Books

June 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! As weird as it might sound, June has probably been my worst reading month yet. I mean I still read a decent amount of books but I wasn’t really in the reading mood this month. I also made some key changes to how I’ve been spending my free time so that might be why. Either way, I didn’t end up reading as much as the previous months. However, I’m still happy with the books I did read and how I did on the Olympic Games Read-a-thon. 🙂

If you don’t know what the Olympic Games read-a-thon is, then you can check out my TBR post. I’ll be talking about all of those reads first including all of the challenges and then the advanced challenges I read for. Anyways, let’s get into those reads first and then the others will be books I read because I wanted to!

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

Olympic Games Read-A-Thon Reads

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1. Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey

The first book I read for the Olympic Games Read-a-thon was Check Please! Book 1 and honestly, what a delight. This book follows Bitty who is a former figure skater turned college hockey player and it was so just pure. Bitty is the world’s sweetest little cinnamon roll and I absolutely love him. He’s also gay hence why it was part of my queer reads for the read-a-thon.

I also really loved the friendships between the hockey guys and their different relationships. There was also a Jonas Brothers reference in here which I obviously loved. If you’re looking for a cute and soft graphic novel series, I highly recommend this one. This one fulfilled the challenge to Read a book while the moon is up” or read a book at night. 5/5 stars

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2. Anyone But Her

The next book I read was Anyone But Her by Erica Lee. This is an f/f romance between a girl who is posing as her friend’s fake girlfriend and his sister. As much as I wanted to love this one, I just thought it was okay. I think a lot of the events in the book were overly-dramatic and it just felt completely unrealistic to me. I do plan on checking out more of this author’s backlist, though. 3/5 stars

I read this one for the prompt of “Read a book that starts with the letter “A.”

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3. I Wish You All The Best

The next book I read was I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver. I’m pretty sure this is one of the first, if not the first I’ve read that features a non-binary character. This book is basically a coming-of-age story for our MC Ben as they grapple with getting kicked out of their house, a possible romance and living with a sister they just recently reconnected with. It’s more character-driven than anything so if you like that ascept, then you’ll enjoy this.

While I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t anything new or ground-breaking. I feel like I’ve read a lot of YA coming-of-age stories so this was good but not great. 4/5 stars I read this one for the prompt of “Listen to an audiobook.”

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4. Meet Cute Club (Sweet Rose #1)

Next up is Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon. This book follows Jordan who starts a romance book club called the “Meet Cute Club” and the romance he has with Rex who works at the bookstore where he buy the books for the club. This is an adorable m/m romance with a few smutty scenes and lots of sweet moments. I especially loved how Jack Harbon talked about being a romance reader, the stigma that comes with it and why it’s great to be a romance reader.

I read this for the prompt: “Read a book you predict will be a five-star read.” I’m sad to say that this one was 4/5 stars. While it didn’t end up being a five-star read, I still really enjoyed it.

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5. Stage Dreams

The next book I read was Stage Dreams by Melanie Gillman. This book is a romance between Flor who is Latinx and Grace, a trans woman as they get stuck together. It’s relatively short and didn’t have much of a plot. I honestly wish this one would have been older because the story could have been much more developed. Either way, it was still a solid read.

I read this for the prompt of “Read a book you know will make you happy.” I was definitely smiling while I was reading so it was a success. 4/5 stars.

As for the advanced challenges, there were four of those so let’s get into the books I read for those. 🙂

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6. The Babysitter (Encounters #1)

The next book I read was The Babysitter which is another book by Jack Harbon. This follows a guy who writes erotic fiction and accidentally leaves it at the guy he babysits for’s house. He writes it and then things ensue from there. This is basically just m/m erotica so it was short but overall good. If anything, it made me want to read more of Jack Harbon’s backlist. 3/5 stars.

This fufilled the “Archery” prompt which is to “Read a book shorter than 200 pages.”

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7. Bewilder (The Kaleidoscope Album #2)

The next book I read is Bewilder which is the second book in the Kaleidoscope Album series and I really liked it. This book follows Domino who is the sister of the MC from book 1 and the relationship she has with her home organizer, Sabrina. This book is an f/f romance and it’s incredibly cute.

