I cannot believe it is already the end of June! I mean, where did time go? I feel like it’s flown ever since social isolation, and I barely even know what day of the week it is!
But…the end of June also means that it’s time for my monthly reading wrap-up! My friend Audrey might be guest-writing a post on her monthly reads a little later, but I thought to discuss a few of my personal thoughts! Here, I’ll be talking about all my June reads, what I thought of them, and how I thought my reading month went. So, let’s get started!
June was a really slow month for me, fitting in perfectly with my slow reading year. I read like 5 books, but the good thing was that I didn’t hate any of them! There were a couple of mediocre ones thrown in there, but for the most part, I’d consider it to be a pretty good reading month. Quality > quantity!
So, the book I started June off with was…
1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab | 3.5/5 Stars
I had heard so many good things about this series, and I thought that after five years, it would be worth a try! I had loved Schwab’s Monsters of Verity series and I was excited about the premise of the book. However, I found this book to be a little more boring and slow than I would have wanted. I also wish I would have connected to the characters more! I usually do find that this is a problem with “firsts in a series” though, so I don’t blame the book totally. I’m not sure if I should continue through with the series, but I would definitely be willing to give it another try and see if it improves!
Other than those few things, I did like a lot of other parts of the book! I fell in love with the world-building, and especially the concept of the four Londons. I really enjoyed the fact that the characters were morally grey, since I feel like it adds more depth to the story. The magic system was also well fleshed out, and it played into the plot really well, especially with the “Antari.”
2. Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena | 3.5/5 Stars | Full Review
I won an ARC of this one back in May from a YallWest giveaway, and I was super excited about it! It is set in medieval India, which I found quite interesting and unique. I don’t see too many books in more Asian settings, and I enjoyed that it was a little more diverse. The world-building was quite strong throughout the book, and I loved diving into it!
I did find that the magic system in it was confusing. There were so many different types of magic (attacking, killing, talking to animals, seeing the un-dead) that it felt a little unstructured. The characters weren’t bad, but I wish I would have connected with them more. There is definitely a “star-crossed lovers” trope present in this boo, which is one that unfortunately, isn’t my favorite.
3. The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae | 3.75/5 Stars | Full Review
I got an ARC of this earlier in the month by Penguin Random House (which by no means, affected my review in any way), and it wasn’t bad! I really enjoyed all of the court politics present in the novel, and the plot of the story was interesting. Like Hunted by the Sky, there were a lot of different types of magic in this book, which similarly got confusing at times though.
I enjoyed reading about the three royal heirs this story focused on, but I didn’t like the love triangle too much. It seemed forced, and love triangles usually aren’t my favorite anyways. I did like how morally-grey one of the heirs, Kasta, was, and I thought that it added more depth to the story. I liked that he made bad choices, but he was still good enough of a person for me to want to root for him through the story! He’s one of the few characters I’m invested in for the sequels of the series!
4. Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman | 4.25/5 Stars
I really enjoyed this one and it’s definitely my favorite from the month! I fell in love with the cast of characters, and I loved that they were kind of a “found family.” While Kat really annoyed me throughout the book, I really connected to everyone else! Tyler had to be my absolute favorite, and honestly, he’s one of my top fictional crushes of this year. I also loved the developing relationship between Aurora and Kal, and I especially love how it’s progressing in my current read, Aurora Burning! I feel like they’re so different, but that their personalities contrast each other extremely well.
The actual plot of the story had a lot of action to it as the book progressed, which helped quicken the pace of the overall story. I hate slow paced books, because they just bore me SO MUCH, but this one didn’t disappoint! This one definitely has similarities to Illuminae, so if you liked that series, I would highly recommend reading this one as well.
5. Aurora Burning by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman | 4.5/5 Stars
The ending for this book was INSANE. There is one of the absolute worst cliffhangers (worst meaning I can’t wait another year for it) I’ve read in a while, and I need the third book now! All the characters we love from Aurora Rising come back, and it makes for a surprisingly good “second of a series.”
I’m still in love with Tyler from this book, but we also get a couple new characters that add a lot to the story! I loved reading about Kal’s sister, and I enjoyed her personality as well. I feel like there isn’t as much action as I would have wanted in the middle of the book, but it definitely picks up a lot at the end, which contributes the most to my higher rating.
And that’s it! I’m pretty satisfied with my reads for this month, and I want to know if you read (and loved) any of these books as well. Let me know what some of your favorite reads of June were as well!