What I Read In June
It is really hard to believe that the year is already half over! I went into this post feeling like June was a slow reading month for me, but as I looked everything over, it turns out I read 15 books! So I guess it wasn’t such a slow month after all. Not only was it a full month of reading, I read some truly great books this month – top 10 of the year quality.
With so many books read, I don’t want this book to get insanely long, so I will post covers and brief reviews of my top 5 of the month, though if you’re interested to hear about the rest, do check out my Goodreads – I normally post a few sentences at least about whatever I read there.
I’m totally open to feedback as I get a good format going, so let me know if you have any suggestions! Also, please let me know if there are any of the books that you would like a full review for. Hope you all had a great reading June!
Top 5 Books of the Month!
1. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: 5 out of 5 stars
Thinking about it, I already want to re-read this book. It just pushed every single one of my buttons. Mystery, book lovers, font nerdiness, secret societies, and bookstores with mysterious secret sections for the truly devoted. Come ON! In some ways this book is an examination of the ongoing debate between technology and physical books and how, if at all, they work together. In others it’s a book about friendship, in others it’s a book about books. I loved it, I want to live in this world and be friends with everyone and yes. Read it. Highly recommended.
2. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys: 5 out of 5 stars.
First of all, that cover! Yes please! So perfect and beautiful. I read this pretty swiftly on the heels of finally picking up Between Shades of Gray by the same author. While I did like Between Shades of Gray, there were things about it that caused me not to love it quite as much as I know so many others (another story for another post). All that to say, I did not have high, amazing expectations for this book. I knew it would be beautifully written, since it came from Sepetys, but had no idea how much I would absolutely adore it. I loved the lead character SO MUCH – one of my favorites in a long time. This was a perfect example of historical fiction YA – I felt like I was in 1950’s New Orleans the whole time I was reading the novel. I didn’t want to put it down, and I stayed up FAR too late to read this one. Highly recommended.
3. Justice Hall by Laurie R. King: 5 out of 5 stars
This is actually the sixth book in a series, so I won’t say very much about the plot. But the series overall is amazing. It’s Sherlock Holmes post-Watson, with an American, female partner who is in every way his equal. They are excellent and if you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend the series (first book is The Beekeeper’s Apprentice). These mysteries are perfect for those mystery lovers out there who want to read books that are head scratchers without an overmuch amount of gore or anxiety-provoking fear. Although I love all of them so far, this book was my absolute favorite, playing on themes of family duty, friendship, and love, along with the mystery itself (which took all the appropriate twists and turns of a Holmes mystery). Excellent and highly recommended.
4. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins: 4 out of 5 stars
I really did not expect to love this one as much as I did. Based on the cover image and title, I thought it might lean toward the juvenile or predictable supernatural-YA side. But I ended up really loving it and requesting the sequel from the library almost as soon as I closed the book. The main character is a witch who has been misusing her powers and is sentenced to Hex Hall, basically a truancy boarding school for bad supernatural characers. You have witches, werewolves, shapeshifters, fae, and even a token vampire in this one. It definitely got dark in parts – what do you expect when facing down a demon and a coven of dark witches – but the humor and intelligence in the writing made it really flow. It in many ways was a great examination of high school itself, with some crazy magic thrown in for good measure. It did a great job of raising enough big-picture questions to make me want to read the second book while not making this one seem like it couldn’t stand on its own. A really great read.
5. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs: 4 out of 5 stars
Shout out to Bunbury in the Stacks on this one, which I found by trolling her 2013-favorites shelf on Goodreads. This is an older series, with this first book in the series being originally published in 2006, and I am so glad I have so many of these in the series waiting for me! This series is kind of urban fantasy (if you can call Montana “urban”), and the main character, Mercy, is a walker, which is a magical being who can shift into a coyote at will. She’s also a mechanic, though that’s not quite as interesting – hah. This book is an interesting take on the preternatural types of books in that vampires, werewolves, and the fae all live in this world along side us boring humans. As you might imagine, they don’t always get along very well, though Mercy seems to have friends of all stripes. Mercy is an awesome main character, but not so amazing that it’s completely unbelievable. I’m kind of sad that a love triangle seems to be forming, but I will for sure be following this series going forward. Side note: I cannot get behind that cover and am super-glad I read this one on my e-reader.
What About You?
What did you read and love in June? Anything you think might make your end of year top 10 list?