Kickin' It: June 2020 Wrap Up

Thursday, July 02, 2020

June was a busy month! I started my summer courses for my Master’s program which has really been taking up all my time. Though, I did smuggle in some time to read a few amazing books! The world is starting to reopen, which is both exciting and terrifying. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there. In June, I finished a total of 11 books. Here’s what I read:

Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond (4 stars): Wow! This one was so charming and whimsical. I adored everything about this short story collection. It is also the highest rated anthology on my shelves. The stories focus on food and culture and each one weaves into the next as they all share the same setting. Absolutely adored it!

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi (4 stars): Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Emergency Contact. Even though the two main characters’ banter was so well done, I felt besides that, they didn’t have much chemistry. However, Choi’s writing is still as phenomenal and I will most definitely be reading more from her. 

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust (7/7/20) (5 stars): I enjoyed Bashardoust’s debut, Girls Made of Snow and Glass, but this new release takes her writing to whole new level. It was adventurous, mysterious and swoon-worthy! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!

99% Mine by Sally Thorne (4 stars): Definitely not The Hating Game, which is why I waited so long to read this. I found a few problems with it (mainly because the concept of a person being yours or mine isn’t really a mentality I follow). So, while I couldn’t put it down, it didn’t get full stars either.

Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 25-27 by Hiromu Arakawa (4.5 stars): It’s hard to believe that the series is over. If you’ve looking for a great series as your first foray into manga, definitely consider picking this one up. It has a little bit of everything. 

Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran (3 stars): I adore reading dramatizations of historical real-life moments. That’s why I adored Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer so much. Moran was able to take historical facts and weave her own fictional story around them. This one follows Madame Tussaud; she is most famous for her life-like wax figures.

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon (7/28/20) (5 stars): I love love love this one! I’ve never read anything by Solomon before but you can bet I’m going to be working through her backlist until she writes more! This was absolutely fantastic! Third part love letter to Seattle, part scavenger hunt, and another part rivals-to-lovers story: this book will make you swoon.

Love at First Fight by Sandhya Menon (4 stars): This was such a cute novella that follows the gang we met in There’s Something About Sweetie as they go to a Valentine’s Day-themed escape room. Very short but undeniably adorable!

The Night County by Melissa Albert (4 stars): It’s been a while since I read the first one, The Hazel Wood. I adored the way Albert weaved the mix of fairytales inside a contemporary world. I went into this sequel expecting Jumanji but was pleasantly surprised when readers are given a mystery with a killer on the loose. The Night Country doesn’t read like a sequel as it takes characters further into Albert’s world. I believe this series ends here but there’s an upcoming short story collection about the Hazel Wood titled, Tales from the Hinterland (1/2021), which I will definitely be reading!

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin (4 stars): I purchased this on a whim because I enjoyed the movie by the same name and it sounded similar. The movie and this book are not related in any way, besides sharing a name. Also, I rarely read thrillers so I went into this not knowing what to expect. It follows a predictable storyline in the finance industry. And while I thought it was interesting and cleverly done (because most of the chapters take place inside an elevator, Goldin still found a way to make it riveting), I was hoping for a bit more from the ending.

Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan (3 stars): I liked the concept of what the synopsis projected: girl who works at a theme park in a hot dog costume has a crush on a guy who also works at the theme park as a diving pirate, who is dating the princess of the theme park. That sounds like such an adorable time. Plus, there was a side-plot that the town must pitch in to save the theme park from closing (I adore save-the-town plotlines, because they always are so wholesome and lovely!). However, in order to get her crush to notice her, she creates a convoluted plan that (1) doesn’t make sense and (2) didn’t sit well with me. 

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon (7/21/20): The third installment to the Dimple and Rishi series is here! This one follows Pinky, who we met in There’s Something About Sweetie, and if the novella, Love at First Fight, was any indication what’s in store for us, then this will definitely be a cute one!

Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay (7/21/20): This one sounds like a lovely novel of self-acceptance, of finding yourself, and also finding love. Chelsea discovers that the last time she truly lived was during her gap-year seven years ago. In an attempt to find herself, she intends to retrace her steps. I adore books like this, with travel and romance (definite ingredients for a great time).

Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu (7/28/20): This is marketed as Damsel meets A Heart in a Body in the World and I’m very intrigued.

I haven’t been watching anything new. Most shows have taken a break for the summer so it’s just reruns all the time. During my free time, I’ve been obsessively watching the news for the latest coronavirus statistics. However, there have been some movie news that I’ve been following. It looks like the release of the live-action Mulan has been moved back which was a good call with everything that’s been going on. Tenet, directed by Christopher Nolan (director of Inception—which is one of my favorite movies of all time) just got its release date moved. That one looks so good! And I can’t wait for the release of Hamilton; the trailer dropped last week and it looks so amazing!

Mulan GIF by Walt Disney Studios

How was your June? Did you read any amazing books? Watch any cool shows or movies?

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