June in Review // A Month of Meh & Moving

June was both unbearably long and over in the blink of an eye. My slump kind of reared its ugly head again towards the end of the month and it got unbearably hot. No thank you, summer can go away, please.

My big news is that I went self-hosted at the end of the month! 🎉🎉🎉 There’s still some cleanup on old posts that I need to do, but I am so incredibly excited! I hope you like the new layout and continue to go on adventures with me!


Reading

I read eight books in June, and I am definitely suffering from Slump 2: The Electric Boogaloo! It’s been hot for the past couple of weeks, which always makes it difficult for me to want to read. But I’ve just been struggling with my health and not finding joy in reading right now. I am hoping that will change now… because I have a book I need to read before Wednesday.

✨ As a quick reminder, I’ve done away with star ratings on my blog reviews. You can read more about my reasoning in this discussion post on ratings systems, but you can find my ratings on Goodreads!

My Favorite Read of June

The Phantom Forest by Liz KerinThe Phantom Forwst by Liz Kerin is the standout read of June for me! I buddy read it with Soph @ Bookwyrming Thoughts and had such a wonderful time, and honestly the story is still top of mind almost a month later. Kerin’s debut novel is instantly gripping with poetic prose that flows easily off the page and sets a truly haunting mood for the reader. I was hopelessly entranced and am hungry for more of this story, and volunteer as Personal Guard for Haben.

📖 Read my full ARC review

All June Reads

ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted below by an asterisk *

  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo – this was such a fun read! It’s part of Destiny’s Stalkalong, so not only am I reading it with a group of friends but I also really enjoyed the characters. The mystery itself wasn’t the best execution, but Thomas Cresswell made up for it. Excited to dive into book 2 this month! | 📖 Read my full review
  • Roar by Cora Carmack – this was such a pleasant surprise for me, I didn’t expect to enjoy the book as much as I did. Aurora wasn’t the stereotypical Sheltered Princess and really appreciated her character growth as she learns more about the world and gains agency over her life. | 📖 Full Review 7/11
  • Wilder Girls by Rory Power – this wasn’t the book for me and I am still so gutted about it! Most of my friends (many of whom are the teen demographic)  LOVED IT, but I was just more interested in the Tox itself rather than the characters and that wasn’t the purpose of the story. It is a spooky and atmospheric read, the writing definitely kept me reading. | 📖 Read my full ARC review
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding – I literally re-read this book because I was angered by reviewers calling Wilder Girls a “feminist Lord of the Flies” and wanted to be sure I remembered the themes before going on a rant. I did. The book was enjoyable enough, but as an adult, I see this as more of a story of mimicry as a result of socialization rather than a look at the true nature of “man.”
  • Rage (Stormheart #2) by Cora Carmack – I haven’t sorted through my feelings on this one yet, but it wasn’t as enjoyable of a read as Roar.
  • Bethlehem by Karen Kelly – This book wasn’t for me and I should have known better than to request it from Netgalley because the synopsis didn’t lie. It was the cover’s fault. Mistakes were made, but it wasn’t a bad book… just not for me.  | 📖 Read my full ARC review
  • Contagion (Contagion #1) by Erin Bowman – (re-read) I loved this book just as much the second time around! Because of my goldfish brain, I always have to re-read before sequels, but this was enjoyable as hell. This book is still a favorite. | 📖 Read my full ARC review

DNF – Did Not Finish

  • * Second Lives by P.D. Cacek – I really wanted to like this book, but the narrative style just isn’t for me. There were too many perspectives, people, and timelines for me to keep track of and it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. I think this will be an amazing story, but it’s been almost two months since I set it aside and I still don’t have the desire to return to it. | 📖 Read my DNF review

June Statistics

Total Books Read: 8 | Total Pages Read: 2,655

Books by Release and Genre in June 2019

Total Books Read in 2019: 43
Goodreads Reading Goal: 52


Awesome Community Posts

I’m definitely not back to my blog hopping mojo, but I am doing a lot better than the last few months. I’ve been using Feedly for hopping and it is making a big difference for me! I have a guide on Feedly coming out on July 17th, but it is available to my Patrons now if you are interested.


Thank you

Thank you, everyone, so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me last month! I hope that you had a fantastic June, let me know how your month went in the comments below!

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

45 Comments

  1. aichaea

    July 2, 2019 at 8:46 AM

    Amazing! I was looking for new June reads, now I know what to look for 🙂

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 11:59 AM

      Perfect timing then, and happy reading!

