Happy summer friends! Summer is a great season to pick up a book and read by the pool or on the beach. I am looking forward to five days at the beach at the end of July during which I will be reading Brandon Sanderson's Words of Radiance. It's the second in an epic fantasy series, and quite lengthy, so I thought it would be a good beach read. Hah! The books I read in June are listed below with their respective reviews. If you are looking for a new book, maybe you can find one below, or from my past months' reviews.
Never Gone by Laurel Garver - Never Gone is a story of a fifteen year-old girl dealing with the loss of her father. The story didn't take me in the places I thought it would, but that was a good move for this book. I enjoyed the character development in the story, especially the relationship of Dani and Heather along with Dani and Theo. Never Gone was an interesting read for me because of the direct weaving of the Christian faith into the story. As a Christian, I found the faith aspect surprisingly refreshing and realistic, especially since overtly Christian characters are few and far between these days. I would recommend this book to a teen going through a rough patch or dealing with grief. 5 out of 7 stars
Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott - Sleep Tight is a psychological thriller from author Rachel Abbott. A woman and her three children go missing with the husband as the major suspect. Sleep Tight had me hooked from the first chapter, but about halfway through the book, the narrative shifts. The first half was great as I tried to figure out what was going on and what characters to trust. The second half was more of a cat and mouse chase that I didn't find as compelling. Abbott threw in a few twists at the end, but the ending still felt a bit flat. Sleep Tight is the third in a series, but it wasn't necessary to read the first two. (I hadn't) I think I would have enjoyed the Tom and Becky more if I had, but it's a good standalone novel. If you like crime novels or psychological thrillers, you will enjoy the book. 5 out of 7 stars
Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist (A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes) - Bread and Wine is part cookbook, part memoir, with a touch of spirituality. Shauna (I feel like I can call her Shauna since I listen to her every week on the Relevant Podcast) shares her life though her experiences with food and around the table. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, especially since the author's life experiences are very different than my own. I really enjoyed how her faith is woven through the book, and I can't wait to try the recipes that follow each chapter! 6 out of 7 stars
Timebound by Rysa Walker - Writing about time travel isn't easy, but Rysa Walker pulled it off in Timebound. The YA story was carefully plotted to explain the time travel, and I thought her take on time travel was very interesting, especially the Cyrist movement. I also enjoyed the historical aspects of the novel. It was clear Walker did her research with the World Fair sequence. The book was lacking for me in with character development. I didn't connect with the protagonist, and it hindered my ability to enjoy the story. The Kate and Trey romance was difficult for me because it didn't seem realistic. It may come together more in the next series because of the time travel, but I would have liked to go deeper with the characters in this first book. I can't decide if I will read the second when it comes out in October, but that doesn't mean you can't give it a shot, especially if you like time travel! 4 out of 7 stars
Rating System Guide
7 stars = Phenomenal book – one of the best book’s I’ve read
6 stars = Great book – worth your time to read
5 stars = Solid book, if you like the genre pick it up
4 stars = Okay book, maybe lacking something in the way of language, character development, story
3 stars = I probably should have stopped reading this book.
1 or 2 stars = Serious issues with plot, structure, language, or not a book for me.