Reading Goals for July & Current Challenge Updates

Where the hell did June go?! I mean seriously. It’s just gone (okay technically we have 3 days left.. but still).

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On the plus side, I did sort of complete this month’s reading goals. Sort of being that I had one DNF after 3 solid and failed attempts. Sorry, Fawkes, it’s not you, it’s me (or maybe it is you). I completed 14 books total. Not too bad, eh?


Proposed TBR for July

Continuing to tackle more ARCs this month.

the forest queenThe Forest Queen
By Betsy Cornwell
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Synopsis:

When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s vast estates, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen.

the wild deadThe Wild Dead (The Coast Road #2)
By Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: Mariner Books

Synopsis:

A century after environmental and economic collapse, the people of the Coast Road have rebuilt their own sort of civilization, striving not to make the mistakes their ancestors did. They strictly ration and manage resources, including the ability to have children. Enid of Haven is an investigator, who with her new partner, Teeg, is called on to mediate a dispute over an old building in a far-flung settlement at the edge of Coast Road territory. The investigators’ decision seems straightforward — and then the body of a young woman turns up in the nearby marshland. Almost more shocking than that, she’s not from the Coast Road, but from one of the outsider camps belonging to the nomads and wild folk who live outside the Coast Road communities. Now one of them is dead, and Enid wants to find out who killed her, even as Teeg argues that the murder isn’t their problem. In a dystopian future of isolated communities, can our moral sense survive the worst hard times?

nyxia unleashedNyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2)
By Scott Reintgen
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Synopsis:

Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.

Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.

But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces—Babel and the Adamites—with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?


2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge Updates

The short version goes something like this:

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Slightly longer version:

Total Completed: 31
In Progress: 1
Remaining (If I go for Advanced): 18

Again, I made next to little progress this past month and expect to really pick back up on this challenge come this Fall after I clear out some review copies.


Book of the Month

rubyfruit_jungleRead my full review here.


Thanks to my current activity restrictions, I think June was one of my best reading months so far. What have you read lately? Have you read any of the above books?

Happy Reading,

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Better Late Than Never: Pride Month Reading List

Okay, so we are officially halfway through 🌈Pride Month and I am incredibly late with this post, but that does not mean I have not been celebrating! This includes cramming as many LGBTQIAP+ books into this month’s TBR as I possibly can. And loving every minute of it!

Pride MonthReading

What I Have Read

Reign of the Fallen

Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen #1)
By Sarah Glenn Marsh

Synopsis:
Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

Representation: So much! ❤ With a bi protagonist and diverse and often queer cast, this book easily holds my heart in terms of characters ❤

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A Line in the Dark
By Malinda Lo

Synopsis:

The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.

Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

Representation: Lesbian Chinese-American female protagonist who is in love with her best friend ❤

Ash by Malinda Lo

Ash
By Malinda Lo

Synopsis:

Cinderella retold

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

Representation: Lesbian female protagonist portrayed in the most natural way, and I love this story for that if nothing else! ❤

What I am Currently Reading

daughter of the burning city

Daughter of the Burning City
By Amanda Foody

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

Representation: I am still reading this, but it seems Sorina is bi, and a couple of the illusions are queer as well as a possible demisexual supporting character ❤

rubyfruit_jungle

Rubyfruit Jungle
By Rita Mae Brown

Synopsis: Bawdy and moving, the ultimate word-of-mouth bestseller, Rubyfruit Jungle is about growing up a lesbian in America–and living happily ever after.

Representation: Well, it is as the blurb says about a lesbian protagonist in what is proving to be a beautiful coming of age story ❤

Planning to Read Next

becoming nicole

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family
By Amy Ellis Nutt

Synopsis:

The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the right to be different—from the Pulitzer Prize–winning science reporter for The Washington Post.

Representation: Transgender female (have yet to read) ❤

 

the art of being normal

The Art of Being Normal
By Lisa Williamson

Synopsis:

Two boys. Two secrets.

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan.

When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

Representation: I believe queer and transgender (will find out) ❤

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

What are you reading this month? Have you read any of the above or do you have any recommendations?

Chat with me,

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June Reading Goals & Challenge Updates

This is probably the most pathetic update I will hopefully ever post *snickers*. I set a TBR consisting of 2 books for May, and I failed. Yes, you read that right. I completed 50% of my 2 book TBR.

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So what happened you may ask?

Well, a whole myriad of events ranging from an unexpected hiatus to a back injury leaving me on medication that is kicking my behind. I did successfully complete Amy Reed’s The Nowhere Girls and loved it for so many important reasons. You can read my review here.

However, let us talk about 1Q84. This book.. It compromised my entire TBR for the month if we are being honest, and I failed miserably with it. On so many levels..

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  1. I purchased a physical copy (wrong! it is nearly 1000 pages – should have opted for ebook).
  2. I was attempting a book that requires (and deserves full attention) during a rather large flare up (again wrong!).
  3. I left it on my nightstand and now it has collected a layer of dust I think. This is not the ideal spot for large reads. If I want to remain encouraged, I have to pack them around (again should have purchased it in digital format).
  4. I began chapter reading (you know where you force yourself to read a chapter a night) and then allowed more and more time to pass between each chapter.

So what happens now? I am reshelving it and hoping to attempt it at another time. It’s not you 1Q84, it’s me.


June TBR

This month I need to seriously tackle my ARCs and they are taking the forefront.

bring_me_backBring Me Back
By B.A. Paris
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis:

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

Suicide_Club_October_17_EDIT_NEW_3.inddSuicide Club 
By Rachel Heng
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.

Synopsis:

Lea Kirino is a “Lifer,” which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever—if she does everything right. And Lea is an overachiever. She’s a successful trader on the New York exchange—where instead of stocks, human organs are now bought and sold—she has a beautiful apartment, and a fiancé who rivals her in genetic perfection. And with the right balance of HealthTech™, rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die.

But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead chose to live—and die—on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.

fawkesFawkes
By Nadine Brandes
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Synopsis:

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.


2018 PopSugar Challenge Updates

Total Completed: 28
In Progress: 1
Remaining (If I go for Advanced): 21
(I am pretty sure my math is way off here, but my head hurts too much to fight with it)

I made next to little progress this past month and expect this month will ultimately be the same as I work on knocking out review titles to make room to focus more on my challenge come this fall.


 

Book of the Month

The_Nowhere_Girls

Read my full review here.


What did you read in May? Have you read any of the titles from my upcoming TBR or do you plan to? Drop me a line!

Happy Reading,
Danielle ❤

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