As usual, another month has now come and gone, and once again it’s time for me to blab about the books I read and the (massive) damage I did to my bank account.
You guys may or may not be aware that I was undertaking the OWLs magical (Harry Potter themed) readathon in July created by G @Bookroast. You can find my original post here if you missed it. The results are in and I’m happy to say I completed 9 of the subject requirements for the readathon:
- Ancient Runes
- Defence Against the Dark Arts
- Care of Magical Creatures
- Muggle Studies
This means I have achieved an ‘Outstanding’ grade for my readathon. Yay! In August I’m moving on to the much more challenging NEWTs readathon which I’ll be posting my TBR for very soon. As for the books, I read in July, here they are, all 10 + the 1 comic:
To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo ★★★★
I waited quite a while to get my hands on this one and it largely lived up to expectations. I rarely read fantasy stand-alones so it was a nice change. The story’s a little dark (enjoyably so) and I loved the fact that the lead characters were morally ambiguous. The world itself was actually really compelling and I’d love to see more of it in other books. Unfortunately, the villain was a little cartoonish for me and a lot of the background characters felt underdeveloped.
The Wicker King – K. Ancrum ★★★.5 | Review
Now this was a change of pace from my usual reads. The visual aspect was fantastic and I loved the fact that Ancrum tackled some really serious issues such as discovering your sexuality, mental health, and abandonment. However, I wasn’t a massive fan of the writing style, with the short chapters often feeling choppy and disrupting my connection with the characters. I was also a little disappointed with how the overarching complication was resolved. Still, Ancrum’s love for her characters, and their relationship with each other, really shone through.
My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand, Brodie Ashton & Jodi Meadows ★★★.5
This book was a bit of fun. The narration is great, the situations are outlandish, and there are heaps of fabulous references to pop culture. I liked each of the characters and it was interesting to see just how completely the story would deviate from history. The downside is that the book felt padded at points and went on for a little too long. I zoned out on a few occasions and was slightly impatient for it to finish by the end. Otherwise a light, entertaining read.
One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus ★★★★ | Review
I’ve had the urge to read some YA thriller type pieces lately so I thought this one might fit the bill. The mystery side of things is a bit unrealistic and doesn’t exactly end surprisingly but I enjoyed the book overall. The characters are likeable and the development of their relationships with each other was nice to see. The author also tried to incorporate a few important themes like bullying, slut shaming, and abuse which are handled quite well, even though there’s not much room for great depth.
The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher ★★★
The second of my attempts to get into biographical reads this year. My family and I really love Star Wars so I was interested to read about some of Carrie’s experiences on the set of the original movie. The book is mostly about her affair with Harrison Ford and I felt a little sad for her through a lot of it. Overall I enjoyed the book but I could have done without the actual diary excerpts in the middle which were very poetry focused.
The Princess Bride – William Goldman ★★★★
I’ve seen the adaptation of The Princess Bride a few times now and it’s still just as fun and quotable as ever so I decided to try the original book. Essentially, if you like the film, you’ll enjoy the novel. There are a few things that are expanded on, like character back stories and longer scene sequences, but it’s still pretty much the same with added amusing narrations from Mr Goldman. A great read. Inconceivable, right?
Grace & Fury – Tracy Banghart ★★★★.5 | Review
My unexpected read for July! I requested an ARC, it was granted, and for once I got stuck into it straight away. This was one of my favourite reads of the month and I flew through it in under 2 days. The use of two POVs and concurrent storylines worked very well and gave the book plot diversity. The twist is a bit predictable and one storyline could definitely have been a lot stronger, but the characters are well done and the book as a whole is just so damn empowering for women!
Saga Vol. 1 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples ★★★★. 5
I don’t usually read comics or graphic novels but I decided to give this one a go because I’d heard so many great things & the art looked striking. I ended up having a blast. Some of it’s sort of…weird (people with TV heads?) but in an interesting way. The story was entertaining and the back and forth between Marko & Alana made me laugh aloud several times. I’ll definitely be picking up Vol 2.
