Mid-Year Review

Six months have come and gone, meaning we’re halfway through the year and I’m mildly panicking about being behind on my Goodreads challenge by about six books.

Did I say panicking? I meant I’m definitely on top of and in control of my reading promises.

On the plus side, no matter how behind I am, I’ve read some amazing books so far this year, so grab a snack because this post is long.

First-Things-First: June Recap

Did-Not-Finish

June itself was an interesting month, being the first that I’ve embraced DNFing books I’m not feeling. Usually I power through books, because I don’t feel like I’ll get the full experience, or I might end up coming to a place where I warm up to the book, but my reading slumps have correlated with trying to force myself through books I just don’t want to finish, so I think I’m going to do that a little more often unless I have a good reason I want to finish.

I don’t have much to say about my DNFs. My reasons for DNFing weren’t overly negative; but in thinking about how much time I want to put into books that aren’t interesting to me, I’ve decided to be a little more liberal with just putting books down I honestly don’t like.

On the plus side, I’ve delved into the world of audio books (both Zenith and Again, but Better, were audio book reads.) While my choice to DNF was in part due to the fact that listening to these books was not enjoyable for me, I am a lot more interested in listening to books that are up my alley and will be listening to more books in the future.

Full Reads

I really loved both of these books, particularly The Fifth Season. I have reviews for both up on Goodreads, with revised and polished versions scheduled to pop up this month. If you’re looking for some fantastic queer YA, definitely check out Girls of Paper and Fire (just be mindful of content warnings) and if you’re looking for some spot-on adult fantasy with hard-hitting themes and impeccable writing, check out The Fifth Season.

Reads in Progress

I’ve been on Battle Royale and Black Leopard, Red Wolf for a hot minute, but with good reason: I have a lizard brain (they’re just really dense, but in a good way.) That said, what I’ve read of all three of these books has been phenomenal, and they will be a part of my TBR for July. I’m particularly looking forward to finishing Gemina so I can get on Obsidio and Memento. Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman have my soul.

Favorite Reads So Far

Adult fiction has come for my life this year, and with good reason. Drops of Cerulean was a fantastic debut I read earlier this year, with a full review and interview with Dawn Adams Cole up here. A brilliant piece of literary fiction, Drops of Cerulean ruined me emotionally.

This was also my first read of The Color Purple, which blew me away. I’d watched the movie previously, but wasn’t prepared for the sheer level of commentary and story-telling that was present in the book. I intend to read Alice Walker’s other works (hopefully) later this year.

Then… there’s The Fifth Season, which I think at this point is my favorite fantasy novel to date. N.K. Jemisin is a ground-breaking author, and I’m mad that I haven’t read her works sooner. I’ll probably be picking up The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms trilogy and The Dreamblood duology after finishing the Broken Earth trilogy because I have no self-control.

For YA, I can’t not include my best friend’s debut, A Soldier and a Liar by Caitlin Lochner. Caitlin came through the stratosphere and yes, I’m biased, but that doesn’t take away from the fact this book was fantastic, its characters are now my children, and I’m not happy with the fact I have to wait for book two. I’ve been watching this series grow since 2012 and I have needs.

And finally… Illuminae. I feel like it’s almost obvious including this one, but I honestly had such an experience reading Illuminae that I haven’t had with another book that I couldn’t leave it out. I’m currently in the beginning of Gemina and the momentum hasn’t stopped.

Plans for July

TBR

I am knocking out the books for the series I need to finish/continue, i.e., finishing The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman, and finally getting to The Everlasting Rose, which is the second in The Belles trilogy by Dhonielle Clayton. The first books in both of these series were books that blew me away, and honestly I have no good excuse for why I haven’t managed to move on to the next ones.

I’ll also be knocking out Battle Royale and Black Leopard, Red Wolf, (long over due to be finished) and as a part of #DiversifyYourClassics (info dropping later this week) I’ll also be reading Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima.

Book Club Reads

I recently joined the Pages and Prose Book Club (which, by the way, is full of a lot of amazing people. You can find their Twitter here if you’re interested, the books on our roster encompass YA, NA, and Adult titles) and our official reads for July are I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver and The Diviners by Libba Bray. I’ll be reading at least one (my eyes are on I Wish You All The Best, at the moment) for this month. I Wish You All The Best is about non-binary teen Ben and the struggles they face after they’re kicked out of their home following them coming out to their parents. It seems there’s a bit of romance, a bit of angst, and I’m here for all of it.

Annnd that’s it! I’ve gotten back into actively reading this year, and reading a lot of different books. I think I’m finding a good happy medium between novels, comics, and manga, as well as a good mix between adult and and YA books. Here’s to hoping I can knock out all the books sitting on my shelf before next year hits-

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