I do think it was a little bit on the short side but it was so cute and soft and gah! I really enjoyed it. It also had some cute holiday moments if you’re looking for an f/f holiday romance. I read this one for the Climbing Wall prompt which is “Read the next book in a series.” 4/5 stars

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8. Tweet Cute

I think this is the only non-queer book I read for this read-a-thon. Tweet Cute is a YA romance between Pepper and Jack who are frenemies at school but are actually running rival Twitter accounts for their families’ restaurants. Eventually, they find out and shenanigans ensue from there. This book was such a delight and honestly, has one of my favorite romances I’ve read in YA in forever. The banter between Pepper and Jack was just everything.

If you haven’t read this book, then you seriously need to. I listened to it on audio and the narrators were excellent. This book had a cute romance, lots of discussions about family especially sibling relationships and lots of character development for our two MCs. I honestly can’t think of much I disliked about this aside from Pepper’s mom and the thread that connected to one of the plotlines. I read this for the Pegasus Riding prompt which is “Read a book published within the last five years.” 5/5 stars

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9. Behind You

The last book I read for the Olympic Games readathon was Behind You by Jacqueline Woodson. I read If You Come Softly two years ago and really loved it. This book follows the events almost immediately after the previous book. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this book was as phenomenal as the previous one. It explored grief, love and moving on so beautifully. This book also had a gay side character so technically it had some queer rep and I’m pretty sure Jacqueline Woodson is a lesbian. 5/5 stars.

I read this for the “Capture the Flag” prompt which is to read one of your most anticipated books. Considering the first book was my favorite of 2018, I knew I had to use it for this prompt.

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

Non Read-A-Thon Reads

These are going to be all the books I read for fun this month. I tried to stay with the queer theme but I did veer off in some places. Either way, I’m excited to talk about these books so let’s get into them. 🙂

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10. Soft On Soft

The first book I read for fun was Soft on Soft by Mina Waheed. I actually saw this book on WocInRomance‘s site a long time ago and wanted to read it. For some reason, it wasn’t avaiable on Amazon but it is now so I picked it up. The title of this book could not be more appropriate to what the book actually contains.

This is an f/f romance between a plus-sized model and her makeup artist. They’re both so soft and queer. Things do move pretty slowly plot-wise and I wish the book would have had more built up tension. If you want a soft and sweet f/f romance though, I’d recommend this one. 3/5 stars

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11. Heavy Vinyl: Y2K-O!, Vol. 2

The next book I read was a graphic novel and it’s volume 2 of Heavy Vinyl. This book is about a group of girls who all work in a record store but are also in a band who is trying to take down this toxic record exec. It’s super cute while also being super kick-ass. I really love the art style and this series just makes me happy. This book has queer relationships too if you’re looking for some queer graphic novels. 4/5 stars

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12. Mooncakes

The next book I read was another graphic novel and that’s Mooncakes. This follows a witch and the second-chance romance she has with her non-binary childhood friend who is also a werewolf. This book was incredibly cute while still being action-packed and having a lovely art style. I think it would be a great Halloween read and it was just so soft and fluffy. 4/5 stars

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13. Pet

The next book was one I listened to on audio and that was Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. This book is truly unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It follows a trans girl named Jam who lives in a world without monster until a hunter comes out from her mother’s painting, looking for a monster. I don’t want to give much else away, but this book is really intense. I will give a trigger warning for child abuse so if you’re sensitive to that, be cautious.

This book features a lot of different identities, too. I’m pretty sure all the characters in the book are Black while the mc Jam is trans. Her best friend Redemption’s parents are in a poly relationship but none of that is a huge part of the story. Rather, the story focuses on monsters and it’s so unique. Like I said, I don’t even really have words to describe this book. Go read it and you’ll see what I mean. 4/5 stars

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14. A Taste of Remy

If you couldn’t tell, I much prefer f/f romances to anything else. I’m not sure why but I always enjoy them. When looking on Amazon, I saw this one was only 40 pages so basically an f/f erotic novella. This is a second-chance romance between two women who knew each other in high school and then reconnected. Tbh it was mostly them having sex with a few “relationship” moments. Either way, it was still good and featured two Black women as the leads which was nice. 3/5 stars

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15. Budding Romance

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of f/f short stories via Kindle Unlimited. Since I’m buying for it, I want to start using it. This is a historical f/f romance between a gardener and the headmistress of a school. These two were just so cute and I absolutely loved watching their relationship development. This is another one like Soft on Soft that features two soft women who are queer. The main issue I had was the ending was incredibly abrupt and I wish we would have gotten more of their relationship development. 3/5 stars

