Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Monthly Reading Wrap-up ~ July 2022

This year I thought I would share a little more of all my books and I thought the best way to do that would be if I wrapped up my reads of each month, so I can share mini reviews on all the books I've gone through! 

It could be a big range from 2 to 10 books depending on how much I read, but I figure I can share a little synopsis and quick thoughts on each book. I will still be doing more in depth reviews on books that really capture me! 

Monthly Reading Wrap-up ~ July 2022
I purchased all these books (or borrowed) - this post contains affiliate links

So, in July I read 9 books - a mix of genres from classics to young adult fantasy. I love most genres, and I really want to keep my reads diversified this year - I think I have been doing a great job of that so far! Also, I've been trying to read a mix of old and new books, which I've done a good job at so far this year. Last month was mostly new books, so I balanced it out this year with a few older books as well. I read 5 audio books and 4 physical books this month! 

Here's a quick look at all the books I read in the past month:  

Monthly Reading Wrap-up ~ July 2022

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is a young adult contemporary fiction novel written in verse - all Elizabeth Acevedo's books are and they are great! Our main character is a young mom in high school trying to sort her way through relationships, friendship, family dynamics, her future and her love for cooking. I loved the dynamics and the commentary about being a young mom (I can relate) - certainly teared me up in a few spots, and I enjoyed all the cooking talk and her love for food. I found it to a little repetitive, but it was really good overall.

Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is an adult romance and it is the second book in the Brown Sisters companion series. I preferred the first book a little bit better; the characters are their dynamic was cute and I enjoyed them and the story overall. But, this was a little over the top for me - it was slightly too exaggerated and overly descriptive. Also, a big chuck of this book was super graphic sex scenes (I'm no prude, but this was a lot more than I anticipated) although I do know what to expect with this author now. It was a cute love story overall.

Monthly Reading Wrap-up ~ July 2022

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez ~ ☆ - 1 star DNF. This is considered a classic and as I was going through my backlog TBR pile I have been wanting to read this for so long; sadly, I was super disappointed. The writing was super meandering and really hard to follow. Then, I was struggling with the content, but when it compared love to the graphic symptoms of Cholera, it was time to stop - I DNF'd this at 18%. Not for me. 

Ain't Burned All The Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is a young adult poetry graphic novel - it is actually only 3 (long) sentences but is still over 300 pages. The author and illustrator/designer worked together to make the small amount of words leave a lasting impact - it is about a family struggling through the pandemic along with everything else going on in the world. While sad, it's ultimately about using what's around you to keep going on. Quick but impactful. 

I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan☆ ½ - 1.5 stars. This is a young adult horror novel - it is another older book in my collection that I was super disappointed in. I finished it and that is saying something. This book was quite flat and basic - it didn't feel scary, thrilling or anything (maybe the narrator on the audiobook didn't help but overall it didn't have much). Plus, the language about women over and over "dumpy, sallow, nothing like her sister", "irritating females" all written by a female author was too much. I know this was written in 1973, but still not acceptable. Plus, this was updated some time in the 2000s so they added some cellphone bits, but it actually made it worse and the plot holes bigger. Just not good - I never say this, but the movie was way better.

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman☆☆☆ - 3 stars. This an adult non-fiction memoir written for the author's kid - I'm trying to go back through all Fredrik Backman's book. This was cute - there was a few silly stories and a lot of little tidbits based on his life. I liked the mixed media style for writing this. There was nothing profound in here, but still a good read.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is a young adult fantasy novel - I read from this author before and was interested in checking out more from the author. This is a Chinese-inspired fantasy full of twists, complex characters, and intricate politics. I enjoyed the storyline and where things were going in this story with the whodunnit mixed with fantasy. But, it got a little convoluted with characters that I kept getting confused and sometimes lost track; but, overall it was a good read.

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is an adult romance with a little bit of a twist - it is a little ghosty. This was a cute, easy romance read. I really liked the characters and the storyline. I loved that this was a little quirky and different (the parents own a funeral home so it certainly revolves a little around death, but tries to stay upbeat). I liked the little puns even if they were a little corny, they fit in the story. A little insta love and over top in some parts but really cute and fun read overall.

A Gentle Habit by Cherie Dimaline☆☆☆ - 3 stars. This is an adult contemporary fiction short story collection. Again, trying to catch up on an older book in my collection and I'm all caught up on Cherie Dimaline books. This was her first book and while it's not my favourite by her, but it was still good. All the stories were all very different (I enjoyed the bead one the best), but some were a little too weird for me. Also, I struggle with the short stories sometimes as I need a full story!)

I would I would call June an okay reading month (probably the only one with two really low rated books); but, some cute ones that made up for it a little. 

Here's a little refresh of my rating system:

5 Stars: Excellent/Fantastic/Amazing Read 
4.5 Stars: Really Great Read
4 Stars: Great Read 
3.5 Stars: Really Good Book
3 Stars: Good Book 
2.5 Stars: Eh, It was Okay Read
2 Stars: Finished it, but Didn't Enjoy It
1.5 Stars: Not Good at All
1 Star: DNF (Did Not Finish)

What was the best book you read this month?! My favourite of all of these was The Dead Romantics! 

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