I had the most wonderful reading month in June. I read 21 books this month and I’m ridiculously proud of myself for doing that. I’ve been feeling a bit slumpy for the past few months but I’m glad to have shaken it off now. I’m now 47 books ahead on my Goodreads challenge and can now almost touch my goal of 100 books. Only 4 books away!! I will probably increase it to 150 books once I do reach that goal. In addition to that, I also celebrated my 1 year blogoversary this month. Thank you to everyone to sent me beautiful messages and I hope you enjoyed my giveaways! Now on to my reading summary for the month.
1. Highly Illogical Behavior – John Corey Whaley
I absolutely loooooved this book. It was my first John Corey Whaley novel but it was so incredible that it’s now one of my new favourites. This book is about an agoraphobic, a girl who will do anything to get into a psychology program, and the power of friendship.
2. The Outliers – Kimberly McCreight
This is a YA mystery/thriller and the first book in a new trilogy (I think?). While it was thrilling and exciting, I found most of it to be kind of boring. The book really dragged and for a large portion of the book nothing at all was happening. Also, it felt like a little bit of a standalone and I’m not sure that I’ll be picking up the next book.
3. Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy – Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters & Brooke Allen
After reading Nimona, I decided to pick up Lumberjanes, which is also by Noelle Stevenson. I didn’t like this as much as Nimona but I thought it was a really fun and adventurous story with beautiful artwork.
4. A Tyranny of Petticoats – Jessica Spotswood
This is an anthology of historical short stories, written by a range of different female authors. It features some super badass ladies and celebrates female strength in history. I really enjoyed most of the stories and would rate them all between 3.5-5 stars.
5. Star Struck – Jenny McLachlan
This was a fun and quick read, with a dark twist. It follows a girl named Pearl, who is a little bit dislikeable and treats those around her poorly. When a new girl at school takes Pearl’s leading role in the school play, she decides to get back at her. Along the way, there’s character development and it’s a little bit of a feel-good book.
6. Every Exquisite Thing – Matthew Quick
This was my very first Matthew Quick book and I absolutely loved the story and writing style. It was poignant, emotional and very relatable. It’s about finding yourself and figuring out who you want to be as a person. I thought the writing was amazing and it had some beautiful poetry in the book.
7. First & Then – Emma Mills
A short and fun novel, featuring Jane Austen and football, First and Then is a perfect book for summer. It has some Pride and Prejudice elements in it, which is kind of a fool-proof formula in my opinion. There’s also a lot of football in this book and, even though I don’t always like sporty contemporaries, I really enjoyed this one. The side characters were fantastic and I enjoyed the reading experience.
8. Adulthood is a Myth: A ‘Sarah Scribbles’ Collection – Sarah Andersen
This book is just full of funny and relatable comics by Sarah Andersen. I devoured this one in about 20 minutes and then reread the whole thing again straight away. It had me laughing out loud and I just thought it was brilliant. I highly recommend it!
9. Girl Against the Universe – Paula Stokes
This book is about a girl with severe anxiety and OCD after being in a traumatic accident. She thinks she brings bad luck to those around her so she avoids being around people or being in public in general. I thought it was a really cute contemporary with lots of wonderful characters. The relationships between them were amazing and I enjoyed the main character’s development and journey in the book.
10. The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl – Melissa Keil
I buddy-read this one with Jeann @ Happy Indulgence. I went into it thinking it was going to be a fun superhero book with lots of baking in it, and I was completely wrong. This is actually a coming-of-age story and, because I had some misguided expectations, I didn’t really enjoy it. I thought it was boring and there was nothing happening in the first half of the book. Definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.
11. The Smell of Other People’s Houses – Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
This was probably my favourite book of the month. It’s set in Alaska in 1970 and follows four protagonists who are each escaping from something. The writing and the setting of the book were amazing and the relationships between the characters were so wonderful that it made me cry multiple times. I highly recommend this one!
12. How it Feels to Fly – Kathryn Holmes
How it Feels to Fly is set at a therapy camp for performers with anxiety. It was a really great look into anxiety and I thought it was very well written. I had some problems with some of the characters but I thought that overall, it was a really enjoyable read.
13. A Hollywood Bride – Nadia Lee
I’ve been following Nadia Lee’s releases for a while now, but her recent books have really disappointed. This book fell completely flat and I did not like it at all.
14. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B – Teresa Toten
This book probably ties with The Smell of Other People’s Houses as my favourite book of the month. I thought it was such a realistic and accurate depiction of OCD and the effect that the disorder has on people. I loved the story and the characters and it was just brilliant.
15. Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet – Charlie N. Holmberg
This is a strange and unique story with magical baking. The main character has the power to infuse emotions and abilities into the baked goods she makes. This was a really interesting idea to me but I thought the story itself was a little bit lacking. There’s not much that happens and the magical baking really doesn’t tie into the plot. I had problems with the characters and it just wasn’t a satisfying read. I’ll have a review of this up on my blog next week.
16. Red Rising – Pierce Brown
I finally picked up Red Rising this month and it didn’t disappoint. It was a really action-packed and intense sci-fi dystopian. I was a little bit surprised by the last half of the book. It went in a direction that I didn’t really expect it to go but I still really enjoyed the reading experience. It was intense and brutal at times but in a super good way.
17. Underwater – Marisa Reichardt
This book is about an agoraphobic and her journey to recovery when she rediscovers the joys of life. This was another great book about anxiety and overcoming obstacles, but I did feel that the romance in the book was a bit problematic. There’s a strong case of insta-love and I thought that the love interest was a bit of a jerk at times. I also didn’t connect with the emotion of the book as much as I thought I would. A full review will be up on Happy Indulgence next week.
18. The Things I Didn’t Say – Kylie Fornasier
This is an Aussie YA novel about selective mutism. The main character isn’t able to speak to anyone other than her family, therapist and close friends. She’s unable to speak in public and this creates some difficulties for her when navigating her daily life. I really liked this book but I didn’t really connect with Piper or her story that much. I also didn’t like the romance and felt that parts of the plot were very tropey.
19. A Season for Fireflies – Rebecca Maizel
I read Rebecca Maizel’s other book Between Us and the Moon last year and enjoyed it. However, this book really fell flat for me. It’s a story about second chances but there were many aspects that were underdeveloped or resolved too quickly. I couldn’t really connect with the characters and I just thought that the book needed to be longer and more polished.
20. The Shell Collector – Anthony Doerr
This is a short story collection by Anthony Doerr and I absolutely loved it. There were so many interesting characters from all around the world and I was emotionally attached to most of them. The writing was beautiful and I could reread these stories over and over. The longer stories were more successful for me and I rated most of them 5 stars.
21. Challenger Deep – Neal Shusterman
This is a story about schizophrenia and it’s told in a very interesting way. I do have to say that the first third of the book was kind of confusing to me but it got better and better as I progressed. I thought it was a poetic and unique look into a disorder that’s very debilitating.
I’ve got my Top Ten Tuesday groove back on now and did four posts:
- 07-06-16: Ten Reasons Why You Should Read A Tyranny of Petticoats
- 14-06-16: Top Ten Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2016
- 21-06-16: Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year
- 28-06-16: Ten Favourite Character Voices
I hope you’ve all had a great reading month in June! Let me know if you’ve read any of the books I read and what you thought of them.