Thursday, August 3, 2023

Monthly Reads - July 2023

I hope you all are enjoying all the book reviews, since it's just another hobby of mine, it's not going anywhere! I loved doing the Monthly Wrap-up last year to share mini reviews on all the books I've read each month! 

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! 

Where Echoes Die was received as an e-arc - this post contains affiliate links

So, in July I read 8 books (my smallest month so far because I was away from home a lot) - still a mix of genres from Romantasy to YA Mystery. 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, so I'm working on that! I read 4 physical books, 2 audiobooks, and 2 e-books. 

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

Meet Me At The Lake by Carley Fortune ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is an adult romance - I enjoyed the author's first novel, and love the Canadian Summer settings! This was a cute second-chance romance, the main characters spent one day together 10 years ago and had to part ways, but they made a pact to meet a year later, only one didn't show. A chance encounter brings them back together and while working through their own personal family issues, they are also forced to work together. I didn't always love the lack of communication and felt they could have made some better choices, but did like the story overall.

You Must Not Miss by Katrina Leno ~ ☆☆☆☆ ½ - 4.5 stars. This is a young adult magical realism book - I really enjoyed this book, but I will preface this by saying this book might not be for everyone. For me, this was reminiscent of the ultimate '90s High School revenge story - think Jawbreaker or Cruel Intentions (although those were a little more public revenge, this was a little quieter). If you could dream up revenge for everyone who has wrong you, what would you come up with? Our main character Magpie has done just that - she's created her own dream world that's appeared in her backyard as an escape from her world. Her family is falling apart, she's failing school, her best friend no longer speaks to her and she's been outcast at school due to an event at a party. She's retreats to her world and starts to use it as a means to get back at those who hurt her. It was weird and dark and really unique!

Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is another young adult magical realism (my pick for beach reads clearly!) This was about a group of teenagers who are somewhat outcasts in school. While navigating the social hierarchy, family, friendships, and feelings they also discover that they can cast spells through music and records. They use it for fun at first, but they start to use it for revenge and love and get a little power hungry in general. We also bounce back to 20 years later when one friend comes back to Mexico and has to face her past. I enjoyed it - actually wanted to hear more from the present, but it was good!

The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston ~ ☆☆☆☆ ½ - 4.5 stars. This is an adult romance, and I've loved this author's transition from YA to Adult - it's romance, but tame and not super spicy which I enjoy! Our main character finds herself grieving the loss of her Aunt and moving in to her apartment, when the apartment surprises her and brings her back in time 7 years - she meets someone and they have a whirlwind Summer romance, but he's already experienced it, and she is meeting him simultaneously in the past and present. I loved our characters, their story, and their connection! Really enjoyed this one!

Coven by Jennifer Dugan and Kit Seaton☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is a young adult fantasy graphic novel. This is about a teenager who needs to leave the life she knows to reconnect with her coven after they come under threat. She is upset, but seems to find friends quickly and jump in to a plan. I thought it happened pretty quickly, but a lot of the middle was filler and I wanted more from the ending and more conclusion. It was good, and the art was great!

What was the best book you read this month?! My favourite of all of these was Funeral Songs for Dying Girls.

Where Echoes Die by Courtney Gould ~ ☆☆☆ - 3 stars. This is a young adult mystery novel, and I enjoyed the author's first book - she's got this great ability to move us into eerie small towns and create a fabulous atmosphere. We meet two sisters who travel to a small town after losing their Mom - they want to find out what she was researching about the town. Backravel feels like a town frozen in time and there is a lot of weird things that keep happening with the residents (like forgetting everything that just happened). Unfortunately for me, I found the majority of the book a little confusing and it stretched out a little too long before being resolved for me. The story was interesting, just confusing.

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is an adult contemporary novella - I'm trying to read all TJR's backlist (this one is an amazon exclusive e-book). This was written through a series of letters, first to outside partners of an affair, but also to the individuals involved as well. This was good and I liked how quick and easy it read with the letter style. I would have of course wanted a little more, but typically how I feel with short stories!

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros ~ ☆☆☆☆ ½ - 4.5 stars. This is an adult fantasy romance (or romantasy) - I will have a full review of this coming soon once I get a physical copy in! We are introduced to our main character, Violet as she is getting ready to go in to a high stakes, often brutal and violent, war college where she is attempting to be a dragon-rider! When they are selected, they also manifest a power in themselves that can only be called forward through their dragon. It's fast paced, there is a bad boy love interest, a potential love triangle with a best friend and a small group of tight knit peers working together. Through the romantic tension, there is also some political stakes that are at play, with groups of people not getting along and outside threats to their empire that they may be called to protect at any time. It's a little trope-y, but honestly, those of use that grew up with Hunger Games, Divergent, ect. will probably enjoy all the similar tropes in this with a little more romantic tension (and steamy scenes) added in too!

July was a great reading month - a couple of 4.5 stars and other highly rated books! 

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?! Mine was probably Fourth Wing! 

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