2016 · book review · monthly wrap-up

Reading Wrap Up | June 2016 Edition

After taking a trip into the past earlier this week and looking at the books I read in May we are now finally on to current monthly wrap ups! In June I tried to tackle some of my advanced reader copies (ARCs) so that I could be on top of my reviewing game when it comes to these anticipated new releases, you will know which books I am talking about as soon as you read below!

In the month of June I was finishing up my second year of teaching middle school science, packing up my classroom, serving my first bout of jury duty, and starting my stint of summer school facilitation.With all of this going on I am shocked that I read 10 books in the month of June!

*Please note that any ARCs listed below were received from publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.45.47 PM  Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.46.02 PM  Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.46.12 PM  Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.46.22 PM  Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.46.32 PMThe first book I read in June was Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, the second book in the Daughter of  Smoke and Bone Trilogy. I am so invested and fascinated in this series and I am so excited to see how it ends, but I haven’t picked up the third book just yet.I have found that I don’t really enjoy marathoning a series without books in between to give me a chance to process the story. I love the world building in this book and the characters are fantastic. I totally recommend the audiobooks because the narrator does a great job with tone and accents. starstarstarstarstar

Book number 2 for June was The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (ARC)! I was lent this book by a lovely bookseller friend and I really enjoyed it! I think it is just as good as Everything, Everything with it’s cute reluctant romance and deeper issues throughout the book. Natasha is on the verge of being deported and Daniel is trying to live up to his parent’s expectations when chance causes them to meet. This book is witty, funny and realistic. Told in dual points of view with POC characters in NYC there is so much that makes this book loveable and will be the perfect last minute contender for you favorite of 2016 when it releases in November! starstarstarstarstar

Gemina (ARC) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was one hell of a ride! I am blown away by the epic scale of these books and what these two authors can do with a mixed media type of book. I loved the inclusion of journal entries and am definitely certain that if you loved Illuminae you are going to love Gemina even more. So many twists and turns, bloodshed, and action. I can’t wait for everyone to be able to read this book in October! starstarstarstarstar

I was killing it with the sequel reading in June because my next book The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater is the third sequel I read this month! I am working really hard on reading and finishing the series on my shelf before I start new series, especially ones that aren’t complete yet. The Raven Cycle books so far have been getting better and better! The hype had me curious, Maggie’s previous books had me interested, but these books are what have me hook, line, and sinker. I  can’t wait to get to the conclusion of this series and I hope I will in the next few months. starstarstarstar

Book number 5 in June was Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.Honestly I was a bit intimidated by the hype here, so many people love this book and the others in this companion series that I was unsure if it would withstand my expectations. Luckily it did! This is the perfect light contemporary to read after a bunch of fantasy books, it still has some deep parts and drama but for the most part it is witty, funny, and a breeze to enjoy. I am definitely going to read Lola and Isla, but I am going to save those for when I need the break from bigger, “heavier” books. starstarstarstar

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.46.45 PM  Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.46.54 PM  Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.47.02 PM  Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.47.09 PM  Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.47.18 PMThe next book I finished in June was What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler. After reading a Stephanie Perkins novel it was like going from zero to serious in a nano second. This book has a trigger warning for rape because the story revolves around the main character trying to find out what happened at the party she went to last weekend. This is such an important book because it challenges rape culture and victim-blaming such as “boys will be boys” and the girls are “asking for it” in the way they dress. I read this book so fast because I was so into the story. starstarstarstarstar

Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington is one of those books that you enjoy reading but set aside for others because you want to read all the things, at least that is what I ended up doing. I read the first 100 pages back in April before life got crazy and kept putting it off for other books. I picked up this book because it is our One School, One Book selection for the second half of the year and we have to be able to discuss it with our students. How ironic is it that the teacher who reads was probably the last one who finished the book, and after school had already ended. I felt like such a loser but the book got spoiled for me as well and I just wasn’t as into it any more. I did find it entertaining and funny though the ending was a bit anticlimatic for me. starstarstar

I was lucky enough to pick up an ARC of History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera at Barnes & Noble B-Fest in the middle of June and decided to pick it up immediately because I needed some more Adam Silvera writing in my life. I adore his first novel and this book just flew over the bar that More Happy Than Not set. I was laughing, I was crying basically Adam is the master at making you feel all the feels.This book is wonderfully raw and painfully beautiful and I honestly want to reread it already. starstarstarstarstar

The penultimate book I read this month was Jerkbait by Mia Siegert. I got to meet Mia at B-Fest and hear her talk about this book before I read it and really enjoyed getting to meet her and getting my book signed. I read this book over the span of two days and really enjoyed it. Jerkbait goes places I never would have suspected from the synopsis and I found it so refreshing and intriguing. This book does have a trigger warning for suicide but it is not the main character, Tristan, but his twin brother Robbie who attempts to kill himself. This was the first book I have read where it wasn’t the narrator that was contemplating suicide and I really liked the outside perspective we get.starstarstarstarstar

The last book I read in June was George by Alex Gino. I don’t have any personal experience with what George is going through being born biologically male but feeling in her bones that she is female. As a cisgender female (I hope I said that right) I feel it is important to read books like this so that I can maybe understand a fraction more about the LGBTQIA+ spectrum than I did before because even though this book is fiction there is plenty of truth in fiction. My favorite thing is that this book is a middle grade novel and that it is out there to influence the next generation to be more tolerant and understanding of other humans at any level. starstarstarstarstar


WOW! That was a long post, thanks for sticking around! Did you like the detailed paragraphs about each book or would you rather me keep it to a sentence or two? Please let me know in the comments below so I can make adjustments for July.

Happy reading!

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2 thoughts on “Reading Wrap Up | June 2016 Edition

  1. Amanda, Would you be able to amend your review on Amazon of There Once Were Stars to state “I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.” They have emailed me and said they are going to be checking my reviews to ensure they meet their standards, and that one is FTC. So sorry for the inconvenience. Melanie


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