Well June was… June.
In terms of reading it was looking pitiful. In terms of writing it was looking pitiful. In terms of work and stress it was looking…. you guessed it…. pitiful!
Then it started to get ok and I’m gently hopeful for July.
Work and work stress is still a thing but that’s a long term problem which requires a long term solution and I still didn’t write a single word but the reading thing finally started to turn in my favor.
I spent all of June in the reading slump that carried over from May. I read a short story collection in the hopes that short stories would break it. It didn’t. I started reading Webtoon’s online comics in the hopes they would break it. They didn’t but I found some amazing stuff.
Then, on the 29th June, I read a book in one day and today I am over a quarter of the way through another.
I could have cried my friends because I am hopeful that this means the slump is over but we’ll see how July fares.
Once Upon a Curse is a collection of 17 ‘dark’ faeries tales which, if I’m honest, aren’t always dark or always that good.
The thing with short story anthologies is that you’ll always get a mix and with 17 in a collection there’s a lot there to go wrong or go right. Unfortunately many of these didn’t feel particularly dark. If they weren’t dark then I’d happily take ‘original’ or even ‘interesting’ but sadly many were bland, overlong and poorly edited.
Several, which seemed to have promise, only served to irritate me because they were clearly included as a prologue to a larger piece of work or authors series and frankly if something says it’s a short story then I want there to be proper resolution to the plot.
Many are forgettable but I enjoyed the African inspired ‘No Gift of Words,’ ‘Drawn to the Brink,’ and ‘Still Red’ although these weren’t without their problems (Still Red for example was a dark, yet confusing, version of Little Red Riding Hood. I think there was time travel. Maybe. I’m just not sure).
Overall I gave this collection a 2.
Onto the first Webtoon’s piece and my favourite! I haven’t technically finished reading it as it’s an ongoing piece but I’m up to date on all 68 episodes (including Fast Pass) and I’m subscribing. I’m marking it as read because I need the win ok?
I adore Lore Olympus. The only reason it isn’t getting five stars is because I feel that in recent episodes it’s meandering a bit off course and while I appreciate it needs backstory and subplots I just really, really, really need the main story of Hades and Persephone to move along.
I love Hades and Persephone myth retellings guys and this one is both delightful, moving and painful. Persephone is a sweet, cinnamon bun of a person who has been painfully sheltered by her mother but who isn’t quite the fragile flower everyone thinks she is.
Hades is emotionally (and physically) scarred and stoic God of the Underworld who no one likes because… dead things… but he’s also a sweet, cinnamon bun of a person who has been painfully isolated. His adoration of Persephone is so clear to see already and I’m here for it.
Four stars because I love it.
Honestly I can’t actually believe I’m reading My Dear Cold Blooded King but then so are 6.6 million others. I only say I can’t believe I’m reading it is because it’s an anime style, pseudo Japanese romance which I am strangely invested in.
The main character Mei seems a bit like a Mary Sue and she has people falling in love with her at the drop of a hat but there’s a lot of political intrigue and rebellion brewing. Is it weird that this reminds me of a mash up of Star Wars, GoT and Mills and Boon?!
I’m giving it four stars because I’m strangely here for it.
Ignore the deceptive picture. Blood Stain is not a horror but a delightful comedy about a day dreaming lab assistant desperate to hold down her job working with a socially inept and massively disorganised university scientist.
This is all about perceptions and stereotypes and how Elliot lets her over-active imagination run away with her to ridiculous degrees.
I am giving this 3 stars because although it’s good fun I really feel like the first three volumes or 60 episodes has been intro and exposition and I’m kind of feeling like the story needs to ‘start’
This author/ artist has a Hades and Persephone retelling out this October called ‘Punderworld’ and I can’t wait!
The Doll Factory was an ARC I requested and which was due a review in May. Due to The Slump that never happened but you know what? This was the book I read in a day and I think is the one that finally broke through!
As it’s an ARC a full review will be written up but I will say that I have given it 4 stars and a big, fat thank you.
I am surprisingly pleased with this month despite The Slump.
- I gave 1 book 2 stars
- I gave 1 book (or 1 webcomic) 3 stars
- I gave 3 books (well, 1 book and 2 webcomic’s) 4 stars
That means June’s average is 3.4 but let’s round that up to 3.5.
I’ll take it!
I didn’t get round to two of the books that I said I would read for June so let’s roll those over (I’m already over a quarter of the way through one) and because I’m feeling ambitious I’m going to add on two more.
- Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke (an ARC for July)
- The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen (part of my Mini Magic Challenge)
- The Farm by Joanne Ramos (an ARC for May)
- The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker (part of my Mini Magic Challenge)
Not a huge deal mostly. June was not a kind mental health month and so I’ve learned to not overdo myself on things that I feel add pressure when I can’t deal with the pressure I already have.
I had a lovely afternoon tea with a friend and her little girl (my husband’s goddaughter) as it was the little girl’s 5th birthday! The afternoon tea was held in a Cinderella carriage complete with crowns and was enjoyed by the big girls too!
We also went to Marwell Zoo with the same family and I now adore red panda’s. They also had otters but I’ve always loved those!
In the effort to be environmentally friendly with my notebooks and to cut back on all the notebooks I use I have purchased myself a Rocketbook Everlast and boy I love it!!! If anyone is interested I will happily provide more info about it because I am just besotted.
Finally, our dining area/ conservatory is still a WIP/ construction zone but it’s slowly being done and I’m so excited. FYI the conservatory is becoming my reading room so I’m beyond made up.
Also, to encourage a bit of nature this is what we’ve done to the roof outside my study window. In time wildflowers should grow which should hopefully make for a pretty view and I’ve already seen a lot of bees which has made me happy!
I’m hoping that everyone’s June’s went well although it seems like it may have been a mixed bag.
I hope July remains good/ becomes good/ gets better. If it doesn’t then have a squish to carry you through.