I actually had a really good reading month in June—which fully made up for the fact that I didn’t finish a single book in May! I ended up reading seven books during the month of June and I’m happy to report that there wasn’t a single book that I didn’t enjoy. This is going to be a bit of a long post because I’m going to be talking about both books and movies, I didn’t watch enough movies to make their own post so you’ll just have to deal with a longer post okay?!
War Storm(Red Queen 04) by Victoria Aveyard
If you’ve followed me either on my blog or Instagram for a while, it might come as a surprise that I actually liked this book. I know, I know, who am I right?! This is the fourth and final book in the Red Queen series so I can’t really go into plot but if you aren’t aware in this series the world is divided by blood—silver bloods are the elite with superpowers, while red bloods are the commoners. To the red blooded Mare Barrow, it seems like nothing will ever change until one day while working as a servant in the Silver palace, Mare finds out she has a deadly power of her own that might just help destroy the world she knows. I’ve made it quite known on my social media that I don’t love this series and Mare as a character drives me absolutely nuts—specifically in books 2 and 3. I feel like in War Storm Mare turned slightly back into that strong person I thought she would be the whole time. The plot was interesting and I liked that we got more of Evangeline’s perspective on it because she’s a character I did enjoy through the series. Overall, the series isn’t bad, I can totally see why some people would like it, but for me I wish it was a trilogy and that the events of King’s Cage and War Storm were cut shorter and made into a trilogy instead.
Death Note Black Edition Volume IV by Tsugumi Ohba
As you can see by my rating, this volume has been my least favourite in the series so far. If you don’t know what this manga series is about, it follows Light Yagami as he finds a Death Note, a notebook dropped by a Shingami death god. Any human whose name is written in it dies and now Light has committed to ridding the world of evil. But when too many criminals start dropping dead, the authorities send in the legendary detective “L”. With Light and L going after eachother, who will win? There was something that happened at the end of the previous volume that completely changed the story and threw the character dynamics upside down. Its not that I didn’t like what they did, it’s just that it took away a key element that I liked from the series before. There was also some new characters added in and you get like no backstory on them and some of the events including them confused me a little bit. I’m definitely going to continue on with the series, I only have two more to go after all, but I’m not really sure where it’s going to go from here.
The Diviners(The Diviners 01) by Libba Bray
This book killed me you guys, I loved it so much. I just talked about in my previous post Best Books I’ve Read So Far in 2018 and I also have a full review planned for it—I’m so far behind on writing reviews, it’s crazy—so I’m not going to go into much detail about the book. Just know that the plot was fantastic, the setting was out of this world vivid, I loved the characters—Evie and Sam are my favourite. There’s a strong supernatural and creepy vibe to this book that made it incredibly unique in my opinion. I would highly recommend reading this book and keep an eye out for my full review, if you can’t wait then check out T5W post and you’ll get more of a snippet there!
The Step Spinsters(Unspun Fairytales 01) by Madina Papadopoulos
*I was sent a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review*
This is a retelling of Cinderella which focuses on the experience of the two stepsisters—Javotte and Fredegonde. They wake up the night after the ball and realize they still have a chance to marry the Count, all they have to do is fit into that damn slipper. But they never seem to quite fit in anywhere but that doesn’t stop them from going on an adventure of their own to try to find a groom. This book had an interesting premise, I liked the idea of telling the “evil” stepsisters side of the story and how they saw Cinderella and what was happening. That isn’t the only thing that’s different, they author also threw in some darker magi and themes throughout the book. The characters in this book did fall a little bit flat for me, I just wanted more backstory and more personality. The plot was interesting enough but the pacing was way off, some parts dragged alot while the climax and end was over in the blink of an eye. I do have a full review of this book, if you want to read it CLICK HERE. I also do just want to point out that since this is a self published book, my rating scale was a bit different than the one I usually use, I was a bit more lenient and it just didn’t seem fair to put this book up against the other books I read.
