We are now officially in July, and so it is time to wrap up my reading over the last months before we head into the second half of the year. As I took my blogging hiatus halfway through May, I never got the chance to talk about all the books I read in May, and so as I haven’t been reading a ton recently anyway, it made sense to combine these two months into one wrap up. The fact that this whole first half of the year has been dominated by a reading slump for me was actually the second key reason why I decided to take a break, as I just felt like I was talking about the same books and saying the same things over and over again as I just wasn’t reading anything that I could talk about or post about.
Despite my lack of reading however, I did read some amazing books during this period, including one five star read that I’ve recently finished and a couple more books that I ended up loving. I also have felt myself slowly returning to my old reading ways and coming out of my reading slump, something that I am super happy about it, and so hopefully the next few months will not only include loads more books, but also more posts as I will more inspired to actually talk about books and reading once again.
I also just wanted to mention that unfortunately I didn’t manage to do any specific TBRs or blog posts for Pride month, but fortunately I did finish the month on a spectacular LGBT+ book that I am so glad I managed to read in June. I am also hoping to continue my diverse reading, both in LGBT+ stories, and other diverse reads, throughout the rest of the year, as I know that I could definitely improve my reading in that regard in the future.
So here are all of the books I read in May and June!
I started off the month by diving into this book that I have been interested in reading ever since I first heard about its concept, as the idea of illusions being murdered within a magical circus setting almost sounds like my perfect read. So I am super happy with how much I ended up enjoying this fantastical murder-mystery that introduced us to so many complex characters and I setting that I loved continuously exploring. I instantly fell in love with Amanda Foody’s writing style, and the dark atmosphere it managed to create within this story. I loved following Sorina and her illusions as they tried to discover who was behind the murders, and I am now super excited to dive into Ace of Shades very soon!
(tw: Death, Violence, Torture, Murder)
This was my audiobook for the month of May, as after listening to When Dimple Met Rishi in April, I was in need of another contemporary story to satisfy my need for a romance. And although this one definitely did include a very cute hate-to-love romance, it ended up being so much more than that, as we see Zuri struggle with finding her place in her changing neighbourhood. I adored Zuri as our protagonist, as her spirit and character was so strong and enticing with her unapologetic nature. The diversity in this book was really refreshing, and I loved the relevent issues that were discussed throughout this very necessary story. Honestly, my only problem with this book was that we didn’t get to see more from certain characters or storylines.
This is another book that I have been desperately waiting to read ever since its release last year, but I just never seemed to pick up a copy to allow me to do that. So when I spotted this book at my local library, I just had to grab it and dive into this story about four friends whose befriend a young author, only to find their lives written into her next novel. However, this one unfortunately didn’t live up to all my expectations. Although I did enjoy the first half of this dark contemporary story, I soon found myself pretty uninterested in a story in which I had already guessed the key plot twist and could see exactly where it was going next. The characters were not the most interesting to me, and I found the excerpts from the novel to be so repetitive as they basically just rewrote the story with different names. Overall, this was just not the story for me.
(tw: Violence, Sexual Assualt, Death)
As always happens when I go to the library, I came away with a fair few spontaneous borrows, with this being the first of those that I have actually dived into. Not only have I never read anything from either of these authors before, or heard much about this book at all, but I have also never read a book written entirely in verse before, and so because of that its fair to say that I was a little sceptical going into this one.
Overall, I really enjoyed this emotional story that delved into and discussed so many relevant topics, some of which I haven’t seen much of in YA before. The relationship between Nicu and Jess was built up so well, and was beautifully told as they slowly grow closer and closer, and open up to each other about their struggles. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending of this one, as I felt it was a little rushed, but overall I really enjoyed this story of friendship and struggle.
(tw: Domestic Abuse, Violence, Bullying, Racism)
I finally managed to read the conclusion of this spectacular fantasy series this past month, and I can’t express how much of a ride this book was! I loved so much about this final book, from the continuation of the dual narrative to the expansion of this world and the politics of it. The Red Queens evolution was so well done as we got to explore both sides of her and Kelsea’s characters even more. I adored watching the early years of the Tearling, and its initial downfall, as it both allowed us to better understand the world in present day, and helped to build up the anticipation for what was to come. The ending was so different to what I expected, but I was still super satisfied with it and I can’t believe that this series is now over.
(tw: Death, Murder, Torture, Violence, Kidnapping)
Finally, my audiobook for June was another spontaneous read after I saw that it was the Books with Friends book club June pick, and decided I might as well join in as I had heard some great things about this contemporary. And honestly this ended up being one of my favourite books of the year so far! This book surprised me so much in how I much I adored this story of Alex and Henry and their gorgeous relationship that had me shipping them so hard. I loved all of the amazing characters in this story, and I don’t think there was a single storyline or plot point that I wasn’t invested in. It made me laugh and cry and honestly I can not recommend this spectacular, diverse romance enough.
(tw: Sexual content)
Although I basically did not watch anything within May and the start of June, once my exams were finished I dived straight back into watching everything I had missed. Firstly, I finally binged the first series of Killing Eve, and now completely understand the hype! I am currently also slowly watching the second series, and am enjoying it so much that I can’t believe I didn’t watch this show earlier. I also watched the entire second series of Girls Incarcerated at the start of this week, and as with the first series I loved every episode and can not wait for more.
As for movies, I believe I only watched three within these months, the first of these being the live-action Aladdin, which surprised with how good it was! I was definitely one of those people who didn’t expect much from it going in, but it ended up giving me all those warm feelings that the original did and I just loved my time watching it. I felt very similarly about Toy Story 4, which somehow managed to once again make me emotional over the lives of toys. Finally, I also finally watched Suicide Squad just this past week, and I now understand everyone’s criticisms of this movie. I just wasn’t a fan of what plot there was and felt it relied too heavily on the characters to move the film along, when honestly very few of them were particularly interesting anyway.
What books did you read in May and June? Which was your favourite? Did you watch any good Tv shows or Movies? Have you read any of these – what did you think?