What I Read This Month: June

Oh, June, you sucked so hard in so many ways. However, now that I am done having a minor emotional breakdown, mostly, here’s what I read.

66.  Winger.  I liked this. It had a lot of bad words in it and at times it felt like I’d rather just be reading The Wednesday Wars (it’s not as good as that so if you haven’t read that just read that) or Youth In Revolt, which it also isn’t as good as, but in retrospect, you know, it was totally readable, if not 100 pages too long.

67. The Mothers. I have literally no memory of this book.  Oh, yes, this was about infertility and adoption. It was merely ok. I read it, but I didn’t love it.

68. Connecting Boys With Books 2: Closing the Reading Gap.  This was on display at my library and I just absentmindedly grabbed it and checked it out, but it was so FASCINATING. Technically it was written for librarians but if you are the parent of a boy who is just starting to read I highly recommend it.  I think it’s priced ridiculously on Amazon (probably it’s academic pricing) but your library might have a copy and they have cheap used copies on Amazon. I learned so much from this book about how to encourage Eli to read.  I will say the book recommendations were not the most current/my favorite, but otherwise, so fascinating and full of great information.

69.  Americanah.  I liked this, but it was 200 pages too long and then because the resolution took place in about two minutes, it felt false.

70. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls.  Remember my “I love books I am going to buy more books buying books is so great!” declaration of last month? Well, then I bought two books I hated, and I remembered why I don’t buy books.

I was SO excited to read this book, it sounded SO right up my alley, and I disliked it immensely.  I don’t want to spoil it in case you want to read it (and after that stunning review why wouldn’t you) but dude, I can just only read about a main characters reviling and idiotic and gross life choices for so long. No thank you. I am so so annoyed that now I OWN this book I hated. What do I even do with it? GOD.

71.  The Best of Youth. I wanted to love this but it was too in love with its own cleverness for me. It felt…like a joke book.

72.  Wild Girls.  This book was just so weird. There’s a way to write fantasy/thriller/weird sisters you find floating on the ceiling and this didn’t do it for me.

73. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie. Unfortunately I hate books where each chapter is from the point of view of a new character.

74.  The Sea of Tranquility.  This was a perfectly serviceable young adult novel that was 150 pages too long. Dude, it was so so so long, and nothing happened for these vast swaths of time besides running and hanging out and lots of it didn’t make sense.  However, it was an entertaining easy read when I was SO NOT in the mood for books about six years olds living through Chechnyan wars, so I will give it a slight pass in that area.

75.  The Other Child.  This felt oddly translated.  Also, I didn’t care at all about the mystery by the time I got to the end. I just wanted to be done reading it.

76.  The Execution of Noa P. Singleton.  Ok, so here’s the deal. I read Gone Girl, I’ve read Tana French, I get that the literary mystery is the thing right now and all of that but I am WELL AND TRULY SICK of the unreliable narrator and surprise twist endings and novels that are actually mysteries and surprise at the end of the book none of it actually happened and the whole thing was written by a psychopath named Dave or WHATEVER.  No more teenage fairies/witches/vampwolves, no more futuristic worlds where _____ is illegal,  no more cloning, no more unreliable narrators where the WHOLE BOOK IS FAKE and there’s a big surprise twist at the end. I AM DONE WITH ALL THAT BUSINESS FOREVER.

77.  The Silver Star.  This was ok but it couldn’t hold a candle to the Glass Castle and the dialogue felt very odd. I also considered buying this and I am glad I did not, so you see, the system has some flaws to be worked out.

78.  The Other Typist.  See Number 76.

79.  The Last Summer of the Camperdowns.  SEE NUMBER 76 NOW DO YOU GET WHY I AM TIRED OF THIS? I should probably just stop reading books recommended by Entertainment Weekly.

80.  The Moon and More.  This was the other book I bought, in a fit of “I feel sorry for myself and my slight mental breakdown” Target shopping.  I believe I also bought nail polish. I preferred the nail polish.

Seriously, this was just not good. And I consider myself a BIG Sarah Dessen fan, I read her very first book in galley form before anyone had ever heard of her and so I will always feel a little bit like I discovered her, and I loved her first seven books like they were best friends.  This Lullaby is one of those books I’ve read over and over again, and I love it every time I read it. And in person she is the NICEST person but her last four books have just not been great, and she churns one out every summer and I keep  hoping that each one will redeem the whole situation but this is by far the weakest one I’ve read. It was just plain boring. I mean, seriously seriously boring.  I’m not sure what has happened but it feels like these are just diluted formula books being churned out on a schedule and she’s out of ideas or something. I don’t know, man, I just don’t know.  Hope springs eternal.



5 Responses

  1. “No more teenage fairies/witches/vampwolves, no more futuristic worlds where _____ is illegal, no more cloning, no more unreliable narrators where the WHOLE BOOK IS FAKE and there’s a big surprise twist at the end.”

    YES. AGREE. This is why I tried to stay away from dystopian YA (scrappy heroines! love triangles! oddly specific restrictions! initiation rituals!). And then I tried Crewel on a whim, and THAT was a disaster, and I am back on the wagon. NO MORE.

  2. Well, you saved me from reading Yonahlossee next. You and I seem to be very much on the same page (see how I did that?) on this stuff (i.e., hating Gone Girl) so I am striking that one from my list! Which is good, because I’ll never get through my wish list without cutting some of the chaff.

    I’m 80% done with Me Before You, also on your rec, and I already don’t want it to end.

  3. I’m sorry June was a harsh month for you, and wish your book choices had made it better instead of worse. I do, however, have a small suggestion for what you can do with the books you bought that you don’t like: Swap ’em. I use both bookmooch and Paperback Swap, and all you do is post your books, put books you want on your wishlist and then pay the postage to send your books, and you get books you actually want instead. (In case there aren’t any good used bookstores near you.) I didn’t find The Moon & More as boring as you did, but it certainly wasn’t a favorite, either. (Also I met Sarah Dessen @ a book signing a few weeks ago, and you’re right – she’s absolutely lovely.)

  4. The “I bought this and I HATE it” syndrome is why I only buy books I have already read and know I love. Exception: books in a series – continuing characters – where I’ve loved the first few.

  5. I can’t make myself read the moon and more, but Emily sent it to me from Vermont and so I AM DETERMINED. But, yeah, boring.

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