Oh sweet Jesus, it’s June next week. 

Once again, I am scrambling, trying to hack away at my pile of ARCs. All of which I willingly requested, or accepted, completely overestimating my capabilities. And today, I got rejected for an ARC I was very excited about, and I’m assuming it’s because I have a backlog of 15 books on my NetGalley queue. I don’t blame the publisher at all.

I used to be a martyr to finishing books. I would get to the point where I felt openly resentful toward the author while turning the pages of something I didn’t want to read. I feel a similar weird loyalty to finishing ARCs. In theory, I requested the book, so why wouldn’t I completely enjoy it? Well, it doesn’t always work out that way, and that isn’t the fault of anyone involved. 

Luckily, I love most of the ARCs I get, and enjoy writing gushing reviews about new and exciting novels. But some, I just don’t have the patience for. So I’m resolving to be more honest with my NetGalley feedback, and moving on quickly from a book I don’t connect with. My opinion really doesn’t matter that much; I’m no Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood.

However, I’m glad to say that two ARCs I’ve reviewed this month have been absolutely amazing. And Then She Fell, the debut novel by Alicia Elliott is a mind-bending and relatable novel about motherhood, racism, and family. It will be released in September from Dutton. My full review is here.

The second five-star book is from Nora Fussner, with her spooky novel The Invisible World. Revolving around a TV crew shooting at a haunted house, this is so much more interesting and challenging than an episode of Ghost Hunters. Again, this one is out in September, and you can find my full review here

I read Attack of the Monster Musical: A Cultural History of Little Shop of Horrors, by Adam Abraham, which I adored. I’m a huge fan of the musical, and I enjoyed all the lovely memories and backstage stories. 

I also listened to the audiobook of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by the glorious Maya Angelou. My word. I can’t say anything new about this. I love her. 

I am about halfway through the HUGE anthology, The Book of Witches, edited by Jonathan Strahan, which is filled with absolutely amazing stories. So far I’ve been knocked on my ass by the greatness of P. Djeli Clark, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Darcie Little Badger, and so many others. This one’s out in August, and you need it.

I’m also listening to the audiobook of This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub, which has been compared to Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (Gabrielle Zevin). I’m enjoying it, but I feel like some tighter editing could have made the mid-point twist a little more surprising. I hardly ever see twists coming so I was a bit disappointed I guessed it. 

Oh, and I started The Puzzle Master by Danielle Trussoni last night, which is very engaging so far. An author accused of murder reaches out to a puzzle master for help. Can’t wait to see where it goes. 

Thanks to anyone who reached the end of this diatribe. To be honest, things are pretty bonkers with my job at the moment (Project Manager in test publishing, since you asked), and my daughter is just finishing kindergarten. But I can’t complain. 

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