What I Read: June 2023

What I Read: June 2023

I have a confession.

Summer is only just officially in full swing… and yet, I find myself already opening my fall candles and smelling them. I love that time of the year, but I’m trying to get myself to embrace the season I’m in more. Maybe, I’ll actually read some summer/beachy books in July!

As for June’s reads, I’m continuing to read a lot of non-fiction (which is a bit surprising) and a lot of fantasy:

  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  • Ledge by Stacey McEwan
  • To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
  • The Good Life by Marc. S Schulz and Robert J. Waldinger
  • Mastering Plot Twists by Jane K. Cleland
  • How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White
  • Icebreaker by Hannah Grace

Now for the reviews!

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

This is the third book in the ACOTAR series, so it may contain spoilers for the previous books. Click here to read my review of ACOTAR and here to read my review of ACOMAF.

It seems like a majority of fantasy series build toward a big battle… so this is the battle book. I’ll be honest, I really don’t enjoy reading battle/war scenes, so this is probably my least favorite of the series so far. That said, I’m very attached to these characters and this world.

The King of Hybern has the Cauldron and is ready to bring down the wall separating humans and fae, and kill all humans and anyone who tries to protect them. As High Lady of the Night Court, Feyre must work with Rhysand and the other High Lords on how to stop him and protect her old world. But considering they’ve made a few notable enemies along the way (*Tamlin*), this is no easy task. A dangerous and deadly battle begins.

Rating: 8/10

Ledge by Stacey McEwan

This book is a bit complicated to explain in only a few sentences, but I’ll do my best!

Dawsyn is living a miserable, lonely life trapped on the Ledge (it’s literally the ledge of a mountain that they can’t leave), where her family and others are hunted frequently by winged creatures known as Glacians. One day Dawsyn is “chosen” and is taken to the Glacian palace where she and other humans are tortured and led to a special pool where they will lose their souls. Rather than giving up, Dawsyn chooses to run down the mountain instead- something that no one has ever survived. One of the Glacians decides to help her and they escape together to the human world at the base of the mountain. It turns out he has big plans for the world and he wants Dawsyn to help him.

Be warned, this did end on a bit of a cliffhanger and the next book in the trilogy doesn’t come out until September.

Rating: 7/10

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

In case it’s not obvious from the previous few reviews, I’ve really decided to embrace the fantasy genre lately and was excited to read this book as it features characters I’ve never read about before.

Lira is a siren known as the “Prince’s Bane” for her habit of ripping out a prince’s heart every year on her birthday (all sirens are expected to claim a heart on their birthday, it’s just not usually a prince). She also stands in line to succeed her mother and serve as the next Sea Queen. But Lira’s future becomes murky, when she disobeys her mother and is turned into a human as a punishment. In an ironic twist, Lira ends up being rescued by a prince… who just so happens to hunt sirens. Will he figure out who she truly is? Will Lira follow through on some violent plans of her own? Drama, and some great banter, ensues.

Rating: 8/10

The Good Life by Marc. S Schulz and Robert J. Waldinger

This was an interesting book looking at the major lessons learned from one of the world’s longest studies on happiness. I’ll cut to the chase: According to this book, the secret to happiness seems to be having relationships and a community of people to trust, love, confide in, and spend time with. It’s not your job, becoming wealthy, or even accomplishing your dreams.

While that’s an optimistic message, I will say this book really underscores just how short life is, which is a bit scary to read and dwell on.

Rating: 8/10

Mastering Plot Twists by Jane K. Cleland

As someone that wants to get more serious about creative writing, this book was super helpful!

How do you add in good TDRs- twists, dangers, and reversals? When do you add them in to help with the pacing of your story? What about subplots? This book covers it all with very concrete, specific examples from published novels.

While I have a tendency to ignore the recommended exercises in non-fiction books, there’s a form toward the end of this book that I think will seriously help with outlining my next novel idea. I’m excited to get started on that!

Rating: 10/10

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White

This book is more about true cleaning (think doing the dishes and staying on top of laundry) rather than decluttering or organizing, but I really liked it! Dana K. White has such a positive and realistic attitude that makes you feel good about taking any action, no matter how small, toward less mess and having less stuff.

If you’re someone that already has a fairly clean home, this book is probably not geared toward you. But if you’re feeling absolutely overwhelmed, Dana gets really specific on the small details and how to make it all more manageable. Can’t wait to check out her other books!

Rating: 9/10

Icebreaker by Hannah Grace

If you spend any time on the book side of social media, this book has been everywhere lately!

Anastasia Allen is an ice skater at the University of California, Maple Hills, with big dreams of going to the Olympics. But when a prank forces the closure of one of the school’s ice rinks, she and the other figure skaters are forced to share the ice with the hockey team. That’s where she and Nate Hawkins (the captain of the hockey team) meet. While initially they don’t get along, Nate is determined to win her over. Romance and (some) drama follow.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t love this one as much as I thought I would. I feel like it needed more conflict.

Rating: 7/10

(Note: Don’t be fooled by the cover, this book is definitely NOT PG.)

Want more reviews? Check out what I read in May 2023!

As always, I want to know what YOU are reading. Leave a comment below.

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