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Book of the Month Review + Coupon – August 2020

Book of the Month is a monthly book subscription box. Each month, 5 curators pick out their favorite new hardcover books, and you can choose which one you want to receive on the first of the month. You can also add up to 2 additional books for only $9.99 each. (This box was named one of the best subscriptions under $15 by MSA readers in the 2020 Subscription Box Awards.)

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Check out all of our reviews of Book Subscription Boxes for more options, too!

About this Box

The Subscription Box: Book of the Month

The Cost: $14.99 a month

COUPON: Expiring Soon! Use code SOGOOD to get your first book for $9.99!

The Product: Subscribers get to pick from a selection of hardcover books each month. Skip any month you aren’t interested in. Add up to two additional books for $9.99 each.

Ships to: The US for free

Book of the Month August 2020 Review

These are the five book choices for subscribers this month.

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin – Retail Value $27.99 (found here in paperback for $20.64)

My husband and I devoured the Serial podcast on NPR a few years ago so when I saw the premise for this book, I knew I would love it!

***FYI, CW: This book does contain sensitive material revolving around themes of sexual assault. 

Book Summary from Amazon:

Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name―and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The new season of Rachel’s podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation―but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases―and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?

Wow! This book was gripping from the start as we meet Rachel who is beginning her third season of a successful true-crime podcast. While previously she has discussed past crimes and even helped clear up some of the circumstances surrounding them, this time she is doing her podcast in real-time as she heads to a small North Carolina town to witness the court proceedings of the young girl as they try to prosecute the Olympic swimmer shoo-in who assaulted her. I loved the way that they had these chapters where the text was written as though it were the transcript from Rachel’s podcast. Her storytelling voice was captivating and I was hanging on every word almost as though it were a real podcast, but of course, we also get to see how things are playing out in real life and meet the characters involved as she performs her own investigation.

Intertwined with this story is that of a girl who died over two decades ago from accidental drowning, although once Rachel receives a letter from the girl’s sister, she is convinced that the drowning may have in fact been a homicide. The characters and stories begin to overlap slightly and it evolved the story into a more complex one. We had moments of her trying to uncover the events that transpired all those years ago through glimpses as she receives more letters and begins investigating on her own. It’s all coming together, but you don’t quite know how just yet. It was like the ending was on the tip of my tongue, although I will say that the ending was not as cathartic as I had hoped.

This book was so hard to read in parts with the traumatic subject matter and the general yet wrenching description of cruelty that these girls endured. While you are hoping that the right thing happens in the end, this is one of those stories where the outcome doesn’t matter because so many lives have been ruined and altered in the process making it feel real and raw and utterly heartbreaking.

Each month, Book of the Month includes a bookmark.

If you picked this book this month, please let me know what you think of it!

Verdict: While the themes in my Book of the Month pick this month were very dark and sad, I thought it was such a unique and interesting read. It was a mystery unfolding, a podcast you can’t stop listening to, and a full-court trial all in one package that was told beautifully, evoking sympathy, empathy, and even some anger from the reader. It’s hard to say that I enjoyed this story since it painted such a horrific picture with the treatment of these girls, but it was an excellent read!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this book if you sign up today? No, but it may be available as an add-on next month!

COUPON: Expiring Soon! Use code SOGOOD to get your first book for $9.99!

Check out all of our Book of the Month reviews and see what other book subscriptions made our favorites list!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What do you think of the Book of the Month subscription? Which book (or books) did you pick this month?

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Written by Brandi Dowell

Brandi Dowell

Brandi has loved the idea of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013. Now that she’s a mother of 3, she loves finding unique boxes to educate and entertain her kids while enjoying some more pampering boxes for herself. Her favorites these days are Lillypost, KiwiCo boxes & Wicked Good Perfume!

Posted in Book of the Month Reviews, Book Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: book of the month | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. I also got the Night Swim. I really liked it, I thought it was well done. I found it upsetting though and I wish BOTM and given it a disclaimer of sorts like this review did.

  2. I chose The Death of Vivek Oji this month and ended up reading it in one sitting. If you decide to do an add on next month, I highly recommend it. I also added on The Heart’s Invisible Furies and This Tender Land this month. Devoured those also. You can’t go wrong with any of these three.

  3. I got this one and The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes. They were both really good. I read both in about two days each because I couldn’t put them down.

    • That was the other book I was considering! I’ll have to check it out! 🙂

  4. I chose this book also and read it in one sitting. It was quite compelling and I will be reading more by this author.

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