June & July Book Haul & Wrap Up

Hellooo, once again! I thought that my posts would look a lot better with a featured image, so I created one. I’m so excited to make these because they are super cute. Anyway, June has been such an excellent reading month for me. A month filled with so much adventure and romance. Here we go!

These are the books that I’ve gotten this month:

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(Linked to Goodreads) 

Lady Midnight

The Rose and the Dagger 

The 8 books that I read in June are:

Stars Above – Rating: 3.5 Stars

I was so excited to read this when I got my hands on the book. When I found out that it came with an epilogue that I needed to read, I couldn’t wait until it arrived at the library. We go to see so much backstory with most of the characters that we know and love, right before they’re introduced. Because of this, the Lunar Chronicles world is greatly explored. My favourite stories would be Thorne’s story, Winter’s story, and the epilogue. In my opinion, any story involving Thorne will always be a great one. Winter’s story gave us insight to more about her character. Compared to the other characters, I think that Winter has the shortest amount of time in the book. With this short story, we get to see in greater detail as to what made her wanting to stop using her powers. I also loved how cute the epilogue was. Seeing the whole gang together one last time was the perfect way to end the series. It’s over and done, but I will always love the Lunar Chronicles.

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods – Rating: 4 Stars

These two books made it possible for me to love Greek Mythology even more. With Greek Gods, I knew some of the stories going into the book, but the way that it’s told in Percy’s voice made it all the more entertaining. I’ve never laughed so much in a book before. This book showcases how awful and childish the gods and goddesses are, and I absolutely loved it. Greek Gods highlighted how much I already knew and educated me in how much I didn’t know. For example, I knew the highlights of the story of Persephone, but I didn’t know how much Zeus and Helios were involved. I think my favourite stories are the ones about the creation of the world, Aphrodite’s, Persephone’s, Artemis and Apollos’, and Hephaestus’. But now that I think of it, the whole book was amazing. The illustrations we extremely on point as well. That goes for both of the books.

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes – Rating: 4.5 Stars

You can’t read one without the other, so right after I finished Greek Gods, I picked up Greek Heroes and loved it even more. Going into this book, there were some heroes that I didn’t know about. There were some names like Atalanta and Orpheus that were familiar, but I wasn’t entirely sure what their stories were about. If I had to choose between these two Percy Jackson books, I think that I liked Greek Heroes better. With this novel, the tales were abundant with adventure, love, survival, and quests rather than its counterpart about the Greek gods; this made it very interesting with each of the stories. My favourite of the 12 tales are Psyche, Otrera, Daedalus, Atalanta, some parts of Theseus, Cyrene, and Hercules’ story (even thought it was lengthy). Reading these in Percy’s voice once again, was an enjoyable experience. If you’re looking for a great time, I highly recommend these two books.

The Raven King – Rating: 4 Stars

The Raven King was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I had no idea what to expect; the only thing I was sure about was that I was excited to see my favourite characters again. Going back into the world of ley lines, dead Welsh kings, and out of the ordinary powers took a little bit fully immerse myself in the strange atmosphere. The writing, as usual, was hypnotising. We had a lot of questions answered, but I felt like I didn’t get enough closure; I still had few unanswered questions that was floating around in my head. One of my favourite things about the series as a whole, is that the relationship between the Raven Boys and Blue is so strong. They care for one another so deeply and think of themselves as family. There is a new addition to the group, but I wish that he was introduced earlier in the series to make his transition into the gang smoother. I live for the character interactions. The friendship between Blue and Ronan was one of my favourite things to read; everything that came out of their mouths was pure gold. I think the only gripe that I have with this book is that it just ends. There is so much build up throughout the whole series and it ends just like that. I wanted so much more. I wanted to see more of Blue and Gansey interactions, Adam and Ronan together, and Noah in general. I love the series so much but I wish that we got more of a goodbye from everyone. The Raven King wasn’t the best finale that I’ve read, but it was still good. I’ll never forget the fantastic Raven Cycle.

Love & Gelato – Rating: 3 Stars

I thought that Love & Gelato was a great fluffy book to read to get out of my mythology kick. It was incredibly cute, and a quick read. That being said, I couldn’t connect with this novel very much. I thought the plot involving Lina’s mom’s journal about her time in Tuscany and the whole mystery behind it was very cool. One of the strongest points of this novel is the setting; you can perfectly visualise the endless scenery the author paints with her words. The characters felt relatable, but I didn’t care about them very much. I picked up on small hints of instalove. The romance felt bland; there was barely any chemistry between the two leads as lovers. I would have much rather have them as friends. Some of the side characters felt extremely flat, and a few were merely used as plot devices. All of that negativity aside, the book was still a cute read. Anyone looking for a fluffy contemporary should pick this book up.

