June flew by! We spent a good portion of it on the road. For the first two weeks, we were in Florida, came back to Delaware for a week, then headed up to Connecticut and Rhode Island to see family and go to a friend's wedding. Phew! Reading took a bit of a back seat and I found myself picking up quick reads when I knew I would have a few days of downtime. This worked out for some books, but overall I didn't super love everything I read this month.
The Red Car by Marcy Dermansky | 5 stars. I picked this book up because I read and loved Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky two summers ago, and I wanted to read more of her work. This book was such a quick read. I love Dermansky's writing style and the wit and humor that she brings to her stories. This particular book also had a touch of magic, much like how Murakami weaves magical realism into his work. I thoroughly enjoyed this one!
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau | 4 stars. I really enjoyed this story and found myself immersed in the setting (Baltimore) and the time period (1970's). Mary Jane is an only child from a traditional family. The book takes place over the course of one summer, where she is the babysitter for a neighbor's 5-year-old daughter. The dad is a psychologist who is treating a famous rock star for addiction for the summer. The famous rock star and his famous actress wife have moved into their house. The group of them form a 'found family' over the summer, and Mary Jane is opened up to emotions, new music, and different ways of thinking. I highly recommend this one for any readers who love music and appreciate a good coming-of-age story. I found this one heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny at points.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston | 3.5 stars. I really loved McQuiston's first book, Red, White & Royal Blue, so I was really looking forward to this one. Here's what I liked about this book: I loved the gender representation, the cast of characters and the dynamic they had, the representation of a 'real' New York versus a polished and fancy New York, and August and Jane were such a cute couple! I also enjoyed the element of mystery that was woven throughout. However, I had a hard time getting into the story and this could have been a case of "right book at the wrong time." I kept picking it up and then leaving it for days on end before I finally powered through. I think one big detractor for me was the NYC subway setting. As much as I tried to suspend my disbelief that a train car could ever be clean, I just couldn't! As someone who's lived in NYC and was not a fan of riding the subway, I had a hard time imagining the subway as a romantic location. I also found that the middle of the story dragged a bit because I wanted to find out how Jane was stuck. That being said, this book was still enjoyable and I hope you'll give it a go for a fun rom-com.
Who Is Maud Dixon by Alexandra Andrews | 5 stars. I devoured this one in two sittings at the pool during a day off! I loved the mystery and loved the characters. I thought this book was well written, and Andrews did such a great job of building twists in at every turn to keep you intrigued. I also really loved the setting - between beautiful upstate New York and the Moroccan seaside, this one transported me.
Lizzie & Dante by Mary Bly | 2 stars. This book was not for me! I really enjoyed the first ~100 pages with the Italian seaside setting and the delicious Italian food, but when the love story picked up I could not get into it. It was a bit too sweet for me.
Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong | 4 stars. This book taught me about an experience that is different from my own, and for that I am grateful. I read this one essay by essay over the course of a few weeks and was constantly meditating on what I read.
The Ghosts We Keep by Mason Deaver | 2 stars. This was the Literary League selection for June. What an emotional and heart-wrenching story! This one, unfortunately, was not for me. I found it to be too much in the category of YA for my reading preferences.
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