June Wrap-Up and Reading Challenge Update

Goal: 80 books (5 more books than last year)

Progress: 41 books (I’ve finally gotten on track!)

We’re not going to look at all of the books I’ve read so far this year in this post because that would be insanely long. Let’s just take a look at the books I read in June, and we’ll revisit the rest of them later. I read 12 books in June. I’ll be writing full reviews on some of these soon, but here are some initial thoughts on each!

1. Furyborn by Claire Legrandclaire legrand furyborn

I had no idea that this book was coming out this year until I saw some of my favorite authors wishing it a happy book birthday on Instagram. I instantly fell in love with the cover and put it on hold at my library (love my library). I finished this book in one day. Strong female protagonists, a magic system that’s different from most I’ve read about before – what is there not to love? This is a book that I’m definitely going to end up buying, and I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel (and hoping that Claire will do a tour for it that comes near me)!

2. Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal

3. The Queen’s Accomplice by Susan Elia MacNeal

4. The Paris Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal

I recently rediscovered this series. I haven’t touched it in about three years, but I remembered really enjoying it. And that hasn’t changed! I’ve caught up on the series, and I’m waiting for the eighth book to come out this fall. The Maggie Hope Mystery Series is just a really fun set of books to read. They’re quick, fun reads, so I was able to blaze through three of the books on my Kindle in June.

5. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus

One of my friends and I were wandering through a bookstore trying to pick out a buddy read when we came across One of Us Is Lying. We didn’t pick it for the buddy read, but checking this book put it on my radar. I grabbed it from the library a couple weeks later and devoured it in a single evening. I’ve heard it compared to The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars, but I’ve never watched either of those…soooo…I can’t confirm any comparisons. That aside, I enjoyed how this book switched perspectives and presented all the information. A highly enjoyable read!

6. Beartown by Fredrik Backmanfredrik backman beartown

Fredrik Backman is one of my bestie’s fav authors, and we have a deal that we read each other’s book baes. I tried reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, but I just couldn’t get into that book. And then she told me about Beartown. I was very excited going into this book because it’s about hockey (my IRL favorite sport). I read the book across an afternoon, and I couldn’t put it down. When I started it, I wasn’t expecting it to be quite the emotional trip it was. But oh. my. gosh. Beartown is a small hockey town, and it’s a hockey town through and through. Essentially the entire town lives and breathes hockey there because of their youth teams. A horrific and tragic event happens, then everyone is left to deal with the aftermath. I enjoyed reading the book, but I wasn’t prepared for all the emotions that book would wring out of me.

7. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

8. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

I. Love. This. Series.

A Reaper at the Gates just came out in June, so I re-read the first two books to be ready for Reaper. I think I’ve only read the first two books once each (maybe twice for Ember), and I had forgotten how much I love this world that Sabaa built. The way she builds her characters and constructs her plots is gorgeous, and I am so excited to start Reaper.

9. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

I honestly do not know how I hadn’t read this yet, but my goodness am I glad that I’ve read it now. It took me a little bit to get fully engaged in this book, but once I did, I’ve fallen hard for this series. I love Amani, I find her dynamic with Jin fascinating, and I can’t wait to see where Hamilton takes these characters I care so deeply about in the rest of the series.

10. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 

Be still my heart. I cannot even with the beauty of this book.madeline miller the song of achilles

This may be one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever consumed. I loved Miller’s writing style and sentence structure and just how technically beautiful the book was. But my love goes further than that to the story itself. All this is probably aided by the fact that I listened to the audiobook, and the actor’s voice if A+++. I loved Greek mythology growing up and took ancient Greek history and language courses in high school, so this book was so far up my alley it was practically at my doorstep. I’ve read the Odyssey before, but I always had some trouble getting all the way through the Iliad (so many people to keep track of). I loved hearing the story of Achilles from Patroclus’ perspective – it’s a different light than you normally hear about him. I’m definitely going to be picking the Iliad back up again soon because of this book!

11. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

I have no idea how I found this book, but I’m glad I did! This retelling of the Arabian Nights tale was a quick and entertaining read. Nothing in particular sticks out to me about this story, but I enjoyed reading it.

12. Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoffamy kaufman jay kristoff obsidio

I have finally finished the series! This series is one that I should have re-read the first two books to prepare for the conclusion. I didn’t, and I’ve only read each of the first books once, so I was confused for a while at the beginning of Obsidio. I had a hard time remembering who everyone was, where they came from, what exactly they went through in previous books…and there were just so many characters to keep track of. As I kept reading, I was getting everyone straightened out, but it still took me a while to get into the story. I was probably about halfway into the book before I got engaged to a point where it was hard to put the book down. All things considered, I’m glad that I finished out the series and enjoyed the book!

What have y’all read so far this year? How are your reading challenges going (if you’ve been doing one)? What’s been your favorite read from the first half of the year? 

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