Highlights: June 2021

The weather is warm, people are out and about, and the days are longer and longer. It sure feels like summertime here in Minnesota! As we slowly keep shifting back to a new normal, where outside is still king and finding things to do in nature are prioritized, we do have a number of books we look forward to reading in our backyards in the nice (hopefully not too hot for Kate) weather! Here are our Highlights for June!

Serena’s Picks

Book: “The Hidden Palace” by Helene Wecker

Publication Date: June 8, 2021

Why I’m Interested: I really loved “The Golem and the Jinni” when I originally read it years ago. I enjoyed it just as much when I picked it for bookclub and re-read it. It was a beautiful meld of historical fiction and fantasy, using its magical elements and characters to touch on themes of immigration, other-ness, and found families. It also definitely read as a stand-alone story, so imagine my surprise when I saw this popped up, a sequel featuring the same main characters as the original story! I’m excited to see what lays in story for our golem and jinni, especially as it seems we will also be revisiting a few of the human characters we met in the first book whose lives were affected by encountering these magical beings.

Book: “For the Wolf” by Hannah Whitten

Publication Date: June 1, 2021

Why I’m Interested: There are three “Red Riding Hood” related books coming out in the next two months. Three! It’s always so funny when trends like this hit, because it seems too coordinated to be chance, but it likely is just that. Either way, as a fan of fairytale re-tellings, this all sounds great to me. “For the Wolf” is the first one coming out (thought not the first on my review schedule because I’m not coordinated enough to manage that!). The story follows Red, a second daughter, a daughter destined to be sacrificed to the Wolf, the powerful warden of the Wilderwood. All of the other second daughters before never returned from their journeys into those dark woods, and Red has no expectation of a happy fate either. But fearing the powerful forces building within her, Red believes the only way to keep her beloved sister safe is to face this eternal banishment, locking herself away from the world. All is not as it seems, however, and Red soon discovers that neither the Wolf nor the Wilderwood are what she or her people have always thought.

Book: “The Wolf and the Woodsman” by Ava Reid

Publication Date: June 8, 2021

Why I’m Interested: And here’s the second one for the month! Like I said before, I’m always game for a good fairytale re-telling, but this one has the added bonus of a super unique and cool cover. Other than the obvious fairytale it’s covering, the story also dives into other Russian fairytales and folklore, following the explorations of Evike and a mysterious Woodsman who is not what he seems as they search for a magic powerful enough to save their country from a cruel leader. The story explores themes of religion, persecution, and the power of the majority over the minority in a conquered nation. I’m really excited to check out this one, too!

Kate’s Picks

Book: “That Weekend” by Kara Thomas

Publication Date: June 21, 2021

Why I’m Interested: I have been waiting not terribly patiently for Kara Thomas to come out with another YA thriller, and the time has finally come! Thomas is one of my must read authors, as her thrillers are always well plotted, addictive, and are filled with dark twists and turns. “That Weekend” sounds like it’s going to continue that grand tradition. When Claire goes on a secret weekend getaway with her best friends Kat and Jesse, she thinks it’s going to be the time of her life. But then she wakes up on the side of a mountain she has no memory of being on, and Kat and Jesse are nowhere to be found. As Claire tries to remember what happened, suspicions about her role in their disappearance starts to turn her world upside down. Thomas is sure to surprise her fans with this book, as she never makes it too easy to figure out what’s going on.

Book: “Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publication Date: June 1, 2021

Why I’m Interested: Full disclosure time! So I read “Malibu Rising” a couple of months ago. And in another act of full disclosure, it’s probably not going to make it on the blog, even though it’s super good, as it’s not one of the genres that I cover. But I can absolutely say that you need to go out and read this book, because it is AWESOME. It follows four adult siblings in 1980s Malibu. The oldest, Nina, is throwing her annual summer beach party at her lavish mansion, though she is in personal turmoil as her marriage is ending. Over the course of the party, secrets are revealed, resentments arise, choices are made, and an invitation to someone most of the siblings don’t want to see sets off a chain of events that ends with disaster. I loved this book. If you liked Reid’s previous book “Daisy Jones & The Six”, definitely get your hands on this one!

Book: “Survive the Night” by Riley Sager

Publication Date: June 29, 2021

Why I’m Interested: Here we have another author whose entire catalog I have really enjoyed! So yeah, I was REALLY excited when I heard that Riley Sager had a new book coming out this summer, “Survive the Night”. Charlie is desperate to get away from her college campus, as her best friend and roommate Maddy was brutally murdered, and Charlie blames herself and hasn’t been coping. When she runs into the affable Josh at the campus ride board, he says that he can drop her off at her grandmother’s on the way out to see his father. But as they start to ride together, Charlie starts to notice things that don’t sit well with her. Is she letting her paranoia and anxiety get the best of her? Or has she found herself in a car with a dangerous killer? Sager always has fun summer reads, and this cat and mouse thriller will almost assuredly suck me in.

What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!

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