So…I fell off the bandwagon for a few days there. My b, my b. It’s a holiday week n’ all. Busybusy. You know the drill. (Insert more excuses here.) Honestly, it was only a matter of time before posting consistently was no longer possible for me, due to my own self-destructive tendencies and no other reasons.
I’ll find a schedule. Eventually, maybe, etc.
So! In June, I read 13 books (five of which were rereads). This is okayyyy, but not as much as I should have read considering it’s summatime!!! (And because, as previously mentioned, I’ve spent the whole year exactly 8 books behind my reading challenge.)
But let’s talk about what I read this month! The titles link to my reviews.
M ostly Goodreads reviews because I’m bad at posting.
So…the month got off to a bad start. Can’t win ’em all. Can’t even win most, if you’re me and turned into a hateful robot. One who uses cynicism and cursing instead of, like, shooting lasers out of its eyes.
The Light We Lost is a sweeping, dramatic, life-changing, emotional chick-lit romance. Not exactly my bag, but I saw what I later realized was a wildly editorialized synopsis (I like stories where people meet by coincidence over time! Sue me!) and gave it a shot.
Which I should not have done. Because this book managed to be boring and nonsensical and legitimately offensive.
But hey, live and learn, I guess.
Wow, June stayed testing me!
I picked this one up on a whim (never do that) because it was on Book Outlet (sometimes a bad sign), and Amy Zhang’s first book was fine (not a good reason), and I run through contemporaries in the summer like it’s my job (even though I rarely like them). (And have barely even been READING this summer. God.)
This book is like, a mystery, kinda? About two best friends? The synopsis gives away the whole thing so I dunno how much to say.
Anyway. Manic pixie dream girl + boring guy + problematic-ness = I am very upset.
It turned out to be quite a rant.
3. I’ll Give You the Sun (reread)
The sheer terribleness of my previous two reads drove me into the arms of a fan favorite. (It’s me. I’m the fan. It’s my favorite.) Looking back, I should have considered that the potential outcome of me not liking this book would have crushed my already-fragile psyche. But it worked out, so it’s fine.
Anyway. This book is about twins, Noah and Jude, and it’s told in alternating perspectives – thirteen-ish year old Noah, if I remember correctly, and current-day seventeen-year-old Jude.
It’s very beautiful and I love the characters. (What does it say about me that even writing that made me go, Guh. Emma, you sap, you.)
At least while writing the actual review I managed to be genuinely happy for a bit without jumping back into my ice pool of bitterness. (Ah, the comforts of home.)
Also, look at that cover. Look at it.
4. The Phantom Tollbooth (reread)
I’VE ALWAYS HAD A SOFT SPOT FOR THIS BOOK AND ALWAYS WILL.
If you’ve been living under a rock/have spent your entire life in a coma/were otherwise under unfortunate circumstances which would not allow you to gobble this book up: the Phantom Tollbooth is a classic children’s book. It’s about a very bored boy named Milo who receives a mysterious tollbooth and goes on an adventure, in a place called The Kingdom of Wisdom – in the Lands Beyond.
It’s even better than it sounds. And I did a damn good job of making it sound good. (It’s okay. You can admit it. Plz direct all praise to the comments below.)
5. Isla & the Happily Ever After (reread)
Feeling safe after two consecutive five-star rereads, I decided to go three for three. Lucky number three. Three’s company. Etc. (I don’t know why I’m listing three-related expressions like there’s someone reading this who doesn’t know about the number three. Like, there’s someone out there who’s all, I know two, and I know four, but what comes in between? …Huh. Well, I guess nothing!)
Anyway. This book was bad-bad-bad. Really unlikable characters, and just so boring and cringey.
It’s rant #3 of the month, is what I’m sayin’.
I have very little to say about this. It’s a children’s book. It’s cute and kinda funny. I like the illustrations.
That’s all I got.
Maybe the only book I’ve ever read that made me think, Huh. The movie was better.
The film version just makes a lot of choices about the story that are a lot cleverer and cuter and more entertaining. Also I’m biased, because I loved that movie so much growing up. (But my evil sisters wouldn’t let me watch it, because we had to shaaaare the choice and they thought it was too saaaaad. Uncultured swine.)
