This month has been my biggest reading month since I started tracking my books. I’ve read a lot for me, and really enjoyed it! At the end of July was The Reading Rush Read-a-Thon, in which I read 7 books in one week, and that’s pretty crazy for me! I’ve had some great books this month, and have also started to try and be a bit more critical with my ratings. Previously, I’ve barely ever given anything lower than 3.5 because I feel mean, but honestly, I give out too many 5 stars and it’s starting to feel like there’s a divide between the best 5 stars, and 5 stars that were great but not favourites – this definitely makes me think I need to adjust my rating system and be a little more reserved in giving out higher ratings and a little more willing to lower my ratings. So, without further ado, here are the FIFTEEN books I read this month!
1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – 5 Stars
I started this month by reading my favourite book of the month, and a book that has made it onto my all-time favourites list. This was just so fun and spoofy, but had some really great characters, a wonderful plot and a delicious romance. I cannot wait for the sequel to this coming later this year!
2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – 5 Stars
This month I started my first HP reread since I’ve been an adult. I was scared that the magic would have worn off but, honestly, I completely adored my time reading this. It was so great to go back to the start and remember why I loved Harry Potter in the first place, before all this Cursed Child and Crimes of Grindlewald nonsense ruined it a bit. I’m so glad I reread this and can’t wait to read the rest of the series over the next couple of months!
3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – 5 Stars
The same applies to this one really as Philosopher’s Stone. I really loved rereading and it hasn’t lost any of the magic!
4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – 5 Stars
This one is my favourite Harry Potter book, so I was a bit nervous to revisit it, but I needn’t have worried – I, of course, loved it!
5. These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling – 3.5 Stars
This book was decent, it was a pretty entertaining YA witch story with some quite dark themes. It had great LGBTQ+ rep, with a f/f relationship as well as bi and trans characters. However, it was just quite unexceptional. Nothing made it stand out to me and nothing about it made me love the story.
6. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
I enjoyed this one as well, but it’s another that was a bit unremarkable. I really loved the culture shown, the MC has Puerto Rican heritage and is very in touch with her family and her race. This was really interesting to me, as I really love to educate myself on cultures other than my own by reading own-voices books about the experiences of people different to myself. It also features an MC who is a teen mother, which again was another experience different to my own that was pretty eye opening. Overall, I really loved the characters and experiences shown in this book but just found that actual plot to be a bit one-track and a little flat.
7. Sadie by Courtney Summers – 4.5 Stars
There is no way to read this other than the audiobook! I don’t think I would have enjoyed this half as much in another format, but the audio production was exceptional. The story is juxtaposed between following a runaway teen’s perspective (Sadie), and following a true-crime podcast that tells the story of Sadie’s murdered sister and is trying to work out what happened to Sadie herself after she ran away. But the thing is, for this audiobook, they made that podcast! With a full cast and everything! If you loved true crime then I urge to give this ago, and absolutely get hold of the audiobook. It is pretty dark though and has some difficult content, so please research CWs and make sure you’re in the right headspace for it (though I definitely think the triggering content was handled very well, without explicit details and graphic content).
8. A Dress For the Wicked by Autumn Krause – 3.5 Stars
I’ve got a full review going up here (if it’s not linked, keep an eye out because it will be up in the next couple of days!). The short of it is that I really enjoyed this story and the description, but the world building and romance fell a bit short. Definitely fits the description of a Victorian-inspired Project Runway, but if you’re looking for historical accuracy then stay away from this one – it’s a lot more fun than serious and very loosely inspired by Victorian London.
9. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young – 4.5 Stars
Find my review here to hear my thoughts on this one!
10. Becoming the Dark Prince by Kerri Maniscalco – 5 Stars
This was only a short little novella to tide us over until Capturing the Devil is released in September. It was really enjoyable to read Thomas’s perspective and understand his mentality a little more. For what it was (a <70 page novella) it was great and there was nothing more I would have wanted from it.
11. The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg – 4 Stars
This is another one I won’t go into much detail over because I have a full review coming, but for someone who doesn’t like Sci-Fi, this was pretty damn interesting. It’s a bit of a murder mystery – the story is interspersed with trial transcripts for a murder that’s been committed that we find out more and more about as the story progresses. It’s set in an advanced, futuristic version of Disneyland where the princesses are Fantasists – purpose built robot hybrids with the sole use of entertaining visitors of the park. It’s very much an artificial intelligence vs human nature debate and looks closely at that. It was really interesting and I’ve not read anything like it!
12. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol – 3.5 Stars
This was a creepy, eerie graphic novel that I really enjoyed, I just wanted it to be a bit longer with more twists and turns.
13. Fence by C.S. Pacat – 4 Stars
GIVE ME THE NEXT VOLUME NOW! I really enjoyed this, and cannot wait to continue the series (as soon as my library reservation comes in!) This was definitely the fun, entertaining graphic novel I’ve been looking for and I can’t wait for the romance to develop in the next volumes.
14. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
I weep. My heart hurts. This was so beautiful. This was an intricate exploration of grief, first love, friendship and moving on. We follow Griffin, coping with the death of his beloved ex-boyfriend Theo and coming to terms with both his death and his moving on, as Griffin spends more time with Jackson, Theo’s new boyfriend. Griffin also has OCD and some secrets of his own to come to terms with. This was just so elegant and painful and hard, but also poignant and heart-warming at times. I really loved this and it’s been my favourite Adam Silvera thus far.
15. Tithe by Holly Black – 3 Stars
Hmmm…. I’m not going to say much about this one. Holly Black herself has said there are lots of things she’d do differently if she rewrote this and I don’t think it’s fair to compare her first novel to The Cruel Prince. TCP is only such high calibre from writing books such as this one, and gaining experience. I didn’t hate this one, I just didn’t connect to the characters and found Holly Black’s newer stories to be much better. In fact, I really disliked the main character and that definitely impeded my enjoyment.
There we go! Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what your favourite book this month was!