June 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

Welcome, story lovers!

I hope you had a great start to the summer. How did your June reading go? 

If you’d prefer to listen to this review, you can check out the full episode on The Bookmarks ‘n Blankets Podcast on your favorite podcast platform or listen below. 

I’ve been a busy little bee over here because I read nine books this month! That’s been the most I’ve read in one month since joining the online book community. Now, full disclosure, three of them were pretty short, but they still count.

My Thoughts about Mystery & Thriller Books

So June was an exciting reading month for me because I chose a genre of fiction that I’ve hardly ever read, which was mystery & thriller. I chose these types of books because I’m exploring the world of fiction right now and trying to expand my interests and check out other areas that I’m not familiar with. And… I think I’ve found one of my new favorite niches! I had such a blast reading these books and just devoured the majority of them. A few books, I read in just a few sittings because I was so enthralled with them and could not put them down.

However, I will say that I think I chose too many mysteries and not enough thrillers. I really wanted to read more thrillers than what I chose, but of course, I didn’t know. I wanted my heart to race a bit more, maybe get a little spooked, but that didn’t really happen with any of the books that I selected. Oh well, maybe another time. 

So if you have some good thriller recommendations, I would love to read those. You can head over to my Instagram, where I have a post that I talk about my June reading wrap-up. You can comment there. Because I definitely have plans to keep reading in this genre for the rest of the year.

I had a suspicion that I would really enjoy this genre, but honestly, it took me by surprise by how much I actually enjoyed reading these types of books. I’m the type of person that has to know what’s going on at all times. So secrets being kept and mysteries to solve absolutely drive my brain crazy because I just have to know what’s going on! Who did it?! What happened?! How did it happen?! So I really, really enjoyed myself this month. I’m so glad I dove into this genre. 

Another reading fact that I found out about myself is, I don’t really care for cozy mysteries. Which I found really surprising because I thought it would be a subgenre of mystery that I would thrive in, especially because I love cozy fantasies so much. But I found myself really bored and wanting more to happen in those stories. Maybe I watch too many action, adventure, and suspense movies, but I wanted more action. I wanted to be highly entertained and on the edge of my seat, but it didn’t happen. I had a really hard time liking and immersing myself in any of the cozy mysteries that I read. I might give a few more books a try by some different authors, but that may be a subgenre that I don’t read anymore. We’ll see what I decide to do down the road. (Spoil alert: I will be reading another cozy mystery in October. I bought it earlier this year and thought that it had a more autumn vibe to it, so I’ve saved it for the fall season.)

One thing I will say, this genre is NOT a happy genre. These are not feel-good books. Not that I was put into a bad mood or anything or expected to be left in a good mood after reading them, but they were pretty serious reads. They definitely felt heavy with some serious subjects. Even though I really enjoyed reading most of the books on my list this month, they did put me in a somber, thoughtful mood, and most of them did not have happy endings. They were kinda depressing, if I’m being honest. I think you have to be in a certain mood to read these types of books. And now, I see why other genres, like fantasy and romance, are so popular…maybe more so than mysteries and thrillers. They definitely aren’t for everyone.

So now for the fun surprise – this month, I decided to read something for the very first time, which is always exciting. I read two graphic novels. Not just one but two! So a little backstory here, I used to think that graphic novels were basically comic books, and I was never interested in reading them. I thought, “How good could they actually be? They’re just mainly picture books with a little bit of content. How well can a comic book story be?” Well, I was absolutely proven wrong!! And I’ll talk more about this at the end of the episode and reveal what I read. So stay tuned. 

June Reading Wrap-Up

Okay, so let’s get to the fun part – what did I read this month? I had 10 books that I chose at the beginning of the month. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, you can go back and listen to that one, and then come back here to see which ones I read. 

So I’ll let you know the book I read, read a short summary of the story, and then give you a brief review of what I thought about the book. I plan to do longer full-length reviews for each book in the future, so check back for those in the coming weeks. 

