June and July Reads 2017

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Well, that’s been a hectic few months. First, I traveled for a lot of June, then at the end of the month defended my PhD, then in July I headed to California for 6 weeks for work (still here) and I just feel like reading (and blogging, as you can tell by the fact that things have been a bit stale here) has taken a sad backburner to life. I did read three more books I haven’t shared with you yet though, so I figured I would play catchup now and hope to read a bit more in August…although I’m not sure when!

The three books I’m sharing this time are The Force by Don Winslow, Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger and Meridan by Josin L. McQuein. We’ve got an adult crime novel, a young adult contemporary, and a young adult science fiction novel. So I’ve got eclectic taste.

Honestly, with the huge pile of short, quick books I have to read I’m not sure what really inspired me to pick up The Force by Don Winslow, which clocks in at 496 pages. It was a great book for the traveling I did in June, since I only needed to bring the one book with me. Plus, the blurb by Stephen King, comparing it to “The Godfather, only with cops” definitely caught my interest as well. I think that’s a great comparison for this gritty, dark, book about Denny Malone, who just wants to be a good cop, but his crew are constantly blurring the line between good and bad in their quest for the ‘greater good’.

The Force is a really intense book, and I was constantly torn between wanting things to work out for Denny, but always being reminded that he was responsible for a lot of his own issues. Yes, this book is “morally complex”, where the more Denny tries to fix things, the worse they get. I don’t even remember the last book about cops I read before this, and I can’t see myself picking up another anytime soon, but if you’re only going to pick up one to try, this one is expertly written by Winslow and really haunting afterwards.

Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger is a young adult mystery novel I read in a single day at the beach–and it was perfect for that. It’s the story of Tessa Hart, who is suffering from agoraphobia after a mysterious incident traumatized her, with her only escape being the online fandom for pop star Eric Thorn. Eric Thorn himself is scared by his obsessive fans, so he decides to troll Tessa, only to find that the relationship they develop is completely unexpected. Except not the reader, since this book was really predictable and there wasn’t a ton of depth, nor did it feel realistic.

That said, there was definitely something really readable about Geiger’s novel that easily kept me turning the pages, so it didn’t surprise me this was originally published online. Originally I wanted things to get much darker in Follow Me Back but it really turned a bit sappy, that said, the ending definitely satisfied the urge for a dark, creepy twist, leaving me intrigued enough I could see myself picking up the sequel.

I had been reading Meridan by Josin L. McQuein since pretty much the time I finished the first book in the duology, Arclight, which I reviewed in May, and it took me until the end of July to finish. I loved Arclight, which is about a girl, Marina, who can’t remember her past but lives in the Arclight, having been rescued from the Dark and is now surrounded by bright lights to keep out the Fade–who were trying to get her back. I won’t share the plot of Merdian to avoid spoilers, but I will tell you that, I did not love this sequel.

I was really just disappointed by Merdian, which was not nearly as exciting as Arclight, and while there was more adventure, it just felt really slow and the world-building, so fantastic in Arclight, felt clunky and uninteresting. I also found the whole thing quite confusing at time, and often had to switch from the audiobook just to reread and figure out what was going on. There’s also another point-of-view which I just didn’t care about, but that may have been because I had a hard time caring about the whole book. Seriously, just read Arclight and then forget a sequel ever existed.

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And that’s it for my June and July 2017 reads! A pretty small turnout, to be sure, but I’m always happy to have read something at least, and hopefully I’ll have some more reading inspiration (and time!) in the coming months.

What have you been reading lately?

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