Hello friends! Hope you all had a lovely June though ah it’s already about mid year where has time gone?
Ignores the fact that I question time Every. Single. Wrap up.
For me with school break June was definitely a more restful month though I still had so much studying and projects to be done, and I’m thrilled to report that I’ve managed to catch up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 60 books. June was a month filled with many anticipated reads and they did not disappoint, and it also granted me my very first five star read of the year and I couldn’t have been more happy with what it was.
Enough rambling, let’s talk books, blogging & life!
I managed to read SO many more books in June, with a grand total of 12, so now I’ve finally moved from 6 books behind my GR reading challenge to 3 in front!
Admonition by Kathryn Amurra [★★★½]
Admonition is the second book of the soothsayer’s path series though it can be read as a standalone. I read book 1: Soothsayer back in December last year and was thrilled when Kathryn Amurra approached me once again with an ARC of Admonition. Once again, a heartfelt historical romance full of atmosphere and most definitely swoon-worthy was presented, I really enjoyed it!
Vengeful by V.E. Schwab [★★★★]
Damn V.E. Schwab. I thought Vicious was already maxed out intensity so woah I was not prepared for vengeful in the slightest. It introduces a new bunch of deadly, enigmatic characters alongside Victor and Eli, all of them playing their own vicious games of revenge and power. The way the timelines of past and present, as well as the storyline of each of the characters were twisted together intricately was so brilliant. Vengeful keeps up with the morally grey element, the found family, as well as continuing to grab my heart and mind and not let go. Definitely a thrilling sequel!
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim [★★★★]
Spin the Dawn, Elizabeth Lim’s other series was my first read of the year. I appreciated the magical, whimsical vibe of it but something was missing… however, I’m so happy to say that Six Crimson Cranes was perfect! It packs in it themes of family and hope among dragons, curses and quests which are part of the retelling aspect of the German fairytale: The Wild Swans. The characters and the plot were all executed amazingly through the flowing prose, and I can’t recommend this one enough when it comes out next week!! (arc review + blog tour to come soon!)
The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang [★★★★★]
Lore by Alexandra Bracken [★★★½]
The first thing that struck me about this book was greek mythology!! Yes i’m proud of my inner percy jackson obsessed soul and will read virtually ANYTHING to do with greek gods haha. And lore delivered greek mythology in an urban setting wonderfully. The stakes were high, the adventure fast-paced, and at it’s core it’s an exploration of anger and fate through lore (our main character)’s dark backstory and the way she deals with things.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab [★★]
Ah disappointment reeks. I fell head over heels for the Villains duology, loved Addie LaRue and was ready to adopt the Shades of Magic series as new favourite… But no. Honestly, ADSOM to me was a book with great concept, I loved the magic system in particular… however the execution fell really flat. The book felt significantly underwhelming… where was all the intensity and fire i felt from vicious? I felt detached from the characters (probably only was interested in holland), could not feel any build up, and not the slightest excited during “climatic” portions. It was a very “meh” book overall unfortunately, but do let me know if it’s worth giving book 2 a try!
Slay by Brittney Morris [★★★★]
Wow this contemporary novel with a touch of sci-fi was truly powerful and well… awesome. The characters, especially our MC Kiera, were so compellingly written, and the discussions of race and the black experience truly thoughtful and incredible. Also, the sheer amount of warcross vibes radiating with the VR game world was so good ah!! An empowering story of strength and beauty of black culture, this is definitely one you need to add to your tbr!
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown [★★★]
Ah A Song of Wraiths and Ruin felt like a typical YA fantasy full of tropes for me, with the “I’m here to kill you but am falling for you” as the baseline of the story which was predictable and the instalove, ugh big NO. Malik and Karina also felt really two dimensional, nothing truly stood out to me about them and I more or less wasn’t concerned with what happened to them. However, one element I did appreciate was the folklore weaved throughout the story!
Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim [★★★]
Unravel the Dusk was a quick, but enjoyable read for me! I love how it tackled the ending of Spin the Dawn and once again brought us on an adventure filled with magic, and this time with much more political intrigue! Also, I was delighted by the famous Chinese myth referenced (one which I grow up with) and how it was weaved into the story!
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang [★★★★½] – reread
What can I say? I love this book so freaking much, it’s brilliant, please go read it. The Poppy War brings with it Rin, a morally grey, complex main character built on a foundation of emotional turmoil, history and class structure, accompanied by other intriguing side characters who will give you PAIN. It’s a harsh, unflinching portrayal of war, neither romanticised nor sensationalised, as well as a brutal yet meaningful glimpse of chinese history through a fantastical lens filled with lore. The Poppy War draws parallel to The Second Sino-Japanese War, while The Dragon Republic and The Burning God is based on the Chinese Civil War, and reading about my culture’s history and the exploration of the themes was just so impactful and made me prouder as well as more thoughtful about my identity as a Chinese.
