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What I’ve Been Reading

Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel

This is an occasional series that chronicles my quest to read 80 books in 2015. This is the fifth roundup. You can read the first here. The second here. The third here. The fourth here. Let’s see how it went, shall we?

Oh, man. Somewhere around Memorial Day I strayed from my reading pace, and I never regained it. I could blame it on the books (that would mostly be a lie), I could blame it on the man who suddenly seemed to be narrating all my audiobooks, the man with a gentlemanly British voice that does nothing but lull me to sleep with its quiet timbre (somewhat truthful).

But mostly I think I hit burnout mode. I needed to take a break and listen to music at full volume, at the top of my lungs.

I returned to reading books I have on Kindle, although that was slow-going and I only made it through one (Hausfrau). And I had to abandon a book again out of sheer boredom, and it was one I had been looking forward to on my summer reading list! Sigh. They can’t all be winners, I know.

Luckily, thanks to my speed reading at the beginning of the year, I’m still five books ahead of schedule to reach my goal.

(Do you follow me on Goodreads? You should!)

Book Reviews June 2015: 45/80

Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • Sweetness #9

Sweetness #9 / Stephan Eirik Clark
File under: Conspiracy theory, food, literature, Americana
Plot: Flavorist is fired after seeing evidence that an artificial sweetener has negative side effects. The repercussions of his silence reverberate throughout his life. Will he ever grow the balls to speak up?
Review: A thought-provoking and at times hilarious read, and I was genuinely interested in David’s life and family, but it comes unhinged somewhere in the second half, then goes on 50 pages too long with very little payoff for all the buildup. (But some might say, “That’s life.”)
Amazon Goodreads


Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • Vanishing Girls

Vanishing Girls / Lauren Oliver
File under: Young adult, psychological thriller, familiar twists
Plot: Teen tries to reconnect with her sister after a bad car wreck, while also searching for a local girl who has gone missing.
Review: I appreciate Lauren Oliver’s storytelling, which always feels very true to teenagers, but you can pretty much see the twist coming from the very beginning, so the reveal is a pretty big let-down.
Amazon Goodreads


Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • The Blue Bistro

The Blue Bistro / Elin Hilderbrand
File under: Romance, summer, beach read, chick lit, coming of age, lots and lots of fooooood
Plot: In a long line of destination jobs, Adrienne takes a job at the hottest restaurant in Nantucket, where she falls for the food, the business and one of the owners. Will she stay at the end of the summer or will she move on like she always does?
Review: Forgive my simplistic plotline. For once, there’s far more to this story than meets the eye. I was curious about this book after reading about it on Modern Mrs. Darcy, and I’m really glad I gave it a go. I laughed, I cried, I got really, really hungry.
Amazon Goodreads


Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • Cinder

Cinder / Marissa Meyer
File under: Y.A., Cinderella, fairytale, sci fi, supernatural, steampunk, futuristic, yes I realize some of these descriptions are kinda contradictory
Plot: Cinder is a bad-ass cyborg in New Beijing who can’t catch a freaking break.
Review: This was an unexpectedly great read. I am legitimately irritated to be on the library waiting list for the second installment.
Amazon Goodreads


Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • Hausfrau

Hausfrau / Jill Alexander Essbaum
File under: Literature, Switzerland, marriage, depression, heart-wrenching sadness
Plot: Ex-pat housewife struggles with depression and feelings of desolation and has a series of affairs to help lessen her pain.
Review: Exquisitely written. The last few paragraphs will haunt you.
Amazon Goodreads


Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • The Rocks

The Rocks / Peter Nichols
File under: Summer read, literature, family secrets, WTF
Plot: Two families’ lives intermingle through several decades in Mallorca, Spain. Apparently there is drama.
Review: A true-life example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its gorgeous cover. It’s pretty on the outside, but the paint’s peeling on the inside. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Amazon Goodreads

In a Nutshell

Three to read: Cinder, The Blue Bistro, Hausfrau

One to pass: Definitely don’t waste your time on The Rocks!

So there you have it. 45 down! 35 to go!

What have you been reading lately? I’m always on the lookout for a good book … do share recommendations in the comments. Have you read any of these books? Do you agree/disagree with my assessment? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

P.S. A running list of my fave must-read books. Soooo much good stuff here.

Linking up with, a great place to find good reads. Check it out.
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