Hoohoo, friends of the blade!
Another month has come and gone and I did quite a lot of things (much reading time not among that). So here’s what I did, read and blogged… and what blog posts by other bloggers I enjoyed in June!
Two weeks I went to work and did not much else, the other two weeks I had amazing holidays in the High Tatras. We were at a wonderful campsite and something I thoroughly enjoyed was how international it was. There were people from basically all over Europe and we met really interesting people as well.
For most days we went on hikes. We had awesome day tours, up the mountains, through valleys, alongside mountain rivers, around lakes. It was an exhausting while at the same time calming holiday that gave me so much mental strength. I really needed this time out of the city. Being outside all day just brings me down and closer to myself. That the High Tatras are a nature preserve and everything is protected just makes the region more beautiful. Everything seems wild, even the trails. There are still brown bears in the mountains, as well as wolves and lynxes. Not that we saw any of them but just the knowledge that they live there, being surrounded by all this nature is a good feeling. If you enjoy hiking in the mountains, I definitely recommend the High Tatras. It was a wonderful experience and we’re definitely going back!
WHAT I READ
The sorceress Ailbhe Ahriddin has cracked wide the gates of Death and loosed hell upon an unsuspecting world. Plague sweeps the land, and the dead begin to rise from their tombs. Gwyn, still reeling from the fallout of her battle with the Scion Iahta, is the only one who can set things right – if she dares to harness the ancient power stirring inside her.
An emperor’s invitation leads Gwyn to the fabled kingdom of Shatse, whose mist-wreathed depths may hold the secret that will save them. But is she willing to pay the price the emperor demands?
With hope fading and reality beginning to unravel, Gwyn may need to go where even necromancers fear to tread – beyond the Sixth Circle of the Lurk, to the crumbling centre of Death itself.
I loooved this book, as I do all the books in this fantastic series! I really enjoy Gwyn’s character and her journey and where it takes her in this instalment. The mix of fantasy and mystery and just the right dash of romance, paired with incredible characters makes The Price of Magic an absolute experience. Read my full review here.
Philipps Herz ist gebrochen, wieder einmal. Er scheint einfach kein Händchen für die Liebe zu haben – oder klappt es nur nie, weil er trans* ist? Vielleicht liegt es aber auch an Ali, dem Jungen, an den er seit Jahren immer wieder denkt. Kurzerhand beschließt Philipp, die Geschichte mit seinem mysteriösen Internet-Freund von damals endlich abzuhaken. Dazu muss er bloß herausfinden, wieso dieser plötzlich wie vom Erdboden verschwunden ist. Bei seiner Suche im sächsischen Pirna begegnet Philipp dem rebellischen Timon mit den bunten Haaren, der ihn nicht nur sofort in seinen Bann zieht, sondern außerdem eine Verbindung zu Ali zu haben scheint …
Je länger ich über das Buch nachdenke, desto mehr mag ich es. So richtig lässt es mich nicht los. Einerseits sind da die Charaktere und wie sie dargestellt werden. Ich fand die Gedanken und Gefühle von Timon und Philipp nachvollziehbar und gelungen, und mochte auch die Dynamik zwischen den beiden. Auch den Handlungsort Pirna fand ich sehr cool!
The Empire rules by blood.
Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.
Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance.
Clear is the blood of the servants, of the crushed, of the invisible.
The Aktibar – a set of trials held every ten years to find the next Ember rulers of the Empire – is about to begin.
All can join but not just anyone can win; it requires great skill and ingenuity to become the future wardens of Strength, Knowledge, Truth and Duty.
Sylah was destined to win the trials and be crowned Warden of Strength. Stolen by blue-blooded rebels she was raised with a Duster’s heart; forged as a weapon to bring down from within the red-blooded Embers’ regime of cruelty. But when her adopted family were brutally murdered those dreams of a better future turned to dust.
However, the flame of hope may yet be rekindled because Sylah wasn’t made to sparkle, she was born to burn.
And it’s up to her whether she rules the empire or destroys it.
