June 2022 Novel Ideas: 21 Quick Lit Reviews

Novel Ideas 67
June 2022 Novel Ideas: 21 Quick Lit Reviews 28

June 2022 Novel Ideas is chock full of great beach reads! But we are slowly starting to read more thrillers and fantasy books to get ready for the spooky season ahead.

It’s funny how we have to read seasons in advance of everyone else, Kirsten is getting ready to start her deep dive into Christmas books and it’s not even Fall yet!

No matter what you are reading, we hope you will enjoy the stories below.

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Kirsten’s June 2022 Novel Ideas Stack

Meant to be Mine and more books by Jewish writers

Meant To Be Mine by Hannah Orenstein

Edie’s Grandma Gloria has successfully predicted the date the members of their family will find their true love match since she found her own love in her childhood. Excited that her day has finally arrived, Edie immediately leaps into a relationship with musician, Theo.

But as she realizes the relationship isn’t falling together as easily as she thought it would, she’s forced to reckon with the ideas of fate and the grandma’s prophesies. After she learns another family member has lied about their own relationship timeline to please their grandma, she is forced to question everything she holds dear.

Is Theo Edie’s one true love or is there someone else she should be with? When it comes to matchmaking books by Jewish writers, anything by Hannah Orenstein is a must-read!

Thanks to Atria for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
maggie moves on

Maggie Moves on by Lucy Score

I love a good HGTV-type romance and Maggie and Silas’s story didn’t disappoint. Maggie purchased a massive home to renovate for her YouTube show. She hires Silas to be the landscaper of the enormous property in the hopes she can really flip the house for top dollar.

Maggie’s MO has always been to buy a house, flip it, and then move on to a new town, but she soon falls in love with the town of Kinship, Iowa, and the house itself. Will Silas be enough to make her put down roots? This is one of the renovation romances you will love and is a perfect pick for summer reads 2023.

Thanks to Forever for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Ill be You by Janelle Brown

I’ll be You by Janelle Brown

Sam and Elli are identical twins and former child acting stars who are now estranged. But when Sam’s parents call her because Elli is acting oddly, the secrets from their past start unraveling.

Elli has disappeared and Sam must figure out where she is. But Sam is dealing with life as a recovering addict and through flashbacks, we learn about the root of the wedge between the once-close sisters. Can Sam figure out how to save her sister before they lose each other for good?

This was not my favorite Janelle Brown. I found the whole cult storyline to be predictable and a little silly.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Paris Apartment

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Jess has arrived in Paris to stay with her half-brother, Ben while she gets back on her feet. While he reluctantly agrees to help, he doesn’t answer the door when she shows up to move in.

Soon she gains entry into his apartment and begins the hunt to find out what happened to her brother. With secrets lurking around every corridor and the other residents being shady and elusive, Jess begins to think something sinister happened to Ben.

The first half of this story was a little slow while the character groundwork was laid out, but once the big reveal comes halfway through, I was reading the rest of the chapters at lightning speed. This is the only thriller on our list of books set in France and it’s a doozy! Lucy Foley is always a great pick from summer reads 2023.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
A Study in Scarlet Women

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

Sherry Thomas delivers a masterful new take on Sherlock Holmes with this mystery series featuring a lady detective using Sherlock as an alias.

The series set-up on this one lays the groundwork for why Charlotte Holmes left home, became a detective, and met Mrs. Watson. And, of course, there is a mystery about numerous deaths to be solved as well.

I loved the layer of deception Charlotte needs to have to keep her identity a mystery in an era where women weren’t valued for their minds. This is one of the detective books where there is some social commentary as well.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Chefs kiss
Chefs kiss

Chef’s Kiss by T.J. Alexander

Simone is a pastry chef for a culinary magazine, her dream job. Ray is the new kitchen manager who is getting under her skin.

When the magazine decides to venture into YouTube to stay relevant, Simone and Ray get paired together to create a new show. As Simone’s attraction to non-binary Ray starts to grow, she realizes how exclusionary her workplace is for Ray.

