Happy July 4th weekend everyone! If you celebrate the American holiday, please stay safe and have fun! Today I wanted share my June wrap up and crazy July TBR. I’m in a bad reading slump and I need suggestions guys! Do I just read graphic novels? Do I ignore my ARC pile to just read a book I want to read? Help me decide!
As far as my reading for June, I had a couple good weeks of reading but for the most part, June was the month where a lot of things weren’t grabbing my attention. My motivation to read was tanking, so I was playing way too much of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition and watching The Legend of Korra. It still didn’t feel like a great month overall…
Total Books Completed in June: 4
Audio books: 2
Library items: None
Started, Not Finished: 2
Listened from May 21st-June 2nd
Audible Audio Book
Narrated by James Marsters
Adult Urban Fantasy series, #15
Rating: 4 stars
This is book 15 in this long running series and I finally got around to it! Since there’s going to be 2 new Dresden books this year, I needed to get caught up. We follow Harry this time around as he tries to break into Hades’s vault. He doesn’t want to but is forced to for various reasons. This character has gone through SO much in this series and really, this series was good to come back to. Butcher’s writing improves with every novel and you can tell how WELL he knows his characters. Harry, Karen Murphy, Buttars and many others truly feel like real people. There were a few emotional moments that I loved and Harry’s interactions with Hades made this book get that 4 star rating. While this book was slow moving to get to the good stuff, I’m glad that I finished it and I’m excited for more books in this series. I haven’t done reviews on this series because I started it WAY before my blog and I would have to re-listen to all the earlier books. But if this is a series you want to start, I really do recommend it.
Read from June 3rd-10th
ARC via NetGalley
Own voices middle grade contemporary fantasy
I had this book from NetGalley for some time. It was originally supposed to come out on May 5th, but due to the virus, it’s set to come out in late September (the 22nd I think). So admittedly, I did wait a long time to read this since I feel like reading ARCs super early isn’t always helpful in a way if that makes sense. But this book really has that Rick Riordan Presents vibe with the world building, Maya’s friends, the humor and the plot itself. We follow Maya, who learns about the Dark that threatens to destroy the world and the Orisha powers that are closer than she thinks. While I still struggle to find a favorite middle grade book/series, this was cute. I LOVED the father and daughter relationship that Maya has with her Dad. This is something I rarely see in books and this was the biggest highlight for me. Plus, her two friends were great and they were a great support to Maya. I also learned a lot about the Orisha deities and some of the African mythology. I can see fans of Riordan’s books and the books from his imprint will love this one as well. While some of the ending was rushed and I wasn’t a big fan of the villain, I might continue with this series. I had a fun enough time reading it 🙂
Listened from June 16th-22nd
Audible Audio book (returned now)
Narrated by Liza Seneca and Rebe Buhr
YA Historical Fiction
This frustrates me every time I see the cover and think about it. This follows Alice, a girl whose grandmother (passed away) left Alice and the keys to a childhood apartment in Paris. This grandmother met an American solider, moved to the US and never looked back nor talked about her past in Paris. So Alice finds pictures, clothes and her great aunt’s diary whom she never knew existed. Then, we see Alice’s great aunt Adalyn (sister to the grandmother who passed away) and what she went through during WWII. I’ll just leave my review below if you want to know why I didn’t like this book. I don’t recommend it and I immediately returned the audio book once I was done with it. The cover is really cool but a poorly structured story killed it.
Read on June 24th
ARC via Edelweiss
YA Contemporary/Novels in Verse
I read this book in one day and it’s one the top BEST books I’ve read this year. I found out about this book at the right time and once I started it, I literally couldn’t stop reading. Told in poetry, emails and social media messages, we follow Cordelia who takes a DNA test and finds out that she’s the product of an affair. The father that has raised her isn’t her biological father. So with this DNA test and writing poetry about her genealogy, she sets out to find the truth, even if it’s hard to face. This was beautiful, honest, messy, compelling and oh so satisfying. This is set to come out in October and I cannot recommend it enough. This book also has a father figure and a love interest we almost never see in YA that we need to see more of. Please read this book!
I had 3 books that I permanently DNF’d this month. These books were ones that I either didn’t feel compelled to keep reading or had a problematic plot twist. So for Girl, Serpent, Thorn, I first read this back in December while on vacation for the holidays. A fairy tale about a poisoned girl with Persian mythology sounds great right? Well, I felt like the beginning was VERY slow with flat emotions and characterization of the protagonist. I never felt compelled past the 18% that I read initially because nothing was moving enough and didn’t have enough juicy plot details to keep me interested. I know this one that a lot of people love but it simply didn’t click with me which a bummer.
Then with Scarlet Odyssey, this was an unsolicited ARC that I was sent. This is the first in a series that’s own voices African fantasy. But while the world was interesting and some details reminded me of the PS4 game Horizon Zero Dawn, the writing wasn’t great. Some of the word choices were very juvenile for adult fantasy and there was a lot of terminology that made me feel like I had to understand them. There wasn’t a glossary for any of the terms so that was hard to follow. There’s also a thing that happens in books where random characters come in and they’re treated so seriously yet they’re new to the scene? These moments were what happens to the side characters is so serious that I feel like I’m missing the connections between characters. So it didn’t take me long before I gave up due to feeling kinda lost.
Finally is Mexican Gothic, which was a book I nearly finished. I was kinda interested to see how this book was going to play out. But one of the two plot twists that happened really made me uncomfortable enough that I stopped. I liked one of the plot twists which is very creative, but the other one is a plot/trope that I can’t stand. I know a lot of people love this book and I will try more books by this author, but yeah the spoiler that I won’t say here was too much…
Started, Not Finished
I started both of these books in late June to try and curb the reading slump. Both of these are highly anticipated reads. I only got 14% into Unravel the Dusk and only the first chapter (5%) of The Other Side of the Sky. But I will do everything I can to finish these this month in July!
The “Oh Crap” July TBR
This feels in one day intimidating but at the same time, exciting. There’s new stuff like The Princess Will Save You (coming on Tuesday), library audio books like Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” and The City of Brass and epic ARCs like the others above. Some of these are ones that have been on my Kindle unread for WAY too long! These ARCs are the highest priority, especially Set Fire to the Gods and The Silvered Serpents. If I don’t quite finish a few of them, I might be okay. But it feels like “oh crap” since a lot of my ARCs are coming up on release day very soon and the reading slump isn’t helping. Wish me luck and any suggestions about a reading slump will be greatly appreciated!
What did you read in June? What was your favorite book in June? What are your July reading plans?