The Book of Life(All Souls 03) by Deborah Harkness
I think this book was a good wrap up for the trilogy, although my favourite book in the series is by far book one, A Discovery of Witches. In the first book we follow Diana Bishop as she unknowingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library. Diana is a descendant from a long ling of witches but she wants nothing to do with magic so after reading a few pages she sends the book back, but it’s too late. Her discovery sets off an underworld frenzy, daemons, vampires and witches all descend on the library. Turns out Diana has uncovered a treasure that was lost for centuries, but she’s the only one that can open it. I still love Harkness’ writing style and the characters in this book are fantastic—Matthew especially—but I’m not going to lie, Diana drove me kind of nuts in this book. There is a specific reason why but I can’t say anything without spoilers—ah, the joy of talking about a third book in a series. I also loved that we got to see a few characters that I never thought we would see again. I did expect more magic from the series as a whole but we do get more of it in this book than previous books. It’s a very unique type of magic, especially Diana’s, so its very interesting to read about, although sometimes a bit confusing. If you’re a fan of witches and other paranormal elements, you want a more mature book about them but you still want a swoonworthy book boyfriend, this is your book. I’m telling you that you will die over Matthew Clairmont.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
This graphic novel was so cute and funny while also being quite touching and sad. We follow the shapeshifter Nimona as she becomes the sidekick for Ballister Blackheart, an evil villain with a vendetta. Lord Blackheart and Nimona are about to cause some serious havoc in hopes to prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. But when small acts of mischief turn into a more serious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s are as murky and unpredictable as her past—and that she might me more dangerous than he’ll admit. The first half of this graphic novel starts out quite cute and lighthearted with little hints of seriousness thrown in there. However, the second half goes quite serious and deals with some topics of ethics and turns out to be quite sad. I loved Nimona and Blackheart, their characters and banter together was always great, I loved watching their relationship grow. I also enjoyed getting to see the backstory for Lord Ballister and Sir Ambrosius, i didn’t think we were ever going to get the full story and while there is definitely still more story there to be explored, we got enough to get the general idea of things. Overall, I would recommend this book a thousand times over and since it’s a graphic novel that clocks in at less than 300 pages—you can read it in one sitting easily if you wanted to—you really don’t have a reason not to read it!
Catching Fire(The Hunger Games 02) by Suzanne Collins
I am absolutely loving this trilogy so far, I’m honestly kicking myself because I took so long to read it. Since this is book two and I don’t want to spoil anything incase, like me, you haven’t gotten around to this series yet, I’ll give you a small description of book one. In the nation of Panem there’s an area consisting of The Capitol, which is then surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Every year, as punishment for a past event, the Capitol puts on the Hunger Games where a boy and girl from each district are picked as tributes to compete in the games. The only catch is, these games are really fights to the death where there can only be one survivor. When Katniss’ sister Prim is chosen, she volunteers as tribute to participate in the games instead. Her and Peeta—her male counterpart—are pitted against people bigger, stronger and better trained than they are. But Katniss is a survivor and she’s not going down without a fight. Okay, turns out I’m not very good at short descriptions but oh well. Like I said, I’m really enjoying this series so far, while I didn’t like book 2 quite as much as book 1—we’re talking like a .25 difference in star rating here people—I still really loved it. I think these books are really quick and fun reads, they’re full of family, romance, action and a whole lot of murder. If you haven’t gotten around to reading this trilogy, I would highly recommend doing so!
Now, let’s move onto the movies & tv I watched in June—there’s only three.
Evil Genius(TV mini series)
This is a Netflix original true crime docuseries consisting of four episodes. I feel like this docuseries kind of took the world by storm when it first dropped but just incase you don’t know what it is about: it examines the case of the death of a pizza man who robbed a bank with a bomb around his neck. He was apparently an unwilling participant in a grand scheme of conspiracy and murder. This case is full of so many weird and confusing twists, it’s borderline hard to keep track of them. The prime suspect is lets jsut say, an interesting character. Listening to her talk was actually painful because you could tell that something wasn’t okay and that she needed proper help, which is all explained in the series. If you like true crime then this one is definitely worth the watch, although it isn’t my favourite.
This movie isn’t your typical war movie, in it they focus more on the psychological side of the war, not just the action. It’s a film set during operations desert shield and desert storm during the Gulf war. It’s told through the perspective of a marine sniper who struggles with the possibility that his girlfriend back home may be cheating on him. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead role of Anthony Swoffard and much like every other movie I’ve seen him in, he nails the performance. I may be a bit bias because of how much I like him as an actor but I think he did a fantastic job portraying the hardships that come with war. I appreciated the side of the war that this movie showed, as it’s something that a lot of them either shy away from, or don’t try to talk about. This movie came out in 2005 but if you haven’t seen it yet, I would highly recommend it.
This one was a rewatch for me, I had seen it in theatres back when it came out and I remember enjoying it. I wasn’t blown away by it but I had a good time watching it. I can’t say that I enjoyed it nearly as much the second time around. I think this movie plays better in a theatre compared to an at home viewing. In this one we follow two siblings—one an inspiring documentary maker—while they visit their grandparents on vacation for the first time. Things take an incredibly weird turn quite quickly and the kids are increasingly frightened by their grandparents behavior. This movie narrowly walks the fine line between horror and comedy, without fully committing to either side. In the theatre I remember being a little bit creeped out and I remember the eerie/unsettling factor to be higher. When I viewed it this time around on a small screen in my living room, it lost all of that eerie feeling and I couldn’t remember why I thought it was ever creepy in the slightest. It was my boyfriends first time watching it and he was literally laughing so hard the entire time. I will also be the first to admit that me and M. Night Shyamalan have a rocky relationship when it comes to movies, I’ve disliked more of his movies than I’ve liked, so keep that in mind when taking my opinion into consideration.
And we’re done! Overall, I had a really good reading month but a very slow tv/movie month. All in all, I’d say it was a good month though! I’d love to know in the comments if you read or watched anything good this past month.