Everything I Read In Summer 2020

September 10, 2020 / Books

An Anonymous Girl

Fiction / Thriller

Everything I Read in Summer 2020. Book Review: An Anonymous Girl

This is a fun thriller, with twists and turns (some you will see coming), per usual. Jessica Farris signs up for an anonymous study, which starts out as simply answering questions and quickly turns into real-life “experiments” that turn personal.

Paranoia, obsessions, deceit, manipulation, jealousy. This book has it all. Was it the best thriller/mystery I’ve read? No. But, it’s a good one (there are so, so many bad ones) and the chapters fly by. If you want to be entertained with a good story, pick this one up and enjoy.

Final Score: 3/5 or B

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race

Non-Fiction / Race / Essays

Everything I Read in Summer 2020. Book Review: The Fire This Time

The Fire This Time, is a collection of essays, written in three parts (past, present, and future), about racism and race. If you read one book on this list, this is the one. After every essay, I had to stop and reflect, as each individual essay made an impact and affected me. Like all essay collections, some were stronger than others, and which one(s) those are, changes for each reader, but all are 100% worth reading.

Also, I have to add, another great book cover!

Final Score: 4/5 or A-

The Immortalists

Fiction / Fantasy / Historical Fiction

Everything I Read in Summer 2020. Book Review: The Immortalists

The premise of this book is so good. Four young siblings, around 1969, visit a mystical woman in New York’s Lower East Side, who tells them their fortune: the exact day they each will die. These dates inform the next five decards. The Immortalists follows each of the four children, each section picking up from the date the previous sibling passes, detailing their lives and the choices they make.

This book really toes the line between fate and choice and reality and illusion. Filled with familiar bonds, coming of age, and mythical realism, this novel was truly a delight to read. I would rank it among my faves of 2020 and highly recommend it as a must-read!

Final Score: 4/5 or A-

The Vanishing Half

Fiction / Literary Fiction / Historical Fiction

Everything I Read in Summer 2020. Book Review: The Vanishing Half

First of all, love this book cover. So good, right?! Second of all, I wanted to love this book (it is so highly recommended) and I did like it, but love? Not really. Honestly, I found it to be a very slow read. And, that ending?! Unsure.

This book is about the Vignes twins, who leave their southern black hometown young, and eventually, go their separate ways, one deciding to pass for white. The book documents both their lives and later on, both their daughter’s lives, whose fates are intertwined.

It is an important commentary on race in our country, very powerful and worth reading for sure.

Final Score: 3/5 or B

The Kiss Quotient

Fiction / Romance

Everything I Read in Summer 2020. Book Review: The Kiss Quotient.

The Kiss Quotient, the first in a three-part series, is a cute rom-com-esque novel. Stella, who is autistic, hires an escort to teach her about sex, but (surprise!) she falls for him a little too hard. This book is equal parts steamy and romantic and definitely has some hilarious moments. I found myself rooting for Stella and Michael (the escort) to end up together, as they were both endearing and relatable.

This one is heavy on the sex scenes, so, if that’s not your style, I’d skip this one. Otherwise, it’s a fun, quick, lighthearted story that will definitely leave you smiling.

Final Score: 3/5 or B

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

Non-Fiction / Memior

Everything I Read in Summer 2020. Book Review: The Sun Does Shine.

“In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.”

This is one of those must-read books if you want to learn more about the criminal justice system in the US and the death penalty. This is a heartbreaking account of injustice in our system, but also a story of resilience and hope. Written by Hinton, The Sun Does Shine details his story, from the day he was arrested, to the days following his release from death row, 30 years later.

At under 300 pages, it is a quick read, but such an important and powerful one.

Final Score: 4/5 or A-

Bad Feminist

Non-Fiction / Essays / Feminism

Everything I Read in Summer 2020. Book Review: Bad Feminist.

This book is not exactly what I expected. I went into it, based on the title and jacket description, thinking that all of these essays (I use “essays” lightly, as these felt more like “blog posts”) would be connected solely by women’s rights and feminism. And, while some of them were directly related, many of them felt very loosely related, or, in some cases, unrelated. There were also a lot of pop culture references and reviews, many of which I was unfamiliar with, making those essays very unrelatable for me.

That being said, some of these essays were very well written, with sharp, thoughtful critique. A few of them, I would say were outstanding. However, the majority felt lost and unorganized, without a clear connector. Many would start out with a specific thesis, and end with…I’m not sure what…but not a clear point.

While I didn’t fully connect with the author here, I do think these essays are a valuable read for many, and for the right audience, I would say worth a read.

Final Score: 3/5 or C+

Dogs Are People, Too: A Collection of Cartoons to Make Your Tail Wag

Comics

Everything I Read in Summer 2020. Dogs Are People, Too: A Collection of Cartoons to Make Your Tail Wag. Book Review.

Absolutely in love with this book. Filled with one-panel cartoons about everyone’s favorite animal, doggos, this truly made me laugh out loud over and over. I picked this one up because I needed something lighthearted (don’t we all right now!?) and thought this looked like a wholesome, feel-good book to lift my spirits. And it was 100% a winner. While the comics were the highlight, there are also a few short essays about the writer’s own dogs sprinkled throughout, all of which were very relatable.

Certainly worth checking out from your local library!

Final Score: 5/5 or A