  2. Bookish Rita

    July 2, 2019 at 8:50 AM

    I’m so sad you didn’t like Bethlehem or Wilder Girls… I was so excited for you to love those, as they’ve been at the top of my TBR for a long time! I wish you better luck with readings in July 💙

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 11:59 AM

      I am really bummed about those two as well, and I hope you have better luck with them! Happy reading to you, Rita!

  3. Scrill

    July 2, 2019 at 9:09 AM

    Ahh! I am anxious for Rage now >_< I hope your slump gets better though!

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:01 PM

      Rage was an adventure, hahahaha. Thank you, me too! Happy reading, Scrill!

  4. Laura W

    July 2, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    I absolutely love your blog design, Kal, and congratulations on successfully making the leap to self-hosted! I’ve been teetering on the edge for a while now having been with Blogger for five years so it’s really great being able to see other people change over. You’ve also inspired me to give Lord of the Flies another go. I remember reading it in high school and analyzing every. single. sentence. but I haven’t read it as an adult with a little more experience under my belt and I’m curious to see what I think of it now. I hope you have a great July!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:08 PM

      Thank you so much, Laura! I really only spent a couple of months on Blogger so I can’t speak to how easy it is to migrate to self-hosted, but Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts did! I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on LOTF as an adult, haha. Happy reading to you this month!

  5. sepiareads

    July 2, 2019 at 11:59 AM

    Congrats for going self hosted 🎉🎉 Hopefully you get out of your reading slump! It’s unfortunate you didn’t like Wilder Girls, I had heard good things about it. I’ll definitely check your review on it.Good luck for your reading in July!

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:11 PM

      Thank you so much, and I am determined to defeat this slump! Most people that I know LOVED Wilder Girls, so definitely take my reading experience with a grain of salt, haha. Happy reading!

  6. Tammy

    July 2, 2019 at 5:53 PM

    It’s been really hot here too. I think summer in general is a harder time for me to stay focused on blogging, there are just too many distractions 😁 Hope you have a wonderful July!

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:13 PM

      So much to do during the summer when the weather is nice, it is very distracting indeed! Happy reading to you Tammy!

  7. Cam @ Camillea Reads

    July 2, 2019 at 5:55 PM

    Eight books is not so bad, Kal 🙂 I have a review copy of Wilder Girls on my TBR. I’m still holding out hopes for it since I do love a gothic setting! I hope you feel much better this July.

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:13 PM

      You’re right, eight is not bad at all and I hope you LOVE Wilder Girls, Camillea!

  8. flippingthruthepages

    July 2, 2019 at 10:50 PM

    Loving your new designs, Kaleena ☺️ You read some pretty good books in June and 8 is quite good number. I hope you have a better July and that you are out of your slump 😊

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:16 PM

      Thank you so much Sim, I can’t stop staring at my blog tbh. Happy reading to you this July, love!

  9. Becky

    July 3, 2019 at 3:03 AM

    Glad you liked Roar, but worried you didn’t like Rage as much as I still need to read it 😬 I’ll go in with lower expectations so it won’t disappoint 😉
    Also love your fancy new self-hosted site!!

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:17 PM

      Roar was amazing and I think it was a tough book to follow up with the sequel because I am the Queen of Expectations. I hope you love it when you get to read it, and thanks so much Becky!

  10. Jules_Writes

    July 3, 2019 at 9:26 AM

    I won’t read on too much because I want to read Contagion, which I’m glad to see was a top 2018 read for you!

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:21 PM

      I can’t wait for you to read Contagion, Jules!!!

  11. daxmunro

    July 3, 2019 at 9:28 AM

    Sounds like you read a lot of interesting books in June. The Phantom Forest sounds awesome. 🙂

    I read Stalking Jack the Ripper last year and fell in love with that book. x

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:22 PM

      The Phantom Forest was such a cool read, I loved it so much! And Stalking Jack the Ripper was such a fun surprise, those characters are everything! Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Jayati

    July 3, 2019 at 10:36 AM

    Congrats on going self-hosted!
    I’ve not been doign well blog hop wise either and I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for your guide – they are always so helpful!
    Hope you ahve a great July!

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:23 PM

      Thank you Jayati!
      I am also not doing great on blog hopping, but we try and that is all that matters! Happy reading this month, love!

  13. Heather @ The Frozen Library

    July 3, 2019 at 10:57 AM

    Yeah, I was disappointed with the ending of Stalking Jack the Ripper too, but the characters are so awesome! <3

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:24 PM

      The characters literally MAKE that book! I just reading Hunting Prince Dracula yesterday and was a lot more impressed with the whodunit!

