Thursday, July 7, 2022

Monthly Reading Wrap-up - June 2022 and Mid-year Book Freakout Tag

This year I thought I would share a little more of all my books and I thought the best way to do that would be if I wrapped up my reads of each month, so I can share mini reviews on all the books I've gone through! 

It could be a big range from 2 to 10 books depending on how much I read, but I figure I can share a little synopsis and quick thoughts on each book. I will still be doing more in depth reviews on books that really capture me! 

Monthly Reading Wrap-up - June 2022 and Mid-year Book Freakout Tag
Wake The Bones and Cat's Cradle were received as review copies - this post contains affiliate links

So, in June I read 9 books - a mix of genres from young adult horror to adult fantasy. I love most genres, and I really want to keep my reads diversified this year - I think I have been doing a great job of that so far! Also, I've been trying to read a mix of old and new books, which I've done a good job at so far this year, but this month was only new books (the oldest was published in 2020), so I think I will try and make up for that by reading mostly older books in July! I read 6 audio books, 1 physical books and 2 e-books this month! 

Here's a quick look at all the books I read in the past month:  

Monthly Reading Wrap-up - June 2022 and Mid-year Book Freakout Tag

Love That Story: Observations From A Gorgeously Queer Life by Jonathan Van Ness  ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is an adult non-fiction memoir written in a series of essays on a variety of topics that JVN feels strongly about (they read the audiobook and I love that). I'm a fan - I've watched the Netflix show, and after reading their memoir, I knew I wanted to read more from them. I enjoyed the perspectives and thoughts, but prefer an actual story overall in my reads! 

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is a young adult contemporary fiction book and it was the prequel to We Were Liars that was published 8 years ago. I loved that book - I remember being so shocked and crying on the beach or plane on my honeymoon and I was not prepared for this in case it made me feel the same! This is based around when the parents in We Were Liars were teenagers on the same Summer island. This was good - not as shocking as the original book, but still a big story and reveal. I enjoyed the latter part, but found the beginning a little slow in the set up and it took a bit to get going! 

Silver in the Wood and Drowned Country by Emily Tesh ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is an adult fantasy duology - they are novellas, so reading the two of these is like reading one book (and the audiobook is combined in to one, so I'm counting it that way!) I sometimes struggle with novellas as I always want a little more, but honestly these were great. First the duology starts with Silver in the Wood, and I love the curiosity and folklore-esque type of story this is - the characters are fantastic, and it's a quick little story. Then, the second book follows after the events of the first one and I enjoyed the dynamics of the additional characters and storyline but that we keep circling back to the main two characters. I love the vibes and setting! 

Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne ~ ☆☆ - 2 stars. This is a young adult horror novel that is being released this month. While I enjoyed the premise of this book, I struggled with the actual book - I think that it peaked around 50% and then it back-tracked and had some plot points that should have come first (and it felt a little slow - I ended up skimming the last 15% because I was struggling to keep my motivation). The characters just didn't click for me at all and found some of the writing repetitive (you will read how putrid things smell every few pages). But, I liked what the magic was showing and I would have loved more descriptions and exploration of that area!

Cat's Cradle: The Golden Twine by Jo Rioux ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is a middle grade fantasy graphic novel (this is being released this year, but it does look like it was originally published 10 years ago) - this is the start of a trilogy. This is about a young girl travelling with a merchant camp telling monster stories, and hopefully one day catching/taming them when she finally gets her opportunity! The art is adorable and I was just starting to get in to the story, when it ended. Perfect for someone who likes monster stories, but not scary! I'm not sure I was intrigued enough too pick up book two, but if you enjoy this type of story, it is cute! 

Some Mistakes Were Made by Kristin Dwyer ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is a young adult romance/contemporary fiction. This is set with an unknown event that has separated our two main characters and one has moved away the last year of high school. This is a duelling timeline book and we eventually see the characters come together and find out if what happened will separate them forever. But, the timelines were only a year apart so I found they blurred together a little bit and it focused heavily on miscommunication and it's not my favourite. A little steamier than a typical YA book too (which is fine, just different!)

Monthly Reading Wrap-up - June 2022 and Mid-year Book Freakout Tag

Book Lovers by Emily Henry ~ ☆☆☆☆☆ - 5 stars. This is my first 5 star of the read and it's an adult romance book! I've already written a full review on this here - you can check it out here! This is a "typical" enemies to lovers romance, but it's so much more than that. I love a book that can poke fun at the tropes and in that style, it's really an ode to books and book writing and there is so much love of books sprinkled in this romance I loved it. There is small town vibes, sister dynamics, checklists, working on a project and great banter between the main characters! Lovely - I really enjoyed this. I laughed, I cried - I did it all! 

Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is an adult fantasy and it is the second book in the Between The Earth and Sky series. I won't give much away in regards to the plot, but I don't read a ton of full blown fantasy, and the first book, Black Sun was one of my top books of 2020! The first book ends with a bang, and this one jumps right back in to our characters following the events of the convergence - it is busy, there is a lot going on with our characters and a few new ones and plots introduced. I loved the tension when our main characters came together and the build up to get there! While a lot happened in this book, it felt like it was mostly setting up for the next book (totally fine for a book two) just a little more of a transition/middle book! I cannot wait for book three! 

Return of the Trickster by Eden Robinson ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is an adult fiction series (however, it's often shelved as a young adult fantasy - I think this one gets a little dark for that!) This is third book focusing on our main character Jared, as he navigates his family as well as finding out he is the son of a trickster - cue a ton of magical beings out to get him. Things have been building and everything is coming together for this finale. Jared has more allies, but also more foes in this book. I've enjoyed how different this series is, but this one got almost a touch too convoluted for me and it was a lot to follow what was going on with all the characters. Also, there were a few unsettling scenes in this one but still a really good series overall! 

I would I would call June a good reading month - a little bit of everything, from a 2 to a 5 star read. 

Here's a little refresh of my rating system:

5 Stars: Excellent/Fantastic/Amazing Read 
4.5 Stars: Really Great Read
4 Stars: Great Read 
3.5 Stars: Really Good Book
3 Stars: Good Book 
2.5 Stars: Eh, It was Okay Read
2 Stars: Finished it, but Didn't Enjoy It
1.5 Stars: Not Good at All
1 Star: DNF (Did Not Finish)

What was the best book you read this month?! My favourite of all of these was Book Lovers! 

And since it's half-way through the year, I thought I'd jump in with the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag! There are 13 questions:

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2022. 

Book Lovers - just finished it this month! It was my first 5 Star read of the year! 

2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2022. 

I've only read a couple of sequels so far this year, but I would have to say Trickster Drift - it is the second book in Eden Robinson's Trickster series. The second book was my favourite and it was just good to see Jared come in to his own and navigate everything! I will have a full review of the series now that I just finished number 3! 

3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to. 

So many good ones, but I think Something Wilder by Christina Lauren (excited for a fun, Summer romance!)

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year. 

Sooo many - I think Long Live The Pumpkin Queen by Shea Ernshaw, Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young, Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffen, and Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid! 

5. Biggest disappointment. 

I think maybe the biggest disappointment was Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko - I loooved Raybearer so was expecting so much from the second book and it just didn't go anywhere that I wanted it to and basically repeated book one and I was so sad for all the missed potential. By no means the worst book I've read so far, but the biggest disappointment because of how much I loved the first one! 

6. Biggest surprise. 

Oooh - The Girl Who Fell Beneath The Sea by Axie Oh. While not a debut, it's my first book by this author and it was so stunning to read and I must read more from the author! It's a gorgeous story. 

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

I think I read Talia Hibbert for the first time this year and I enjoyed the first book in the Chloe Brown series (I know she's not new), but first time for me reading her and I think I will enjoy her romances! 

8. Newest fictional crush. 

I haven't gotten many fictional crushes this year, but probably Phelan from Dreams Lie Beneath by Rebecca Ross - I love magic and his dynamic in the book! 

9. Newest favorite character. 

I think maybe Galatea from the self-titled book by Madeline Miller - she focuses on women in history who may not have gotten a voice. So, Galatea was actually a statue who was turned human, but her husband is jealous and possessive and she takes her fate in to her own hands! 

10. Book that made you cry. 

I can cry fairly often in books, but probably One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid - oh man, I've written a full review on this but think first husband goes missing, years later you fall back in love and are about to get married, and boom your first husband has been found lost at sea and is coming home. It's heartbreaking but also lovely in typical TJR fashion. 

11. Book that made you happy. 

Probably again Book Lovers, the amount of times I laughed from the banter and the sibling dynamics was perfect - it was hilarious and I just enjoyed reading it so much! 

12. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received) 

Hello, Daughter of the Moon Goddess - it's so stunning and I cannot wait to read this and it's upcoming sequel right away! 

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Always so many books to read - really hoping to read a backlist from some of my favourite authors, so Julie Murphy, Cherie Dimaline, Adrienne Young and Fredrik Backman (too many to list!)

What's your favourite book of the year so far? 

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