June 2021 Wrap-Up + Hiatus Announcement

Happy Pride Month, everyone! I had a good month, thankfully, after last month being bleh. This month, I read a lot more than last month, at 11 books. I definitely had more 2 and 3 star reads than I usually do, but I read a lot of books that I normally wouldn’t have, so I’m still happy.

Also, I will be taking a break from blogging for at least a month. I’ve been super busy and haven’t been able to keep up with my blog. But I will be back, and I’ll miss all of you! ( and I might still comment on other’s posts, just not as often.)

Fiction

In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3) by Alexandra Bracken

Who gave Alexandra Bracken the right to mess with my heart this way? I am not okay. The character development was amazing, and I loved seeing the relationships develop. The first half was a bit slow, but there was some great development going on so I didn’t care.

This series will make you laugh, smile, cry, bang your fists against the wall and rip your heart to shreds. I never cry when reading books but this one had me tearing up at so many different parts (yes me. I actually cried when reading this). Find my full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Does anyone else think that the idea of this book is a little weird? I was expecting to have an inspiring story about a book obsessed teenager who meets an enemy alien and they have to work together to save the world. Instead, I got a strange novel about a girl named Janelle who meets Morris, a Ilori without a personality and they go on a road trip. The plot was non-existent. The romance was laughable, since I hated Morris (who was literally obsessed with Janelle). The world-building was a huge info-dump. So all in all, I didn’t like this.

But obviously, I loved the diversity (the main character is demi-romantic, asexual, black and fat.)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The Darkest Legacy (The Darkest Minds, #4) by Alexandra Bracken

I was so happy to read a book about Zu, who I had loved from the start of this journey. Priyanka was so badass, and I was so happy to see someone who looked like me in sci-fi/dystopia. Even in contemporary books, I rarely see brown people as main characters so I was so glad to see Priyanka (seriously, when do you see a badass, brown and lesbian girl in dystopia?) But despite all that, I didn’t really like the romance since the love interest, Roman, was really boring. But I loved the return of Liam, Chubs, Vida and Ruby. Find my full review here.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked, #1) by Kerri Maniscalco

I liked the way grief was shown in this book. Emilia’s grief was so angry. She was furious at the one who killed her sister and swore to get vengeance. I liked the murder solving part, which was complex and well thought out. However, I had a couple issues with the book. The enemies to lovers trope was amazing until about the 65% mark, where suddenly Wrath and Emilia absolutely love each other. Their romance could have been amazing, but instead it really disappointing. And that ending. Gosh, it was so rushed. It was one of the few times that I wish the author would slow down the plot.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey

My favorite thing about this book? How short it was. I was excited for this one. But then I read it. Madeline was infuriating to read about. She literally got mad at her half brother, Benny, for his dad being around while hers isn’t. The romance was laughable. This was supposed to be enemies to lovers, but after a few days of hating each other, Jasper and Madeline randomly kiss. The plot is consists of Madeline whining or getting mad or blaming other’s for her stupidity. And her relationship with her mother, Dahlia, made no sense. Madeline hated Dahlia one moment and the next loved her. Finally, the reason this isn’t 1 star is because I really liked the side characters, Zelda, Benny, Ravi and Grant. Find my full review here.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

City of Shattered Light by Claire Winn

Thank you to Netgalley & North Star Editions/Flux books for an eARC of “City of Shattered Light” in exchange for an honest review!

This was amazing. I didn’t have low expectations, but this exceeded all of them. Cyberpunk, sapphic, good hearted criminals and found family. What more do I need?

These characters were so complex, the plot was fast paced, the romance was slow burn, everything about this book was so good. I read it in a day and was shocked by the cliffhanger ending (WHY?). I’m so excited for the sequel. Find my full review here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Follow Your Arrow by Jessica Verdi

I really liked this one! The messages of self-exploration and discovery were really prominent in the book and I really enjoyed watching CeCe figure herself out. She could be a little annoying at times, but she was also relatable. I also really liked Josh and his family, they are so cute and quirky, I just love how wholesome all the characters are.

One of my favorite things about this book was the way it addresses biphobia. Bisexual/pansexual people have to put up with crap all the time about how they can’t be LGBTQ+ if they’re in a heterosexual relationship. This happens to CeCe throughout the book and I think the author dealt with the issue nicely.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach

Thank you to Netgalley & HarperCollins Children’s Books for an ARC of “Not Here to Be Liked” in exchange for an honest review!

I definitely had mixed feelings about this book at the beginning. At the beginning, Eliza was extremely unlikable. Way too cold and critical. Blamed others for her problems. I liked Len, and wished that he could have had his own POV.

This book had so many examples of sexism. When a guy is confident, he’s a boss, when a girl’s a confident, she’s a b*tch. Which honestly is something I think we’re all so tired of. Periods are embarrassing, something to be ashamed of. And so many stereotypes. I think the author portrayed this stuff correctly and I liked the way the students slowly started a movement against it.

