June Wrap-Up

Another Pride Month draws to an end. This month has been something else and we have really seen a lot of history begin to happen. I hope you remember that Black Lives Matter and that we begin to see the problems that Native Americans face daily with the rise of their protests and voices. Being Native American myself I hope you all back both with a fierceness that any racist should fear.

Here are the books I read for June 2020!

Monday’s not Coming

This book is written in the before, before the before and after. It follows Claudia as she talks about her best friend Monday Charles. She talks about her being her only friend and what it is like trying to find out where she is and why she disappeared. This book takes you on an emotional roller-coaster that makes you keep the tissues close.

I started listening to this book as an audiobook but I wasn’t listening like I wanted to so I found the book in the bookstore while I was hunting for some other books and quickly bought it. I have to say this woman writes some freaking good books. If you haven’t read any of her work yet then you need to. This woman writes that good. This book is definitely going to hurt your feelings and you will need tissues.

Claudia tries to find her best friend Monday after she doesn’t show up at school for the first day of school. The two have been friends for a long time and they were close or so Claudia thought. Even when discovering things she didn’t know Claudia doesn’t give up the search. She shows true friendship throughout the book but it is the ending that twists it. I read Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson as well so I should have been prepared for it but I wasn’t. I recommend this book with everything I have.

Five out of five stars!!

The Gilded Wolves

Those who compare this book to the Six of Crows is a fool. This book is definitely better. I will say the beginning was a little tough to start out with but once I got hooked I was done for. I liked the characters and I wanted to know what happens so bad I read the last chapter while I was in the middle of the book. I hardly ever do that.

I made a bad mistake with reading the end like I did because it just made the rest of the book more heightened. I enjoyed the mystery and intrigue in this book and cannot wait for the sequel. I will say the last chapter is curious and makes me wonder what that will reveal in the second book. I wonder if Séverin is a part of a different line so to speak and if his friend was another line. That is as much as I can say on that without spoiling the book.

Otherwise I do like how each character solves things in their own ways and that they seem to be equally smart. They each have their own strengths but can solve things on their own fairly easy. It is shown when they can solve one of the puzzles without the “ringleader”, Séverin. I also don’t understand why they think this is a Six of Crows remake when the two books are only similar by the fact a team of people solve something and are one the “wrong” side of the law. There is a lot of other things different. Maybe it is because they do not see themselves in the characters? I will say if the two went against each other The Gilded Wolves would win in my book.

I also like how the author put bits of history in the book that you don’t realize until after. You go through the book thinking certain things are just macabre. Then the author tells you the story behind them with her notes at the end. I learned something new that I didn’t even know. If you are curious pick the book up and give it a read. 🙂

Five out of Five Stars!

Allegedly

I have to say this book was a damn good read. The way the author wrote this is a freaking masterpiece. The twists that she puts in this book as it unfolds and it just drags you along just right. If this book doesn’t become a classic I would be extremely upset.

The whole book follows Mary B. Addison as everyone tries to figure out what happened to a white baby girl in the care of her and her mother. They try to understand why she didn’t say much or speak up for what had happened. She is convicted and when she gets put in a halfway house she finds the strength to speak up and try to get herself free. The ending just shocks you to your core and confirms that Tiffany D. Jackson is an amazing writer that needs to be praised.

I give this book Five out of five stars.

Shadow and Bone

I know I say this quite often but why did I wait so long to read this book? If there is one thing this quarantine has given me is the ability to sit at home and read all the books that I have had in my TBR pile for so long. I took a chance and bought the whole trilogy one day.

I didn’t get captured in the story right away. It took about three chapters before I wanted to finish it. I also can say that I didn’t rush to finish it. It wasn’t that kind of hold on me when reading. It was more of a leisurely read that was captivating in its own way. I enjoyed the story and the characters. The author did a good job of unfolding parts of the story when she wanted to and keeping you figuring it all out.

There was a couple of twists in there I didn’t see coming I will say that. I also have seen on Book Twitter about Mal and I am loving every second of him before anything happens. I can honestly say this book wasn’t a rush read because I am hooked into the late hours on the story. It was more of an unfolding of the story for me was worth it. I don’t really know how to explain it.

Five out of five stars.

To Be Read and Read Pile

I decided to make this list to help people trying to find books to share with others. I have started a deep dive into finding books that have POC Representation or discuss racism. I cannot say they are correct but they do have representation. If I misspell anything please let me know and I will change it.

