I won't lie, I considered not doing this wrap-up several times. June was a long month and it turned lowkey disastrous at the end, leaving me with multiple injuries and a shoulder sling for my dominant arm. But! We persevere! I've been doing regular wrap-ups for almost two years and I don't want to break the streak now.

I read a whopping 15 books in June and 5 of them were in the last 3 days of the month. I couldn't do anything else so I sat on the couch and read all day for those few days. 5 of the books (not the same 5) were rereads because the month called for many comfort reads.

Since I'm typing with one hand and rapidly losing the motivation to finish this post, I will link past reviews for the rereads and try to keep the other mini-reviews shorter than usual.

against the currant by olivia matthews

against the currant book cover

It feels like I read this book a lifetime ago. I got the ALC of this on libro.fm and took most of May to finish it. The audiobook wasn't long but listening to the book was quite boring and frustrating.

Against the Currant is about Lyndsay, a Grenadian-American woman, who opens a bakery with her family and gets framed for the murder of a rival bakery owner the week of her bakery's launch. When it becomes clear that the cops on her case aren't on her side, she begins to investigate on her own to clear her name.

The story is firmly a mystery but highlights family and culture a lot. Lyndsay is proud of her heritage and has a loving family whom she would do anything for. The bakery is her dream and she wants to clear her name as soon as possible so that it doesn't affect the business.

I liked getting to know Lyndsay—she's headstrong, ambitious, and loyal. We see her strengths, weaknesses, and other hobbies as well. However, reading from her point of view was frustrating. Her thoughts and dialogues were repetitive to a fault. She'd say or think the same thing about her current situation in almost every chapter. Whenever she meets a character, the same initial thoughts would go over in her mind. It was annoying and I hated that I couldn't skim the audiobook like I could have done with an ebook/paperback.

There was a love interest in the story for no reason with absolutely no progress. The author kept bringing up the character and the possible romance and clearly didn't do anything about it. In the end, we got no romance. Then why allude to it so many times?

The mystery was underwhelming as well. By the end of the book, I couldn't care less about it. Even if the plot points had something interesting, the writing was pretty bland and didn't keep me interested like a murder mystery should.

Overall, the book bored me and I do not recommend it. It tried to be a murder mystery with cozy family vibes but fell flat.

rainbirds by clarissa goenawan

rainbirds book cover

I received the paperback ARC from the author last year and was never in the right mood to pick it up until now. After Against the Currant, I needed something completely different to read.

Rainbirds follows Ren as he comes to terms with his sister's murder and deals with guilt and grief. He was close to Keiko when he was younger but after she left home, their relationship was estranged. She made sure to call him regularly but they didn't talk much and didn't meet.

After her funeral, he finds himself hanging around in the town she used to live in. Through a series of events, he ends up living where she did and filling her teaching position temporarily. As he lives her life, he tries to understand her better and know more about her since he didn't try to when she was alive.

The book is about a murder but isn't a murder mystery. It is about a man dealing with grief but also finding himself through it. He dreams about the past and dreams random premonitions. He makes questionable decisions and learns from them.

It is written in a writing style similar to most Japanese books—slow-paced, neutral-tone narration, and highlighting the regularities of life. There isn't much emotion so I didn't connect to the character or the story.

It was almost like reading a story which had no point. It doesn't have a major plot point that concludes or a mystery that is solved. It is just about a man dealing with grief in the initial stages until he's ready to slightly move on from it.

Overall, it was okay. Easy to read and lose myself in the world but not specifically interesting or engaging.

the humans by matt haig

the humans book cover

I saw quotes from this book on Instagram a few times and picked it up on the next bookstore trip. I read and enjoyed The Midnight Library by the author and was looking forward to reading this book.

The Humans features an alien from another species who, on a mission from his race, takes the place of a physics professor on Earth. The professor made a discovery that humans weren't capable of dealing with yet so the extraterrestrial race killed him and sent the alien to tie up any loose ends or clues left behind.

The alien doesn't have a name and isn't used to the comparatively backward life that humans live. It takes time to adjust and understand how to pretend to be a human. Its purview expands as it learns how humans live and why we do the things we do.

The book dives into the human way of living. It's a short book but makes a lot of observations and statements about the complexity and beauty of our lives, even through our faults. It's funny, engaging, and emotional. And it leaves the reader with more hope in the world.

It didn't change something in me the way I expected seeing its quotes online but it was a pleasant read. I recommend it if you're looking for a light and hopeful book.

2 fights by nikki castle

2 fights book cover

I loved 5 Rounds by the author which was the first book in the series. Once I got in the mood to read romance again, I snatched this up. 5 Rounds gave us a glimpse of this book's couple already so I was super excited to read their story.

