Featured photo credit: Photo by Alex Gállego

I was on a reading streak this June 2023. Since the year started, June has been the month I’ve read the most books so far. All the books I read in June are fiction, mostly novels but there’ve been a couple of graphic novels too. In total, I read 7 books. I was definitely on a reading streak.

Let’s talk about the books I read and what I thought of each of them.

Fourth Comings (A Jessica Darling novel)

Regular readers of this blog know that I’ve been following the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. This is the fourth novel of a five-part series.

The Jessica Darling series is part of the books I read in June 2023

In this novel, Jessica and Marcus are now both grown-ups. Jessica’s living with her best friend, Hope in a New York City apartment and working for a magazine that makes use of her psych degree. She’s also still in love with Marcus Flutie. But it’s not a dream life for Jessica. In fact, it’s more complicated. Throw in Marcus’ unexpected marriage proposal, her twenty-something life has really become tumultuous.

What I Thought of the Book

So I have this to say about the first of the books I read in June – it was a struggle to read and I almost didn’t want to finish this. There’s so much going on in the book, it gets hard to keep track. Plus I’ve started to not love or even like Jessica as a heroine. Unlike Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings, this book is boring for me. But I intend to finish the series since there’s only one book left. I’m still invested in Jessica and Marcus’ love story.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Tales from the Cafe

Since these books are from the same author, Toshikazu Kawaguchi, and the second, Tales from the Cafe, is a sequel, I thought I’d combine the review of these two. The story is set in Japan, in a cafe in Tokyo that allows customers to travel back in time. But they can’t change anything from the past and they have to be back in the present before the coffee gets cold.

What I Thought of the Book

These books are easy to read and the stories are short. I finished reading both books overnight. The stories are interesting and enlightening. It’s worth pondering over given the condition that even if they could travel back in time, to a specific incident, they can’t change anything.

I loved the second book more. I thought it had more heart than the first. Also in this sequel, Kazu, one of the main characters in the book, her story is fleshed out and readers will come to understand why she behaves the way she does. I particularly loved the married couple story as I thought it was the right story to end the novel.

I also loved the comparison of seasons to life.

Seasons flow in a cycle. Life too, passes through difficult winters. But after any winter, spring will follow.

Tales from the Cafe

This line from the book is worth reflecting on. We can never truly see into the hearts of others. When people get lost in their own worries, they can be blind to the feelings of those most important to them. Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Tales from the Cafe are both good reads and I’m glad they were part of the books I read in June I would recommend reading these. You’re sure to pick up key lessons.

Paper Girls Vol. 5 and Vol. 6

Paper Girls is a graphic novel. I discovered this book randomly while browsing the shelves of Fully Booked a few years ago. It’s a story set in the 1980s where 4 12-year-old paper girls find themselves caught in a war between two warring time factions of time travelers. Paper Girls Vol. 5 and 6 are the last of two of the series.

What I Thought of the Books

I was really invested in this sci-fi fiction. Luckily, I was able to buy the last two books abroad because Fully Booked seems to no longer carry this graphic novel. Well, you can buy the whole series compilation but not the single graphic novels which I needed.

The series as a whole is exciting to read. What would happen to the paper girls? Can they get back to their own time? But I think to better appreciate it, the time interval to read this series shouldn’t be too long in between. That’s also so you don’t forget where the story left off.

If you love a good sci-fi mystery, Paper Girls is worth checking out. In fact, this was picked up by Prime Video as a series. Unfortunately, even before I got the chance to check it out, I read Paper Girls the series has been canceled already!

The President’s Daughter

The President’s Daughter is another book collaboration between best-selling thriller author, James Patterson and former US President, Bill Clinton. When I first saw this, I thought this was a sequel to the political thriller that I loved, The President is Missing. But it’s not. It’s a completely different story.

In The President’s Daughter, former US Navy Seal and former US President Matt Keating goes on a one-man mission to save his daughter who was kidnapped by one of his enemies.

What I Thought of the Book

Of the books I read in June, I rated this one with five stars on GoodReads. Just like the first book, I thought this was a very exciting read. It’s action-packed. Matt Keating was one heck of an ex-POTUS! His daughter, Mel, was also a great character. She’s strong and clever. And I also loved the character of secret service agent, David Stahl. I wish there could be a film adaptation of this book. It would be great to see it come to life on the big screen.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

This is the last of the books I read in June. I came to know of this book from one of the people I follow on Instagram. I thought the premise of the story was interesting so I bought one for myself from the now defunct Book Depository.

One of my highly recommended June reads is The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying a Vampire

What I Thought of the Book

What can I say about this book? It’s got to be my favorite among the books I read in June. It surprised me because this isn’t my usual genre. This is a horror novel.

I chuckled reading the first chapter of this book and from there I was hooked! I loved the no-name book club of these women and the friendship that formed from their little book club. This book is so exciting to read! It’s full of suspense, mystery, and horror! There’s also some sadness to it.

It was hard to put this book down and that’s saying something because it takes so much time for me to finish a book these days. Usually, nowadays, I have to tell myself to read at least two chapters. With this book, I wanted to just keep turning the pages to find out what happens next.

I think Patricia is a good heroine. She was vulnerable but also brave and smart. Her friend, Kitty is a toughie. Mrs. Greene is also a great character. I imagine her as that character who when she speaks, eerie music plays in the background and will make the hairs on your arm stand up as she tells you all about the supernatural stuff that you can only imagine exists in fictional stories. I disliked the character, Grace a lot. But I’m glad she had a redemption arch in the end.

Final Thoughts

Being able to read and finish seven books in a month is a milestone for me! It has helped bring me one step closer to achieving my GoodReads Reading Challenge for 2023. Have you guys read any of the books I talked about here? Or have you read any good books lately? Let’s talk about it. I’m always looking for interesting books to read.