2020 is halfway over.
If you’re in the U.S. and over 18, check that you’re registered to vote. Then double check. And be prepared to vote not just in the presidential elections, but your local ones too, because your local elections can be more important than the big ones, because those can directly impact where you live.
I read more books in June than I had anticipated, but they were all fairly short? And there were a lot of contemporary romances. And not many of these books were on my actual June TBR (yay mood reading!).
I read 16 books this month, with 10 books, five audiobooks and 1 graphic novel, over 5,395 pages.
It wasn’t an incredibly diverse month, as seven of the 16 were written by authors of color, and I kinda failed Pride month by only reading six books with queer characters—and I DNFed several f/f YA books, mainly because I just was not feeling the angst or the anything.
First off—four five-star books?! What even was this month??
Juliet Takes a Breath was the anti-racist feminist manifesto that I needed, and I wish I had picked it up last year when I first got the ARC, because damn this book is fantastic. Definitely a must-read, although I do disagree with the classification. It’s not YA. Juliet is a rising sophomore in college. It reads like a New Adult novel because…it is a New Adult novel.
Tomorrow Will Be Different was just…wow. I’m almost tempted to move to Delaware just so I can vote for Sarah McBride, who is a fantastic woman and activist. This is definitely a book to read for trans voices and also in the fight for trans equality. She pulls no punches, and it will make you laugh and cry (and cry, and cry, and cry—don’t look at her Twitter for early June).
I also read two books that prominently featured houses (of all things) although they were radically different. The House in the Cerulean Sea was a soft queer masterpiece that was an analogy on racism and systemic discrimination, and it had a 40-year-old gay protagonist who was a social worker. It was Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children done right. Mexican Gothic, on the other hand, was—just fucking read this book. Just read it. I can’t say much more (and my upcoming review will be bland as hell) because so many twists, turns and gothic atmosphere.
Lots of four stars this month!
One to Watch was the semi-trashy-but-kinda-deep-and-100%-riveting reads that I love. It’s good, it’s dishy, and it’s the reason I enjoy reading about the drama of reality tv shows but don’t like actually watching the tv shows themselves. However, serious trigger warnings abound: there is a lot of fat-shaming (ultimately this is a book on body positivity, but the MC goes through hell).
Along the same vein of semi-trashy-but-kinda-deep were The Royal We and it’s long-awaited sequel, The Heir Affair. I can’t begin to describe how much I loved the first book, and the second one is even better. If you were as avidly tuned into Megxit as I was (#teamMeghan) and slobbered over all of the Prince William cheating rumors, then why haven’t you picked these books up yet?
Six Angry Girls and Clap When You Land were both solid reads that I felt could have been five-stars with just a little tweaking. Both excellent, both queer as hell, just missing that little something extra. Party of Two was probably my favorite book in The Wedding Date series, and I think it’s because Olivia and Max deliberately went about setting up a relationship instead of spending 80% of the book denying their feelings.
The Broken Kingdoms by NK Jemisin was fantastic, and I liked it even better than The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Definitely a trilogy to check out, particularly if you enjoy high fantasy. And, because this is *technically* a companion novel, you don’t really need to read the first one. There are some key details (and one of the plot points hinges on the stuff of book one) but most of the previous happenings are well described.
You Deserve Each Other was a solid four stars in the end, but that beginning (okay, half the book) was two stars and had me questioning why I was continuing. Naomi was a shallow-ass hypocrite, and Nicholas was…bland.
Real Men Knit had the potential to be so damn good, but it faltered early and never picked itself back up. Also, the book spent easily 80% setting up everything, and only hit its stride in the last 20%. Still a solid, enjoyable contemporary romance, but it was missing something.
Danger Close was…well, I have ~feelings~. I don’t know if I’ll actually write a book on this one, but let’s just say that it didn’t hit as hard or become as introspective as I would have liked. The author was basically like, “I was one of the guys! They can say sexist things around me and it’s cool because they say I’m cool! Cool!”…without…delving into any of the nuance of the deeply ingrained misogyny that runs rampant in the armed forces (*flashing red light* vertical integration!). She also slid past talking about the implications of the US’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. However, mad props to her for being a phenomenal Kiowa pilot. That shit takes guts.
Witchlight had a lot of potential and a fairly cool story-idea, but I felt that it wobbled hard on the execution. I liked that it did have some pretty awesome fat-rep, but I felt that the witch (forgot her name) was tokenized by her skin color, and there were some depictions early on of her that felt dehumanizing and othering.
What were your favorite reads this month?