  1. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  2. Dear Justyce by Nic Stone
  3. Grown by Tiffany Jackson
  4. Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson
  5. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  6. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Johnson
  7. Smash It by Francina Simone
  8. Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett
  9. Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany Jackson
  10. We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez
  11. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  12. Scandalized by Tara Frejas
  13. Parachutes by Kelly Yang
  14. Love Hate & Filters by Samira Ahmed
  15. Internment by Samira Ahmed
  16. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
  17. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
  18. Heiress Apparently by Diana Ma
  19. Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
  20. Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
  21. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
  22. Nocturna by Maya Motayne
  23. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  24. Self Made by A’Lelia Perry Bundles
  25. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
  26. Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  27. Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest
  28. The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
  29. Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
  30. The Wedding Date Series by Jasmine Guillory
  31. A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow
  32. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
  33. Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
  34. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
  35. Playbook Series by Alexa Martin
  36. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  37. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, Michael Eric Dyson and Amy Landon
  38. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  39. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson

Anyone who wants to continue on with this list and add books please feel free. I hope you pick some of them up since I have read them but the majority are on my To Be Read Pile.

Aurora Rising

I really liked this book. I had been holding off on reading it for a while. I can see the flaws in this book that most people probably hated like the fact the Alpha is shown as a pair of dimples throughout the book. A lot of times instead of focusing on his knowledge that is claimed in parts of the book they just put he smiles with full dimples on display like that gets people everywhere. I will give them props for the twist with Cat but taking her out of the team seems a little harsh. She wasn’t my favorite character but I didn’t hate her towards the end. I have a feeling she makes a come back though. Something in my gut maybe.

I have to say of all the characters I think I like Fin the most. Fin draws me in with the hints of bisexuality and his sarcasm. Sarcasm is my superpower if you know me personally. All in all I really liked the book. I really wish there was more science fiction in young adult I can read. I probably haven’t found them yet right?

My only parting words to this are that I loved the Illuminae series a lot more. Maybe that will change with Aurora Burning.

Five out of five stars!

Internment

I saw this book on Twitter one day and the cover made me curious so I went to Goodreads to ready the synopsis. Put it in my tbr pile and didn’t think I would get it soon. One of my many trips to the bookstore lately brought me to the book and I snatched it up. I should be staying home but I don’t do ebooks really well since the screen irritates my eyes after an hour.

Back to the book at hand. I absolutely loved this book. It does have a lot of “political” views in it. But this book is definitely something that will go down in history like The Hate You Give. It has that level of breakdown to it and the main character uses political movements that people know to create understanding. She brought in NoDAPL and I couldn’t be happier she did. This book is about muslims and it is trying to create awareness to how things are going for them and some of the paragraphs really hit home for the times we are in as well. It is actually pretty scary and true.

I cannot express how much I want everyone to read this that has it sitting on their tbr pile. Maybe this is the first time you are seeing it and thats ok I still say go out and get it. But, go into this book with an open mind and understand that until you are in someone else’s shoes you cannot know their journey or what they have been through. Be mindful and bring a box of tissues.

Five out of five stars!

A Woman Is No Man

I was determined to read this book but I couldn’t get into it while reading it on my kindle. I went to the bookstore the other day saw it on the shelf and decided to buy a paperback copy. Best decision of my life. I was able to engross myself in the story and it kept me up until 3am just to finish it. I could relate to so much in this book and the stories she put in it just captivated you.

There were some honest plot twists I didn’t see coming and I loved that this book wasn’t your typical book. It shines a light on a culture that many people do not get to see into or try to understand. I couldn’t be happier I bought this book twice because the author honestly deserves it. I can only hope she writes another book as captivating and enlightening as this one.

Five out of five stars.

How to Make Friends with the Dark

This book is heart-wrenching and you just can’t help but feel it all. The author did a really good job writing this book. I will definitely say to step back and take a break from this book regularly. It does take a toll when you read it. I had to stop every 50 pages or so with some of the topics that are brought up in the book. Some of it was triggering for me which made this book hit a little harder than usual.

Let me also give you a heads up to the tears that will fall towards the end of this book. The rest of the story is sad but the ending hits a little differently and tears will spring forward a little quicker than you anticipate. Also, do yourself a service and read the author’s note. I usually just skim these but something made me actually read this one and I loved it. It was a nice come down from the book for me.

I will say this book was a nice read for Mental Health Awareness month. It is May and the hashtag is #breakthestigma. Find something to enjoy or someone to share with and enjoy life to its fullest. Be kind to yourself and others and remember to always practice self care.

Five out of five stars. Cheers.