realistically about space travel in this book. I do recommend this to anyone who loves adventure and outer space. Rating 3/5

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Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Going into this book, I didn’t have any expectations. A good friend recommended the series and her judgment has never failed me (knocks on wood).

The first thing I noticed was how it feels like I’m dropped in the middle of something. It feels like you accidentally started a new show on episode 3 and didn’t realize your mistake until you’re half way through. The second thing is quite irritating-Evie calls her taser Tasey and this drives me absolutely crazy. I understand that our main character, Evie, has not been integrated into the real world. She’s spent over half of her life working for IPCA and the only teenage interactions she sees are from a made up show that sounds like every high school drama on television. That is, over exaggerated and with themes real high schoolers never face.

I digress. Evie’s immaturity is off-putting. Instead of using profanity, she uses “bleep.” She actually says bleep in real sentences and in conversations. At least this one has an explanation-her best friend, Lish, curses and the electronic voice translator doesn’t pick up profanity. It’s a habit and an inside joke, we’re told. But it still feels too childish for a sixteen year old.

White does a wonderful job of not falling into paranormal stereotypes. We get to see a different side of faeries, they aren’t as beautiful and perfect as many portray them. I hope to see more of what dichotomy White alluded to between the different courts of the faeries. All vampires are not cold killers, all werewolves are not horrible creatures, all mermaids are not half human… The descriptions are visual enough to shatter the traditional images we hold, but vague enough to leave you wondering what everything looks like.

The relationship between Evie and her boyfriend, Lend, is cliche. Lend is the only other teenager we’re introduced to until well over halfway through the story. So, of course, they’re going to “fall in love.” Evie admits she’s in love with him before she knows what he is. Lend is in love with her without knowing anything personal about her. It’s annoying and overdone. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at every personal interaction they had. Simply put, while White’s paranormal creatures are interesting, her character development is lacking. I don’t feel attached to any of these characters.

White likes to write in gray–I do like how everything is not black and white. Throughout most of the novel, we think Reth is a vile creature but there’s more to him than meets the eye. He doesn’t turn out to be a knight by any means, but he’s not solely evil. Evie also questions the IPCA and what they stand for. Is it better to bag and tag every paranormal being and know their whereabouts or is it best to let each creature go their own way? Does the IPCA care about protecting humanity or controlling the paranormal? Evie goes back and forth on whether to despise the organization that raised her or defend them. I think this is important. The more Evie learns, the more she is not sure whether she put her faith in the wrong hands. This is the only growing up that Evie does throughout the first novel.

I did like this book enough to continue on with the series, but if Evie doesn’t grow up a little more, I might not stick around to learn what becomes of her.

Rating: 3/5

June TBR

I’m starting June by reading books I have previously never heard of. Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting two local authors at a meet and greet in Joseph Beth. I was unfamiliar with these authors, but still jump at the chance to meet new authors and learn about new books. These books may not be “new” but they are to me. First I hope to read Starflight by Melissa Landers and Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Lagdon. As a note, both of these authors were wonderful and incredibly sweet. Especially because I wasn’t fingerling over them and had genuine questions about their books and writing styles.

Next, I got in two books from the library that I’ve had on hold for about two weeks. Roseblood by A. G. Howard and The Black Witch by Laurie Forest are next on my list. I don’t know much about either of these books. I came across them in Joseph Beth and was not committed enough to buy them.

Finally, I’ve had this last book on my shelf for at least a year. I think I got it when it first came out, stuck it on my shelf and forgot about it.  You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart is the last book I hope to finish this month. With Mamrie’s announcement of her next book being released in February of next year, it’s about time I read her first!

What are you reading this month?

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