Also, if you want to know what I’m reading in real-time, you can always follow me on GoodReads.

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

As a new wife and stepmother, Hannah’s world is turned upside down when her husband, Owen, goes missing and a strange note is delivered to her by a 12-year-old soccer player. He writes: Protect her. Hannah knows her husband means his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey. Soon, the news of Owen’s company he works at is all over the news as it’s raided by the FBI and his boss is arrested. Hannah and Bailey are both desperate to get a hold of Owen but he doesn’t answer his phone when either of them try to call. Hannah quickly realizes that Owen isn’t who he said he is, and that his daughter may hold the key to his true identity and why he disappeared. Together, Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth.

Brief Review: I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I truly enjoyed it. I didn’t think I’d like a disappearance mystery story, but I was hooked from the first chapter. I read this book in just three sittings because I couldn’t put it down. It had me glued to the pages. I just kept wanting to find out what was going on with Owen, and this big secret that he was hiding. 

On a personal level, I could really relate to the two main characters, Hannah and Bailey. It’s really a story about a stepmother and stepdaughter relationship. When I was 16, my mother died of cancer, and my father remarried shortly after her death. So I could relate to a teenager trying to get along with a stepmother that she doesn’t really know or trust. I could really relate to Bailey at certain times, and I could also see where Hannah was coming from and sympathize with her, being the new mother-figure in this teenager’s life. They are still getting to know each other, and they’re learning to live with one another. Then life is turned upside down for both of them, and they are forced to trust and depend on each other. They must work together to solve the mystery of the main man in both of their lives. So I enjoyed watching the development of their dynamic. 

As for the mystery part of it, it was fun to go along the journey with the characters, discovering clues and trying to figure out Owen’s past. I would say this is more of a mystery than a thriller. I’ll admit that I did guess the twist (or reveal) about 50-60% into the book, but it was still a surprise ending, which was bittersweet. 

I also watched the series on Apple+ and really enjoyed it. It was also a quick show to watch, which I appreciated. From the angle of book adaptations, I thought it was very well done. Laura Dave, the author, was involved with the whole project, so I think that helped. There were a few slight changes, but for the most part, it did a good job of sticking to the source material. I liked the actors that they chose for the characters, with one exception, which I will discuss more in my full-length review. I will say, the series definitely increased the suspense and drama, typical Hollywood, whereas in the book, I didn’t feel like it was that intense or dramatic. They made it more thrilling than how it read, at least for me. 

Definitely recommend both the book and the series.

(You can purchase the book here.)

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia is a famous painter and her husband is a popular fashion photographer. They seemingly have a perfect life. Then one day, Alicia shoots her husband in the face five times. Then, she never speaks again. The story gained national notoriety with the mystery capturing the public’s imagination. Suddenly, the price of Alicia’s artwork skyrockets. Then she’s placed at The Grove, North London’s psychiatric hospital. Fast forward six years, Theo is a criminal psychotherapist that has been wanting to work with Alicia for a long time. He finally lands a job at The Grove, determined to unravel this mystery and get Alicia talking again.

Brief Review: I did not know what to expect going into this story. I had high hopes for it, and it didn’t disappoint. I was sucked in immediately, and it was another book that only took me three days to get through because I couldn’t put it down. Again, I’d say it’s more of a mystery than a thriller. Theo becomes more like a detective than a therapist because he’s trying to learn more about Alicia so he can help her and try to get her to talk again. The whole time, I was guessing what could’ve happened and there are definitely some red herrings, but … THE SURPRISE ENDING!!! I was shook!! I did not expect the reveal whatsoever. I actually threw the book down and said, “What?!” after I read it. I thought I had figured out everything, but it completely caught me off guard. It was not a five-star read for me, it was really, really close, but there were a few things that made me knock it down to a 4 on GoodReads, but I’d say it’s a 4.5 for me. Definitely recommend!

