July 14, 2020

June Books 2020 + halfway point progress

Usually, I cut myself off at the end of each month and write my book post. Anything that starts on the first of the month or after goes into the next month's post. But, since I was in the middle of 2-3 books at the beginning of July, I decided to finish them up and put them into this post. Because by the time August rolls around, it'll seem like a decade had passed since I read them. 

In the last month, I've read exclusively thrillers, with one more literary book thrown in...whatever keeps me reading and keeps my interest level high is my strategy right now. 
But you'll also see that I had the same types of reviews for many of these: I'm starting to see through the writing process for thrillers. They're getting to be predictable in their writing. The plot isn't always predictable, but the common ways the author tries to "get" you are wearing on me. Maybe next month I'll try a different genre? 

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
This was my first BOTM. When you sign up, you're able to choose any book from the backlog. This was from July 2018. 
This wasn't a bad book. It took me an embarrassingly long time to finish it, though. The first 1/3 moved ridiculously slow. The second 1/3 was a lot of back and forth. The last 1/3 paid off. 
It's a thriller. It has some twists and turns. It's almost YA-esque. I didn't dislike it but it's not my favorite of Riley Sager's. 

This was a BOTM selection. It was a thriller of sorts and you didn't know exactly where you were on the timeline with one of the narrators. I really liked Claire's portion of the story; Eva's was harder to get behind. And there was a twist near-ish to the end that wasn't believable and seemed too perfect. 
But I did think it was a good story.

Another BOTM.
I didn't like Reconstructing Amelia at all because the format was weird. Since authors generally stick to what they know, I was hesitant with this one because of the author's name. The premise sounded interesting though. I like legal thrillers in all formats. 
The format was 100 times better than Reconstructing Amelia. The story was interesting. The characters were all incredibly unlikeable though. There were no redeeming characteristics and there was kind of a lot thrown into the mixing bowl of plot that just didn't have to be in there. 
I felt bad for the kid. 
And Amanda too. 
I didn't really see the end wrapping up the way it did but, like I said, she threw in so. many. plot devices that it didn't shock and awe me. 
A good enough story. Would make a decent movie. 

This was pretty good. Parts were a bit predictable and typical of psychological thrillers. I didn't see all of it coming. But there was a LOT thrown in toward the end...kind of like a soup of thriller tropes. 

I waited quite a while to get this from the library. It was a psychological thriller in the sense that the narrator thinks she's going insane. I really liked the first half. The second half was odd. Almost like the author used up her craft in the first half and ran out of steam. 
However, she used the same few phrases over and over again and this bothered me. An editor could've helped. There was an odd theme about how terrible men are, when in fact there's only one man in the book. Maybe that guy is just terrible. Plus, the end was weird. 
I don't not recommend it. Just don't expect too much. I expected a lot because I think I was the last person to read it. 

I simultaneously loved and hated this. I don't want to talk spoilers where everyone can read them. Overall, I loved it. At first, I almost quit around 18% because it starts off verrrrry slowly. It did start to pick up and, at some point, I started to care about Mickey. She was really hard to like. Like, she actively makes you dislike her and wonder if she's a real person.
I would classify this as a cross between The Wire and Shameless. 

Did not finish: 

I don't even remember the specifics of this now, because I quit it about 15% in...I thought it would be better? But no. Shallow characters. It turned from promising in the first chapter into bad boy reform/rom-com/main character has a gay best friend who serves no other purpose other than to give sage advice (I haaaaaaaaaate the trope of the gay best friend who only is there to give advice. Give them depth or take them out.)
I think I'm done with CH. 

6 months into 2020:

My goal was 48 books in 2020 since I read 47 in 2019. 

My counting may be off (I'm not doing a Goodreads deep-dive at this second) but I've read 26 and I've quit...a handful... ...I'll double-check this...

No audiobooks. I can't do that medium anymore. It's like that was reserved for Colorado and it's not for me now.

Also, I think I'm supposed to be reading nonfiction this year...that was a goal but I can't remember if I posted about it. 
I've read a few, for sure, but I need to get on that this fall. I listen to so many nonfiction podcasts that fiction books are more my thing right now. 

And if you're just skimming to the bottom here :)...The best plot was The Last Flight, the best constructed and the best writing was Long Bright River. 

Linking up with Jana and Steph! And for Quick Lit with MMD!


  1. I had a goal to read non-fiction too, and managed to read 6/12 so I should be able to hit it. I made a separate GR shelf to keep track of those. I love CH but this is one of the few that's not even on my TBR because someone mentioned a trigger warning of domestic violence. Haha, I agree with you on The Wives- second half was just weird. Long Bright River and A Good Marriage are both on my TBR! I should really just sign up for BOTM already.

  2. Long Bright River is on my TBR. Stinks about It Ends With Us. I am on the wait list for it, have been forever. I usually really like Colleen Hoover.

  3. Reconstructing Amelia was a little off how it was put together. I'm glad this one was better!

  4. Are you still doing BOTM - you gave me the push to do it for the summer :) I may keep it up - I'm enjoying it.
    I gotta look at my goodreads count too & see where I'm at half way through the year

  5. I want to read one of Riley Sager's books but never get to them before my library loan expires. Which one is your favorite? I wish I didn't finish It Ends With Us, lol, definitely was not my thing either.

  6. I have The Last Flight, so I hope to read that sometime soon. I love mysteries/thrillers but I'm usually not great at figuring them out. I can see how the "twists" and "got you" moments are a bit predictable after awhile though.


  7. Long Bright River is one of my favorites of the year so far.

    I'm looking forward to reading A Good Marriage. I read Reconstructing Amelia so long ago I can't remember the format.

  8. I had the good marriage book but didn't get to read it in time before it was due so I'll have to get it again. My library books are coming in fast from all the requests during 'rona.

  9. Oh man, I love Colleen Hoover and It Ends With Us. I also really enjoyed Long Bright River. I also read The Wives last month and wasn't a huge fan. I want to read A Good Marriage. I've read one Riley Sager book and wasn't a big fan.

  10. Long Bright River is on my TBR :)

  11. Long Bright River was dark and heavy, but very good. I also enjoyed The Wives, Final Girls, and A Good Marriage. I read It Ends with Us a few years back and it actually turned out really well.


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