July 1, 2019

June 2019 Wrap Up

Get a snack. Get a drink. Hunker down. This one is a long one.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Done. This was the book club book for June and it made for a rousing discussion.

The Fempiror Chronicles: The Initiation of David by George Willson - Done. I gave this book its first Goodreads rating.

Bright Burning Stars by A. K. Small - Done. This is about 2 girls in a ballet school in Paris who are both trying to become professional ballerinas, and work out their friendship along the way.

Rayne and Delilah's Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner - Done. I don't know how this man nailed teenage female friendship so well, but he did it. I was a blubbering mess at the end.

Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young - Done. While you're reading this book, you know something is seriously wrong with the school these girls are in, but you have to read the whole thing to find out just how weird it is.

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Broday and Joanne Rendell - Done. This is billed as Les Miserables in space, but it took me more than half the book to find the correlation. It's told from 3 perspectives: Marcellus Bonnefacon - the grandson of the Head of the Ministere and projected to be promoted to head of the police force soon, Allouette - a young girl sequestered with a bunch of nuns who protect the information from the Time Before, and Chatine - a girl who dresses as a boy for protection and is from a family of cheaters and gangsters from the poorest of the poor of Laterre. It turns out that Allouette's father is Jean ValJean only he's not her father, of course. The story is nothing like the original.

The Black Coats by Colleen Oakes - Nope. I was going to read this for my award, but it got voted off the island on May 31, so I decided it would be a better use of my time to read a book that was still a contender.

What Every Girl Should Know: Margaret Sanger's Journey by J. Albert Mann - Done. I thought this would be about how Sanger started Planned Parenthood, but no. It's just about her life at home with 13 brothers and sisters, a mother with tuberculosis, and a dad who is more interested in ranting about politics and religion than actually working to support his family.

We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra - Done. I liked this one. It's about two boys who get paired up in English to write letters to each other. One of them is an openly gay guy who takes his passion for Walt Whitman to a ridiculous level and is constantly bullied. The other one was on the football team until he quit unexpectedly in the middle of a game. They fall in love, obviously. But it's not that simple.

Dig by A. S. King - Done. All King's books are weird. This one is less weird and unaccessible than others I have read. It starts with 5 kids in a small town each telling their story. Then the stories converge.

Amelia Westlake Was Never Here by Erin Gough - Done. I stopped reading about half way through because I was irritated, but then on Saturday I picked it up and finished it off. Two girls who are polar opposites on the popularity spectrum team up to skewer some social issues their tony private school is not dealing with.

The Boy Next Story by Tiffany Schmidt - Done. This was loooong, but I enjoyed it. The main character has a major crush on the boy next door who has a major crush on her sister. Her English teacher is trying to help her with English and her entire life by assigning her extra credit reading. I want to read the first one in the series now.

How Not to Ask a Boy to Prom by S. J. Goslee - Done. This was ok. The main character is a nerdy guy who has been out for years. His adoptive family is highly competitive and outgoing. He has a crush on the captain of the lacrosse team, and his sister makes a banner to help him ask him to prom. When he goes in the home ec room with the banner, the surly brooding boy from his English class thinks it's for him and agrees to go. They pretend to date to get back at the surly boy's ex-girlfriend who is truly frightening.

And the one that wasn't on my TBR:

Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe - The 40th anniversary edition of this came in at the library, and I started reading it. Oops! It just so happens that it met a Read Harder challenge to read a book with an inanimate object or animal as the narrator. Sweet!

And the books I read for the Summer Reads Readathon:

We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai - This met the challenge to read a book with less than 200 pages. It is a compilation of the stories of different girls Malala has met on her travels around the world. All of them are displaced from their homeland in some way.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson - This met the challenge to read a book with yellow on the cover. I'd say this counts. It's a memoir about the author's struggle with depression and anxiety. But also, she's hilarious. I wouldn't want to be her husband, though.

Furiously Happy

The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena - This met the challenge to read a book set in a country other than your own. This is set in Canada. Susan Thomas is an Indian girl raised in Saudi Arabia until she is 17 when her father moves her and her mother to Canada because they want her to be a doctor or an engineer, which she wouldn't be allowed to do in the Middle East.

Don't Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno - This met the challenge to read a book with water on the cover. The Santos women are cursed. Rosa's grandfather died trying to get her Grandmother and newborn mother to the U.S. from Cuba. Rosa's father died in the Gulf of Mexico in a storm while her 17 year old mother was pregnant. Rosa hasn't even set foot in the harbor, she is so sure she is cursed. But of course, she falls in love with a boy with a boat.

rosa santos

Read Harder challenges completed:

  • An epistolary novel or collection of letters - We Contain Multitudes.
  • A Humor book - Furiously Happy
  • A Book published prior to Jan 1, 2019 with fewer than 100 reviews - The Initiation of David.
  • A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character - Bunnicula

17 books. I'm pretty sure this is a record for me.

I noticed that a whole lot of the YA contemporary books had main characters who were artists. I started to get them confused. That may or may not be weird. I feel like loner artist types could be a trope in YA fiction.

What did you read in June?