Are you ready for another fun stack of books? I am so excited to share ten excellent books that I read this month and guarantee that there is something for everyone in this stack.
Did I mention that I’m also giving you a chance to try out the MomAdvice Book Gang membership for free?
This month I’m offering all my Patreon subscriber bonuses FOR FREE for you to get to experience what I offer each month to my incredible community.
When the pandemic hit, I lost a substantial amount of income. I knew that I would have to think creatively, strategically, and (most importantly) authentically about how I grew my business during this time.
So I decided to start a Patreon community, and it costs just $5 a month to expand your reading experience with me. Each month I create an ad-free newsletter with all of my book recommendations plus all the book news you need for your month. In addition, you get the reviews in a vlog that you can watch/to listen to, a bookish digital download, and a themed playlist of music for your month. I am so, so proud of this pivot and want to share it with you.
I wanted to offer our readers a special treat this month, in addition to our reviews, and this month you can sample my Patreon community for FREE.
5 Out of 5 Stars
This laugh-out-loud novel is just the escape you need right now.
Not only is it the first in a new series, but it is also coming to Netflix.
When Meddelin ends up accidentally killing her blind date, she enlists her mother and aunties to help her cover up the crime and dispose of the body.
However, disposing of the body ends up being more complicated than they could ever imagine.
The hilarity intensifies as they attempt to do the dirty working of ridding the body at a wedding they are also scheduled to work.
The twists and turns just keep on coming, and the rivalry between these aunties shines in their adorable banter and love for one another.
Add in a great little love story, and you have all the ingredients you need for the perfect summer read. Fans of “Finlay Donavan is Killing It” will absolutely love this fun read.
Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi
3 Out of 5 Stars
I haven’t met a book by Choi that I haven’t liked, and Yolk is another solid YA story from this author.
Of course, it only helps that the book’s exterior is beautiful, including one of the most creative uses on the edge of pages that I’ve seen.
But, seriously, try to read this one in hardback format, if you can.
This story is about two sisters (Jayne & June) that have a very complicated and challenging relationship.
The two do not want anything to do with each other until June gets a cancer diagnosis and finds herself at the mercy of her sister because of her lack of health insurance. Using her sister’s identification, she can get the care she needs, but her reliance complicates their dynamic, especially as Jayne battles her own issues with an eating disorder.
“Emergency Contact” still remains my favorite by Choi and is one that I would highly recommend.
For me, this one lagged a bit in the second half, and it may have been too bogged down by trying to weave in so many big themes.
If you struggle with disordered eating, I would avoid this one because it is filled with triggers.
I remain committed to reading anything this author writes and look forward to more of her books in the future.
4 Out of 5 Stars
This romance could be read as a standalone, or you can consider it the first in a series as it branches out into the love stories of other characters.
A disastrous first blind date should have ended the relationship, but Elle pretends that it went well to get her brother off her back about dating someone. The date is such an epic disaster, in fact, that Darcy couldn’t be more stunned that Elle’s brother tells her just how thrilled he is to hear that Elle is completely smitten with her.
It’s why the two conspire to pretend that their relationship really IS a success so that they can survive the many upcoming family and friend gatherings that they have coming up.
The two set an end date for the fake relationship, but sparks between these opposites start bringing into question just how much they might be falling for one another.
This was a satisfyingly sweet romance with lots of steamy love scenes. I always love the opposites attract dynamic, and Bellefleur really makes it work with these two characters.
5 Out of 5 Stars
Thank you to the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I could gush about my love for Stephen Rowley all day, and his latest novel continues to embrace the sweet themes of love and family that I’ve grown to love about his work.
Gay Uncle Patrick loves his niece and nephew, but he has never desired to be their caretaker.
When they lose their mother to cancer, Patrick’s brother is left in charge but unable to manage things due to his own health crisis.
He calls upon Patrick to step up while he is away at rehab and care for Maisie & Grant in his absence.
Patrick’s single lifestyle is not conducive to children, and he is deeply overwhelmed with the commitment. Rowley’s humor shines on every page in the hilarious miscommunications and dialogue between Patrick and these children.
The first half, in particular, offers big belly laughs, and then it evolves into the sweetest story as their relationship grows.
The good news is that all three of Rowley’s beautiful books are being written for the screen, and this one should translate beautifully cinematically.
Definitely add this book to your summer bucket list, and now I’ll have to impatiently wait for my next Rowley fix.
5 Out of 5 Stars
I have only read a handful of science fiction novels, but I attribute part of my openness to this genre to incredible writers like Andy Weir.
I was even lucky enough to get to interview him about his first novel “The Martian.”
His latest book, “Project Hail Mary,” is another epic space adventure that builds in a seemingly impossible mission to save Earth from certain destruction.
Our unlikely hero that’s been tasked with this mission is a middle school science teacher, but he can’t remember that in the opening pages of our story.
The only thing he knows is that he is far from home and his two crewmates are now corpses.
As Ryland Grace pieces together what has to lead him to this moment, the reader gets to go back and forth through the beginning of this mission and witness Grace’s discoveries right along with him.
What holds this all together is an unlikely bond and friendship Ryland could have never expected in this interstellar adventure.
It is this relationship that adds warmth and heart to a profoundly intense science fiction read.
