June Wrap Up and July TBR

This is the first month that I’ve actually followed my monthly TRB and I managed to read over 3,300 pages which is epic! Recently I’ve re-disovered my love for reading and I’m flying through books, I’m even running out of room on my bookshelf (we’ve had to start double stacking) so I think next month I’m going to invest in a new set of bookshelves! I’m currently craving all things fantasy and new adult, so any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Here in the UK, we’ve been having some really beautiful weather (which is very rare for us) and it’s kickstarted all these creative juices! I’ve been spending more time writing flash fiction, blog posts, possible story ideas and I’ve even thought about creating a bookstagram account or re-designing my blog layout! I don’t want to burn myself out but I’ve found a new routine that involves me writing in the garden with my headphones in and an iced coffee at the ready; life is bliss!

Last year I made a new Goodreads account (my old one was an unorganised embarrassment) so I’ve been making a real effort to post and update on all my reading goals and habits! I always enjoy discovering new reads and seeing what other people are reading and I particularly enjoying looking at different peoples reading challenges! I would love it if you could leave your Goodread’s account in the comments below so I finally start playing a more active role in the bookish community!

My Goodreads – Amy (A Fangirls Opinion)

Anyway, here is my June Wrap Up and my TBR for July!

June Wrap Up

  • Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas – I’m currently in the process of writing my review for this epic conclusion but it’s all a bit emotional. This series and its characters have been a huge part of my life and it was heart-breaking saying goodbye to them!
  • Out of Love by Hazel Hayes – Another emotional read that I absolutely adored, I’ll leave a link to my review here! If you’re looking for an easy (and emotional) read then this one should definitely be on your TBR. Hazel has such a unique ability and voice with her writing and the way she writes about love and heartbreak is truly magical.
  • Crescent City by Sarah J Maas – I love Sarah J Maas so much that I had to dive into another one of her series after finishing Kingdom of Ash! Crescent City was everything I expected and more, it’s fairly obvious that I’ve once again fallen utterly head over heels for this world and its wonderful characters. Again I’ll leave a link to my review here so please go check it out!
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – I hate to say it but I was a little disappointed by this book, I think I had high expectations after reading the first book! I’m waiting to finish the entire series before I post my review so keep your eyes peeled for that soon!
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater – Like I’ve mentioned previously I didn’t love the second book in the series, but this book certainly redeemed my thoughts and expectations; I loved it!
  • Warlight by Michael Ondaatje – This was our June book for my Reading Between the Wines book club and it was another surprising read. Ondaatje has been on my radar for a while now so I’m glad that I finally had the opportunity to pick up one of his books.

July TBR

  • The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – I’m so excited to read the final book in this series, especially after everything that happened in the punnltiment book in the series.
  • Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard – I keep mentioning this series but this will be the month that I finally finish it! I’m still deciding if I’m going to re-read the entire series or to just re-read the last book I read!
  • The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary – I wanted to read something a little light-hearted and fun this month, and by the looks of things this book is just that! I don’t want to overwhelm myself by reading too much fantasy and inevitably fall back into a reading slump so I thought it would be good to have a balance and change of pace now and then.
  • Dune by Frank Herbert –  I’ve mentioned this book a lot recently and its only because I am hugely excited for it as its got all the elements that make a brilliant adaption and sci-fi franchise. I recently purchased the book so hopefully next month I’ll have the opportunity to witness the wonder and adventure first hand.

Out of Love by Hazel Hayes

‘A breakup is like a death without a funeral.’ 

Oh Hazel you’ve done it again, haven’t you? I finished Out of Love this morning and all I want is a big cup of tea and an even bigger hug; I’ve been left an emotional wreck. For the past five years I’ve followed Hazel on all her creative journeys, her short-film Happy and Time of the Month series being a stand-out favourites and videos I continue to re-watch, always with a box of tissues at the ready. So, when I heard she was writing a novel, I knew I was in for a treat.

