Kaitlyn Luckow

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June Reading Wrap Up

To be honest, June wasn’t the greatest reading month for me. Even though I read five books, I was in a reading slump all month. I honestly started four different books, got 50 pages in and then just couldn’t finish them. And they weren’t bad books at all! I just couldn’t focus or get into them.


But, that happens sometimes, I’m hoping that July will be a better reading month. In fact, I’m participating in the Reading Rush at the end of the month where I’m hoping to read SO many books. Join me if you want to participate in the read-a-thon with me.


Without further ado, here are all the books I read in June.


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White Dancing Elephants by Chaya Bhuvaneswar (4 stars)

This short story collection follows women of color as they face violence, sexual harassment, grief, and trauma. So many of these stories were incredibly powerful and like punches to the gut. The first one made me cry within the first page. I still can’t stop thinking about how powerful it was.

But like with most short story collections, some stories were great, some were fine, and some seemed like fillers. However, this was beautifully written and I really enjoyed it. I will definitely pick up anything Bhuvaneswar writes in the future.



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Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff (5 stars)

I’m going to be honest with you, there was no way in hell that I wasn’t going to absolutely love this book. I’ve been a murderino for years now, so this book almost makes me feel like a proud sister or something. I love them, and this book just solidified that love for me. It felt like I was just sitting down with Karen & Georgia and chatting for hours. They talked about their lives in raw and honest ways. They discussed addiction, drugs, depression, and therapy in ways that are so necessary. It made me feel seen and less alone. I only wish it could have been longer.



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War Crimes Against The Uterus (4 stars)

Sure...I may be a little biased because my work is in this collection, but I’ll try to be fair here.

This collection was raw and a cry of a response to the current environment surrounding abortion rights in America. These poems were collected shortly after the horrific laws were passed in states such as Alabama, restricting a woman’s right to their own bodies. Like with most collections, some poems hit closer to home than others. My favorite pieces were by Jessica Minyard, Jolene Bresney, and T.J. McGowan.



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The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young (3 stars)

*Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for sending me an Arc copy of this book for review*

Ever since I read Young’s first book last year, I’ve been eagerly awaiting her second, so I was so thrilled when this book came in the mail!

Even though I didn’t absolutely love Young’s first book (“Sky In the Deep”), I could see that she had great promise as a writer.


I ended up giving this book three stars just like Young's previous book, but I do think that her writing has improved.

Her world-building is so promising and I love the influence of Nordic lore. The premise of this book was super promising and it was well built.

However, just like with the last book, the pacing was off for me. The ending was rushed and due to the weird pacing, it made me hard to connect to the characters.

That all being said, I will definitely give her next book a read, because I think she's a very promising author.

Publication Date: September 3



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A Girl Goes Into The Forest by Peg Alford Pursell (2 stars)

*Thank you so much to Dzanc Books for sending me an Arc copy of this book for review*

This is a collection of super short stories and pieces of prose that explore fables and metaphors within the idea of a forest and how (primarily women) are affected by forest’s mysteries and danger. I think that Pursell is a very talented writer. I loved how she played with form and lyricism. However, the stories just didn’t hit home for me. I’m not sure if I just didn’t “get it”, but they just left me wanting more.