Weir’s genius shines as he crafts up so much science that it did slow my pace down a bit.
I was told by many that the first 200 pages might not grab me because the story was so rooted in these elements, but that it would be worth the wait. I completely agree with this statement and found myself enchanted, once again, by Weir’s storytelling.
Believe the hype on this one; it’s so worth the journey.
3 Out of 5 Stars
Sally Thorne’s debut novel “The Hating Game” is one of my all-time favorite chick-lit books, and that’s why I couldn’t wait to dive into her latest book.
Thorne’s story is set in a retirement community where Ruthie Midona has worked, at the front desk, for the last six years.
Ruthie keeps to a strict routine that includes caring for the wealthy residents, the rare tortoises that wander the property and keeping a tight ship in the office.
Although she’s thinking about dipping her toes back into dating, she enjoys her solitary life, including hanging out on a forum with friends that adore the same show.
Her predictable life is about to get really unpredictable when the owner’s son of the retirement villa comes to stay there.
When Teddy mistakes her for a “little old lady” resident, she exacts revenge on him and puts him in charge of the most challenging residents.
The reader gets to watch each of these characters grow, just as their chemistry grows too.
This sweet little romance is a delightful little pick-me-up between your heavier reads.
5 Out of 5 Stars
I always like to offer up one solid audiobook for your stack each month, and I cannot recommend enough “One, Two Three” as your choice for next month.
(Curious to learn more about this author- check out my exclusive interview over here about her novel, “This is How It Always Is”).
Frankel decided to write this story after reading about the real-life consequences of a small town’s polluted water by a local factory. She wanted to explore this concept with a fictional city dealing with these health consequences decades later and tells this story through the eyes of three sisters.
Triplets (Mirabel, Monday, and Mab) have faced numerous challenges due to the town’s water crisis.
Unfortunately, they are just three of many residents who have faced health and personal difficulties due to this tragedy.
Their town’s story, in fact, made national news when the water turned green, was declared unfit for use, and caused detrimental harm to the residents.
That’s why it is so surprising when a moving truck arrives with a new family to take up residence there. The town’s residents discover that there is quite a history with this particular family and a shocking reason they have decided to return. Their presence could change everything and stirs up the past in significant ways that affect all three sisters.
As an audiobook, this is a magnificent treat that really sucks you into the story.
The producer utilized three narrators to tell the story, and, notably, one of these sisters uses voice software that adds such a unique element to this story that I’ll be surprised if we don’t see this one winning an Audie this year.
In addition, Frankel has such strong writing chops that this would be an outstanding selection for any book club.
I can’t say enough good things about this story and know that it will be making my “best reads of 2021,” for sure!
5 Out of 5 Stars
If you are looking for a heartwarming memoir to add to your stack, Michelle Zauner’s book is just what you need this year.
In this coming-of-age story, Zauner returns home to care for her mother as she battles an arduous journey with cancer.
As with all mother and daughter relationships, it seems this relationship has a lot of complexity, and Zauner struggles with not meeting her mother’s expectations.
It becomes quite the role reversal when Michelle must care for her mother’s most basic needs, including feeding her.
To bring comfort to her mother, she longs to recreate all of the Korean dishes she grew up with to comfort her mother (and herself) through this time.
Zauner brings much humor to the beginning of this book, as she shares her childhood memories of her mother’s younger days.
Later in the book, she writes of her grief with raw and heartbreaking honesty that left a lump in my throat.
I am so glad I read this one this month and would definitely add this to my list of all-time favorite memoirs.
4 Out of 5 Stars
West’s second novel will appeal to parents navigating the tween and teen years in the thick of the dumpster fire of social media.
This novel is told from alternate perspectives as the drama unfolds in a middle school.
Alice Sullivan thought she had hit her pace with her career and family. That’s why it is so devastating to find out that her son has been bullying another boy at school.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, though, as she uncovers his fake Instagram account and his mean commentary to other students.
Her son’s behavior isn’t just destroying him and his classmates, though, because these difficulties begin to have a ripple effect on her own career and relationships.
Then, to top it off, her mom unleashes a bomb that changes Alice’s life forever.
West does an excellent job sharing the trials and tribulations of parenting teens, especially the challenges of constant monitoring and the exhaustion that comes with protecting your children online.
I can honestly say that I loved this one just as much as her debut novel.
5 Out of 5 Stars
If you are feeling lost navigating the perimenopause and/or menopause stage, you are not alone.
I happened to stumble upon this phenomenal book, and I wish I could recommend it to every woman I know who is on the struggle bus with all of this hormone nonsense.
Mosconi is the Director of the Women’s Brain Initiative and brings her incredible knowledge base to this book to teach women how to maximize their cognitive health and prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the biggest threats to women’s health, and there is so much that we *can* do to minimize our risks, especially during these hormone rollercoaster years.
Mosconi covers everything from brain fog, memory lapses, depression, stress, insomnia, hormonal imbalances, and your increased risk of dementia.
In addition, she crafts a livable diet and exercise plan that will help you reduce stress and return to restorative sleep, helping to manage these hormonal swings.
I’ve started implementing many of the strategies she has outlined and am already seeing improved sleep and stress levels. This goes beyond blanket advice and is the guidebook we all need to navigate this difficult patch in life.