Hi everyone! Welcome to my June 2021 wrap-up post. For these wrap-ups I include Book Coven book club, fave books you can buy now, books to look out for and books I want to read soon. June continued Book Coven’s Taylor Swift Lyric challenge so I actually read some books!
Sorry that this post is a few days late, I’ve been so busy with work and it looks like July is going to be a little crazy for me. Hopefully I will still get to read some awesome books!
Every month the mods of the Book Coven get us to suggest books that make up the book club bracket. We then vote all the way through to a final, and that’s the book we read together over the course of 3 weeks. Then the amazing Paragraphs and Pages asks us some super insightful questions and off we go. This month the club read:
- The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe
I’ve already read The Girl’s I’ve Been and let me tell you it is a wild ride. Set in two timeframes, in one you follow the protagonist as she grows up pulling off cons led by her mum, and in the other she’s in a bank with her friends being held hostage by thugs. It’s a really excellent read – heart-breaking backstory but uses her skills to get herself and her friends out of a tricky situation. You can check out my review of this book here.
We haven’t chosen our next book yet as the timelines don’t match a particular month anymore, but I am sure we will have a difficult vote yet again.
I read some absolutely incredible books in June that I’d never picked up before. I had a couple of book shopping trips for the first time in ages leading to some new books for my collection. The first book I’m going to add to my favourites is Ariadne by Jennifer Saint. I honestly have a hit and miss relationship with re-tellings but this one completely blew me away. I was frozen after reading it because I was that caught up in the story that having it end felt like something was missing in my life. As I mentioned in my review, I don’t know anything about Greek Mythology so every plot point was a surprise to me.
Another fantasy I found to be a surprise new favourite is Black Water Sister by Zen Cho. This book follows Jessamyn as she moves back to Malaysia with her family only to be haunted by the ghost of her Ah Ma who had died the previous year. This is book is absolutely wild with it’s blend of spirits, ghosts, gangsters and family dynamics. It was such an emotional rollercoaster as it’s filled with humour but also hits hard emotionally. You can check out my review for more!
Sticking with the fantasy theme, I found The Atlas Six was everything I’ve been looking for after Vita Nostra left a hole in my life for weird and wonderful dark academia. It is a great example of how to handle writing six different points of view. I loved the way this format allowed us to see each character from their own perspective and from the perspective of the others. Loved the magic system in this one, you can check out my review here.
Now onto romance! I finally picked up Love at First by Kate Clayborn after loving her previous book Love Lettering. This one was such a tender read as two characters who have opposing desires for a block of apartments fall in love, both of them handling their own grief for loss of family members in completely different situations. This one builds slowly, but I adored every moment. If you’re interested check out my review for more!
Finally, I will mention the best of the Young Adult books I read in June. Ace of Spades is probably the book that I’ve done the biggest U-Turn on ever. It started off being really average for me and became something completely different. It is a stunning thriller centred on two Black queer characters who are targeted by a mysterious anonymous instagram account that reveals their secrets. Honestly this is not one to miss, and if you’re feeling undecided at the halfway point, keep reading! Here is my review if you would like more of my thoughts.
The first book I read this month is Muted by Tami Charles – this is a novel in verse that completely destroyed me. It’s so well executed and follows a young Black music star as she is caught up in a nasty industry with her friends. This one really doesn’t shy away from the horrors the teenagers face and the ending was devastating. You can read my review for more details!
Books to Look Out For
OK, I only read two of my arcs this month but both of them were 5 star hits. Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao is honestly one of the best YA books I’ve ever read. It blends the science fiction and fantasy genres to tell the story of Zetian, a girl in a world where boys are revered and girls are only ever meant to be their support. Zetian has no cares left to give and fights the misogyny around her with such intensity that I was completely behind her immediately. If you pick up one book in the second half of 2021 then Iron Widow should be it. You can see further why I think this in my review.
Finally, a romance novel! I read The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren, which I actually loved so much. A mathematics / statistics based romance novel was written to get after my own heart and it did not disappoint. It follows Jess and River as they are a surprise diamond match on River’s soulmate rating app. It’s such a rarity that the company decides that they should really explore what this means so Jess and River get to know each other. Honestly this was adorable, I loved both of the characters and even though the science was sketchy it didn’t really detract from my enjoyment at all. Read my review for more opinions!
So the book I am most excited about for July is She Who Became the Sun. I have heard so many good things about this book and I can’t wait to get stuck into my ARC. I’m also really excited to read A Memory Called Empire, and The Unbroken. As for contemporary books, both Blackout and Grown are on my list for July, and I am so excited for both. I have been meaning to read Grown for so long and after giving up on my library getting the audiobook, I finally caved and got the hardback.
So that’s me done for June! Hope you all had a great start to the summer (or winter). I honestly had such a good reading month with hardly any misses. I hope July is just as good despite how busy I’m going to be. Let me know how you’ve been doing in the comments! Have you read any of the books mentioned in this post? Tell me your thoughts!