I didn’t have much of a TBR for June and that weirdly ended up in one of my more busier months this year, I think its the football that’s given me all the extra reading time in the last couple of weeks.
The Poison Bed* – It was the cover art that drew me to The Poison Bed I decided to request it as a bit of a genre challenge, it was described murder mystery set in the 1600’s so I thought it I would be a bit different to things I would normally pick up. I gave this 3 stars because it took me about 40% of the book to really get interested in it; I used to read a lot of historical fiction and would have enjoyed more details around the time period in general as this was very character-centric. I’d recommend this if you’re a fan of authors like Phillipa Gregory.
The Driveway Has Two Sides* – I really enjoyed this, at just under 130pages this was a great lazy Sunday afternoon read, it’s not the most dramatic of stories, I can’t promise you’ll be hanging onto the edge of your seat desperate to know what happens next but the characters and their relationships are great. I love the play on how quick the judge people can be and how that stereotype can be personified in small tightly knit communities. 4 stars.
The Pioneer Woman – I wanted to love this as much as I love the television show, sadly it was not meant to be. While Ree is a great blogger, this lost me in places and became more of a skim read. While I gave it 2 stars, I’d still recommend it to other fans who might like a bit more backstory of her relationship with Ladd complete with lots of funny anecdotes.
Inside the Bone Box* – Nicholas Anderton is a neurosurgeon whose weight is becoming a threat to both his job and his marriage, this novella follows Nick as he reaches the pivotal moment of his professional capacity being questioned. I think the book challenges a difficult topic to talk about, being set in the UK where obesity is continually becoming more of an issue the challenges Nick faces in the book must be a harsh reality for some and it’s great that it’s not shying away from things like this. I gave this three stars as I thought a couple of chapters were a bit disjointed from the overall plot and I didn’t get that ‘must keep reading’ feeling.
Wilde Like Me – I’ve followed Louise online for about seven years so when her debut novel popped up as a 99p kindle deal a few months ago I picked it up This surprised me in a good way, I was expecting overly fluffy, stereotypical chick-lit but what I got was a fun and clever plot with some really great characters, looking forward to the follow up later this year; 4 stars.
Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea – Bit different from other North Korea books I read in that this is written by a journalist who’s spoken to defectors; the book follows the stories of six defectors the author has met several times. I thought it was well written and extremely interesting to hear the different stories 4 stars.
How to Give Up Plastic – Similar to No More Plastic that I read in May but I think overall I preferred this, it seemed to be written in a way that made me feel like little swaps and changes do count. This something I’m starting to feel more and more strongly towards and would recommend that everyone give this a read, whether you currently couldn’t care less or if you’re already doing a fair amount to reduce your plastic. 4 stars.
London Belongs To Us – Seventeen-year-old Sunny has the house to herself for a week so plans to lose her virginity to her boyfriend, Mark. Her day starts as planned and she heads out with her best friend until within a couple of hours Sunny is running around London with two French boys and a broom trying to find Mark. This was a really quick read that went in all sorts of different directions continually keeping me on my toes, 4 stars.
As Old As Time – This is the third in the ‘Twisted Tales’ series and is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, except, plot twist; Belle’s mom is the enchantress who cursed everyone. There’s a fair bit of backstory which is necessary for the overall plot but did start to feel a bit much. At nearly 500pages its a bit of a long one for (I’m guessing) a younger target audience. I did enjoy this more than the Aladdin one but don’t think I’ll be reading any more from this series. 3 stars.
If I Was Your Girl – Eighteen-year-old Amanda Harvey moves to live with her Dad, starting afresh she makes new friends and fairly soon after a new boyfriend. What Amanda’s not telling anyone is that she’s actually nineteen and used to be called Andrew. It’s not a rollercoaster plot ride but it is a very thought-provoking character driven book that I really enjoyed. 4 stars.
Night – A short but harrowing account of German concentration camps in 1944 from someone who lived through it, very emotive and not an easy read but very well written; 5 stars.
Still Me – Louisa Clark is back, and this time she’s living in New York working as a personal assistant to Agnes Gopnik attempting a long distance relationship with Sam from book 2. This was definitely a happier toned book than the previous two, Lou is in a better place and feeling a lot more positive; as always with Louisa things don’t quite go as smoothly as planned. I enjoyed being back with the characters but I gave this three stars but its hard to explain why without spoilers. If you’ve read the other two, I’d say definitely pick this.
Titles marked * have been provided for free in exchange for an honest review.