Holy Shit what a wild ride! The Final Strife was absolutely fantastic with such a complex world building and amazingly written characters with so many flaws and so much development. I can’t properly put into words how much I enjoyed this book and its attention to detail. Read my full review here.
Xie Lian has confirmed that the bewitching youth San Lang is actually Hua Cheng, one of the Four Calamities and a supreme ghost despised by all heavenly officials. Still, he has trouble matching the terror of his companion’s reputation with the charming, clever, and protective young man he’s come to know.
When a distress signal leads Xie Lian into Ghost City, a bustling metropolis containing all the horrors and delights of the dead, he sees Hua Cheng in his element—and his true form—for the first time. But despite their chemistry and care for one another, there are missions to fulfill and secrets to uncover, and Xie Lian’s centuries of troubled history are never far behind.
I’m still not entirely sure if I’m on the verge of obsessing over this series or if I don’t really like it all that much. It has all the potential and I don’t know why it falls a bit short for me. I thoroughly enjoyed some parts of this book, while others left me bored. I’m sitting on the fence but I also desperately want to read the third volume.
Cutthroat political consultant Thom Morgan is thriving, working on the governor of California’s presidential campaign. If only he didn’t have to deal with Clay Parker, the infuriatingly smug data analyst who gets under Thom’s skin like it’s his job. In the midst of one of their heated and very public arguments, a journalist snaps a photo, but the image makes it look like they’re kissing. As if that weren’t already worst-nightmare territory, the photo goes viral—and in a bid to secure the liberal vote, the governor asks them to lean into it. Hard.
Thom knows all about damage control—he practically invented it. Ever the professional, he’ll grin and bear this challenge as he does all others. But as the loyal staffers push the boundaries of “giving the people what they want,” the animosity between them blooms into something deeper and far more dangerous: desire. Soon their fake relationship is hurtling toward something very real, which could derail the campaign and cost them both their jobs…and their hearts.
This summer, Reese Camden is trading sweet tea and Southern hospitality for cold brew and crisp coastal air. She’s landed her dream marketing internship at Friends of Flavor, a wildly popular cooking channel in Seattle. The only problem? Benny Beneventi, the relentlessly charming, backwards-baseball-cap-wearing culinary intern–and her main competition for the fall job.
Reese’s plan to keep work a No Feelings Zone crumbles like a day-old muffin when she and Benny are thrown together for a video shoot that goes viral, making them the internet’s newest ship. Audiences are hungry for more, and their bosses at Friends of Flavor are happy to deliver. Soon Reese and Benny are in an all-out food war, churning homemade ice cream, twisting soft pretzels, breaking eggs in an omelet showdown–while hundreds of thousands of viewers watch.
Reese can’t deny the chemistry between her and Benny. But the more their rivalry heats up, the harder it is to keep love on the back burner…
Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor. When Paheli escapes, she runs headlong into a boy with stars in his eyes. This boy, as battered as she is, tosses Paheli a box of stars before disappearing.
With the stars, Paheli gains access to the Between, a place of pure magic and mystery. Now, Paheli collects girls like herself and these Wild Ones use their magic to travel the world, helping the hopeless and saving others from the fates they suffered.
Then Paheli and the Wild Ones learn that the boy who gave them the stars, Taraana, is in danger. He’s on the run from powerful forces within the world of magic. But if Taraana is no longer safe and free, neither are the Wild Ones. And that…is a fate the Wild Ones refuse to accept. Ever again.
Morgan, an elite track athlete, is forced to transfer high schools late in her senior year after it turns out being queer is against her private Catholic school’s code of conduct. There, she meets Ruby, who has two hobbies: tinkering with her baby blue 1970 Ford Torino and competing in local beauty pageants, the latter to live out the dreams of her overbearing mother. The two are drawn to each other and can’t deny their growing feelings. But while Morgan–out and proud, and determined to have a fresh start-doesn’t want to have to keep their budding relationship a secret, Ruby isn’t ready to come out yet. With each girl on a different path toward living her truth, can they go the distance together?
