Every month in lockdown I expect myself to read hundreds of books, but with a general inability to concentrate, I'm pretty pleased to have read 5 in June. This was a really varied month in terms of how much I enjoyed what I read. There were a couple of 5 star reads that I've been obsessed with/recommending to everyone, and a 1 star read that actually repulsed me. I branched out a little this month in terms of genre too, with a dystopian fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, YA and general adult fiction.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo was one of my favourite reads last month. It tells the story of 12 different black womxn, all of whom are connected in a small way. The stories are very diverse, coming from the perspectives of working class women, mothers, daughters, queer women, a woman who went to Oxford University, immigrants, emigrants and more. Each womxn had a very distinct voice and this really was a testament to how well Evaristo can write.
The Lola Quartet by Emily St John Mandel. I read Station Eleven by the same author a couple of years ago and loved it, so I had high hopes for this that it didn't quite reach. The Lola Quartet moves back and forth in time between a group of friends in the last year of high school and their lives ten years later. A teen mum steals thousands of dollars and the book uncovers what happened working from a decade down the line. I was hooked in parts, but at some points I really found myself wanting the narrative to skip ahead.
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge is one of the books I picked up educate myself more in the face of the Black Lives Matter movement. This is a really great place to start if you're looking to learn more about systemic and systematic racism in the UK specifically. It highlights the nuances of racism in the UK vs the US. I found that after reading a LOT online in the weeks before reading this that I didn't find some of the content as shocking as I otherwise would have done, but it has made me want to read more non-fiction on the topic to learn more.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. Okay, I'm fully on the hype for this series now. ACOTAR is fantasy fiction set near the border between the human world and faerie realm. When Feyre kills a wolf that she doesn't realise is faerie, she has to pay her debt to the faeries. Seized and taken to the faerie realm by her captor, Feyre must learn to adjust to a life she never imagined. I cannot do this justice in such a short summary but this book has given me such a big book hangover I've hardly been able to read since because all I want to do is get stuck into the next book.
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller was my least favourite book of the month by far. The cover and title made me think it was a romance, but it turned out to be a dystopian novel that *spoiler alert* completely romanticises incest between an adult and child, which makes the romantic sounding/looking cover and title even worse IMO. 8 year old Peggy is taken by her father to live in a forest in Germany because he wants to become a true survivalist. He tells her they're the only two people left alive in the world. I would have given this three stars but the twist at the end just made this a horrifying read.