Summer has come and gone but now we are finally breezing in to the best months of the year! July was an alright month for me. It sort of just happened with no excitement surrounding it - which was welcome after the hellish June I had - and I'm looking forward to a new month and fresh start.
I haven’t done a wrap-up or kept track of how many books I’ve read each month for a long time so when checking my goodreads for this post I was insanely surprised to find out I’d read 10 books in July! I kept clicking on a title thinking ‘ok so this one will be June – nope, July… Ok, the next one – and nope again’. I think this is because I’ve stopped trying to pressure myself to read a million books a month and instead read because I want to and it has certainly paid off! So, without further ado, here are my ten reads from July:
The first book I read in July was One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.
I was highly anticipating this book and couldn't wait to get my hands on it but unfortunately this was a little disappointing. I'll be honest - I can't remember exactly what happened - all I really recall is being completely underwhelmed and there was no shock factor at all (I remember getting a little way into the book and thinking 'Please don't tell me it's going to turn out to be this' which it was). The epilogue also dragged on quite a bit for me and I felt it didn't need to be there and I ended up giving it 3.75 stars
By this point in the month, I was expecting some exciting book mail and I was stressing out because I wanted to read the book arriving as soon as it was in my hands - I also didn't want to have to leave another book unfinished but I didn't want to not read. I settled on a fairly short book that I figured would be quick -
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith. I gave this book 3 stars. It was alright but not at all what I expected. I was under the impression that the book followed the two characters on the flight to London and then when they parted it would be something like 'I'll never see him again.' and then jumping to a few weeks or something later when he tracks her down, but instead only about 40% of the book was set in the plane, the rest of it followed the main character at her dads wedding and then running across London to find this boy and it just wasn't what I wanted and I didn't believe for a second that anybody would do what the MC did.
I finally picked up One by Sarah Crossan which was an easy 5 stars for me. I just adored this book. I loved the way it was written in verse as it made the book super quick and it also meant it omitted all the unnecessary filler scenes that YA is filled with. We could jump weeks ahead with no problem because the verse allowed for that sort of pace. I wish we had gotten both Grace and Tippi's narrative, however, as I felt by only having one (no pun intended) that it made it obvious what would happen at the end even with all the set up and attempts to make the reader think otherwise. Regardless, I adored this story and I NEED more YA in verse ASAP.
Since I was on such a poetry high from One and I needed short, quick books to read whilst waiting on my book post, I figured it was finally time to just sit and read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur from cover to cover. This was a great little collection of poems, a fair few of which I related to. I didn't rate this as I feel poetry is like art (it is an art but I mean like paintings and sculptures - gallery worthy stuff) and it's very much "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". I don't think poetry should be rated. It's so subjected and entirely individual. They say no two people read the same book, which is true, but with poetry it's entirely different to each individual each time they read them and I guess what I'm saying is I adored this collection of poems.
Next, I picked up The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin. I've had this book on my shelf for a while and it wasn't at all what I expected but I loved it! I gave this mock-biography 4 stars. It's a truly unique book that is fictional but written as a biography, featuring "interviews" with friends and relatives and images of Addison Stone, an artist. This book was just so intriguing and I still can't wrap my head around the fact that this girl doesn't exist. Adele Griffin made her so 3D and real. Such an interesting read!
I decided to continue my reread of Harry Potter to tide me over until the book mail came so Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling was my sixth read of the month. This was obviously a five star read. No matter what, Harry Potter is always five stars (even if it is your least favourite book of the series!) I'm sure I don't need to discuss this book with you all. If you don't know what it is by now - 20 years later - then I'm sorry but I really can't help you.
FINALLY THE BOOK POST CAME!! I'm sure you can all guess which book I was most excited to read in July: Dare to Fall by Estelle Maskame! I won't rant on about this book since my last two posts were dedicated to it but ughhh I love love love love loved this book! I'm so excited to be chairing the event at Waterstones in Edinburgh on August 18th! I hope to see some of you there!
We Awaken by Calista Lynne was another interesting read. I bought this from Book Depository as it has such a gorgeous cover. I didn't realise when parting with over a tenner it was barely 150 pages long. This book has some great representation of asexuality and, although took me a minute to get into it, was an enjoyable read. It was a little farfetched but once I got passed that I enjoyed it enough to give it 3 stars.
To end the month I picked up my bind-up of Jenny Han's summer trilogy... Oh dear lord. The Summer I Turned Pretty was alright. I knew going into it the main character was pretty young and thus immature which was fine. I really didn't get the romance. There was no chemistry between Belly and the Fisher boys at all and no matter how much it was said that Belly had always loved Conrad - I just didn't see it. And he relationship with Jeremiah was more sibling-like than Belly and her actual brother so I definitely didn't see her romance with him at all. I try to read books for what they are and I gave this a 3 star rating as I can see why people would enjoy it - the summer house was amazing and I wish I'd had a summer tradition like the. It was like summer camp but with family.
Then I went ahead and continued the trilogy with It’s Not Summer Without You and oh boy the second book syndrome was strong. This was so filler. I gave it 2 stars. There was really no need for this book. All throughout book one there was talk of why there wouldn't be another summer at Cousins etc so why we needed a book where it was obvious there wouldn't be a summer at the house in Cousins is beyond me. The most infuriating part of this is when Conrad "goes missing", Jeremiah asks Belly to help find him and they decide going to his college is the best idea and then it's only when someone there says Conrad mentioned the beach they think he'll be at the summer house. Like lads? You spent every single summer there. This is the first one you're not. SPOILER ALERT. The boys' mum died and Conrad is grieving so where else would he go but the one place he's closest to her? Where she was happiest?
There's also zero communication between characters which is annoying as hell - so much conflict would be avoided if they just talked. The brothers also know Belly likes them both and neither of them care. There is one point where one of the boys asks the other if he likes her back and if so he'd leave her alone which doesn't happen and ugh the whole thing is a mess. I tried to read the third book but again - SPOILERS - Belly ends up with Jeremiah, finds out he cheated on her but to make up they get engaged and like... naw. Like this series is a mess. How the hell is this so popular? It reads like fan fiction which would be fine if i was reading a story that said "[you]" rather than Belly's name and was about Justin Bieber. In that case I'd be loving this book. But it's not. I haven't read Han's other series -To All the Boys I've Loved Before but I'm holding out hope that it's a much better formed series with better characters and that everyone read that first and wanted to love all of Han's books so have talked out their arse when saying that the Summer trilogy is 5 stars, because it's really not. I couldn't put myself through the last book. Of the 50 or so pages I read that book would be a 1 star book. The whole trilogy gets 2.5 in total from me - and that's because the first book was good. If it was left as a standalone it'd be a good 3.5 or even 4 stars. Save yourself the pain and read book one then ignore the other two exist!!
Anyway, this wasn't supposed to be a rant but it sort of turned into one at the end there - I do apologise! Let me know which books you read in July and I'll see you guys tomorrow (yup! Extra post this week!) with my July OwlCrate unboxing!