June Wrap-Up

I’m FINALLY caught up with these monthly wrap-ups! Woot! Only six books for the month of June, but some really great reads overall. June is also my birthday month, so I added some fabulous new books to my collection and ever growing TBR. I got The Hate U Give, Ramona Blue, and The Six of Crows duology!!

Some of my favorites from this month were…

30134847

Waking Gods is the second in The Themis Files series. If you haven’t already read Sleeping Giants, you should rectify that immediately. These are epistolary novels and because of that I highly recommend the audio version. I listened to Sleeping Giants when it first came out and didn’t want to wait for Waking Gods so I read it in print. The story really comes alive in the audio version and is a more immersive experience. Despite the format, I still found it very enjoyable and after that ending, legit cannot wait for the third one to come out.

 

 

Scorpio-paperback-website

 

I’ve already written a love letter in review form for the Scorpio Races, which you can read here. This book is wonderful in every way. Another audio recommendation, but I have no doubt it will be incredible in any format. Maggie Stiefvater is my spirit animal.

 

 

 

10015384._SY540_

 

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a really sweet story and yet another audio recommendation. I listened to this one all the way through and immediately started it again. It’s touching and funny and the relationship Simon has with his family is seriously goals.

 

 

 

The whole line up…

 

 

The Scorpio Races – 5 crowns

Dreams of Gods and Monsters – 5 crowns

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – 5 crowns

Into the Water – 4 crowns

Waking Gods – 4 crowns

My Life With Bob – 5 crowns

The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater

Scorpio-paperback-websitePublisher: Scholastic Audio

Publication Date: October 18th, 2011

Listening Length: 12 hours and six minutes

Narrated By: Steve West & Fiona Hardingham

From the Jacket:

Some race to win. Others race to survive.

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
Some riders live.
Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition – the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

I’ve been sitting on this review for days, writing and rewriting it in my head. I keep a list of my all-time favorite books, that has slowly grown over the past couple of decades. Since I began this blog, I’ve added a few to that list, but I’ve only written a review for one of them. There is a lot of pressure in trying to eloquently capture what you love so much about a book in order to share it with others. I finished The Scorpio Races last week (the last of the Maggie Stiefvater books out and available for me to read) and immediately added it to my favorites list.

First things first, let’s start with the audio performance. The Scorpio Races is told from the dual perspectives of Sean Kendrick, read by Steve West, and Puck Connolly, read by Fiona Hardingham. Both did a wonderful job, but Steve West has the voice of a god. It reminds me so much of Neil Gaiman, who, if you haven’t already had the pleasure of listening to on audio, should rectify immediately. His voice is deep, precise, and sonorous, and I would really like it if he narrated my life from now on.

At the end of the book, there is an interview with Maggie Stievfater. In it, she talks about how she wanted to book to transport readers to the magical island of Thisby, so they would feel as if they were there while reading it. She accomplished this so completely that when I close my eyes and think about the story, I can see myself standing at the edge of the shore, under the cliffs, with the breeze blowing through my hair and the ocean in my ears. It is incredible.

The Scorpio Races is a story of magic and history and tradition and water horses. It’s about the people of Thisby and how their lives are shaped by the races that happen every November. It’s about the choice between staying where you’ve always been or having the courage to try and find something new.

I love a book with a strong female lead and Stiefvater delivers. Puck Connolly has never raced before, and this year she finds she must race to secure the well-being of her family. She is the first girl ever to enter the races, and must deal with all of the people who do not think she belongs as well as her own fear and uncertainty. She is strong and brave and determined as hell, and I love her.

Final thoughts: I love this story so much. It is the perfect book to bring on a trip and just get lost in. It makes me feel like cozy blankets and warm fires. Thunderstorms and hot chocolate and thick fuzzy socks. I have no doubt I’ll come back to it time and again.

Rating: Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 10.58.06 PM

Favorite Characters: Puck, Sean, Holly, Finn

Memorable Quotes:

There are moments that you’ll remember for the rest of your life and there are moments that you think you’ll remember for the rest of your life, and it’s not often they turn out to be the same moment.

Tell me what it’s like. The race.

What it’s like is a battle. A mess of horses and men and blood. The fastest and strongest of what is left from two weeks of preparation on the sand. It’s the surf in your face, the deadly magic of November on your skin, the Scorpio drums in the place of your heartbeat. It’s speed, if you’re lucky. It’s life and it’s death or it’s both, and there’s nothing like it.

 

March 2017 Wrap-Up

Six books for the month of March. This seems small but is sort of astounding to me, given that we had a brand new baby at the beginning of the month, and then said baby spent a week in the NICU. All but two of these books were audio book listens because of previously listed reasons. March was also the second month in a row full of Maggie Stiefvater books! No regrets, she is amazing.

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 3.58.58 PMI absolutely adored the Raven Cycle Series, which featured one of the best audio narrations I’ve ever listened to. Will Patton truly brought this series to life in a way that I’m certain I wouldn’t have been able to on my own. The Raven King is the final installment of the series and brought a perfect conclusion to these characters I’ve become so attached to. You should definitely check these out if you haven’t yet!

 

letpretendthisneverhappened11

 

 

Another highlight from this month was Jenny Lawson’s, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. This was my second of Lawson’s books, and if possible is even funnier than the first. I brought it with me to the hospital and legitimately laughed through my contractions. I cannot recommend her books highly enough.

 

 

 

The whole line up…

 

We Were Liars – 4 crowns

The Raven King – 5 crowns

Shiver – 4 crowns

Linger – 3 crowns

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – 5 crowns

Forever – 3 crowns