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July Wrap Up – Books I’ve Read This Month

And just like that another month has flown by. The sun has been shining here in the UK, but today as I’m writing this I’m accompanied by the gentle patter of rain upon my window. The sound of rain makes me feel so cozy, as does reading a good book, so I thought now was an apt time to write about what I’ve read this month.

As I mentioned in last month’s wrap up, I’m aiming to reach for books across all genres and I had a great reading month once again! Read on to find it what I’ve delved into this month.

The Star-touched Queen – Roshani Chokshi

‘His voice echoed with all the desperation of someone who has not slaked his thirst in eons and had just spied a goblet of water sweating beads of condensation, thick as planets. His voice lulled me, coated me.’

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I’m sorry…what?

That is just one of the endless over-descriptive passages in this book. I picked this one up at the library and and it took me about a week to read. At some points, I was tempted to not finish it at all. It picked up slightly in the middle but this didn’t last long and I was once again left confused and bewildered by the meandering plot.

Furthermore, the lyrical prose made the plot hard to follow. Unless I pulled out my magnifying glass and analysed every sentence, these over-descriptive passages went straight over my head. All in all, a lot of the airy-fairy writing didn’t add anything to the story. Rather than describing the world and building an atmosphere, it left me confused to the point where I skimmed through a lot of it.

There were so many doors, mysteries, voices, and mirrors and I didn’t know where the plot was taking me. To completely honest, I stopped caring about what was happening and just wanted to get to the end. I either found myself lost or just plain bored.

1.5 stars

Goodreads

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”

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I know I’m late to the party with this one, but this book restored my faith in reading after my first read of July, and made its way to my all-time favourites.

From cover to cover this story was adorable and made me feel all gooey inside. I read the entire thing with a smile on my face; the story, the characters, everything was just so much fun to read. I devoured this book. the mystery of Blue is what instantly had me hooked and kept me racing through the pages.

What’s more, the story is so relevant and real. Simon’s conversational narration shines light on the thoughts of LGBT+ teenagers and young adults reflecting how being gay, even today, can be hard. The story reflects how people can be downright awful, and how we live in a society where people react differently when the default is challenged. However, there shouldn’t be a default. Who’s to say what’s right and wrong? And that’s exactly where Becky Albertalli hits the nail on the head.

It’s honest, it’s relevant, it’s adorable. It’s such a wonderful and diverse book which I think everyone needs to read at some point.

5 stars!

I have a full review here

Goodreads

The Silent Companions – Laura Purcell

‘’You have written of these ‘’companions’’ as you call them. You say you were afraid of them. But do you know what really scares us? It is not things that go bump – or even hiss- in the night. Our fears are much closer than that. We are afraid of the things inside us.’

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You can find my full review of this book on my blog, but I loved it!

This was another library choice, and after devouring this creepy tale, I’m definitely going to be scouring my library’s bookshelves for more horror stories.

This Victorian horror story is thoroughly creepy and extremely well written. I loved how the different timelines interweave to create one immersive narrative which kept me glued to the pages the entire time I was reading. Purcell keeps the reader guessing as we question what to believe. We we ask ourselves – has Elsie truly lost her wits? Or is there a darker evil at play?

The wooden figures, the silent companions, stalk her every move. As the narrative progresses, new companions appear out of thin air and strange events begin to occur. The Silent Companions is an unsettling, haunting, yet darkly enchanting novel in which two genres combine to create one gripping story.

4 stars!

Goodreads

It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover

“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”

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This was my first book by Colleen Hoover and I’m blown away. I didn’t know much before starting this novel, and in all honesty I expected some cheesy romance story. I was so wrong. Hoover digs deep into the pressing topic of domestic abuse and handles it so well.

This book forces readers to recognise the struggle victims undergo when being in love with their abusers. It’s eye-opening, realistic, and heart-breaking.

