Happy Wednesday everyone! I’m finally here with my “interesting” May wrap up and June TBR. May was an interesting month for me, since I didn’t finish a SINGLE thing until the last half of the month. I’m not sure how that happened, but slowly and surely, I managed to finish a few things. I do know that there were days where I simply didn’t want to read and I did other things and that’s okay.
I also got to see KITTENS! My friend helps foster cats for the Humane Society and they are about 6 weeks old! It was my first time being around kittens that young, I loved it. They’re so adorable 😀 we’re still trying to figure out names for them, since they don’t really have any. But the girl (black and white one, left) is the fiesty ring leader and she’s so smart and climbs everywhere. The two boys are more chill and cuddle buddies.
I’m also FINALLY playing Xenoblade Chronicles on my 3DS. This was originally on the Wii but got ported to the 3DS and my husband got it for me quite a while ago. Since Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is one of my top favorite games ever, I figure why not play another one? If you’ve seen Shulk on Smash Bros., this is his game and so far it’s really good! The story is very well done and this was a definite distraction from reading towards the end of May lol. But if you haven’t played this franchise yet, it’s so good if you love JRPGS.
May Reading Wrap Up
Total Books Finished: 4
Audio Books: 2
Library books/audio books: 2
Other (sampler): 1
Listened from May 11-17th
Narrator: Sarah Beth Goer
Rating: 3.75 stars
This had a TON of hype all over the book community before it came out and originally it wasn’t on my radar. But then my library had the audio book available on Overdrive, so I grabbed it one night and started listening. While the narrator’s voice fit this story well, she wasn’t the best. She does sound bored most of the time and didn’t bring a ton of flare for me to the story. The story also had a bit too much intrigue and wasn’t as paranormal as I expected. The characters were solid enough, but this wasn’t a favorite. But I will read the sequel eventually and see how things turn out.
Listened from May 5th-22nd
Narrator: Soneela Nankani
Rating: 3 stars
This was my first Rick Riordan presents middle grade book I’ve officially finished and while it was fun, it wasn’t fantastic. I did love learning about all the Indian pantheon and all the legends/culture that I wasn’t already familiar with. Boo (a.k.a. sassy pigeon) was the best character in the whole book, while everyone else was just alright. This book also felt like it was over 400 pages instead of the 300 ish pages it actually is. It felt overstuffed with things happening that despite its fast pace, I was bored and didn’t pick it up all the time. It does have a few good messages in there and kids will learn about Indian culture and mythology. But it didn’t completely work for me and while I will try the sequel, it’s low on my reading list.
Read from May 13th-24th
Rating: 5 stars
I got this ARC clear back in January, but I put it on the back burner then, since I wanted to read it a bit closer to the release date. I’ve seen more anticipation for this book and not a lot of reviews, so I was pretty much blind going into this book other than the synopsis that Goodreads has. But MAN this was book amazing! This comes out on July 9th and DON’T MISS THIS ONE! I’ve never seen such a perfect blurb of this book: Mulan meets Project Runway and there’s more to it than just that. I loved how fashion was important to this story and Maia is such a likable and wonderful protagonist. I haven’t needed a sequel this bad since finishing it in a long time.
Read from May 21st-25th
Rating: 2 stars
While I do like checking out these samplers that come out twice a year, this was a major disappointment. I haven’t liked the selection of samples they’ve done in the last year. They’ve been having less samplers in these and it’s annoying. The only ones that were worth reading were Dear Haiti, Love Alaine and Scars Like Wings. Everything else was either too boring or the writing didn’t gel with me at all. These are good to try and see if these books are worth having on your TBR, but I wish they would have more samples (this one had only 9 compared to the 12 or 13 they’ve had in the past) and just have more popular ones in there? This was pretty meh to end the month on.
I had 2 1/2 hours left of the Aurora Rising audio book before the month ran out. But I’m gonna talk about it in my June wrap up, since I didn’t complete it in the month of May. Just know that I finished it earlier this week and LOVED it. I also read about 15% of Gravemaidens, which I’m on the street team for. I’m taking my time with it, since the blog tour and book release aren’t until October. But I do like the fantasy setting that’s inspired by ancient Sumeria.