Also, if you look at the cover of the book, there is a face. I had looked at that book so many times, but it wasn’t until I saw another reader review this book on Instagram and point out the face that I saw it. I felt like such an idiot that I didn’t see it sooner. It’s one of those subtle details that if you’re not looking close enough, you miss it. Though my husband saw the face right away, so maybe it’s just me (and that other review because she said the same thing!).

(You can purchase the book here.)

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Laurel Mack’s world is completely turned upside down when her teenager daughter goes missing. The police investigate but come up empty-handed that anything nefarious happened to her, so they assume Ellie is just a teenage runaway. Then, ten years later, some new information comes to light about her daughter. Then, Laurel meets Floyd and his two daughters, Sara-Jade and Poppy. However, Poppy eerily resembles Ellie in so many ways, which sends Laurel into her own investigation of what really happened to her daughter all those years ago. She is forced to face her haunting past and reopen wounds that she thought were healed as she searches for the truth.

Brief Review: Another mystery story that caught me way off guard. I’ve heard how popular Lisa Jewell is in the mystery/thriller genre. I don’t know if she’s one of the queens of this area of fiction, but I had heard a lot of good things, so I was really excited to read one of her books. Again, it was a book that I couldn’t put down and finished in just a couple of days. This one was really bizarre and twisty. I did not expect the reveal at all. It was very weird and kinda disturbing, but I was immersed in the story and characters the whole time. I enjoyed it so much, I actually thought of getting another Lisa Jewell book to read this month, but decided to read one of the other books on my list that I already bought. I’m really excited to read more by her, maybe later this year. Again, it was not a five-star read, it was very, very close, but I gave it 4 on GoodReads. Definitely recommend!

(You can purchase the book here.)

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

We are back with our favorite psycho serial killer, Joe Goldberg. This is the sequel to You, which I read back in March and absolutely loved it. I gave it five stars. And if you don’t know, it’s also a Netflix series. Season two is based on this book, which I have seen. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the show, especially now since we don’t have Netflix anymore, but I have seen the first three seasons of the show. I remember enjoying the second season, but not as much as the first. I think the first season is the best one, but this second season has the actress who also starred in The Haunting of Hill House, Victoria Pedretti, whom I really like.  

So in this book, once again, we’re following Joe, a thirty-something who has buried four bodies in the last ten years. He decides to move across the country from New York to California. Joe is ready to start over in Los Angeles and is determined to put his past behind him. But the funny thing about hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay hidden. He’s constantly looking over his shoulder and trying to keep his secrets. Then, he meets Love, whose family is part of LA’s rich elite society. He blends in well with her crowd and they settle into a comfortable relationship. But his dark past begins to haunt his new relationship and threatens to destroy everything he’s come to love. If his new girlfriend ever found out what he’s done, he’ll lose her forever, but he won’t ever let that happen because he’s determined to be with her forever.

Brief Review: So did this sequel deliver? I anticipated a five-star read, unfortunately, it was not five stars, it’s a solid four, but it did absolutely deliver. I will preface that there’s a lot of dirty language and it’s pretty graphic with the spice. It felt like both were heightened in this sequel, more so than the first book, so if you’re sensitive to either one, you’ll probably want to skip this one. But it was a good thriller read (which was probably my only thriller on this list that I read for the month). We’re back inside Joe’s head, trying to understand his thoughts and feelings and why he does what he does. We do have a body count, poor decision-making, tense moments, sexual moments, drama, suspense – it’s got it all. The ending is also like a cliffhanger, and I absolutely want to continue in this series and read the next book. There are a total of four in this series.

I will say, though, the first half of the book was a bit slow for me and it took until about the 50-60% mark for me to really get into it. Maybe because I had seen the TV show and knew what would happen. However, I was surprised that the book and show are really different. The first season of the series was adapted pretty closely to book one, but the second season of the series had bits and pieces from book two but it wasn’t adapted as much. But I still really enjoyed both and highly recommend both the book and the second season of the TV show.