2 Fights features Jax and Hailey as he helps her heal from a toxic relationship and fall in love in the process. This childhood-friends-to-lovers is funny, entertaining, comfy, and steamy. I liked the story right from the start.

A big part of the story is Hailey's journey after a toxic relationship. We see her slowly unlearn many things, lean on the people around her, and start to blossom into a confident woman. The book highlights how a big part of healing and being able to keep a subsequent healthy relationship is to heal alone without a romantic partner. I really liked that.

I do think that the second half of the book could've been done better because the vibes and the writing weren't great, but it's alright. Overall, a good book. I liked 5 Rounds more though.

baby i'm yours by carrie elks

baby im yours book cover

I was scrolling through Kindle Unlimited romance titles and randomly decided to give this a go. I've said it before and I'll say it again: there are many romance books with the accidental pregnancy trope but few do it well.

Only a subset of the books capitalize on the emotions only this trope can evoke and a much smaller subset write the story well. For the past year or so, I haven't come across a book with this trope that I liked, let alone loved. It feels like I've already read all of the good ones out there but it can't be true. So I continue to try books by authors I've never heard of in hopes of hitting gold.

Baby I'm Yours was another disappointment. It had potential with the premise and the characters but it didn't hit. I felt nothing reading it.

The book is written with a slightly sad tone because of the backgrounds of the characters. The romance is supposed to show two people who are forced to give each other a chance and find their person. But the writing never became happy and the tone of the book stayed the same throughout.

The characters had no depth as well. They were reduced to their sad stories after a point, despite having much more to offer. The romance wasn't interesting and the plot was bland.

Overall, it was a meh book. My search for a good book with this trope continues.

his cinderella duchess by hanna hamilton

his cinderella duchess book cover

Another trope that makes me try random books in hopes of finding a well-written romance: the Cinderella trope. I haven't come across a book that stands out yet but I continue to try.

His Cinderella Duchess is a historical romance and a loose Cinderella retelling. After Sophia's parents die in an accident, her uncle ships her off to her godparents. But when she arrives, she is treated like a common servant. As she is getting accustomed to this new life and looking for ways to break out, she makes an impression on Duke Henry.

The one good thing about the story is that it is fast-paced. It may be a hot mess and have random patched-together scenes without a proper flow but it goes by fast enough so that the reader doesn't dwell on it.

The twist at the end was predictable and disappointing. I didn't like the dramatic chapter it made. It was chaos and I generally don't like such chaos in romance books.

Overall, not an impressionable read. I'll probably forget the book in another month.

garnet flats by devney perry

garnet flats book cover

After that disappointing romance, I reread Juniper Hill and decided to read the remaining books in the series that I hadn't read yet. Garnet Flats is the sequel to Juniper Hill and I somehow missed reading it before despite reading the book after it.

This is a second-chance romance that takes place over a decade after the couple's initial relationship. Talia has moved on and is finally focusing on her dream when Foster moves to her town and refuses to take a no. Foster has secrets and is finally ready to tell Talia everything and win her back.

Oh, how I disliked this book. I didn't like how the story began, I didn't like how they reconnected, I hated how they succumbed to lust before clearing things up, and I loathed the hidden reason for their breakup. It wasn't a good plot and the writing or the romance didn't make up for it.

Most of it was bearable but the last 30% soured the book for me. I don't recommend this book.

crimson river by devney perry

crimson river book cover

Crimson River is the latest book in the series. The book right before this one in the series was not bad so I hoped that this would be better than Garnet Flats. It also follows a sibling that I like and had the potential for cute coffee shop scenes since the main character owns a cafe.

The book follows Lyla after she is attacked by a mysterious man on a hike. She almost didn't survive and is trying to heal from it when a detective hunting that man comes into town. They have an instantaneous connection and start a fling knowing that it'll end when he goes back to his life. But of course, they fall in love.

Crimson River was weird. The entire book had a dark and slightly creepy vibe. The characters were never happy. They were either dealing with issues or having sex as an escape. Lyla was nothing like how I saw her in the other books. The only thing I liked was how the coffee shop was utilized well in the plot.

The last 20% of the book was... I don't know what. It went into a different genre entirely. The plot development was outside of anything one would expect. My face was a disgusted question mark until the end. I want to forget that this book exists in the series.

The next and last book of the series features my favourite sibling so I decided to still continue with the series. Until I saw its synopsis. I already hate the book because of the pairing. I feel betrayed by the pairing. It will be a dumpster fire and I will not watch it burn. I'm going to pretend that only the first two books in this series exist. And maybe Jasper Vale. But none of the others.