High school junior Michie is struggling to define who she is for her scholarship essays, her big shot at making it into Brown as a first-generation college student. The prompts would be hard for anyone, but Michie’s been estranged from her mother since she was seven and her concept of family has long felt murky.
Enter new kid and basketball superstar Derek de la Rosa. He is very cute, very talented, and very much has his eye on Michie, no matter how invisible she believes herself to be.
When Michie’s mother unexpectedly reaches out to make amends, and with her scholarship deadlines looming, Michie must choose whether to reopen old wounds or close the door on her past. And as she spends more time with Derek, she’ll have to decide how much of her heart she is willing to share. Because while Michie may not know who she is, she’s starting to realize who she wants to become, if only she can take a chance on Derek, on herself, and on her future.
School reunions: the perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends, dazzle old foes, and basically show everyone that your life could not be going better.
But for Lucas O’Rourke and Posy Edwins this isn’t quite the case. Lucas is about to lose his business unless he finds an investor fast, and Posy’s father has cut her off financially, just when she needs to get to Hawaii. And a reunion is the worst moment to come face-to-face with your rival. Ten years ago they hated each other, what could have changed since then?
As tensions rise, Posy comes up with a plan to solve both their problems, all she needs to do is persuade Lucas to go along with it. Trouble is, how do you ask your high school enemy to pretend you’re madly in love when everyone knows you don’t get along? And what happens when that plan involves a wedding, honeymoon and an old school bylaw stating that the school will pay for the entire event…
Surely Posy has thought everything through, hasn’t she?
Jiya Ahmed has a dream: she wants to complete her MBA and get a job in the city. The problem is that her parents think it’s high time she put her books away and focused on becoming good wife material – but surely there’s more to life than finding the right boy?
Ibrahim Saeed has a goal: he wants to avoid marriage but more specifically, he wants to avoid the arranged marriage his father has planned for him. Why would he want to end up like his (clearly unhappy) older brother with a partner of his father’s choosing?
Ibrahim’s cheeky brother introduces them with the perfect setup: a fake relationship to stall their parents. As they embark on their plan, the attraction they set out to fake starts feeling all too real … but love was never part of the deal.
Kate Fletcher is my kryptonite.
She’s also my best friend. Former best friend?
I’m not sure what you call it when we grew up attached at the hip and then she left Silver Creek (and me) to travel the world.
The important thing is: Kate is back. (Temporarily.)
And I’m still in love with her. (Permanently.)
But something is different now. The attraction doesn’t seem one-sided. I don’t think I’m imagining the heat in Kate’s eyes or the chemistry crackling between us.
But will that be enough to keep Kate here, when, for as long as I can remember, all she’s wanted to do is leave?
I’m determined to give her a reason to stay. Family. Connection. Roots. And me. I’ll have to start with sparks and fire, but if I take this step, there’s no turning back to simple friendship. And if she doesn’t feel the same way, I might lose her again—this time for good.
ON THE BLOG IN JUNE
- Review: An Echo Through the Veil by Bonnie Wynne
- 3 Underrated LGBTQ+ Books I’ve Loved Recently
- Review: The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi
BLOG POSTS BY OTHER BLOGGERS I LIKED IN JUNE
- Heartbreak Boys von Simon James Green by Missi @ Himmelsblau.org
- Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White by Lili @ Utopia State of Mind
- Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie by Kate @ Your Tita Kate
- The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi by Lili @ Utopia State of Mind
- 10 YA Books About Fandom You’ll Love by Nyx @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books
- List of Books with Bisexual Characters by Kate @ Your Tita Kate
- Matching Your Summer Reads to Your Holidays by Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books
- 5 Wholesome Queer Books to Gush Over this Pride by Charvi @ Not Just Fiction
- TikTok Made Me Read Some Pretty Average Books… by The Orang Utan Librarian
- 10 Quick Takes on Common Bookish Controversies by Krysta @ Pages Unbound
And that’s my June wrapped up. How was your month? Did you try something new? What was your favourite book of the month?
Until next time,