What I Read in June 2024

Happy July, friends! Here’s everything I read last month:


Just for the Summer is the third book in the Part of Your World Series and also the third Abby Jimenez book for me! As she has done with Part of Your World and Yours Truly, Abby Jimenez incorporates challenging topics into a romantic story, reflecting real life. Not sure if it’s because this love story starts on Reddit or if it’s because the two main characters have a very normal job (a nurse and a software developer) but Just for the Summer felt even more real and relatable.

THE SYMPATHIZER by Viet Thanh Nguyen

This one has been long time coming! The Sympathizer had been on my TBR for years, and I’ve owned a physical copy since it came in my Letters book subscription a few years ago. What really prompted me to start reading is the new HBO adaptation haha. The Sympathizer is written in the form of written confessions by a communist spy who served as the captain in the South Vietnamese army and then immigrated to the States. I’ve read a number of books by Vietnamese(-American) authors about the Vietnam War and its aftermath, and I feel I am gaining a new glimpse into the history with each one. The Sympathizer was no exception, likely because I’ve also never read a point-of-view from this side(?) of the war. The book read very seriously, unlike the HBO show. I learned about the sequel The Committed at last month’s book club at La Recette, and here’s to hoping it doesn’t take me half a decade to get around to reading it!


While Lilliana’s Invincible Summer is often categorized as a memoir, it really can’t be forced into one genre. Cristina Rivera Garza simply wrote a story remembering and honoring her sister, who was murdered by her boyfriend 30 years ago, the way it needed to be told without considering any restraints. The book opens with the family’s attempt to access the archive files for her sister’s case, which doesn’t exist or cannot be located. In many ways, Liliana’s Invincible Summer is that archive–an amalgamation of journal entries, letters, interviews, and more that all together depict who Liliana was and what she meant to those around her.


I discovered June Hur last October and read her first three books in the span of a month so it’s probably safe to say A Crane Among Wolves was one of my most anticipated releases of 2024! A Crane Among Wolves proves itself to be another June Hur classic: historical fiction set during Joseon dynasty of Korea that reads like a K-drama. As with the other books, A Crane Among Wolves is set in a slightly different time period during Joseon dynasty, and the historical happenings (the tyrant King Yeonsan in this case) are heavily referenced for the plot. My only complaint is that I wish her books were longer and have more depth and details which is not fair because I’m basically asking her to write for adult audience rather than YA.

FUNNY STORY by Emily Henry

I was saying just a few weeks ago how I’m more of an Abby Jimenez person than Emily Henry person but that might be up for a debate (internally with myself, of course) now that I’ve read Funny Story! While Emily Henry does write captivatingly, I always found her characters annoying and unlikable (granted I’ve only read Book Lovers and Happy Place)… that is until Daphne and Miles! In some ways, my brain is confusing Just for the Summer (by Abby Jimenez) and Funny Story, not because the plots are identical but because they are both about good people trying their best to heal their past trauma and hurt and find love that they deserve. Either book would be a great summer read this upcoming months!

BEFORE I LET GO by Kennedy Ryan

Kennedy Ryan reminded me of Tia Williams in the sense that her romance goes far beyond the romance itself. Before I Let Go is a second-chance love story of Yasmen and Josiah who coparent their two children and run a restaurant together. Their divorce felt unavoidable for Yasmen following the passing of a dear family member and their newborn child, and Josiah is still scared to love Yasmen after what happened. These two are meant to be together though and, they have better tools for navigation (therapy!) this time around. Kennedy Ryan wonderfully balances the steamy romance with mental health and healing.

P.S. I’m currently reading How to Age Disgracefully and listening to The Good Enough Job!

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