The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus 1#) – Rick Riordan ★★★★
This was another book I was really looking forward to. I love how Riordan managed to retain the feel of PJO but still make it new and exciting. The incorporation of the Roman mythology was a great way to expand the existing world. I also really liked the new main characters – Piper was my favourite – and the fact that they gave us a bit more exposure to different god parents and cool powers. There was a little bit of drag at certain points and I’m still confused about a couple of things, but with that ending I’m so keen for Son of Neptune.
The Last Wish (The Witcher 1#) – Andrzej Sapkowski ★★★.5
I love The Witcher video games and I’ve wanted to try reading the books for ages. This first installment is mostly a set of short stories. I’m not a huge short story person but I didn’t mind these. Geralt’s adventures were fairly entertaining and it was interesting to see events I’d previously heard about actually explained, as well as to learn how he met his love interest, Yennefer. I will admit, if I didn’t already know about the world, it’d likely be a bit confusing and I wasn’t a fan of how the author handled women in parts of the book.
S.T.A.G.S – M. A. Bennett ★★.5
This was a late addition to my readathon list – I needed a book involving a secret society. Thanks for the recommendation Roxanne Michelle! I really loved the idea of this book but the execution left something to be desired. It sounds weird, but I wish it had been even darker. The climax was up there, but for most of the story, I couldn’t help feeling like it was very surface. The characters were either merely fine or underdeveloped, and I found the MC, Greer’s, constant movie references getting on my nerves after a while.
So. The word ‘overboard’ may apply to my book purchases for this month. My bank account and bookcase are silently screaming in pain. Normally I try to keep my book buying at a comparable level to my reading so I can at least FEEL like I’ll one day get my TBR down to a manageable level.
That didn’t happen this month. Prepare yourself.
I bought 14 books this month. FOURTEEN. I also requested, and got approved for, one Netgalley ARC (Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart). Like what the actual hell, Ashley. Are you stupid? Do you not recognise the fact that you only have so many hours in a day. So many days in a week? I should be able to start using my TBR as ceiling support soon. *shakes head*.
Here they all are in their fabulous looking glory:
There are a couple of books here such as Fangirl and The Hate U Give which I’ve been putting off getting for a while before finally cracking this month (20% of YA titles at one of my bookstores for the entirety of July was probably to blame). I’m so excited to read these. No idea when I’ll find the time but I have enthusiasm in spades! That’s something right?
The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
The Wicker King – K. Ancrum
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus
Grace & Fury – Tracy Banghart
Look how many book reviews I wrote! I’m so proud of myself *dances*.
The Ultimate Harry Potter Tag
Top 10 Tuesday
Best Books I’ve Read in 2018 (So Far)
Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype
Things Book Characters do that Make No Sense
This is sad. Must write more discussion posts (she says to herself every month).
WWW Wednesday | 4.07.18
WWW Wednesday| 25.07.18
Let’s Go to the Theatre
This month I finally got to see The Book of Mormon. Some of the jokes were super cringe worthy and dark, but I had a great time overall. It’s funny, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the performances were really good too. I understand why they’ve had it running in Sydney for so long now.
Also on the theatre front, my friend and I managed to get tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child when it comes to Melbourne next year. The buying process was a ridiculous mess and it’s going to be so damn expensive but I am nothing if not a huge Harry Potter fan (Still, this show better be the best thing I’ve ever seen, I’m telling you).
I wish I could say I’ve been spending my time watching fantastically acted dramas or intellectual documentaries. What have I been watching instead?
Project Runway. Yep.
And not even new episodes. We’re talking 2011 Project Runway. SEVEN YEARS OLD. The fashion they’re making isn’t even on point anymore. I should get a medal in pointless time wasting, because gosh I’m good.
In figure news, I hit 500 instagram followers and 200 wordpress followers this month, which is so exciting. Thank you so much guys! It’s nice to know people are reading/seeing this stuff I throw out into the internet void. I promise to watch less Project Runway next month so I can comment on more of your posts.
And that’s about everything from me for this month’s wrap up. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous July.
What was your favourite read and for something different, which post are you most proud of for the month? I’d love to check them out.