Here I am, once again bringing you a very late monthly wrap up 😅 Perhaps in August I’ll get my act together, but, let’s be honest, probably not. This summer months have been busy and stressful and, though I’ve been reading quite a bit, I’ve been terrible at keeping track the way I used to that made making my monthly wrap up posts easier. So then I just put it off until I finally make myself sit down and do it, haha.
We’ve arrived at that point, so it’s time to tell you all about the books I read in June!
- The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James: This was my first Simone St. James and, though I enjoyed my time with it, I have to say I was a little underwhelmed. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book. I thought they were intriguing and messed up and definitely interesting to follow. But this is a book that bounces back and forth between POVs and timelines and I found the timelines set in the past so intensely dull. Still, I enjoyed the spooky elements and the writing was good. That plus the great characters helped me pull through the duller chapters. ★★★
- The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake: I went into this one unsure of how I was going to like it. I’m a fan of dark academia, but there are so many mixed reviews about this book! Thankfully, I fell on the side of loving it. The vibes were incredible, the characters were fascinating, and I loved the (admittedly convoluted sometimes) plot. There were moments were the writing felt a tad overwrought and boring, but those were few and far between. All in all, this was a wild ride and I’m eager to read the sequel. ★★★★
- Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan: Here’s another book that has a lot of mixed reviews. And, again, I ended up on the side of loving it! This book was absolutely beautiful, inside and out. The writing was stunning! Like, so beautiful there were passages I listened to over again because I just loved them so much. The plot is fast-paced and intriguing and the worldbuilding is fantastic! The best part of this book, however, is the characters, especially Xingye. She’s such a nuanced and fierce character to watch grow throughout the story. Definitely looking forward to the sequel! ★★★★
- Son of Shadow by John Lenahan: I read this book for a blog tour hosted by The Write Reads. It’s a fantasy that is focused around Irish mythology and it was quite a bit of fun! I loved how this book was a fantasy with a very contemporary feel. And the land of Tir na Nog was enchanting to read in this book. I have to admit to feeling a little lost for most of the book because this is the first book in a new trilogy, but there’s an entire trilogy before this. It felt like I was missing a lot of information because I hadn’t read that series. Overall, though, I had a good time with this book. You can read my full review here. ★★★
- Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie: I got to pick up another installment in Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot series. This one was missing Hastings, but I did enjoy that our narrator was a woman. I thoroughly enjoyed her character, more so than most of the ones we meet throughout this mystery. And, of course, Poirot was usual, wonderful self. I was worried about potential racism since the book is set in a country with quite a few brown people and, oof, did it rear it’s ugly head. Still, it was an interesting mystery with a satisfying ending and a great narrator. ★★★
- Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tọlá Okogwu: I received an ARC of this beautiful middle grade from the publisher and I’m so glad they sent it my way! I had such a good time reading this fast-paced and fantastical book. It follows a young, Black girl names Onyeka, who learns that her Afro hair contains superpowers. It’s a superhero story that also follows Onyeka’s journey to loving her hair, something a lot of young Black children struggle with. There was so much to love about this story! You can read my full review here. ★★★★
- The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov: This was such a weird book! It’s a classic of Russian literature that tells the story of Satan dropping by Moscow and just causing a lot of random trouble. And an author that wrote a book about Pontius Pilate. I think? Honestly, this entire book was like a fever dream and if you asked me to nail down in any firm way what this book was about, I would be at a loss. This is a book I suspect I will forget I read in a year or so because my brain utterly rejected trying to understand anything that was going on. But it was also hilarious so it gets three stars 😂 ★★★
- The Last Session: Roll for Initiative by Jasmine Walls: This graphic novel was such a delight! I was sent an e-ARC by the publisher and this was just the perfect book for my D&D-loving heart. The art was stunning, the story was relatable, and I loved how much diverse representation we had in this graphic novel! This is a very LGBTQIA+ friendly book and, if you’re a fan of tabletop roleplaying games, you’ll probably love this. I definitely need to go get myself a physical copy! ★★★★★
- The Dark Matter of Natasha by Matthew R. Davis: Fair warning: take the word “dark” in this title very literally. This was a messed up, sombre thriller that certainly leans hard into the darker side of the genre. It was a quick read that kept me hooked throughout but definitely check trigger warnings before jumping in. The writing is superb and the characters and their life choices are like a train wreck from which you can’t look away. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
- Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse: I’ve been looking forward to the sequel to Black Sun since I read it last year and this did not disappoint! I got more of the characters I loved and found myself grudgingly coming to like a character I had been ambivalent about. Thus is the power of Rebecca Roanhorse’s writing! She kicked the stakes up to the next level and this book was just as thrilling and vivid as the first. I cannot wait to see where else this series will go. ★★★★★
- The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec: This book was always on the periphery of my TBR. It was a book I was kind of interested in but not enough to officially add it. Then, it was a book of the month pick for a Goodreads group I’m in and that was enough for me to finally pick it up. I’m so glad that I did because I really enjoyed this Norse mythology retelling! It focuses on the witch, Angrboda, and I loved seeing the myths of Loki and the other gods play out through her eyes. It was gut-wrenching and bleak at times, but it was still a beautiful story filled with a lot of heart. ★★★★
- The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle: I’ve finally read a Victor LaValle novel! And, I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. My daughter read this for school and told me to check it out, so I picked it up and gave it a read. I don’t have much experience with Lovecraft and Lovecraftian novels, but this hit the right brand of creepy and weird that captured my imagination. It was a short book and was over much to quickly because I wanted to know more about what was going on, but it was still a fantastic read. It definitely made me eager to read more from this author. ★★★★
Book of the Month
I had two five star reads in June. I clearly loved both books enough to give them my top rating, but there was definitely one that stands above the rest. Probably because it was my most anticipated book of 2022! I wish all sequels could be as good as this book proved they can be. The Book of the Month for June is…
Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse
22 Books in 2022:
I finally read another book of my 22 in 2022 pile! I’m going to really need to focus on that TBR if I want to complete before the end of 2022 😅 We shall see how I do in the coming months.
- The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
12 Friends, 12 Recommendations:
Sadly, I did not read any of the books on my 12 challenge TBR. I’m doing much better with this one than I am with the 22 in 2022 TBR, though! I’ll have to take that as my comfort for now, heh.
Popsugar Reading Challenge:
- A book with two POVS (The Book of Cold Cases)
- A book that fulfills a past Popsugar prompt – a book with a map (Fevered Star)
Read Your Shelf Challenge:
- A book that is set in two different time periods (The Book of Cold Cases)
- A book by an author who writes under two different names (The Atlas Six)
- A book with a character over 2,000 years old (Daughter of the Moon Goddess)
- An author published in two different genres (The Ballad of Black Tom)
- An author who has two or more bestsellers (Murder in Mesopotamia)
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge:
- A book that fulfills a past Read Harder challenge – the 1st book in a new-to-you YA or MG series (Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun)
How was your reading in June? Did you find a new favorite? Make any progress on some challenges? Let me know in the comments!
And, as always, happy reading!