July was a pretty mediocre reading month for me.
I spent the first week of the month on vacation with my family, which was super relaxing. But then came the post-vacation reading slump, which STILL hasn’t gone away. I know experiencing reading slumps from time to time is inevitable, but it still sucks. Because of my slumpy mood, I didn’t read or blog as much as I would’ve liked to in July, but I still managed to read a few great books!
Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer (ARC): Defy the Night was easily the best book I read last month! It had a gripping plot, fascinating characters, amazing romance… What more could I possibly ask for? This book was so addictive, and I’m so sad to be finished with it because the wait for the sequel is going to be HORRIBLE. Brigid Kemmerer… Please write fast! Rating: ★★★★★
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong: It took me awhile to get fully sucked into this book, but one I was, I couldn’t put it down. I absolutely loved the dynamic between the two rival gangs in the story, as well as the complicated relationship between Roma and Juliette, our two main characters. I also loved all of the nods to Romeo and Juliet (the inspiration behind this book), which just so happens to be my favorite classic! Rating: ★★★★☆
The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessan: This was a pretty generic YA Contemporary novel, but I liked it nonetheless! It was the perfect summer read, and I loved its themes of found family and self discovery. The characters and romance were charming, and so were the friendships and familial relationships. Overall, this book was nothing special, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Rating: ★★★★☆
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (Re-read): I re-read A Curse So Dark and Lonely so I could pick up its sequels with a refreshed memory. I was a little scared to do so, because I thought that maybe I wouldn’t enjoy the book as much as I had the first time I read it. But thankfully, I did! This story is such a spectacular twist on Beauty and the Beast, especially with its complicated characters and amazing romance. Re-reading it made me so excited to start the sequels! Rating: ★★★★½
A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer: A Heart So Fierce and Broken wasn’t quite as good as A Curse So Dark and Lonely, but I still really liked it! I loved how politically driven the plot was (something about politics in fantasy novels just fascinates me!), and I also enjoyed getting to know several of the new characters that were introduced in this novel (such as Lia Mara, Tycho, and Nola Verin). However, my biggest complaint about this book is that some of the characters from the first novel were completely villainized. Some of the things a certain person in particular did were so cruel and out of character! It was a big bummer, especially considering how much I was enjoying all of the other aspects of the book. Rating: ★★★★☆
Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Ugh, my girl Jennifer L. Armentrout has really been letting me down lately! First with The Crown of Gilded Bones, and now with this book! To be fair, it really wasn’t that bad, but with the promise of an epic YA paranormal novel inspired by Greek Mythology, I was expecting a whole lot more than what I got. A majority of the book felt really boring and cliche to me, and things only got interesting near the end. I’m going to give the sequel a chance, because I’m still intrigued enough to continue on with the series, but I’ll be really disappointed if it’s as dull as book one! Rating: ★★★☆☆
These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan: It’s difficult for me to rate this book, because my feelings about it completely depend on which portion of the story you’re referring to. The thing is, I found the first half to be extremely boring, with very little character development and world building. Then, once I hit the halfway point, things picked up a bit, and the characters and relationships were fleshed out more. Then came the last hundred pages, which were absolutely amazing! My eyes were glued to the pages, and that final plot twist blew my mind. So, long story short, I’d say that this book went from mediocre, to decent, to fantastic, all over the course of 450 pages. Rating: ★★★½☆
I’m trying to be extra cautious with the books I read in August, because the last thing I want to do is pick up a really boring one and worsen my reading slump! A few titles I have a lot of faith in are Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim, Small Favors by Erin A. Craig, and Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. These three books are all written by authors whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past, so I have a feeling they’ll help pull me out of my dreadful slump!
I hope July was a great reading month for you all! Please let me know what books you read last month and/or which ones you’re planning on picking up in August!
Until next time,