Welcome to August everyone! Wow, it feels like just yesterday I was writing my June wrap up post! Why does this year keep flying by so fast?? Anyway, July was an excellent reading month for me! I ended up finishing 10 books and a total of 4,008 pages! Because I participated in Booktube-A-Thon, I read half of those books in one week! I haven’t read that much in one month in a really long time. It felt so good!
Books Read in July
- Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor – 3.5 stars
- Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor – 2 stars (mini review)
I kicked off July by rereading Into the Dim, which I first read last year. I didn’t enjoy the book quite as much as I did the first time around so I lowered my original rating of 4 stars down to 3.5 stars. However, it was still an entertaining book that I enjoyed! Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about its sequel. I started Sparks of Light pretty much right after finishing Into the Dim and it seems like it took me FOREVER to finish! It especially took me awhile to actually be even slightly interested in the story but then soon after that, the book took a disturbing turn that I didn’t like. So, boring + slightly disturbing = a bad book for Brooke. If you want to read more of my thoughts, click on the link to my mini review above!
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – 4 stars
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – 4.5 stars
I enjoyed the next book I read, When Dimple Met Rishi, A LOT more! There’s a bit of a fun story behind where I got this book so I thought I’d share it with you all! I was having a bad week so to cheer me up, my dad surprised me by taking me to the Moravian Book Shop. The Moravian Book Shop is the oldest continuously run bookstore in the United States and the second oldest in the world! It was established way back in 1745! One of the best things was that the bookstore was only about 30 minutes from our house so I’ll hopefully be able to go back soon! The Moravian Book Shop is located in the historic part of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania so I had a lot of fun exploring not only the bookstore, but also the area surrounding it. Anyway, back to my thoughts on the book! When Dimple Met Rishi was so much fun to read! It featured amazing characters that were very realistic and relatable. Overall, it was the perfect cute contemporary read that I would definitely recommend to others!
Next, I read a book that has been receiving A LOT of hype in the book community. Before picking The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue up, I had heard nothing but great things about the book so I was extremely excited to read it! I was worried that the hype might ruin the book for me since I had such high expectations. However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. The more I read of the book, the more I loved it! The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue featured fantastic, diverse characters (including a bisexual MC, a biracial love interest, and a m/m ship), an interesting plot, and tons of adventure! There was the perfect balance of humor and seriousness and I just absolutely loved it! What are you waiting for?! Pick up this book ASAP!
- The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson – 3 stars
- The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan – 4 stars
- Jackaby by William Ritter – 3.5 stars
Next, I read The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson. I hadn’t heard many things about this book beforehand but it sounded interesting so I checked it out from the library. While I was interested and entertained at some points while reading this novel, I just couldn’t connect to the characters that much. The ending left a lot to be desired as well – it just seemed way too rushed. Overall, it wasn’t terrible but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it to others!
Immediately after finishing my fifth book of the month, I picked up The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan – my second reread in July! Since this is a Rick Riordan book, I of course loved it just as much as I did the first time around! I especially loved being back in this world with all the fantastic characters!
The next book I read, Jackaby, was a really short but entertaining book. One of the main characters, Jackaby, gave me serious Sherlock Holmes vibes which was great! While the book was interesting, there unfortunately wasn’t much of a wow factor. It was still a fun book to read though and I definitely plan on reading the sequel!
- Once and for All by Sarah Dessen – 4 stars
- Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham – 4.5 stars
- The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan – 4 stars
After reading four non-contemporary books in a row, I decided it was time for a contemporary! I picked up Once and for All by Sarah Dessen which I have been wanting to read for so long! If you didn’t know, I’ve been reading Sarah Dessen books since I was 12 years old (I’m turning 21 next month) and she’s definitely one of my favorite contemporary authors. I really, really enjoyed this book. It had the perfect touch of fun and seriousness that all Sarah Dessen books include. I definitely recommend this book to all contemporary fans!
The next book I read, Dreamland Burning, was one of my favorites of the month! I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about this book because it was fantastic! It featured two narrators in two different time periods – Rowan Chase in present day and Will Tillman in 1921. Rowan and Will have two things in common: 1) they’re both biracial (Rowan is part black, part white & Will is part Native American, part white) and 2) they both live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Each chapter went back and forth between these two characters and showed was going on in their different, yet intertwined lives. The story kicks off with Rowan discovering a skeleton buried under the floor of her family’s guest house. She soon finds out that the skeleton dates back to the year 1921. The story is filled with mystery, intrigue, racial conflict, and tragedy. It was very hard to read at times, but it was also very, very important. I HIGHLY recommend this book! Also, I want to point out something else: Rowan’s best friend, James, is aroace (aromantic and asexual) and biracial (part black, part Native American). This book was so diverse – I love it!!
The last book I finished in July was The Dark Prophecy, which is the sequel to Rick Riordan’s The Hidden Oracle that I talked about earlier. As always, Rick’s books never disappoint. The Dark Prophecy was just as great as the first book in the series and I had such a great time following Apollo, Leo, Calypso, and Meg on their adventures and troubles throughout the novel! I cannot wait for the next book in this series!!
Reading Challenge Progress
This year I’m participating in 5 reading challenges! To track my progress, I have a page on my blog but I would also like to share my progress with you all. That being said, my monthly wrap ups will all include updates on my progress. For more information on the reading challenges mentioned below, click here.
1. Goodreads Reading Challenge
My Goal: Read 70 books (lowered from original goal of 75)
Completed in July: 10 books
Completed in 2017: 43 books
2. Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge
My Goal: Read 25 backlist books
Completed in July: 1 book
Completed in 2017: 13 books
3. Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
My Goal: Read 25 fantasy books (COMPLETED!)
Completed in July: 6 books
Completed in 2017: 25 books
4. Library Love Challenge
My Goal: Read 12 library books (COMPLETED!)
Completed in July: 3 books
Completed in 2017: 18 books
5. Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
Goal: Read a book starting with each letter of the alphabet (“The” and “A” can be skipped; the first word after that will be counted)
Completed in July: 2 letters
Completed in 2017: 20 letters
Was July a good reading month for you? How many books were you able to complete? Let me know in the comments and/or link me to your monthly wrap up. I would love to see what you read this past month!