(You can purchase the book here.)

The Maid by Nita Prose

This story follows Molly Gray, a maid at a fancy hotel that takes her job very seriously. Molly is not like everyone else and struggles with taking social cues from others, interacting with people, and understanding and reading people’s intentions. Her grandmother used to help her interpret the world and create rules that she could follow and use when out in society. But recently, Molly’s grandmother passed away, and now she’s on her own, trying to make sense of the world. She continues to obsessively clean, which she loves, and uses proper etiquette. Her coworkers find her strange and like to make fun of her. But Molly’s world is turned upside down when she finds a guest dead in their bed. Mr. Black was an infamously wealthy man that had a lot of secrets. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly is caught up in the police investigation and becomes their lead suspect. She’s quickly intertwined in a web of deception and doesn’t know who to trust or look to for help. But lucky for Molly, she discovers friends she never knew she had that come to her aid, but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late? 

Brief Review: I found this to be a decent cozy mystery book. It wasn’t quite what I thought it would be, and I didn’t get any board game Clue vibes from it, like I had seen some reviews describe it, but it was still enjoyable, even with its faults. I wasn’t able to get through it as fast as I thought I would. I did struggle getting into the story at first. It was a little slow-paced for a mystery for me, and I wanted to care a little more about the characters than I did. I wanted more action and suspense but didn’t really get that either. 

It’s never mentioned in the book, but it felt like Molly’s quirkiness or strange behaviors were because she’s on the spectrum and has some type of autism or Asperger’s. What I really didn’t like was how other characters took advantage of her kind nature and naivety of the world. She kinda acted like a child or teenager at times, even though she’s twenty-five. She didn’t know how to act around people or read their social cues and behaviors, therefore, she didn’t know how to behave or react, which made me feel sorry for her and angry at the people who used, manipulated, and deceived her. But Molly is one of the most unique characters I’ve ever read in a book, and the way she speaks is different and unique to her. She does have her quirks but some are rather cute, and I did laugh throughout the book. There is some light-heartedness to it. But I’ll be honest, there were times I wasn’t in the mood to pick up this story because I just didn’t like how some people bullied Molly. 

But once she finds some friends that she can trust as she’s thrown into this murder investigation, I really enjoyed the found family element and how they came together to help her. Overall, this was just an okay book for me. I would recommend it to some people. If you like quirky characters, learning about life as a hotel maid, slow-paced murder mysteries with a few twists, then you’ll probably like this one. I did not see the ending coming, so the big reveal was a surprise to me. I had no clue who it would be. It made sense once I found out, but there were a few red herrings that threw me off track during the story. I wasn’t able to figure it out. There is a sequel coming out, which I believe is a prequel story. I’m not sure if I’ll get it. Part of me is curious but because I wasn’t blown away with this book, I’m not sure if I want to read more. We’ll see what I decide to do once it’s released.

(You can purchase the book here.)

Blogging is Murder by Gilian Baker

Jade Blackwell has left her teaching job for a quiet, remote blogging lifestyle. She lives in a small town in Wyoming, where she knows almost everyone. Her best friend, Liz, is also a fellow blogger and stay-at-home mom. However, Liz has been trolled on her blog and social media lately by someone known as Connie. At first, she finds it annoying and invasive, but then it becomes serious when the threats begin. Liz is scared and confides in her best friend. But then, this mysterious hacker turned stalker ends up dead. Evidence points to Liz, who ends up in jail. Now it’s time for Jade to investigate this case with the help of her lawyer friend, Gabrielle.

