June 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

Image by Ben White

June started out wonderfully. I went to the beach twice with my family and it's that type of relaxing on the weekends I need to prioritize. I finished off my Summer semester which I was happy to be done with. Then, life got shittier. But, that's life. It's always nice to know I have my mom to have my back which worries me when I move out next year. What am I going to do without her? I guess because of this, I started reading like crazy. The last two weeks of June. I read nine books! I completed my theme challenge of family reads which I'm so happy about. Overall, in terms of books, it was a good reading month.

I read two contemporary romances, one contemporary fiction, one historical fantasy, two retellings, two fantasy horrors, one mystery, two middle grade, and one manga which is a total of twelve books! Nine of them were on my tbr list. I started adding a good amount of books to my tbr list since I wanted to be less restricting in my reading. As a result my tbr list went from 189 books to 200 books to be read. With this in mind, I think I'll get my list down to 150 books this year. I'm sure it'll shoot up as I look at new releases for the upcoming year in December. But, I still want to make an effort to read books off my list.

Love √† la Mode was my first read and first Paris read of the summer. The romance became tedious instead of fun throughout a good middle portion of the book. It got tiresome with the two not communicating with each other on how they feel. I understand that this is something that happens in others stories but it was more eye roll worthy than cute. It's too bad because the beginning was promising and the ending was well done. I wish the moments in the beginning and ending of the book was translated better throughout the middle of the book. I also would have liked more food related scenes in the kitchen.

Enchantée was wonderful! It had a few flaws but I enjoyed all the themes it covered without being too subtle. My review of this wonderful book is right here. Also, this happened to be my second Paris read.

My Plain Jane was a highly anticipated retelling in part because it was a Jane Eyre retelling as well as one of the writers was Cynthia Hand. I liked that Charlotte Bronte and her character Jane Eyre were friends in this book. I love retellings and stories with ghosts so this book started off well for me. I think the length of the book is what lowered my rating. I know Jane Eyre is long but I would have enjoyed this book if it was more condensed. It's for the younger end of teens as well which I didn't mind too much. Overall a really fun, quick paced read that could have been shorter.

The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow is a book written by the bloggers over @ The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow. I've been following Jess and Stephanie since I think almost if not the beginning of my time blogging. Almost eight years! I was initially worried I wasn't going to like the story since children/middle grade books have been very hit or miss with me lately. But, there was no reason to because I honestly enjoyed the story so much! I'm surprised with where they went with the characters and plot. It is a wonderful friendship and mystery story. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel in the future. I kind of would like a prequel as well.

Stef Soto, Taco Queen was my first family theme read. The immigrant family working hard to have a small family business was a nice premise. I admit that this story moved me at times however, most of the things that transpired were predictable and easy. The father saying Orale every five seconds was a bit bothersome as well. I did relate to the MC since her parents are protective and I enjoyed the descriptions of food.

When I started reading Sweetness and Lightning, I decided to not worry about deviating from my set tbr list. Whatever I wanted to read at the moment was going to be it. This happened to be another family read as well. A cute read. The character's are so over dramatic and the over the top about food which for some reason I don't mind. I guess it feels right in this story especially since it's a manga. The little girl reminded me of Ponyo in a way because of her dramatic ways. The cooking of the food was fun but I could easily get lost since it isn't food I am familiar with. There is a glossary at the end which I appreciate it but even if I can't follow along exactly with their cooking it's still fun to read. I do worry about getting annoyed with their dramatization of everything in their future as well as the teenage girl like the father in the future. If she does, I hope it is handled well.

A Spoonful of Poison was another one of the books I just picked up because I wanted to. All the books were from now on. This is my first Agatha Raisin story so it might make more sense that I rated it low. I enjoyed Agatha even if she is an unlikable character. There were some funny lines in the writing and the writing itself was good. I think I just got lost with all the characters. There was so much happening in the story, maybe too much, that took away from the main murder. Yes, I said main murder. Again, there was a lot happening. I may have liked this better if I had started from the beginning but although I liked Agatha - there is so much that I can take of her. So Agatha, the many storylines, and the many characters are the reason I rated this low. Otherwise it was a nice time.

I picked up Every Heart a Doorway because I've been wanting to read a bunch of short books. It just feels satisfying reading short books and I tend to find them very appealing. My favorite book so far in the year was a short book and BooksandLala enjoys this series so why not? Easily got sucked in this world of fantasy and horror. I did find it strange that it had elements of acceptance, a character is asexual and the other is transgender, but also had characters wanting to go back to their portal world. The portal world in question was wicked and they thought it was fine to dissect/kill people. Otherwise, I really loved this story. I don't know where the next book in the series will take me and that's exciting.

The Red Notebook is my last Paris read. I didn't realize this was going to be a romance. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the story. There were lots of moments of oh, no!, what are you doing?, and will they ever meet? I didn't love that this ended being a romance though since Laurent made some weird judgement calls that went over the line. I would have preferred the story being shaped a little differently because of that. I did enjoy the writing and the characters. I was intrigued throughout The Red Notebook. I might take a look at Laurain's other books especially since I'm apparently into reading books set in France as of late.

Spin was an ARC I wanted to read. It was my third and final family read. A YA book worth reading. No romance and no need for one. Just a story about family, music, and being brave. Highly recommended! A longer review to come soon.

If I'm Being Honest was probably my most anticipated read for the year. Really happy to have read this. Has some flaws like more of telling and not showing Cameron's feelings. Like she would logically talk about wanting her dad's approval and knowing it's ridiculous but maybe I didn't need to know as much? I don't know. Overall I enjoyed this story. It made me happy and made me cry. Its an easy, heartfelt teen read.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones like the first book in the series, Every Heart a Doorway, had a clear lesson to be learned. Jack and Jill have been told what they are going to be and who they are. It's all about gender conformity and how that is harmful. Everyone is their own person. I kind of like the way the story is told in this way but also I rather you show and not tell me that this is wrong. I also would have liked more time with both characters. Jack seemed boring in this one when she was more calculating and plain awesome in the first book. Jill was whatever. I would have liked to see how she bonded to her master. Just could have been a bit better.

What did you read in June?
How have you been spending your Summer so far?


  1. I felt the same way about Love a la Mode! The romance kind of killed the book for me.


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