July! What a strange month you were. July was the first full month I’ve had away from studying and to say it felt weird is an understatement. I’m sure a lot of you can relate when I say that the guilt and confusion my brain felt when I wasn’t studying or worrying about studying 24/7 was something I struggled with.
Even though I knew I had no deadlines, it still felt as if I had forgotten to do something and that weighed over me for most of the month.
A lot of pretty important stuff happened this month too, making it one of the busiest few weeks of my life. In two weeks, I went on my first holiday with my friends to Disneyland Paris, I crammed for my driving test, passed my driving test (no minors!!), felt the pain of losing out on the world cup – no hard feelings Croatia, you deserved to go through – turned eighteen, watched a Shakespeare at the theatre, went to three different parties, celebrated my cousin’s birthday the day after mine, drove on my own for the first time, fought with my insurance company, and had way too much to drink.
And then I basically slept for the rest of the month.
Somehow, I did manage to fit some reading in, and ended up finishing nine books. And guys, they were amazing books.
Out of the nine books I read, eight were physical books, leaving one ebook. No audiobooks this month!
Eight were my own, and one was
from the library. I was honestly too busy to even drive down to the library!
And the juiciest stats – the ratings! I had an unbelievable month with reading in July, with SEVEN 5 star ratings, and TWO 3 stars. I just really enjoyed everything I read, and was completely blown away by the books I was picking up. Couldn’t have asked for better!
Now onto my thoughts…
❀ A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Of course, of course, I was going to give this book 5 stars. Sabaa Tahir is one of my all time favourite authors and I just adore everything I read from her. I’ve never rated one of her books under 5 stars, and I doubt I ever will because she just never disappoints. This book had all the twists, the tension, and the heartbreak that I wanted from it. It absolutely destroyed me and I’m terrified for the fourth book. If you haven’t picked this series up yet, I can’t recommend it enough.
❀ Scythe by Neal Schusterman
I read Scythe in Disneyland while my friends went on rides I would either throw up on or my bones wouldn’t cope with, and I didn’t care one bit about missing out. I literally sat on the ground in the park and read this amazing book all the way through. Scythe takes place in a utopic world in which no one dies, unless killed by a Scythe. One of these Scythes decides to take on two teenage apprentices, who have to battle it out to win their place, all the while trying to navigate a new political and social system that isn’t as clear cut as it originally seemed. The plot is just so unique and fascinating, and I can’t wait to read the sequel.
❀ Dear Martin by Nic Stone
I haven’t cried as hard at a book in a long while. For such a short book, it packs such a suckerpunch that at times I found it hard to breathe. Dear Martin follows black teenager Justyce as he is wrongfully arrested due to police racism. To help work through his anger and confusion at the system that’s built against him, he begins to write letters to Martin Luther King Jr. We follow both his letters and his day to day life, as he struggles through the hardest times imaginable. I just… this book completely stole me. Justyce as a character stole my heart, and I think that contributes to why this book has such a huge impact. He’s just such a great character and I feel for him so much. Please, please read this book if you haven’t already, and are able to.
❀ The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth
I have some complicated feelings on this book that I’m going to hold off on, until they’re cohesive in a review when I get to it. We follow Cameron Post as she figures out her attraction to girls, and ends up being sent to a conversion camp. I will say that as a queer person myself, this story is both so important but completely heartbreaking. It really was difficult to read, which I think was the point. I will 100% be seeing and supporting the film.
❀ Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C Dao
The rating for this book is more a reflection of my expectations being too high, I feel. I really enjoyed the perspective of the villain and following her origins, but I just think the pay off will really come in the following books when we’ve had so much backstory. I loved the east Asian inspiration and the writing, but just felt there was a little something missing for me that could push it to four stars. I will for sure be continuing, though!
❀ The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
Hooooly shit, once again. The Enchanted follows a book-loving prisoner on Death Row as he narrates one of his fellow inmate’s journey to try and have his execution overturned. Mixed with an element of fabulism, this book was so incredibly difficult to read and left me completely drained of emotion. Rene Denfeld was able to wring me of all tears and have me sobbing in front of my family. Huge trigger warnings for sexual assault, abuse of a minor, ableism, violence – pretty much everything, really. It’s definitely a book to tread carefully with.
❀ Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Macbeth is one of my absolute favourite plays and I decided it was time for a re-read before seeing a performance in York. Honestly, Lady Macbeth is one of my favourite villains of all time and the actress at the York production was just perfect. Very murder-y.
❀ Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Okay, so this book and I have something really honestly special. I related to so much of this book and these characters, and I can safely say that I’ve never felt more seen in a book in my life. It’s the case with this one that I want to go more in depth in a review and try to organise my thoughts more, but I’ll just say that I’ve never cried so much at a book, and never has a book hit so close to home. I’ll forever be holding this one to my heart. TW for rape, sexual assault, biphobia.
❀ The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
I’m finally catching up! I picked up this trilogy in preparation for the film (WHICH LOOKS AMAZING!) and I’m so glad I did. I’ve written a full review of both the first and second book (the latter of which will be up tomorrow), and completely loved them. It’s such a solid story with characters I’d give my life for, and a plot that really has me hooked. I also love Alexandra Bracken’s writing style.
And there it is! Such a brilliant reading month, full of books I know I’ll be keeping close in both my mind and heart for a long time.
Have you read any of the books I read? What was the best book you read this month? Let me know and we can chat!
Until the next one,