June Reading Wrap Up

Friday, July 06, 2018

June was such a fabulous month for me because, as it was my first month with no classes to prep for, exams to study for or dissertations to write, I had so much free time to make a dint in my (ever-expanding) to-be-read pile! As it was my first month of reading freedom, I decided to read a little bit of everything from dystopians, to thrillers, to classics and, for the most part, I really enjoyed all of the books I read this June. Throughout the month, I made it through a total of six books so here's the wrap up of all of my thoughts and opinions about this June's reads.

A Clockwork Orange
I started off my June by picking up Anthony Burgess' dystopian classic, A Clockwork Orange, and, let me tell you, it was a rollercoaster. I'm usually a big fan of dystopians so I was really surprised (and a little disappointed) when I found the first section of this novel really hard to get into, even as dystopians go, this book has a lot of jargon that definitely overwhelmed me and took a little getting used to! Luckily, by the time I reached part two, I was feeling a lot more comfortable with the language and, as the book started to delve into government experiments with conversion therapies, I was totally gripped! Burgess manages to fit a whole lot into a relatively short novel and, despite finding the first part a bit of a drag, parts two and three totally redeemed the book for me and I'd say it's definitely worth picking up!

The Lovely Bones
The next book I made it to this June was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold which, to me, is a big ol' mash up of everything from murder mystery to young adult romance and I really feel like the book blends together this combination of themes and genres really well. This book follows our protagonist, Susie Salmon, in her afterlife as she has been murdered by one of her neighbours on her way home from school. The book starts with a pretty graphic description of Susie's murder and, as a reader, I found it both intensely frustrating and intensely gripping that you instantly know who the murderer is but have to sit back and watch the murderer go on as normal while the other characters try and figure out the mystery. To me, this was a super interesting take on a murder mystery and I absolutely loved it!

My Sister's Keeper
Next up was My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult which follows Anna as she seeks medical emancipation so that she won't be obliged to donate her kidney to her sister, Kate, who has leukaemia. Both the best and worst part of this novel has to be Picoult's decision to write each chapter from the perspective of different characters. For the most part, this style is super interesting as you get such an in-depth insight into the dynamic of Anna's family however, in my opinion, Anna's lawyer and court appointed guardian are given far too many chapters which quite quickly become tedious and definitely don't seem relevant to the main story. Aside from those chapters, I found this to be a really interesting read that totally succeeds in highlighting the impossibility of finding a stable moral standpoint on Anna's situation, particularly because the multiple perspectives given to readers means that you begin to empathise with every character.

Because I was definitely in the mood for a thriller this June, I picked You by Caroline Kepnes hoping for a really intense account of obsession and stalking, written from the perspective of the stalker and... I was bitterly disappointed. While the stream of consciousness, second person narrative voice was initially quite creepy, Joe quickly became very repetitive and very predictable so the creepy edge to his actions was gradually dulled meaning that, while there was nothing terribly wrong with the book, it definitely fell short of my expectations of a jumpy, creepy and intense thriller.

Northanger Abbey
The next book I grabbed from my shelf was Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey which I loved, with a passion. Without giving too much away, Northanger Abbey follows a plain protagonist, Catherine Morland in her pursuit to partake in society, find a husband and become a heroine. Through Catherine's desire to fulfil the heroine role, Austen creates a really witty parody of the gothic genre that I found really funny to read. Throughout the book, Austen really plays with a lot of gothic tropes in a way that makes this little classic a really enjoyable read.

Fight Club
The final book I got to this month was Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club which I came to after watching, and loving, the film. Based on the title alone, Fight Club definitely didn't sound like my kind of book but, while it does centre around a group of men who meet to fight each other, Fight Club definitely stands for a greater social commentary which utilises some pretty dark humour to critique the values and ambitions of modern society. I won't say anything else about this book aside from the fact that it's far more interesting than the title implies and is definitely worth a read!

Did you read any books this June?

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  1. Great wrap-up!
    I'm feeling kind of bitter that I already watched the movies for Lovely Bones and My Sister's Keeper (without knowing they were adaptations) and now I'll probably never read the books 😢
    I'm glad you enjoyed A Clockwork Orange since it's on my TBR and I definitely want to get to it soon.
    Happy reading! ❤

    - Marta @ The Cursed Books

    1. Thanks! And, if it helps, I had also seen the films for Lovely Bones & My Sister's Keeper before reading & I still loved them - so don't rule them out! A Clockwork Orange did end up being really good/thought provoking & really short so it's definitely worth a read!