July 2021 Wrap Up

Hi! I’ve been MIA for a while. Life got a bit busy, with work, house and… a new kitten! His name is Zucchini and he’s the sweetest boy in the universe, and he also takes up a lot of my time and attention.

Despite being so busy, I still managed to read a good bit in the month of July. Here’s the stats:

  • Number of books read: 15
  • Number of pages read: 3250
  • Average star rating: 3.75
  • DNF: 0
  • Physical TBR at the start of the month: 48
  • Books read: 5
  • Current TBR: 51

Dustborn by Erin Bowman

I finally finished Dustborn this month. I started reading it in May… don’t be misleaded by it, I did enjoy it. But I picked it up at the wrong time, when my reading slump was at its worst and ended up not appreciating the story enough. I also think I hyped it up in my head too much and compared it to Vengeance Road, which is one of my favourite books. All in all, it was a very solid Western with a twist.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

I honestly don’t know why I continued with this series. I didn’t like the first book and surprise, surprise, I didn’t like this one either. The characters really just don’t do anything for me and I find Nova the worst of them all. I don’t care for the clumsy romance, for cookie cutter villains and heroes… yeah, I should’ve skipped it.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

ADHD 2.0 by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., John J. Ratey, M.D.

I’ve read this book because my partner was recently diagnosed with ADHD and I wanted to learn more about it. I tend to not rate informative nonfiction, because I never know how to, but for what it’s worth, I think the book does its job!

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton

I am discovering I really enjoy short story collections where the stories connect with each other through minor characters or events. This one does just that, is set in New York during a blackout and is such a quick and cute read! I liked most of the stories, though, once again Ashley Woodfolk’s writing didn’t mesh with me.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Original by Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal

This was unexpectedly good. I mean, of course I expect good stuff from Sanderson – there’s a reason why I pick up EVERYTHING by him. But I wasn’t sure where a cowritten scifi novella fit in that. It ended up being better than I expected. Fast paced, interesting, smart and sort of Blake Crouchesque – my favourite kind of scifi.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi

I thought this book would easily be a 4 or a 5 star, considering how I rated other books by Tahereh Mafi. I do love her writing, but this one just didn’t work for me. I don’t quite think the intention of it matched the tone and writing. For such a sad story, it felt jumbled up, unnecessarily dramatic just for the sake of it and uneventful… I thought it would make me emotional, but in the end it didn’t and I found it forgetful.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

Finally a YA mystery/thriller that I wasn’t totally disappointed in! I will be posting a full review at some point soon, so I won’t be going into detail, buy if you liked Sadie it might be something worth picking up!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones By Seanan McGuire

I binged the rest of this series in July and!!! Why did I wait so long? This one is probably my favourite (or one of two favourites). I loved both Jack and Jill and found the story the right amount of whimsical and… disturbing.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

While I enjoyed this one, too, I found it a bit scattered, and the weakest out of the ones I read. I did enjoy the world building, but Rini and her sense of humour… not so much.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In an Absent Dream is my second favourite. I wish McGuire would write a full length novel about the Goblin Market. I really loved the premise of this one and all of the quirk that came with it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

I really enjoyed seeing Jack and Jill once again and continuing with their story, although not quite as much as their first one.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire

Yet another quirky, whimsical story but much less dark, which is a shame. I did love the representation McGuire included with Regan being intersex.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas did it again! I loved THUG and I was dying to read about Maverick’s teens and it ended up being everything I could’ve wanted. From the writing, through the characters and their development, the plot – it was all perfection. I think I’ll post a full review of this one, soon!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin

I’m not sure what I was expecting from this but whatever it was, it wasn’t what I got. I think I wanted something like Northline. And in some ways it was similar, but while Nortline was depressing, yet realistic and somehow uplifting at times, The Night Always Comes was just plain depressing. I couldn’t deal with the main character and her making the same mistake over and over, nor could I read more of her whiny mother… I probably should’ve DNFed it.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Oh, the disappointment of this one hurt… the marketing of this book really sold it to me – I wanted and expected body horror, spooky atmosphere and mysterious main characters. None of it really delivered. I haven’t found the book to be particularly atmospheric or spooky. I couldn’t care less about the characters. The pacing was off and it made the book drag. For such a short story (just under 300 pages), it was a real slug. Full review to come.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

As you can see, I had a pretty good reading month, although I have read MANY short books. How was your July? What was your favourite of the month?

Thank you for reading! P.S. My blog finally surpassed 5000 views! Hooray!

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!