June Wrap-Up | incredible books and horrifying world events

Can somebody please explain to me how we’re already halfway through 2020? What even is time anymore?? February feels like twenty years ago but at the same time it does not feel like it should be July yet.

So, June was a month.

Surprise surprise, the world is still a mess. I continue to be amazed and appalled with the lack of common sense on display within my country in the midst of a pandemic that has already killed a staggering number of people. I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but please wear masks, don’t go out in public if you can help it, listen to science, respect social distancing, etc. We’re not anywhere near through this.

And since it needs to be said: Black lives matter. Trans lives matter. These movements don’t end when the news cycle moves on. Find out ways to help here and here. Educate yourself. Don’t stop fighting.

I’m so tired.

Well anyway, books! June was actually my best reading month in a very long time. I read 13 books (!!), which is almost twice as much as I read in May (!!!), and all but one of these books were 4 stars or over (!!!!). My average rating for the month was 4.2 stars. I’d say that’s a success! I definitely found some new favorites this month, which I can’t wait to talk about.

Oh, before I forget: my birthday is coming up next week and I’m doing my first ever Q&A! I would love it if you’d ask me questions ☺️ Find out more in my announcement post or ask questions through this Google form!

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Books I read

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The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos ⭐️⭐️.5/5

Mini review here. The one major disappointment of the month. This just did not live up to my expectations…at all.

Peter Darling by Austin Chant ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Mini review here. A Peter Pan retelling/reimagining that felt just right! I loved what the author did with the Peter Pan mythology.

Check Please Book 1: #Hockey and Book 2: Sticks and Scones by Ngozi Ukazu ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Mini review here. The most adorable webcomic-turned-graphic novel series! Bitty and Jack have my heart.

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Mini review to come! This sci-fi book was so lovely and character focused, and it might not have been exactly what I expected but I enjoyed it so much?? I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Kind of a Big Deal by Shannon Hale ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

RELEASE: AUG. 25, 2020

Proper review to come, but in short: I’m still reeling about the fact that I’ve read Shannon Hale’s new YA book! This was just delightful: funny and heartfelt and full of musical theatre and book nerdery. Absolutely yes.

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Mini review here. Even though this book thoroughly broke my heart, I cannot recommend it enough. It’s definitely going to stick with me for a long time.

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Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5

Mini review here. Once again, Elizabeth Acevedo delivers with another stunningly gorgeous novel in verse that I want to shove into everyone’s hands immediately.

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5

Mini review here. A middle grade book about family and identity and growing up that was just remarkable in every possible way??

All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5

Mini review here. Another book that broke my heart in all the right ways (are you sensing a theme for this month?). I mean, Irish history, family curses, fabulism, and amazing sister relationships? Yes please.

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You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5

Mini review here. The prom-com (hah, get it? (I’m definitely not the first one to make this joke.)) that we DESERVE. Adorable, hilarious, and just all around beautiful.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mini review here. I mean, the title says it all. A must-read for everyone. Seriously. Go get your hands on this book if you haven’t already.

Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mini review here. I’m running out of adjectives to describe how amazing the books I read this month are! If I could, though, I would have saved them all for this little middle grade novel that you NEED to read. An instant favorite.

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Other things

Love, Victor (season 1)

Love, Victor (TV Series 2020– ) - IMDb

I CAN and WILL immediately watch or read ANYTHING that has to do with Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda or Love, Simon, and I WILL NOT stop. This Hulu show, which follows a high school student named Victor who starts messaging college-student Simon, was so! darn! good! Was it overdramatic and extra at every opportunity? Absolutely! Am I currently dying for season 2? YOU BET.

In short: Victor is the cutest lil bean, I screamed any time Simon or Bram were involved in any way, and these stories still have the ability to make me cry. Go watch Love, Victor.

Some other things making me happy…

Well, my She-Ra obsession is still going strong. Rewatching random episodes is basically therapy. Also, I rewatched season 2 of Sense8, one of my favorite TV shows, because why not?? It definitely put a smile on my face, especially everything involving my personal ray of happiness, Sun Bak.

Sun Bak, Sense8 GIF | Gfycat

A new season of Queer Eye came out! And that show has this way of always, always making me feel better. I’ve also been watching the Lord of the Rings cast commentaries because??? Who knows??? What I’m learning is that 1) everyone in the entire cast and crew has a crush on Viggo Mortensen and 2) Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan are actually real-life Merry and Pippin.

