Thursday 3 August 2017

A Wrap Up: July 2017

Hi, and thanks for stopping by.

Today's post is my monthly update on what I've read, what I liked & disliked and how many stars I gave each book on Goodreads (you can add me as a friend there by pressing here). I've read a lot of interesting books over the past month, and I'm excited to share some mini reviews of them here! What have you read during the month of July? What was your favourite and least favourite books of the month?

Haley harrigan’s the secrets of southern girls
4 stars

This book followed a protagonist called Jules, who was haunted by the memory of her best friend's (Reba) death in the Southern states of America as a teenager. The book is split between quite a few different perspectives; Jules's present day perspective, Reba's diary, Reba's past perspective and so on and so forth. "Secrets" is definitely the right word to describe the majority of this plot; there seemed to be hundreds of them, all weaved together expertly, all of which came out in the end. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and the setting was extremely vivid, which I find very rare in most books.

Amanda robson’s obsession
1 star

Okay, so I basically never give one-star reviews. Usually the only books I give them to are "classics" that I get set to read for University and they end up being rubbish. However, this book was absolutely bizarre and I really didn't enjoy a moment of it. There were moments that actually had me physically cringing and the fact that it's branded as a "thriller" is ridiculous, because it wasn't thrilling or mysterious AT ALL! Wouldn't recommend to anybody.

Keris stainton’s one Italian summer
4 stars

I really enjoyed this book, partly because I read it whilst I was also on my summer holidays (albeit it in Greece, not Italy!) and it gave me such summery vibes. I really loved the dynamics of the sister relationships, especially as there were three of them. I also thought the exploration of grief was well done and subtle. Also great to see a lesbian relationship, which was really nicely written and so well received by everybody, which was a nice change!

Sarah ockler’s twenty boy summer

I bought this book on my Kindle last summer and only just got around to it now!! It was another really fun, summery read, although again, it did have some good exploration of grief. Anna's narrative felt like a really accurate, believable representation of a teenage girl; I really loved her personal growth throughout, her realistic friendship with Frankie and how her romance with Sam wasn't insta-love, it was much more slow, subtle and real.

Colum mccann’s let the great world spin
4 stars

This book is really not my usual style, but I bought it a while ago because it's the favourite book of one of my Creative Writing tutors. I actually really enjoyed it; it was incredibly dense and vivid, and I felt so emotionally invested in all of the characters (there are several different perspectives throughout). I was also blown away by how perfectly interwoven everybody's lives were - it was so, so cleverly done.

Melinda salisbury’s the sin eater’s daughter
4 stars

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would, to the extent that, having read it initially from the library, I bought the trilogy online afterwards! I haven't been into this dystopian sort of thing for a while now, but this re-inspired me! I enjoyed the world-building, and learning about Twylla's life both before and after she goes to the castle. The twist at the end particularly got to me - I really felt how painful that must have been for Twylla to discover. I'm excited to read books two & three.

Kim harrington’s the killing of kayla sloane
3 stars

This was another library book, which was enjoyable. It followed Jade's character as she moved into a new house in a new town - it quickly became clear that the dreamy new start was not all she'd hoped for though, as her house was haunted. Usually, ghost stories seem a bit silly to me, but I employed some suspension of disbelief in this case and managed to get along with it okay. The revelation of the murderer was decent & unexpected and the final twist was great!!

Sara shepherd’s the amateurs
3 stars

This is a modern-day detective story, essentially, following a group of teens as they try to find out what happened to a missing teenage girl. I did enjoy the sleuth-storyline, and I was really, really surprised and pleased by the revelation of who was responsible at the end, although there were a lot of red herrings along the way!! 

Virginia bergin’s who runs the world?
2 stars

I definitely think I got drawn in by the premise and title of this one, because in reality, I wasn't a huge fan. Mainly because, NOTHING HAPPENED. Seriously. Nothing of any real consequence happened. The entire story seemed to be made up of River complaining about "THE BOY" and how much she hates him, then suddenly, becoming his best mate and going off on an adventure together that ended in murder. It felt bizarre and messy to me.

