Wrap Up... Again? It's June's

How time flies by this year is beyond me. I feel like I've just posted my May wrap up days ago with little butterflies here and there to highlight my reading mood and now... this? As crazy as it may sound, we're now two days away from July. 2020 has rushed us forward and I suppose it's alright to feel overwhelmed sometimes. I mean, catching up is a must but taking a step back is equally important to keep yourself sane.

The Doomsday Conspiracy follows the story of Commander Robert Bellamy of US Naval Intelligence who is ordered to handle a very secret mission with the help of no one. Robert isn't given much information though, he only knows that there's a crashing weather balloon that carries sensitive military information in Switzerland. To prevent data leakage, Robert needs to find all the witnesses and make them sworn to secrecy. However, weird things happen when Robert is trying to fulfill this mission. One by one, the witnesses admit that they saw a UFO instead of a weather balloon and they die suspiciously not long after. Unfortunately, Robert is late to realize it and he is now the last target of this operation.

Overall, I found this book enjoyable as a whole. With a touch of sci-fi and true facts, The Doomsday Conspiracy was cleverly written and progressed, even though we could spot the bad guys pretty easily as they weren't too many characters here. I admired the premise and its thrilling mystery, though I still think that the ending could've been so much more than that. 

Due to a traumatic thing in her past, the 14-year-old Audrey Turner from Finding Audrey is now struggling with mental illness and social anxiety. As a result, Audrey can't leave the house, wears dark glasses everywhere, and refuses to meet anyone outside her family, though everything changes when her brother's friend, Linus, stumbles into her life. With Linus on her side, Audrey tries to push herself farther to the outside world.

This book has now become a personal favorite of mine. While the larger part of this book impressed me with its heartwarming and entertaining narration, it still managed to explore mental health as another important topic with great progression and a satisfying conclusion. I have a huge love for this book that I'm now thinking about buying the physical copy in the nearest bookshop.

My Not So Perfect Life follows the story of Katie Brenner who tries her hardest to fit in London by going with the name Cat. But no matter how exciting her life may look like on Instagram, Katie's life in London starts out hard. She lives in a very small room with no space for a proper wardrobe and has to deal with more than one hour commute to work. But things start to change when she meets a cute guy named Alex while at the same time starts making friends at work. Everything doesn't last forever though. Just when her life starts to get better, Demeter fires her out of the blue and Katie can do nothing but go back to her family's farm in Somerset and help her parents set up a new vacation business. Fortunately, the new business works out smoothly until one day Demeter and her perfect family show up as a guest and Katie is determined to get revenge.

As a reader, I enjoyed My Not So Perfect Life and the life lesson it contained. It was a pretty fun read in general. Romance might not be the main focus of this book but even so I still considered Katie and Alex a cute pairing. I would definitely pick up another book by Sophie Kinsella in the future.

The Rosie Project follows the story of Don Tillman, a genius who is also an Associate Professor of genetics at the University of Melbourne. It might have not mentioned explicitly, but I assume that Don has Asperger syndrome and he himself doesn't realize it. However, Don notices that he's different. He believes that he's not made to mate, but since his old neighbor Daphne once told him that he would be a great husband, Don chooses to believe her. That's why he comes up with the idea of The Wife Project which includes a questionnaire with dozens of specific questions regarding the candidates' lifestyle. Seeing this, Gene and Claudia, his best friends, decide to rescue him by sending him over a woman named Rosie. Rosie is different as well as beautiful though she's clearly not a potential candidate for a wife—she smokes, drinks alcohol, wears makeup, dyes her hair red, and many other qualities Don doesn't want his soon-to-be-wife possesses. So it strikes him as odd that all of a sudden Don finds himself helping Rosie with her own project in trying to find her biological father.

While this book might not be the one that made me laugh a little too hard, I did still enjoy it hence managed to finish it in less than two days. Like a bookstagrammer friend of mine once said, the vibes of this book reminded me of the movie Pretty Woman. Both shared a similar vibe as well as a too good to be true ending, but I found myself pretty satisfied with it regardless, though I didn't think I would pick up the sequel anytime soon.

The Twelve follows the story of a 12-year-old Usagi who lives in the woods with her younger sister Uma and her best friend Tora. Together, the three of them try to hide their zodiac powers as those who have them will be hunted by the wicked Dragonlord and his guards. When a kid with zodiac powers is accidentally exposed in front of the guards, Uma being Uma tries to rescue him by exposing her own gift in front of them. As the result, she and Tora are now captured, leaving the desperate Usagi alone and mad. In an attempt of locating them, she is found by three mysterious younglings called Saru, Inu, and Nezu who claim themselves as the Heirs. Later on, they bring Usagi to Mount Jade in order to learn how to fight as the Dragonlord's palace is full of guards and strikers. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book quite much. The Twelve turned out to be a fun adventure book with a heartwarming friendship and an awesome world-building. The fact that things got more and more complicated throughout the ending deserved another bonus point. Even when I had sort of guessed the big twist, it still felt as important when it did actually happen. With the last 100 pages being so badass and well packed with action, I was left wanting more of it.

Red Rising follows the story of a color-coded society in the future with Red being the lowest caste and Gold the highest. As the pioneers, Darrow and the rest of the Red society believe that their hard work in the mines of Mars will pay-off once the planet is habitable to the other colors. However, everything changes when Darrow and his beautiful wife, Eo, are proved guilty for trespassing in a garden which is forbidden for them Red to go into. In the midst of confusion and despair, Darrow finds himself losing everything he has worked hard for as well as the truth about Mars. Not only it's already livable, it turns out that humanity has also reached this planet generations ago. With a longing for justice, Darrow tries to join an exclusive institute for Gold and get revenge.

In conclusion, Red Rising was such an amazing first book of a series. Aside from the storyline, this book emphasized the characterization really well: it progressed significantly throughout the book and so they felt very vivid and believable. I couldn't stop admiring how realistic the politic, the rebel, the manipulation, even the unpredictable friendship was.