The lord of the rings merry pippin GIF - Find on GIFER

Music that I listened to

  • I Know the End by Phoebe Bridgers | “Either way, we’re not alone / I’ll find a new place to be from”
  • Love You For A Long Time by Maggie Rogers | “So many things that I still wanna say / And if devotion is a river, then I’m floating away”
  • Consolations by Tow’rs | “Rend for me a thousand shades of blue / Give constellations new consolations”

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June blog posts

In case you missed any of the posts on my blog in June…

40+ queer books by Black authors to support ☀️ Review: If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio ☀️ If you liked this, try this | LGBTQ+ books, part 2! ☀️ How to be a Harry Potter fan without supporting J.K. Rowling ever again ☀️ Recently Read Books ☀️ ARC Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab ☀️ Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag ☀️ More Recently Read Books

And now for some of your amazing posts from this past month…

☀️ May @ forever and everly listed 50+ (!!!) YA books by and about QPOC to add to your TBR, for future Pride months and also just in general.

☀️ Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks talked about all the places in France that writers should use as settings besides Paris, and I’ve never wanted to read all of these nonexistent books or travel to France more.

☀️ I know I already linked this in my own Harry Potter post, BUT Kay @ Hammock of Books’ post on reclaiming the HP books from J.K. Rowling is absolutely worth a read.

☀️ Lais @ The Bookish Skies listed five heart-soothing books for Pride, which is just about the most perfect type of recommendation for right now.

☀️ Alice @ love for words provided some amazing resources for being an ally, which I highly recommend you check out and actually, you know, use those resources.

☀️ Caitlin Althea reacted to “unpopular book opinions” on Twitter, which made me laugh like nothing else.

☀️ Xandra talked more about “what no one told me about the book community,” which has been such a fun and interesting series of posts to read!

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July TBR

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  • Loveless by Alice Oseman (ONE! WEEK! TO! GO! This book might actually murder me.)
  • A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green (release: July 7)
  • The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
  • Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power (eARC; release: July 7)
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  • The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune (eARC; release: July 14)
  • Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch (eARC; release: July 28)

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What did you read in June? What’s been making you happy lately? What do you plan to read in July?

x Margaret

goodreads | twitter

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33 thoughts on “June Wrap-Up | incredible books and horrifying world events

  1. YES to she-ra aahh!! watching it in june was my best decision, and i’ll never be over catradora, my favorite lesbians ever 🥺🥺 i need to watch love, victor — i know it’s going to make me drag my hands down my face at certain points but i just want something to fun to watch so i’m excited ❤ and i'm so happy you loved long way to a small angry planet! i've been meaning to read that one for a while now but i'm slightly intimidated by it haha. i hope you have a great july, and thank you so much for linking to my post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She-Raaaa!!! Honestly Catradora have basically taken over my life and I’m 100% okay with that. Oh you should definitely watch Love Victor if you’re in the mood for something fun! 😄 I hope you enjoy Small Angry Planet too! Happy July to you as well, and happy reading ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I mean, how can you NOT have a crush on Viggo Mortensen, though? My brother was obsessed with the way he walked through the doors in Rohan so much that he opened all doors possible like that for literal months, and he’ll start doing it if he even so much as walks by that scene while it’s on. I also find it hilarious that you were watching LOTR cast commentaries because same? I watched the Zoom reunion and halved my time between crying and laughing hysterically.

    I neeeeeeeed to watch Love, Victor as soon as possible. I just started Lost in Space, or I’d already be on that, so it’s up next!

    I’m so curious to see what you think of The Darkest Part of the Forest & Foundryside. I won’t lie, the only Holly Black book I’ve read outside of The Cruel Prince trilogy was Tithe, and I hated it so much that I unhauled it immediately after reading it. A friend bought me TCP, which was why I read it, but otherwise, I wouldn’t have, so I’ve been thinking maybe I should give her backlist another try since I ended up loving it so much. And Foundryside looks so good, but I can’t decide if it actually sounds good to me or if I just love the cover, hahaha.

    I hope July is wonderful for you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RIGHT?? Ahaha who isn’t obsessed with the way he pushes those doors open? I commend your brother for dramatically opening doors as Aragorn would have wanted. I also watched the Zoom reunion and it did so many things to my emotions!!

      I hope enjoy Love Victor!! I’m definitely curious about those books as well – I’ve only read The Cruel Prince so far by Holly Black. Most of her backlist doesn’t look that interesting to me, but I think I could like The Darkest Part of the Forest! And I’m a little hesitant about a fantasy with a female MC by a male author, but I’ve heard enough good things about Foundryside that I’m tentatively hopeful.

