With summer in full swing, my birthday, and Pride Month, June is undoubtedly the best month of the year. Just saying.
Initially, my plan was to do a regular wrap up, because I’ve read more books this month than any other month so far in 2018. But I also wanted to talk about Pride Month, because this one was significant for me, and a couple of other things; after all, I haven’t chatted with y’all in quite some time. I wasn’t sure how I’d divide all of this into separate posts or when I’d have time to write them all, so here’s one amalgamation of posts that hopefully isn’t too long.
I’m feeling organized this morning, so let’s go in chronological order.
First, at the start of the month, on June 5, I turned 17! I’m getting old, haha. I’m almost too old to officially be part of the YA community, but I’m not going anywhere. We decided to save the major partying for next year, when I turn 18; this time around, I took the day off of summer school. My mom and I went to lunch, I got more books than I probably needed, and I finally got a Polaroid camera! It’s green and super cute, and I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’ve been wanting one for a while, so it was exciting to be able to get one at last. I’m currently stockpiling fun film to use for our Colorado trip this weekend.
Another big part of my birthday was coming out. I’ve known I’m asexual for about a year now, but I haven’t been able to figure out if I was biromantic, panromantic, or aromantic. I’ve shuffled between all three for the past six months or so, and in the days leading up to my birthday, I figured it out. On my actual birthday, I came out to my mom and Internet friends (again) as a demiromantic asexual lesbian. The reaction was entirely positive, something I’m very thankful for. I came out to my sister last week, for the first time. No one else that I know in real life knows. I’m not ashamed of it, I just feel like I don’t really know anyone around here well enough to trust them with such a big part of who I am, if that makes sense.
And now for the books. If you’d be interested in reading more thorough reviews, I’ve got something written for each book mentioned on my Goodreads, though the quality can’t be guaranteed, and that’s linked somewhere on the home page. I know how to Internet, I promise. 😉
As it’s Pride Month, I tried to read as many queer books as possible. I had to get through library books first, but after that, I think I did a fair job of sticking to that goal. All books with queer content, in any way, will be underlined, to make it easier for those of you who might be interested. 🙂
At the time I’m writing this, I’ve read 17 books this month. I’m very happy with that number, considering it’s about double my average from previous months.
- What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard (CW: eating disorders)
A compelling novel about a girl with anorexia. I liked the girl friendships; they were sweet and genuine. The ending was a bit abrupt for my tastes. 4 stars.
- The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken
I wanted to like this, but I didn’t. It had an interesting premise and curious characters, but for me the execution fell short. DNF at 61%. As this is the second time I haven’t finished one of Alex’s books, I probably won’t read any more. 2 stars.
- The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee (CW: ableist language)
I was absolutely taken by surprise by this novel. I loved the Chinese folklore; I haven’t really found any books that include it, so this was my first time reading about any part of it. Other good things include a drastic height difference between main characters, demons, and sarcasm. I’d especially recommend this to fans of Rick Riordan. 5 stars.
- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (CW: abuse, murder, suicide)
If I had to describe this novel in two words, I’d say wasted potential. This could’ve been great, but for me it was extremely average. I won’t be continuing this series, and I’ll probably only be reading one more of Holly’s books in the future. 3 stars.
- The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Those of you that follow me on any other platform know I’ve been raving about this book for a couple of weeks now. I adored it more than I can adequately explain. It took me completely by surprise and it’s one of my new all-time favorites. It deserves so much more hype. If you read one book from this list, make it this one. 5 stars. ❤
- A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas (CW: sex)
I got this book from the library out of sheer curiosity, and let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t buy it. Nothing of substance happened in all 230 pages. I was very disappointed, to be honest. If not for Cassian, Azriel, Mor, and Elain, I would’ve given this one star. 2 stars.
- The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde (CW: abuse, alcoholism, car accident, gaslighting, toxic relationship, homophobia, sexual content)
This was the June book for Prideathon, the monthly book club and biannual readathon I co-host, and I loved it. It was a perfect blend of fluff and important discussions, and it secured Jen a spot on my auto-buy authors list. 5 stars.
- The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis (CW: extreme homophobia, violence toward gay characters, abuse, assault, bullying, grief, suicidal ideation, depression)
An undeniably powerful novel about queer abuse and religion, but mostly an average read for me personally. I find it hard to review/critique because the author’s note in the end says this closely mirrors the author’s own childhood. 3 stars.
- If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (CW: sexual assault, transmisia, outing, attempted suicide, assault)
This book was on my TBR for a couple of years before I got to it. It follows a trans girl and was written by a trans woman, and I think it could’ve been a favorite if not for one off-putting scene and its aftermath. 4 stars.
- The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith (CW: abuse, domestic violence, death/murder, attempted suicide)
Once again, this novel talks about relevant subjects, but I thought the execution fell short. I was hoping for more from both the familial relationships and the f/f romance. 3 stars.
- Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, reread (CW: outing)
I didn’t plan to reread this, but after watching the movie for the first time, I felt the urge to do so. Simon and Blue are adorable nerds and Martin can walk into a volcano. 5 stars.
- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Quite possibly one of the best sci-fi novels I’ve ever read, and I mean it. It’s slower, but I loved the characters and the world was so complex and fascinating. Definitely pick this one up, too. 5 stars.
- They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (CW: anxiety, talk of & attempted suicide, death)
I think this is my favorite of Adam’s released novels. It didn’t completely break my heart like people said it would, but it did pack an emotional punch. 4.5 stars.
- Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (CW: racism, gore, torture)
I’m not a zombie fan whatsoever, but I really liked this book. It’s a unique historical fantasy, with a confident protagonist and a centered girl friendship. I’d recommend this even if you, too, don’t like zombies. 4.5 stars.
- The Wicker King by K. Ancrum (CW: neglect, hallucinations, anxiety, self-harm)
This novel has unique formatting and I liked some parts of it, but it was inexplicably just average to me. 3 stars.
- Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Morally grey characters and magic and murderous card games, oh my. I loved this book just as much as I loved Amanda’s debut, and I can’t wait for the sequel. 5 stars.
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (CW: sexual assault, statutory rape, domestic abuse, cheating, homophobia, biphobia, alcoholism, death of a loved one, serious illnesses, mentions of & implied suicide)
I made it a point to finally read this novel during Pride Month, and I did it. I was a bit worried that if I didn’t like it, the book community would disown me, but no need. While it isn’t a new favorite, I liked many aspects of this book and I read it in a day. Very enjoyable and definitely unique. 4.5 stars.
The end! That took much longer than I anticipated, but I figured since I don’t post reviews here and I’ve been mostly inactive all year, y’all deserve more than just a quick list with ratings.
I’m currently reading A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir, and if everything goes as planned, I’ll finish it before the month ends. However, our hotel in Colorado doesn’t have wi-fi and I’m not taking my laptop, so I can’t wait until I finish the book to write this post. I’m sure it’ll be a 4 or 5 star read, though.
Tell me: did you do anything special for Pride Month? How many books did you read? What’s your favorite queer novel? I’d love to know! 🙂
I’m off to continue reading ARATG and pack for Colorado, something I admittedly should’ve done already. I hope you have a fabulous day/night! ❤
Until next time…