May and June Reading Review

Ok guys, super sorry for taking so long to get this up, I have no excuse other than I’m lazy and I just kind of forgot. So here we are, two days into July, and I’m just now getting to reviewing the books I read in May and June. 

I read a whopping 5 books last month, most of which happened to follow themes of Nicholas Sparks books (picture romance, love, adventure, some sadness.) Anyways, the first book of the month was This Is How it Always Is by Laurie Finkel. This book was not a romance novel in any fashion, but it dealt with love, family, and finding yourself. Finkel told the story of Claude, Claude is the youngest of 5 boys and Claude wants nothing more in life than to be a girl. This was the first time I’ve dealt with any type of transgender media and let me tell you, this book was EVERYTHING. TIHIAI is about a family learning how to share their child they love so dearly and don’t see anything wrong with to the world. It’s about a family learning how to face their fears of what others will think and come together to support the youngest of the family. I’m honestly not sure what else I can say about this book other than you need to read it. It’s uplifting and just an all around feel good book. So yea, go read it. Now.

I followed that book up with I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan, the same author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, (which I haven’t read yet, but it’s on my list.) Anyways, this book was a little hard for me to relate to because the characters were all in their 50s or older, but anyway, it was about an older woman who had two grown daughters that had their own lives and families so she decided to reach back out to all of her old “lovers” (that’s the only time I’m going to use that word cause I mean eww..) But anyway, she’s working on tieing up loose ends and moving on and becoming happy with loving herself and being ok with lonesomeness. Again, I feel like any more detail will give away some of the main plot points. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sappy love stories, but it’s also targeted toward single empty nesters, so if that’s you out there, you should check it out. 

My next book was Today Will be Different, by Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette (WYGB). I was looking forward to this book since I had enjoyed her other one so much, but unfortunately, it fell a little flat. It took place in Seattle, like WYGB, and even eluded to some of the events that happened in that book. The main character, Elenore, has a son Timby who goes to the infamous Galer Street School, and like Bernadette, she suffers from some “interesting” personality traits. Her son, Timby, also has some interesting traits, one being that he likes to play sick so his mom has to pick him up from school. That is how the book begins, and the entire book takes place in one day. During the day we get to witness Elenore take Timby on a wild goose chase as she tries to figure out if her husband is having an affair or not. All in all, I enjoyed the book, but it didn’t have the same effect on me that WYGB had, and that could easily just have been because I was holding it to an extremely high standard. 

The next book on my list was one that I’ve been wanting to read for what feels like years, Elenore Oilphant Is Completly Fine by Susan Kietzman lived up to all of my expectations and then some. If the title of the book is any indicator, Elenore Oliphant is totally not “fine.” Eleanore is a very unique young woman who has been through a lot of trauma, it isn’t until the end of the book however that we really understand what that trauma is. Throughout the book, we get to watch Elenore become forced out of her routine and open herself up to new people and develop a better outlook on her life. She befriends a goofy IT guy from her job, and as much as I was hoping it would turn into a romantic relationship, it stayed platonic and at the end of the day, it was a nice change in pace from most other books it read. I should also mention that this is 100% a British book so the wordage at times is a little different, but the humor is much more suited toward me so I enjoyed it. This would be a great book at add to your summer reading list!

Welp, that’s the last of the books I read in May, time to move to the books I read in June!

I started June off with another thrift store find, and just the fun summer book I needed, Elin Hildebrand’s, The Identicals, was just what I needed. Set on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket we get to experience a very Parent Trap type story, two identical twins (hence the title) live on both islands and haven’t seen each other in decades (what could possibly go wrong?) Their parents decided it would be best to separate them in their divorce (sound familiar) and swap during vacations and holidays. It isn’t until the death of their father that both girls are reunited and end up switching islands for a few months. The chaos that follows is hilarious. Throughout the book, both girls (in the 30s now) get a taste of what life has been like for their sister and slowly realize that the feud they had years ago was silly and that they’ve needed and missed each other more than they were willing to admit to themselves. I highly recommend the book for a fun summer read, and I will be reading more of her books in the coming months, so stay tuned!

The last book I read in June was The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney, this was another thrift store find and was another diamond in the ruff. The story follows three sisters, Anna, Bet, and Carrie, who haven’t spoken or seen each other in years. All of that changes whenever their grandmother, Lola summons them all home for her 80th birthday celebration. Tension is high as the girls operate in the same space for the first time since their big fight. I don’t want to say too much because I’m afraid it will give away the goods, but the book is hilarious and heartwarming, and anyone who has sisters will greatly appreciate the bond and rifts that the sisters reflect on throughout the story. Oh and their grandma Lola reminds me of Sophia from Golden Girls so that should make you want to read it even more. 

Well, for those of you still reading, you’ve finally made it to the end! Congratulations! You deserve a trophy. I am sorry that I put off writing these for so long, life got busy, but I promise that July’s review will be on time! If you’ve been keeping up with my goal, I have read 21 books, so I’m almost halfway to my goal. As always, my book list is long, but I’m always looking to add new books to the list so drop your recommendations in the comments below!

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