June-July Reading Wrap-Up and Stats
Monthly Stats (YTD)
Books Read (completed): 16 (72)
Total Pages Read: 5,933 (25,407)
Average Rating: 3.80 (4.03)
Average # of Pages per Book: 370.1 (352.9)
1. Beach Read by Emily Henry (361 pages) (5 stars)
This adult romance follows author January who is suffering from writer's block after her father's death and the revelation of his affair. Spending the summer in his beach house, she reconnects with her college rival. The two make a bet to write in each other's genre. This novel, and the relationship at its heart, was beautiful. The novel isn't as lighthearted as the title implies, but I liked how it dealt with its topics.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3294373982
2. Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee (382 pages) (5 stars)
Sirscha is training to become the next royal spy. Her plans are upended when she unleashes her latent magic, discovering she's shamanborn. She now must travel to the Dead Wood to help cull the malevolent souls within. This novel had a really accessible magic system, a really creepy atmosphere, and well crafted characters.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3408094014
3. The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez (400 pages) (5 stars) This adult romance is about an artist, Sloan, who lost her fiancé two years ago. When she finds a stray dog named Tucker she connects with his owner, musician Jason and the two fall in love. This story is incredibly cliche, but the couple has magnetic chemistry and it's a book that makes you feel good.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3435293576
4. Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian (413 pages) (4.5 stars)
This YA historical fiction takes place in New York during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Three teens fall in love while fighting for equal rights. This novel had characters you really felt for and a compelling story. It's only fault was it's semi-awkward pacing. If you're looking for an LGBT+ book then I recommend checking this one out!
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3311530075
5. House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess (431 pages) (4.5 stars)
This YA fantasy follows five noble dragon riders as they compete to see who will become the next emperor/empress. This reads very much like a YA Game of Thrones. It features adventure, politics, and, of course, dragons and is a very fun read.
6. Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith (357 pages) (4.5 stars)
This YA contemporary follows a trans boy named Pony who wants to go stealth at his new school. Things become complicated when he falls for popular cheerleader Georgia. This novel had both adorable and heart wrenching moments. Its characters were equal parts endearing and annoying. This novel does have trigger warnings for transphobia and suicidal ideation.
Book Review: Coming Next Week
7. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (602 pages) (4.25 stars)
This YA sci-fi follows two teens (Ezra and Katie) who 8survive an attack on their plane. They're onboard separate spacecrafts being chased through space while trying to uncover the truth about what's going on with the craft's AI and a mystery sickness that's spreading. As someone who is not a fan of sci-fi I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It is high stakes, unique in its storytelling elements, and overall a wild ride.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3376495014
8. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (306 pages) (4.25 stars)
This YA contemporary/magical realism takes place over the course of sixty seconds inside of a descending elevator. Protagonist Will is on a mission for revenge in the shooting death of his brother...but will he go through with it? This novel was written in verse and is a powerful story about the cycle of violence. Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3373576068
9. Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim (351 pages) (4.25 stars)
This YA fantasy is the conclusion to the Blood of Stars duology that began with Spin the Dawn. The series is about a girl named Maia who wants to become the imperial tailor and who desperately tries to save her divided, war torn kingdom. While not as solid as the first novel, this one was a satisfying conclusion.
Review Coming Soon!
10. Enchantée by Grita Trelease (434 pages) (4 stars)
This YA historical fiction/fantasy is set in 1798 in Paris, France. It follows orphan Camille who uses magic to provide for herself and her younger sister. This novel is very atmospheric (at times gritty and at others glamorous) and an interesting magic system. It's main flaw was its awkward pacing.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3352532158
11. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black (305 pages) (3.25 stars)
This YA fantasy is the third and final installment of the Folk of Air trilogy which follows Jude, a human girl whose grown up in Faerieworld. Unfortunately this book was the weakest in the trilogy. That being said, the books are still absolutely worth the read are some of my favorite YA fantasy I've read this year thus far.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3365083669
12. The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake (391 pages) (3 stars)
This YA contemporary follows Violet as she spends the summer in the New England coastal town of Lyric. She searches for a shipwreck her ancestor survived. While I liked the setting and the friend group, I found the Violet to be selfish and generally unpleasant. Additionally, the pacing was slow.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3348268281
13. The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning (348 pages) (rated 2.75 stars)
This YA fantasy is inspired by The Princess Bride. It follows Princess Amarande whose stable boy love Luca has been kidnapped in a plot to force her into a marriage contract. It had some positive attributes such as solid world building and story. However, it fell flat with its inconsistent main character, awkward pacing, strange narrative style, and forgettable secondary antagonists.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3277753962
14. Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (176 pages) (2.5 stars)
This adult sci-fi graphic novel follows a man and woman from warring planets who have a child together and are being chased by bounty hunters. While the illustrations were beautiful I had problems with the story and the way it was executed. Overall, though, I found the story bloated and the couple the reader is supposed to root for to be utterly intolerable and incompatible.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3374152194
15. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (359 pages) (2 stars)
This YA contemporary is a coming of age LGBT+ story. It follows 15 year old loner Aristotle whose family doesn't address its secrets; his older brother in prison and his father's trauma from the war. He befriends fellow loner Dante, but is there something more between them than friendship? Unfortunately, I didn't connect with the writing style and found the relationship between Ari and Dante to be unbelievable.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3277752399
16. Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner (317 pages) (2 stars)
This adult romance is about a screenwriter/producer (Jo) and her assistant (Emma) who stir up romance rumors. I appreciated the diverse cast of characters and Jo and Emma did have good chemistry. That being said, there were moments that felt uncomfortable and inappropriate and Emma grated on me as a character.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3300133041