However, one thing I did dislike from the very beginning is Lily’s love interest Ryle. I’ll keep it spoiler free and let you decide for yourself, but his domineering attitude was off putting from the word go.

Nonetheless., the ultimate message of this story is salient: if you happen to be a victim of domestic abuse, find help. Be brave and put yourself first, no matter what your partner’s background may be. At the end of the day, your mental and physical health should always come first. This book is so much more than a fluffy romance novel, I highly recommend it!

4.5 stars!

Goodreads (2016 choice winner!)

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

“You’re a storyteller. Dream up something wild and improbable. Something beautiful and full of monsters.”

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Oh how I loved this book. Strange the Dreamer instantly swept me away to a vivid and beautiful world. Laini Taylor’s writing is purely magical. Her sugary sweet language encapsulates the dreamlike atmosphere of the story, and truly brings her worlds, characters and scenes to life.

What stood out for me was the protagonist, Lazlo Strange, an orphaned librarian. He’s shy, bursting with imagination and lives and breathes for books. He spends his entire adolescence dreaming of travelling to the far away land of Weep and the fiery desire within him to discover more about the mythic city never stifles. One day, the opportunity he’s been dreaming for finally presents itself, and he grabs it with both hands. As he embarks on his adventure, he learns more about Weep, and about himself, than he could have ever anticipated.

Although the pacing let the book down at parts, Laini’s description captured a world which was like nothing I’ve ever read before. I found it so easy to get lost this world. Strange the Dreamer is a wonderfully told story of gods, ghosts, magic, romance, and secrets left, right and centre. I can’t wait to get my hands on The Muse of Nightmares!

4 stars!

I have a full review here

Goodreads

The Corset – Laura Purcell

After receiving an ARC for this chilling tale from NetGalley, I instantly had to delve in.

Purcell has already proven herself victorious when it comes down to the Gothic genre with her debut, The Silent Companions. The Corset depicts the juxtaposing lives of two young women who sit at opposite ends of the social spectrum. Dorothea Truelove is a well-off, beautiful lady, who refutes all her father’s attempts at having her married. She’s a charitable lady and upon visiting prisoners of Oakgate prison, her fascination with phrenology and with observing the characteristics displayed by criminals only elevates when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth Butterham.

Ruth is poor, has zero prospects and is awaiting trial for the murder of her employer. From just the age of 12, Ruth has a notable talent for sewing. However, each person she has ever stitched for dies in a horrific manner. It’s inevitable for her to wonder that maybe, in some inexplicable way, it is her fault. She spends her final days in prison determined that she has the supernatural power to bring death by sewing hatred and ill will into the garments she works on. Purcell triumphs in making the reader question, has Ruth Butterham gone mad or is there really some supernatural evil at play? Is she really a victim in all of this? 

After leaving home, Ruth embarks on a life of drudgery as she toils for the malevolent Metyards, resides with merciless twins, befriends a black girl called Mim, meets the charming Billy and comes upon the contemptible Captain. The unsettling scenes that occur from the Metyard house are hard to forget. 

5 stars! 

Review also found here

Goodreads

Despite the rocky start, this was another amazing reading month, my favourites being The Corset and, Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Have you read any of these books? What’s been your favourite read of July?

Evie

 

24 Comments

  1. I’m trying to get back into reading so this is perfect! I absolutely love these book reviews. Couldn’t agree more with you about “Simon vs the homo sapiens agenda” and I LOVED the movie despite so many opposite opinions. I’m definitely going to give “the Silent Companions” a try. 🙂

  2. I’m defo gonna read/watch Simon! Heard so many people rave about it so I have to check it out! Also, those muffins look delish! xx

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Yes read the book! I haven’t seen the movie yet but I’ve heard that’s meant to be amazing too! Thank you! x

  3. I’m blown away with the amount of books you can read in one month ahah! I haven’t heard of any of these, but I really want to read It Ends with Us and Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda after this! I love your honesty in the first review!

