Hello bookish friends! I started off the month so well but I didn’t manage to finish reading anything for the last half of the month – oops!
I finished 4 graphic novels and 5 full length novels and, looking back, had a really mixed month of reading. I thought I enjoyed most of what I read, but it turns out I was more disappointed than anything. Which might be why I started slumping for the latter half of the month.
Anywho, enough rambling. On with the books I read this month!
The Hollow Boy – Jonathan Stroud – 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I love this series so much. This is the third book in a five book series and there hasn’t been a single instalment that I haven’t enjoyed. The overarching plot is really starting to kick off now and things are getting really interesting. I liked the addition of a new character to the ghost-fighting team, too. I really like how each member of the team has something different to bring. That being said, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the last one (The Whispering Skull). I felt like it was more of a set up to the later books in the series. But that cliff hanger at the end more than made up for it!
If you’re looking for a consistently well-written series with fun, creepy (and sometimes terrifying!) plots and characters you feel you need to protect at all costs, pick this one up! I rarely see it being talked about, so help a girl out and read it 😀
The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertelli – 🌟🌟.5
Okay, so I adored Becky’s debut novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, so I was very excited to pick this one up. Sadly, I really wasn’t all that keen on it. I disliked more characters than I liked and especially found the MC’s sister incredibly frustrating. A lot of eye-rolling occurred. The romance was cute and the nerdy love interest was my fave but I feel like I wanted more of this. It was the only time I felt emotionally connected to the story and the characters. The plot was also very meh for me aswell. Basically, just a bit of a disappointing read. But I did love the representation (particularly of the LGBTQIAP+ community) and the writing style, so I’ll still be picking up any future novels Becky puts out.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard – 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
Easily my favourite contemporary read of the year so far. This was the adorable, cute, fluffy YA romance I wanted. I need every YA contemporary to give me the warm fuzzies like this one did. The MC was one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever read about. And I really appreciated Sara’s understanding of anxiety in particular. I’ve suffered from social anxiety and have experienced CBT and there were a few lines/paragraphs in the book where I thought YES THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT MY CBT WAS LIKE. And it’s just really nice to be able to have such a deep connection with a character. Doesn’t happen often for me!
I honestly have nothing bad to say about this book. I can’t stop gushing over it. It’s a wonderful book that doesn’t fall into the trope of romance solves MI (thankfully!) I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys cute YA contemporary romance. Or just anyone. Period. Can you tell how much I love it!?!?
I really enjoyed the first two volumes of this graphic novel series but volumes 3 & 4 weren’t as fun for me. Volume 3 in particular with the guest artists I wasn’t that big a fan of. It was all filler and had little to no bearing on the overall plot of the series. You could completely miss reading it and it wouldn’t affect anything. But volume 4 definitely picked back up again. And I’m glad it did because I was worried Lumberjanes was running out of ideas. Everything about this series is cute and unique and I’m really hoping there are no more setbacks in the future.
The Titan’s Curse – Rick Riordan – 🌟🌟🌟.5
This was my favourite Percy Jackson so far! I think my expectations for this series when I first started reading it were slightly skewed given all the hype surrounding it. But now that I’ve gotten used to the writing style and the lightheartedness and just the general silliness of this series, I kinda love it! It’s not my favourite, but Rick’s writing is incredibly addicting and I find myself craving his stories. Sometimes, we need a book/series that doesn’t take itself too seriously that you can just lose yourself in and enjoy for what it is. It absolutely accomplishes everything it sets out to do and revels in its fun, adventurous, borderline crazy plots. I’ll be finishing this series ASAP.
Similar to Lumberjanes, I really struggled with the 3rd volume of this series. The art style is probably this series’ strongest element, so when I found out about the guest artists, I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. But some of the guest artists were honestly just terrible. Especially that last one. It was a joke how bad it was. And whilst I usually find backstories interesting, the art styles ruined it for me. So I’m really glad that volume 4 picks back up again. And it’s pretty much all action which I loved. And we actually got some explanations too! I’ll still continue reading this series but if there are any more guest artists in the future, I think it’s safe to say I’ll nope straight out of this series.
The Horse and His Boy – C.S. Lewis – 🌟
Boy did I struggle with this one. My plan was to finish reading Narnia this year but I think it’s going to take make a few years to read at least. Basically, this book is racist. And sexist. And I get that this was a white dude writing in the 50’s but COME ON. I don’t want to read about this shit. Which is why I struggle to bring myself to read classics in general. I don’t want to read about a time that was so horrific for marginalised people. And, realistically, I can’t really go further back than 30 years before encountering this kind of bullshit. And that’s without going into all of the deeply problematic books that managed to get published even today (!?!?) So if anyone has any recommendations of classics that somehow don’t manage to fall into this category, do let me know!
Back to Narnia #3! The plot itself was boring. All the characters were one-dimensional. It was a total yawn fest. I ended up skimming most of this. And it has taken me MONTHS to read. So I think I’ll maybe read one Narnia book a year? I think that’s bearable. It’s just so sad because I LOVED these films growing up. So I really wanted to like the books too. OH WELL.
So that’s it for my wrap-up for this month! I’m really hoping July gets a little bit more enjoyable. I didn’t realise how disappointing a month this was for me. Hope you guys had a better reading month than I did!