The Social Affair by Britney King
Can You Hear Me? by Elena Varvello
The Old You by Louise Voss
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
Providence by Caroline Kepnes
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
Sinner by Christopher Graves
The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
Beware the Past by Joy Ellis
Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke
11/22/63 by Stephen King
12 books (2 read w. audiobook combo)
I’m blown away yet again by being able to read 12 book this month! I had another title on my TBR that I really wanted to get to, but sometimes not being stuck in a book and enjoying real life is best!
Let’s start with titles that I liked but didn’t love this month. First up in this category was CAN YOU HEAR ME? by Elena Varvello. I thought the premise of this book was good, but I was left wanting more. I wanted to know more about the crimes and the man behind them, with maybe a bit less coming of age story focus. For such a short book, I think it achieved a well-rounded story. THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET would make an excellent read for a literary fiction fan, but this thriller lover was left wanting more action. The beginning and ending of this book were entertaining and if the middle hadn’t gotten boring, I think I would have truly loved this one. THE LONG WAY HOME is the tenth installment in the Inspector Gamache series from Louise Penny and the first time I can say I didn’t love one of her books. I thought it was the audiobook combination that was allowing me to be distracted, but in the end the culprit was definitely the repetitive nature of the story that left me wanting more action.
I kicked off this month with a trip to Seattle and the brilliant THE SOCIAL AFFAIR, which centers around a seemingly perfect family that is also part of a cult. I loved this one! The characters were interesting and the story was entertaining. I can’t wait to squeeze in Britney King’s related book THE REPLACEMENT WIFE later this summer to see what some of the other cult members are up to. While I was on my trip I also was blown away by THE OLD YOU. This book kept me on my toes while reading about a couple whose husband is suddenly stricken with dementia and the chaos that follows in their life. Voss confused me, surprised me, and ultimately blew me away with her writing! The same can certainly be said for PROVIDENCE by Caroline Kepnes. You all remember when I was raving about my love for YOU? Well Kepnes delivered yet another great read with PROVIDENCE this month. The story has a large science fiction element with a nod to H.P. Lovecraft, so reader beware, if you’re not a fan of your book being a little unbelievable you might not feel the same about this one as I did.
I kept up my new found love of listening to audiobooks with THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW this month. I’ve had this book sitting unread on my shelf for some time now, so I figured why not conquer it with an audiobook/reading combo? Success! The main character of Anna had me shaking my head in disbelief of her actions and the story as a whole was a fun, thrilling ride. Speaking of thrilling rides, I was at the edge of my seat, reading at breakneck speed with SINNER by Christopher Graves. This book focuses around a killer who’s actions are driven by his intense religious beliefs. Absolutely engrossing! Perhaps the book that kept me most on my toes belongs to JAR OF HEARTS this month. If you want your new favorite thriller, Jennifer Hillier has you all set with this one. There are so many brilliant twists and reveals in these pages that you’re not going to want to set it down for a moment.
Closing out the month were three 5 star reads! You read that right, three 5 star books. First up was BEWARE THE PAST, which is this month’s pick for Instagram’s Criminally Good Book Club. I was immediately sucked into this story, the case it follows, and the characters involved. If you’re looking for a work of crime fiction to keep you up at night, this is your book! Prior to this month I hadn’t read a horror novella. After I read SOUR CANDY I realized I’d been doing it wrong my whole life. In 74 pages Kealan Patrick Burke achieves a story lightyears better than some much longer books I’ve read. It was creepy in the sense your couldn’t believe what was happening and yet you couldn’t stop picturing yourself in the main character’s shoes and wondering what you would do if you were him. Speaking of putting yourself in a main character’s shoes, that’s exactly where you’ll stay for 800+ pages of goodness in 11/22/63. As you know I’ve been enjoying a great King journey so far this year, so naturally why not read one that gets a lot of praise? 11/22/63 deserves all the positive reviews it gets. I was intrigued in the beginning, worried I had to high of expectations in the middle, and then moved to tears at the end. Stephen King, sir, you are a wizard!
I’d love to know what you read this month! Have you read any of these titles? Let’s chat!
Here’s to July! Happy reading!
Disclaimer: Thank you to the amazing publishers for providing me with several of these titles for free in exchange for an honest review.