June 2020 Must-Reads

Looking for your next great read? Today I’m sharing 8 incredible books I read in June. I have loads of beach reads, some incredible historical fiction, and an absolutely gorgeous memoir to share with you today. Be sure to bookmark this post for your next library day!

I am slowly trying to dip my toes back into blogging again.  

In case you missed it, last week I shared 33 things that were bringing me joy (many low or no cost) as we brave these pandemic days. 

One of those joyful things is, definitely, reading.

I have really appreciated escaping with good books this month, even if my attention span isn’t what I want it to be right now.

Can you relate? 

Before I share my stack, here are a few additional way to connect with books this summer.

Join Us for Our July MomAdvice Book Club Discussion

The Warehouse by Rob Hartsnag this month’s incredible book club book

Did you know that I offer a free virtual book club? Be sure to join the MomAdvice Book Club and you will never be without a book again!

This month we will be discussing one of my new favorite science fiction novels. If you are a fan of Blake Crouch, this book is for you.

Read it before it comes to the big screen.

This is one of my favorite reads this year and I really don’t want you to miss this phenomenal book OR participating in our discussion.

You can check out the 2020 MomAdvice Book Club picks over here

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June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the July Book of the Month Club Selections:

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper.

The Shadows by Alex North.

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein.

Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman.

Now let’s talk about this month’s stack!

June 2020 Must-Reads

Here are 8 must-read books I tackled in June!

As Bright As Heaven

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

Some people want to avoid thinking about the pandemic, but I am finding myself drawn to books that explore past pandemics right now. 

This historical fiction novel, set in 1918, shares a hauntingly beautiful story of one family’s fight for survival during the Spanish Flu. 

I think it is important to note that this novel came out PRIOR to COVID19 because one could really go into this book thinking that she was attempting to make important parallels. 

I found myself highlighting passage after passage because it sounded just like many of the same obstacles we are facing today.

Sometimes I think that many of these things wouldn’t be happening, if we didn’t live in such a polarized world so, in a weird way, it was comforting to read that they too struggled with the, “we are all in this together,” comradery that I wish we possessed.

Telling this story, through the point of view of a family that owns a funeral home, really illustrates how destructive the pandemic was and what type of emotional toll it would take on them. 

I could not put this book down because, in many ways, it was like reading what might come in America again and how we will ever get to a successful resolution.

5 out of 5 Stars

If you like As Bright as Heaven you might like these titles:

The Things We Cannot Say

We Were the Lucky Ones

Before We Were Yours

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This timely Young Adult read is one that I would HIGHLY recommend for your kids (and for yourself), as it explores the topic of racism in 1955.

Ethan is sent to a small town in Alabama, to spend his summer with his aunt and uncle. As a bi-racial kid, he lives in a bigger city where his differences are not as on display and some progress has been made. 

In their small town though, racism is open and runs freely in all of the townspeople. He struggles to adapt to new situations like separate bathrooms, separate water fountains, separate seating at the movies, and the way people treat him with complete disregard.

Luckily, he forms a fast friendship with another girl in town, the oh-so-quirky Juniper Jones. 

Juniper’s goal is to have the most invincible summer and she begs Ethan to join her as she crosses adventures off her to-do list. 

These two outcasts form a friendship that will shape the rest of Ethan’s life, in some really beautiful and surprising ways.

Get out your tissues.

I can’t recommend this sweet read enough. It would be a wonderful selection for a book club date, with your kids, this summer.

5 out of 5 Stars

If you like The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones you might like these titles:

The Serpent King

Dreamland Burning

The Hate U Give

The Last Flight


The Last Flight by Julie Clark

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Looking for a satisfying thriller that doesn’t lean into the trope of the unreliable narrator? This satisfying thriller offers the narrative of two smart women who are both fighting for their own survival.

It’s the kind of thriller that you finish the final page and just say, “Damn, that was a good one.”

One of these women is in an abusive relationship with her well-known husband and there is no way to get out. After securing documentation for a fresh identity, she’s decided that leaving is her only choice.

The problem? 

The flight she was supposed to take has been unexpectedly canceled and she is being rerouted elsewhere.  

Oh, and her husband found out about her plans.

At the airport though, she meets a women who also is looking to escape her troubles, after the unexpected death of her husband.

Enter a Freaky Friday switch of identities and watch each of them try to foster new paths. Of course, not all is as it seems and one just might find themselves in just as much danger.

This fast page-turner should be at the tip top of your list, especially if you are in a summer reading slump.

5 out of 5 Stars

If you like The Last Flight you might like these titles:

Pretty Things

Dear Wife

An Anonymous Girl

One to Watch


One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Need a reality television fix? This novel just might be for you. 

Bea is a plus-sized influencer who ends up getting the surprising invitation to be on a dating show where she is the star. 

Bea, of course, doesn’t fit the show’s past narrative and the they decide to position a lot of “surprise” reveal elements in an effort to get the most reaction out of the contestants.

As readers, you get to watch her confidence begin to diminish, the vulnerability that is required as people dissect her every move, and learn the motivations for each of the contestants. 

