SLIDER

Quick Lit: June 2019 (Part 2)


As I mentioned in Part 1, I finished 20 books in June. I've got reviews for nine of those books today, and seven were included in yesterday's post. You'll see three June reviews in my July Quick Lit, and the only other book I read is mentioned briefly at the end of this post. I could feel myself entering a reading slump this month, even though my pace didn't drastically change. I just wasn't loving a lot of what I was reading, as you'll see below. If you're looking for more reviews and recommendations, visit Modern Mrs. Darcy to see other Quick Lit participants!


THE SHELL SEEKERS BY ROSAMUNDE PILCHER – I can't remember where I first heard about this book, but it sounded like everything I'd love: a British family saga set in Cornwall. Sign me up! I own the paperback but ended up listening to the audiobook. Narrator Hayley Atwell was the draw for me, and I ended up being so glad I experienced this book that way. This is a cozy novel with an older heroine looking back on her life. She's reminiscing on her past, trying to enjoy her present and plan for her future – and I was just so invested in her musings. It's character driven, and that gives the book a slower pace. But I was happy to sink into this story! I loved the various relationship dynamics, especially between Penelope and her three adult children. A very solid So Enjoyed It

THE GLASS OCEAN BY BEATRIZ WILLIAMS, LAUREN WILLIG, & KAREN WHITE – After my Bestie Beatriz Binge with Kelly a few years ago, I've considered myself a huge fan of Williams' work. Lately, however, I just haven't clicked as much with her books. She is a co-author on this one, so it's possible that's why I didn't love it as much. But for whatever reason, I just found this book so forgettable and disjointed. I didn't really enjoy the contemporary storyline and had issues even with the two past POVs. I hated the romances in all storylines – the emotions that didn't feel earned at all and the love triangle drove me crazy. And, unfortunately, the book is heavier on the romance than any other storyline. It was all very meh for me, and I'm So Okay With It

MARRY IN SECRET BY ANNE GRACIE* – Gracie's newest series started off strong for me with Marry in Haste and continued to entertain in Marry in Scandal. But, y'all, Marry in Secret just wasn't working for me. I love Gracie, but she can do so much better. The heroine was so inconsistent, in my opinion. The way her personality is described earlier in the series and the beginning of this book doesn't really match the way she acts once the hero returns. And their relationship felt like one communication misstep after another. All they did was fight and make up, over and over again! UGH. The mystery was obvious and only seemed necessary in order to flesh out the plot a little more. I expect a certain degree of predictability in historical romance, but this one tried my patience. I was So Okay With It.


THE CLIFF HOUSE BY RAEANNE THAYNE – I first started reading Thayne's books a few years ago, when I discovered her Haven Point series. I've continued to read each new release in the series, but they've gone downhill for me. When I saw this recent standalone, however, I thought I might have better luck with a new setting and characters. Unfortunately, it just felt so bland to me. What happened?! It focuses on two adult sisters and the aunt that raised them, and each women gets her own point of view in the book. Despite reading it quickly and not having any major complaints, I just felt so underwhelmed by it. Every character has their own drama and romance, but the book is only 384 pages. I needed more from it in every way, and I'm only So Okay With It the more I think about it.

SORCERY OF THORNS BY MARGARET ROGERSON – The cover for this book is what first caught my eye, and then the mention of a magical library in the summary sold me. I grabbed a copy and couldn't put it down once I started it. This was a delightful standalone fantasy – something that's hard to find in a market saturated with series. I don't think I would have liked it nearly as much if it hadn't been a love letter to books and libraries, since that was what made me so invested in the conflict. The hero and heroine were both delightful, and their romance was a lovely subplot. I was hooked on the story and was pleased with the way it resolved, even though it felt a tiny bit rushed at the end. I didn't quite reach the same level of obsessions as other readers, but I definitely So Enjoyed It.

NONE LIKE HIM BY JEN WILKIN – I loved Wilkin's book about how to study your Bible and had been meaning to read this one for a while. When I spotted the audio on Hoopla, the timing was just right for me to finally start it. Because I was listening to it, I finished it much faster than I would have otherwise – and didn't spend as much time thinking deeply about the content. With this type of non-fiction, I usually have a highlighter in hand and go slowly so I can process the author's teaching. I'll probably eventually go back and do that with this one, even though I do recommend the audiobook, because I'd love to reflect more on the wisdom shared. But I So Loved It overall and thought Wilkin had excellent things to say about how God is different from us – and why that's a good thing.


SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE, THE SECRET TO SOUTHERN CHARM AND THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF PARADISE BY KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY – This series is about a mother, Ansley, and her three adult children: Caroline, Sloane, and Emerson. The mother has her own point-of-view in all three books, and then one daughter is the second perspective in each book. So, the first book is primarily Ansley and Caroline's stories, for example, even though the sisters have their own subplots going on. This felt like the definition of a beach read. I loved the Southern setting and the family relationships in all three, but HOLY DRAMA, y'all. There was so much happening in these pages, including secrets in the past and present, and a lot of it didn't work for me. The characters all needed more development, and I think that kept me from becoming emotionally invested. The characters are often passively reacting to the things happening to them rather than being actively engaged in the action. Harvey has a warm voice that easily hooked me in, but things felt very surface level and repetitive. For a light summer read, I So Liked It.


The only other book I read in June was Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young. I forgot to take a photo of it while and was too lazy to do it after the fact since I don't have a ton to say about the book. I didn't predict where the story was headed, but the journey to get there made me so depressed. It felt very timely and explored some current social issues in a sci-fi (dystopian?) setting, but I just didn't really enjoy reading it. I'm So Okay With It but think my issues were more about my personal reading taste than the book itself.

What have you been reading lately?

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