June Wrap Up

Hey everyone! ๐Ÿ˜บ

Hope you’re all having a better book month than me!
I’ve got to be honest, I’ve been very distracted this month with everything going on, we are officially moving back to the UK from Japan and it’s been super stressful. I haven’t been able to concentrate on my reviews so I haven’t got much to add this month. I wasn’t able to finish most of my reviews with everything going on, I have three of them still waiting in my draft folder ๐Ÿ˜ž

It hasn’t stopped me from downloading more books on my kindle though ๐Ÿ™„ ..or keeping up with my goodreads 2021 challenge! Even if the books I have read are meh at best with them mostly being 3 stars..

I have managed to keep up with my bookstagram challenge though which went well! I’ve also gotten back into painting again as a means to relax which has taken up a lot of my time. (If you like, you can check out my art instagram @whitevenice.art)
I’m positive next month is just going to get worse with the big move but I’ll manage. I always find a way to sneak a book in here and there – just think, I’ll have a 21 hour flight and 10 days in isolated lockdown to look forward too for my endless reading list. Yay! Wish me luck next month will be better for my reviews!

So here we go. A list of books I’ve read in June ๐Ÿ™‚


1. To Kill a Kingdom
2. The Echo of Broken Dreams
3. Diamonds in the Rough (#2)
4. The Damned (#2)
5. The Secret Girl (Complete)
6. Unlocked
7. The King’s 100

To Kill a Kingdom

First up! I give you To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


This was a new one for me because it was the first time I decided to listen to the audiobook instead of reading. I wanted to spend my day off painting but I knew I should try and keep up with my reading challenge – sooo.. audiobook! Thanks YouTube ๐Ÿงก It definitely helped that the voice of the main protagonist absolutely nailed her part. I was so caught up in her reading that 7 hours barely registered as time gone by – plus I finished my painting, so win win!
If you like The Little Mermaid, then this book is definitely for you! Except, we have sirens who steal the hearts of men instead of a teenage mermaid looking for love on the surface. Lira is the heir to the tyrant Sea Queen, ruler of the sea who is feared by all. It’s almost time to take over her mother’s rein and prove herself by being the siren her mother wants her to be. She already has a name for herself as the Prince’s Bane – all of her 17 hearts for her 17 years have all been that of a prince. Only they are worthy. When she takes a heart too soon before her birthday, her punishment will ruin everything she’s spent her life building. Only the prince with heart of gold will redeem her. Or so she thought. Going behind her mother’s back proved to be worse than death when she finds herself in the middle of the ocean with legs, and her saviour being non other than her prince with the heart of gold. The siren killer. The only way back to the life she craves most is to kill him as a human, but humans also come with emotions, feelings Lira can’t seem to ignore as she gets close to the one who can change her fate forever.
I adored this book, I ended up re-reading most of it on my kindle until like 3am just to get lost in the story even more. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves sirens, pirates and magic in this fantasy fairytale retelling!
You can check out my full review here.

The Echo of Broken Dreams

Next up, I give you The Echo of Broken Dreams by C.J. Archer


The second book of The Rift series. I hate to say it, but I feel like the series is already going a bit flat for me. The first book seemed to be so full of potential, the plot was slow but felt things were happening when it came to the secrets behind the lost memories and you felt more emotionally invested when *spoilers* Josies’ father dies, the romance was slow but you could see something forming between her and the Captain, and whilst the characters were unique and mysterious, you knew who to love and hate. The second book feels like it’s dragging the story along and I felt no closer to finding out what is going on in the story than when I finished the first book. Just another inserted mini incident as a means to keep it interesting by introducing new characters around the palace that are also looking for the truth for their own gains. I needed more, more push of the potential romance, more mystery in the main plot, more of.. something. It just felt blah. It was just the ‘filler’ book of the series. Honestly, I’m not sure I want to continue if this is as slow as the rest of the six books in The Rift. Even the blurb of the third book sounds too similar as to what has already happened – poison, secrets, enemies, slow romance and a sense of urgency to discover the truth which doesn’t really feel like urgency. I’m sorry, I was hoping to have a more positive outlook since it’s C.J. Archer, but I just can’t. I’ve still reviewed it at 3 stars because it still has the potential and it could get so much better as the series goes on.. maybe I’ll just leave it up to you to decide this time.

Diamonds in the Rough

Next, I give you – Diamonds in the Rough by Michelle Madow (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2)


The second instalment of The Secret Diamond Sisters. I have to say I started enjoying the series more in this book. The characters starting becoming more believable and you actually became more invested in their individual stories, especially Madisons when she finds out a big secret her family have been keeping from her. Her entire character changes throughout this book and you can’t help but want to see her come through to the other side. Savannah is becoming a famous YouTube sensation, Peyton is realising that high school isn’t all that bad and pushes things with Jackson her bodyguard, and Courtney is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to finding out the truth about her past and running away from her feelings about Brett who would do just about anything to convince her to be with him – step siblings or not, it’s easy to see the connection between them is real. It’s fun, interesting, and I found myself enjoying it more than I thought!

The Damned

Next up! The Damned by Renee Ahdieh (The Beautiful #2)


As I predicted, this book became significantly more interesting than the first one. You get to really explore the supernatural world the author has built up in The Beautiful. Bastien comes to terms with his new life and there the lack of it, knowing things will never be the same with his new immortality. Whilst he’s finally come to accept his feelings for Celine were real and true, she sacrificed her memories of him to keep him ‘alive’, so clearly she wanted a fresh start away from all things supernatural. But when Celine’s memories start coming back, she can’t help but push her way into Bastien’s life whether he likes it or not. You still have the attempted love triangle with Michael, but it just makes you cringe as we all know who she will end up with no matter how much they try to fight it. The overall plot intrigued me more and more as we discover there is more to Celine and her connection to the supernatural than any of them realised. The truth about her mother emerges and creates a fantastic world expansion that you wouldn’t have predicted in the first book. Whilst I would have loved to have had more Celine and Bastien romance, the book had enough action going on to keep you interested and perspectives from various characters to create a new depth into the story that wasn’t there previously. At times the author overcomplicated the supernatural world she built up and occasionally it felt like everything was moving too fast which is why my review still stands at 3 stars.