This is one of those breezy beach bag reads that I found to be quite charming, even if there was some predictability to the plot. 

I don’t know about you, but predictability is something I’m REALLY craving right now so that works for me.

4 out of 5 Stars

If you like One to Watch you might like these titles:



Nine Women, One Dress

The Prettiest Star


The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels

I can tell you right now that this book will be on my best books of 2020 list because it BLEW ME AWAY. 

Brian has been living a full life, in New York, but his days are now numbered. Diagnosed with AIDS, he now has to return to his hometown, in Appalachia where he had to hide who he was.

Set in the ’80’s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, there is so much fear with this disease and Brian is finding very few are welcoming. 

Living his life out loud also has fractured and strained his family, but this is the only place he has to go. 

This haunting story is told in shifting viewpoints and each of them add their own element of process towards acceptance and understanding of Brian’s life.

From the opening sentence, I was moved by this thoughtful novel that addresses the cruelty of this era, the misunderstanding that comes with living in a small town, and the hope that one can change their viewpoints and come to welcome their family members again. 

I do think it also humanizes the struggles of these parents in a way that I thought was thoughtful and done with a lot of care. 

I did this one on audiobook and the narration was exquisite. If you can do it in this format, I highly recommend it.

Along with the shifting viewpoints, it is also narrated by different voices, which really added to the experience and made each character really stand out.

Make sure you put this one at the top of your stack. You won’t regret a single minute of it.

 10 out of 5 Stars

If you like The Prettiest Star you might like these titles:

The Great Believers

Life After Life

I’ll Give You the Sun

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Riley Sager novel is one of my favorite summer pastimes so I couldn’t wait to dig into this latest release. 

This one is VERY different than the usual Sager thriller and, personally, it felt more like the horror genre than a thriller. 

If you liked the Netflix series, The Haunting of Hill House, then this book is for you!! 

It works off of a pretty similar premise. Maggie’s family owned an estate called Baneberry Hill that inspired her father to write a book detailing the horrors within the house.

When Maggie inherits the home, she isn’t worried because she was too young to remember the true stories and, frankly,  she’s not a big believer in ghosts. 

Too bad the ghosts don’t care what you believe in because her presence has secured her ride on another round of horrible hauntings and has reminded Maggie that maybe she *does* remember a few things.

This was as satisfying as any horror film although I did feel like the ending was a bit of a fizzle.

If you go into it knowing that though, I think you will really enjoy this one.

4 out of 5 Stars

If you like Home Before Dark you might like these titles:

The Sun Down Motel

The Family Upstairs

The Chain

There I Am


There I Am by Ruthie Lindsey

I cannot recall how I stumbled upon Ruthie’s Instagram account, but I was so thankful when I did. Ruthie was one of the first accounts that I found that talked about living with chronic pain in an authentic way. I have always felt like she has shared the beautiful up and down balance of this daily struggle in a relatable way. 

If you are unfamiliar with Ruthie’s story, she was in a horrible car accident at 17 (that should have killed her), recovered, began experiencing pain again, discovered that one of those wires (used to fuse her spine) had been piercing her brain stem, and struggled with residual chronic pain. 

She documents the isolation and depression that comes with chronic pain, as well as the struggles with being overly medicated, the strain on her marriage, and the loss of confidence. 

While the journey to acceptance and managing her pain is a difficult one, it is also the kind of journey that makes you feel hopeful. 

I listened to this one on my morning walks and realized that tears were streaming down my face through parts of this. 

I don’t think people can understand what a struggle it is and the emotional toll this takes on you (and your partner) so I felt “seen” when hearing her hope-filled journey. 

4 out of 5 Stars

If you like There I Am you might like these titles:


Open Book


The Lies That Bind

The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Emily Giffin’s books have become my go-to, over the years, for a great escape, and her latest novel was such a treat. 

Cecily & Grant meet at a local pub and immediately hit it off.  As Cecily is just rebounding from a prior relationship, she dismisses her instincts to not fall head over heels for this new relationship. Grant is charming, seems to have life figured out, and is easy to love.

Although Cecily feels like she knows Grant, she realizes just how little she knows about him after 9/11 happens and Grant goes missing.

As she tries to piece together the clues from their relationship, she starts to recognize that the Grant she knew might not be the real Grant after all.

Emily’s love stories are real and relatable and that is why they are so dang enjoyable. This one is just as enjoyable as her prior books and I couldn’t put it down.

If you are looking for a good mystery, with a romance weaved in, you will definitely want in your summer stack.

4 out of 5 Stars

If you like The Lies That Bind you might like these titles:

The Light We Lost


What You Wish For

Read With Me This Year

January 2020 Must-Reads

February 2020 Must-Reads

March- SKIPPED (pandemic brain)

April 2020 Must-Reads

May 2020 Must-Reads

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enjoy these reviews? here are a few other reads you’ll enjoy this year!

The Best Books of 2019 from MomAdvice.comthe best books of 2019

53 historical fiction novels to escape with53 historical fiction novels to escape with

19 thrillers to keep you up all night19 thrillers to keep you up all night

Happy Reading!


Published July 01, 2020 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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