June started off strongly, I felt really enthusiastic and motivated. As a result I finished most of these in the first couple of weeks. Unfortunately towards the end of the month I found it more difficult to focus on reading, and my reading pace definitely took a hit. I still really enjoyed the books that I read this month.
Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index – by Julie Israel
It’s hard to keep close a person everyone keeps telling you is gone.
It’s been sixty-five painful days since the death of Juniper’s big sister, Camilla. On her first day back at school, bracing herself for the stares and whispers, Juniper borrows Camie’s handbag for luck – and discovers an unsent break-up letter inside. It’s mysteriously addressed to ‘You’ and dated July 4th – the day of Camie’s accident. Desperate to learn the identity of Camie’s secret love, Juniper starts to investigate.
But then she loses something herself. A card from her daily ritual, The Happiness Index: little notecards on which she rates the day. The Index has been holding Juniper together since Camie’s death – but without this card, there’s a hole. And this particular card contains Juniper’s own secret: a memory that she can’t let anyone else find out.
I really enjoyed this book, and it got my month of to a really good start. It deals with loss and grief, along with other issues, and really touched my emotions. I have a review for this coming soon, I want to make sure I do this book justice. I read an e-arc from netgalley, but how stunning is that UK cover, I love the colours!
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
The Star-Touched Queen – by Roshani Chokshi
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.
This book blew me away, it’s been on my TBR for a while and I am so glad that I finally got around to picking it up. It’s sort of a Hades and Persephone retelling, which I loved with some wonderful magical elements. The writing style is gorgeous, Crown of Wishes just jumped to the top of my TBR wishlist.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Labyrinth Lost – by Zoraida Córdova
Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.
The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…
I loved this. I loved the world, I loved the characters, I loved the writing. There was so much that I adored about this book, the world is interesting and unique, I felt like the world was fully developed and I really want to see more of it. Also, while there where two romantic interests for the main character, it was well done, the feelings where there, but the mission came first and the romance plot remained mostly in the background. Also Alex is bisexual, one of her love interests is a girl from school. To be honest I wanted to lose myself in this world forever.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Queens of Geek – by Jen Wilde
When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.
Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.
Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
I read most of this in a single sitting, I couldn’t put it down, nor did I want to. The story takes place over a weekend at a convention, so it is fairly fast paced. There are two alternating perspectives, Taylor and Charlie, both were wonderfully written. I really related to them, especially Taylor who is an introvert, who struggles with anxiety, also she has autism. A lot of what she said really spoke to me, this book is just really well written and I fully recommend it.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
None of the Above – by I. W. Gregorio
What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?
When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.
But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”
Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?
This was not always an easy read, but it was gripping. I found it highly educational, as previously I didn’t know very much about what it means to be intersex. I’m currently in the process of refining my review for this one, I want to make sure that I cover everything that needs addressing. Also I found this book difficult to rate, I liked the main character, and I was absorbed by the story.
Rating: 4/5 Stars?
A Conjuring of Light – by V.E. Schwab
London’s fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.
I finally plucked up the courage to actually read this book this month. I’ve been taking my time with it because I was sort of scared to get to the end. I now understand why so many people said this book broke them. V.E. Schwab does an excellent job of using multiple perspectives to build up the story through minor characters, but that means you get attached to more characters. The main story arc for the trilogy was well wrapped up, but there were some threads left dangling as potential set up for further books in the world.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
So that’s six books finished, plus I started two others towards the end of the month. I was too busy to get very far, and I’ve been finding it difficult to focus enough to read. I’m hoping I get over it soon and get back to powering through my TBR. I hope everyone had a good month.
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