June Reading Wrap Up

It’s finally July! This means a lot of things, but primarily it means that our blogoversary is in just a few days! It also means that June is over, and that we’re entering our 5th month of social distancing isolation *insert sad kazoo fanfare noises* June has felt like it was so so long. We somehow published 10 posts! That is an insane amount of posts for us, especially because at the beginning of the year our goal was to get at least 1 post out a month. We also both managed to get a lil’ bit of reading done, so if you want to see what books we read and what we thought of them, continue on below!

Books Read:

Malka:

Even though it will look like I had a mixed reading month from my ratings, I really feel like I had an amazing reading month! Now part of the reason for that is that I had two books that I absolutely loved and gave an immediate, no questions asked 5 stars. But I think part of the reason is also because I’m currently reading a whole bunch of books (I was reading 10 at once at one point this month) and I’m really enjoying so many of them! So even though you’ll probably see those books in next month’s wrap up, and not this one, my overall reading experience this month has been really great!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Long Way Down was my very first audiobook, and it was the perfect choice! It’s told in verse and read by the author and is just a very powerful story that takes place in only one minute of a young boy’s life. If you haven’t already read it, I’d highly recommend that you pick it up! It definitely deserved all 5 stars!

Take a Hint, Dani Brown was literally everything I wanted from a romance. I could talk why it was so amazing for hours on end, but instead I’ll direct you to my review where I cover just a fraction of what I loved about this book!


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Time of Our Lives was so good! I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from this story, but I ended up enjoying it immensely. I really enjoyed how this followed high school students, but the setting wasn’t in a high school. Plus there’s a road trip element, and lovely familial dynamics and so many great conversations! I’d definitely recommend picking this one up if you didn’t already plan on doing so!

Now, earlier this month when I was taking stock of the diversity of the books I was reading, I realized that all the historical romances I read took place in England and were written by white women. In effort to change that I looked at one of the super helpful posts that had been compiled of a list of Black romance authors and discovered Beverly Jenkins! I really enjoyed this book! It was such a different setting and situation that I was used to reading about and I really loved the characters as well. I already know the next book I plan on reading from this author because this book was such a fun time!


Rating: 3 out of 5.

This was just an okay book for me. I prefer my romances to be a lot more cuddly and this decidedly was not! It was enemies to lovers where one person still hated the other for so long there was barely any time for a romance to bloom. Basically my main gripe with this book, too much enemies not enough lovers. Although I guess they technically were lovers for most of the book. So I guess really it was too much enemies, not enough loving!


Rating: 2 out of 5.

So while I had one Beverly Jenkins book that I really enjoyed, I also had one that was a bit of a disappointment. It’s a novella though, and I think that’s where a lot of my problems stemmed from. Things happened WAY too fast for my liking and there were a lot of romance tropes and resolutions that just had me literally laughing out loud at how ridiculously everything came together.


Chana:

So this month was ~officially~ the month of 4 star reads for me. Is it in part because I read 6 Avatar the Lasts Airbender graphic novels that all got automatic 4 star ratings because of my (what some may call “unhealthy”) obsession with the (perfect) source material that is the show? Yes, absolutely! In total I read 15 books, keeping up the customary 10-15 books behind with my reading challenge.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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!! I love this book! From the second I started reading it I was hooked. The worldbuilding is fantastic and I love and support every single character. I had no idea this was a series, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there’s a second book coming out in October!


Rating: 4 out of 5.
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You Should See Me in a Crown was so good!! It was cute, and the characters were fantastic, I usually have nitpicky problems with contemporary’s that take place in high school but this one was perfect!

Priory was long but I really enjoyed the worldbuilding, and the cast of characters is spectacular! It’s marketed as a “feminist” fantasy, and honestly, I had the best time reading this since it was one of few fantasies that didn’t belittle women or use their trauma as a cheap plot device. I will say that the ending is a little bit underwhelming, but it didn’t really have the biggest effect on my rating since I don’t really like long battles anyways.

If I’m being totally honest, Fable deserved more of a 3-3.5 rating than a 4 star rating, but when I read it, I enjoyed it, so it gets to stay.


Rating: 3 out of 5.
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I think this is a great example of how my three star ratings vary. Because I really enjoyed I Wish You All the Best and Felix Ever After! They were both so great and I’d definitely recommend them.

The Toll on the other hand…was just not it. It was long and shleppy and I feel like it didn’t wrap up the series well at all. Would not recommend.


Rating: 2 out of 5.
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The Warded Man was just…ew. Surprisingly, it had a very strong start, and for the first 75% of the book I thought it would be a high 3 star read. Unfortunately, this book suffers from what I like to call “white male fantasy author syndrome”, in which the author traumatizes a female character for no reason at all and then makes them fall in love (after knowing them for like a day??) with the manly main character. And I have to mention that this character throwing herself at the man is even more perplexing, given that the dude sounds so unattractive. I mean it might just be me, but if a large naked bald man covered in tattoos who barely spoke came up to me in the forest, I simply would run in the other direction.

