SLIDER

Quick Lit: June 2019 (Part 1)


In June we welcomed summer, and I started to enter a reading slump. My slump, unsurprisingly, coincided with the first trimester of my pregnancy. I wasn't sick at all, but I was so tired. And I actually finished a ton of books, but I just wasn't loving most of what I was reading – as you'll see below. I finished 20 books, and I'm reviewing 7 of them today and 9 of them in tomorrow's post. Of those not included, I re-read three of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling (which will be included in my July Quick Lit) and one other book I'll briefly chat about in Part 2. Visit Modern Mrs. Darcy for more reviews and recommendations from other Quick Lit participants!


LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE BY KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY – This wasn't on my radar before I randomly found it for $1 at Goodwill and decided I might as well try it. I'd heard good things about the author and figured it was worth trying. Have you ever read a book that felt like something you'd typically mock but somehow worked for you in that moment? That was my experience with this book. It's narrated by a grandmother, Lovey, and her granddaughter, Annabelle. Y'all, Annabelle is a complete mess, and I was honestly judging her for the entire book. But it was a train wreck that I couldn't look away from! There were a lot of Southernisms and platitudes that I might call cheesy, but instead I So Liked It. It was like watching Hart of Dixie – a show a loved even as I rolled my eyes.

SIX OF CROWS AND CROOKED KINGDOM BY LEIGH BARDUGO – I first read these books in 2016, never reviewed them (struggle!), and can't remember fully how I felt about them on that first read. But Crooked Kingdom did make it on my best of the year list, so it's safe to say I loved them overall. Having re-read both of Bardugo's series, I can definitively say that I prefer these books over the Grisha trilogy. I love these characters so much more, and I find the plot gripping and action-packed. I love the Ocean's Eleven vibe and how all of the different point-of-views flesh out the story. Each character has their own voice and style, and it made the books so fun to read. This is Bardugo at her very best, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this duology because I'm So Loved It

KING OF SCARS BY LEIGH BARDUGO – A brand-new series starring Prince Nikolai, the best character from the Grisha books, sounded like music to my ears. Then I read it... and was so disappointed. Despite being billed as a Nikolai book, I felt like we got way more of Nina and Zoya's perspectives. I couldn't tell you anything about what happened to him because he was such a blip on this book's plot. So maybe my expectation of this being his story was my undoing? Whatever the case, I felt all 500 pages of this one. It was a drag to finish! It didn't help that I predicted one aspect near the end that absolutely enrages me. A lot of readers seem to love it, but I very decidedly do not. I'm sad to say I'm just So Okay With It but maybe the follow-up will redeem it for me. (Though I doubt it.)


DON'T DATE ROSA SANTOS BY NINA MORENO – I enjoy Laura Crockett's blog and opinions on books, so I had to give this one a shot since she is Moreno's agent. This YA contemporary felt like a blend of two TV shows that I love and adore – Jane the Virgin and Gilmore Girls – while still standing entirely on its own. There's a curse, a vibrant Cuban community, deliciously described food, complicated family relationships across generations, a heroine finding her voice and her future, and a sweet little romance, too. Add in a dash of lovely writing that was lyrical without trying too hard, and you've got a feel for this book! It was sweet and funny but still a little somber, too, in just the right ways. I So Enjoyed It and look forward to reading whatever Moreno writes next. 

THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS BY LEIGH BARDUGO – Since I'd been on a Bardugo binge, I figured I'd continue on to the one thing I still had from her on my To Be Read pile. This collection of short stories definitely reads like a book of fairy tales... and not the sweet, precious kind those words conjure up. But this is Bardugo, so perhaps your mind already went to a darker and more dangerous place. These stories are very atmospheric, to the point where I almost should have saved them to read in the fall/winter since they felt so seasonal. There is artwork throughout that enhanced the stories, which was a nice touch. I admire Bardugo's creativity and storytelling, and the six stories averaged out to a So Liked It. Not bad for a book that didn't appeal to me apart from the author!

ONE NIGHT AT THE LAKE BY BETHANY CHASE* – When I pick up a book from Chase, I know that I can expect a vivid setting, writing that hooks me, and characters in complicated situations. Whether they’re dealing with the fallout of long-held secrets or questioning their own decisions, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll have strong opinions about what’s happening and won’t be able to stop thinking about it. And that’s all true of her newest release, too. This book, unlike her previous two, has a mystery at its heart. But it doesn't fully fit into that genre for me nor did it read as a thriller. It was cool to see Chase try something with a different tone, but I wasn't a huge fan of it. I had issues with the characters and the resolution. I was So Okay With It but continue to love Chase's writing style.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review.

What have you been reading lately?

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