June Wrap Up and July TBR

Good morning, so it is the end of June and therefore time for my wrap up. I had a very good reading month, both in terms of the quantity and the quality. I am pretty happy with this month’s progress, especially because I have been trying to read the books on my shelves before buying any new books. I read a total of 14 books and I bought no new books. I am patting myself on the back right now because there are so many books I want to get my hands on 🙂 but this month I restrained myself. Out of the 14 books only one is rated lower than a 3 star rating. All in all, I had a great reading month.

 

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Ninefox Gambit / Yoon Ha Lee ★★.5
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
It was a good first book but it is very clearly a set up book. We get a whole load of information and for a good portion of the beginning I was kind of confused. The pacing was all over the place, in my opinion, which makes it trickier to follow what is happening. The world building is great, if a little confusing, and the characters are quite interesting – although the secondary characters all kind of blurred into one for me. Overall I liked it but didn’t love it and it was not an easy read, in terms of keeping up with all the information. I don’t know if I will continue this series.

 

 

Leviathan Wakes / James S. A. Corey ★
The first book in The Expanse series, this is a science fiction book. It took me a little while to get into this book and to be completely honest I didn’t feel particularly engaged with the characters. However I thought the plot was enjoyable and I did enjoy the dynamics of the relationship between Holden and Miller. They are very different individuals and it is interesting to see their differing views on a lot of topics. My one main complaint would be the use of woman purely as love interests. To me it seemed like the main women were there just to be love interests and I am not a big fan of that. Overall I enjoyed it and I am interested to try out the next book in the series.

 

 

First Rider’s Call / Kristen Britain ★★★
The second book in the Green Rider series, this was a bit disappointing. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy it but it definitely wasn’t quite as good as book 1. I felt that it was too long – my edition was over 700 pages long. Some parts really dragged for me and I felt that there were areas in the book that could have been cut down. I am also not a fan of the flashbacks but that is just personal preference and it was quite interesting to learn more about the First Rider (although why does she always say hey in sentences?). Karigan once again got very annoying – she was still in denial (I mean seriously get over it!). The character development and growth could definitely do with some work. Overall it was good and I will be continuing on with this series.

 

 

After the Banquet / Yukio Mishima  ★★★.5
This was my first book by Mishima. I enjoyed it – I enjoyed the descriptions of the characters and think the book contains an interesting look into human nature. I enjoyed the look into politics and ambition. It was also interesting to see this deceptively complex woman forge her way through a sexist society (this was written in the 60s). Although the characters are interesting, I didn’t particularly like any of them and I didn’t feel particularly captivated by the story. Having said that I was engaged with it and I read it in just a couple of sittings – I know that seems abit contradictory but basically I was engaged by the story but I was not in love with it (if that makes sense). It is abit slow to start with but once you get through a few chapters you get into the flow of the writing and story. It was good but not amazing for me. I would be interested to try out more by the author though.

 

 

The End of the Affair / Graham Greene ★★★.5
This was my first Greene book and it won’t be my last. I really enjoyed his writing – you have a sense that he never wastes a word. However the story never had me fully captivated. I did enjoy it and it was quite an interesting read but I didn’t love it. The characters were interesting but I didn’t really care about them. I will definitely be checking out more of Graham Greene in the future.

 

 

Nevernight / Jay Kristoff ★★★★
I was lucky enough to win a copy from a Goodreads giveaway and so I was able to read it early. It is released in the UK on August 11th. 3.5/4 stars – I really enjoyed this book. I definitely wasn’t blown away but it was still great. I took me awhile to get into it and I think it was perhaps abit too long. The characters were all intriguing – I especially loved Mister Kindly. I think I would have liked abit more development of Mia throughout the book but that is a small issue and hopefully it will happen in the next books. I love a good assassin story and this was definitely a great one – I think Mia is a great female protagonist! I am very happy I got this chance to read it early and I would definitely recommend this, especially if you like darker fantasy, assassins and a witty cat companion.

 

 

The Way of Kings Part 2 / Brandon Sanderson ★★★★
I enjoyed this more than part 1 – I think because I knew exactly what to expect. I found the switches in perspective and time to be less jaring. I do feel that overall it was perhaps too drawn out and there were some sections that dragged abit for me. Having said that I still really enjoyed. Sanderson is an incredible writer. I personally found Kaladin’s and Dalinar’s perspective more enjoyable than Shallan. Overall I enjoyed this and I am definitely interested in continuing with the series, especially after that ending.

 

 

The Raven Boys / Maggie Stiefvater ★★★★
3.5/4 I buddy read this with Shannon over on Shannon Rose Reads – we had both been debating whether to read this very popular series so we decided to read book 1 together. I didn’t know a whole lot going into this book and I have to admit that I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I don’t have a great track record when it comes to extremely popular series (e.g. the Throne of Glass series) so I thought this wouldn’t be my thing but I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t completely blown away and there are a few things that didn’t quite work for me. I will freely admit that I am not a romantic person so the whole true love thing doesn’t really work for me but I am willing to put that aside. It is also perhaps a little slow. I got frustrated with the characters a few times and the angst was sometimes a bit much for me but overall I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be continuing on with the series.

 

Beyond the Pale / Emily Urquhart ★★★★
I was lucky enough to win this in a giveaway hosted by the lovely Jen Campbell. It is a non fiction book about albinism, which is a genetic condition where pigment fails to form in the skin, hair and eyes. I knew next to nothing about the condition going into this book, so it was very interesting to learn more about it. I studied biology at school so I understood about recessive genes but apart from that it was all kind of new to me. It is written very well and you don’t need any prior knowledge. I think this was a wonderful book and I highly recommend it. Please go read it.