Books Acquired:

Malka:

This has been quite the month for me in terms of the number of books I acquired! Normally I’ll buy one or two books, and maybe get accepted for 1 e-ARC. But this month, I have a grand total of 14 books in this haul section!

I want to give a break down of how I got all these books, because I only purchased 7 out of the 14! Of the 7 I purchased, Patron Saints of Nothing was a recommendation given to me from both Camillea @ Camillea Reads and Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea on my geography post, as a book that they feel represents their country of the Philippines really well. So I immediately got myself a copy. Then I started reading my e-ARC of Take a Hint, Dani Brown, and if you’ve read my review, you’ll know that 10% through I was loving it enough to pre-order a copy for myself. Most of the other books I bought were for the #BlackPublishingPower, and I still have another one on backorder, since I chose to buy it from a Black owned indie. So hopefully you’ll see that book next month!

Purchased:



As for the books I was gifted, these came from 2 sources. The first 4 are books that I somehow convinced my step-father to buy me. I’m honestly unsure how! Insignificant Events In the Life of a Cactus was inspired by a comment from Sam @ We Live and Breathe Books on my blended families post, as well as the fact that Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently read and loved this book. Then when I mentioned What I Talk About When I Talk About Running in The Bookish Baking Tag a few weeks ago, I was struck by the urge to reread it, and to do so I first needed to get my hands on a copy! As for The Starless Sea and Middlegame, these are both books that are out of my comfort zone, but still are books that I’m super excited to read!

My friend was also the absolute best and bought me a copy of You Should See Me In a Crown (which I’m currently reading!) because she knew how excited I was for its release!


Gifted:



And then in the beginning of the month I got approved on NetGalley for one of my most anticipated books of the year, Boyfriend Material! Then to make the month even better, I received a physical ARC of Recommended For You, since I’m going to be a part of the blog tour in September! If you’ve read my review of You Asked For Perfect, you’ll already know that I adore Laura Silverman, and I’m so, so, so excited to read her newest book!


NetGalley:

Publisher:


Chana:

I had a gift card so I bought some books!

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Things We Did:

Before we get into the individual sections of the things we did this month we just want to thank you all for the fact that we just reached 500 followers this month! It was our dream to have 500 readers by the time we hit our second blogoversary in a few days, and thanks to all of you lovely people, we’ve reached that goal! Thank you!

Malka:

This month was spent relaxing! After having such a stressful semester, especially towards the end, I desperately needed this time to unwind and just do things I enjoyed! I did a mix of practical things like build a shoe rack to go in my closet and put together a desk chair. I’d been using a folding chair for several years and that was super uncomfortable and not great for my neck, shoulders, or back, so I’m very happy to have something way more comfortable to sit in now!

I also cleaned and reorganized my bookshelves, which was a lot of fun! I now have a shelf dedicated to my TBR books (it’s already overflowing after my haul this month) instead of just keeping those books on top of my bookshelves where they’d stress me out!

I also got to do some blog hopping, which I have not done in AGES! It was so cool to go beyond the usual blogs I see and discover such interesting posts and discussions from new bloggers. It’s definitely something I hope to do more of during the rest of my vacation!

And last but not least I’m back to doing puzzles, like I did over winter break! I’ve only finished one so far and I’m showing it off below because I think it’s really pretty! But I’m in the middle of another puzzle that I’m working on while listening to an audiobook and I find it to be super relaxing. I’m so glad that these two activities work so well together!

Chana:

I started an internship this month and a summer class! It’s been really weird working and attending school from home, and it’s definitely not how I expected my summer to go, but I only have a month left for both of them! So by the next wrap up, I’ll be over it.

I built a bookshelf! My books were overflowing and there was no room anywhere so I bullied my dad into driving me to the only Target that had the bookshelf I wanted. It came out really nice and I love how I have space for my books now!

Posts We Loved:

Charlotte @ Tea Leaf Reads gave some super helpful tips for using the WordPress Block editor!

Grace @ She Reads Books talked about how having too many books makes her anxious.

Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical discussed how she reviews books.

Cait @ Paper Fury shares some tips on how to support diverse books all the time.

How was your June? What did you read this month? Did you buy lots of books? Do you have any exciting plans for July?

25 thoughts on “June Reading Wrap Up

  1. Happy blogoversary to you both! 🙂
    And I’m so glad you enjoyed Priory, Chana! I really enjoyed it, but to be honest, I don’t actually remember how it ended, so I guess I must have been a bit underwhelmed by the ending too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yess, Priory was such an enjoyable read! I’m so happy I got over my fear of its size and finally read it 😄

      Like

  2. I’ve seen Talia Hibbert’s books everywhere. I think I need to give them a try! I love a good romance and I think it is especially important for romances to become more diverse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s a fantastic writer and she definitely knows how to write a romance! I’d highly recommend giving her books a try! And yes! Her books are super diverse! Dani Brown is a plus sized, bisexual, Black woman, and her love interest is a Pakistani Muslim with anxiety!