I love how Simone challenged her workplace and looked into making her own changes in order to be a good partner for Ray. The ending had me cheering for them both. It’s one of my favorite bakery romance books.

Thanks to Emily Bestler for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Stay Awake

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin

Megan Goldin is quickly becoming a go-to thriller writer for me. In her latest, a murder witness has amnesia and can’t remember anything once she falls asleep.

Now, Liv’s wanted for murder and she must work as hard as she can to prove her innocence before the real murderer catches up with her… if only she could remember who the murderer is!

This reminded me of Memento in all the best ways. It got a little repetitive at certain times because as the narrator, we needed to rediscover information alongside Liv. But overall, I was really into the story and it is a fun pick from summer reads 2023.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Bluebird by Genevieve Graham

Taking place first in the hospital tent of the great war and then in Canada during prohibition, this historical fiction story was totally captivating!

I loved learning about the rum runners during prohibition in Canada. It was a part of history I’d never considered before. Additionally, the love story between Jerry and Adele during prohibition and the search for the truth of their story and their descendant in the present provided the perfect balance of mystery and romance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
more than youll ever know

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez

The June 2022 Good Morning America Book Club Pick

This story of the double life of Lore Rivera and the murder of one of her husbands had me eagerly flipping the pages. Cassie Bowman is a true-crime writer who wants to write a book about Lore and her husbands – one of whom killed the other.

But as she digs into Lore’s past and her decision to have two families at once, things don’t add up. Is the wrong person behind bars for the murder? And what secrets from Cassie’s past will come out at the same time?

If you are a true crime lover, you will eat this story up!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The witches of moonshyne manor

The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

I listened to Marais’s witchy story in one day, shushing anyone who dared talk to me while I was listening. I was utterly transfixed by the coven I was reading about – think Golden Girls but with magic!

Moonshyne Manor came to life in my mind with ease. I could vividly picture each witch, each room in the manor, and the incredibly creative game of bilious. But what really made this story sing, is the relationships between the witches.

The love they have for each other, the way they bicker like sisters, the way their flaws are understood and accepted, and the unconditional support they have had for one another over decades. Without giving anything away, this story handles some hard-hitting topics in a fun but thought-provoking way.

Bianca’s books get better each time and now I’m left with just one question……How do I sign up to join the coven?

Thanks to HarperCollins Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Copy of Greeting Photo Birthday Instagram Post

Jackie’s June 2022 Novel Ideas Stack

darling girl

Darling Girl: A Novel of Peter Pan by Liz Michalski

This retelling of Peter Pan is anything but innocent and whimsical. In this adult fantasy novel, Holly Darling, the Granddaughter of Wendy, runs a very successful skincare company. She is a single parent to Jack after a terrible accident killed her husband and Jack’s twin.

When she gets a call that her daughter Eden is missing from the home where she has been hidden away in a coma for a decade, she knows that Peter Pan is the one responsible.

Peter Pan is dark, sinister, and grown-up. Holly must get Christopher Cooke to help her find her daughter and defeat Peter.

Thanks to Dutton for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Island Time

Island Time by Georgia Clark

This is a romance that is essentially about finding one’s true self. There are a lot of characters in this ensemble with a queer romance set at the center.

I didn’t like any of the characters very much and while I loved being able to see their motivations through a third-person perspective, at times, I felt myself losing interest.

Overall this book was a fun read.

Thanks to Atria for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
In her boots

In Her Boots by K.J. Dell’Antonia

Rhett has just turned 40 when her relationship ends, her grandmother dies and she has to return to her family farm. Luckily, her book has become like a bible for women everywhere. “The Modern Pioneer Girl’s Guide to Life” is written under a pseudonym so when Rhett is asked to make a publicity appearance, she convinced her best friend to take her place and pretend to be the author.

What can happen, right? This sweet book is really about finding yourself and healing old wounds. I really enjoyed this book. The story was refreshing and new.

Thanks to Putnam for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Upgrade by Blake Crouch

Logan Ramsey works for the Gene Protection Agency, a part of the government dedicated to ensuring genes are not being manipulated after the “Great Starvation”.