This was still fun, though! And again I’ll say: the coverrrrr.
I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I nonstop talk about how I’m a comedy nerd – because I’m gross and annoying – and this books was my dreaaaaam. It’s the most in-depth oral history of Saturday Night Live you could possibly imagine (clocks in at exactly 800 pages) and the writers talked to everybodyyyy who ever mattered at SNL (the alive ones, I mean. I wish they communicated with the ghosts of the SNL greats. Although it probably would have lessened the journalistic integrity of the co-writers. Also, it’s excluding Eddie Murphy, for some reason they attempt to explain).
I’ve said a million times: Reading this is like gossiping with your SNL faves. I rationed this book out for over a month. It’s amazing. I want a book this long for every show and movie I’ve loved. (Which is exclusively comedies, obvs.)
So many favorite things combining in one!!!
BEAUTIFUL. MAGICAL. GREAT CHARACTERS. MILDLY IMPERFECT. REALLY LIKED IT BUT DIDN’T QUITE LOVE IT.
That’s what the critics are saying about A Million Junes.
And by “the critics,” I just mean me. Did you guess that?? AM I BECOMING PREDICTABLE?!
Anyway. Ignoring the fact that I’m visibly and publicly falling apart, I really recommend this book. I’m predicting that it’s going to be wildly underrated, AND IT SHOULDN’T BE. Some top-notch magical realism right there.
Also, again: THE. COVER.
10. The Bad Beginning (reread)
This…is my favorite series. My least favorite book in my favorite series, yes, granted, but still fabulous. I swear to you I could read this series every year and never tire of it. (A hypothesis I have no intention of testing. Can you IMAGINE if I did eventually get sick of it? Who would I be? What would I do with my life?)
Anyway. These books are the BEST.
Wait, what? Hang on, what’s that? Some sort of leader who isn’t the president of the United States nor affiliated with the president, because f*ck that, is on the line? Give me the phone. What’s that you say? It’s now the law that everyone read this series, at least up to and including the twelfth book, because that’s the best one and my favorite? Well, okay. I’ll tell them.
You hear that, guys? Sorry. I don’t make the rules.
You’d better get reading, I guess. (On a sidenote: My review of this book – linked – is one of my favorite reviews I’ve ever written.) (Shameless plug.) (LET ME BE PROUD OF MYSELF, SELF.)
And just as I nearly (nearly!) grew adjusted to not hating books…
This dumpster fire of a contemporary shows up in my life.
I really can’t put into words how much I hated this book. Oh wait, I did already! (Linked.) That’s good. Not feelin’ like I wanna delve back into the memory of this one.
Rant #4 of the month, baby! Honestly not too horrible of a ratio, knowing me.
12. The Little Prince (reread)
My third classic children’s book of the month! Who knows what was going on.
I think I needed to soothe the festering wound (gross, sorry) that was my brain after that fourth rant and return to an ol’ fave.
This book is so gorgeous. I read it for the first time – in French – two years ago, AND I LOVED IT SO MUCH. It was only slightly less lovely in English. It quelled my weary heart like a lullaby. I love the pilot and the little prince and his fox and his rose.
But f*ck the snake, man. Snakes are never good. They’re even more reliably villainous than most other common phobias. At least spiders have Charlotte’s Web. Clowns have the show Baskets, which I forgot about until this moment. Heights have, like, the view. But snakes? Nothin’. They need a new PR guy.
Rating: 4 or 4.5/5
I haven’t reviewed this yet, so I don’t know my rating exactly.
What I DO know is this book is dramatic, and diverse, and so fun. It takes place in Old Hollywood, which is AMAZING. It’s not like the characters are particularly great, but it’s so gossipy and fabulous. It made me want to grab a blanket and watch old movies for 48 hours straight. (Granted, that feeling has defined much of my summer thus far.)
What I’m saying is it’s the ULTIMATE GUILTY PLEASURE READ.
So that’s June! Lots of good, lots of bad. Not a lot of eh, so that’s good, I guess.
I also started getting heaps better at posting here and on Instagram with regularity. So that’s nice.
Hurray, July! Happy almost-Fourth of July, everybody. (Everybody.)
- Was June a good reading month for you??
- Fave book of June?
- How often do you post on your blog? Tryna figure out my own schedule.