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This was such a memorable month for reading. I read way more than usual YA novels and listened to more Audible books than usual and several were stinkers. But the jewels…oh the jewels. I read some beautiful books this month. And they will stick with me for a long time.
Here’s what I read in July:
The Girls in the Garden // Lisa Jewell
I kept seeing good reviews of this one so I thought I’d love it. I’ve read other books by Jewell and really enjoyed them. This one? Uhhhh no. The cover promised “gripping and heart pounding”. Not gripping or heart pounding at all. Super boring and anticlimactic. I would have given up if it was a library book but it was one I’d purchased so I felt compelled to finish. Blah. 1.5 stars.
Try Not to Breathe // Holly Seddon
I figured it out way before the ending but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Entertaining and a good summer read. 3 stars.
Grace and the Fever // Zan Romanoff
Ehhhh. I’m WAY too old for this one. Like at least 25 years older than the target age. I just couldn’t identify with it. It read as a piece of One Direction fanfic and that’s just not my jam. 2 stars.
Our Short History // Lauren Grodstein
My God this book broke my heart. I knew it would before I started reading. After all…it’s about a mother of a six year old boy (the age of my twins) who is fighting ovarian cancer.
I just think this book was written SO beautifully. It’s a mix of a mother’s love for her son and a woman’s love for her job and it couldn’t have been more perfectly described. Karen’s rage and panic and irrational fears were so real I felt like I was right there with her.
Somehow Lauren Grodstein wrote this story without making it cheesy or emotionally manipulative. As a mother I related with every single page.
I’ll think about this one for a long, long time. 5 stars.
180 Seconds // Jessica Park
Let’s start with a positive. I loved Allison’s father Simon. LOVED him. I also thought that the original 180 seconds scene of the book had great chemistry.
1. Mental illness is not cured immediately by a cute boy. It’s just not.
2. SO CHEESY. Like literally…some of the lines made me cringe. I’m not exaggerating.
3. Esben (ugh) was the most ridiculously perfect romantic lead ever. Sensitive, tender, virginal, patient, angelic…always saying and doing the EXACT right thing. So vanilla. I need some cracks and faults to love a protagonist. 2 stars
The Kind Worth Killing // Peter Swanson
Twisty and turny and keep you on the edge of your seat-ish. Super interesting and I read it really fast. Overall a great thriller although a pretty major typo annoyed me. 3.75 stars
Love and Gelato // Jenna Evans Welch
Guys. SO CUTE. I can’t even handle it. Of course it helps that I lived in Italy for 3 years and that Florence is my favorite place on earth. I’ve been to almost every single place the blog describes and that made me love it so much more than I would have loved it. It was just adorable.4 stars.
The Hate U Give //Angie Thomas
The title is an acronym for THUG. This book broke my heart. And made me SO MAD. I listened to it on Audible and I fully believe it gave me an even deeper experience than reading it would have. There is so much buzz about this book right now and it deserves every single bit. Race relations, police brutality, gangs, racism…it’s all covered in this book. But the overarching theme? L O V E. If you walk away from this book thinking otherwise, then read it again. Or LISTEN to it. Read it with an open heart and put your defense down. It’s not easy to listen to. I cried in many places. But it’s so so so very important to read. I won’t ever forget a single word. 5 stars.
The Blinds // Adam Sternbergh (One of my BOTM selections for July)
Good Lord this book is addictive. I could not put it down and raced through it in a day. Fans of Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines trilogy will eat this one up. Fast paced, heart pounding, and absolutely fascinating. Best premise for a book I’ve seen in a long time. 4 stars.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine // Gail Honeyman
I want to shout it from the rooftops… I LOVED LOVED LOVED THIS BOOK. Adored it, swooned over it, devoured it. Well, as fast as you can devour an Audible book. Another EXCELLENT narrator and I feel that the audio version enhanced the already amazing words so much. Fans of Ove and The Rosie Effect will love this book. At times absolutely HEARTBREAKING, it was the most endearing and uplifting book I’ve read in a long, long time. Absolute perfection. I want to find Eleanor and hold her hand. 5 stars.
Their are some excellent choices for August, I debated for a looooong time. I ended up with:
- The Blinds (review above)
- Eat Only When You’re Hungry (super slender, I will probably be done in the next few days.)
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies (this one is HUGE and will take me a while to read)
BOTM is restructuring their subscriber options. From now on, each subscription renews monthly. You get:
❃A book of your choice for $14.99 / month
❃Add extra books to your shipment for $9.99 each
❃Skip any month you want
❃Free shipping, always
WHEW! I think that’s it. I told you this was a B I G month for reading!
As always, please chime in below! I count on y’all to help me add to my TBR pile every month.