Hamilton the Revolution – Rating: 5 Stars

My two favourite things coming together: Hamilton and books. The Hamiltome was a nice change in my reading pace. I absolutely love the musical, so I had to read this as soon as possible. Seeing how the play came together from the first idea all the way up to opening night was a journey in itself. The book was filled with all of the behind the scenes work, rough drafts, costume designs, and some scans from Lin’s notebooks. It really put in perspective how much time and effort it took just to start the development of the whole production. The annotations and footnotes of the song lyrics really made the book for me. While I loved seeing the behind the scenes pictures and cut songs from the musical, Lin’s annotations brought his thoughts and little comments out into the light and showed me what his thought process was like when he was writing. Just hearing Lin’s voice through the pages made me really happy. I feel like any big fans of the musical should give this book a read through just to appreciate it more.

The Fill-In Boyfriend – Rating: 3.5 Stars

The Fill-In Boyfriend was one of the fastest books I have read this month. It literally felt like I flew through the pages because of how quickly I was reading. This book was also an incredibly cute contemporary read and really enjoyed it. I am absolute trash for the ‘fake relationship’ trope so this book hooked me right from the get go. I thought that the characters were very real and relatable for the most part. I had some fluctuating good/not so good feelings towards Gia. She was shallow, selfish, and most of her thoughts and concerns revolved around boys.  Some of the things she would say or do made me roll my eyes a great deal, but she really grew into a better person by the end. Bec was so incredibly real and straight to the point. I think she was my favourite character. I also really loved Fake Bradley ( I want to keep his name a mystery). I love it when characters have hobbies and other interests going for them outside of the main romance. Speaking of the romance, I could actually feel it coming through the pages. Gia and Fake Bradley had so much chemistry I was so here for it. The one thing that frustrated me the most was the miscommunication and lying that went down. So much could have been avoided if things were explained. I loved how entertaining this book was.

The Darkest Part of the Forest – Rating: 3 Stars

I think that The Darkest Part of the Forest is my first book in the fae genre. I typically don’t reach for fae books as often as other people, so I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. My favourite aspect about the book was that anything involving magic and all things unusual was the norm in the town of Fairfold. I am so used to seeing stories about outside world being clueless about the existence of other-worldly beings, that reading about a town that knows about fairy folklore and superstitions was very refreshing for me. I didn’t have an attachment to any of the characters, but the story was very interesting. When the plot got closer to the end, I never felt like the characters were in any danger. I don’t know, but I just found myself not caring as much as I normally do. And I hated feeling that way! I wanted to care, but there wasn’t much for me to grasp onto. There were some plot twists and character reveals that I greatly appreciated; they highlighted parts of the story and made it more interesting. This book was good, but not very memorable.

THANK YOU PHILIP FOR GETTING THIS BOOK ON MY BIRTHDAY. YOU’RE GREAT

And now for my July book haul

The local bookstore had a buy 3 for $10 deal on classics. The new covers were gorgeous and the deal for them was great, so why pass up the golden opportunity to score some great books?

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(Linked to Goodreads)

Wuthering Heights

1984

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Books read in July:

 

Ready Player One – Rating: 4.5 Stars

This was such a dream to read. I heard about this book all the way back in 2012, but didn’t pick it up until now. What was I thinking?!? It was like nerd heaven. I loved the movie and pop culture references that were all throughout the book. Since the virtual reality was an MMO, it hit really close to home and brought me back to the days where I would play Maplestory for hours. I loved Wade as our main character. He is funny, witty, and extremely average; it was like he could’ve been anyone of my friends from school. His life in the real world sucks. Wade’s parents are dead, he lives with his cold, bitter aunt and her abusive boyfriend, and he isn’t doing the best in school. But no matter how crappy his situation is, he doesn’t spend the book complaining about how bad he has it. He finds solace in OASIS and makes it his mission to find the hidden easter egg. Wade’s relationships with his friends was also great to see. His bonds with Aech and Art3mis were so strong; they all worked well together and individually.  Another thing I loved about this story were the worlds that took place within it. The contrast between reality and virtual reality, OASIS, highlighted the highs and lows of the two worlds. With OASIS, you can escape the cruel reality that is life and remake yourself into a different person. You are able to use magic, go to school, and explore different planets reminiscent of Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and so much more. The possibilities of what you can do are endless! I do wish that we got to expand on the real world and how flawed it became when the world turned ugly. I’m so excited to see this movie on the big screen!

