Another six book month, although I felt in sort of a rut this month. It took me a while to finish them all – I start multiple books at a time so I don’t get bored – and I DNF’d (Did Not Finish) my first book of 2022. Sorry, Bubble in the Sun! Overall, I did enjoy my June reads and my star average for all six was 3.7 out of 5, which seems to be on par for me.
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Memphis – Tara M. Stringfellow, read #18 of 2022
My only five-star read of June, and rightfully deserved. The plot kept me hooked, weaving through generations of womanhood and trauma so seamlessly, but the different POVs – the first-person POV of Joan intertwined with third-person narrations of the different women in her family – intrigued me. It kept things interesting, and as someone who was raised primarily by my mother and grandmother, I appreciated the closeness of the women in the family and in the neighborhood. The cover is also gorgeous and definitely represents the beauty within its pages.
French Braid – Anne Tyler, read #19 of 2022
Another story intertwined between family members and decades, although this one fell a little short in my book. The parents and siblings felt like strangers. It was off putting. Not all families are warm and fuzzy, but the disconnect between the Garretts was cold. Especially as the children grew up and moved on. It wasn’t badly written, and I’m sure the message is about familyhood being not necessarily blood, but who you choose, etc etc, but the only redeeming part for me was towards the end, when the son, now in 2020, has become a grandfather and you see more of a sense of affection somewhere in the Garrett clan.
Outlawed – Anna North, read #20 of 2022
I was excited to read this one mainly because the cover drew me in. It was on my radar for a little bit, and I’m glad I read it even if it didn’t become a favorite of mine. At times it was repetitive, and I was waiting for something else to happen, but nothing did. Or at least nothing substantial happened in my eyes. Feminist outlaws in the late 1800s is a great concept, but nothing happened for a big chunk of the novel that helped Ada’s goals move forward.
Mary Jane – Jessica Anya Blau, read #21 of 2022
A patron at the library I work at recommended this book to me as she was returning it, and I’m so glad she did! I read it over a weekend and it was a perfect interruption to the heavier books I had been reading. Such a fun read about a 14-year-old girl’s coming of age in the mid 1970s due to a psychologist and his wife, a rockstar with a drug addiction, a TV-family-band star turned actress, and a bubbly five-year-old. Nothing really happened, but nothing really needed to. I truly felt like I was living the summer with everyone and I didn’t want it to end.
Family of Liars – E. Lockhart, read #22 of 2022
Another one I was excited to read. I loved E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, so when she announced a prequel I knew I wanted to read it. Which is weird for me, I don’t typically keep up with book or TV series. I felt Family of Liars was trying too hard to mimic We Were Liars and was conceived because of the success of the first book. And frankly, I’m not sure the author planned to write a prequel – or a sequel for that matter – when she originally planned out We Were Liars. The ghosts, the death, the secrets; it was all the same, if not more . It wasn’t bad by any means, it just wasn’t exciting like We Were Liars was.
The School for Good Mothers – Jessamine Chan, read #23 of 2022
Oh boy. This one was a good one. I felt like there could have been more discussion on racism and parenting, or more about the sexism between fathers and mothers, but what Jessamine Chan gave us was good. It made me uncomfortable, but it was supposed to. The scuntizing of mothers, the lenient idea of fathers. The control and lack of privacy. The manipulation and effort to push conformity. I’m not a mother, but I don't know if I would want to be in the society within The School for Good Mothers.
Alright, I know this roundup is nearly a month late and lackluster in many places, but I’ve been in a rut. Not just of reading, but of life. I’m finishing this in the middle of July and all I seem to want to do is sit and watch Shameless for the thousandth time.