Happy July, everyone!
I hope everyone had a wonderful June. Is it just me or did the month seem to last forever? I can’t tell if it’s because my work days felt so long and I also read a surprising amount that the days seemed to drag on.
I had a pretty good reading month despite it all, reading about 13 books this month – though this includes 2 graphic novels and 2 short stories. And a surprising amount of my reads were 4-5 stars so I’m really happy about that!
★ Mystery/Thrillers ★
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé ★★★★★
I said in my list of anticipated mystery releases that I was super excited for this, and gosh it did not disappoint. I loved the pacing, the character, the social issues it touched upon, and all the clues woven in. You can read more of my thoughts on goodreads but, overall, I really loved it.
— content warnings: racism, outing, homophobia, gaslighting and bullying, referenced drug use & past suicide attempt.
The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe ★★★★
This came highly recommended to me from multiple people, and at last I finally read it! I was worried that my expectations were too high after reading so many wonderful reviews, but it really was an amazing ride of a book. There wasn’t one slow bit, I was entranced the entire time and fully invested in where the story was going to take me.
— content warnings: violence, domestic abuse, child abuse, implied child sexual assault, gun violence.
★ Contemporaries ★
— content warnings: depictions of eating disorders and hospitalisation.
— content warnings: view in my review
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo ★★★★
This is one that’s been on my tbr for a while, and I’ve been eager to read it ever since I read Poet X by Acevedo. It was so good, I loved the alternating POVs, the lyrical verses, and the complicated sibling relationship.
— content warnings: loss of a family member, sexual harassment, attempted sexual assault.
★ Historical Fiction ★
Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★.5
I’ve been meaning to read this for so long, as I was a big fan of Reid’s other book The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and because I’ve heard only good things about DJATS from my friends. Well, they were all right, because I loved DJATS. It got me out of my book slump because of its’ fast-paced easy to read interview format, and was so interesting start to finish. Plus, Reid really knows how to make complicated and compelling characters.
— content warnings: addiction, alcoholism and drug abuse, references to domestic abuse and abortion.
Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia ★★★★.5
I’ve always enjoyed reading historical fiction thrillers by SMG, and this was another that was amazing. I adored the main character, the quaint but stifling small town setting, and the overall atmosphere and plot. full review on goodreads.
— content warnings: sexual harassment, murder, violence.
Mercury Boys by Chandra Prasad ★★
I received an advanced copy for this and… honestly, it was pretty disappointing. I feel like there was so much potential but the characters and the plot were both underdeveloped. full review on goodreads.
— content warnings: bullying, racism, gaslighting, drug use, suicide attempt.
★ Classics ★
Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs ★★★
Is it cheating to put a 20 page book towards my reading goal? Well, I’m doing it anyway. I’ve always heard about this in pop culture but never read the source material, but I’m glad I did now because it makes for a thrilling short read.
— content warnings: referenced death of a family member.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson ★★★★
Ok so, talk about suspenseful. I was entranced reading this, desperate to find out what happens. Shirley Jackson is great at creating a suspenseful atmosphere in her books, and this was a thrilling ride. Side note: I saw the 2017 movie adaption for this afterwards and it was surprisingly good.
— content warnings: referenced death of family, murder.
★ Sci-fi/Fantasy ★
Ava’s Demon by Michelle Fus ★★★★
One of my best friends is obsessed with this webcomic, and through the kickstarter got their hands on a physical edition of volume one, and then so kindly lent it to me to read! I loved it, the illustrations are so beautiful, and it’s all in colour and so vivid! The story is fascinating, set in a futuristic fantastical world with complex characters. Only volume one has physical copies so I’ll be continuing to read the series online on the website (https://www.avasdemon.com/)
— content warnings: death, cults, blood.
Avi Cantor has Six Months to Live by Sacha Lamb ★★★.75
This was a short read (and available to read for free here!) and I adored it. It covers some difficult topics of suicide ideation and transphobia and bullying, but yet manages to be uplifting. It’s also got some cool fantasy elements, hence why I’ve put it in this section.
— content warnings: transphobia, bullying, suicide ideation.
Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater ★★★.5
I was a big fan of The Raven Cycle when I was younger, and so I was so excited and apprehensive about it’s sequel/spin-off series, The Dreamer Trilogy. I enjoyed the first book in the trio, and Mister Impossible was a decent follow up, but still baffling at times. The characters and the writing are both amazing, and the plot is great but sometimes it feels so little is happening as there’s such a focus on the overwrought writing.
— content warnings: child abuse, car accident, gun violence.
💛 I’ve been really interested in reading more sci-fi novels surrounding climate change after having loved seeing this genre in The Ones We’re Meant to Find. Amanda wrote this great list of books in the cli-fi genre, and I’m eager to check them out soon
💛 Althea was on a roll with some really amazing posts this month – I recommend you check out all of them, but especially their list of recommendations of fantasy books with nonbinary main characters because it’s so lovely to see books with nonbinary rep!
💛 Gauri made this amazing post that lists upcoming Asian books being released this year, and there’s soooo many I’m interested in reading
💛 Bertie posted this really great discussion post about letting queer characters be messy, which I think is such a wonderfully worded post with really important points to consider when reading about queer characters. Personally I think that queer characters are held at such a high standard compared to cishet characters so I’m really glad to see this being discussed.
💛 Cossette wrote a wonderful review for The Poison Heart which made me immediately start reading it (I’m currently a few chapters in and really liking it so far!)
I made a June TBR post at the end of May and, as I expected, I didn’t stick to it as much as I should have, woops. I read about 3/7 of the books on the list, the others I either paused or am still reading (in the case for Gearbreakers and Zara Hossain is Here), so I do hope I get to get through the rest of the list soon.
I’ve also made the decision to stop requesting ARCs for now – I go on netgalley once or twice a month, but I’m taking an actual pause just because it’s very stressful thinking about the ARCs piling up. I currently have around 5 that I need to finish.
I am currently 16 books ahead in my reading goal to read 100 books this year! Honestly, I’m really glad about it because I don’t think I’ll be able to get much reading done in July because work is going to be hectic for a while.
Other than that, I’ll probably start listening to some audiobooks again. If anyone has any audiobook recs, let me know!
Thank you for reading! How was your June?
Have you read any of the books I mentioned?