Oh June, you were so so good to me this month when it came to reading. I was able to read seven books and loved almost all of them! I had a nice mix of books this month with two inspired by real events, three beach reads, one chick lit and one suspense/thriller.
I started the month off strong with Keeping Lucy. I picked this book up on a whim while at a bag day of a used book sale. Those days always get me. As many books as you can fit in a paper bag for $5-10?!? Yes please!! This book is set in the early 1970s and is based on the story of a woman who is forced to give her daughter up because she has special needs and that would reflect poorly on her family. The daughter is sent to a "special school" and they have no contact with her. When articles are released in the paper saying how horrible the school is, the mother kidnaps her own daughter to save her. While the story is fiction, it was inspired by true events about homes that were labeled as schools for children with special needs and articles that came to light telling what happened behind closed doors. I loved the book and found it to be very eye opening.
This book, The Subway Girls, was another used book sale find and also inspired by true events. Between the years 1941 and 1976, New York City hosted a "Miss Subways" competition every month where one lucky girl was featured in subway cars throughout the city. I loved getting to learn about the history of a city that is so near and dear to me. The book is told from two different perspectives, one during the time of the competition and the other is present day when an advertising exec looks to the past to help pitch a new ad campaign for the subway system. I found the book to be entertaining while also informative. Once I finished the book, I listened to the radio show episode that inspired the story and I can't wait to learn more about the competition.
Next up this month was an older Elin Hilderbrand book, Nantucket Nights. I love Elin Hilderbrand and always look forward to her new book each year. I jumped on the bandwagon maybe eight or so years ago, so I haven't read all of her older books just yet. This book is about three women with barely anything in common who shouldn't be friend, but are. Their 20 year friendship runs deep and they set aside one night every year for a night swim...except this year, one of the friends disappears. Fingers are pointed and the friendship is put to the test. Add in a little family drama and you've got this great read! I didn't know who to believe and had a couple of moments where I gasped out loud. If you haven't read some of Elin's older books, I definitely recommend this one.
Cottage at the Beach had all the makings of a Hallmark movie and, let me tell you, I am here for it! Take one teacher who is fighting to save the program at her school, add in an injured police officer and his K9 partner, sprinkle in a little romance and make sure it takes place at the beach. Sounds like a perfect book/Hallmark movie, right? And it was! I flew through this book on the cruise. It was sweet and it gave me all the happy feelings.
Same Beach, Next Year takes place over the course of nearly 20 years and focuses on the friendship of two couples vacationing on Isle of Palm. Throughout their friendship, secrets are kept, secrets are discovered and the friendships are put to the test. I liked all of the characters, I was mad at all the characters, I felt for all the characters, I had so many mixed feelings towards the characters over the course of the book and I loved it.
Out of all the books I read this month, Modern Lovers fell flat for me. Three former college bandmates have grown up together (two of them even got married!) and been there for every milestone in one another's lives. When a movie producer reaches out wanting to make a movie about the lead singer of the band, secrets are discovered and drama unfolds. While all of this is going on, the children of the bandmates are coming into their own and start developing feelings for one another. I've read one other book by this author and liked it, but I struggled to get through this book. As I was reading the book, I kept asking myself "What is the actual plot? Why am I reading this?" I felt as though the book dragged on and just didn't enjoy it. Was it just me? Has anyone else read it? Am I missing something?
This book. This book here is the book I can't stop talking about. This book is the book I stayed up until midnight reading because I HAD to know how it ended. This book is the book I've already started recommending to people to read. In fact, just last night I wrote down the title for my aunt and she told me I was the second person to suggest it to her and she had it on hold at the library. The Last Flight focuses on one woman trying to escape an abusive marriage and another woman running from her mistakes. A chance meeting at an airport has the women switching identities. When one of the planes crashes leaving one of the main characters presumed dead, it gives the other woman a chance to start over. I could not read this book fast enough because I needed to know what happened next. My only complaint is that I needed about 20 more pages to help wrap up the story. Julie Clark just released another book this month and I can't wait to get my hands on it and read it soon!
What books did you read this month? What books should I add to my list of books to read? I'm always up for suggestions!