Best Books of May and June 2020

Like I said in my July 2020 TBR video, I took a hiatus during the month of June to focus on sharing information about the Junk Terror Bill efforts, Black Lives Matter, Free Palestine, and other movements that needed to be boosted, donated to, and talked about. This month, I have a bit more energy to focus on doing that as well as continue with content creation, so I’m back!

I wanted to talk about the books I read in May and June, but also was too lazy (but what else is new?) to film a wrap-up video that encompassed every book that I read in those two months.

So, I decided to split my May and June wrap-up into two sections. I’d talk about the books that I really, really enjoyed in this blog post, and on my booktube I’ll talk about the worst books I read during those months. (Are we ready for tea to be spilled? 👀)

Read on to find out what were my faves in May and June!

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#StartOnYourShelfathon Catch-Up

So, the middle of the year literally just sprung up on all of us, huh? It’s almost July, which means 6 months of 2020 went by in a snap, just like that. This has been one heck of a crazy year.

At the beginning of 2020, I joined #StartOnYourShelfathon, a year-long readathon hosted by The Quiet Pond meant to help readers finish their TBRs carried over from 2019. You can read my original #StartOnYourShelfathon TBR here.

Now that we’re halfway through 2020, I thought it would be cool to do a catch-up and see which books I’ve read and how many are left! (And maybe cry a little bit if I realize that I haven’t read as many as I hoped. Oof.)

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[Book Review] Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia // all the best things about classic gothic horror

Listen. I have been dying to get my hands on diverse horror. I absolutely love the gothic horror genre – Dracula, Frankenstein, Carmilla, The Haunting of Hill House, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – I’ve read them all, and adored every last one.

However, most of the horror books I’ve seen out there, from the classics to the more modern offerings, haven’t been as diverse as I’d like them to be. Enter Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest book. I was intrigued both by the cover and the premise of a 1950s gothic horror set in Mexico, and was overjoyed when my request for an ARC was granted.

I buddy read this book with Krisha, Lili, and Whitney and was absolutely not disappointed. Read on to find out what I loved about this book!

Get this book here!

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Most Anticipated Reads: July, August, and September 2020

Hooooo boi. We’re at the halfway point of the year, and what a year it has been. COVID-19 is nowhere near over, and a ton of countries are not doing their jobs in containing the virus at all. *cough* Duterte and the IATF *cough*

The world seems like it’s going to shit, and sometimes it seems like you actively have to look for things that spark joy. And one of those things that spark joy is keeping an eye out on upcoming releases. So, as usual, here are my most anticipated reads for the third quarter of the year! (Check out my most anticipated reads for the first quarter of the year here, and the second quarter here.)

This list also includes books that were in my Most Anticipated Reads: March, April, and May 2020 post that were postponed to the third quarter of the year!

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[Book Review] The Obsidian Tower – Melissa Caruso // political intrigue and necromancy

I’m honestly really appalled at myself that I’ve never read a Melissa Caruso book before. I requested The Obsidian Tower from NetGalley on a whim, buddy read it with Lili @ Utopia State of Mind, and absolutely ended up loving it! And now tbh I’m determined to read the rest of her books as well.

Not only is this book chock-full of amazing magic systems and political intrigue, it’s also got tons of casual queer rep. So if you’re looking to add more queer reads to your TBR for Pride Month, read on!

Get this book here!
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When Short Books Do You No Favors: A Discussion of Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

I’m a fan of short books. They’re great ways to get your reading count up if you’re trying to meet a goal, and they’re a wonderful way to fit some reading into the day when you don’t have the energy or mental space for a longer, meatier book.

But sometimes, shortness just doesn’t work for the story you’re trying to tell. Sometimes, you really do need to take the time to explore your setting and your plot, and if that takes 500+ pages, then so be it. If you need to do that in order to do justice to the story that you want to tell, then you need to do that!

Unfortuantely, Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao is a perfect example of when short books do no favors, for either the author or the reader. If you want to know why I, unfortunately, did not enjoy this book, then read on!

You can get a copy of this book here!
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Book Characters That Would Get Along

Hello guys, gals, and nonbinary pals! Welcome back to my blog. Today, I’m bringing to you a post that I’ve been thinking about for sometime, ever since lockdown began. Obviously, social distancing and staying home means that I can’t exactly see my friends, and as an admittedly extroverted person (a rarity in the book community, I know!) quarantining has been a little hard on me.

So it got me wondering, which of the characters of my favorite books would get along and eventually become friends? Which leads me to this post!

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[Book Review] Steel Crow Saga – Paul Krueger // fantasy post-WWII discussions of colonialism, forgiveness, and love of country

ETA 20 June 2020:

Following the allegations against Paul Krueger, I am rescinding my support of Steel Crow Saga and the rest of Paul’s books. I believe victims of harassment always, even if the harasser is someone I looked up to and deeply admired.

I have never subscribed to the belief that art can be separated from the artist, and I would be the worst kind of hypocrite if I don’t hold myself and my heroes to that same standard. I urge the rest of Steel Crow Saga fans to consider the courage people needed to muster to come forward, and to retract their support as well.

To the victims, I am deeply sorry for all that you have experienced, and I am also sorry if my outspoken support for Paul resurrected any pain, fear, discomfort, or trauma. I sincerely pray for light and healing for all of you.

***

A couple of months ago, I was applying for a senior manager position in another company. The head honcho who would be my direct supervisor if I got the job asked me what I looked to do in my spare time. I said that I liked to read, so she asked me what I was currently reading. At the time, I was participating in #SteelCrowReadathon by Shealea, so I said I was reading that. The director asked me what it was about – and that’s how I ended up spending fifteen minutes of a job interview gushing about a book.

(I got the job, by the way.)

Read on to find out what I loved about this amazing five-star read!

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Buy this book here!
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How Not to End a Trilogy: The Case of The Folk of the Air

This review has been three years in the making. Lol.

When I first read The Cruel Prince back in 2018, I honestly saw the appeal. I thought it wasn’t a particularly great book, but it was a highly entertaining one. It was problematic as fuck – it portrayed a victim being in a romantic relationship with her abuser as a good thing and perpetuated that age-old super harmful stereotype of boys being mean to girls because they like them. But it was still enjoyable to read because its main character was one of the most ruthless, ambitious, cunning girls I’ve ever seen in YA fiction. I didn’t know where The Cruel Prince was going to take me, but I did know I wanted to go along with Jude Duarte.

Little did I know the Jude that developed in The Cruel Prince, the Jude that I fell in love with in The Wicked King, was going to be snatched away and replaced by a changeling (hah!) in The Queen of Nothing.

Read on to find out how I was let down by one of the most anticipated reads of the entire YA community.

(Be aware though that this discussion post is not spoiler-free!)

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Get The Cruel Prince here, The Wicked King here, or The Queen of Nothing here.

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