I’m fully aware that I owe you guys both my May and my June reads—sorry—but this one should occupy you for a while. So head to your local library or bookstore on the way to the beach and get reading!
- Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson—4/5
In all honesty, I usually manage my expectations when it comes to sequels. But I was pleasantly surprised by this sequel to A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. It features the same main characters but focuses on a new story within the same community, so I still felt connected without feeling like the plot itself was becoming a total stretch. If you’re a crime junkie like I am, it’s worth your while.
- My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite—3.5/5
Two sisters live in Nigeria. One is a nurse, and one can’t stop murdering her boyfriends. Yes, you read that right. This odd, witty, dark, funny book is unlike anything else I’ve read in a long time. It’s not necessarily a hard-hitting story—and it’s super short—but it’s a fresh, welcome departure from the ordinary and the writing style is extremely unique.
- Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller—4/5
This one has been on my “to be read” list since it came out in 2019—and now I can’t believe I waited so long. We’re all familiar with the horrific story of Brock Turner, who raped an unconscious woman on a college campus…and was then referred to by the media as a “Stanford swimmer.” But why did we never learn the name of the woman he violated? Why did the media never cry about her ruined future? Chanel Miller’s story is heartbreaking, moving, inspiring and so important.
- People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry—4/5
Everyone and their sister seemed to be loving this one, so I had to give it a shot. I wasn’t disappointed! I was expecting an entirely different storyline based on the title, but it follows two best friends, Alex and Poppy, who have a yearly tradition of taking a big vacation together. But when a never-talked-about “incident” on one of their trips begins to taint their entire shared history, Poppy has to decide whether to risk it all in the hopes of getting her best friend back.
- Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green—3.5/5
I’m intrigued by true crime and by New York City history, so this felt like a must. Green tells the story of the Last Call Killer, a serial killer that targeted gay men at their favorite neighborhood bars in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The account also serves as an homage to the victims who, heartbreakingly, did not get the attention they deserved because of the stigma around homosexuality at the time.
- Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach—3/5
Realistically, I don’t expect a lot of you to be tempted by this title. And I don’t blame you! I know I have strange interests, ok? Anyway, this nonfiction piece dives into all the ways human cadavers—yes, dead bodies—are used in scientific pursuits. As someone that has always planned on donating at least part of my body to science, I thought I was already aware of how beneficial cadavers can be to the future of our world. But this book brought up needs for bodies that I had never even considered. It was extremely interesting, but definitely not a light read—not even because it’s about dead bodies, but because Roach delves deeply into scientific terms and processes.
- Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up by Selma Blair—4.5/5
This was my first audiobook ever! I’ve always been skeptical of audiobooks, but I wanted something to listen to while walking. This was such a perfect choice. Hearing Selma Blair herself tell her story—laughs, tears, and uncomfortable pauses included—was incredible. While I was originally interested in her story because she, too, has an autoimmune disease, I was shocked to learn what a rollercoaster her life has been since the very day she was born.
- The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner—3.5/5
If you’re looking for something different, this will satisfy your craving! The novel takes place in London, alternating between the 18th century and the present day. It follows the owner of an apothecary who creates poisons meant to kill men that do women wrong. Nella is basically the OG feminist. In the present day, Caroline has been wronged by her own man. While taking time away from him to clear her mind, she starts to discover clues about the centuries-old apothecary.