Here we are, at the end of another month with another wrap up (apologies for missing May). In June I read nine books, not quite as many as I was hoping to read, but I’m pleased with most of the things I read and (as you’ll see) I have rediscovered an obsession I didn’t even know existed. I unfortunately did not find any new favourite books, but nothing was awful, and I’m willing to recommend pretty much all of them. So here are the books I read in June!
Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
I really adore Anna-Marie McLemore’s books – their writing is so beautiful and vivid. Blanca & Roja was my favourite book of 2019, so I was hoping to find a new favourite in their previous publications. I did really enjoy this, but it lacked the spark that Blanca & Roja had. This book is literally so my aesthetic – its about women who can grow flowers and tend this huge garden which both provides a home for them and traps them there. I just wanted a little more, and I’m honestly not sure what was missing. Overall I feel very good about this book, and I enjoyed it more than Dark and Deepest Red (their most recent book which I read in May).
To Be A Cat by Matt Haig
For much of the month I was in the mood to reread, and I started by reading one of my favourite childhood books. I’m not rating this one, because my feelings for it are different from those I have towards the new books I read today. But I honestly think this is such a good children’s book, and the deeper themes and messages that I understand now are very sad. This follows a young boy who is facing bullying at school, both from the other kids around him but also from his horrible headmistress, as well as his parents’ divorce and the subsequent disappearance of his father. One day, after a particularly terrible day at school, he wishes he could become a cat….and he does. Trouble ensues from there, and overall it is a delightful story that I think a lot of kids would appreciate.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
So then I decided to reread the entire original Percy Jackson series. When I read these for the first time when I was younger, I enjoyed them, but they were never my favourites. I never even considered continuing on to read the following series that Rick Riordan has published, and I have seen them so many times and completely ignored them. But what was my younger self doing? I loved reading these again – they brought me so much joy, and the concept is everything – I want to be a demigod now! There are limitless possibilities for stories and characters and I’m so excited to read everything else in this world now, because I have been missing out for so long. My favourite book is probably the fourth (The Battle of the Labyrinth)with my least favourite being the first (The Lightning Thief), but they are all pretty much indistinguishable in my enjoyment of them.
Stormbird by Conn Iggulden
This book has been on my shelves for such a long time. I love historical fiction and I haven’t been reading enough of it recently. However, this one was a little bit…dry? It’s sort of a fictionalised account of the wars of the roses, told from different perspectives – some real historical figures, and others the author’s own creations. This already irritates me, because something I don’t like in historical fiction is mixing your own fictional characters with real people. I don’t mind stretching the truth, or having fictional minor character, but having an entirely new main character inserted as the King’s advisor/spy, for example, frustrates me. I’m not sure why – I think it feels almost like fanfiction to me, and it just doesn’t blend together very well. The only perspective which I really fully enjoyed was that of Margaret of Anjou – she was pretty cool and I liked her. I am making this sound terrible – it’s really not, its quite enjoyable. I have the rest of the series and I will read it, and I would still recommend it if, like me, you find this period of history interesting.
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Here you can see where the Percy Jackson obsession has really taken hold, because I started this new series. I think in places the plot is a little overcomplicated, but overall I really enjoyed reading this, and discovering new characters and new parts of the world. I think my favourite character was Piper in this book, although from reading the blurb of the sequel I can see we get even more new characters, which is very exciting. I also really appreciate the diversity the author strives to include in his books so lots of kids can see themselves in them. I can’t speak for the accuracy of the rep, and I urge you to read reviews by own-voices reviewers always, but Rick Riordan seems to be doing good things.
A fairly uneventful month in terms of reading, as most of it was Percy Jackson and none of it was an all time favourite. I really hope July holds some great things – I feel like a lot of my reading has been solidly good but not fantastic this year. Hopefully the right book will come my way soon.
What did you read in June? Are you also a Percy Jackson fan? And have you read any of these books? Let me know!