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Here is your June booklist

A new month means new books. Let’s look at some notable releases from June, starting with And Break The Pretty Kings by Lena Jeong (June 20).

Lena is new. This is her debut novel and the first in the Sacred Bone series. Early reviews are mixed. Some people think the romance was mishandled. The protagonist is Mirae, a princess that undertakes a dangerous quest after her coronation goes wrong.

I love the cover art. And the synopsis has a line (‘a monster the gods fear’) that intrigues me. So, I’m willing to give the book a shot. Lena takes inspiration from Korean history and myths. Always Isn’t Forever by J.C. Cervantes (June 6) is a quintessential YA novel. The protagonist, Ruby Armenta, thought she would grow old with Hart Augusto.

But then her soulmate drowned before they could conquer senior year together. Ruby could not imagine a life without Hart. Fortunately for the teenage girl, divine intervention had reincarnated Hart in the body of a local bad boy.

Now, Hart has a new lease on life and a chance to reignite his relationship with Ruby. Hart must win Ruby over without revealing his true identity.

Early reviews are positive. Apparently, many readers bawled their eyes out while reading the book. All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby will hit bookshelves on June 6. Titus Crowne, the protagonist, is a former FBI agent returning to his Virginia hometown to become the county’s first black Sheriff.

When a school shooting claims a beloved white teacher’s life, Titus tries to investigate. The situation takes a nasty turn when an uncomfortable truth comes to light: the teacher and his conspirators tortured and killed numerous black children.

Titus must come to terms with wearing a Sheriff ’s badge in a town that hates his kind. Early reviews call the book raw and relevant but not quite as preachy as one expects. Is this my kind of novel? Not really; the subject matter (racism) does not interest me.

Zero Days by Ruth Ware (June 20) sounds like an old-school thriller. Jack, the protagonist, spends her days breaking into buildings and hacking security systems with her husband. But she’s no criminal. Companies hire the couple to stress test their security.

Jack’s life implodes when she returns home one random day to find her husband’s dead body. Framed for a crime she did
not commit, Jack goes on the run, and the police give chase. Reviews suggest that Ruth Ware has released more misses than hits of late, and Zero Days could be one of them.

However, many readers love this novel. At 368 pages it is tiny. You can afford to take a chance on Zero Days despite the shaky reviews. The Only One Left by Riley Sager (June 20) sounds fascinating. The book starts in 1929 when the Hope family murders rock a community.

Seventeen-year-old Lenora Hope takes the bulk of the blame. They think she hung her sister with a rope. But they can’t prove it, and Lenora denies the allegations.

Decades later, in 1983, Lenora is mute and confined to a wheelchair after a series of strokes. She communicates using an old typewriter. Kit McDeere meets the elderly woman after replacing her previous nurse, who left in the middle of the night.

For reasons she does not fully comprehend, Lenora wants to tell Kit the truth. She wants to reveal the events that transpired on that violent night in 1929. But Kit does not know how much of Lenora’s story is true.

On the one hand, many readers have complained that Sager’s cast is full of unlikeable characters, which I hate. I need at least one person to root for; otherwise, what’s the point?

On the other hand, the book has strong reviews on GoodReads (4.12 stars). So clearly, Sager did something right.
That should do it. Happy reading.

katmic200@gmail.com

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