July is over! I honestly do not know where 2017 is going. One thing that I think has been particularly successful about this month is that I began using the new system that I talked about in an earlier post, in which I said I would try to be more honest with my book ratings. July has definitely reflected that! I read a total of five books in the month, and there was definitely a wider variety of ratings than I’ve given for a long while. I also read a wider variety of genres than I have for a long time, so I think you could count this as a month with a bit of everything! Without further ado…
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas (5/5 stars) – Synopsis
What a surprise, I’m starting a blog post with a Sarah J. Maas book! I did a full review of this book here.
More of Me by Kathryn Evans (4/5 stars) – Synopsis
More of Me was one of the most unique books that I have read in a long time. It follows sixteen year old Teva, who physically splits in two at every birthday, leaving the new version of herself to live her life while the old version is stuck in time. When I saw this book in the library, I was absolutely intrigued. What I liked best about it was the fact that I was constantly wanting to know what happened next – I flew through it in one day! Teva was such an interesting protagonist and I still keep on finding myself thinking about this story. I can’t quite pinpoint why I didn’t award it the full five stars – you know when a book just lacks one thing and you don’t know what it is?
The Golden Rules of Blogging (& When to Break Them) by Robin Houghton (3/5 stars) – Synopsis
This book pretty much does exactly what the title says. Laid out in the format of 28 rules, Houghton takes us through some of the *apparent* most important rules of blogging. While throughout this book she does stress that these rules can be broken, I often found that this book was aimed far more at those aiming to make a maximum profit from their blog, and came across as very hypocritical on occasions. I didn’t always like the assumption that stats and figures are everything (I definitely think we should all celebrate reaching our own goals but not to the point where everything is about the numbers), although I did learn some useful tips about aesthetics and content throughout.
In Darkness by Nick Lake (4/5 stars) – Synopsis
This book is one that I would never usually pick up, but decided to as part of a BookTubeAThon challenge – I do not regret doing so! In Darkness follows a dual narrative of Shorty – a teenage boy in Haiti – and Toussaint L’Ouverture, leader of the Haitian revolution. There were a number of reasons why I absolutely loved this book; firstly because Lake’s writing is absolutely beautiful and I was constantly caught off guard by the way he could reveal a truth with just a few words (one quote that really made me think: ‘there’s no such thing as children in Site Solèy, only smaller starving people’). As soon as I read this I had to put the book down for a minute and reflect upon this statement and the painful truth of it.
Another thing that I particularly liked was that I really rooted for these characters, and became very emotionally attached to them. It’s rare that I will ever cry at a book, but the ending of this very nearly had me in tears. I feel like I have learned so much from this book. The only reason I couldn’t give it five stars was because I felt the dual perspectives often detracted from each other rather than enhancing each story – I got invested in one story and then had to wait a chapter to resume it, which led to some confusion and slowing of the pace.
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (3/5 stars) – Synopsis
Having read I’ll Give You The Sun, I had high hopes for Nelson’s first novel. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. This story follows protagonist Lennie’s journey as she deals with the grief of losing her sister, and the guilt of falling in love and beginning to move forward. While Nelson’s beautiful writing style prevailed throughout this novel, I simply could not get behind the speed at which events occurred, or some of the ways in which Nelson tries to relate to the teen age. Lennie and Joe’s romance felt totally unrealistic, as did the quirky nature of each character, and I do not know a single person my age that would use the phrase ‘WTF-asaurus’… Overall, it was okay, but I could feel myself cringing more often than not.
So, these were the books I read in July. Unfortunately, I can already feel a post-BookTubeAThon reading slump coming on so if you have any tips at all to stop it in its tracks then please let me know! Also, if you’ve read any of the books I mentioned, tell me your thoughts on them in the comments!