Brief Review: I thought I would really like this story because in my marketing business, I work with bloggers every single day, so I know the ins and outs of this world and can relate to the two main characters. This is a very familiar lifestyle that I know about and connect to. But again, for a cozy mystery, it was just okay for me. It started out intriguing, but then it kinda got boring and slow in the middle, and then picked back up toward the end. The main character, Jade, she kinda rubbed me the wrong way at times. I understand that she’s trying to help her best friend, but she acts like a detective working at the local police station – she walks in like she owns the place, demands to see the sheriff, demands to know the details of the case and everything he knows. I get this is a small town and they are all friendly with each other, but it didn’t feel like there were a lot of boundaries put in place. I thought she was a little too confident at times because at the end of the day, she’s just a blogger, not a detective. But otherwise, there wasn’t a lot of action or suspense, and I guess I wanted more. 

I’ll be honest, some of the dialogue is pretty cheesy. It made me laugh, but it was a little cringey at times and needed some polishing from an editor because I did find some spelling and grammatical mistakes. We don’t get a lot of descriptions or filler, which I appreciated, but we also don’t go too in-depth with any character, which was a big miss for me. If we’re going to be light on plot, I want heavy on character development, and we didn’t get that in this book. In the end, I just didn’t really care enough about any of the characters, especially the friend who we’re trying to save from going to prison. I didn’t really get to know any of them and wanted more time so that I could begin to care about them and root for them. Maybe if it wasn’t a novella and instead a full-length book, the characters and story could’ve been flushed out more, but this book is only 180-something pages.  

It was a miss for me, which is unfortunate because in full transparency, I know this author. She is actually a friend of mine. She didn’t know that I was reading her book this month, so if she’s listening…surprise! Unfortunately, I just don’t think this is my cup of tea. But I will say that the reveal of who the killer was did surprise me. I didn’t guess who it was, so it was fun in that sense of trying to figure out whodunit. I also liked the small town feel and the sense of community and helping each other because they all knew one another. So if you like slower, small town mysteries, then you may enjoy this one.

(You can purchase the book here.)

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

I hate doing it because I don’t like wasting my money, but I had to DNF this one at around 37%. I don’t know if I’ll fully DNF it; I may try it again down the road, but for now, I just can’t.

The story is about four senior citizens in a retirement community that created this Thursday Murder Club, where they meet every week to investigate unsolved murders. But then a murder happens on their doorstep, and suddenly, they are thrust into a live murder case.

This had a lot of good reviews and seemed pretty popular. From some other reviews I read, it sounded like there would be quite a bit of humor in it too. I thought the plot sounded really fun and interesting, but I just could not get into this book. I’ve been struggling with it for a week now, and finally decided to give up and move on to something else.

First, there were way too many characters to follow, which started getting muddled and confusing. Because there were so many characters, we didn’t go deeper with any of them, so I didn’t really care about any of them. Honestly, some of them annoyed me, and I don’t really know if there was one character that I truly liked. I also didn’t like the POV jumping from first to third in different chapters. My brain just had a hard time keeping up. It was chaotic!

The story itself is BORING. Nothing really happened, and the mystery of the murder didn’t keep my attention. There wasn’t much humor at all, which was surprising from what people were saying.

It’s also VERY British. It’s written by a British celebrity and takes place in England, but as an American, I didn’t know what some British words and terms meant. I also didn’t know most of the mentioned references to locations, stores, and restaurants. It felt very foreign and unrelatable.

So overall, I just felt really disconnected from the story and characters. Plus, I was bored to tears. I wanted something more to happen, and it never did.

I was going to power through it, but it’s getting close to the end of the month, and I have two other books that are much better that I want to finish. So it wasn’t for me. Maybe I’ll try again someday when I have more patience.

(You can purchase the book here.)

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Five years ago, Andie Bell, a popular high school senior, was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was the talk of the town, and years later, this tragedy has still haunted everyone living in Fairview.

Pippa is a senior now and has decided to use this murder case for her Senior Capstone Project. She knew Sal when she was younger, and the pieces of this puzzle just don’t add up for her. She feels like something more happened that day. She doesn’t quite believe that Sal was a killer. 