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  3. Big congrats on reading 500 followers!! You deserve that and more. 💕

    The fact that you were reading 10 books at once, Malka, when I can’t keep tract of more than three… you have a powerful brain. 😄 I’m currently reading Take a Hint, Dani Brown and I’m enjoying it so much! I’m happy you got to relax – also, I’ve been working on the same puzzle for months (okay, I haven’t actually worked on it for a while at this point) so the fact that you put together puzzles pretty fast.. I’m impressed. 😀

    I’m glad you enjoyed You Should See Me in a Crown, Chana! It’s such a wholesome novel that felt joyful even as it pointed out problems in the school or the world. I’m sad you “only” gave I Wish You All the Best and Felix Ever After three stars, but I’m glad you still enjoyed them and would recommend them. 🙂 Felix is one of my favorites this year. I hope your internship and summer classes are going well! 😀

    Wishing you both a wonderful July. 💕 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! 💕 You Should See Me in a Crown was so good and wholesome!! And I really loved I Wish You All the Best and Felix Ever After! They were both so amazing. I think the reason I gave them 3 stars is because I don’t usually read contemporaries so I have weird rating standards when it comes to them, but I’d consider 3 stars a high rating!

      I hope you have a fantastic July too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All the congratulations on 500 followers and on your blogoversary, so so happy and proud of you. Your blog is one of my favorites and you’re doing an incredible work, really. ❤
    Malka: I'm so, so happy you enjoyed Time of Our Lives, I adored this book with all my heart, as you know. I'm really happy you got to relax a little bit this month and hope you can continue doing so ❤
    Chana: I'm so curious about the library of the unwritten now! and I really want to give you should see me in a crown a try 🙂 Best of luck for your internship, and your bookshelf looks lovely! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Marie!! 💕💕

      The Library of the Unwritten was so good! I really enjoyed it. And I think you’d really like You Should See Me in a Crown, it was so cute! Thank you, I hope you have a fantastic July!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aah, thank you! Hahahaha, yes, two bloggers are definitely confusing at times! I love Neil Shusterman’s writing, and I honestly need to read more of his books. I think The Toll fell a little flat for me just because it took me so long to read it 😅 It dragged on for so long, but I still love the Arc of the Scythe series!

      Like

  5. Congrats on 500 followers and your blogoversary! I just picked up an ARC of Fable, so I’m excited to see if it lives up to the hype I’ve been hearing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Yayyy, I hope you enjoy it! Sky in the Deep was a favorite of mine, so I was super excited to read another book by Adrienne Young, and it didn’t disappoint!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. idk WHY i haven’t yet watched ATLA but i decided to read the graphic novels first and this post just solidified that, thank you v much. my gr goal would definitely not be complaining.

    asdfghkl i am SO EXCITED for you to read If We Were Villains!!!! it’s one of my favorite books and it’s pretentious as HECK but i love it b/c of that

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lfkahfasldkfdj NIMIKA!! You must watch ATLA!!! The graphic novels are fantastic, but they basically spoil everything in the show (but if reading the graphic novels is what it takes for you to watch the show, then *do it*).

      Aaah, I read If We Were Villians and I didn’t really like it 😭😭 It reminded too much of a book I had to read for required reading in high school. And the ending! Was so sad!! (also was the ending open-ended and is you know who actually alive?? Because I was so confused by that and I don’t know if I was reaching because I wanted him to be alive or what).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ok so would you reccomend me watching the show first or reading,,,,,,, i just want the best experience lmao

        AW NO lmaoooo i totally get the school vibes tho. ok so i SEE that the ending was open ended BUT. but. NO ONE CAN CONVINCE ME that you know who isn’t alive. they are very much alive and living by that lake and a certain someone will join them and they’re gonna live happily ever after. that’s literally the ending. im fine.

        Like

  7. Happy Blogoversary! So many great books on this wrap up post. Long Way Down is one of my most memorable reads ever. Supposedly I have a copy of You Should See Me in a Crown headed my way, but the indie store it was ordered from is way backed up. I’m still holding out on Becoming, although I am anticipating loving this book. Last week I used my Amazon gift card and bought two of Dusti Bowlings books, including the one you showed here. I hope your July is going well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!

      Long Way Down is definitely memorable! That’s for sure! And I had something similar where it took a few weeks for Felix Ever After to be shipped from the indie I purchased it from, since it was on backorder. Even though I’m so excited to read it, I didn’t mind the wait because it gave me a chance to read some of the many other books I acquired this month! But I really hope you get your copy of You Should See Me in a Crown soon! It’s a really cute book!

      I’m really excited for Becoming since it’s been a very long time since I read a memoir/autobiography, and I tend to love them! Plus, I’ve heard such amazing things! I’m hoping to get to it in the next few months!

      And I really hope you enjoy the Dusti Bowlings books! I have pretty high expectations for Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus just because of all the great things I’ve heard about it, so I hope we both love it!

      I hope you’re having a wonderful July as well! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

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