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16. Vanilla Clouds

Next up is one of the few m/m romances I read this month and that’s Vanilla Clouds. If you couldn’t tell, I’ve really been getting my moneys worth with my Kindle Unlimited and I found this one browsing. This is a romance between two guys who meet online and things basically progress from there with a trope I don’t enjoy. Personally, I thought this was such a cute and soft romance especially since one of the MC’s is a chocolatier but ultimately, it was pretty predictable. If you’re looking for a new m/m romance though, then you might enjoy. 3/5 stars

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17. The Falling In Love Montage

The next book I read was one of my library holds and it was The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smyth. This is an f/f romance set in Ireland in which two girls embark on a “Falling In Love Montage” inspired by famous rom-coms. The book also focuses on the main character, Saoirse dealing with her mother having early on-set dementia, her dad moving on and everything changing after high school.

This book was incredibly cute and focused on a lot but didn’t feel disjointed. The main issue I had was that the book felt way too long. At almost 400 pages, I think this book could have been at least 50 or 100 pages shorter but still made an impact. Either way, it was a good YA f/f romance so I’d recommend. 4/5 stars

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18. The A.I. Who Loved Me

The next book is another non-queer read but I saw my local library had it on ebook and decided to pick it up. This was originally an Audible original and then Alyssa Cole decided to release it on ebook. It’s basically a romance between a Black woman and a “biosynthetic humanoid” who are both featured on the cover. While I enjoyed their romance and the little “human things” Trinity taught him, the plot twist at the end took me out of the story. It was pretty cute but honestly, not my favorite of Alyssa Cole’s works. 3/5 stars

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19. Worth The Wait

Earlier this month, I read another book by Lara Kinsey and enjoyed it so I figured I’d read another one since this was an incredibly short story. This is another historical f/f romance between a woman who is a daughter of a baron that runs away and the seamstress who hires her as a living mannequin. This is incredibly short but it has an adorable romance along with the two sharing a bed and ultimately things get a little bit steamy. Personally, I enjoyed this one more than Budding Romance so if I had to recommend one between the two, it would be Worth the Wait. 4/5 stars

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20. Fly With Me

The next book I read was Fly With Me by Hudson Lin. This book follows two Asian flight attendants who get off on the wrong foot and then keep bumping into each other while they’re traveling so feelings ensue. This also counts as a queer read since the love interest, Marco is bisexual. Although it was short, I thought their relationship was cute and this is a clean romance if I recall correctly. There was a conflict about 75% of the way in which I wasn’t a fan of so I docked a star. Other than this, this was an excellent read. 4/5 stars

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21. The Roommate

The last book I read in June was The Roommate by Brandy Bush. If you didn’t know, this is Katrina Jackson’s pen name and it’s basically just erotic short stories. This one follows a girl who meets her roommate’s parents and the sexual things that happen between the three of them. This was incredibly hot and sexy like probably my favorite smut I’ve ever read. It’s also an f/m/f read so I’d say it’s queer in some capacity. Either way, I absolutely loved it and would recommend if you’re looking for some quality smut. 5/5 stars

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22. I’ll Be The One

The last book I read was I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee which was audio listen from the library. This book follows Skye who joins a competition to become a K-Pop Star and prove to her mother that her being fat isn’t an “obstacle” she had to overcome. I will say before I get into anything else. If you’re sensitive to talks about weight or parents encouraging weight loss, then this book could be triggering for you. Skye’s mom is incredibly harsh on her due to her weight.

However, this book features a lot of great representation. Skye is plus-sized, Korean, and bisexual. Her love interest, Henry is also Korean and bisexual. There are two side characters who are in an f/f relationship while one of the finalists is Black. This book has a cute romance, excellent friendships, and isn’t afraid to tackle such a large industry like K-Pop. I absolutely adored this and the only reason I didn’t rate it 5 stars was that I didn’t love the ending. It was kind of meh when I wanted something more. 4.5/5 stars

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

I’m not gonna lie, I ended up really enjoying almost all of the books I read this month especially the last one. In all, I ended up reading 22 books and I’m happy with that. I probably could’ve read more but I didn’t want to push myself. Either way, I’m happy with how June turned out. I’m also happy that I utilized Kindle Unlimited a lot as I’m really getting my money’s worth. 🙂

Before you finish reading my post, please take the time to look over these attached links to help with Black Lives Matter. Whether it be signing a petition, donating, or simply re-sharing this same link, USE YOUR VOICE. If you’re a white person reading this, you have privilege and it is your duty as an ally to educate yourself, amplify Black voices, and show that Black Lives Matter. 

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