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Haha I’ve tried to get into a routine where I make time to read every day. You’ll love Simon, definitely one of my favourite books of 2018! Haha thank you, I really didn’t enjoy it, thanks for reading! x

  4. Wow you read loads last month! I only managed I read 1 book but fortunately it was INCREDIBLE so I don’t mind. It’s a shame you didn’t like the first one. I really want to read Simon after watching the film xxx

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      I impressed myself haha! Oh that’s good! I need to watch the film asap, the book is one of my favourites now! x

  5. I really want to get back into reading, these sound like great reads! I need to give them a try I think xx
    Alys
    https://alysjournals.com

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      I’m so happy I managed to find more time to read again, it’s amazing how easy it is to get lost in a good book! Yes! You’ll love them x

  6. Great list! I’m on the hunt for some new reads so this came at the perfect time 🙂

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Thank you! I’m sure you’d love them! X

  7. venus aby venus aby

    The Corset sounds so interesting, will definitely plan on reading that soon! I also read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda in July and I loved it too! It’s one of them books where after reading, you’re just left with happy feelings. I agree, it’s so relevant to today and just so cute!!

    venus | https://venusaby.blogspot.com

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Yes The Corset was such an intriguing story, you’ll love it! Yess it was so good, and such an easy read too! Thanks for reading x

  8. venus aby venus aby

    The Corset sounds great! Will definitely plan on reading that soon! I read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda in July too and it was such a joy to read! I agree with you, it’s so relevant to day and just so cute!!

    venus | https://venusaby.blogspot.com

  9. Julia Julia

    At the moment I’m trying to read as many books as I can over the summer before heading back to uni and using all reading time for course readings so posts like this are fantastic. Simon vs the homosapiens agenda is one I’ve been meaning to try since seeing the movie but just haven’t gotten around to it yet! The silent companions and strange the dreamer also sound like really interesting books so they’ll definitely be added to my tbr list too! Some great recommendations here!

    Beesytimes.co.uk

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Yes same! It’s so good to read something which isn’t for uni. I need to see the film asap, I’ve heard it’s amazing. Yes! They’re both such good books, with such intriguing story lines, you’ll love them! Thanks for reading x

  10. How is time flying by so quickly??

    I hate it when the content is hard to follow – at least you still powered through The Star-touched Queen! I like how Albertalli’s book talks about real world issues. I’ve seen a lot of discrimination, which to me doesn’t make sense. I agree with you about who makes the decision about what’s right and wrong! Glad you loved that book!

    It’s great that Purcell did a great job with telling a Victorian horror story. If this turned into a movie, would this be something you’d watch?

    I like the adventures Lazlo Strange goes through! Glad you enjoyed most of the books you’ve read in July! Hope you’ll read more great books this month ♥

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  11. I’m so glad you enjoyed Simon! It’s such a heart-warming read. There was a spin-off (of sorts) called Leah on the Offbeat released recently and it is almost as lovely. Would definitely recommend it. I haven’t heard of any of the others, but really want to have a look at The Silent Companions. Not always been a thriller fan, but it sounds brilliant. 😊

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Ah yeah I’ve seen that! I’ve heard mixed reviews about Leah but I loved Simon so much that I think I’ll enjoy it. Yes! The Silent Companions was different to what I’m used to but I really enjoyed it. Thanks for reading! x

  12. abbiejadewanders abbiejadewanders

    I love the way you have put this post together and your writing is fabulous! I haven’t read Simon Vs the Homo Sapien Agenda yet but it has been in my amazon basket for months. There are some great recommendations here and I will definitely be bookmarking for when I have got through my TBR list! Thankyou for sharing xx

    abbiejadewanders.co.uk

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Ah thank you so much! I had put off reading it too for the longest time but I’m so glad I finally picked it up, you’ll love it! Thanks for reading x

  13. I love your writing style in this post! Thanks for all the reviews, they’re super helpful!

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Ah thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it! xx

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