July Wrap-Up

But Shon, it’s September!
YUP! I know!
But July was absolute chaos and I couldn’t use a computer and things didn’t start slowing down for me until partway through August so we’re playing a little catch-up here. Especially since July had a few books that really set the mood for August and had some books that are just too good for me not to shout about a bit in a wrap up post! Literally just going to be sharing what I read in July because, to me, that’s what really matters, but also because I’m not sure I really remember much else that I did besides be in and out of doctors’ offices.

For this month, everything is listed in the order I read it.

Pan’s Labyrinth by Cornelia Funke and Guillermo del Toro My aunt pre-ordered this for me for my birthday and I was so excited when it arrived. The physical book is gorgeous and a lot of work went into designing it – something I can definitely take time to appreciate. I also am a fan of the movie so it was fun to read the novelization. My major complaint about the book was that the villain read VERY similar to the villain from The Shape of Water. They were almost interchangeable. Overall though, it was fun to read the story of Pan’s Labyrinth written with Funke’s charm.
Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa So, if you were here for my May wrap up, you know that I loved the first book in this trilogy. Usually second books in YA trilogies seem a little lackluster but that was not the case for Soul of the Sword. I ate it up, was satisfied, but also wanted more! I cannot wait for book three. This just hits so many things I adore all at once and I love it. The characters and the monsters are just so great.
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman This was a fun, queer, creepy read. I initially picked it up because of the cover but was pushed to read it by hearing everyone rave about it. It had serious Stranger Things vibes but I was into it. I’m looking forward to the next installment in the series.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones So this is one of my favorite movies and while I feel like I picked it up to read when I was younger, I didn’t remember if I’d actually read it or not so I picked it up. Overall, a quick, fun read. Definitely varies a bit from the movie but still has the whimsical moments I adore from the movie.
There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon I. Love. Menon. Sweetie was one of my most anticipated reads of the summer and it did not disappoint. Before everything went full chaos in my life, I started writing up a review that I’m really hoping will eventually see the light of day because this book rocked my world and made me feel lots of things. Menon writes the most perfect rom-coms and they’re truly a joy to read. This is up there in my top reads for the month.

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune by Roselle Lim I had a whole fun post planned for this with recipes from the book all prepared and everything. Life kicked my butt. The magic realism in the book was fun and the food was hunger-inducing. I wasn’t into the romance at all, though and I feel that affected how much I ended up enjoying this book overall.
The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston Based on premise alone, I should have been a lot more into this book than I was? I enjoyed Geekerella a LOT more than this. There was just a huge sense of gatekeeping in this combined with a lot of things that were just plain awkward. Like awkward to a point of being uncomfortable to read.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang This was pretty much the beginning of my foray into romance and ooh boy. IT WAS A GOOD START. So good, in fact, that I immediately jumped into the next item on this list.
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang Unpopular opinion: I liked this better than Kiss Quotient. And it wasn’t because I could relate to the characters more because I honestly saw myself a LOT in the protagonist in the first book. I just loved this book. I cannot wait for the third.
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir Bad reader confession time. I know I read this. I recall plot points but for whatever reason, I could not tell you what was from book 1 and what was from book 2. Does anyone else ever have this happen?

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love edited by Elsie Chapman So I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to books (or at least like to think that I am) but when you give me an anthology AND tell me that it’s based on food, it’s bound to be a winner. Add a stellar author list and it’s pretty much a done deal. And yet this somehow exceeded expectations. I’ve never read a multi-author anthology where all the stories are linked together in the same world and I liked it a lot!
Want by Cindy Pon This book is probably one of my favorite reads of the year! Sci-fi set in a futuristic Taiwan that doesn’t feel too far into the distant future. It was almost unsettling how close we are getting to this world. It looked at classism, commercialism, and pollution. I can’t believe I held out so long to start reading this.
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim While this book did feel a little like it was two different stories as it switched direction partway through the book, I did really enjoy it overall. Another unpopular opinion: I liked the romance in this. It was a relationship I found myself going back to a lot.
The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz If you’ve been around the blog or my twitter long enough, you’ll know that I have quite the weakness for all things Descendants. I was initially planning to reread the entire series in preparation for the final movie as well as the fourth novel. Then at the beginning of July, the actor who plays my favorite character passed away. Towards the end of the month, I finally started getting myself together enough to get back on track with my plan. I honestly never thought these books would made me cry but this read-through did.
Return to the Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz Unless the newest book does something to change it, this will remain my favorite installment in the series. At some point in time in this book, each of the four main characters has a challenge they must complete that’s specifically catered to them and it’s just a great moment that really stuck with me long after I read the books for the first time (stuck in O’Hare during a disastrous vacation).

So, that’s it for the July wrap-up! Sorry it’s so late! I’m still juggling doctor and surgeon appointments from everything that started back in July but it feels good to finally get this out in the world! Hopefully an August wrap will be out soon as well. Thanks to everyone for staying with me while I’ve been in and out of blogging these last few months – you rock! ❤️

1 thought on “July Wrap-Up”

  1. I’m super jealous of some of the books you read in July because they’re ones I’ve been dying to read (The Kiss Quotient, The Bridge Test, Natalie Tan’s, Hungry Hearts) but I’m so glad you enjoyed The Devouring Gray! That one took me by surprise and I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would and I needed book two like yesterday!

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