June was the month of tomes and beach reads. I was about 50/50 on physical versus audiobooks this month, but the audiobooks that I listened to just all happened to be HUGE. I ended the month at over 123 hours of audio listened to, which is just insane! Otherwise, we had our first beach trip of the summer (we have one more coming in August), so I spend some gooood time reading in the sand! Summer reading is where I truly thrive, and I’m just so happy for a few sunny days at the beach to round out the month. See any of your favorites on this list?
Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner – 2 Stars
I’m always searching for a quick thriller on Libby when I don’t have any other books available, so I picked up Greenwich Park on a whim. It’s the story of Helen, an expecting mother attending her first prenatal class, where she meets Rachel, another expecting mother who is loud, abrasive, and takes to Helen immediately. Because she’s lonely, Helen begins spending time with Rachel, but soon, Helen learns that there’s more to Rachel and her past than meets the eye. This book was just so random and unbelievable and the ending was not it.
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver – 4 Stars
I have so many thoughts on this one! It’s a modern-day retelling of David Copperfield that has gotten so much praise in the media, even winning a Pulitzer Prize and making its way into Oprah’s Book Club, so I figured it was one I should try out! I’ve always loved memoirs with stories of people growing up in Appalachia, and this is the setting for the fictionalized story of Demon Copperhead, a boy born into dire circumstances and forced to grow up far too young. This was sad and hard to read at parts, but overall I really loved it!
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros – 4 Stars
I knew it was fate when a friend and I stumbled across Fourth Wing on Libby the second our library added it and there were 10 copies still available! I snagged the audio and started reading immediately. If you’re like me, you’ve seen the hype for this book everywhere – I genuinely don’t understand how it caught on so quickly – so I was a little bit cautious with my expectations. We are introduced to Violet Sorrengail as she is entering her first year as a candidate to become a dragon rider, and then immediately thrown into her world. It’s a bit Divergent meets Hunger Games meets How to Train Your Dragon? Overall, I really enjoyed it!
How We Became Wicked by Alexander Yates – 4 Stars
This was such an unexpectedly fun read! I’m a sucker for a dystopian story, bonus points if it’s YA – this book was like a YA Bird Box, and I ate it up. It’s the story of a world ravaged by a mystery virus – those infected are called the Wicked, and those that are safe are the True. You’re introduced to two different families living in this new world, and the decisions they’re faced with in order to survive.
The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews – 2 Stars
I have seen The Homewreckers allll over Tiktok recently, and I just cannot understand how people are giving this one so many stars. I liked the HGTV aspect and all of the details around the historic homes of Tybee Island, but that’s about where my likes stopped. There was no chemistry between any of the characters at all, but then somehow in the end our two protagonists are madly in love. I honestly couldn’t even tell who the romance was going to be about in the end for most of the book because the chemistry was so bad. I just did not like, but had to know the resolution to the murder mystery aspect.
Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan – 5 Stars
I loved this book!!! Nora Goes Off Script was a sweet change of pace from the rest of the books I had read earlier in the month. It’s about Nora, a recently divorced mom of two who writes Hallmark-esque made for tv romances. When an unexpectedly serious screenplay she wrote about her own life gets picked up by a major producer and they come to film at Nora’s house for a few days, she’s introduced to the star Leo, and everything changes for her. While the storyline was somewhat predictable, I just loved these characters so much, and the setting was incredible (I will have a porch like Nora’s in my next home, and maybe even a teahouse).
Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield – 3 Stars
I read this entire book (plus half of two others) in one day while we were stuck inside at the beach due to storms. I knew it was going to be different, but went into it completely blind of the plot points. This book is… strange, to say the least. It’s the story of Leah, a marine biologist who goes on a routine 3-week submarine research mission, and returns six months later, completely changed. It is also the story of Miri, her wife, who is desperately searching for answers as to what really happened to Leah at the bottom of the ocean. In the strangest bout of coincidence, I read this book on Monday, June 19th, 2023, put it down, and was promptly asked if I had heard about the Titanic submersible. What a weird world.
Meet Me At the Lake by Carley Fortune – 4 Stars
I loved Every Summer After, so I’ve been so excited for her next book, Meet Me At the Lake! I saw some not so great reviews for it, but I’m so glad I didn’t let that deter me. Meet Me at the Lake is told in dual timelines – Fern’s present, where her mother has just passed away and she is left to run the family’s lakeside resort – and her past, where she meets Will Baxter and spends a fateful 24 hours with him that stays with her forever. I loved the Dirty Dancing vibes that the book brings from the summer camp setting.
Things We Hide from the Light by Lucy Score – 3 Stars
We read the first book in this series in my book club last year, so I grabbed this one on Kindle Unlimited while I was at the beach, and while I decently enjoyed it, I’ve decided that Lucy Score’s books are just too spicy for me.
We Are Too Many by Hannah Pittard – 3 Stars
Hannah Pittard’s memoir We Are Too Many is the story of her marriage falling apart when she learns that her husband was having an affair with one of her best friends. It’s also the story of family, friendships, and healing. It’s written in a very interesting format that I’d never seen before, and it kept me entertained throughout, but it wasn’t my favorite memoir I’ve ever read.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling – 5 Stars
If you need my review of this book to know if you should read them, I urge you to pick up book 1 immediately!!
Girl, Forgotten by Karin Slaughter – 4 Stars
I was hesitant to read Girl, Forgotten because I didn’t totally love Pieces of Her, but part two of Andrea Oliver’s story really sucked me in! Andrea is sent on her first assignment as a new US Marshall to protect a judge receiving death threats, but while she’s there, she’s eager to uncover the mystery of who killed teen Emily Vaughn almost 40 years ago, and how Emily’s murder might somehow relate back to Andrea.
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter – 4 Stars
This is the most disturbing book I’ve ever read, but I could not put it down. Please look up the content warnings before picking this one up, because it is incredibly graphic. It’s the story of two sisters, Claire and Lydia. Their third sister, Julia, vanished without a trace more than twenty years ago, and since then, they haven’t spoken. But when Claire’s husband is murdered and there’s another local teen girl missing, the past begins to be unraveled. What the sisters discover will change everything.
You can find all of the books I’ve read this year here: