July Wrap Up, Part I – What I Read and Bought, Am Reading, Books I’m Excited For and Other Blog Stuff

It’s the middle-end ish of August, and I’m just starting to write this post.

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July was a crazy, crazy month with barely any chill in between. I mean, kind of but not really, if you get my drift. I was packing for my trip to London and Jersey (!!), packing to move house (tiring), get ready for school (why) and do all my pre-IGCSE homework (ew).
I’m going to break my wrap-up into two posts: the first post is the one you’re going to see today (about my reading and the blog), the second post is about life updates, favourites, movies/TV/podcasts and just basically … not reading stuff? So yeah.

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What I Read In July
In July I read 16 books. (Fun fact: I counted the books I read wrongly and thought it was 15.) It was a lot, surprisingly, and I don’t know how to feel about it. I’m proud that I read so many 500+ page books (it’s a shocker, actually), but I read quite a few novellas at the same time too. It was really quite a bookish catch up month for me, and I generally quite enjoyed what I read, with a one DNF (which was on my 2018 tbr).
Honestly, I’ve stopped caring about trying to read the books on that list because I don’t need unnecessary book anxiety in my life.
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1. Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian ★★.5
I had really mixed feelings on this one. It was a cute summer ice cream contemporary – and honestly, who doesn’t love ice cream summer contemporaries? I loved reading about the process of making ice cream and the special bond between all the girls working at the stand. But this one didn’t come without its problems: I hated the romance and found it highly problematic and misogynistic, I found the main female friendship toxic, the writing dry and the main character far too passive. You can see my full review on Goodreads for further reading.
2. Save the Date by Morgan Matson ★★★★.5
God, I loved this one, and I would’ve been really upset if I didn’t, because Morgan Matson is one of my favourite YA contemporary authors. It’s a book in the form of a wedding rom-com, pitched as Father of the Bride meets Sixteen Candles. The plot was incredibly engaging, the timeline clever, and the writing fantastic.  I was genuinely invested in the characters adored the sibling relationships. The wedding aspects were really fun, but too many things went wrong. Like, if something could go wrong, it went wrong. I also really loved the discussion of change and the inclusion of the comic strips in this one. If you like YA wedding rom-coms, I highly recommend this one.
3. Meet Cute edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★★.25
This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and it didn’t disappoint. It delivered exactly what it said it did, and it gave me all the warm, fluffy, happy feelings. It was full of great, unique, fun stories with great premises – I just really loved it. (I’ll post my full review on my Goodreads.
4. Cast Long Shadows by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan ★★★★
This was really fun! I was so thankful that this novella wasn’t a disappointment, especially considered my disappointment towards Son of the Dawn. This was really interesting and is going to change Matthew’s character in so many ways, and I am H Y P E D for the Last Hours Series.
5. Furyborn by Claire Legrand ★★★★.5
You guys, this was amazing. Unless you haven’t been active in the book community, you will have heard of Furyborn. This was thrilling, addicting and just fabulous. I’m not going to lie, I was more invested in Rielle’s story than Eliana’s, but both of them were really solid. You really really need to read this one, and I’m beyond excited for Kingsbane. Also, not to be annoying with all the self-promo, but I listed 7 reasons you need to read Furyborn in case you want to be further hyped.
6. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood ★★.5
Before you all come screaming in the comments at me, I know, I know, everybody loves this one. And nobody knows how much I wanted to love this. The world was utterly fascinating but I was so bored in this one. Offred was nothing really particularly special and the writing was so bland.
7. Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham ★★★.5 (reread)
I read (listened to) this straight after finishing Gilmore Girls and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which was amazing, by the way. It was so fun to listen to Graham’s commentary on each season and her life, but I felt like after all the hype this was receiving, this was quite lacklustre. Graham is a great person and a fantastic audiobook narrator, but I don’t think there was much for this one to hold my attention. But do watch the show. Lorelai is one of the best characters in TV, like ever.
8. Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber ★★★.5
Maybe I was let down because my expectations were so high since I loved Caraval so so much and my sister really loved it too, but there was something holding me back from liking this one as much. The writing was lush, the characters were great and the book was so atmospheric. I really do think the final reveals were disappointing and I had sucked, but I really am excited for Finale.
9. Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson ★★★★
My favourite Booktuber loves this book so much, and this sounded so great. I really liked our main character Mila – she’s sassy, Mexican-American, comfortable in her own skin and a badass. Anderson’s exploration of her grief was so real, authentic and well done. The girl gang was really great too. I do feel like the reveals weren’t that great and some of them were extremely anti-climatic?
10. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (DNF @ 64%)
You guys, this was so boring. There’s a really mixed reception on this one, but disclaimer: if this helped you, I’m incredibly grateful. But I didn’t like it at all. I really tried to push through this one and I’m so proud of myself for making through so much of it. I really, really wanted to like this one, but this was stressing me out because I was forcing myself to keep going. I felt like the few characters of colour were used as a plot device and were rarely there at all. I borrowed this audiobook on my library, and when my loan expired, I knew I had to DNF. In summary: I just don’t care at all.
11. Every Exquisite Thing by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson ★★★★
I love Anna Lightwood. I don’t have much thoughts of this one since it was so short. I loved the wit between all the children. It was great to see Anna’s backstory and I am hyped for the Last Hours. There were so many callbacks to the Infernal Devices (which I’m so here for) and I loved how supportive and compassionate Anna’s parents were.
12. Learn About Loss by Cassandra Clare and Kelly Link ★★
Ok, the only positive I have is the audiobook narrator? I felt like it didn’t add anything significant to the series and it was boring. I just don’t care.
13. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo ★★★★
This was an incredibly quick but powerful read, and I really like Acevedo’s writing. She just has such a way with words, and uses language in such a succinct, subtle way but still packs a punch. The audiobook, again, was phenomenal, and I highly recommend you listen to it.
14. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman ★★★★
I love Asians and Asian representation so I was bound to love this? There were so many fabulous gems in this collection and it was just so fascinating to read about different Asian folklores that I never knew about? This packed a punch and I adored it. Please, please, please, pick this one up and read it. Side note: it made me so so happy when my library had it. And read this fabulous review by the wonderful Melanie.
15. As You Like It by William Shakespeare ★★
This is kind of cheating, but I technically read the book alongside watching the play (at the Globe too, which was such a great opportunity) because I was so confused? I know you’re meant to like all of Shakespeare’s work, but spoiler alert: I didn’t. The characters were great and all but I was really underwhelmed by this one.
16. All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehforth ★★★.75
The premise is really cool, and I picked this up because my favourite BooksandLala liked this one. I do feel like the plot dragged on for a bit (my copy is like 500+ pages) but I do wish it focused more on the secret society aspect and games I guess? But overall it still was a pretty solid mystery with some humour and I recommend!
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What I Bought

