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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
!! 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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
I had a gift card so I bought some books!
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!
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!
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?