A Court of Thorns and Roses – Rating: 4 Stars

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. When it first came out last year, I avoided it like the plague because of how much hype was surrounding it. I was intrigued by the premise of being a Beauty and the Beast retelling (I am a sucker for fairytale retellings) but it revolved around fae. And like I said earlier in the Darkest Parts of the Forest mini review, I don’t really reach for that genre, especially with how let down I felt reading that book. When the ACOMAF sequel came out earlier this year, I couldn’t go days without someone raving about how good it is. I went in with low expectations. When I finally read it, I understood the hype. The words were so addictive; I didn’t know how to stop reading. I was so invested in the story and the characters. For the most part, I enjoyed the characters. As much as I like Feyre, there were so many moments where I facepalmed myself because of her stupid decisions. She keeps throwing herself into danger and deliberately disobeys directions. I mean, she is supposed to be a hunter! How has she survived all these years with her irrationality? All of that aside, I admired how strong willed she is. Feyre cares a great deal about her family, and is willing to do whatever it takes for love.  I thought that Tamlin was an okay character. His awkward attempts at flattery towards Feyre at the beginning of the novel had me laughing so hard. He obviously cares about Feyre and will do anything to protect her. Their scenes together when their walls would come down was fun to read. (BUT HOW IS THIS BOOK A YA NOVEL? ESPECIALLY WITH CERTAIN PARTS. I MEAN-). Rhysand is hands down the most interesting character in this book. He has so many layers to his character and is so incredibly complex. But as much as I do love him, I do not condone his actions towards Feyre; most of the stuff that he does to her is not okay. The beginning half of the plot was slower compared to the latter half in order to build the world and the relationships, but once you hit the last 30%, it really kicks it into high gear. I am very excited to see how things will play out in the sequel.

Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reading this book made me so happy. I cannot gush enough about how cute it was to read. I literally cannot remember the last time that I’ve loved a book so quickly; by the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. The characters were extremely relatable and had me laughing out loud throughout the entire novel. While being hilarious and lighthearted, the book also goes about serious topics such as sexual identity, relationships between family and friends, and stepping out of your comfort zone. I am in love with all of the characters and the banter between them; you could really feel the chemistry. The diversity with characters’ sexualities and ethnicities was a breath of fresh air as well. Getting to know what kind of person Blue through the emails with Simon was so great. Although they were anonymous to each other, their email exchanges were safe zones to talk about whatever they were comfortable with without judgement; they had trust in each other even if they didn’t know who the person was. Simon and Blue were each others’ support systems. Seeing the bond forming between them was one of my favourite parts in the book. IT WAS ALSO SO VERY CUTE. I highly recommend this book. One of my favourite contemporary books of the year so far!

Legend – Rating: 3.5 Stars

After what seems like 10 years, I finally picked up Legend. I have read The Young Elites by Marie Lu, so I knew that I was a fan of her writing. The plot was so action packed and fast paced; it has been a while since I’ve read anything like it. I tend to stay away from dystopian books because of how fast I burned out reading them all when I was younger. I loved how the book was was told in dual perspectives; this allowed us to see the world through June’s eyes as a military prodigy living in the richer part of the Republic, and through Day’s eyes as the Republic’s most wanted criminal living around the slums. Both characters have their own problems that takes us readers through a spiral of action, but once their paths intersect, we are thrown into a whole new situation. I really like June and Day. They are the types of characters that function perfectly on their own and carry their own weight, but also work great when put together as well. I think one of the things that kind of threw me off was how young June and Day were. I don’t know if it was just me, but I found it hard to believe that the Republic’s most wanted criminal was a 15 year old boy. As much as I like June and Day together, I thought that their romance felt rushed; so much went on within a couple of pages. There are two more books in the series, so I’m not too angry about it. Although the plot was a little predictable, it didn’t stop me from loving the book and devouring the first half in a couple of hours. I can’t wait until I get my hands on Prodigy!

And there you have it! My June and July wrap ups and book hauls. These two months were fabulous reading months for me. I can’t wait to see what I plan on reading for the following months. As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!

 

 

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