The Secret Girl

Next up, I give you The Secret Girl series by C.M. Stunich


You know what, I quite liked this one, it had it’s moments and I couldn’t help but read the entire series in one go.
A high-school bully romance where the girl (Charlotte) is actually enlisted at an all boys school as her father is the new headmaster. She dresses up as a boy with a nickname ‘Chuck’ to get through the year away from her mother who went into rehab for drug addiction and will do anything to make sure she remains the isolated outcast in fear that someone will find out her secret. It’s bad enough that she’s allowed her own room (of course) and is allowed to skip P.E. so she isn’t in the same changing room as the boys as much as possible, but when she deliberately fights against the members of the Student Council – the five richest most powerful guys in the entire academy, her life becomes a whole lot more complicated. Not only that, but the last time the school tried letting a girl in, she ended up murdered, hanging from a tree in the forest with a note to make it look like suicide. When someone starts stalking her around campus, she doesn’t know who to trust, her unemotional father who avoids the topic of the murdered girl, the shady teachers who seem to know more than what they are letting on, or the five boys in the Student Council who are determined to make her life miserable.
It’s fun, absorbing and actually a really good read, there was a lot there to keep it interesting that I didn’t want to put it down. *spoilers* It’s got a reverse harem thing going on where she finds herself in a relationship with all the guys which felt very messy to me, but the author made it work. It was better than a love triangle – or a love pentagon – however you want to look at it. ๐Ÿง

Unlocked

Almost there! Next, we have Unlocked by Casey L. Bond


A fantasy fairytale retelling of Rapunzel. I haven’t read a lot of Rapunzel retellings, but I have to say I’m quite disappointed in this one. I’ve read a few of Casey’s books now and this is honestly the worse one for me so far. It had so much potential, it started off so interesting – a half-blood fae who lives with the royal family after the queen saved her life who is being hunted by the dark fae, they track her down and use their powers to spread a plague across the kingdom killing everyone in it’s path – she managed to escape with princess Raya as the one last plead from the queen, she leaves the princess in a lighthouse in the middle of the sea of bones using magic to keep her safe before going back and dying of the plague herself before telling anyone where she left Raya.
Years later, the story begins with our princess still living in the lighthouse who saves a prince who’s ship was destroyed in the sea of bones. Together they find a way off the tiny island.
It’s got all the pieces but sadly doesn’t bring them together for the fantasy adventure I was hoping for. We don’t hear any more of the fae, we don’t hear any more about the kingdom or the plague, we don’t even have a mentally scarred princess for being isolated on her own for so long. She’s totally normal and coherent without an education or human interaction for over 10 years. After that it’s a lot of ‘will they, won’t they’ romance when the prince continues his search of a wife. Besides the opening scene of the dark fae, there aren’t any real obstacles in their way of ‘happily ever after’ which is why it ended with me feeling disappointed. Don’t create a dark powerful enemy straight off the bat, then ignore it for the rest of the entire book. Like I said, so much potential. Keep an eye out for my full review soon!

The King’s 100

Finally, I give you The King’s 100 by Karin Biggs


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I wasn’t sure what to think with this book. I loved the idea behind the plot, but the overall setting took a lot to get into – futuristic technology combined with a fantasy fairytale kingdom setting.. whilst it was overall unique, it felt out of place at times even if it was designed with a purpose to create a distinction between the kingdoms and the people within.
The kingdoms of Capalon and Mondaira are at war with one another and have sworn to kill the enemy on sight, creating a border between them that most remain guarded at all times. The unemotional robot-like Capalons who focus on technology and facts over emotions vs. the romantic and passionate Mondarians who are more laid back and live life to the fullest through their desires. It was a pleasing contrast to see our main protagonist Piper, Princess of Capalon, feeling like she doesn’t belong amongst her people as she lets her emotions get the better of her and can’t help but find joy in singing. A trait her mother passed onto her before she died, compassion and love is shown as a weakness that must be focused out of a person. Piper remains a disappointment to her people after her parents died, including her sister – the new Queen of Capalon, who demands facts, order and a strong belief in matching based on intelligence within the kingdom. She has little time for her emotional little sister. When Piper discovers a note that her mother is still alive and being held captive by the Mondarian royal family, she decides to risk it all to bring her back on her own under a disguise. What she finds instead is a life she couldn’t have imagined amongst the Mondarian people filled with life, colour, music and love.
It’s wonderfully sweet and filled with hope, friendship and a first love romance you know will end happily ever after. Whilst the book didn’t blow me away, I really enjoyed it and I’m keen to discover what happens next.

So there you have it, my June wrap up!
Let me know if there is anything you would recommend for July! I’m always up for new recommendations for my reading list!

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™ƒ

See you next month!

Posted by

Hey! I'm Gemma :) I moved to Japan with my husband and cat three years ago which has been one big adventure. The only downside (besides missing my family and dairymilk) is that I've moved to a country where English bookshops are limited, plus the idea of transporting so many books back home sounds dreadfully expensive. I've grown to love my Kindle which is why I'm fixated on ebooks. It connects nicely to my goodreads and netgalley account also which means I'm always adding more to my never ending list of books. I read fiction and love all things fantasy, YA, historical fiction and classics. Add a bit of mystery and I'll be hooked!

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