Jenga TBR || Wrap Up

“11 books ahead of schedule.” – Goodreads~

Remember to stay up to date with the world, listen to those facing atrocities and help spread awareness/donate where you’re able.


In June, I chose to play along with Ry’s Reading Corner’s Jenga TBR game. You can check out their video here and my TBR post here

My tbr had 7 books in total, and despite not completing all the prompts, I did end up finishing 8 books! And that’s a win any day! The two books I didn’t manage to get around to were Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (which I didn’t even start) and Hollow Earth by John & Carole E. Barrowman (which I have around 200 pages left). I do plan to get to them in July.

So, let’s get into what I ended up reading!


Persepolis: The Story of Childhood; Marjane Satrapi

  • Prompt: a book with pictures
  • Finished: 01.06.21

The intelligent and outspoken child of radical Marxists, and the great-grandaughter of Iran’s last emperor, Satrapi bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life.

Goodreads

I chose not to rate this book, as I always find it difficult to rate someone’s life. While I think some of the narrative choices and language used wasn’t to my liking, I still think that Persepolis is an important read about a country and it’s recent history that is often overlooked, especially coming from someone who grew up during that time. The fact that it’s from the viewpoint of a young girl is also important.

Murder Most Unladylike; Robin Stevens

  • Prompt: friend pick
  • Finished: 05.06.21
  • Rating: 3.5

At Deapdean School for Girls, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have set up their own detective agency. But they are struggling to find any real crimes to investigate… Then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. To add to the mystery, when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove one happened in the first place.

Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning and intuition they can muster.

Goodreads

This was a great first book in a children’s mystery series. It was fun and engaging, with a host of characters. There was a lot of inclusion, but certain aspects did feel uncomfortable – especially concerning Hazel’s thoughts about herself and her Hong Kong heritage as this book is written by a white woman. I understand that it’s normal that Hazel would want to be and idolise the quintessential English girl, but I don’t know, it didn’t feel good to read. I’m hoping the next books combat this attitude more.

Hazel was great, and Daisy was somewhat annoying. But I do think there is a lot of room and foreshadowing of coming growth. Their relationship wasn’t that enjoyable to read, but underneath there were some good moments.

I’m looking forward to seeing what else the series has to offer.

Mythos; Stephen Fry

  • Prompt: blue on the cover
  • Finished: 19.06.21
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

No one loves and quarrels, desires and deceives as boldly or brilliantly as Greek gods and goddesses. Mythos captures these extraordinary myths for our modern age – in all their dazzling and deeply human relevance.

Goodreads

I really enjoy reading and learning more about the Greek Gods, they’re wild!

Mythos is a fun read, with a great topic enhanced by Stephen Fry’s wit and familiar presence. For parts I listened to the audiobook and Fry’s a great narrator~

The Princess Diaries; Meg Cabot

  • Prompt: random colour generator – orange
  • Finished: 27.06.21

One minute Mia’s totally normal. Next minute she’s heir to the throne of Genovia.

Well, her dad can lecture her until he’s royal-blue in the face, but no way is Mia going to behave like some posh princess. And they think she’s moving to Genovia? Er, hello?

Goodreads

I decided not to rate The Princess Diaries because it’s so far away from my demographic and what I would normally pick up. I found a couple at a charity sale and I really wanted to read these when I was the actual target audience so I got them. And honestly if you go into these without any expectations other than spending time with a very dramatic teenage girl and her dramatic teenage life, then The Princess Diaries will be a fun read.

I will say, some things in this don’t age well. i.e. certain political and psychology related stuff, as well as some transphobia – every time Mia mentions her neighbour, she tells us that she used to be a man. Every. Time…

Pet; Akwaeke Emezi

  • Prompt: middle grade
  • Finished: 14.06.21
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

There are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson all her life. But when she meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colours and claws… he must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question-How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?

Goodreads

Pet is a good little book, full of diversity and metaphor. It enforces the truth that getting rid of corrupt institutions doesn’t stop “monsters” existing and being blind and unquestioning will only cause harm. Personally, I think that some aspects were too simple and I would have liked more expansion. However, for the target audience of teens, I think it does the job.

My only real query was about Pet. I assumed he was an metaphor for visceral and violent justice and in many ways that’s what Christian angels are like, so the connection made sense. But the ending seemed a little on the nose, religious wise and I’m not sure if that was intentional or if I’m reading it wrong.

I also saw that this is categorised as YA, but I don’t agree. This reads as something for teenage children. Young Adult is a strange category in that it isn’t normally directed to young adults at all…


Extra

The Dark Days Deceit; Alison Goodman

  • Finished: 01.06.21
  • Rating:

The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen’s demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world. In the final book of the trilogy that began with THE DARK DAYS CLUB and continued with THE DARK DAYS PACT, the intrepid Lady Helen’s story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal.

Goodreads

This book had so many twists and turns. These books are adventurous, heartfelt and have a great host of characters. I love the Regency setting and the way Goodman makes the world and society feel natural.

Lady Helen was a great protagonist and I loved her strong will and tenacity, mixed with her society breeding. Carlston and her relationship was great, I just wish we had more, but The Dark Days Pact does deliver well with exploring their mutual feelings.

My true loves from this series will always be Darby and Quinn. They’re so loyal, fierce and adorable together 💕

Pride and Prejudice; Jane Austen

  • Finished: 03.06.21
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

When Elizabeth Bennet meets Mr. Darcy she is repelled by his overbearing pride, and prejudice towards her family. But the Bennet girls are in need of financial security in the shape of husbands, so when Darcy’s friend, the affable Mr. Bingley, forms an attachment to Jane, Darcy becomes increasingly hard to avoid. Polite society will be turned upside down in this witty drama of friendship, rivalry, and love—Jane Austen’s classic romance novel.

Goodreads

I felt like reading Pride and Prejudice, for no other reason than I love it so much. It’s my ultimate comfort read and favourite book of all time, so of course I enjoyed every single moment ♥

Lost in the Never Woods; Aiden Thomas

  • Finished: 25.06.21
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers.

It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers.

Goodreads

The premise and concept of Lost in the Never Woods meant I was somewhat let down by the actual novel. I enjoyed the characters, Wendy was determined and Peter was a ball of sunshine. I thought there would be more mystery and twists, and while a lot happened not much seemed relevant to the plot.

I will say, that I enjoyed Aiden Thomas’ writing, as it was easy and fast paced. There were some repetitive sentences, but overall, I didn’t mind. Reading this during work definitely made the shifts more bearable.


Do you have any thoughts on these books? What did you enjoy reading in June? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥

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26 yrs old || British ♥

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