Hi everyone! I was running through my recent blog posts to update my post tracker, and I realized that I completely forgot to do my June wrap up! So while this is coming much later than I usually would post it, I figured it’s not too late to still do a separate wrap up for June!
Before we get into the books themselves, like always, let’s cover my monthly stats! In June, I read a total of 8 books which came in at 3026 total pages (including audiobooks) with 40.2 hours into audiobooks. My genre breakdown was: 4 fantasy, 2 horror, and 2 sci-fi, with 4 audiobooks, 3 eBooks, and 1 physical book. 6 of the books were adult and 2 were YA. My average rating was 4 stars, with my actual ratings being – two 5 stars, one 4.5 star, three 4 stars, one 3.5 star, and one 2 star read.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid – ★★☆☆☆
So I like to think that I’m a pretty smart person, but I just could NOT understand this book. I’ve never been a big fan of books that are open to interpretation and in general, I like more straightforward, here’s what’s happening kind of books, which this is definitely not and I didn’t realize that going into it. Don’t get me wrong, I completely get why there are a lot of people who really enjoy this book, and the writing was great, but when there’s an entire website that people link in their reviews where people discuss what they think happened and what everything meant, then that’s not really the book for me. And to be honest, I’m not even sure I can really say with any certainty what actually happened in this book. So give it a shot if it sounds interesting to you, but do so with caution.
The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne – ★★★★☆.5
This was my first Rapunzel retelling, and it was a great read! I do have a full review available since I did read this as an ARC, so check that out for my full thoughts! I loved the character of Haelewise, who becomes infamous for being Mother Gothel and locking Rapunzel in a tower but in this case, the story isn’t what it appears to be. The writing was beautiful, and I loved how this felt like if cottagecore was a medieval fantasy story. I did have some issues with the pacing and Haelewise’s inner monologue being so repetitive, but it was still a great read.
Related: The Book of Gothel Review
How High We Go In the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu – ★★★☆☆.5
I picked this book up purely based off the cover and knowing that it was about a plague brought about by climate change, and I didn’t really know what to expect, but I enjoyed it, it just wasn’t something that I feel like I’ll remember many specifics of. This is a series of interconnected stories that span quite a long time. One of the stories that I do remember and will probably remember for a while is the one set in the euthanasia theme park, which was quite the read. A lot of the stories were kind of vague, and I was really expecting more of a sci-fi style story where this is more of a slice of life, here’s-how-life-goes-on kind of story. And I’m really not sure how I felt about the ending and how it connected back to the beginning of the story.
The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher –★★★★☆
After I read and really enjoyed reading What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher, I knew I wanted to read more by the author! I ended up choosing the audiobook of The Hollow Places for my next read. I loved how creepy this was, and Kingfisher has a great way of combining horror with humor! I found myself chuckling at some of the dialogue, and I just overall enjoyed this story! Now I just need to figure out which T. Kingfisher book to read next! I’m thinking of trying their fantasy book Swordheart next maybe.
For the Throne by Hannah Whitten – ★★★★★
No surprise here, but I ADORED For the Throne just as much as I loved For the Wolf! Neve’s story arc was fun to read, and I loved how her relationship with Solmir developed over the course of the book. And of course, the sibling bond between her and Red is always a bonus. It was nice that we also still got to follow Red and Eammon, who are two of my favorite characters. And as always, this book had such beautiful writing! Hannah Whitten is definitely an auto buy author for me now, and I’m very excited for her next book, the Foxglove King!
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir – ★★★★★
I’ve never read or watched The Martian (which is definitely on my TBR) but there was just something about the synopsis for Project Hail Mary that made me want to read this one first. In this book, the sun is dying and a team sets out to find a way to fix it. Only one of the team survives, and when he reaches another planet that they hope will help save the sun, he runs into a member of an alien species. their interactions were so wholesome and I loved the friendship they developed! I had no idea what to expect from this one, but it’s definitely the most wholesome sci-fi I’ve read to date.
The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni – ★★★★☆
I’ve seen so many people talk about this series over on Bookstagram, so I just knew I had to give it a shot. I ended up reading this during a camping trip, and it was a really fun YA fantasy! I especially loved the reveal at the very end of the book, that definitely makes me excited to read the next book sooner rather than later to see what happens next! I honestly should’ve seen the ending coming, but I didn’t, surprisingly. I did really like Kiva, and the way she took Tipp under her wing and is essentially both a mother and sister to him was really sweet. I’m also curious as to where the romance will go, especially after that reveal at the very end!
The Valkyrie’s Daughter by Tiana Warner – ★★★★☆
This was an ARC that I read in June, following a girl who just wants to become a Valkyrie but can’t because she wasn’t born with a winged horse as her companion. She sees a vision of herself riding the legendary Sleipnir, and sets out to fulfill her destiny. This read a little bit on the younger YA side to me, but it was still a great read! I loved Sigrid’s journey and character development, and her budding relationship with Mariam was really touching.
Related: The Valkyrie’s Daughter Review
What books did you read in June? I’d love to chat!