I’m surprised by how much I read this month! Eight books is pretty average for me, but there were a few real tombs in there, including Samantha Shannon’s Priory of The Orange Tree and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. All the novels I read dealt with queerness in different ways, and overall I definitely had fun this pride month.

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I did not expect to love this book as much as I did. Not only is the romance both tooth-achingly sweet and spicy, but the other themes about knowledge, science, art, and feminism were fantastically handled. I recommend listening to this book, as the narrator was absolutely fantastic. What a lovely, cozy read!

The Atlas Six by Olivia Blake

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can read my four-star review of this novel here. It was the perfect dark academia fix, though be warned—it’s mostly character studies, and very little plot.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Touching and fun, I loved the way this novel talked about youth, identity, and puberty. It is incredibly well-written and both Ari and Dante are now and for every children of my heart. I related to Ari and his struggles to articulate his feelings…a lot.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Donna Tartt has a delicious, natural style of writing. But I didn’t like any of the characters in this novel, and in fact, a lot of them seemed like absurd caricatures of figures found in academia. There’s also a lot of unaddressed classism, sexism, and racism. The whole novel is eerie, but somehow not eerie enough. Which makes it even more eerie?

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

My favorite aspect of this novel was its treatment of cultural theft and appropriation. Laila is a goddess. This novel is fun the whole way through, and its central found family is absolutely precious. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows out of my head as I read it, and so its premise felt less than original. Which doesn’t mean it’s not a good formula!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Wow, so much fun! This book really does take its reader back into the days of fifties and sixties Hollywood glamour. And its titular character is an absolute knockout goddess who I think I’m in love with. I want her poster on my wall. This novel is well-written and engrossing—you’ll fly through it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I didn’t like it. Read my full review here.

Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a re-read, and boy: going back knowing all the big reveals that happen in this series was amazing, and a little heartbreaking. This is one of the ultimate enemies-to-lovers novels in my opinion, and I think its bold but empathetic handling of trigger-warning topics is underrated.

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