I can’t remember if that’s what Part 1 was titled and I’m too emotionally exhausted to go back and look because I just watched a new special Taemin video that SM Entertainment released today in an effort to feed the starving Taemints and now I’m weak and have pressure behind my eyeballs from crying so please leave me alone.
8. The King of Crows – Libba Bray
Hey, speaking of crying – finishing the Diviners series really did it to me. I can honestly say that I haven’t loved a book series this much since Harry Potter (you know, back before we knew that its author was a disgusting TERF). It’s really got it all: a ragtag, diverse cast of characters that will steal your heart, snappy dialogue, an exciting and original supernatural plot, and a historical setting that might actually teach you some things while also making you run to the nearest Party City for some flapper accessories.
And if you’re an audio book type of person (fuck it, even if you’re NOT), January Lavoy narrates all 4 books and she is a TREASURE. I’ve raved about all 4 of these books and will continue to do so until my deathbed days, probably. Oh, and I even got Henry into them – he just finished the fourth book recently too and we had a full five minute book club about it because, you know, Henry.
Oh! The only complaint I have about these books, if I have to have one, is that the book covers are terrible. Well, the first one is nice, but they all go downhill from there. The publisher did Libba Bray dirty.
9. Umma’s Table – Hong Yeon-Sik
Don’t let the adorably whimsical cover fool you – this is one depressing graphic novel. I read it in the car in our drive to Cedar Point last month and had to keep putting it down because it was making me so sad. If aging parents is a trigger for you, skip this one. I just kept thinking about mortality, fear of getting older, of being a future burden to Chooch, all of these things that we really love to think about while in a car driving to a place where we’re supposed to be have fun, lol. It was a real downer, but also very beautiful. It will make you want to slow down and appreciate what you have, while you have it.
10. The Other Black Girl – Zakiya Dalila Harris
OK this was a wild thriller! Nella works at a book publisher and is the token black girl until one day when another black girl is hired. At first, Nella is like THANK GOD but this new broad – Hazel – quickly becomes super popular in the office and eventually gets opportunities that Nella feels should be hers. But then there’s this crazy sci-fi twist to it that takes it the next level and I couldn’t imagine how the hell this thing was going to end. I thought it was super smart, witty, and fraught with tension.
There was also a part that I low-key related to where Nella is training Hazel and the whole time, Hazel is questioning the process and saying things like, “Yeah, but, shouldn’t we do it this way instead…” and then she criticizes a spreadsheet that isn’t alphabetized and laminated and I was like OH SHIT THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR because I recently went through a similar sitch with a new person I was training and I gotta say, I felt a bit triggered lol.
11. The Last Thing He Told Me – Laura Dave
One day, Hannah’s husband goes missing and the last thing she heard from him was a written note that says “protect her.” So now she and her teenage step-daughter, with whom she has a very strained relationship, set out to try and figure out what the hell happened. I would say it’s more of a mystery than a thriller, and I found it to be pretty interesting. I really didn’t expect this book to make me burst into tears at the end, but there we were!
12. The New Husband – DJ Palmer
A very middle-of-the-road thriller. Pretty predictable. I liked that the book alternated between the POV of the wife and the teenage daughter, and definitely much preferred the daughter’s chapters. This book wasn’t terrible by any means, but it also didn’t blow me away. Lots of gaslighting though so I basically felt like I had an entire nest of hornets buzzing through my veins.
13. Meet Cute Diary – Emery Lee
Hey, you knew there was gonna be a YA book in here somewhere! Noah is a high school trans boy who writes a blog about meet cute stories for the trans community, except that they’re all made up by him and then he gets exposed for being a fake so some dude offers to fake-date him so that Noah can save his blog (and face). There’s a lot of toxic behavior going on in this book, and it also taught me about the “eir” community – look, I am way behind on this stuff but I am learning slowly OK!?
The main character, Noah, is actually quite insufferable, but Devin is the one who saves this book in my opinion.
14. Astrid Sees All – Natalie Standiford
Um. I picked this up because it was set in NYC club scene in the early 80s but…what? Huh? This book had NO VIBES. The only 80s bones that were thrown were sporadic mentions of Andy Warhol walking by, or JFK Jr being at a college party. And the plot, was even was that? The timeline kept jumping around too and it made no sense to me. Too many characters that I couldn’t keep up with. Drugs. A dad died. Yeah, this book was pretty much a waste of time.
Well, that’s all for June. I’m going to try and get Henry to guest post next week for his summer book recs since he has been tearing through the audiobooks at work. Don’t hold your breath!