June 2019 Reads & Reviews

Happy monthly book day, blog world! The sun is shining, it’s finally warm out, and my deck is calling to me to come outside and read a book. Anyone else find it that much more fun and relaxing to read outside? It’s simply the best. So! I won’t waste one more minute and get to it – here’s my June reads and reviews.

June 2019 Reads & Reviews
ROOMIES by Christina Lauren
My rating & recommendation: 3 stars, it’s okay. I’ve almost made my way through all of CL’s stand-alone novels, and this is probably my least favorite of the bunch. The biggest thing for me is the title/synopsis of the book is extremely misleading. This wasn’t at all what I was expecting – the characters, story and plot line … frankly, it’s kind of all over the place. Holland’s and Calvin’s constant doubt/insecurity was exhausting. Guess that’s to be expected given the situation that they willingly entered into, but still.

DEAR LILY by Drew Davies
*ARC received from NetGalley. Out now!
My rating & recommendation: 3 stars, it’s okay. I quite liked the diary/stream-of-conscious writing style in this book. It helped give it some depth where the story was otherwise lacking, and I always find this type of narration more personal and relatable. Unfortunately, beyond that this book fell pretty flat. Joy was so ridiculously whiny and self-absorbed most of the time that by the end when she kind of redeems herself I was already over it.

GRACE AFTER HENRY by Eithne Shortall
My rating & recommendation: 4 stars, yes! I picked this up on a whim from the library, not knowing a thing going into it. It did drag in some parts, and honestly was overall kind of a boring character study … But oddly enough, I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the story. It’s an interesting premise and examination of how people cope with sadness and tragedy. I often found myself thinking “what would I do?” throughout the book. It’ll definitely make you think.

My rating & recommendation: 1 star, absolutely not. I really need to learn how to DNF books because this is hands-down the WORST BOOK I’VE EVER READ IN MY LIFE. There’s no point in even writing a proper review because it was that bad. Take E L James for what she is – a one-hit literary wonder (and even that’s stretching it).

THE BRIDE TEST by Helen Hoang
My rating & recommendation: 4 stars, yes! I simply adored this book. What’s not to love?! There were some character traits of My that bugged me – her desire to be independent but also using old-school seductive tactics to get to Khai seemed contradictory. She also never felt compelled to research Khai’s condition to better understand him? This both seemed odd and somewhat selfish. The ending also seemed a little rushed, but I digress. The haircut scene between Khai and My was so ridiculously endearing that I nearly teared up a little bit. And, it’s cute/sexy/romantic scenes like this one that make the book what it is. A must-read for summer!

BEFORE SHE KNEW HIM by Peter Swanson
My rating & recommendation: 4 stars, yes! Peter Swanson continues to prove why he’s one of my favorite thriller/suspense writers. Admittedly, this took me a hot minute to get into. Hen kind of got on my nerves, and some of her paranoia/stream-of-conscious moments were repetitive and too aplenty. Overall these were my least “favorite” characters of any Swanson book. But that twisty AF ending?! Didn’t see it coming at all.

Bottom line …

The Bride Test and Before She Knew Him are my top two not-to-miss reads for the month. At all costs, avoid The Mister.

Currently reading: Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes; The Cactus by Sarah Haywood; and Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

What’s on your reading list for the month?

Keep up with all my reading in the archives, on Instagram Highlights and on Goodreads.

Linking up for Show Us Your Books with Steph and Jana

Leave a Comment


  1. 6.17.19

    I can’t wait to read The Bride Test. I haven’t read 50 Shades or anything else by EL James… but it’s not high on my list. There are so many good options out there. I liked roomies, but yes… there is so much miscommunication and insecurities. Ugh. It got a little angsty. Excited for the movie though! Josh and Hazel is still my #1! Xo – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • 6.17.19
      Karly said:

      Yeah, unfortunately my curiosity got me on that one! Oh well, worse things can happen. Roomies was definitely way too angsty for me, but hopefully it translates well to film.

  2. 6.12.19
    Julie said:

    I judt finished Before She Knew Him and I havent read anything by that author and I was pleasantly surprised.

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      Definitely check out The Kind Worth Killing by the same author – it’s my favorite of his so far!

  3. 6.12.19
    Kristin said:

    I didn’t finish Roomies. I really didn’t like Holland for some reason. I will definitely try another one of her books though!
    Looking forward to the new Peter Swanson book too.

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      Glad it wasn’t just me! I love CL, but that book didn’t do much for me. Enjoy the new Peter Swanson, it’s so good!

  4. 6.11.19
    SMD said:

    I love Peter Swanson.

    LOL well even though you finished it at least you have a worst book ever? I hate when I put a book down and thought I SHOULD NOT HAVE READ THAT. I do DNF books though, without guilt. Sometimes things just push me to keep going though, usually because I have one thing I want to know.

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      I mean, I didn’t have high expectations going into the book or anything, but I’m sure like others I couldn’t help but be curious because of 50 Shades, etc. Learned my lesson lol.

  5. 6.11.19

    I’m reading through all of Christina Lauren’s books now so good to know that Roomies isn’t as good as the others. I’ll put that one off for a while!

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      That’s my advice, but I know my thoughts on it aren’t popular opinion!

  6. 6.11.19

    I HATED the 50 Shades books with a passion and the fact that she wrote another book actually makes me angry. It is a HARD HARD pass from me on that one.

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      Hahahaha. I don’t blame you. I couldn’t help but be curious because of the whole 50 Shades thing, but definitely learned my lesson.

