My June Wrap Up and July TBR!

Hey everyone! Happy July! June was an amazingly productive month, in terms of books that I read. I have thirteen books for the month so let’s jump in! 

Quick reminder: ratings are out of 5 stars, 5 is the highest. Check out my Goodreads (StarringPamela) for real time updates.

June Wrap Up

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My lowest rated book is Self-Help by Miranda Sings. This is a self help book by Colleen Ballinger who portrays Miranda Sings online. Miranda is a very self-absorbed and slightly delusional character. I’m not the biggest Miranda fan but I find her amusing from time to time.

I gave Self-Help two stars. I just didn’t enjoy the book. It was very roughly put together, which I suppose was part of the aesthetic of the book but it just didn’t work for me. I checked this book out from the library so I’m glad I didn’t buy it.


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I had three books that I gave three stars. How coincidental! The first three star book I read was Username: Evie by Joe Sugg. This is the one book I bought at BookCon and I’ve been meaning to read it for awhile. I liked the story and the art but I felt that it just wasn’t long enough to be fully enjoyed and the character development suffered as a result. I would have much preferred the story to be a series and more fleshed out. I only paid $5 so I’m okay having bought it. If I had paid full price I would have been severely disappointed.


I also got my hands on The Glam Guide By Fleur de Force. I was hesitant to read this book as I didn’t attend Fleur’s book signing during her American book tour. I still feel a little bad about it. However, I didn’t go that day as I had read reviews that didn’t really make me want the book and I don’t like driving in the rain. I ended up getting this book from the library and I’m glad I did instead of buying it.

I used to watch Fleur often and am still subscribed to her channel. In her book I don’t feel like she knew her audience. She starts with ridiculously simple make up tips, basic style advice, and then jumps to making smoothies. It just didn’t flow or provide information that I felt was necessary to put in a book form. Still the pictures were lovely and for an absolute beginner it might be a good gift idea but otherwise check out YouTube.


I also gave three stars to DIY, Damnit! by Joselyn Hughes. I love Joselyn Hughes’ channel but the book? Not so much. I did like some of the ideas and instructions but a lot of it was crafts I wouldn’t want to make. It also wasn’t very helpful in some parts (the instructions instructed you to use Google for more instructions) and the pictures would jump from the first stages right to the end. Granted the ideas weren’t hard but I’m also glad I didn’t buy this one. Lesson of the month, get all YouTube books from the library…


At the recommendation of Hermione Granger Emma Watson, I picked up The Complete Persepholis by Marjane Satrapi. It is actually a biography in the form of a graphic novel, which I didn’t expect at all. I really enjoyed the beginning with little Marjane growing up freely and later rebelling against oppression. However once Marjane became a refugee and started to make bad choices I couldn’t connect with her strong spirit anymore and didn’t enjoy the story. I still gave it four stars as I loved the start of her story and she seemed to start making good choices again but I was disappointed in her as a person overall.


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I read one ARC this month, We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly. I won’t go on for too long with this one as I reviewed the book here but this story is about a couple who moves to Vermont from New York City as a huge storm heads their way and they try to find ways to outlast and survive the storm and its effects. I gave this book four stars.


The other biography I read this month was In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero. I was familiar with Diane Guerrero’s acting work in Orange is the New Black Netflix series so I paid attention when she came my tv screen for an interview on the network Univision with journalist Jorge Ramos. What stood out to me the most was that Diane was left alone to raise and fend for herself at age fourteen after her parents were deported to their home country of Columbia after living as undocumented immigrants in the United States. Like Persepholis I enjoyed Guerrero’s childhood narration and the resolution at the end but couldn’t understand the bad decisions she made in her middle years. This one also got four stars from me.

I actually want to do a review on this book as I feel that some of it relates to my life as a first generation child of Mexican immigrants. I also found it intriguing because, to a certain extent, that could have been my life if my parents had been undocumented. I hope I get around to it as I do want to put my thoughts on this book into words and write them down to share.


