What I Read in June

I checked my calendar four times to see if it was actually the end of the month. It’s funny that last month, I was writing about how I was so stressed that all I could muster to do for fun was read and this month, we actually did the move!!!! And I’ve had very little spare time to read. Life ebbs and flows and that’s totally fine! I’ve still been trying to read at least five pages before falling asleep just to stick with the habit.

(But seriously, where did June go?)


Even still, I read what I think will be one of (if not the) my favorite books of the year AND I read what I think will FOR SURE be the worst book I’ve ever read.

THERE, THERE: 4.5/5 Stars

I thought There, There was exceptional. The book follows twelve Native people as they converge at a Powwow in Oakland, California. It could read slightly confusing at times, but by the end you realize you’ve read a brilliantly woven masterpiece. Truly. It tackles issues that Native Americans face as well as celebrate their culture from various generational viewpoints. I loved the story telling and really found the complexities brilliant.

NORMAL PEOPLE: 4.5/5 Stars

Wow, this book is amazing. I wrote about it more in depth on my bookstagram account, but gosh, I still can’t stop thinking about it. I definitely experienced a “book hangover” when I finished it. The story follows two friends as they navigate a complicated relationship from high school to college. I think the reason why it resonated with me so much was that it was eerily relatable. From what I’ve heard from friends, it’s a polarizing book (people either love it or hate it) but it’s definitely worth trying. I couldn’t put it down once I started and felt very invested in the lives on the main characters. My only issue with it was that it seemed gratuitously dark. I don’t think the “darkness” was totally necessary and even at one point made me think it was a red herring of sorts. Hulu is turning it into a series and I can’t wait for it. Fingers crossed that they do this novel justice.

THE CACTUS: 2/5 Stars

Ugh, sandwiched between two incredible books was the worst book I’ve ever read. (At least as far as I can remember.) I’ve never been so frustrated slash uninterested in a storyline ever. This was one of Reese’s book club picks and I felt very let down, haha. The ending was the best part but getting there was a struggle. It’s dubbed as a similar book to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (which I LOVED) and while I do get why people are saying that, The Cactus doesn’t hold a candle to it.

QUIET: 5+/5 Stars

This. Book. Is. Eye. Opening. I can’t tell you how many people have told me to read this book and I am kicking myself for just now getting to it. In fact, it’s been collecting dust on my night stand for over two years! While it’s about introverts, I actually think it’s an important book for everyone to read, introverted or not. I personally have never read a book where I felt so understood as a human and you may not have that exact reaction if you’re an extrovert. But you will better understand how introverts work… and how to work/live/love with introverts. We live in a society where at least 30% of the population are introverted but extroversion is celebrated. But this book made me realize it’s OKAY to be introverted. It’s not a bad thing.

I think it’s an especially important book for teachers and parents to read. Classrooms and families are comprised of extroverts and introverts so they shouldn’t just be catered to one group. I’ve recommended this book to so many people since I finished it and it’s been well-received by everyone. Don’t be discouraged by a “scientific” book.I think that’s why I had waited so long to read it, I assumed it would be super dry. It’s not though! I couldn’t put it down and finished it very quickly, even wishing there was more!

EMMA: 3/5 Stars

In an attempt to read some classics, I gave Emma a try. But you know what? I just don’t love Jane Austen novels. I confessed this on Instagram and was so relieved to hear that many of you felt the same way. I personally find the plots very boring and the characters grate on me. The only reason why I didn’t rate Emma lower is because a) I listened to the Audible original of it and thought the performance was very good and b) I really like the movie Clueless, which is a modern interpretation of the novel and I liked seeing the similarities between the two.

PS Here’s what I read in May.

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As far as Emma/Jane Austen adaptations go, I’ve found that the BBC Masterpiece versions tend to be faithful to the books (so you can feel like you “read” it even if you’re just watching!) and really well done as far as sets/costumes/casting go. I especially love the 2009 Emma, but I totally get it if you’re all Emma’d out lol! The Love and Friendship movie with Kate Beckinsale was pretty funny too.

Ashleigh H.

I am almost finished with The Cactus and am so glad to know I’m not alone in finding it incredibly boring! I’ve really struggled getting through this book; perhaps because I’m listening to it on Audible? I’ve loved most of Reese’s book club books, but this is definitely a bust.


My dad bought “Quiet” for me about six years ago after a reference from a friend. I was in my early 20s and it was the first time I realized that there were other people like me and there was nothing wrong with me for having introverted tendencies. It was a very powerful realization!


As far as Reese’s book club picks: I trod “When we left Cuba” and couldn’t get into it. I think not all of her books are going to connect with everyone.
As far as Jane Austen: she’s not everyone’s thing, and that’s fine. But please don’t judge her by Emma! My favorites of her work are Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, and Persiasion.


Yes to Persuasion! Emma is probably my least favorite Jane Austen, although I think it has the most witty one-liners overall, and I actually love the BBC miniseries with Romola Garai as Emma. That is worth watching.

Alexa Hillery

I have been trying to pick a new book to start and I was thinking about starting Cactus but I’m so glad to read your review before starting it! It’s been tough to get into a new book and that one seems like one I’d start and regret.


If you’re looking to read something similar to Jane Austen stories, check out Georgette Heyer. ‘The Grand Sophy’ is so adorable as well as ‘Frederica’.

Lauren G

I was so excited to read Quiet after seeing you rave about it on Insta, but I checked it out from the library and I couldn’t dive into it… Honestly it may have been that I loved the other book and audio book that I’d checked out at the same time but I couldn’t get into it right now! Maybe in a few months I’ll try again! Always love to hear what you’re reading! You should start a ‘book club’ of your own through your bookstagram.