Another month has passed and more books have been read! In June I managed to read an impressive 9 books, I’m not entirely certain how I managed that at all, but my dissertation has definitely suffered so… Since we have a lot of books to talk about, let’s get into it!
1. Odd One Out by Nic Stone – 3.5 Stars
Goodreads Summary: Courtney “Coop” Cooper
Dumped. Again. And normally I wouldn’t mind. But right now, my best friend and source of solace, Jupiter Sanchez, is ignoring me to text some girl.
Rae Evelyn Chin
I assumed “new girl” would be synonymous with “pariah,” but Jupiter and Courtney make me feel like I’m right where I belong. I also want to kiss him. And her. Which is . . . perplexing.
The only thing worse than losing the girl you love to a boy is losing her to your boy. That means losing him, too. I have to make a move. . . .
No easy answers.
This book was very confusing me, at times there were some really problematic aspects and I wanted to climb into the book and really shake the characters and ask them what the hell they were doing! But on the other hand, I really felt for the characters, it was real and messy and imperfect, and I did end up having a real appreciation for the characters in the end. This book is definitely more character driven rather than driven by plot, but I honestly love character driven stories.
2. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J K Rowling – 5 Stars
Goodreads Summary: Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.
Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.
Do I need to say much about this book? Rereading Harry Potter is like coming back home and I love it so much.
3. Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst – 3 Stars
Goodreads Summary: In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone–even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern–a human capable of turning into a dragon.
Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community.
With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society–a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.
I thought this was a good solid standalone fantasy, it was nothing spectacular and it didn’t blow me away, but I really enjoyed my time reading it. I really loved the modern world setting with the fantastical elements, a standalone fantasy is always really refreshing to read and this one had me chuckling away to myself on a plane!
4. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Read – 4 Stars
Goodreads Summary: When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.
Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?
Taylor Jenkins Reid is absolutely one of my new favourite authors. I have read and loved both The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six her two more popular books and I loved this one as well. I thought that Lauren’s journey was truly remarkable, I loved how honest the characters were with each other, I loved the characters in general. This book had a huge emotional impact on me and I cried for the last 50 or so pages, I highly recommend picking this one up.
5. The Storm Crow by Kayln Josephson – 4 Stars
Goodreads Summary: In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.
That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.
But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.
I’ve said this before in a post on this blog, but, this has been the biggest surprise of the year so far for me. For some reason, I went into this book with really low expectations and I ended up really enjoying it. The magic system in particular stood out to me, I loved the world building and the political intrigue. If you love political fantasy I definitely recommend this book.
6. The Beholder by Anna Bright – 2.5 Stars
Goodreads Summary: Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.
But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.
From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.
I thought the premise of this book was really interesting, but unfortunately it fell flat in so many ways. I thought that all of the world building was done in a very info dumpy way, and I absolutely did not remember at the moments I was supposed to. There were so. Many. Characters. Too many. Particularly when we got to Asgard. I enjoyed parts of the romances, the first I’d just started to like and then something happened that just felt unnecessary. Definitely my biggest disappointment of the year so far.
7. Again, But Better by Christine Riccio – 5 Stars
Goodreads Summary: Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?
Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!
Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.
Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.
I loved this book. I’d heard some mixed things about this book before going in, but I can say that I truly enjoyed my time reading it. I thought the characters were really relatable, in fact, I truly appreciated the older main character in a YA book. YA isn’t exclusively 14-18 and then you go to college/uni and suddenly you’re an adult. The writing wasn’t perfect but the plot and likeable characters kept me hooked and I cannot wait to see what Christine writes next.
8. Opposite of Always by Jason Reynolds – 3 Stars
Goodreads Summary: Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.
He almost made valedictorian.
He almost made varsity.
He almost got the girl . . .
When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.
But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.
Despite a whole of death in this book, this book is a lot of fun. For the most part I really enjoyed my time reading this one, and it had something a little bit different than your average YA contemporary. I loved all the different characters and relationships, whether that be romantic, family or friendship. My main gripe with this book was that it just felt a little bit too long, I felt that there were certain parts that could’ve been shorter and it wouldn’t have taken away from the message of the story.
9. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – 5 Stars
Goodreads Summary: First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
This book. My god I loved this book. The characters, the plot, the romance, the politics, the everything. I loved it. I just loved it.
So there we have it, those are all the books I read in June. Let me know down in the comments what you read this month, and, until next time, happy reading!