      Happy July to you too, and I hope it’s full of wonderful things!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. thank you for mentioning my post, Margaret 🥰🥰 you read so much this month ahaha. and it’s amazing that you enjoyed almost everything you read!! i really should get to the second volume of check please 🥺 & continue watching she-ra :(( i watched the first episode of the first season a week ago, and i haven’t had the time to continue since. i’m so excited to watch lesbian friends to enemies to lovers, because i don’t think i’ve ever consumed a piece of media with friends to enemies to lovers?? & so many people like it, so i know i’m missing out
    wishing you an amazing July! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you!! ❤️ You SHOULD read the second volume of Check Please bc it’s adorable. And watch She Ra!!! It’s the best!!! There is definitely too little media with the god tier trope that is friends to enemies to lovers, so I hope you enjoy getting to experience that 😄
      Happy July to you too!! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i am so happy to hear that you had a great reading month in June!! 😊 i’d never heard of Kind Of A Big Deal before lmao, but now i definitely have to check it out. i’m so happy you enjoyed Clap When You Land, i’m planning on reading it this month and can’t wait!! i loved You Should See Me In A Crown as well ahh ❤

    i can’t wait for Loveless either!!! Love, Victor and She-Ra sound SO good (especially because i’ve heard She-Ra is friends to enemies to lovers which we need more of in media ugh), i’m glad you were able to enjoy them in June as well. i hope you have a beautiful July! 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh you should definitely check out Kind of a Big Deal, it’s so much fun! And I hope you love Clap When You Land as much as I did 😀
      Omg you have to watch Love, Victor and She-Ra — the friends to enemies to lovers trope is top tier!! I hope your July is wonderful as well ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. YAY for 13 books and most of them being 4 stars! june was really good for my average rating as well. before june, it was in 3.2 but now it’s in 3.5 it’s not a massive improvement, but i’m much happier with what i’m reading!

    i’ve seen you should see me in a crown in pretty much everyone’s wrap up which makes me so happy because this book deserves all the love, praise and hype it’s getting. this makes me hopeful we can even get in adaptation, which this book totally deserves!

    i really want to read love, victor!!! i loved the trailer and i’ve heard so many good things about it. it’s likely to make me cry like love, simon did but i still want to watch it.

    (love you for a long time is A BOPPPP!!!) thank you so much for the shoutout btw! wishing you an amazing july!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hooray indeed for both of us! 😀 I’m so glad to hear you also had a good reading month in June. Love it when that happens!

      I completely agree, YSSMIAC deserves all the praise 😀 I really hope we can an adaptation someday! And yesss Love Victor will probably make you cry if Love Simon did, but I still highly recommend it ❤

      IT IS A BOP. You're welcome, and hope you also have a lovely July!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m super excited to read Kind of a Big Deal and You Should See Me In A Crown ❤ And ahh I looove The Darkest Part Of The Forest so much ❤ Ahh I'm so annoyed they moved Love Victor from Disney+ to Hulu since I have disney but not hulu so I don't get to watch it… *cries* Thanks so much for sharing my post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahhh love this post!! You mentioned so many things that I love as well, hehe – including She-Ra (Catradora owns me now), Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World (oh my gosh I ADORE this heartwarming middle grade contemporary with all my heart 😭💓), and You Should See Me in a Crown (I couldn’t stop smiling!!). I’m also super excited to watch Love, Victor; I’m so glad you enjoyed it haha! It sounds like such a fun show to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The fact that we even have to say “listen to science” is the saddest thing ever. I’ve met much fewer people than I usually do in the last few months, and yet, I have more distaste for people than ever before. 😭 Anyway! I need to read The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it! I’ve owned this and the second novel for ages, so it’s high time I picked them up. You Should See Me in a Crown was SO WHOLESOME, it made me so happy. 😊 Hope your July has been going well!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you so much for sharing my post!! ❤
    Tired, that's the word of the year ahah, I'm just so tired as well. Take care of yourself, Margaret ❤ On the bright side, I'm thrilled to hear you had such a great reading month and hope this continues this July, so excited to hear your thoughts on Loveless and Hank's book!! (I'm lazy to write the long title hahaha)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has certainly been a tiring year 😅 Thank you, and I hope you’re taking care of yourself too ❤ Yesss I can't wait to share my thoughts on both of those books too, which I'm sure will be all positive! 🤞 Happy July and happy reading to you too ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This year has truly been a mess 🥺 I’m happy to hear that you have had such a fantastic reading month though 🥰 I read the first couple of chapters of The Fascinators, but then returned it to the library because it was kind of boring 😅 So, I think I made the right choice!
    I’m also currently watching the new Queer Eye season and it’s so wholesome, I love this show so much 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Eeepp looks like you read some really great book last month YAY!! I am SO SO SO wanting to get my hands on Check Please and also You Should See Me In A Crown (prom-com LOVE IT), waiting to find them in my country though haha.

    I have an eARC & ALC of The Extraordinaries and am very amped to read it too. And excited for Loveless. Basically ALL the books haha send help.

    All the Love, Victor buzz is making me think I should watch it as it does sound super amazing Rx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh I hope you love Check Please and You Should See Me in a Crown when you’re able to get them 😀 They’re both so happy and fun!

      Ahaha I relate — there are so many books I’m excited to read. Good luck with all of yours! And you should definitely watch Love Victor!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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