June Book Roundup.

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Woohoo! We’re half way through the year! How did that happen exactly? I swear it was February just the other day… Anyway, that’s besides the point. I somehow managed to read EIGHT books in June. You proud?

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Read:

21 Proms – Multiple Authors. Easy. ★★★☆☆

A collection of short stories.

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21 different stories about Proms, by 21 different authors. There are quite a few big names in this collection, each with their characteristic style that is plainly evident in their short story. But to be honest, I didn’t like more than half the short stories. Maybe I’m just not used to the whole ‘short story’ thing, maybe it just takes me longer to get into some writing styles. Unfortunately, quite a few stories were a bit difficult to follow, because I think the authors were trying hard to be different.

My favourite story was the last by John Green. It was about a Morp, which is a backwards prom. And was basically this girl throwing a party at her house instead of going to prom. It was sweet, easy to follow, and I really liked the characters. Thankfully, no one died.

“I don’t want to mar the moment with questions. By not asking too much, you can believe in almost anything.”

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The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan. Easy. ★★★★★

A book ‘everyone’ but you has read.

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I bought this one when shopping in Sydney, and started reading it on the way home. I couldn’t put it down! And I can’t believe it took me this long to actually pick up a Percy Jackson novel. I saw the movie when it first came out, but I knew they were different. I see them as two very different stories, and thankfully, can appreciate them both.

I loved how the mythology was intertwined with the story. It was often so subtle that you wouldn’t notice it if you weren’t paying attention. I really liked all of the characters, their characterisation, and character arcs; particularly the development of the friendship between Percy and Annabeth.

“Hades raised an eyebrow. When he sat forward in his throne, shadowy faces appeared in the folds of his black robes, faces of torment, as if the garment was stitched of trapped souls from the Fields of Punishment, trying to get out. The ADHD part of me wondered, off-task, whether the rest of his clothes were made the same way. What horrible things would you have to do in your life to get woven into Hades’ underwear?”

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The Cry of the Icemark – Stuart Hill. Easy. ★★★★★

A book you’ve read a hundred times.

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Another re-read. I read this one because it’s a new copy and one of my all time favourite books. I’ve written about it a few times so I won’t go on about it, just say that it introduced me to the medieval/supernatural genre. And that it has one of my all time favourite female lead characters, Thirrin.

“Thirrin’s fighting spirit still roared within her though, and as the creature lowered its jaws towards her throat she punched it hard on the nose. The werewolf shook its head and sneezed, taken completely aback.”

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Blitzing Emily – Julie Brannagh. Easy. ★★★★☆

An ebook.

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I don’t usually like straight up romance novels. But I loved this one. I think it’s the combination of realism and fantasy. It’s about a pro-footballer and an opera singer , who get themselves into a pretend engagement, and then find themselves falling in love (that’s the fantasy part). They struggle with their blossoming feelings, their respective popularity and fame, and the normal obstacles relationship face (realism!).

I wasn’t expecting to like Emily and Brandon quite so much. They’re hella cute together; especially how he calls her ‘sugar’. *dreamy sigh*. I also like that they’re older than the characters in most of the books I usually read.

“He could have written hundreds of words, but he’d packed a world of emotion into four.

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Rushing Amy – Julie Brannagh. Easy. ★★★★☆

A book all about romance.

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The follow up to ‘Blitzing Emily’, finds Emily’s younger sister being pursued by Matt Stephens, an ex-team-mate of Brandon’s. I really liked Amy in the previous book so I was really glad to see her again. One of the main things I love about her is her strength and how she is so determined to be independent. She’s a florist and I loved how we got to see so much of that part of her life.

Matt Stephens was great too. His relationship with his daughter was lovely, and I thought that whole situation was really realistic and approached wonderfully by Brannagh. Again, during the development of the relationship between Amy and Matt they face hurdles and realistic problems which regular people are often confronted with.

I was also happy we got to see a bit of Emily and Brandon again. They are still super cute, and none of the interactions felt like they were being forced into a story.

“Other guys’ girlfriends lost it over a piece of fine jewellery, a shopping trip to New York City, or a weekend in Paris. The woman in his life would be ecstatic watching football practice. He couldn’t wipe the grin off his face.”

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The Sea of Monsters – Rick Riordan. Easy. ★★★★★

A book nothing like it’s movie.

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A surprisingly short book, that wonderfully continued Percy’s journey. Again, I saw the movie before I read the book, and again I have decided to see them as separate. I really liked the character development in this book, particularly Clarisse. You get to see why she is the way she is; mostly due to the pressure her father, Ares, puts her under.

I am speeding through this series, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. This book spends a lot of time leading into the rest of the series. There’s so many questions left unanswered by the end, which just makes you want to dive into the next one.

“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related for better or for worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.”

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Jesse’s Girl – Miranda Kenneally. Easy. ★★★★★

A book you pre-ordered.

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I got this pre-order in the mail and instantly starting reading. I’ve been waiting for it patiently since Kenneally’s last book came out last year. I have absolutely loved each of her books, and this one was no exception. I stayed up late until I finished reading it, and it left me with a pleasant satisfied feeling.

Maya was a great, unique character who knows what she wants in life and goes after it, without instantly relying on other people. Jesse was also nicely characterised, and you couldn’t help wanting the pair to just make things work. Maya’s relationship with her family was really nice to see also. It was really realistic; it was particularly nice to see the continuation of Jordan and Sam’s relationship (from Catching Jordan), which didn’t feel at all forced.

“I felt like I played the lottery and won. And then all the money was stolen.”

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The Fyrelit Tragedy – Nicholas and Alison Lochel. Easy. ★★★☆☆

A book by two authors.

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This month’s Book Corner book, it took a little while for me to get into this. But, seriously, it’s probably easier for you to just go watch the video we filmed of our review. It’s got everything I wanted to say in it!

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Currently Reading:

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The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett.

I’m re-reading this lovely book. I first read it years ago, and I think it was a shorter version. This is the original, unabridged, version which I got for my birthday. I’m loving it so far!

The Titan’s Curse – Rick Riordan.

Working my way through the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Loving every minute of it!

The Burning Bridge – John Flanagan.

I’ve been listening to the audio book of the second Ranger’s Apprentice book. I’ve read it many times before and just felt like listening to it. I’m not very far into it, but I certainly won’t be giving up on it!

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I’ve put myself on a book buying ban, because I bought quite a number of books in June. But I’ve got so many books on my shelf to read, I’ll be fine. In fact,  can’t wait to see what books to get around to in July!

– Gabi

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