  14. TheCaffeinatedReader

    July 4, 2019 at 1:29 AM

    Perfect wrap up of June, hopefully July knocks your socks off and you love most of your reads. Those are some amazing community posts you shared!! <3

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:26 PM

      Thank you, Haley, and happy reading to you!!!

  15. Clo @ Book Dragons

    July 4, 2019 at 3:07 AM

    Ah I hope you find your reading mojo soon Kal! *squishes* you’re doing brilliantly and I hope July treats you a lil bit nicer than June did. Also the heat needs to leave, I’m more likely to read in the heat but I’m still not a fan of the heat. Too hot, makes me feel like I’ve been shoved in an oven and can’t breathe xD

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:27 PM

      The heat needs to go away indeed, the sun is mean. MEAN! I hope July is awesome for both of us, sweets!

  16. AhanaRao

    July 4, 2019 at 8:19 AM

    I’ve heard quite a bit about Roar! I really like your June reads Kal ^_^
    Can I just reiterate how beautiful your blog looks? <3

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:32 PM

      Roar was such a wonderful read, I enjoyed it thoroughly!
      And thank you so much, Ahana!

  17. waytoofantasy

    July 4, 2019 at 9:12 AM

    Congrats on being self hosted now, I really do love the new layout. It’s so clean and refreshing. I hope your reading slump doesn’t last!

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 12:33 PM

      Thank you so much, Lisa, I am so glad everyone seems to love my layout as much as I do!

  18. tiffany @ readbytiffany

    July 5, 2019 at 1:49 PM

    Congrats again on going self-hosted!! I’m so in love with the new graphics and overall look. It’s gorgeous ❤️ I can’t wait for all your new content in July, and I hope you have a great month of reading and blogging~~

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 1:03 PM

      Thank you so much, Tiffany!!! ILYSM

  19. northernplunder

    July 6, 2019 at 5:42 AM

    i stil havent picke dup wilder girls – surprise surprise caus ei am the worst. heres to hoping july is a better reading mothn for u

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 1:07 PM

      I hope you get to your Wilder Girls arc and love it more than I did, Lauren! Happy reading!

  20. Meeghan reads

    July 6, 2019 at 7:34 PM

    How interesting is it rereading books from your childhood now. I hated Lord of the Flies when I was young… although I think it was because I detested that they picked on ‘Piggy’ because of his weight. As an overweight child that really upset me. Also, you know, the idea of eating another person… but I’m glad you enjoyed it!!

    1. Kal

      July 7, 2019 at 8:42 AM

      PIGGY DESERVED BETTER. Those boys were merciless in their torment and it was really tough to read. I don’t remember how I feel about the book on first read, it didn’t leave an impression…. which is weird. LOL

      1. Meeghan reads

        July 7, 2019 at 4:20 PM

        No, I get it. I think that’s how I feel about most books I read that young. I know I read a lot of the Redwall series, but I couldn’t tell you if I liked it or what happened. I don’t think it was until I was about 14-15 that I really started understanding what I was reading. Except Eddings and obvs Lord of the Flies!! 😂

  21. fictionnochaser

    July 10, 2019 at 6:37 AM

    Love, love, love your new site! All that work really paid off.
    Rereading Lord of the Flies is a mood that I will be laughing at forever.
    I also cannot thank you enough for Feedly because it has changed my blogging life!

    1. Kal

      July 11, 2019 at 8:48 PM

      Thank you so much, Jess! I honestly am so happy everyone loves it as much as I do!
      And LISTEN, I was so damn mad at those WILDER GIRLS comps that I had to re-read the damn book so I could adequately rant about how wrong they were lmao. It was a special TBR diversion. And I am so glad Feedly helped you!!!

  22. Kelly | Another Book in the Wall

    July 14, 2019 at 1:59 PM

    Great wrap up, love! That’s a huge bummer about your slump, but I think it’s amazing that you still read 8 books, in spite of it! <3 I'm glad you enjoyed Stalk the Ripper as part of Destiny's read-a-long! I'm planning on reading Escaping in Houdini in August for it! I cannot wait! I read Lord of the Flies in middle school, but unfortunately didn't enjoy it very much. The themes and questions brought up are intriguing, but I just didn't enjoy the narrative. The only boy I loved was Piggy, and well … *lone tear streaks down face* Haha.

    1. Kal

      July 28, 2019 at 4:41 PM

      I know, 8 books while slumping is really good and I need to stop beating myself up over it. WHY AM I LIKE THIS!? Anyways… I am probably starting Escaping From Houdini any day now because I am slumping again and feel like this may get me out of it. PIGGY DESERVED BETTER.

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