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!
May 2020 Fave Books
The Silence of Bones by June Hur
A murder mystery set in Joseon-era Korea, investigated by a servant to the local police on the lowest rung of the pecking order, this utterly atmospheric historical thriller was everything I wanted and more. Not only was it a spine-chillingly good murder mystery, it also had some very important lessons to impart about loyalty, the pursuit of truth and justice, and how often the two can be mutually exclusive.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
I buddy read this book with Kal and Krisha. This book was so beautiful and colorful and one heck of a tear-jerker! It’s an urban fantasy about a trans boy who wants to prove he’s a true brujo by summoning a spirit – magic which is solely the province of the men of his family. Aiden gets more than he bargained for when he summons the ghost of Julian Diaz, a known troublemaker, and is drawn into a conspiracy of death and magic. I absolutely adored this love letter to trans kids and Latinx culture!
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
This is a reread for me, since I originally read this in 2018. I picked it up again for the #DiscoverDaevabad readathon and to prepare for the 2020 release of The Empire of Gold, the third book in the trilogy. It was such a treat to get to revisit all the characters and places I’d fallen in love with, as well as mentally and emotionally prepare for reading the last twoo books. 😭
The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco
This was a reread as well, this time for the #TBWReadathon hosted by Lili, Krisha, and Shealea! I’d read The Bone Witch in April and it was so great to pick out all the foreshadowing and see my favorite characters at the beginning of their journey. In The Heart Forger, what I really enjoyed was getting to read about Kalen and Tea falling in love, and then of course this is the book where the action really picks up and the plot gets super exciting and fast-paced. So if you’re into that sort of thing, the second installment in this trilogy is the book for you!
The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso
I buddy read this book with Lili and we had so much fun with it! It’s a recent release by Orbit (and you know in this household we love and stan Orbit), and it’s about a girl named Ryx who comes from a family of mages that have sworn to protect a powerful magical artifact. Ryx, whose power is damaged and hurts everyone she touches, must navigate diplomatic and political minefields to ensure that the artifact, and her kingdom, stay safe. This book is also hella casually queer, with bisexuals, aces, polyamorous people, and nonbinary folks just swinging swords and casting spells left, right, and center! I wrote a review of this book here.
The Never-Tilting World by Rin Chupeco
I read this for the #TNTWReadalong Shealea and I hosted! This YA science fantasy is all about a world struck by a cataclysm that stopped it from spinning and divided it into two. Only two young goddesses – daughters of the goddess that originally split the world years and years ago – and their faithful companions can put everything to rights again. This book is basically about a group of young people working to fix their elders’ mistakes and we truly love to see it.
June 2020 Fave Books
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
So I’m pretty sure a ton of people already know this (lol) but I participated in #Percydathon, a readalong for the original five books of Percy Jackson and the Olympians! The last time I read these books, I was literally fifteen years old. So it was really wonderful to get to revisit these characters again: Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Tyson, Clarisse, Silena, Thalia, Luke, etc. It made me so emotional and so soft and, of course, so happy that these books – not to mention Uncle RIck’s morals and values – aged like fine wine. In this house, we love true allies.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Fuck – and I cannot stress this enough – mushrooms. All joking aside though, this book was really great! It was gothic horror, which is a genre I love; and so incredibly atmospheric it just really creeped me out. It was super full of twists and turns and left Lili, Whitney, Krisha, and me guessing at every moment! I actually wrote a review of this book here if you’d like to check it out.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
Like I keep saying, the only valid A (Blank) of (Blank) s this book. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. But seriously though, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin takes your usual “royalty falls in love with assassin” fantasy plot and injects it with new life. The protagonists, Karina and Malik, are both so wonderfully complex and driven, and the way they slowly begin to be attracted to each other despite having opposing motivations was really heart-rending. Aside from being such a compelling story, this book also had some fantastic rep on handling anxiety and the processing of grief.
The Wicker King by K. Ancrum
This book. Hoo boy, this book. It broke me, absolutely and utterly. A stark, compelling portrayal of mental illness, codependency, and all the ways adults and society in general can absolutely fail the kids who need them. Composed of mixed media like photos, drawings, notes, and the covers of mix tapes alongside of the story’s text, The Wicker King paints a haunting picture of two boys who find themselves befriending each other and eventually falling in love while having to find help for mental illness.
The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
This book killed me. It’s Kate’s ghost that sitting at her laptop right now and writing this wrap-up. Set five years after The City of Brass, this book shows us where our characters are and what they’ve been up to. Nahri has learned how to live up to her Nahid ancestors’ name and is now a well-known healer. Ali lives in a small village in the Am Gezira desert. Muntadhir is losing himself in alcohol and desire for Jamshid. And Dara is serving a very different Daeva. It starts off with pain and ends on a cliffhanger (very literally…. 👀). Deadass, when I finished the book, I was crying and I could feel my heart racing. I hate it but also I love it.
The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco
The last book in The Bone Witch trilogy was a reread for the #TBWReadathon, and I enjoyed every bit of it. This trilogy really changed me in terms of my reading habits, how I look at books, and what I look for in speculative fiction – so it always makes me emotional to read the book that ended it and closed a chapter in my life. The Shadow Glass was a perfect ending that neatly tied up all loose ends (although it wasn’t the happy ending that would have made my heart hurt less) and it just really made me cry way too many times!
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
I’ve had this book on my #StartOnYourShelfathon tbr for ages and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. I know a lot of people are gonna make a comparison to Six of Crows because of the cover and the book’s general vibe of taking place in a city known for gambling and other vices, but it’s vastly different. I have some criticisms about the book – the plot felt kind of all over the place, and the world-building in terms of the magic system could be better. But I honestly just had good fun reading this book, and greatly enjoyed the chaotic bi protagonist!
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Chloe Brown decides to move out from under the thumb of her wealthy family and into a small apartment to “get started” on her life after a near-death experience. At first, she doesn’t get along with the sexy superintendent – until he offers to help her with a certain item on her “get a life” list. And, oh my goodness. This book. This book. 😭 It was so beautiful and just so healthy! This is one of the few romance books that I’m okay with using the miscommunication trope because it deals with it so well: the characters communicate openly, listen to each other, and most important they actually get therapy! I freaking love it so much.
What did you think?
☕ How were your May and June?
☕ What were your fave books that you read during these months?
☕ Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
Also, don’t forget to check out this carrd for information on various causes like #BlackLivesMatter, #JunkTerrorLawNow, #FreePalestine, and other important current events.