Hazel posses the rare ability to craft an effortlessly real and raw narrative, that takes its readers by the hand and invites them to experience the intimate inner-workings of her characters psyche and emotions. The first chapter breaks your heart, and we spend the rest of the novel, alongside our narrator, tentatively putting ourselves back together and remising on the highs and lows of love. Most of us have endured the repercussions of heartbreak and even if you are fortunate enough to have avoided such pain, then still you won’t be immune to the poignant and soul-stirring effects of her writing. The narrative is pocketed with witty sarcasm and Hazels trademark cynical humour that masks the true sentiment of a break-up, creating a warming sense of security that successfully avoids the sappy cliches of many contemporary love stories,

Hazel manages to capture the essence of a break-up and those final stages of a relationship beautifully, the entire novel is a treasure trove of powerfully meaningful quotes. Each turning off the page uncovers another delicate layer of intimacy, as we delve further not only into our protagonists relationships but our own. The novel starts off as a ‘break-up in reverse’ but is ultimately an individual journey of self-discovery and worth. The narrative is poetically human and handles heavy themes of abuse and mental health with the upmost respect and awareness.

Like our protagonists, I struggle with endings, but I closed this book and left these characters with an overwhelming hope and optimism. I’m grateful to have shared this journey and I only wish that one day I will be able to write half as well as Hazel. I hope in the future I’ll have the opportunity to thank Hazel in person for everything she’s unknowingly helped me with and for being (I know it sounds cheesy) but a truly wonderful inspiration and friend.

May Wrap Up and June TBR

It’s official, she’s back! These past couple of weeks have been chaos and it’s only now that I’m beginning to adjust and understand this new state of normal. When I’m not at work, you’ll find my tucked up in bed with a good book or binge watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (it’s my guilty pleasure). All this time has helped me re-disover what I truly love about reading, it’s sounds cliche but I’ve become so invested in these stories and have created a lifelong bonds with these characters that I’m suffering from some major book hangovers. I’m going to stop now before I get too emotional but it’s hard saying goodbye; some of these series have played a huge part in my life and this entire blogging journey and for that I am endlessly grateful.

Anyway I read over 3,000 pages in May, which is insane so hopefully all this reading motivation continues!

May Wrap Up

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson – It’s taken me two years but I finally decided to finish this series. I was a little bit hesitant to read the second book, because of my undying love and high exceptions from the first book, but Sanderson is a master at crafting intricate and heart stopping adventures that transport you away from reality. You’re all probably fed up of me going on about this series but I can’t praise it enough and if you’re looking for an intense and epic fantasy then this is the series for you.

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson – I don’t think I’ll ever be emotionally prepared to discuss this book, but let’s just say that it shattered my heart and left me with the worlds greatest book hangover. Brandon Sanderson, you have a gift and it has been a privilege to share this journey with you, so thank you.

Love is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield – This was our Reading Between the Wines book of the month for May, and it surprised me. Who would have thought a musical memoir would be a instant page turner for me? Everything about it was so raw and real, plus the unique playlists for each chapter were a fabulous addition.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas – Another series that I want to finish soon and as I’m fed up of avoiding spoilers and I want to be able to gush about this series with other fans. This is another series that means the world to me and I never want it to end.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas – Chaol has always been one of my favourites (he was one of my first fictional crushes) so having a book centred around him was everything I needed.

June TBR

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas – I’m already half way through and I’m in love. But again I not ready to say goodbye to these characters. I swear if they don’t get the happy ending they ALL deserve then it’s going to kick off!

Out of Love by Hazel Hayes – I’ve been on this journey with Hazel from the very beginning and now I’m patiently waiting for my copy to arrive, so I can finally dive into this emotionally heartbreaking and wonderfully raw story. Hazel’s Time of the Month series on Youtube and her incredible creativity is what made me fall in love with her and I highly recommend that you check her out on YouTube.

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje – This is our June book of the month for Reading Between the Wines book club and I’m so excited to read it. I’ve heard nothing about good things about Michael Ondaatje’s writing!

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – I started this book way back in April but since then I’ve been distracted by other series, whoops! I loved the first book and I need more from these characters.