Josie lloyd & emlyn rees's the boy next door
3.5 stars

I read this book for the first time quite a few years ago (when I was probably too young to appreciate it) and I really enjoyed it this second time around. It follows Fred and Mickey, childhood best friends & first loves, torn apart by a family tragedy, who reunite in their twenties, when Fred is engaged to another woman and Mickey has a son of her own. I really liked the dual perspective narrative, and the flashbacks to their childhood together, and they were both such likeable characters - I was really rooting for them throughout!

Jojo moyes’s after you
3.5 stars

This was definitely a book where I felt like it would have been better to just stop at the first in the duo. Me Before You is one of the best books (and movies) I've come across, so this was bound to suffer a little in comparison. My main issue was that, although this is completely understandable, the loveable, funny Lou from Me Before You was nowhere to be found for most of the story. Also, the daughter twist just wasn't something I could gel with. Nevertheless, I adore Jojo Moyes's writing style. I'd love some recommendations about her other books, if you have any!

dorothy koomson's the ice-cream girls
2.5/3 stars

This book was a bit of a let down, if I'm honest. I've been wanting to read it for a really long time, so when I found it for £1, I was chuffed and snapped it straight up. Unfortunately, it just wasn't all that I was expecting. Both Serena and Poppy were bland and boring characters to me, despite their scandalous back stories - I just didn't really feel for either of them, which is a huge red flag for me when reading. Also, given how interesting and mysterious the blurb makes this story sound, it fell really flat for me. Even the flashbacks to the day this "tragic event" happens weren't all that tense or exciting. Shame.

Cat clarke’s the lost and the found
3.5 stars

This is the second of Cat Clarke's books that I've read, and once again, I really did enjoy it. I feel as though I've read a lot of these YA books about children who were kidnapped coming home as teenagers, but this was definitely one of the better ones. I really liked Faith's character, and how she was honest with herself about Laurel's odd behaviours and attention-seeking tendencies. It felt much more of a realistic and believable attitude, compared to others I've read, which paint a more perfect reunion.

Gillian flynn’s sharp objects
4 stars

This book certainly felt worthy of the title "thriller". Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Gone Girl, I was pleased to feel the same about another of this author's books (I definitely want to check out the rest of the novels she has published, too). Award for two of the creepiest characters ever goes to Adora and Amma - like mother like daughter seriously applies here. Great double twist at the end.

Joanna philbin’s rules of summer
3 stars

This book reminded me SO much of Melissa de la Cruz's The Au Pairs series - it's set in the Hamptons where normal Rory becomes an "errand girl" for a ridiculously wealthy family, learns all of their scandalous secrets and falls for a rich boy. It's basically harmless summer fun, nothing life-changing or affirming, but nice to read nonetheless. Like I said, if you've read and enjoyed The Au Pairs, you'll love this.

Emery lord’s the start of me and you
  5 stars

Having really not enjoyed When We Collided, and then completely ADORING The Names They Gave Us, I figured I needed to read a third Emery Lord book to truly figure out how I feel about her writing. The answer? The Start of Me and You was complete genius. I gave it 5 stars, because I enjoyed every single page of it. It didn't have the personal, emotional connection I felt with The Names They Gave Us, but it was, nonetheless, everything that is good about contemporary romance, including lots of celebration of being a "geek", which I loved. Gets the award for the best book of the month (BY FAR).

So that's it for July. Make sure to let me know about your favourite reads of the month. Plus, if you have any Cat Clarke, Jojo Moyes or Gillian Flynn recommendations, let me know about those, too. Also, I'd love if you could follow my blog whilst you're here (either via Google+, Blogger or Bloglovin') - I really appreciate it! 

Till next week


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