The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang [★★★★★] – reread
My first five star read of the year! And for good reason. If The Poppy War was brilliant, The Dragon Republic would be shattering, groundbreaking and pure, unfiltered power. The themes of power, identity, war, discrimination and colonisation were ingrained in this novel as we witnessed the dramatic character arcs of Rin and the rest, as well as how, with reference to history, the war waged on ruthlessly. Rage and revenge is rampant in The Dragon Republic, Kuang once again does not shy from the darkness of the civil war or that of Western colonisation, and kills it with such an ending. GAH I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH BUT MY HEART HURTS SO BAD.
The Burning God by R.F. Kuang [★★★★★]
If pain were tangible, it would most definitely manifest in the form of The Burning God. I honestly don’t know what to say, I can’t form coherent sentences of how much I love this book and series. It’s thrilling, It’s devastating, it is such a masterpiece. Character arcs coming to an end, whatever was foreshadowed coming to fruition, shocking revelations and catastrophes, grapple of power and solidifying of identity, dynamics between the characters, war themes and others continuing to be wonderfully explored, and such a satisfying yet painful ending. The Burning God is most probably one of the best books I’ve ever read, hands down. AH the pain and the tears.
STARTED THIS MONTH BUT STILL CR
TBR FOR JULY
One of my IRL friends recommended me the Passenger duology and the premise of a violinist travelling through time sounds intriguing, furthermore I enjoyed Lore by Alexandra Bracken as well and am anticipating a fast-paced an fantastical ride! I loved This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger as well as The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He, and thus am eager to read more of their books! Additionally, We Hunt the Flame has been repeatedly recommended to me! I placed an order for a copy, hopefully it comes soon and I can devour it!
June was the month where I finally got off my mini hiatus and managed to hop around the blogosphere (hough towards the end of the month I started getting busy, sigh)! Also I’m so touched, even when I was gone the follower count rose up to 400?? Thank you guys! 🥺💕
MY POSTS THIS MONTH
I still need to work on a posting schedule instead of simply publishing whenever I like haha, but here are my posts for the month!
POSTS I LOVED THIS MONTH
- Lilly @ Lilly’s Little Library is back from her long hiatus!
- Ahaana @ Windows to Worlds started a booktube channel (you can find it HERE, go subscribe and show some love!!) she’s one of my favourite bloggers out there and i’m SO excited to see her bring her content to a new platform!!
- Janhavi @ A Cottage of Words has a blog rename & gives it a makeover and I am in love!
- Sanah @ Stories and Stardust makes some fun changes to her blog and I’m truly anticipating her future content now!
- Cherry @ Letters to the Lost announces a new blog series!
- Becky @ Simply it’s Blue came back from her hiatus and discussed with us wattpad books!
- Rachel @ A Bookworm’s Paradise talks about Appreciation for Book Bloggers in a meaningful discussion post!
- Jan @ The Doodlecrafter discussed trends in YA fiction, such a perceptive and meaningful post too with great recs!
- Maya @ Pretty Little Scribbles thoughtfully talks about Diversity in YA and gives us some recommendations!
- Saniya @ Sunnyside Reviews discusses how she creates bookish content and it’s truly insightful haha!
- Katie @ Whispering Pages shares a staggering 40 anticipated releases for the second half of the year, and wow rip my tbr and backlist books…
- Gauri @ A Book and Chai shares with us a list of Asian books releasing in the second half of 2021, and ahh my tbr explodes again!
- Aarushi @ Aarushi Reads shares about non-fiction books, it’s a genre I honestly struggle with but I felt more motivated to get back in with some of her recs so do check her post out!
- Ahaana @ Windows to Worlds shares about her top 12 YA books and what they mean to her, and it was such a heartfelt post I loved it!
- Ashmita @ The Fictional Journal did the Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag!
- Emily @ Frappes and Fiction also did the Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag!
- April @ Booked Till Midnight does ten second reviews of contemporaries with pictures of geese and i almost died laughing
- Emme @ A Literary Latte wrote a review for These Violent Delights and I was nodding my head the entire time, as well as trying to ignore the desperate yearning for Our Violent Ends!
- Ritz @ Living Loving and Reading did her first ARC review of City of Shattered Light and wow the vibes of that cyberpunk found family novels are so good, it’s on my tbr
- Saima @ Stories with Saima wrote a lovely review on The Ghosts We Keep and it sounds wonderful!
- Kaya @ A Fictional Bookworm wrote a review on We Hunt the Flame, a book on my July TBR and I’m excited now!
I hope everyone’s been doing okay and all.
For singapore, Covid-19 restrictions are being eased once again which is definitely hopeful. I’m also truly grateful to be able to have gotten my vaccine. stay safe everyone!
With school break, apart from catching up with reading, I’ve also had the chance to binge watch A LOT of movies and some TV shows, specifically those from the MCU. Though in terms of thrill and pain level books always rise triumphant, MCU movies come a close second for me haha.