Pip wants to investigate this closed case and reexamine it for her project. Soon, she discovers some dark secrets that may lead her to Sal’s innocence and closer to the real killer. But as these lines of past and present begin to blur, Pip realizes that her own life may be in danger. The deeper she keeps digging, the more dangerous this project becomes, but will she be able to stop? It’s become almost an obsession that she can’t seem to walk away from.

Brief Review: This was the first YA mystery/thriller that I’ve ever read. It wasn’t a five-star read for me but it was close. I actually wasn’t going to read this one on the list; I almost bought another Lisa Jewell book, but then I read a very convincing review online and decided to pick it up at the last minute. I will say that if I had picked this up at the beginning of the month, I would’ve read the sequel because I have the entire trilogy. So I do want to read the other two books and will need to find the time to read them. 

I thought it was a really good investigative mystery. Again, I wouldn’t call this a thriller because there really weren’t any dangerous moments or suspenseful scenes. But trying to unravel this mystery with Pip was fun. It was also interesting how they formatted some of the pages of the book to look like her senior project. There were interviews, journal entries, maps, and notes. We see Pip become obsessed over this project and she gets herself in deeper and deeper. I still question how a teenager would have solved this case and not the police. I guess on some level, you have to suspend your belief of reality because this is a work of fiction. But that’s not to say that it wasn’t logical how she figured things out because we see everything unfold and learn about people and situations when the main character does. Maybe I was just thinking about it too hard. 

Pip was my favorite character. She has a unique personality that is easy to like. I follow the author on Instagram and saw her posts that the BBC is making this book into a series, and the actress that they got to play Pip, Emma Myers, will be the perfect fit. She also plays Wednesday’s werewolf roommate in the Netflix series Wednesday. I can totally see her as Pip. 

During the story, Pip becomes friends with Sal’s younger brother, Ravi, who decides to help her to get his brother’s name vindicated and restore his family’s reputation in town. I really enjoyed watching them become friends and get closer. I could see younger people reading this and shipping the two characters. They were a cute couple, and I hope we see more of them together in the sequels. Overall, it was an exciting ride. It had a lot of great twists and turns, and I did not see the big reveal coming at all. I was really surprised by the ending. Definitely recommend!

(You can purchase the book here or the trilogy here.)

Graphic Novels

So now we get to the graphic novels. This was the monthly surprise because I was not planning on reading these when I put this list of books together at the beginning of the month. 

So here’s my quick backstory about graphic novels – I always thought they were basically comic books and were very kiddie. I knew adults read them, but from the few graphic novels that I’ve seen or heard about, they looked really juvenile. Which is weird to me now looking back at past me snubbing them because I like to read middle grade and YA books. You would think that I wouldn’t mind something more juvenile. I guess I thought it would be corny or cheesy, and I’m usually not a person that likes those kinds of stories. Beyond that, I’ll admit I was a bit of a book snob and didn’t think that a good story could actually be told through pictures with only a few words. Boy was I wrong! 

So what changed my mind was watching one of my BookTubers. Oh, the influence those ladies have on me! Lol She mentioned the Enola Holmes graphic novel. As she flipped through the pages and showed the camera what the inside looked like, I was mesmerized. I thought the artwork was absolutely beautiful and my interest was piqued. Then I sat with the idea of reading a graphic novel for a few days. I’ve seen many BookTubers suggest these types of books in their reading wrap-up videos over the months, and they usually enjoyed reading them, so I thought I’d finally give in and give one a shot. So I got Book One of Enola Holmes because it fit my monthly reading theme perfectly – classic mystery/whodunit cases. I loved it so much that I got Book Two as soon as I was done with Book One and read that one as well. So that’s the duology that I read in June.

Enola Holmes Graphic Novels by Serena Blasco

Enola is the 14-year-old sister of two older brothers, one who is the famous Sherlock Holmes. She is very intelligent, clever, and strong-willed. However, she wakes up on her birthday to find her mother has disappeared from their country manor. She only leaves a collection of flowers and a coded message book. Once her brothers hear what happened, they are set on sending Enola to a boarding school, but she refuses to go and runs away. This is where her adventures start as she takes on different cases through various disguises and uses her cleverness to solve them.