  7. 6.11.19

    I need to read one of Hoang’s books. They sound fun! I had Before She Knew Him but my reading slump was going strong so it got returned unread to the library. It sounds like I need to recheck it out! I cannot with E.L James. I tried to read 50 twice and didn’t even make it to the sexy bits before I DNFed it. And I very rarely ever DNF a book (I’m an optimist, always convinced it will get better) and I did it twice to that book. I may also be an idiot for trying twice too! But I had heard that The Mister was no 50 so I’m not even going to bother.

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      Definitely start with The Kiss Quotient by Hoang – I still love that one more than Bride Test, but both are super cute! I’m still ashamed of myself for even wanting to read The Mister, lol. Oh well, curiosity got the best of me!

  8. 6.11.19
    kristen said:

    aw, bummer about roomies but totally understand. i actually think it was my first of theirs? maybe? but if i had read others first i would have been disappointed, maybe. i am ultra picky about green cards etc in books and they actually did their research (you’d be surprised how many don’t… like the bride test had an error, drove me bonkers! 2 seconds to google it! 2 seconds!!). i agree with your review of the bride test, the issues i had were mainly with her and her inconsistencies. and the green card error… lol. i am laughing so hard that you read the mister.

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      Yeah yeah, I’m laughing at myself too lol. Curiosity definitely got the better of me – lesson learned. What was the green card error in Bride Test? I’d love to know!

  9. 6.11.19
    Michael said:

    The Bride Test was on the BOTM short list for me. Ultimately, I went with something else but this is on the TBR. New to yuor blog but loving your space!

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      Welcome, and thank you for stopping by! The Bride Test is super cute so I hope that you enjoy it when you get to it!

  10. 6.11.19
    Gina said:

    Glad you enjoyed Before She Knew Him! I loved it. Also glad to see you liked The Bride Test! I just finished a Podcast (though I can’t remember which one now – sorry!) where they gave it a really lukewarm review so I wasn’t going to get it. But I think I’ll add it back to my list for the next time I need a light romance.

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      I have you to thank for getting me into Peter Swanson books a few months back – they are just so good! The Bride Test is perfect for when you want a light, romance-y read. Enjoy!

  11. 6.11.19
    Heather said:

    Don’t worry, I was already planning to skip the E.L. James book but I appreciate your review nonetheless!!! I agree with everything you said about The Bride Test 100%!!! Oh I am curious to hear your thoughts on Field Notes on Love – I have liked some of her other books but not looooved them.

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      LOL, well thanks! The way I see it at this point is I suffered through reading it so nobody else had to. 😉 Field Notes on Love is up next in my queue, so I’ll let you know!

  12. 6.11.19

    I really need to read Peter Swanson; I love a good mystery/thriller!


    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      He’s one of the best authors in the genre!

  13. 6.11.19
    Kasey said:

    Ohh I’ll have to add Before She Knew Him to my list, I do love a twisty ending you don’t see coming.

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      And, this one is SO so good for that. Enjoy!

  14. 6.11.19
    Anne said:

    Oooh, I loved Evvie Drake so much – I hope you enjoy! Excited to get my hands on a copy of Field Notes on Love. And I’ve been making my way through Christina Lauren too, but am finding that the first one I read (Love and Other Words) remains my favorite, so I might just not get all the way to Roomies…

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      Evvie Drake was the cutest!!! I finished it right after I published this post. Love and Other Words has been on hold for me at the library for months – everyone I know loves it so much, so I’m looking forward to that one.

  15. 6.11.19
    Kay R.D. said:

    Im going to be reading the bride test for a reading challenge and cant wait. Ive heard so many good things.

  16. 6.10.19
    Megan said:

    I just finished Before She Knew Him a few days ago and LOVED it. I couldn’t put it down! I think this is probably my favorite Peter Swanson book so far. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of his previous ones but I wanted to give him another chance– so glad I did!

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      Oh, good! The Kind Worth Killing is still my favorite of his, but honestly there hasn’t been one book so far that I haven’t liked. He’s such a great writer!

  17. 6.10.19
    Biana said:

    going to add your two not to miss reads to my list! Also that EL james book sounds horrible!

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      It’s no 50 Shades, I’ll tell you that LOL

  18. 6.10.19

    I really need to pick up more of Peter Swanson’s books! I’ve only read one and really enjoyed it!

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      Do it! I think I’ve read all of his except one at this point, and I’ve never been disappointed.

  19. 6.10.19
    Elisa said:

    I’m always looking for books recommendations, so thank you for your reviews!
    xx Elisa
    http://www.francinesplaceblog.com | DIY & LIFESTYLE BLOG

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      Thanks for stopping by, happy reading!

  20. 6.10.19
    Brittany said:

    I love your reviews! Before She Knew Him sounds right up my alley… I’m going to add it to my list! Also, getting a bad book is literally the worst. And I always remember the bad ones, lol. I just picked up Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. Hoping it’s a good summer read!

    Brittany | http://www.pointed-north.com

  21. 6.10.19
    Debbie said:

    I’m truly hoping to get to some summer reading, looking forward to Elin Hilderbrand’s new book!

    • 6.10.19
      Ashley said:

      I can’t get through Roomies. Can’t wait to check out some Peter Swanson!

      • 6.13.19
        Karly said:

        Glad it’s not just me! Not my favorite CL book at all.

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      I’m looking forward to reading that one, too!

  22. 6.10.19
    Samantha said:

    So many great sounding books. I’ll have to check a few of these out this summer.

    • 6.13.19
      Karly said:

      So many of these would be great summer reads!