… Surprisingly, a lot (this is a massive haul for me and equals to what I normally buy in a year or something)?
The first part (yes this is way too much) I bought from my local Kinokuniya, part 2 (I love) which is only 2 books (I bought 3 or 4 from Singapore and Malaysian bookstores, in the previous month, you all don’t really care).
Also, I don’t have a picture of my physical copies books because they’re all in boxes right now. I have a shelf dilemma too so ANYWAYS – as I was saying, let’s get into it.
I’ll put pictures below to make up for it.
And yes, all the titles will have links to their Goodreads.
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I went to London on my way to Jersey (in the Channel Islands) and as you know, London is a very dangerous place if you want to hold on to your money. I went to a few bookstores around London, including Waterstones Picadilly, Charing Cross Road and Foyles (I got 15 books at Foyles because I have no self-restraint it’s fine not really especially since I have quite a few books I wanna get at the end of the year smh.)
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Hardbacks (England) : (L-R)

People Like Us: ★★★.5

Paperbacks (England): (L-R) 
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My favourite posts of the month

(For July, duh, even though we’re nearly done with August shhh I know the shame is real)

On the blog:

Featuring these three posts .. I was doing so well at the beginning of the month but life happened … anyway I digress, here they are!!
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LOOKING FORWARD

Anticipated Releases of August
All of these have, um, already come out? I’m super hyped for so many of them because diversity! ftw!
I’m honestly not Sarah J. Maas’s biggest fan but I do enjoy this series and my main reason for reading this one is so I can continue it. Admittedly, my enthusiasm for this series is diminishing but hopefully this one won’t suck.
14th: Fresh Ink (edited by Lamar Giles)Image result for fresh ink lamar giles
This is an anthology published by We Need Diverse Books? And is all YA own voices fiction? Yes? I love this already. Plus, I’ve also read some really great reviews of this one (s/o to Melanie and Destiny!)
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Though this is a bit too American centralized (it’s sort of what it is advertised as) for my tastes,  I’m always here for some great intersectional feminism and I’m just somehow so hyped for this one. If you’re somewhat interested in this one, check out this review by the wonderful May! (Follow her for great content and lots of mangoes).
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Currently Reading

This is, again, very awkward since we are nearly at the end of the month when writing this? Um ya girl needs a lot of help.
I’m currently reading (at the last 20%) of Obsidio, and I’m so glad I’m finally finishing it! This is really fun so far but I do have some problems with it. And as always, I’m listening to the audiobook and it’s so good please listen to it!
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I’m not going to lie, I really like this style of wrap up even though it took forever and I will probably continue to use these and probably break it up?
So how was YOUR reading in July? What did you buy in July? What are some great blog posts that you’ve read recently or some great bloggers you want to recommend to me? What are some of your most upcoming anticipated releases?
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15 thoughts on “July Wrap Up, Part I – What I Read and Bought, Am Reading, Books I’m Excited For and Other Blog Stuff

  1. PART ONE? Babe – you read SOME BOOKS! Hahaha! And… thank you for all the shout outs. You are just… too damn kind. Such a blessing. I can’t wait for Part two! Happy reading, beautiful! 💘xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooooh, wonderful wrap-up! Lots of good books on here, but one thing in particular I want to say is GOOD CALL on DNFing All the Bright Places. There are very few books that I genuinely hate, but that is one of them. I know it has helped some people and that’s great, but that representation of mental illness was HORRIBLE for me and I hated the plot and characters. *grumbles forever*

    (On a happier note, I hope you love Fresh Ink!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, you’ve read a lot of books in July, that’s amazing! I am so happy you enjoyed Save The Date, I read it last month as well and I loved it – Morgan Matson never disappoints me ❤
    Thank you so, so much for sharing my post, I'm so happy you enjoyed it!
    I hope you're having a wonderful August! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 16 BOOKS? YOU’RE ON FIRE!!! I wish I could read even half as many. D: Anyway, it looks like ~most~ of your reads were pretty good, so I’d call that a total win for you! I’m also looking forward to Catwoman (although I should read Batman and Wonder Woman first), and Fresh Ink. 🙂 THANKS SO MUCH FOR FEATURING MY POST! I’m glad you enjoyed it. ♥ Good luck with school and moving!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Aimee!! You’re such a sweet human, and yeah, July was a great reading month, with so many wins. I’m definitely not going to be reading as much for the rest of the year though, haha! And thank YOU for your post, it was infinitely helpful!

      Like

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