More Quarantine Books – June Wrap Up

More Quarantine Books – June Wrap Up

Well here we are…a delayed Month Wrap up. But I have to share my small little stack of reads from last month (as well as the honorable mentions) because they are just that good. This month’s reads seemed to come from the Universe at the most optimal timing. They gave me a new world to be enveloped in when honestly my world wasn’t where I wanted to be. They had extremely relatable themes/feelings/moments that, had I not been experiencing Month Four of a Pandemic and self-isolating, I never would have appreciated them. It was just a good month of little reading.


Also read: Thanks for the Bucketlist #2


Reads and resulting thoughts in Quarantine Month 4

THE BALLD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES (HUNGER GAMES #0) by Suzanne Collins

** possible spoiler alert/LONG review- ** Upon finishing all I could think is, “Woah.” I live for a prequel and especially from the POV of a character that is the undeniable villain. I did have mixed feelings after finishing but overall would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the original trilogy. I see why people dislike it but I loved it overall despite it’s minor downfalls in comparison to the original books. 

It was different from the others in that it was much slower paced and it seems quite long. What drives the original books is Katniss’ (amongst other’s) urgency to survive. The protagonist, a young Snow, in Ballad… simply doesn’t have that in this prequel. The urge to succeed and live up to a old, family, destiny is what drives it and it is massive. 

Like I read in another review, the philosophy behind the games, society, war, etc is one of the biggest contributors. While there in the OG books, they are not as important. This is what I LOVED. I was highly intrigued by how the early Hunger Games evolved, the specific events that heavily altered Snow’s perspective of Panem, humanity, and the Games. As well as the overall evolution to the world that we know from the OGs.

Little details of Snow’s persona and character, that as a reader you speculate about in the OG trilogy, is what made this book so exciting. To see where his fascination with Roses came from, his consistent mocking of young love, his philosophy of the districts and the rebels, his involvement in the games, and ultimately where his drive for keeping power and control are all revealed in little moments. 

I would agree that the romance was eh, but I think that was Collin’s intention. It was another puzzle piece to Snow’s evolvement to the man who understands but has no empathy for human connections and emotions. A man who knows how to take advantage and hurt people. 

References to the OG trilogy, in my mind were used to connect the two times together and to enhance Snow’s general dislike towards Katniss, District 12, and the rebel movement. Why Katniss’ actions such as her subtle, and sometimes unknowing, defiance and her song were especially infuriating to Snow. It may have been a shoutout to fans but still effective. 

Character wise I adored Lucy, the entire Covey clan, and Tigris (of course). I was worried with becoming too understanding and forgiving of Snow, but if anything his character has become much more dynamic and evil in my opinion. 

All in all, this book was enjoyable. It had its moments and was difficult to read at some points, especially considering what is currently prevalent in our world. It is not for those fans simply wanting to relive the OGs with different characters. I still highly respect Collin’s as a writer and will be adding this book to my shelf permanently. 🙂

The last month had upended their lives and changed them irrevocably. Sad, really, as they were both rather exceptional people, for whom the world had reserved its harshest treatment. “Yes, it leaves quite an impression…”

-Suzanne Collins The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Also read: Quarantine Books (March in Books)


WHERE THE CRAWDADS SINGS by Delia Owens

Wow wow wow. What a glorious book full of poetical prose, beautiful metaphors, a thought provoking storyline with a mystery and twists, and characters you can’t help but feel like they are a part of you. Highly highly recommend. 

This book has been on my TBR for a long time, and honestly, I was losing interest in waiting. But I am so glad that I finally read this, especially now, as the reality of loneliness is so prevalent during the COVID lockdown. I found it comforting to relate to Kya. She is an extremely dynamic character and I loved her view and understanding of the world around her. I cannot express enough to everyone I gush about this book to, how well timed this book came into my life. I was reminded of the power of books again. I went from feeling completely isolated, sad, and feeling a lack of beauty around me but Kya and the marsh changed that.

Anways, the other characters. Tate is a gem, even when I was angry with him, and I just want to give Mabel and Jumpin’ the biggest hugs.  There are antagonists both seen and unseen that added so much dimension to the story. As well as a reality that hits home, especially during the current political climate.

The pure descriptions of the nature around Kya is phenomenal. And of course, I come to find out that Ms. Owens is a nature writer herself. Of course. While indulging in a storyline, which I love doing, I learned quite a bit as well, which I am grateful for. 

This book is full of themes of nature, preservation, family, abandonment, the true meaning of human connection, love, prejudice: both racial and societal, human drive, and all the in-between.  Anyways, it was beautiful. I can’t stop thinking and feeling gratitude for it. (Really my friends, the Universe knew I was going to need this.)

“You can read, Kya. There will never be a time again when you can’t read.” “It ain’t just that.” She spoke almost in a whisper. “I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.” He smiled. “That’s a very good sentence. Not all words hold that much.”

-Delia Owens Where the Crawdads Sing

Also read: I am Completely Fine…


My Kindle has become my constant companion…

Honorable Mentions are….

THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL by Anne Brontë -this one I started months ago. It has been my filler read – as I jump from book to book, and just not in the mood for the one I’m currently focused on, I switch over to this one. Slowly hacking away at it but it’s SO GOOD.

and

ALEXANDER HAMILTON by Ron Chernow – this one is a BEAST. I started it months ago and unfortunately had to return it to the library before making a significant dent. During COVID I have discovered library ebooks and how wonder the Kindle is (especially with Biographies…I’ll share later…) Anyways, I’ve made a dent. It has taken up all of my reading time. I have LOVED it and can’t wait to finish and share my thoughts! (Hopefully next month’s wrap up…)

Anyways, please drop any thoughts you had on these books in the comments! I would love love to start up a discussion!

And as always… Thanks for the Adventure, Books. ❤


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25 Adventures – A Birthday Bucket List

*written July 3, 2020* Welp. It is my 25th Birthday. Birthdays are either one of two things – an unforgettable day with an exorbitant amount of anticipation leading up to it or a day that’s just a day. It marks a new chapters but not a lot of hub bub happens. I hate planning a […]

January in Books

January in Books

Back to the books books books! This past month I let myself completely delve into whatever book I wanted and it was great! During the Holidays, I was gifted an Amazon Kindle (for all those future trips I hope….) and fell in love with it surprisingly, as I LOVE the feeling of a real book. I also tried my best to get through a giant stack that I had spontaneously checked out from my local library.

I am still aiming to complete my Bucket list item!

Related: Thanks for the Bucketlist #2


HUNGER GAMES TRIOLOGY by Suzanne Collins

5 Stars

I had a blast rereading these. I read them on my Kindle as they were free in the Kindle Unlimited Library. After each book, I watched the corresponding movie. I loved these books when they first came out and I loved them again. The writing, the suspense, the characters were just what I wanted out of a consuming, fun, YA read.

Are you Team Gale or Team Peeta? Back in the day, I was Team Gale all the way. I couldn’t help but sympathize with him and I loved the idea of a long-time friend turning into a long-time love. (Well let’s be real…I still love and believe in that idea.) This time around, Team Peeta. More realistic. The better person in the long run. I mean the end of Mockingjay….c’mon Gale…

Fun Fact: I read the first book merely months after it was first published, thanks to the recommendation by Stephenie Meyer on her website. Which I followed and read religiously at that time. I simply grabbed it off the shelf of the library, as no one knew about it. I had to wait a year and a half for Catching Fire, and by that point, it literally caught fire amongst my age group.

“Better to not give in to it. It takes ten times as long to pull yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

“I’ll tell them how I survive it. I’ll tell them that on bad mornings, it feels impossible to take pleasure in anything because I’m afraid it could be taken away. That’s when I make a list in my head of every act of goodness I’ve seen someone do. It’s like a game. Repetitive. even a little tedious after more than twenty years. But there are much worse games to play.”            -Suzanne Collins in Mockingjay


ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell

4 Stars

This was another sweet, fast, endearing read. I picked it up on a day I was feeling extremely anxious and needed something to pull me away from my problems quickly. This was absolutely perfect. Within an hour I was 70 pages in and hooked. I fell in love with the characters. The emotions were real and extremely relatable. First love is no joke and this novel nailed it right on the head. It touched on deeper topics such as race, poverty, self-esteem, body image and social pressures. It had a sad ending, leading to tears on my end, but there is just enough hope in where I could imagine where I wanted it to go. Which made me feel better overall. Someone recommended to me to read all of Rowell’s books, which I plan on doing.

“There was something about the music on that tape. It felt different. Like, it set her lungs and stomach on edge. There was something exciting about it, and something nervous. It made Eleanor feel like everything, like the word, wasn’t what she’d thought it was. And that was a good thing. That was the greatest thing    -Rainbow Rowell in Eleanor and Park


MATCHED by Ally Condie

3 Stars

The premise is interesting and of course, I live for a love triangle/story. Even cheesy and unrealistic YA ones. I gave the third star for Condie’s writing. There were simply beautiful passages that were almost poetic. The descriptions were artistic and enjoyed her overall tone.

That being said, the reason I didn’t love this dystopian YA romance was simply the character development. Especially concerning the main heroine, Cassia. Love her and what she represents but her growth and change didn’t make sense to me. She begins as one of the “citizens,” naive and oblivious to the underlying evils. You sense that events chapter after chapter are an important discovery but they don’t line up with her sudden change to “rebel.” It’s as if the author knew what Cassia would be but not where she came from. I was bothered by that. Her sudden love for Ky also did not make sense. There was no major dilemma or choice that she made to not be with Xander, despite the sweet passages, in the beginning, all the way through halfway in the book. Again, seemingly very sudden. No sense of story arc as well. Overall struggled.

I’m still going to read the other two as I have this incessant need to know what happens. Especially if the answer is sitting on my bookshelf…

“Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs.”       -Ally Condie in Matched


Related: July in Books

Honorable mentions…Those that I started but didn’t finish because of Library due dates…

MANSFIELD PARK by Jane Austen

THE WOMAN WHO SMASHED CODES: A STORY OF TRUE LOVE, SPIES, AND THE UNLIKELY HEROINE WHO OUTWITTED AMERICA’S ENEMIES by Jason Fagone

I’m excited for my February reads. I am joining a couple of book clubs and I never know what I’ll find in the library.

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Thanks for the Adventure Books!

Bucketlist update: 27/52


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