Book of the Month: Looking Back

It’s been almost a year since I did my two year look back at my book of the month choices and how I rated them. While over the course of the year I’m excited about Book of the Month every time the titles are revealed, I wanted to look at all the titles and see if I’ve really been enjoying them. I knew I had a lot of unread books laying around, but after skipping this month, I went through the ones I have read this year to see what stuck out, and I was really surprised to find that nearly all of them were three stars or less.

Is it time to cancel it, or am I just picking the wrong books … literally every time? I always think I’ll love them!


SKIPPED – Probably a good choice seeing everything that follows.


an american marriage by tayari jonesAn American Marriage by Tayari Jones (5 stars) The one and only 5 star book on the list! I read this as soon as I got it, and mentioned in a review that it would be one of my favorites of the year, which is still definitely the case.


The Great Alone by Kristin HannahThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (Unread) There was a ton of hype about this one before it came out, but I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good pick since I’ve never read any of her other books, and have had The Nightingale on my shelf unread for literal years? I did try this one, but the cold Alaskan wilderness wasn’t doing it for me when I started reading it in March, and I have yet to go back to it.



rainbirds by clarissa goenawanRainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan (2 stars) I hated this book. It wanted to be so many things at once and ended up being nothing. There was no mystery, a million layers of unresolved family drama, and a main character that you could not bring yourself to care about in the least. I had been so excited about this one going in!



Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta HallOur Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall (2 stars) I also definitely hated this one. Hate seemed like a strong word at the time, and I did really enjoy the first 100 pages or so, but it got truly weird, and n o t h i n g ended up being resolved in the end. It was like a bad version of Unraveling Oliver, which I absolutely loved. Pass on this if you’re thinking about reading it.



the perfect mother by aimee molloyThe Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy (2 stars) It was nearly halfway through the year, and I was still excited about new thrillers! I genuinely thought I would like this one though, promise. Plot twist, I gave it two stars and a million and one eye rolls!


Still Lives by Maria Hummel (Unread) I’ve heard nothing but mixed or bad things since picking this one up, even though the idea of an art exhibit and a missing woman sounded extremely interesting to me at the time.

It’s since been on Reese’s Book Club list though, which kind of motivates me to pick it up.



The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (DNF) I’ve been into romance lately! I am on a quest to find the next The Hating Game. But despite how much everyone seems to love this one, the dialogue felt forced and uncomfortable and I couldn’t make myself continue for more than 35 pages.


The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir (Unread) I am genuinely interested in reading this one! Aggressively religious family + reality TV scandals? Reminds me of a fictional version of Priestdaddy, which I loved.


When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri (3.5 stars) At the time, I liked the concept of this one a lot, but wished it was a little more developed. I still feel that way, and looking back, think it could have done a lot more.

A solid contemporary LGBT romance, but nothing to write home about.



Ghosted (Unread) Another one with mixed reviews, but one I think I’ll enjoy regardless. It’s been compared to Liane Moriarty, which is always a good sign for me.



The Summer Wives by Beatriz Willaims (Unread) I don’t know why I haven’t read this one! I love Beatriz Williams and this one seems like a return to some of her earlier books, which have been some of my favorites.



The Line That Held Us by David Joy (1 star, literally the worst book of the year) Have my Goodreads review: I can usually find one thing to like in a book but not this one. From page one I honestly hated every character, and it only got worse from there. The rest of the book was detailed descriptions of a decomposing body, hunting, and fake deep soliloquies on being a man. Also has this author met a woman in person in his entire life? Hard pass.



cross her heart by sarah pinboroughCross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough (Unread) I loved Behind Her Eyes last year, and was really excited to see that she had another book out so soon! Unfortunately, I have only heard pretty disappointing reviews of this one so far.

I’ll probably still give it a try, but I haven’t been super motivated so far.



SKIPPED — Finally learning from my mistakes, perhaps?

And that’s that. A pretty bleak overview! I either vehemently dislike the books, or they sit unread. I skipped October, we’ll see what November + December bring, and then I’ll probably cancel my subscription? I love the idea of Book of the Month, but it doesn’t seem like it’s been working out for … almost an entire year at this point, and I’m genuinely surprised by it!

Are you a BOTM member? Have you been enjoying your choices so far this year?

Leave a Reply


  1. I don’t subscribe to any book delivery service so I can’t comment on that. However, I did read two of the books on your list. I didn’t like the two main characters in “American Marriage” but I thought the book was well written. The “Book Of Essie” was my favorite book I read in the month of July it was very different so be sure and try that one out. Since I haven’t read the rest of the books on your list I can comment on them. If you end up not liking most of what you selected maybe it really is time to cancel. Also Sarah over at Sarah’s Bookshelves does a blog post on BOTM I usually end up liking books she recommends.

    1. I think that’s what I liked about An American Marriage. All the characters were so flawed but the plot and writing was very real. I’m definitely excited to check out Book of Essie, and I’m definitely with you on Sarah’s blog, her recommendations are spot on!

  2. I am so glad to hear that you’ve been struggling with BOTM too. I am still a subscriber, but honestly, I haven’t read half of the books I’ve ended up getting. Last year was much better for me, I genuinely liked most of the ones I got. But this year I just haven’t read the ones I’ve picked, or I skipped the month. The only ones I’ve read this year were An American Marriage (which I loved!) and How to Walk Away (which was just okay for me). I think at the end of the year, I’m going to cancel. I just have too many other books on my shelves that I want to read! I really don’t need to keep paying for books I may or may not get around to.

    1. Same! Last year’s choices were a lot better! I knew I had a lot unread, but it surprised me the number I actually didn’t like!