June was a relatively light month of reading for me. (I only read two books.) I was traveling for work, and Lance and I took a long vacation to the Smokey Mountains. It was a great month of relaxing.  Strangely enough, when you're hiking miles upon miles in the mountains, you're a little too tired to finish a book.  Instead of reading, I spent my days outside exploring.  It was an acceptable trade-off. :D 

What I didn't read in June, I made up for in the first couple weeks of July, which is also represented in this post.  Hope you enjoy reading my book reports.  Let me know what you thought of these books if you've read them, too!

Powerhouse Books New York Photography

Ruby by Cynthia Bond
Again, I had no idea what this book was about when I started reading, but the cover caught my attention. For some reason I thought it might be about robots or something futuristic.  (I couldn't have been further from the truth.) Ruby is unlike any book I usually read or pick for myself, so I'm glad I got a chance to read it.  Ruby is about a small town in Eastern Texas that is bound by its secrets and traditions, which are threatened by Ruby, who returns to the town after years of living in New York.  For me it was incredibly disturbing, with some of the characters experiencing an intense amount of sexual violence, but the author, who herself was a victim of human trafficking, added incredible insight into the despair of such trauma.  Her symbolism and creative language paints the story in such a compelling way.  This is the kind of book that makes you think.  I'm glad I read this book.

I'd recommend this to anyone who seeks to challenge the darkness in this world. 

Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
I really didn't like this sequel to the Rosie Project.  I thought Simsion did an amazing job with the first book, but this one just fell flat to me. In a way it almost ruined the first book for me.  This book was very random and had a very shallow plot not to mention there's a lot of deception and miscommunication which I didn't like.  The plot was slow and built up then at the very end of the book the conflict was resolved (in a kind of unresolved way) with its conclusion. 

I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to ruin their enjoyment of the first book. 

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
I absolutely loved this book.  It took me a very long time to read it, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.  After reading Wild, I felt the urge to continue reading hiking-centric books.  The most logical next book was Into the Wild.  I watched the movie and expected the book to be much like it, but Jon Krakauer adds an interesting dimension to Chris McCandless' life that was left unseen in the movie.  The underlying story of Into the Wild is about McCandless who gives up most of his worldly possessions to live a nomadic life exploring the country, and ultimately hiking through the Alaska tundra where he meets his death.  In the book, Krakauer compares and contrasts McCandless with hikers who've tragically died and reflects on how his own life paralleled McCandless'. 

I really enjoyed Krakauer's personal insight and interviews with those who knew McCandless on his journey.  This was a very interesting read.

I'd recommend this to anyone with a thirst for thrilling adventure and the desire to live life by their own rules no matter how unconventional. 

Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang
I first saw this book in the Blogging for Books reading list.  The title sounded interesting enough so I checked it out from my local library.  I thought this was going to be just a book about tips and tricks to deal with rejection, but it was so much more than that.

Jiang writes in his book about his journey through 100 days of rejection where he purposely sought out rejection every day for 100 days.  What I didn't expect from the book was the lessons he learned and the research he gathered and includes in the book to explain what he learned.  At the end of chapters he always includes bulletted takeaways. 

This was such a great book that explored why we feel defeated when we are rejected and the possibilities that lay ahead when we learn to deal with rejection. 

I'd recommend this book to anyone who's ever allowed rejection stop them from following their dreams.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
I loved Jenny's book To All the Boys I've Loved Before, so I decided to read her series that starts with The Summer I Turned Pretty.  This book and series was sooo good. I started the book thinking I'd just read a couple chapters before I went to bed, but I literally couldn't put it down.  I ended up reading this book in one sitting. This story describes most every teenage girl's fantasy... the boy you grew up having a crush on could possibly now be in love with you now that you're finally not a kid anymore.  Swoon.

Han just touches on everything you've got to love about teenage romance.  Unspoken love. Love triangles. Happy endings.  You've got to read this series.  I loved this first book!

I'd recommend this book to anyone who wishes they had a summer home where they could fall in love with their childhood sweetheart.

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
After reading her first book in the series, To All the Boys I've Love Before, I was so anxious to read the sequel which was conveniently released soon after I finished the first. I loved this just as much as I loved the first.  It was a nice continuation of the first story while seamlessly adding more drama and teenage insecurity... exes and love triangle/squares.  Need I say more?

This was an enjoyable and easy read, but with the way Han leaves this second book, I suspect she'll have a third to wrap up the story.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who's ever been a teenage girl caught between the bad boy you know you shouldn't love and the good guy you know you should. 

Check out all the books I've read over the years here.