I’ve actually been doing a tonne of reading lately, which is excellent – but also means that I’m not quite on track with my blog posts. I keep getting distracted when I’m writing them, okay?! THE BOOKS ARE JUST THAT GOOD. I flew through a lot of these books and I’m now so excited to discuss them with you! So excuse me for the short introduction, but why don’t we dive right in?
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly (★★★★★)
I know I’m quite generous with my 5 star ratings, because for me a great book is just one I don’t want to put down. I’m not very picky, I just have to like a few aspects and get to the end easily and I’m happy. But for this one, I’m tempted to break the scale. Stepsister could be one of the few ‘above 5 stars’ that I’ve given out in a long time. It’s awfully tempting, but it’s just not quite as good as some of the others. Strange The Dreamer, for example. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT FELL SHORT IN ANYWAY. If you know me at all, you know I’m an absolute sucker for retellings. They are my one true love, my buzz word, my “please gimme gimme” TBR weakness and I can say with certainty… this one did NOT disappoint. I honestly wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did (is that bad?) as it wasn’t one that made it onto my MOST ANTICIPATED 2019 RELEASES, but let’s just say it’s been better than some of the ones that made it on my list and leave it at that. (*Cough* The Merciful Crow *Cough*)
Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan (★★★★☆)
I didn’t doubt for a moment that I’d enjoy this one, considering the fact that A Touch of Gold was one of my TOP 10 reads of last year, and if I remember correctly it was even in the top 3. It’s definitely one of my favourite retellings of all time, and when I got the chance to read Tiger Queen early – I wasn’t ever going to say no. It was an opportunity of a life time for me, supporting an author I adore who is one of the sweetest people ever whilst also getting to read her next book?! Yes please! All of this probably means you are wondering: why 4 stars? Why not 5? Well, my system is flawed. Tiger Queen was undoubtedly so close to a perfect rating and if I had half stars (or even 3 quarter stars), it would more accurately describe how I felt about this book. I loved it, I really did. But some small part of me couldn’t stop comparing it to A Touch of Gold and it wasn’t quite as perfect. By that, I mean, if I had read Tiger Queen first it would have easily gotten 5 stars. But because I didn’t and I know the potential Annie’s writing has, and know how much more this book could have been – that’s why it fell short. Not because it was bad in anyway, because like I said, it is close to perfect. If I’d never read her writing before, I would have been enraptured and in love. But for me as a professional Annie fan Tiger Queen wasn’t quite enough.
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan & Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan (★★★★☆)
I hate to finally have to say it out loud but Girls of Storm and Shadow doesn’t quite match up to the first book. (This seems to be a repeating pattern). In a way, I get it. Debuts are so important for authors and so much more time is usually spent on them. They get years of focus and then they get published and the author has another year or two before they need to spurt out another book. Before I get into a rant of debuts versus the dreaded second book (would you like to read a post about that though?!), I’ll get back on track and break down why Girls of Storm and Shadow felt off to me. I understand these books were always meant to be more than ‘just’ romance, but it seemed like there was no love at all between the two people who get together in the first book. There’s not really many arguments but there’s just not any spark or sweet moments or any displays of affection at all really. I know I’m exaggerating when I say this but it literally felt like they said about 5 words to each other throughout the entire book. Luckily, the side characters and the plot CARRIED this train wreck but I wanted to much more from my OTP that I just… didn’t get.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (★★★★★)
You guys have been insisting I get round to this one and I finally did it! I know I don’t actually deserve a round of applause for reading a book but considering how long this one has been on my TBR, you can imagine how elated I’m feeling that I finally picked it up AND loved it! What a double whammy of wins. I had the feeling that it would be something I enjoyed, but not something I would obsessively stan and adore for the rest of my days but let’s just say – I, too, am in love with Evelyn Hugo. The way the story was written was so refreshing for my mind AND my eyeballs. IT WAS JUST SOME WHOLESOME NOT-FAMILY-FRIENDLY CONTENT!
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (★★★★★)
After the rollercoaster of emotions The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo put me through, I tried to get into a few different books. It wasn’t happening. Something inside me was insisting I read more Taylor Jenkins Reid and suddenly I was purchasing Daisy Jones and accidentally pressing play on the audiobook. Or something. I don’t really know, it’s all kind of a blur. EITHER WAY, let’s just say it was good enough that I wanted the physical copy too. YAY TAYLOR JENKINS REID!
Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson (★★★☆☆)
This was my most ‘meh’ read of the month. Three stars doesn’t necessarily mean it was bad, it was just so… eh. The only reason I got through it all was because it was in text format and therefore had very few actual words. It was like a picture book and I flew through it without really enjoying (or not not enjoying, for that matter) it. I got to the end and just set it down and moved on without a second thought.
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn (★★★★☆)
You probably knew I’d be talking about this one sometime soon, as I raved so much about it in my haul but here it is! I finished it! It was adorable and fluffy and broke my heart a little bit, but in the best way so I forgive it. It’s the perfect summer-romance story that my little sappy heart needed.
American Royals by Katherine McGee (★★★★☆)
I wanted this one to be a five star read so badly. It was pitched for fans of Royals and Red, White & Royal Blue (one of which I haven’t read, and the other I have read and loved). It was definitely different. It was a refreshing twist on the world we know today, and it did totally make me wish that George Washington had been crowned King and that the USA had reigning monarchs. If only so I could experience more royal family drama.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (★★★★★)
I wasn’t actually planning on picking this one up. It’s an adult romance, one of which I mentioned in the same blog post that I talked about wanting to read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in, and this was the second most recommended book from the comments. Therefore, I felt obliged to you guys to eventually get round to it- and I just so happened to be in the right mood for it. All because of The Seven Husbands and desperately trying to fill the hole in my heart that it created. I needed a really cheesy adult romance to try and help myself to stop feeling hung over, and this was the perfect fit. Whilst it’s the last book on my wrap-up this month because I technically finished it last, I was listening to it on audiobook pretty much straight after I finished Daisy Jones – so it was the perfect hangover cure.
I was going to say “fingers crossed I have an amazing reading month in July as well!” and then realised that I am writing this more than half way through July and therefore KNOW that I am having a pretty good reading month. YAY ME, I guess? Now to try post THAT wrap-up on time…