June 2020 Wrap-Up: A positive reading month in not so positive times

Hey Everyone! June was a very weird reading month for me, I suffered from a reading slump at the start of the month but I managed to overcome it, and I also read three non-fiction books! I rarely read non-fiction books so this is is slightly weird for me, but I’m glad I broaden my horizons with genres in June.

In June I read 9 books, which is not as much as I’ve read in recent months but still a good number of books considering I suffered from a reading slump at the start of the month. According to Goodreads I read a total of 3193 pages and my average rating of the month was 4.1 stars, so whilst I didn’t read as much as I have been recently I did read some great books this month!

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (3 stars)

The first book I read in June was ultimately and unfortunately a disappointment. I had high hopes for this when I started it as it had a very strong concept and opening, but the conclusion to mystery wasn’t strong enough to persuade me this was a good mystery novel. I had a couple of other issues outside of the ending, but all of that together coupled with how hard I had to work to keep track of everything going on led me to feel dissatisfied as a reader. Read my full review here.

When Your Were Everything by Ashely Woodfolk (5 stars)

This was the only audiobook I finished this month, but boy was it a good one. This was a fantastic novel and is definitely one of my favourite reads of the year so. It’s a YA contemporary that focuses on the themes of friendship, trust, love, loss and betrayal and is littered with brilliant Shakespeare references and fantastic friendships. It’s amazing and I’m surprised that Buzfeed recommended it, because a lot of the books I’ve read for my ‘Buzzfeed Recommends’ series haven’t been great.

Shame Nation by Sue Scheff with Melissa Schorr (3 stars)

Whilst I appreciated what this book tried to do, and the stories and information it provided, it unfortunately followed my reading of ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed’ which was so brilliant that this paled in comparison. The first half of this is an interesting read, but the second half is full of ‘tricks’ and ‘tips’ that I’m sure any internet competent person is already aware of – maybe I’m just the wrong audience.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson (5 stars)

This was an excellent read, it was so well researched and thought out and you could see how Ronson’s opinions developed and changed throughout writing this. I learnt a lot of things about public shaming and the aftermath of it from this book, and the book offered a really interesting look at our behaviour online – it wasn’t telling us to stop calling people out on their actions, but it made you think about the way we do that. It’s honestly made me a lot more uncomfortable with how a lot of people on Book Twitter behave.

The Truants by Kate Weinberg (3 stars)

This was Waterstone’s ‘Fiction Book of the Month’ pick in June and I read it for my series based on that, and it wasn’t one of their better picks. This was sold as an Agatha Christie meets ‘The Secret History’, which got me very excited, however it didn’t live up to that concept. This had an interesting batch of characters, with an intriguing concept and great Christie references, but the mystery didn’t live up to that and it unfortunately let the whole book down for me. Read my full review here.

The Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera (4 stars)

I flew through this book in one day and thoroughly enjoyed it. Whilst this maybe wasn’t as impactful to me as some YA books have been, it did have fun characters, a cool premise and some good messaging about living life and ensuring you don’t waste it throughout the narrative. It was the perfect book to get me out of my reading slump and I will be forever grateful for that.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (5 stars)

This story tells Maya’s life in such a starkly honest and beautiful way I’m not sure how anyone could hate it. This autobiography of her early years accounts all the good and bad of her life from the age of four to sixteen, from the rules of Jim Crow and molestation to the love she has with her family and for Shakespeare. You can hear Maya’s voice the whole way throughout this leading you through all the highs and lows that may make you laugh and cry, it’s just a beautifully told story of life and one day I will pick up the rest of her autobiographies.

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas (5 stars)

Yet another wonderful book from Thomas who should not just be remembered for ‘The Hate U Give’ – she’s shown she’s not just capable of producing an one hit wonder. This is again fully of great characters with a protagonist whose strong and fierce and really comes into their own, and a really interesting family dynamic that’s fully explored. The book’s overarching theme is one of prejudice and Thomas paints a brutal portrait of how that seeps into every crack of Bri’s life, but she also managed to show that hope is always there for the characters. Read my full review here.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman (4 stars)

Admittedly and to my great shame, this is the first Neil Gaiman book I’ve read, but it was a good one. I really like Gaiman’s writing in this and the fantastical element it takes on, it’s a very short and non-descriptive fantasy but somehow Gaiman makes that work for him. This was really far out of my comfort zone when it comes to my reading tastes, but I really enjoyed the world this is set in and all the characters we got to meet. It’s a great little fantasy if you want a bit of quick escapism in your life.

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