June 2023 Wrap Up

.Happy summer! I’m so excited to read a TON more before college starts.


  • Read: 6 books
  • One 3 star, three 4 stars, two 5 stars
  • Favorite book of June: Queen of Shadows

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Yet another hyped up BookTok book that I thought was mediocre! I tried so hard to love this, I really did. But it was not refined enough to impress me as a young adult fantasy. Firstly, it was marketed as a new adult book probably because of the age of the characters, but read like a middle grade book. The characters spoke not as if they are 20-23 year olds but freshmen in high school– extremely juvenile and immature. This brings me to my largest critique: the writing. It wasn’t terrible by any means but it was quite unpolished and cringey, and much less skilled compared to other fantasy books. The writing took away from my enjoyment of the plot. The plot itself was quite creative as it dealt with dragons and dragon riders. However, the execution of the plot was a direct ripoff of Divergent, so the book was unoriginal in that manner. As for the romance? Also mediocre. Xaden and Violet seemed to be prime enemies-to-lovers material in the beginning of the story but quickly fizzled out to allies. I wish their relationship took more page time to bloom, because it felt a bit rushed. Overall, Fourth Wing was a book with a promising premise that failed to deliver in many of the ways that matter most. Rating: 3 stars

The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren

This Christina Lauren romance had such a unique premise, which is very on brand for this author duo. I loved reading about a romance writer heroine as well as the unique dating reality show. Fizzy went through so much character development as she learned to embrace her true identity and view of romance. The romance itself was sweet and realistic, and the ending chapter/grand gesture was one of the most dramatically fun scenes I’ve ever read in a romance novel. Rating: 4 stars

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This book told the story of Afghanistan’s decades of political strife through a deeply intimate lens. I can never really review Khaled Hosseini’s books because they are so indescribably emotional and impactful. I loved the main themes of motherhood, sisterhood, and the bonds between women. Although difficult to read at times, this book ended with an uplifting and positive tone. Just like the Kite Runner, I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. Rating: 5 stars

These Infinite Threads by Tahereh Mafi

Even though I thought This Woven Kingdom was pretty boring and insta-lovey, I was excited for the sequel because I knew there would be a new, much more interesting love interest added to the mix. This book did not disappoint. The romance explored was much more fleshed-out and complex than the previous book, and you know I love a good enemies-to-lovers pairing. The enemies-to-lovers was one of the best written that I’ve encountered in a long time. The plot was mostly filler since this book seemed to be a transition book that provided build up for the subsequent books in the series. However, though there was not much action, it was important to see Alizeh and Cyrus’s dynamic develop and learn more about Cyrus. Rating: 4 stars

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

This book kept me on my toes from start to finish. Each book in this series has a very special way of starting with a solid plot and slowly building up to a crescendo that is simultaneously deeply  emotional and thrilling. Every character was fleshed-out and had their own appropriate amount of page time. The multiple points of view and settings seemed disjointed at first but gradually, cleverly, came together in the end of the book. I’m sure I have nothing new to add to the discourse surrounding this series since it’s been out for so long. I loved it! Rating: 5 stars

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

You really have to suspend your disbelief for this one– it’s absolutely unrealistic and nonsensical– but once you do that, it’s such an enjoyable and wild ride! The interactions between the aunties were hilarious and made the murder plot infinitely lighter and funnier. I also really related to the commentary about wanting to please your immigrant parents because they’ve given up so much for their children. The only thing I wish was better was the romantic elements; the second chance romance was sweet but pretty rushed and slightly underdeveloped. However, the sitcom-like antics and laugh-out-loud dialogue of the aunties were the star of this book. Rating: 4 stars

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