Overall, I really liked this one. Find my review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan

I felt seen when reading this. I know that’s an incredibly cheesy thing to say, but it’s so true. I saw myself in Karina, from the way she wanted to make her parents proud to her love of reading.

Ace and Karina were so cute. I love the romance and the other platonic relationships were also perfect. I loved how Samir and Karina slowly became close, and also, Nandini and Cora are queens.

And yes, I cried a bunch. What did you expect me to do? The writing was so descriptive of the scene and I couldn’t help it.

Also, does anyone else want to start a Dadu fan club?

Rating: 5 out of 5.

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1) by Hafsah Faizal

I have a lot of mixed thoughts on this one. I liked the characters. I liked the plot (although the pacing at the beginning was really bad).

However, the romance was supposed to be enemies to lovers. But it’s not. Instead of enemies TO lovers, it’s just enemies-lovers. There was no development. Zafira and Nasir definitely had chemistry, but the author rushed the romance.

Also, I didn’t love either the writing or world-building. The author just threw in a bunch of Arabic words and expected the readers to know what they meant?? I would have liked some more explanation on the definitions. And also, the world wasn’t explained enough. I wish she went into more detail.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Nonfiction

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies) by Scarlett Curtis

This could have been an amazing book, but instead it was a nuisance that took me a month to read. It was so boring. I like reading nonfiction books if they’re engaging and interesting to read. This was not. On the essays themselves, the titles were so bold and snappy so I was excited to read them. But then I actually read them.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Currently Reading

Here are the top posts of the month:

~June Goals~

  • Read at least 7 books ✅
  • Read 2 nonfiction books ❌
  • Find 3 book blogs that I really like and follow them ✅
  • Drink more water ✅
  • Exercise more ❌

~July Goals~

  • Read at least 8 books
  • Read 2 nonfiction books
  • Catch up on my ARCs
  • Do more blog-hopping
  • Post at least 4 times
  • Exercise more

Updates

  • I got my 2nd dose of the covid vaccine and am now fully vaccinated, which is so nice to say. Unlike some people, I got quite a lot of side effects; a 102 degree fever, headaches, fatigue, the whole thing.
  • I’m going on vacation in July!! I’m visiting some friends that I haven’t seen in years and I’ve missed them a lot.

Movies/Documentaries

Skater Girl (2021)

I liked this one. I don’t have much to say about it though.

Inception (2010)

I think I have a new favorite movie?? Inception was amazing. The way they connected dreams and ideas and the mind and inception itself was so fascinating. The writers are so talented, the dialogue was amazing. I was hooked the entire time. The characters were so interesting, especially Cobb. The mystery that they integrated into the actual story . . . whoa. I was speechless at the end of it.

Also (please excuse me, I’m going to sound like an obsessed fangirl in the next paragraph), I couldn’t help but notice this movie’s similarities with Six of Crows. It sounds so weird, I know, but just hear me out. A team of 6 with a mastermind thief, the team doing it for the money, Cobb’s father saying to Cobb that he protects his investments, the mastermind thief’s tragic background, and it’s just filled with action and plot twists. If you haven’t watched this yet, I highly recommend it.

Music

How was your June? Have you read any of these books? Leave your thoughts on this post in the comments below!

35 thoughts on “June 2021 Wrap-Up + Hiatus Announcement”

  1. ah, I agree with you about We Hunt the Flame, it was a very meh book for me. I think it might have been the heavy writing, I like to read stuff that’s a little faster than that.
    Thanks for mentioning my post and I hope that you have a great vacation and hiatus! Congrats on the vax, but sorry about the side affects…those sound rough.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for including my post!! I loved we hunt the flame but I agree that it could’ve done better without the romance – but you can’t deny that zafira and nasir had a lot of chemistry hehe. Hope you have a restful hiatus😃 and have a great July!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great wrap-up! I haven’t heard of Not Here to Be Liked before, just put it on my TBR! And I’m sorry you didn’t like The Sound of Stars 😦
    AAAAAAAAH INCEPTION IS THE BEST
    have you seen any other Christopher Nolan movies?? I’ve seen most of them, and they’re all really mind-bendy like that, he’s a great director 🙂
    Hope you get some rest on your hiatus! Take care of yourself 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry you didn’t like Last Chance Books! It’s on my tbr, and well, I’ve heard similar things from other people. I’ll def be lowering my expectations. Not Here To Be Liked is also on my tbr, so I’m happy you liked it! Congrats on the arc too! Thank you so much for mentioning my post, you’re so sweet Ritz!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ritz!! you had such a wonderful june!! i’m sorry you didn’t enjoy last chance books, because it’s also super high on my tbr, and i was really excited to read it!! i also have an ARC of not here to be liked, and i’m super excited to get to it, because it sounds wonderful! i also cried a little bit during counting down with you hahaha, and YESS we need a dadu fan club!! thank you so much for mentioning my post! 🥺🥺 i hope you have a restful hiatus, and that july treats you well! 💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

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