The last YouTube book I read this month was The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us by Rosanna Pansino. Ro’s channel is amazing and always fun to watch. I love her personality and her boom did a pretty good job of conveying her spunk. The recipes were great, the pictures and instructions were pretty good, and the level of difficulty for the recipes covered a good range. I almost wish I’d bought it. Almost. Although I liked it I feel that the best recipes she has are available for free on her YouTube channel. Still, I wouldn’t have been mad if I had bought it rather than check it out from the library. This one got four stars from me.


I thought I was going to read A Court of Mist and Fury before Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas but nope. Throne of Glass won. So that means I’m reading this series simultaneously but that’s fine because I really understand why everyone is obsessed with Maas’ works. I loved Throne of Glass a lot. An assassin, a dangerous contest, a gripping backstory, this book was written for my enjoyment. I gave Throne of Glass four stars because I couldn’t give it four and a half on Goodreads and I’m trying to not give out five stars to all the books ever.

I loved the character Celeana and the Princess Nehemia. I don’t want to give spoilers but I thought that Celeana was very good at making rational decisions and her friendship with Nehemia, and later Dorian and Chaol, is well earned. I actually find this series more gripping than ACOTAR so I’m going to try to read ACOMAF quickly next month to get it out of the way to get back to Celeana. And I mean that in the best possible way!


Well if I didn’t want to give spoilers for Throne of Glass then writing for Crown of Midnight will be very difficult. This is the sequel in Celeana’s story. Like I said, I really like this series. I also gave this one four stars and I think I liked it more than I did the first book of the series. I already have the next book from the library at home so I’m really excited about that. Since I can’t say anything about this book without giving it away I’ll just leave it at that.


 

And continuing my obsession  with the Throne of Glass series, I also read The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas. This one was a sort of prequel to the series but rather than a full novel it was a collect of novellas from Celeana’s life in the Assassins Guild before she ends up in Endovier (the salt mine prison she was at when the first book opens). My favorite story was Assassin and the Desert  but they were all very good reads. I gave this one four stars as well.


And the only five star book I read this month was The Martian by Andy Weir. I actually saw the movie before the book (I know, GASP!) and I’m very glad I did (DOUBLE GASP!). Since I’m not too science-y I felt that the movie did a very good job of dumbing down that aspect of the book so I was able to enjoy the book more because I wasn’t having to stop to be confused, I already knew what was going on.

But I did like the book more than the movie overall. The movie conveyed the humor better I feel and exaggerated the personalities of the characters as they had less screen time but you got to know the individual characters on a deeper level in the book. The actors they selected for each role in the movie were very much what their characters in the book were although I do wonder how I would have pictured them if I had read the book first.

I also enjoyed the book and movie because I remembered that I had wanted to be an astronaut in second grade until another second grader told me “when astronauts go to space they get to the moon and the spaceship can’t come back so you’re left up there until you run out of air and die”. Dreams crushed. I don’t qualify for the space program anyway as I don’t do anything in the STEM industry and have terrible, terrible eyesight but this movie made me feel better that someone could survive being left in space. It’s a huge, huge relief, even if it is a work of fiction!


I would like to apologize about the lack of pictures of the individual books. Since I got nearly all of them from the library I had to turn them back in at the end of the month so others could read them. I held on to them long enough to take the stacked picture but right after I took them back. I do have pictures of the two books I own so I included those. I hope the lines I’ve added help separate each book enough from the ones above and below it.

July TBR

So last month I finished three of my seven books on the TBR. I actually decided not to read The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins as I just couldn’t get into it. Here’s the books I do want to read:

  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (only read a bit more in June
  • La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (did not read any more but I need to)
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (since I didn’t read it in June)
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufan (about half way through already)
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: the graphic novel by Ransom Riggs
  • The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  • Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
  • Life with a Sprinkle of Glitter by Louise Pentland
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (I kind of cheated and started this already)
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

That’s a very ambitious TBR but I’m not actually expecting to finish some of these in the month and a lot should be quick reads.


And that’s all my books read and by TBR! Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and your thoughts, or any recommendations. I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

 

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