Books I Read – June 2021

Ugh, it’s been a long month. I took on a few new clients, and was handling some medical stuff, so I didn’t get to read near as much as I would have liked. Only 9 books in June – pitiful! But there were some good ones that are worth your time, so check out what I thought!

Books I Read - June 2021 | Poppies and Jasmine

All Your Twisted Secrets – Diana Urban

All Your Twisted Secrets - Diana Urban | Poppies and Jasmine

This book was…something. It was definitely interesting, and had some unpredictable twists and turns. The novel follows the story of a high school student just trying to get into her dream school, although her path runs into some obstacles after the popular girl gets involved. However, the last step is where things go completely off the rails. All in all, the book is good, but I think at some point, it went just a bit too over-the-top, just a bit too beyond believable.

Pretty Revenge – Emily Liebert

Pretty Revenge - Emily Liebert | Poppies and Jasmine

Not bad, not bad at all. Following two woman whose paths crossed briefly 18 years ago as they meet again in very different circumstances, it never quite hits thrilling, but definitely stays interesting. I feel like the end was a bit rushed, and one character was a bit overdramatic, but all in all, it was good.

Three Wishes – Liane Moriarty

Three Wishes - Liane Moriarty | Poppies and Jasmine

Liane Moriarty really is a terrific writer. I’ve read a few of her books, and every time, by the end, I’ve really enjoyed it. She doesn’t follow typical formulas per se, but the writing is so engaging that you feel like you’re living life with the characters. Three Wishes follows triplets as they encounter various obstacles in their thirties that lead to them redefining relationships in the family. It’s really a coming-of-age book, and one I appreciate since I’m the same age as the characters and have also had to redefine my own relationships. Definitely read this!

Stepford Wives – Ira Levin

The Stepford Wives - Ira Levin | Poppies and Jasmine

I saw this movie years ago and liked it – as a horror move, sure – but it was still well done. Nicole Kidman is an excellent actress, and really pulled off the transition to terrifyingly robotic, mindless wife. Since the book is always better than the movie, I was excited to pick this up. Honestly, this turned out to be one of those rare cases where the movie is better. I found the writing stilted and a little boring, and honestly, I hated the ending. I think, on page instead of on film, you actually lose a fair amount of the scariness of Stepford. Pass on this.

The Confessions of Catherine De Medici – C.W. Gortner

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici - C.W. Gortner | Poppies and Jasmine

This book was very well done. Starting in Catherine’s youth, it adds a lot of depth to her as a character, so that the reader sympathizes, rather than her just being painted as a heartless shrew of a woman. I think Catherine De Medici was a complex person dealing with particularly difficult circumstances who got the short end of the history stick, so to see a novel humanize her is great. If you’re interested in Renaissance France or the de Medici family, you should definitely pick this up.

Threads: The Reincarnation of Anne Boleyn – Nell Gavin

Threads: The Reincarnation of Anne Boleyn - Nell Gavin | Poppies and Jasmine

I picked this up on a whim. I have some interest in alternate histories – there are some great ones out there, but this isn’t one of them. This was boring and a bit weird. I feel like the author really missed the charm and fascination of Anne Boleyn, and in losing that, really dropped the ball. You should absolutely not get this book – there’s a reason it never made it to the mainstream.

Declaring Spinsterhood – Jamie Lynn Braziel

Declaring Spinsterhood - Jamie Lynn Braziel | Poppies and Jasmine

This was a free Kindle Unlimited novel I tried. I should know better. It didn’t actually suck, it was a bit cute, but I am just not a huge fan of romances, and so I wasn’t impressed. Essentially, after frequent harassment about her lack of a wedding ring by family and friends, Emma declares herself a permanent spinster – and of course, almost immediately finds the One. If you’re into cutesy and light romance novels, you might like this – let me know – but it definitely wasn’t something I’m into.

Keeping The Moon – Sarah Dessen

Keeping The Moon - Sarah Dessen | Poppies and Jasmine

Years ago, a relative gave me a book by Sarah Dessen to read when I was recovering from surgery, and I just love this author. She writes YA or New Adult novels, mostly handling hard issues, and if you are, were, have been, or know a teen, you should read some of her books. Keeping The Moon isn’t one of the best per se, although it does remind you not to pre-emptively judge people. Colie is a teenage girl, neglected by her mother and an outsider at school, who is forced to spend the summer with her quirky aunt in a North Carolina beach town. There, she meets the beautiful Isabel, the naive and somewhat weak Morgan, and the hippie, underachieving Norman, and she learns the lessons she needs to build the life she wants rather than settling for the life she has. Anyone who has been a sullen, misfit teen can relate to the characters (and if you were a teen, you were sullen and misfit), so this book is something to read – maybe this summer, sitting on the beach!

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) – Sarah Mlynowski

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) - Sarah Mlynowski | Poppies and Jasmine

Ok, this book is pretty funny. Another YA/New Adult pick, the story follows April, a teenager who refuses, flat-out refuses, to move to a new town hours away. She only has 2 years left of high school and she doesn’t want to leave her friends, so instead she makes a deal with her father to live with her best friend and her best friend’s mom – no need to mention that the mom is never home. While this sounds like every teenager’s dream, Mlynowski highlights all the trouble we would have gotten into if we’d found ourselves in that situation. There’s several parts where I was chuckling out loud. Toss this one in your beach bag to read on vacation.

Hopefully, next month I find more time to read – I think I’m going into withdrawl! But in the meantime – enjoy these books and let me know what you think if you read any of them!


  • Caroline
    July 1, 2021 at 10:39 am

    Wow, 9 books! I love romance genre books so Declaring Spinsterhood sounds like a book for me. I loved Sarah Dessen when I was younger and read lots of her books one summer, so I’m going to give Keeping The Moon a go too. Three Wishes sounds interesting so have added to my TBR list 🙂 x

  • Anika
    July 1, 2021 at 11:27 am

    I haven’t read any of these titles, but I’m a Liane Moriarty fan so I’ll be checking her book out for sure! Great roundup.

  • Fadima Mooneira
    July 1, 2021 at 11:38 am

    Wow!!!!! Congratulations! You read a lot of books in June. That’s awesome. Book no.2 sounds like my kinda read. Thank you for sharing.


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