Saturday 1 July 2017

Clare's June Wrap Up and July TBR

June Wrap Up:

I read 26 books in June and really enjoyed pretty much all of them. Like last month I don't feel up to doing a full summary of all of them and my thoughts (I will link any reviews down below) so I'm just focusing on my 12 favourites.
Broken BranchesWhy I Loathe Sterling LaneThe Sandcastle EmpireEliza and Her Monsters
12. Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee: This was honestly just such an original and intriguing book. It was so, so atmospheric and engaging and I was wholly absorbed the entire way through which was lovely.
11. Why I Loathe Sterling Lane by Ingrid Paulson: Super cute hate-t0-love romance with flawed but relatable main characters. I got super involved with the characters and their problems and was desperate for them to resolve everything. I didn't always love the way they acted but I did love how they stayed true to themselves whilst also developing.
10. The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson: The first half of this book was superb. It reminded me a little of Beauty Queens meets Indiana Jones with plenty of traps and island exploration and survival skills and I just loved it. For me the second half of the book did fall a little flat because romance overtook everything a little but it was still a good book overall!
9. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia: This was funny and relatable and heart breaking. It was such a roller-coaster of emotions and I loved every second of it. There are also drawings in the book from the main characters graphic novel which added a lot to the story and made it more unique and more engaging.
Summer at Hope MeadowsA Drop of NightThe Other F-WordHoliday in the Hamptons
8. Summer at Hope Meadows by Lucy Daniels: About half of my reading experience for this was just me fangirling. This is a sequel of sorts to the Animal Ark series picking up in the character's adulthood. I loved the Animal Ark series as a child so this was super rewarding to see my old favourite characters grown up and to get all the references to the old books. I just loved it. (You can totally read this if you never read Animal Ark as well - it doesn't expect you to know everything there was just so much I remembered and got excited about).
7. A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann: A thing I learned about myself this month is how much I love traps and survival? In this book the main characters get trapped underground in a sort of death maze and it was so exciting and fun and oddly believable. Just really enjoyed this. 
6. The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend: I picked this up on a whim and ended up loving it. It's such a great exploration of family and the relationship dynamics of the siblings and their personalities were so well done I genuinely feel like these are people I met in real life.
5. Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan: ALWAYS love Sarah Morgan's books. Just the best at contemporary romance I swear. This was romantic and emotional and laugh-out-loud funny and SO GOOD.
Things I Should Have KnownShadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles, #1)Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test #1)
4. Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik: I read Epic Fail by LaZebnik a really, really long time ago and it's my favourite Pride and Prejudice retelling. This sounded very different so I wasn't totally sure what to expect but it was incredible. I am also a carer for a younger sibling and so much of this book just rang true to me.
3. Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland & Michael Miller: A rag-tag space crew, an escape, court politics, awesome powers. This is just the kind of Sci-Fi I adore. If you love things like Illuminae or Starflight then definitely give this a go. 
2. Dreamfall by Amy Plum: I have insomnia so was super intrigued by the premise of this. A group of teenagers who have insomnia and are trying a new treatment get trapped in a dream world that is basically an amalgamation of their nightmares. It was incredible. There is a cliff-hanger but I'm not even mad because I was just so impressed with this. (I do want the sequel ASAP though please?)
1. This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers: More survival. This time of the zombie apocalypse variety. This was such an interesting one because rather than focusing on the zombies themselves it was way more into the group dynamics and the stresses of survival and mistrust and how easily humanity can tear itself apart without the need for zombies.

Reviews This Month:

Challenge Progress:

  • Goodreads Reading Challenge: 139/250 - 56%. I upped my reading challenge to 250 (from 200) because I was a little ahead. I debated just leaving it and reaching my target early and going over but I'm way too into a challenge to do that!!
  • When Are You Reading Challenge: Nothing. Again. I am just the worst. I only have a few categories left so I'm confident I can reach them by the end of the year though.

July TBR: 

Almost a Bride (Destination Love, #2)Seven Days in SummerFire in You (Wait for You, #6)Deadly Silence (Blood Brothers, #1)The Ultimatum (The Guardian, #1)What Goes AroundDisplacedThe Himalayan SummerPretty FierceThe Dragon’s Legacy (The Dragon's Legacy, #1)
These are the books that I am hoping to review in July. I'm not sure what else I will be reading (or if I'll be reading anything else since July will be busy) because there are so many books on my TBR and so many books coming out in July that it's way too hard to choose. I may have to go back to a TBR jar. But these 10 are pretty fixed. 

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.


  1. OOO! The Sandcastle Empire is on my shelf - and one I hope too read before it becomes a not-so-cool book anymore. ;)

    Happy reading - and I hope you enjoy your July TBR!

    1. Haha! I am forever leaving books on my shelf until everyone else has forgotten about them! But definitely read The Sandcastle Empire soon!!

  2. 26 books is awesome! I've been debating on The Sandcastle Empire- I do like the sound of the survival elements, so I'd probably like the first half of the book lol. A Drop of Night had me at death maze. And I may have to get Shadow Hold too, as I liked both books you referenced.

    This Is Not A Test I REALLY liked, and just read the novella sequel. Talk about bleak! And I have Pretty Fierce, hope to read it soon.

    1. Yeah, I love survival stories I was just a tad disappointed when it descended into dystopian romance really suddenly. And you would really enjoy A Drop of Night I think - it was really exciting and also some survival elements!
      I haven't read the novella sequel yet but I really, really need to!!

  3. I've been eyeing Broken Branches...and I am curious about One of Us is Lying...enjoy July!

    1. Broken Branches was really, really good and One of Us Is Lying was not what I expected but still pretty good! Happy July!

  4. What an amazeballs month!! Happy July!

    1. I'm really pleased with it! I enjoyed pretty much everything I read which is great! Happy July!