Hi, everyone! I can’t believe three more months have gone by and it’s now time for my second quarterly reading wrap-up of the year (here’s the first one, if you missed it!). In this post, I’ll be discussing all the books I read during April, May, and June. Oh, and in the last one of these, I promised stats in future quarterly wrap-ups, so I’ve included those this time around! Now, let’s talk about some books, shall we?
- Total number of books read this quarter: 40
- DNF: 0
- 1 star: 0
- 1.5 stars: 0
- 2 stars: 4
- 2.5 stars: 3
- 3 stars: 5
- 3.5 stars: 4
- 4 stars: 11
- 4.5 stars: 6
- 5 stars: 7
As you can see, I read primarily YA contemporary this quarter, with that genre comprising nearly half of my reading. This is pretty typical for me during the spring and summer months; plus, most of the ARCs I received during these three months were contemporary. (I promise, historical fiction and fantasy are actually my favorite genres, even if it might not seem like it based on my reading so far this year, ha.)
My Goodreads goal for the year was set at 52 books (one for each week of the year), and I am happy to report that, as of the end of June, I’ve read 69 (har har) books so far in 2017! As for other goals, let’s check in and see how I’ve done re: some of the bookish resolutions I outlined in our 2017 Resolutions post back in January.
- Read more. PASS. I’ve read at a faster rate this year than any year I can remember since childhood. This is sadly due to the fact that my mental health has not been great this year and reading is pretty much the only thing I can do when I’m depressed, but, ya know, you’ve gotta take what you can get.
- Go to Yallfest. TBD. Yallfest is in November, so we’ll see if I actually get solid plans together and go. I did, however, make plans to go to BookNet Fest in Orlando this September! So, yay for that.
- Put more thought into my reviews. PASS. I’ve been really happy with the quality of reviews I’ve been writing so far this year.
- Get back on track with BookTube. Huge, epic FAIL. I still haven’t posted a video since last November. Idk, I just haven’t had the motivation to make videos on top of blogging. I miss my friends, but I really don’t miss actually filming and editing videos. I’m sure I’ll post another video at some point, but I just don’t have the desire right now, and that’s perfectly okay with me. I still try to keep up with my subscription feed and especially all my friends’ new videos, though.
- Tackle my backlist TBR. Haaaaa. Hahahaha. Another big FAIL. I’ve been reading almost exclusively ARCs and new releases.
These were all either 2 or 2.5 star reads for me (I don’t give one-star ratings unless a book is truly irredeemable or I DNF it). Get It Together, Delilah! and ACOWAR were hella problematic; After the Fall and What I Saw & How I Lied were “WTF did I just waste my time reading” books; and Fireworks was just severely underwhelming.
Now, onto happier things! These are a few (though not all) of the books I rated 4.5 stars that didn’t quite get a five star rating, but that were really really close. I still absolutely adored these!
First Position by Melissa Brayden // My new favorite romance book of all time, ever. It’s an amazingly well-written f/f romance between two professional ballerinas. I’ve been pitching it to all my friends as “the Tiny Pretty Things duology, but all grown up.” IT’S SO GOOD, GUYS.
Sex Criminals, vol. 1 by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky // I have a feeling this will become one of my favorite graphic novel series. The premise sounds cheesy, but it is SO well-executed, hilariously witty, and the art is fantastic.
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett // One of those YA contemporaries that reminded me why I love YA contemporary as a genre. A You’ve Got Mail retelling, a beachy summer setting, interesting characters, and a completely swoonworthy romance– what more could you ask for?
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzi Lee // My coblogger, Bee, would probably murder me if this book didn’t make my list somewhere. AND IT’S HERE WITH GOOD REASON. Historical fiction is already my favorite genre, so add in a European adventure, an absolutely hilarious narrator, a sexy romance, and a story about queer people in the 18th century??? TAKE MY MONEY, MACKENZI LEE. Y’all, this book was such fun. I recommend it to literally everyone, because it’s 100% guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
the five-star reads
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi // This book took my breath away with the scope of the story and the strength of the writing (seriously, how is this a debut novel?). I love family sagas, and this is one of the best I’ve ever read; it begins with two sisters in Ghana– one of whom marries a white slave trader, and the other of whom is sold into the slave trade– and each chapter follows a subsequent generation of their families. Filled with wonderful commentary on race, colonialism, slavery, family, and so much more.
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire // This is a prequel of sorts to Every Heart a Doorway (one of my favorite books of last year) that follows two of the characters from that story, Jack and Jill, during their time in the magical world they ventured into before arriving at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. It gave me the same peculiar sense of heartache and longing that Every Heart did, and overall it’s just a masterfully written, dark spin on a fairytale. This series has won my heart. I can’t wait for the next installment, and in the meantime, I’ll continue recommending the first two books to everyone I meet.
salt. by Nayyirah Waheed // Probably the best modern poetry collection I’ve ever read. It’s honest, poignant, and beautiful, and I think this is one everyone should read. Waheed truly has a talent for capturing emotions and touching people with her words.
The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet by Kate Rorick & Rachel Kiley // This is a companion book to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries web series, and as Lydia was one of my least favorite characters on LBD, I was shocked by how much I adored hearing her story here (I listened to this one on audio, which I highly recommend). She went on a beautiful journey of self-discovery and recovery from abuse, and I loved every second of it.
the top three
The moment you’ve all been waiting for! It was tough to narrow down, but these are my three favorite reads of this quarter.
This was simply the perfect conclusion to one of my all-time favorite trilogies. I loved hearing the end of Lara Jean’s story– she went through so much character growth in this series, but especially during this particular book. I particularly loved that all the romantic “drama” of the first two books is pretty much resolved for this entire book, so we got to focus a lot more on Lara Jean and her relationship with herself and the people around her. As always, family played a huge part in this story. I just think Lara Jean is so true-to-life; she feels like a real teenager. Man, I love this trilogy.
Since this is a sequel, I’ll keep this brief– because, hello, spoiler city– but if you’ve read this book, YOU KNOW. Cassandra Clare’s writing continues to improve with every book she publishes, and the cast of characters in The Dark Artifices trilogy jumps off the pages and is impossible not to root for/love with every fiber of your being. The romance, the friendships and familial relationships, the expansion of the Shadowhunter world (and, in this book, the Faerie world), and the plot of this series itself is all SPOT ON. Also… that ending. ripped. my. heart. out. of. my. chest. and. I. will. never. be. okay. again.
Emery Lord has long been one of my all-time favorite YA authors, and this newest release from her has to be one of her best yet. It nailed absolutely everything. From coming to terms with the sickness of a loved one, to questioning your religious beliefs, to having your first summer job and finding your “work family,” to processing grief and finding yourself in the process… this book gets it all right. I loved the main character, Lucy, and enjoyed seeing her relationships with the other characters develop. She grew so much, and I was so emotionally affected by her story that I full-on sobbed for a solid fifteen minutes upon finishing the book. This is the perfect quietly poignant contemporary to pick up this summer.
That’s all for this post! What has been your top read of 2017 so far? Have you read any of the books on this list? I’d love to know!!