June Wrap-up

In case you missed them… here are the links to my June reviews

5 Star Reviews
The Looking Glass Wars
Before I Fall
The Immortal Highlander
Marie Antoinette: The Journey

4 Star Reviews
What Happened to Goodbye
Go the F–ck to Sleep
Spell of the Highlander
Darwin’s Children
Once a Cowboy
Slow Hands
City of Fallen Angels
Queen of the Dead

3 Star Reviews
San Chronicles, Volumes 9-10

2 Star Reviews
Reality Stinks

Total Reviews: 17

Reading Challenge Progress
Get Steampunked: 13%
2011 Debut Author: 33%
Off the Shelf: 12%
2011 E-books: 100%
2011 Audiobooks: 100%
Whisper Stories in My Ear: 77%
Support Your Local Library: 64%

Best of the Month I’m basing this list off the one I did for my best of 2010. I thought it might help me narrow down my decisions at the end of the year. Also, I added nonfiction! I’m so proud of myself! Hopefully, I can keep it up.

Overall – Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Amazing book! It has a fresh way of reflecting on behavior and how small decision can change, not only our lives, but the lives of those around us. It contains a great message, challenging the reader to examine how they treat others. It also explores the consequences of giving in to pressure or standing by while others are treated badly. Highly recommended!

Young AdultBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver. This is one of those books that I think every teen should read. I think it really captures the ups and downs of teenage minds. It also has a good lesson. It’s not exactly realistic fiction, but it has some real issues and that’s what makes it such a moving book. It’s full of the angst, the hormones, the family issues and the pressure that a lot of teens deal with daily.

Fantasy/Paranormal The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. This book brings the classic children’s fantasy to life in a way I never imagined. This retelling is sometimes butally violent and sometimes heartbreaking, but it has an element of hope that hooks readers into reading the rest of the series. It’s a whole new kind of Wonderland, and I love it.

Manga – I’m skipping this one because I didn’t read anything worth mentioning this month.

RomanceThe Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning. Best book in the series. Hands down. After Adam Black popping his immortal face into previous books in the series, it was so nice to have his story. It was definitely the sweetest of them all… to me anyway. Loved it!

NonfictionMarie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser. Okay, okay. So maybe this was the only nonfiction I read this month, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. For some reason, I’m completely fascinated by the French Revolution and everything that happened in that period. I learned a lot from this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys history.

AudiobookMarie Antoinette: The Journey, read by Donada Peters. The first time I heard Donada Peters read was when I listened to Northanger Abbey, and I wasn’t impressed. However, she was perfect for this book. She made nonfiction even more interesting with French and Austrian accents for quotations. Her tone also lends itself well to the humor of the book. It would have been a long process getting through this book without this audio book. Loved it.

2011 ReleaseWhat Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen. This one was difficult. I didn’t read a ton of new releases, but the ones I did read were pretty good. I chose this one because I was plesantly surprised by it after reading a semi-negative review. I always love Dessen’s books, but this is definitely in the top 5. It’s up there with Along for the Ride and This Lullaby.

CoverSand Chronicles, Volume 10 by Hinako Ashihara. I’ve always loved the art to this series. There are a couple of other beautiful covers in the series, but this one is probably my favorite.

Most Disappointing Reality Stinks by Ashlynn Monroe. It just wasn’t was I was expecting, which I guess is the definition of disappointing. This was the first negative review I’ve done for a tour book. I’m so lucky the author was gracious about it, and I haven’t given up on her. There’s another book of hers that I think sounds really good.

Series – Highlander series… again. I’m not even sure what to say. This series is just awesome. This series was what got me into romance, once and for all. If I hadn’t won the audio version of Beyond the Highland Mist earlier this year, there are a lot of really good romance books I would not have read. Now that I’m finished with this series, I’m seeking out more Highlander series. I’m not exactly sure what it is I like about them. I suppose it’s the men. They’re the kind of men that would never interest me in real life (I tend to go for the skinny, cute, geeky guys). Maybe there is some appeal in reading something that’s totally different in that way. Whatever it is, this series is amazing.

Author – Lauren Oliver. What can I say that most of you don’t already know? Lauren Oliver managed to become a favorite with Delirium, which I read first. One I read Before I Fall, it was serious. I mean, what kind of author writes a debut that good? Answer: an amazing one. If for some reason, you haven’t checked out Oliver’s book, get yourself to the bookstore or library or a friends house and grab a copy (although you should probably ask your friend before you swipe their book). I’m ecstatic for more from Oliver!

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    Some of the books reviewed on this blog were sent to me by the author or publisher for review. I did not receive any payment in exchange for the review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of these reviews. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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