- The Bone Charmer (DNF @ 25%): I got this book for a blog tour that I did a spotlight post on earlier this month. The cover is great and the concept sounds good, but ultimately, I didn’t feel like this book was edited very well. I rarely ever say that, since I know so much work goes into getting a book published, but the pacing was kinda all over the place, some parts were confusing and the protagonist literally felt like an outsider in her own world. I feel like the reader is still kept at a distance from this character, even though we get her POV, but I never really understood why she hated the Bone Charmer occupation and how the bones chose things for you. Not enough evidence to support her thoughts was presented enough that I was on board with it. Also the writing just felt dry and didn’t have any real emotion. So I gave up
- The Candle and the Flame (DNF @ 20%): This DNF was mainly a personal preference over how the story is told. This is told through an omniscient but present third person POV that doesn’t really focus on one or a few characters. We jump around a lot and I know that this kind of storytelling isn’t normal for most YA. But there were too many people to follow personally and we kept jumping around so much that I never felt grounded somewhere and felt motivated to keep going. I like the idea of the book and that many people have connected with it, but I may to have to try it in the future if I want to.
- Stronger than A Bronze Dragon (DNF @ 30%): This one was hard guys. This was a NetGalley ARC that I requested from the publisher and got access to and it really ended up being a disappointment! This really didn’t work for me. The story telling felt very clunky. It just seemed several scenes pasted together that seemed like the “highlights” of a book without much time in between scenes to get immersed into the world more or connect with the protagonist. It’s frustrating that the protagonist doesn’t plan anything on her quest and that she doesn’t really seem to care about anyone else other than doing what she wants. I know that teens are smarter than this. I do like the steampunk element in an Asian fantasy setting, but that was the only thing I liked about it. This was another one where I just felt like it wasn’t edited very well to make it flow much better. I would either read this from the library or just skip it.
- Gravemaidens #1: I started it last month and plan to finish it this month. Even though the blog tour for this book and its release date isn’t until October, I do want to see what this book holds. Kelly Coon is one of the most awesome authors ever and I’ve loved being apart of her street team.
- Changeling (The Oddmire #1): I’m actually doing a blog tour for this book next month in July!! A wonderful publicist reached out to me asking if I wanted to join 🙂 this is William Ritter’s new series that takes place in the world of Jackaby but this is middle grade and focuses on two twin brothers. One is human and one is changeling creature. I’m so stoked for this book! I’ve seen some of the illustrations on my Kindle ARC and they’re super cute. I plan on reading this in the first half of the month.
- Tiger Queen: I’m SO excited for this book, since I really enjoyed her debut novel A Touch of Gold last year. This is a new standalone novel set in the desert about a princess who tries to save her people after bandits stole their resources. She’s also a warrior princess! What’s not to be excited about?
- Illuminae #1: This is my next audio book to listen to after LOVING Aurora Rising. This sci-fi trilogy got so much hype when it was being published that I did get turned off to it due to the hype, but now I’m giving it a shot. A couple friends have also told me that the full cast audio book for this is better/more immersive experience which I’m all about 🙂
- The Girl the Sea Gave Back: This is a very recent NetGalley ARC that I was approved for and not only is the cover FREAKING GORGEOUS, I also want to stop procrastinating on some of the ARCs I get. I hear that her writing is so good and I know so many of you are looking forward to this book too. I have my fingers crossed that I will enjoy it. I’m not sure if I will finish it this month,but if not, I hope to get at least halfway through.
- Call It What You Want (Physical ARC): This is my TOP book to read and finish this month, since I got a physical ARC from Bloomsbury quite a while ago (earlier this year) and it comes out on the 25th! I’ve started it already by the same you’re seeing this post, so I should be done with it very very soon and I’ll have a review up after that. I haven’t officially read a book by her until now and this is about a girl whose sister comes home from college pregnant and a guy whose dad is now a vegetable after attempting suicide (he stole a lot of money from people and this male protagonist is now a social pariah). They got paired up for a school project and I’m assuming that a romance happens between them. Her books are so beloved and I hope to enjoy this as well.
As far as anything else I finish this month, I hope to get these 5 done and who knows what else I’ll get to? What is on your June TBR? If you’ve read any of these, let me know in the comments!