 

The Waking Fire / Anthony Ryan ★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
It is being released on July 7th. This was my first book by this author and I am very glad I picked it up. I thought the world building was wonderful and the magic system was an interesting one, in which you ingest product (drake’s blood – Blue, Red, Green or Black) to gain different powers. This definitely gave me Mistborn vibes – in the sense of ingesting stuff to gain powers. The book was evenly spread between the three perspectives throughout the book and I found each narrative engaging. The character growth is well done and the book itself is well written. Some sections did have slower pacing, so it may drag for some, but I personally didn’t have an issue with it. Overall I really enjoyed it and I am excited to see how things progress in the next book. I would highly recommend checking this out, especially if you are a big fantasy reader.

 

The Grace of Kings / Ken Liu ★★★★
This is the first book in the Dandelion Dynasty trilogy. Overall I really enjoyed this book – it was a solid first book in the series and although it definitely had room for improvement I would recommend it. I have done a full review which you can check out here.

 

 Age of Myth / Michael J Sullivan ★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was released in June and is the first book in a new series. It was a great start. I love both the Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicles series by Sullivan so I had high hopes for this book. It didn’t disappoint. I find his writing and stories so easy to read and they are just so enjoyable. I really liked the setting and the characters (my favourites were Suri and Minna). I would have liked some more character development but it is only book 1 so hopefully we will get more as the series continues. Some of the plot points were quite predictable but they were still well done anyway. Overall I highly recommend it, especially if you are already a fan of Sullivan.

 

 

The Count of Monte Cristo / Alexandre Dumas ★★★★
I loved this. Dantes is such an interesting character – very well written, complex and flawed, probably one of my new favourite characters. However I kind of felt the other characters seem less developed in comparison to him. Still well done though. This story of revenge is very enjoyable to read, although I did find that it dragged abit sometimes. It also took me a little while to get into the flow of it –  I found it abit confusing at first keeping track of all the characters, but after a while you will get into the flow of the writing. This is my second book by Dumas (the first being The Three Muskateers) and it won’t be my last. I highly recommend this book.

 

 

Dune / Frank Herbert ★★★★★
I’ve had this on my shelf for quite some time now and I’ve been putting it off for whatever reason. I am so glad I finally picked it up. I loved it. Yes it is a bit dated. As it was written in the 1960’s it is be expected to be abit dated to the modern reader. I don’t mind that. It is still very accessible and I had no issues with the writing. The epic scale of the story and the world building is incredible. The detail of the world is one of the best part of this book. I never felt bogged down by the amount of information and it never dragged. It could be a bit tricky to follow the plot at times, especially initially, but nothing that I couldn’t get on with.  Yes it is not perfect, but I loved it.

 

 

As you can see I had an amazing reading month. I will admit that there were quite a few nights spent reading, instead of sleeping :). Having said that I never go to bed that late – I like my sleep. Anyway I’m glad I got to quite a few books that have been on my shelves for a while now. In terms of my July TBR I definitely have quite a few books I want to get to. My classic pick is going to be Villette by Charlotte Bronte – I am in the mood for classics so I am also interested in reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and Passage to India by E. M. Forster. I probably won’t get to all three but one can hope. Two other books I will definitely be reading are In the Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (because it’s about time) and The Red Knight by Miles Cameron. I am currently reading The Red Knight.

 

Apart from that, I am just going to read what I feel like reading at the time. I have also included a picture of some books I would like to get to soon but we’ll see whether or not I read them by the end of the month. I am hoping to continue with reading the books on my shelves before buying any more books. We’ll see how that goes though as there are a lot of books I want. I hope you all had a great reading month and let me know what your favourite book of the month was – mine is probably Dune by Frank Herbert. Happy reading :).

 

See you next time

 

Pippa

 

13 thoughts on “June Wrap Up and July TBR

    • Thanks 🙂 I recommend checking it out! Oh I’ll have to check that out! Thanks for the recommendation! Looks like you had a good reading month 🙂

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  1. Every post you’ve linked on #TalkoftheTown I’ve drawled over Pippa hahaha

    I’m always a little nervous reading a second in a series (if I’ve loved the first) as they don’t always follow through do they.

    Have you read Jen Williams’ Copper Cat trilogy? It’s blown me away and I miss it so much.

    Thanks for linking Pippa.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a LOT of reading. Well done on not buying more … I haven’t been that self-controlled recently and my TBR list is getting out of hand.
    The only book I’ve read was The Raven Boys which I didn’t love. I thought it was slow and haven’t bothered to read the rest of the series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know there are so many books I want! It is so hard to be self controlled! 🙂 oh ok yeah it definitely was quite slow but I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! I like how you had the reviews of ALL your books right HERE! I always post a link to mine, but my reviews do get rather wordy most of the time. I’m always talking about the writing, how I connected with the characters, and a little about the book, so I guess that fills up a lot of space sometimes! I can’t EVER get my reviews 750 characters or less! Forget leaving them at Barnes and Noble! I just don’t think they allow enough room for a good review, although yours are very good, but I don’t know if they are 750 characters or less, either?? I find that frustrating! LOL!
    Nice blog, too!
    Here is my wrap-up post for the week. I do by-the-week or else I’ll forget things! LOL!
    http://www.lauriehere.com/2016/07/stackingtheshelves-41-blog-updates-and.html
    Have a GREAT 4th of July!
    Laurie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes the love triangle was one of the things I didn’t like! I will never understand the use of love triangles!!!

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    • Yeah the size is definitely intimidating but I really enjoyed it. No I haven’t- I’ll check it out thanks 🙂

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