June 2021 Wrap Up

School ended for me this month, so I had a lot more time to read!

Stats:

  • Read: 5 books
  • One 5 star read, three 4 stars, one 3 star
  • Favorite book of June: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

I never expected this book to be as relatable as it was. As a second generation immigrant, I related to a lot of Darius’s feelings about seeing his grandparents and visiting his country of origin. I loved the discussion on depression and the stigma around mental health in Asian countries. The reader was immersed in Iranian culture. I was most impressed by the very complexly written relationship between Darius and his dad. Their development throughout the book was emotional and beautiful. I would strongly recommend it to second-gen immigrants living in America, this book validates your feelings so much! Rating: 4 stars

She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen

I adored this high school sapphic romance. It is VERY comparable to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, so I would totally recommend it to people who enjoyed that book! All of the characters didn’t have overly tragic and dramatic backstories, but realistic problems. My only problem was that at some points the plot became very Mean Girls-esque, with over-the-top blackmailing and drama. Overall, it was such a good contemporary with great messages! Rating: 4 stars

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

This bookstagram favorite was not a new favorite for me, but nevertheless a very solid read! The Romeo and Juliet retelling was original and paid tribute to the play at the same time. The setting of Shanghai was so unique and was also educational on the history of colonization in the city. However, I didn’t get very attached to the main 2 characters. I was more attached to the side characters instead. I also wasn’t too into the plot of the story and was sometimes bored until the end of the book. The ending was electrically shocking and I can’t wait to read the sequel! Rating: 4 stars 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

I buddy read this book with my brother who normally never reads for fun, and it was a great experience! I actually first read this five years ago when I was a little too young for it, but reading it now meant I had a much greater appreciation for the themes discussed: family, love, loss, coming to terms with sexuality, cultural identity, and more. It’s comparable to The Song of Achilles, but a modern day version with more straightforward writing. Rating: 5 stars

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout

VERY disappointing compared to the exciting action and plot of From Blood and Ash. Most of the plot was slow and not much happened until the end. The dialogue annoyed me a lot, since many of the things said and jokes made were repetitive. All attempts at humor fell flat for me and were not funny at all. Also, Poppy was reduced to only two character traits: being a violent, stabby person and asking too many questions. When the actual conflict did show up near the end, it was resolved too quickly. However, the very end of the book was one of the best cliffhangers I’ve ever read, and I’m hoping for some more excitement in the third installment! Rating: 3 stars

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