CATCHING UP WITH REVIEWS: 10+ Books I’ve Read in June 

I admitted in my mini reviews round up last week that I’ve been not-so great at sharing mini reviews or full reviews for every book I’ve read. I don’t necessarily hold myself to reviewing every single book on the blog – I obviously review books that I receive for review from publishers and I really like writing full reviews or even minis for books that I’ve loved or have a ton of thoughts about – but I’ve read so many good books over the past few weeks that I want to recommend! 

I’ve also been reading so much more than I have all year (I’m a teacher and have been truly enjoying the summer time off and diving into ALL the books), so I’m definitely reading way more than I am writing, but I’m hoping to even the playing field as my part time work and last grad class winds down and get back into the swing of blogging. Without further ado, today I am sharing some thoughts & star rating on a few books that I’ve read over the past few weeks. 

It Had To Be You by Georgia Clark – It Had To Be You was one of my most anticipated spring releases, following Liv’s wedding planning business after her husband unexpectedly passes and leaves half of their company to his secret girlfriend. The book is told in the fashion of Love, Actually, following Liv, Savannah, and other people they work with in the wedding world. I thought this book was so cute, the wedding premise was super well done, and it made me want to go to NYC ASAP – there are so many actual places that the characters frequent throughout. My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 

Finally Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano – Finlay Donovan is Killing It is hands-down one of the best books that I read in June, following a romance author who is mistakenly as a contract killer with the story unraveling from there. Its mix of mystery, suspense, humor, and contemporary-like story kept me hooked the entire time and I am SO excited to see where this series goes! My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Arsenic & Adobo by Mia P. Manansala – I haven’t read a cozy mystery like Arsenic & Adobo before. It took me the first few chapters to settle in, but soon found myself so engaged in the storyline and the who-dunnit ness of the story. I recently read Jesse Q. Sutanto’s Dial A for Aunties & I think fans of that book will enjoy Arsenic & Adobo – think more mystery and less hijinks than Dial A for Aunties. So looking forward to the second book, Homicide and Halo-Halo. My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I’ve been on a mini mission to read all the books from some popular authors, Christina Lauren & Taylor Jenkins Reid both included. Maybe in Another Life as the only book pre Malibu Rising (which I’ve also now read) from TJR that I haven’t read, following Hannah and the two lives she could have lead depending on if she  does or does not go home for the night with her ex-boyfriend. I was always hesitant to pick up Maybe in Another Life because of the two storylines, but I actually liked it way more than I had expected. Definitely a great beach read for the summer. My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Shipped by Angie Hockman – Shipped is one of the most unique & cutest workplace enemies to lovers that I’ve read! The book follows Henley and Graeme, who are both competing for a digital marketing position at a cruise line and both join a cruise to the Galapagos to create original pitches. I liked the focus on romance, family, and the plot surrounding how Henley and women are unfairly treated in their workplace. The book’s commentary on ecotourism and sustainability was made this book a standout. My Rating: 4.5/Stars 

Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself by Jill Biden – Jill Biden’s memoir is one of my favorite non-fiction books that I’ve read this year. Written pre-Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential run, the book uncovers so much about Jill’s career in education and her family. I flew through this one and found myself wanting to read more from Jill Biden. My Rating: 4.5/Stars

The Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland – If you want a book that screams summer, pick up Elyssa Friedland’s The Last Summer at the Golden Hotel. I kept picturing season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as I read, as the book follows 2 families who own a Catskills resort and must decide to keep or sell the hotel at business has dwindled throughout the years. This book had so many laugh-out-loud moments and I liked the multi-POV storytelling. My Rating: 4/5 Stars 

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalia Harris – The Other Black Girl was one of the big June 1st releases this year, following Nella, the only Black employee at a big publishing company. Nella is soon joined by another Black employee, Hazel, who seems to be taking over Nella’s job at the same time that Nella is receiving anonymous notes to leave her job ASAP. The Other Black Girl had really interesting conversations surrounding race and diversity, especially in the publishing industry. There is a slight twist that isn’t really described in the book’s official synopsis that I feel kind’ve mixed about, but definitely makes you continue to think after. My Rating: 4/5 Stars

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave – The Last Thing He Told Me was the Bad on Paper Podcast’s Book Club pick for May & a Reese’s Book Club pick, both of which pulled me into this (domestic) thriller. It felt pretty average to me, but I’m actually looking forward to exploring some of Laura Dave’s backlist contemporary books, like Eight Hundred Grapes. My Rating: 4/5 Stars

A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin – Laura Hankin’s Happy & You Know It was an unexpected favorite of 2020, so I had been waiting to get my hands on her 2021 release, A Special Place for Women. This book slightly reminded me of Leigh Stein’s Self Care, following a journalist sent to find out more about an exclusive club for professional women in NYC. The book definitely had me hooked, but I feel mixed still about its direction. My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand – Golden Girl was my third Elin Hilderbrand book, following the summer that beloved beach book author Vivian passes away and has the opportunity to watch her three children throughout the following summer and nudge them as they grieve and deal with drama. The book definitely has a unique premise, but it actually worked well with the multi-POV storytelling and mystery behind who hit-and-run Vivian (although I knew who it was from pretty early on). My Rating: 4/5 Stars

What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of the books that I mentioned? Share in the comments! 

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