What I Read in June

Long time no blog, but I’ve had a busy old month. I’m sitting on some exciting news, and also I’ve been on holiday and also I’m in YALC prep mood. (That’s a lie, I’m never prepped for anything.) More seriously, it’s been a hell of a news week/month/year. Strength and solidarity to the lot of you book people, and everyone else. Let’s get through the second half of 2016 and call it a win, yeah?

What did I read in June, then?

CAM GIRL by Leah Raeder: I thought this had a lot of really great, fascinating things to say on gender, sex, and identity, and a central ‘ship that in theory I should’ve been way into. All the twists were super obvious, though, which may or may not affect your enjoyment of a story. Also it was a bit melodramatic for my tastes. Elliot Wake (as the author is now known) writes dark stories in a uniquely poetic voice about sexy queer people, though, so I’m gonna keep reading his books.

THE LAST SUMMER OF US by Maggie Harcourt: A bit of an odd one, this – as an attempt to transplant the USYA wacky road trip story into Wales, it mostly succeeds thanks to a charming cast and a delightful slow burn romance. It’s also really sad. If you like emotions, banter, and ostriches, this is the UKYA book for you.


THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware: I took this to read on my holiday and ended up devouring it on the plane. It’s a gripping, atmospheric mystery that takes place almost entirely on an exclusive cruise ship. There are some ace twists, and I thought the writing was much improved from Ware’s first book, the very well-received In A Dark, Dark Wood. (I enjoyed that book, but the characters’ motivations were ludicrous IMO.) Would definitely recommend to thriller fans. One of the characters had the same name as a certain BRIT award-winning indie-folk artist I’ve seen live three times, which was distracting.

RAW – A WILL/HANNIBAL FANTHOLOGY: I loved this so much. I read it lying on a sun lounger by the pool, sipping cocktails, and I honestly felt I was living my best life. Only the Hannibal fandom could produce something so delicious, dark, romantic, and beautiful. #SaveWillGraham

ANIMORPHS #1 – #8 and MEGAMORPHS #1 by K.A. Applegate: June marked the 20th anniversary of Animorphs #1: The Invasion. I started my third reread of the series while I was on holiday with three friends who have also read the whole series. (Interestingly? They all read it as adults.) I had somehow forgotten just how dark it is. Also funny, scary, smart, moving, everything. p.s. Ax is absolutely bae.

packing / playing the how-many-books-is-reasonable-for-a-weeks-holiday game

A post shared by sarah (@slouisebarnard) on

DIETLAND by Sarai Walker: Easily one of my favourite books of 2016. Anarchic, angry, smart, brilliant. I expected the vigilante justice to be a bigger part of the book but Plum’s coming of age was my favourite part, so I didn’t mind Jennifer taking a backseat. I hope Dietland gets passed on to young women who need it, just as Plum passes on books to her girls. It’s cathartic and tragic at the same time. Dietland makes the political deeply, devastatingly personal.


THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson: I bought the Zoella book club edition of this because I thought the cover was gorgeous. People always talk very highly of Nelson’s books and I thought this was a very pretty book but UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT: I found it kinda boring. It’s so hard to care about straight YA romances between quirky white kids any more. That said, I loved all the poetry.

END OF WATCH by Stephen King: I don’t even know what to say about a Stephen King book. I read it, King’s prose is like a pair of slippers for my brain, the characters are all endearing, the villains are villainous, the horror horrible. Old Man King does not understand social media and it’s adorable. I cried at the end.

THE HIDDEN ORACLE by Rick Riordan: I’m gonna level with you, I’ve not read anything by Riordan since I was a teen myself. I barely know what’s going on in this book (I’ve not finished it yet). I’m just reading it because a girl at the library was reading it and she was SUPER PSYCHED about it and about NICO/WILL and I want to be able to talk to her about it.


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