June has been a great month for me book-wise because it is the month in which I took the leap to become a book blogger! I have been on Goodreads since 2010 I think and an active reviewer there for maybe four years now so you would have thought I would have gotten on the blogging train a bit more quickly. But better late than never I guess!
I started June with an eARC from NetGalley, The Centre of the Universe by Ria Voros and this was an extremely positive read for me. I thoroughly enjoyed how it explored the sometimes difficult relationships between mothers and daughters. It was a very entertaining and engrossing YA read and I rated it four stars.
The next book I read was another eARC but this time an adult fiction. It was Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal. This was a Pride and Prejudice retelling set in Pakistan circa 2001 and was a very light hearted and enjoyable look at Pakistani cultures and traditions regarding relationships and marriages. It was terrifically funny and intelligently written and I rated it a positive three and a half stars
The ARCs kept coming in early June and next up was Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano. The book follows the story of a plane crash with just a single survivor, 12 year old Eddie who after the flight chooses to be called Edward. It unfolds over two time periods; the events that occurred on the flight and the storylines of its passengers, and then following Edward as he comes to terms with what his survival truly means to him and to the world at large. I really wanted to love it and had thought that I would find it deeply moving but sadly I found the writing to be in too much of a detached style for my personal taste and I rated it just two stars
I next read my book group’s June read which was Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I am sad to say that I did not really like this book at all and was quite disappointed as only a few weeks prior I had read an eARC of Recursion by the same author and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think reading the books in such a short space of time hampered my enjoyment as I noticed many repetitive plot devices that Crouch used. I also found the characters in Dark Matter to be very bland, the science quite redundant and thusly rated the book just one and a half stars.
Next up was my first five star read of the month, I heart Hawaii by the brilliant Lindsey Kelk. It was simply everything I was looking for from the final book in her long running I heart series and couldn’t give it less than my maximum rating. You can check out my blog review here.
After that things went a little downhill. Firstly I read the adult speculative science fiction Emily Eternal by M.G. Wheaton which, although started quite well, simpered out to a lacklustre and overly melodramatic ending. I rated it two stars.
Next up was an eARC of The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez which broke my heart for all the wrong reasons with it’s ill-conceived ending that did not treat the topic of infertility with the due care it deserves. You can check out my blog review here.
But then things got a whole lot better and I read an eARC of the brilliant Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia which I awarded a maximum five stars to. I will have a review of it up on my blog closer to its publication date at the end of July.
I followed that up with the incredibly fascinating A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes which is a retelling of the Trojan War but from the perspective of the female characters. You can check out my blog review here. I awarded it four stars.
It was back to NetGalley and an eARC for Lucy Vine’s Are We Nearly There Yet. I read this based on the recommendation of one of my favourite light fiction authors Lindsey Kelk and I am pleased to say that I was not let down. The book was very funny but with this beautifully emotional core. A very satisfying four star read. You can check out my blog review here.
I then read my only non-fiction for the month, The Gendered Brain: The New Neuroscience That Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain by Gina Rippon. I adore science non-fiction and this book was 100% fascinating to me. It was written in an incredibly accessible manner and really made short work of dispelling problematic gendered stereotypes with peer-reviewed science fact. A highly recommended four star read.
I then had the pleasure to read an eARC of the paperback release of Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. This is a book that almost defies categorising in a specific genre as it is part contemporary, part science fiction and part a sociopolitical commentary on modern life. I gave it four and a half stars and you can read a review of it on my blog here.
Then it was time for my third and final five star read of the month. This was the eARC of Lie With Me by Philippe Besson and translated by Molly Ringwald (yes *that* Molly Ringwald). It was a beautifully emotional love story partly inspired by the real life of the author I believe. You can read a review of it on my blog by clicking here.
Next up was a book that had been on my TBR for ages, The Muse by Jessie Burton. I just emotionally connected to her prose so easily and lost myself completely to the story. I cannot wait to read more from this author in the future. I rated it four and a half stars.
My last eARC of the month was the romantic contemporary The Love Solution by Ashley Croft. Sadly I found this one to be a little too bland and much too similar to many light fiction reads that I have read before and I rated it two and a half stars.
I then tackled Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, a previous winner of the Booker Prize and a book that had been on my TBR for years! Sadly I didn’t enjoy it that much and found it quite the drudgery to read and even mixing things up by listening to some of its audiobook version did not help me to enjoy it any more. I rated it two stars. You can read a review of it on my blog by clicking here.
The last book that I completed reading during the month of June was The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. Sadly I did not really enjoy it and found the writing to be much too stilted and I only rated it one and a half stars. You can read a review of it on my blog here.
And that is it for the month of June! A varied month of reading indeed and, if I have counted correctly, seventeen books read this month so quite a good month’s reading really. I am currently reading an eARC of The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow and am very much enjoying it so far. Let me know if you’ve read any of the same books this month or indeed how many books you read this June in the comments below.