When Logan is caught in an explosion, it seems like there is nothing wrong at first. Then, he begins to notice the changes. He is smarter, stronger, faster, better, and multi-tasking. In short, his genes have been hacked and he has been upgraded.

It is not a coincidence that Logan was chosen. His family has a horrible legacy and now, he is the only one that can stop the plan that will change humanity forever.

I have loved all of Couch’s books and this one did not disappoint. I could not stop reading this book that has non-stop action and really makes you think!

Thanks to Ballantine for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Copy of Greeting Photo Birthday Instagram Post 3
June 2022 Novel Ideas: 21 Quick Lit Reviews 29
Family of LIars

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart

We are back with the Sinclair family BEFORE. The same family with more secrets and lies.

Carrie and her sisters are back to spend the summer on their private island near Cape Cod but this summer is different. Carrie’s youngest sister drowned the summer before and they are all silently grieving.

What starts off as a summer of new beginnings, quickly turns into a summer that none of them will ever forget for all the wrong reasons. I really loved the first book and included it in our list of books with unreliable narrators. This one lacked that “wow” moment. However, this was a fun, quick summer read and perfect for our list of ultimate beach reads 2023.

Thanks to Libro.fm for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
twisted love

Twisted Love by Ana Huang

This book was my pick for a steamy romance for our summer reading challenge. This book could easily go on our list of billionaire romances (although Alex is a multi-millionaire and not a billionaire) and is a 50 Shades of Grey Feel.

Alex is singularly driven in his pursuit of vengeance for the death of his family. When his best friend goes abroad and asks him to look after his sister while he is gone, Alex begins to feel something he swore he would never feel again.

This steamy romance was a fun and quick read.

Thanks to Libro.fm for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The woman in the library

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentil

There are so many things that I loved about this book, I do not even know where to start. This is a book within a book- a mystery inside a mystery.

There is a scream and the Boston Public Library that pulls four strangers into a crazy adventure full of twists and turn. All of them have different reasons for being in that room and one of them is a murderer.

This is the book that is being written by an Australian author and mailed chapter by chapter to Leo, in the United States. He is giving feedback on each chapter. And as you watch both stories unfold, you will never anticipate the next step.

Thanks to Libro.fm for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The House Across the Lakew

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

Casey Fletcher is an actress who is fleeing bad press after the death of her beloved husband. She retreats to the family’s lake house, despite the fact that this is where he husband drowned.

Casey spends her days drinking and spying on the house across the lake. When she saves former supermodel, Katherine Royce, from drowning, the two strike up a friendship. It becomes clear that Katherine and her husband are having some serious issues- after all, you find out a lot of things when watching the neighbors all day through binoculars.

Some points in the story moved slowly for me and at one point, the story nearly lost me. But, I am so glad that I kept reading. There were definitely surprises that I did not see coming.

Thanks to Penguin Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Copy of Greeting Photo Birthday Instagram Post 2
June 2022 Novel Ideas: 21 Quick Lit Reviews 30

Rogues: The True Story of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks by Patrick Radden Keefe

These are twelve incredible and true stories written by one of the most decorated journalists of our time. Each of these stories was so intriguing, that I could not stop listening and found myself wanting more of the story.

From stories about vintage wine forging to a black market arms dealer, each of these stories is brilliantly written and so interesting. And I loved that the author narrated it as well!

Thanks to Penguin House Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
upside of falling

The Upside of Falling by Alex Light

This is a very sweet YA romance about a fake relationship. I read this for our summer reading challenge. Becca Hart has not believed in true love since her father left them.

When her former BFF teases her for never having a relationship, she pretends that she has a boyfriend and is even more shocked when the captain of the football team pretends that it is him. He has his own reasons for wanting an uncomplicated, fake relationship.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
camp famous

Camp Famous by Jennifer Blecher

Abby is so excited to go to summer camp. She is going to camp for famous kids except that she is not famous. So, she pretends to be famous so she can fit in with the other kids at the camp. She just wants to make friends and find a best friend. I don’t want to give spoilers but she has hard decisions she has to make.

This was a really fun book to read and is perfect to read in the summer. I already read it twice. (written by M. Basch)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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