Reading Lately: June Edition

Hello friends! Welcome to the June edition of Reading Lately! We (Michelle at Michelle Lately and Cat at Kitty Kitty La La and I) hope you find some new books to add to your never ending to-read list and join us for the linkup. Don’t have time to write a post? Instagram your books and tag with #ReadingLately to share with us.

Reading Lately: June. Reviews of Big Magic, Tell the Wind and Fire, The Queen of Tearling, The Girl from Everywhere, Broken Banners, Lights Out || Puppies & Pretties

This month’s reading was a little subpar. Nothing really stood out as good, a lot of “meh” and “ugh, that was bad.”

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: I’ll be honest, I didn’t quite finish this one. I got it as an ebook from the library and my rental ran out at about 85%. But I feel I got the gist of it. Creativity is something that you invite in and it finds you. No need to be the crazy pained artist. Be happy! Don’t forget about all the cool people that author knows and name drops constantly. That got old real quick. But it is an interesting way to think about creativity and would recommend reading at least part of the book.
    Rating: 3 out of 5  

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan: This is a story loosely based on A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens. I’ve never read that, so it didn’t really effect me. The book has two cities divided by Light and Dark magic. Light is of course in charge and pushes Dark citizens to secondary, even though Light needs Dark. Our heroine is a Light magician that was born in the Dark City and was brought into the Light City after some nasty business with her father. She has a bit of Katniss (Hunger Games) in her as she just wants to live her life but continues to be pulled into larger movements. But she isn’t nearly as interesting as Katniss and all of the other characters around her fall flat. Not the best book.
    Rating: 2.5 out of 5  
   c/o Netgalley

The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen: Ugh, this one annoyed me. The princess has been living in hiding with her “foster parents” since she was a baby and when she turns 19, the Queen’s Guard shows up to take her to the castle to attempt to take the throne. Did I mention she hasn’t had any interactions with anyone because her foster parents in all of her 19 years? But she certainly knows that she is “plain” and all of her guard is handsome. That is pretty much all we hear about on the trip. Oh and don’t forget all sorts of people are trying to kill her (mainly her uncle the Regent). She is constantly compared to her mother, the last queen even though she knows nothing about her because for some reason her foster parents AND guard swore oaths to never say anything about that time. Stupid. But Kelsea makes ALL the right decisions, even when people advise against it. All while being plain! Amazing! #eyeroll Oh, don’t forget the big bad Red Queen the next kingdom over. There wasn’t near enough world building to make this an acceptable book. And if I have to read about how someone is handsome or plain anytime soon, I might want to throw the book across the room.
    Rating: 2 out of 5  

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig: This book has a cool premise. Time travel by boat, but only if the captain of the boat has an accurate map from the time/place they want to go. But the plot itself had me rolling my eyes pretty often. And don’t forget the happily ever after. It wasn’t even an awww what a cute ending. More like could this ending get full of more cliches?
    Rating: 2 out of 5  
   c/o Netgalley

Broken Banners by Mark Gelineau: I enjoyed the first novella of this series and I enjoyed this one as well. But as a second novella, I would of hoped that the story would move forward a bit more since we already know about the world and characters. But the first one did so much more with less time because of the world building that was necessary. Still a quick, interesting read and I will likely pick up the next one as well.
    Rating: 3.5 out of 5  
   c/o Netgalley

Lights Out by Ted Koppel: A book about how cyberterrorism could easily take down our grid? Sounds awesome! But this book was not. Do you want to read a book that is the perfect layout of Public Speaking 101? This book is for you. The author tells you what he is going to talk about, talks about it, then reviews what he talked about. Over and over again. Oh, and don’t forget all the interviews are of people that agree with him. The one guy that didn’t quite agree? Later in the chapter the author describes how that guy called him and told him he was right after he learned more at a meeting. This book would also be great if you wanted to fall asleep reading. I gave up partway through because I just couldn’t do it.
    Rating: DNF  
   c/o Blogging for Books

What have you been reading this month?

Reading lately


34 thoughts on “Reading Lately: June Edition

  1. Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    Thanks for these tips and details- I’v been reading a whole bunch, and there’s only a few I haven’t. Here’s to your next round!

  2. Mia Sutton

    Aw, what a bummer. I get annoyed when I read a few duds in a row. I still have Big Magic on my nightstand, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  3. Crystal @ Dreams, etc.

    It’s always disappointing when you read a bunch of books that weren’t your favorites in one month. I read the beginning of Big Magic and didn’t feel inspired to finish. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the books you read next month!

  4. Ashley LaMar

    Ugh! I’ve been on this same type of reading train lately. I’ve read a few great ones (A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock and The After Party by Anton DiSclafani) but a lot of others have been super disappointing. Hope you find a stellar read soon.

  5. Autumn | Stay gold Autumn

    I love doing book reviews as well and I am amazed with how much you read this month! I had heard so many good things about Big Magic. I always wonder about trendy books and wonder if people like them because they are popular or because they were actually very enjoyable. Good to know!

  6. Laura

    ugh, what a shame, I’ve actually been having a really hard time lately finding a book I love. I recently tried reading BOTH “the girl on the train” and “the lake house” and had both mysteries figured out in about 3 chapters.

    So I went back to my standbys instead. Fionavar Tapestry, Harry Potter, Agatha Christie

  7. Terryn Winfield

    I am always searching for book lists and reviews, so thank you! I actually enjoyed Big Magic but haven’t even heard of the others.

  8. Cat

    That’s a bummer about The Girl From Everywhere, I’ve seen the name floating around and was interested in reading it. And I’m curious about the Mark Gelineau series, definitely going to look into that!

    1. Alison @ Puppies & Pretties

      Girl from Everywhere had so much potential. Just poor characters and far too many cliches. The Gelineau series is quite good, the positive thing too is that they are short so you can read them in an hour or so.

  9. Leslie Clingan

    What do you do with the books you read but don’t love? I have started getting samples on my Nook of the books I think I might like to read before spending the money on them. I really prefer having a real print book to read but I am running out of shelf space so it makes more sense for me to buy ebooks. Hope July’s reads are more enjoyable.

    1. Alison @ Puppies & Pretties

      I’ve been lucky that most of the ones that I don’t enjoy are ebooks from Netgalley. If I end up buying a dud, I sometimes donate to the library. I actually have a stack that needs to go there!

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