3 count by nikki castle

3 count book cover

I needed a better book to read after the last two and since Nikki Castle hasn't disappointed yet, I decided to read the next book in the 5 Rounds series.

3 Count follows Aiden and Dani as they have a friends-with-benefits relationship which develops into real feelings. They had chemistry right from the start and both weren't looking for a relationship due to their pasts so they fell into a good FWB arrangement. Their friendship was so easy and nice that they were soon spending most of their time together.

I really liked Aiden and Dani as individual characters. They were aware of their issues, blunt about what they wanted in life, and were ambitious and hardworking towards their dreams. They made a really good couple as well. Their energies and vibes matched so well. Even their text conversations were entertaining to read. The third-act breakup was messy but necessary.

Overall, it was a good book. I still like the first book the most but I had fun reading this.

the fiancée farce by alexandria bellefleur

the fiancee farce book cover

Yes, I am slightly ashamed that I read only one queer book for Pride month but it is what it is. I thought I picked a good one, though. I got the ALC of this on libro.fm and have been wanting to pick up books by this author for a while now. It was the perfect month to read this.

The Fiancée Farce is a sapphic marriage-of-convenience romance. Tansy lies about dating a book cover model named Gemma and when they coincidentally cross paths, Gemma grabs onto the lie. Her grandfather recently passed away and named her the heir to their publishing company with the stipulation that she is married by then. As they carry on the farce, they fall in love.

The book started out really well. I liked how the clichéd trope and circumstances were turned into something new in this story. Tansy and Gemma quickly went against the regular trope by deciding to truly date when they start liking each other instead of avoiding it. They made a good pair. I liked how communicative they were with each other.

But soon, the book lost all its lustre. The story became boring and dragged on without much development. The third-act breakup was messy and I HATED the way they got back together. I got secondhand embarrassment just from listening to that chapter. It ruined everything good about the book.

The story went from the sky straight into a fire. I recommend it only if you like drama. Otherwise, feel free to skip it. I was disappointed that my only queer read of the month wasn't a good one.


I reread 4 books this month. Check out more on them through the links below.

  • Juniper Hill by Devney Perry.
  • Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez. Yes, I read it again within 2 weeks.
  • The Predator and The Reaper by RuNyx. Tristain and Morana <3
  • Battle Royal by Lucy Parker. No book serves this kind of cute opposites-attract rivals-to-lovers story.

chat with me!

How was your June? Did you do anything exciting? What did you read? Tell me in the comments!

photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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  • Kal @ Reader Voracious says:

    I read an eARC of Rainbirds back in 2018 and remember nothing about it other than liking it and that my review STILL gets traffic to this day?

    I didn't even know about The Humans, it sounds like an interesting read and right up my alley because I like to be thunked on the head with philosophy and wax poetic on what it means to be human.

    I hope July is treating you well!

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      oh that’s interesting! i haven’t heard of the book before, i wonder which market it does well in.

      oh yeah if you like those things, The Humans is great. it’s also not too much about philosophy, just the right amount, so it’s a pleasant read.

      Reply ➔
  • I'm so sorry to hear about your injury, Sumedha! Wishing you a speedy and smooth recovery! ?

    Reply ➔
  • abookowlscorner says:

    I'm so sorry the ending to your June was so terrible! I really hope you're feeling better and wish you a smooth recovery! ?

    Have I mentioned how much I adore your rants about the disappointing romances you've read, though? ? I love you calling out all those terrible endings like it is! Although I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that you'll have fewer duds this month!

    Reply ➔
  • Kristina says:

    Ohno, im so sorry to hear about your injury! Hope everything heals well and rather quickly xx
    But hey, that’s quite a good excuse to pass the day reading eh?

    While i’m still a few books behind, i’ve went back up and finished 3 books (unlike my 1 or 2 for a few months).

    Reply ➔
  • Jan says:

    The only book of matt haig's I've read is a middle grade book called samuel blink and the forbidden forest (which I loved back then) - it took me a while to figure out that this was the same author of the midnight library. I should get to his books sometime!

    Hope you have a great month ahead!!

    Reply ➔
  • ahaana @ Windows to Worlds says:

    i didn't read much in june, and i'm horribly behind on my goal for the year, but i (surprisingly) haven't given a single book below 3.5 stars? so i'd say not just june, but the entire year so far's gone well in that regard!! the cover for rainbirds is so gorgeous — i'm sorry you didn't like it more. love this post ❤️❤️

    Reply ➔