A Very Belated July Wrap-Up

Hello, readers! I thought that today I would finally share the books I read in July. I realized that in the time I’ve been blogging, I haven’t been talking about how my reading is going. I haven’t posted any reviews or any wrap-ups. I posted a couple of TBRs, but that was it. I’m also trying to get better at being consistent with my blog.

In July, I read 10 books, which is a pretty solid reading month for me. I tend to read between 6-10 books, but I can’t seem to get over that 10 book hump. Part of my success was probably that I did partake in the Reading Rush, and I read half the books in that week.

Quality-wise, it was maybe my best reading month. I rated six books four stars, one three stars, and three five stars. I will say that all my five stars were rereads, which I don’t consider actual five stars because I know that I’m already going to love the book. I have been surprised by a reread and rate it less, but I go in anticipating and planning that I’ll keep my rating the same. This year, I have been straying from my contemporary roots, but I went back to them this month. I did read some that weren’t contemporary YA, but most of them are.

Now, let’s get into the books.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

This book is about January Andrews who is a romance novelist and she is spending the summer at her deceased father’s beach house because she is broke. She’s having a really tough time because she just broke up with her serious, long-term boyfriend, her dad died and she found out about his affair, and she has writer’s block. While there, she finds her muse as the form of Augustus Everett, a literary novelist and her college rival, and the two make a bet to write in the other’s genre.

I started this book in June, but I finished it this month. It took me a while to get into because I find that Emily Henry has a really emotional way of writing for me. I do really enjoy her books because I love the way she writes characters. but I just always find them oddly emotionally taxing. It doesn’t help that I am pretty iffy about romance. I find it to be cheesy most of the time, but I really liked this. It wasn’t too much, and the characters felt very human. I loved Gus so much.

Rating: 4 stars

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

This book is about Frances Janvier as she is going through her last year of high school, and it’s about her dealing with that. She draws fan art for this podcast she’s obsessed with called Universe City and one day the creator, who has never revealed themself, messages her and asks her to work with them on it. It’s pretty much about academics and the pressure puts on going to college.

I buddy read this book with my roommate because we read at least a book together every month. We have similar tastes so we end up overlapping our books quite frequently. I really enjoyed this book, but I wouldn’t call it a favorite of mine. I think that it would’ve been one if I read it when I was either a senior in high school or even a freshman in college because it would’ve specifically fit where I was at in life, but I didn’t. I think it could grow on me, and I can imagine myself rereading it and probably liking it more then. I loved the characters and felt like they were super well-developed and real. The downfall for me was Alice’s writing. There were moments that I felt a little distant from it, but I have since read her more recent books, and it’s definitely improved since then.

Rating: 4 stars

With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

This book is about Emoni Santiago as she goes through her senior year of high school. She is a teen mom and loves to cook so when her school offers a culinary arts course, she has to take it. It’s pretty much about her balancing her life and making her own decisions.

This is a reread for me, and nothing changed at all. In fact, this solidified that it is one of my favorite books. It was the first Elizabeth Acevedo book I ever read, and it was the reason I wanted to pick up her books even though I do feel like it has something different about it compared to her other books. This book is definitely a comfort read for me. It makes me feel so warm and happy, but there is definitely meaty content to it.

Rating: 5 stars

When the Sky Fell On Splendor by Emily Henry

I really don’t know how to describe this book, but I’ll try. This book is about Franny and her friend group after they have an encounter with an alien thing. Years before, there was an explosion at the mill that employs a good portion of the town so the friends formed out of the shared loss and trauma. It’s about friendship and trauma and family.

This was the last of Emily Henry’s solo books that I had to read still, and it’s also the one of hers with the worst reviews. I liked it a lot, but I also understand the complaints. That being said, I don’t think the complaints understand Emily Henry’s YA writing because it was pretty typical of her writing. I loved the friend group, and the way she included the sci-fi elements. It inspired me to want to read more like it even though I didn’t. I really love how her books take place in the Midwest because I really connect to those type of YA books since I am from a Midwest town. I will say that I was as invested in it, and I always felt a little bit distant from the story.

Rating: 4 stars

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

This is the third book in the Percy Jackson series so I can’t really say much about the plot. If you don’t know, this series is about a boy named Percy Jackson who is a demigod and fights monsters and goes to camp with a bunch of kids with parent issues.

Percy Jackson is one of my favorite series, but I am not quite sure if I have ever reread it before. Goodreads claims I have, but I don’t really know about that. I decided that I would reread it this summer because they feel like the quintessential summer book. This book has always been the one I identify as my favorite, and that has not changed in this reread. This is when many of the most iconic characters in the world come in, and it finally starts to be a universe in itself. Also, the dam scene is a cultural reset.

Rating: 5 stars

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Same synopsis. Can’t say anything because this is the fourth book.

This is when I started the Reading Rush. I don’t know why, but I didn’t really remember much about this book compared to the rest of the series. This is a solid book. Everything intensifies for the finale. I understand why it’s many people’s favorite in the series, but mine will always be The Titan’s Curse.

Rating: 5 stars

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

This book is about Freddy Riley, who keeps on getting broken up by her girlfriend Laura Dean. It’s sapphic and about unhealthy relationships

I had a really great reading experience that also probably jeopardized my comprehension of this book. I read it entirely at my local park with my friend when she came to visit me, and I had so much fun with her. I think that books like these are super important to read, especially for members of the queer community.

Rating: 4 stars

Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savannah Ganucheau

This book is about Ari, who is trying to find his replacement at his parents’ bakery so he can move into a city and pursue his music career. He ends up falling in love with his replacement Hector.

This was sweet, but not super different. I honestly don’t even remember the main character’s names. I had to look them up.

Rating: 3 stars

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

This book follows this band called The Ark, and it discusses fandom culture. There are two different perspectives, the lead singer of the band Jimmy and a member of the fandom Angel. Their lives intertwine during a weekend.

I really liked this! Unpopular opinion, but I think I liked it better than Radio Silence. I also think it really helped that I read this around the time that Taylor Swift released folklore so I was looking at the way Swifties were responding and comparing them to the fandom in this book. I loved the characters! They weren’t perfect characters, and I really loved that about them.

Rating: 4 stars

Emma by Jane Austen

This novel doesn’t really have a plot. It follows Emma Woodhouse and her wealthy comrades as they just live their lives. It’s full of matchmaking, gossip, and misunderstandings.

I know that this is most people’s least favorite Jane Austen book, but it’s my favorite that I’ve read. I was pretty sure that I would like it because it is the closest to a coming of age story that Jane Austen has, and I like unlikable characters. I really relate to Emma more than the normal person probably should. She does make a lot of bad choices and is pretty naive, but that’s what makes her so human. I listened to this on audio, and there were some days that I felt more connected to it than others. I was bored at moments, mainly due to the dryness of Austen’s writing, but I think this book could eventually become a favorite of mine.

Rating: 4 stars

Those are all the books I read this month! Overall, I’m pretty happy with the books I read both quantity-wise and quality-wise. Not to spoil anything for my next wrap-up but it’s going so much better than this month.

Let’s chat down in the comments! What was your favorite book you read last month?

Published by alyssathebookvagabond

A 22-year-old college student with a restless heart and equally restless brain

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