How are we halfway through 2020? I feel like almost everyone will agree with me that this has been the craziest year ever and it definitely does not feel like we are halfway through. However, I did actually manage to read quite a few books this month so I will talk about them more in depth here.
Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter
I loved Bethany Rutter’s YA debut last year so I was incredibly excited for her second but overall I was slightly disappointed. Whilst I think this book had great potential, it attempted to deal with too many important topics in such a short story, such as sexuality, body postivity, hate crimes, family drama, racism, moving to university etc. This meant that none of these issues were fully explored properly so it just didn’t have the impact that I wanted it to have. I wish it had either been longer, or dealt with less topics because it just all felt a bit too much. I still enjoyed reading it as I found the main character to be really interesting and I loved the seaside setting, but overall I was hoping for more. – 3 out of 5 stars.
If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
In a weird turn of events, this book was shockingly similar to the previous book I read. It dealt with a lot of the same topics and had a similar issue of dealing with too much at once. However, I will say I enjoyed this one more. It dealt with the same topics in a much more interesting way and I really enjoyed all of the characters. I especially loved the family dynamics in this story and I felt like it was a unique take on some of the topics that were explored. – 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Due to the rising Black Lives Matter movement this month, I decided to pick up some YA books by black authors that I had been meaning to read for a while. I read the entirety of this book in one sitting and I absolutely loved it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel because I didn’t really like Odd One Out but I was obsessed with Jackpot but I think this book was my favourite out of her releases so far. It dealt with the topic of police brutality in such an important way. It broke my heart in a lot of placess and made me feel very angry at the world. My only issue is that I felt like it was too short. I think the big plot line that happens towards the end needed more development. However, I still think it’s such an important read that others need to pick up. – 4 out of 5 stars.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbie Waxman
I’ve been listening to this audiobook for so damn long but one day I was just determined to finish it so I sat down and played animal crossing for hours whilst listening to most of this and I… did not like it. The main character was a terrible person, and there were many statements that she said in this book that came across as very anti-feminist as well semi-racist and incredibly problematic statements in general. She also just hated everyone who didn’t read books which was ridiculous. The romance was absolutely awful and I don’t understand why so many people enjoy this book. – 2 out of 5 stars.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
After that, I decided to pick up another book from my TBR by a black author and I really enjoyed this book. In all honesty, to begin with, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I was just confused by why there was so much love for this book. However, as I got further into the book and reached the main plot of the novel, I loved it. I really loved the discussion around mental health as well as the discussions around racism and culture. This sort of felt like a British, Black, non musical version of Crazy Ex Girlfriend so I loved it. This book will definitely have a long lasting impact on me. – 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Loveless by Alice Oseman
As soon as I saw this on Netgalley, I requested it straight away. I was approved for it a few hours later and started reading it immediately. I read it all in one day and this is most definitely my favourite read of the year so far. Alice Oseman’s books are always my favourite reads, so I knew I was going to love this one. However, I think this is definitely my favourite of hers so far. It made me incredibly emotional and I related to so many aspects of this novel. I never cry whilst reading books, but this is the closest I think I’ve ever been. This book means so much to me already and I want to reread it constantly. I know that once this comes out in July, everyone will love it. – 5 out of 5 stars.
How It All Blew Up by Arvin Ahmadi
I really don’t want to talk about this book anymore. This book took up a lot of mental space in June and I don’t want to focus on it. Just know that I hated it and that’s all. – 1 out of 5 stars.
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
Me and some of my uni friends decided to start a YA book club and this was our first pick. I did quite enjoy this book. I’m not sure if I would have picked it up if it wasn’t for this book club however, I did like it. My only main issue was that everything felt incredibly underdeveloped, particularly the romance. They get together very quickly and I just felt like we needed more exploration of their relationship. It was still a good book and I enjoyed the NASA aspect of it. – 3 out of 5 stars.
Solitaire by Alice Oseman
After reading Loveless, I decided to embark on an Alice Oseman re-read ( I have an entire reading vlog coming out soon for this) and I really enjoyed re-experiencing her stories. I completely forgot most of this book and it was like I was reading it for the first time. I definitely did not enjoy this as much as I did the first time I read it, but it was her debut novel. – 3 out of 5 stars.
Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman
Weirdly, I have never read the Alice Oseman novellas before which is crazy. I loved reading this novella because, like most Oseman fans, I am in love with Nick and Charlie. Reading this story which is set years after Heartstopper was really interesting because it gave you an insight into where the story is going to go in the future. – 5 out of 5 stars.
This Winter by Alice Oseman
I really loved this novella. It is set between Heartstopper and Solitaire and it focuses on the Spring siblings. I thought the whole story was written incredibly well and it was such an interesting addition to the Oseman verse. – 5 out of 5 stars.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevado
In between reading all of Alice Oseman’s books, I decided to read The Poet X which I read entirely in one sitting. I really loved this book. I definitely think it’s my least favourite of her stories, but I really liked the discussion around control as well as the beautiful writing. – 5 out of 5 stars.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
I loved this re-read! When I first read this book, I was just about to go to university so it was perfect timing for me. I was worried it wouldn’t be as good now because timing played a big factor. However, that was definitely not the case. I absolutely love the way that this book deals with academic pressure and it really hits home at multiple times. Honestly, I want to re-read this more often. – 5 out of 5 stars.
Heartstopper volumes 1-3 by Alice Oseman
I obviously had to re-read Heartstopper. I re-read all of them back to back in one sitting because they are that addictive. What is there not to love in this series? It’s cute, adorable yet it is beginning to deal with more serious topics. I would love to have volumes 4 and 5 today but I have to wait patiently. – 5 out of 5 stars.
High School Musical franchise
Me and some friends decided to do a HSM rewatch and wow what an iconic franchise. These films defined my childhood and rightfully so. They’re still so fun to watch and the songs are addictive as hell.
We then decided to rewatch Camp Rock which was definitely not as good. I like the songs but the film is just not as fun. I mean honestly, the whole film is just a meme at this point.
So that’s my June wrap up. What is your favourite book that you read this month? Let me know down below.