I’m the type of reader – and I’ve been this way since I was a child – that has to force herself to stop reading. Not in a “ooh, this book is getting good!” sort of way, but in a “Stephany, you need to work on your novel right now” or “Stephany, you need to clean your apartment” or “Stephany, you need to get ready to go out” sort of way. My favorite way to spend my free time is reading, which is why I read so much. I will put off doing the things I know I need to do so that I can dive into the book I’m currently reading.
It’s why it’s hard for me to relate to people who spend an entire month reading one book. I just… I don’t have the mental capacity to spend 30 whole days on one book. My attention span can’t handle that. I start to get antsy if I’m still reading the same book after a week. Please don’t get me wrong – I don’t feel any judgment towards people who read one book a month because at the end of the day, reading is reading. But it’s interesting how much it consumes my world.
This month, I tried to slow down my reading. I tried to set it aside in order to get things done, like writing, like socializing, like cleaning. I still read 7 books, but I feel like I really took my time with them and didn’t try to finish them as quickly as possible. It was an interesting experiment for a month, but I’ve already almost finished my third book for July, so I’m not turning over a new leaf, I don’t think.
Here’s what I read in June!
November 9 by Colleen Hoover (★★★★★)
Colleen Hoover makes me want to give up writing completely. She is just so dang good at writing! It affects me. It messes with my world. When I’m reading one of her novels, it’s all I can think about and I lose all focus. This novel follows Fallon and Ben over the course of five years, as they meet for one day every November 9. For the other 364 days, they have zero contact. No text messages, no phone calls, no Facebook. It’s such an intriguing premise (even though I know it’s not completely original…) and I loved every second I spent with this book. Colleen, please never ever stop writing.
I read this book from beginning to end on a lazy Saturday. It wasn’t anything special – just your average contemporary romance from Dahl – but it was sweet and cute and I just didn’t want to put the novel down. I also love that Dahl creates feminist characters that talk about sex in a positive, healthy way. It’s inspiring.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (★★☆☆☆)
I had high expectations of this book, and it really fell flat for me. It seemed to be less about feminism and more about race and pop culture, which is fine, but it’s just faulty marketing. I thought I would read this book and fall completely in love with Roxane Gay, but it actually made me realize she’s probably not someone I’d ever be friends with. (I know she’s devastated.) We have very different viewpoints on a lot of issues. There were some really interesting essays, like when she talked about the struggle narrative in seeing black people in pop culture or her essays on feminism, but then there was essay after essay of her giving opinions on movies, books, and TV shows. And most of the opinions were negative and didn’t seem to have a point to them. (Like, why even include it other than to badmouth a creator?) All in all, it’s not an essay collection I’d recommend.
This novel was just plain fun! I love everything Jill Shalvis writes because her style is very similar to the style I’d like to write – sweet romance novels with lots of heart. I thought the MC’s storyline was really interesting and not something I read about too much in romance novels, so it kept me intrigued until the very end. All of the happy sighs.
I suggested this book for book club, since there are a couple of us going through a Gilmore Girls binge right now. I had read some mixed reviews of the book, but I actually really enjoyed it! For a fiction novel written by a celebrity, I thought it was really well-written with authentic characters. It was more chick-lit than I expected, but I love this genre so I didn’t mind it. The novel follows a struggling actress living in New York City in the mid-90s. She came to NYC to become an actress, but gave herself a timeline of three years to make it, and when the book begins, she only has six months left until she has to go back home and become a teacher. I imagine this book closely reflected the struggles Lauren herself faced in the years before she found success, so a lot of it felt true-to-life. As a wannabe novelist, I also loved this quote:
“…how do you know? How can you tell if anything will ever come of it? How can you endure the waiting for someone else to, well, recognize you? How can you stand the not knowing?”
“I don’t know, actually. You just do it, I guess. There isn’t another choice but to wait and see, as long as you can take it.” (p. 78)
Thrown by a Curve by Jaci Burton (★★★☆☆)
This was not Jaci Burton’s best novel, which is surprising because it’s the fifth book in her Play by Play series. Some of the language felt very, very cheesy and the dialogue seemed inauthentic. I didn’t feel a strong connection to the hero or heroine. The whole book just felt rushed. I mean, it’s still a great romance novel and very well-written when compared to other romance novels, but I’ve enjoyed her other books a whole lot more.
I don’t read too many short story collections because I don’t enjoy them, but I read this book’s companion (My True Love Gave To Me) in December, and when I found out this anthology was being published, I immediately requested it from Overdrive. And it was cute! It was really, really cute. There were some stories I loved, some I liked, and some I hated. There was a continuation of a story from the previous collection, which made me swoony, and then a story that made me want to throw my Kindle across the room because it frustrated me so much. Ya win some, ya lose some with short stories.
What kind of reader are you – do you read books slowly, or do you get antsy if you’ve been reading the same book for a week or more? What’s the best book you read in June?