Brief Review: Both graphic novels have three mystery cases that Enola Holmes works on solving, so I read a total of six cases, and it was a lot of fun. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. And I’ll admit that my previous assumptions about graphic novels were completely proven wrong. I was highly engaged and immersed in these stories. I really didn’t know until I was reading one, how much a story can come to life through a graphic novel. I now have a new appreciation for this type of artwork. 

And can we talk about the illustrations for a second? The artwork is absolutely gorgeous. I love watercolor art, and this graphic novel is illustrated beautifully. I actually took my time to read these books because I spent quite a bit of attention and time marveling and admiring the artwork. The softness of the watercolors was a nice touch to the grim life Enola was leading and the cases she was solving.

Also, and maybe I’m just a weirdo, but I absolutely loved the smell of the novels. I kept sniffing them as I read them. Does anyone else do this? Am I the only strange bird here? I just love the smell of the books, but these novels were on a whole other level. My husband kept laughing at me because, at first, every few minutes, I’d stop reading to sniff the book, lol!

Anyhoo, I’m absolutely a fan now of graphic novels and can’t wait to get my hands on more. Looking ahead at the rest of this year, I am planning on reading one to two graphic novels per month if I can find any that fit with that month’s theme. So if you enjoy these types of books, then stay tuned because I definitely have more coming. 

Final Thoughts

So that’s it! Those were all nine books that I read this month. I had a blast and absolutely will read more mystery and thrillers later this year, especially during spooky season. I definitely want to get my hands on more thrillers and get the heart pumping a bit more.

If you listened to my TBR episode at the beginning of the month where I listed all the books that I wanted to read, I had chosen 10 titles. The two that I did not get to were Hide by Kiersten White and The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lyne Barnes. I’m still really interested in reading those, but for now, they’re going into my Leftovers List, which I will read at some point in the future.

Also, on a side note, I don’t really talk about movies or TV series in these episodes, but I did want to share one really, really good series that fits this month’s theme, which is Love & Death, starring Elizabeth Olson on HBO Max, or Max as they’re called now. This series was SO good! It’s a true crime series about Candy Montgomery, who lived in Texas in the early 1980s. She’s a religious Christian lady who ended up killing a friend with an ax and struck her 41 times. Her case got national attention. I’m not into these true crime stories, but I really like Elizabeth Olson as an actress and the trailer looked good, so I thought I would check it out. I binged the first half because I was so engaged in this story. Then once I got caught up, because it was a once-a-week episode release, I had to wait each week for the last two episodes. 

They also made a series on Hulu about this case. I believe that one stars Jessica Beal, but we don’t subscribe to Hulu so I couldn’t watch that one to compare the two series. Highly recommend this one though!!

Thanks for sticking around to hear/read what I thought of these mystery/thriller reads. I invite you to come back at the beginning of July to find out which ten titles I have chosen for that month. I’m really excited because it will be another genre that I’ve hardly read in, and I can’t wait to explore a new-to-me area of fiction. 

Until next time, my book friends, happy reading!

*Please note that I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and a member of other affiliate programs. I may receive commissions from qualifying purchases made through links in this article.

Get Cozy with the Podcast

To listen to this podcast episode, head over to The Bookmarks ‘n Blankets Podcast on your favorite podcast platform. You’ll also find full book reviews, reading topics, self-care tips, and a whole lot more.

You can also find pictures of book covers, book tag graphics, and other visuals on Instagram

If you’re interested in exclusive member goodies or want to support the show even more, you can join my Patreon community.


Come soak up all the warm, fuzzy feelings! My name is Kelly, and I’m excited to share my thoughts and opinions with you about books, movies, and TV series. I’m also obsessed with all things comfy cozy, self-care, and personal development.

Join me as I snuggle up with my favorite blankets and yummy beverages, and talk about my favorite forms of art.


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