June reading round-up

  • # of books read: 16
  • audiobooks listened to: 2
  • graphic novels read: 8
  • total page count: 4,395
  • year total page count: 24,472

A large portion of my month was spent reading 2 books by Cassandra Clare.

The first was Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, which I picked up mainly because I’ve been meaning to read it for a while and because I found out I wasn’t first on hold for Lord of Shadows…  I wasn’t expecting this to be, essentially, a book about Simon.  It was sort of like The Bane Chronicles, a series of short stories, written by Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Robin Wasserman, that focused on Simon’s time spent learning Shadowhunter skills, trying to recover his memories, and dealing with not being a vampire anymore.  There were a few lovely Malec moments, and a very sad moment at the end that for me, overshadowed the death at the end of Lord of Shadows.

I’m glad I read Tales before I read Lord of Shadows, simply because of some of the background, a reminder that Alec and Magnus now have children and to meet some of the Shadowhunters who appear as part of the Centurions.  There are many romances going on in Lord of Shadows, but my favorite relationship was between Kit and Ty.  I feel like in my review of Lady Midnight I didn’t even mention Kit, even though he was one of my favorite characters, because he wasn’t essential to the complex plot.  But here he was featured more, and I can’t wait to see what happens.  Two more years till the next book…

After these two tomes, I was ready for a huge graphic novel binge.

A few blog posts helped me discover a load of new graphic novels.  This one recommended the memoir Imagine Wanting Only This, and this one introduced me to Giant Days.  I swear there was a blog post that recommended Ten Count and The Angel of Elhamburg by Aki but unfortunately I can’t find it.  Ten Count has been highly enjoyable, so much so that I bought v. 2 and couldn’t wait for volume 3 to arrive and starting reading online.  My library director got an ARC of Lighter Than My Shadow, an intense memoir of a young woman with an eating disorder.

This month I also finished two books from Wattpad that have been published.  The first was a horse-related story called Born to Run which I enjoyed because it felt like a mash-up between Thoroughbred and Wildfire.  The second was The Casquette Girls, which I started reading on Wattpad and ending up buying, as Wattpad isn’t the easiest way to read and the book is over 500 pages.  I really loved Casquette Girls – if you’re looking for something with amazing world-building and some paranormal romance, this is it.

Sarah Dessen’s new book came out this month, which I was thrilled about.  While it followed the Sarah Dessen formula, it’s still a great summer read.

Into the Water was another new release I’ve been looking forward to, since I loved The Girl on the Train.  Unfortunately I found the issues I had with Hawkins’ first book (confusing multiple narrators) were even worse in this book, while this was also less of a thriller.  The mystery was interesting, and the story got better as it went along, but still a little disappointing.

With my trip to Ireland coming up next month, I’ll either read way more because I’m traveling, or read way less (sometimes vacations are too busy for reading!).  But I do have another stack of graphic novels to read, and about 4 OwlCrate books I need to get to, plus I’m going on a pilgrimage to the Book Barn in Niantic, CT tomorrow, so I’ll be sure to have a haul from that 🙂  The TBR list never stops growing!

The complete list of all the books I read this month (links take you to my Goodreads reviews)

  1. Born to Run (North Oak #1) by Ann Hunter (via Wattpad)
  2. The Voices by F.R. Tallis (audiobook)
  3. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare et al.
  4. Torso by Brian Michael Bendis (graphic novel)
  5. Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green (graphic novel)
  6. Torso by Brian Michael Bendis (graphic novel)
  7. Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay (audiobook)
  8. Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare 
  9. Ten Count v. 2 by Rihito Takarai (graphic novel)
  10. Giant Days v. 1 by John Allison (graphic novel)
  11. Imagine Wanting Only This by Kristen Radtke (graphic novel)
  12. Ten Count v. 3 by Rihito Takarai (graphic novel)
  13. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
  14. The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden
  15. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  16. The Angel of Elhamburg by Aki (graphic novel)

The Sarah Dessen formula(s)

I love Sarah Dessen.  She has a lovely variation of the girl-meets-boy, classic teen romance storyline that always keeps me coming back for more.  I haven’t read her newest book, The Moon and More, yet… but I’m sure it will fit this formula!

Sarah Dessen Summer Romance Formula

Summer Vacation…

That Summer, Keeping the MoonThis Lullaby, The Truth About Forever, and Along for the Ride all take place during summer vacation.

+ Summer Job…

Halley from Someone Like You works at Milton’s Market with her best friend Scarlet.

Colie from Keeping the Moon gets a job at the Last Chance diner with Nathan.

Macy from The Truth About Forever works at the library, then gets a job at Wish Catering with Wes.

+ Divorced Parents (1 Famous Parent)…

That Summer – Haven’s parents are divorced and her father is remarrying the local TV weather woman.

Keeping the Moon – Colie’s mom is single and a well-known exercise guru.

This Lullaby – Remy’s deceased father was a famous musician who wrote a song about her. Her mother is a novelist.

Along for the Ride – Auden’s father is a novelist, who has remarried.

Divided by 1 Quirky Guy

Norman (Keeping the Moon) is a long-haired artist whose parents kicked him out of the house; he collects sunglasses.

Dexter (This Lullaby) is in a rock band whose big hit is the song “Potato Opus.”

Wes (The Truth About Forever) is another artist, instead of painting like Norman, he does metal sculpture.

Owen (Just Listen) is really into music and works as a DJ for a radio station

Eli (Along for the Ride) is an insomniac

Dave (Whatever Happened to Good-bye) is a prodigy who decides to attend a public school just for the experience

Toss in a few Easter eggs…

= a sweet love story 🙂

BONUS: The Sarah Dessen After-School Special Formula

1 Famous Parent/Guardian

Lock & Key – Ruby’s brother-in-law was the creator of UMe (the Sarah Dessen version of Facebook)

What Happened to Good-bye – McLean’s father is sorta like a Chef Gordon Ramsey

+ Serious Issue (sometimes x 2)

Someone Like You deals with teen pregnancy and death; Dreamland deals with abusive relationships and drug abuse; Just Listen deals with eating disorders and rape; Lock & Key deals with parental neglect; Whatever Happened to Good-bye deals with identity.

+ Missing Person

In Dreamland, Caitlyn’s sister goes missing.  In Lock & Key, Ruby’s mother disappears.

+ School Year

All of the above novels take place during the school year.

=a not-too-heavy examination of various social issues, with a hopeful ending