July Wrap Up

Hi! Long time, no see. I feel like I say it in every single post and it feels stale – but it’s been a hot minute. I contemplated not even posting a wrap up, but I changed my mind in the end. July was a slumpish month – I said the same thing about June, I know – but I still managed to read some books, so it clearly wasn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be.

Here are the stats.

  • Number of books read: 6
  • Number of pages read: 2024
  • Average star rating: 4.3
  • DNFs: 1
  • TBR at the start of July: 57
  • Books added: 1
  • Books read: 3
  • Current TBR: 48 (I’ve been unhauling like crazy)

When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk

When You Were Everything is a book I started in June but didn’t finish in time to include it in that wrap up. I have mixed feelings about it. I got invested in the story, I cared for what was happening to the characters and thought the plot itself was fresh. But what didn’t sit right with me was the overall message of the book, or at least what I took out of it – especially considering the ending. The heartbreak of losing a friend was overshadowed by a narrative that suggested girls will be bitches, especially the popular ones, and that’s it. The ending lacked resolution, and if I needed closure after reading what happened to those two girls, they definitely needed it more.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

You know when you read a book and there are things in it that irk you, or maybe you don’t agree with the decision the author makes, or… something? There’s just something that makes the book slightly imperfect. And yet you cannot rate it any lower than 5 stars. That’s me with this book. I don’t know if it makes any sense at all, but that’s just how I feel about it. Footnotes and sex scenes existed in this series since book one and I hated both, and the last book is also filled with them (and Mr. Kristoff pokes fun at people complaining about both in the damn book) and yet I can’t say they ruined the overall experience for me. Darkdawn was smart and heartbreaking and a perfect ending to a series that ended up adoring. That’s all I have to say.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall

The Write Reads hosted a tour for this one and so I have a full review (well… maybe not a full one, but a review nonetheless) right here if you wanna know my thoughts.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Ship of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar

I also took part in a tour for this beauty and reviewed it here. Spoiler alert: I loved it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.
With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

This was my second book by Acevedo and I can safely say that I adore her writing. With The Fire On High was such a sweet and warm book. It’s been a while since I read a contemporary novel that gave me a warm and cosy feeling, as I usually pick up the hard hitting, heavy ones. Don’t get me wrong, there are many serious themes in this book, but it’s mostly uplifting, which I enjoyed a lot. And like everyone else already mentioned in their reviews – it made me so hungry.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Lastly, I finished The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg. It wasn’t what I expected it to be, but I still very much enjoyed it. It’s a blend of sci-fi and other genres, so if you’re new to it and are not sure whether sci-fi is your thing, I think it’s an easy one to pick up and read, as it has some mystery/thriller elements. It wasn’t quite a 5 star read for me but I enjoyed the different formats and the discussion on ethics the book starts.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

And that is all for today. How did your July go? Let me know your favourite read of the last month!

Thanks for reading!

Worst Books of 2019

Hi! I’m back! I’ve neglected this space (and a lot of other things, to be honest) at the end of the year – truth is, I just got overwhelmed. But I’m back with post ideas and lots of motivation to write them, so I decided to start with a few posts summing up my 2019 reading year.

Let’s start with the worst reads of the year.

Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

My first read of 2019! Honestly all I knew about it is that it was a dystopian with robots and cyborgs etc. Lifelike ended up being a total disappointment, and a book I’m still not sure about how it got so popular (other than because it is by Jay Kristoff). I went into it expecting greatness, all of the reviews I’ve seen were positive and yet the book flopped for me. The world building was nearly nonexistent, the characters annoying, underdeveloped and caricature like, and there was instalove. I do not like instalove. I barely made it through this book and ended up 2 stars.

Full review here.

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

Here’s another book I had great expectations for, just to be disappointed. I was sold on the premise – loved the idea of female gladiators! Unfortunately the idea was the only thing this book had going for it. Fallon was probably one of the worst main characters I’ve read about. She’s “not like other girls”, she has no personality and we’re told she’s oh so tough and a great warrior, but everything she does proves otherwise. And (once again) there’s instalove. Forbidden instalove, between the main character, who’s a slave and a Roman soldier. What a disaster. I gave it 2 stars, but thinking back I think it deserves 1, because the writing was horrible, too – “Cleopatra’s grin spread into a full, white-toothed smile.” someone please explain to the author what a grin is (she did it on nearly every single page).

Full review here.

Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Victoria Schwab blurbed this one and I let my hopes go way too high. I thought the potential was enormous here, but ultimately the book did not deliver. It’s steampunk, it’s about clock towers controlling the time itself, and timekeepers, fixing the towers when needed. It sounded like an interesting and unique premise. So what didn’t work for me? Oh, let’s see… I felt no connection to any of the characters. They didn’t feel like real people and didn’t develop as the story progressed. The plot was stagnant. Pages upon pages upon pages of absolutely nothing. And… wait for it… there was INSTALOVE. There’s nothing to make me dislike a book quite like instalove. It pissed me off, quite frankly, because I expected romance from the get go (I picked it up because it’s a LGBTQA+ novel and I seek those out), just not shitty instalove where the characters meet and fall in love straight away, with no chemistry. Again, 2 stars, is anyone surprised?

Full review here.

Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl

This has not been on my radar until I saw it on NetGalley, requested it and got approved for it. I was in the mood for a contemporary about an important and rarely talked about subject. The book is about virginity, consent, sex, how religion treats sex, slut shaming and victim blaming. All of those are extremely important and need to be talked about more, especially in YA. The main character is dumped by her boyfriend after they have sex, because he wants to get “closer to god” and so she follows him to Jesus camp to win him back. This is a great movie concept but it would’ve worked as a book if not the ending. The main character, though developing throughout the story, ends up reverting to the same point in the end. There are lessons she needs to learn, and she’s getting there, just to do a complete 180. The great message of the book is lost in a overly vivid and somewhat clinical description of sex, clunky dialogue and the overall resolution of the book. The lost potential made me very angry. My original rating was 3 stars, which I dropped to 2, and now I firmly stand by it.

Full review here.

Dune by Frank Herbert

My only 1 star rating of the year belongs to Dune. I could go on and on about how much I hated it, but it’s been a good couple of months and the anger is mostly gone. This book was horrendous, to put it plainly. I’ll start with clarifying that I LOVE sci-fi, just so no one tells me maybe sci-fi isn’t my genre. For such an acclaimed book, Dune is just a terribly written story with minimal plot, a Mary Sue like main character, supporting characters lacking any depth whatsoever, poor world building and lots of telling, not showing. I have nothing positive to say about it. Hebert butchered a story that could be genuinely good and it was a laborious feat to get through! Quite frankly, I regret reading it.

Full review here.

And that’s my list of worst books I’ve read in 2019. Which books made it onto your worst list? Do you disagree with me on any books I’ve mentioned here? Lets discuss it.

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! I’ll be back soon with another post.