Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!
In the month of July, I read THIRTEEN BOOKS! Which, I believe, is the best reading month I have ever had since starting this blog in 2013! My high reading amount is due to several factors, including the fact that we are in a pandemic – meaning I have no school work to do or summer job to go to – and therefore I am reading all the time. This month, Ariel and Raeleen hosted the annual Reading Rush Readathon, which I took part in and contributed to a lot of this months reading success!
Before I share all of the books I read this month, I want to share my thoughts on some of the issues surrounding The Reading Rush that occurred just last week. While these issues due not impact me, I still feel that I have a responsibility to talk about them since I have a voice in the online book community. If you are unaware, The Reading Rush decided to include a group book pick (which I had not heard about until the actual readathon began) for participants to read and later discuss in the live show that was set to take place on The Reading Rush YouTube channel on the last day of the readathon (July 26). The book they chose was Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid, a book featuring a lot of important topics on race and society. In today’s day and age, it is important to amplify and cheer on black voices, and since the TRR book pick is written by a female black author, people were looking forward to promoting and discussing it. However, the hosts of The Reading Rush chose not to read the book, and instead of discussing it on their live show, they decided to laugh it off and interact with their viewers by creating a Q+A. People were very disappointed with this, as they were not only looking forward to discussing it with the hosts, but also the fact that the hosts were making money off of this event, and prioritized other books ahead of their own book club pick! I think that this was a very bad move on their behalf, and although they have since shared some apologizing remarks, I am not sure how genuine they were. When the next Reading Rush readathon occurs next year, I will be evaluating how they are planning on running it and if any changes have been implemented from the feedback they have been given recently. If not, I will not be participating in it again.
The first book that I read this month was The Guest List by Lucy Foley. This was my first Foley novel, and I enjoyed it! It was not the best mystery/thriller novel I have ever read, but it was a solid, enjoyable read. I found the beginning of the novel very intriguing and interesting, but by the end I was ready for it to be over. I thought that the middle of the novel was very rambly and long, but I did enjoy the very unexpected plot twists at the end! I gave this book 3.75/5 stars.
The second book that I completed this month was Beach Read by Emily Henry. This book blew me away, and will definitely be featured in my favourite books of 2020 list! I wrote a full review on this phenomenal novel, which you can read here. I gave this book 5/5 stars and cannot recommend it enough!
The third book I read this month was Girl Made Of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake. I have been interested in reading this book since it was released in 2018, and am so happy I was able to read it this month. While I had high exceptions for this book, it mostly lived up to them! I thought that the story was very emotional and well thought out, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more character development. I rated this one 4/5 stars.
The fourth book I read this month was The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. This was one of the BEST books I read this month, and deserved all of the hype it has received ever since it came out. I knew quite a bit about this novel, but it still blew me away! You can read my full review for this novel here. Of course, I gave this book 5/5 stars!
The fifth book I read this month was Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon. As you will notice, I was in quite the mystery/thriller mood this month, but funny enough, I would not realize consider this novel a mystery. If anything, it was a thrilling literary fiction/women’s fiction novel. While the last 70 pages really picked this book up, I found the pacing very slow, and the overall story very boring. I also really disliked the characters and did not find the main characters’ comments on body dysmorphia necessary for the flow of the plot. I rated this novel 2/5 stars.
The sixth book I read was One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London. As a very proud member of Bachelor nation, I was incredibly excited to read a book based off of the hit reality show, featuring a plus size main character! Luckily enough, this book did not disappoint! This was such a cute story and exceeded my expectations! I will admit that this book took me a little while to really get into, but as the story went along, I started to enjoy it more and more! I was really impressed by some of the important conversations that took place in this novel, and I also enjoyed the diverse cast of characters. Overall, I gave this book a 4.5/5 stars!
The seventh book I read this month was All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. This was the first book I read for The Reading Rush Readathon, and by reading it, I completed the challenge of reading a book that inspired a movie you have already seen. I watched the movie adaptation of this novel on Netflix right when it came out, because I didn’t have time to read the book before I watched it. However, this challenge pushed me to read it and I am so glad I did! Truthfully, I think by watching the movie before reading the book, it hindered my reading experience a tad. Events in this novel seemed to be paced differently in the book compared to the movie, and I think I liked the adaptations pacing better. I rated this book 3.5/5 stars, nonetheless, these characters and this story will continue to stay with me for a long, long time.
The eighth book I read this month and the second book I read during The Reading Rush was Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall. This book completed the challenge of reading a novel that takes place on a different continent then the one you live on. I had been seeing this book pop up a lot on Bookstagram, so I had high expectations for it. Unfortunately, it did not really live up to them. Overall, I thought that this book was WAY TOO LONG. I could not emphasize that enough. Just so many events that were not necessary for the story. I also got some weird The Catcher In The Rye vibes from some of the conversations that main character had with some of the side characters, which was… interesting. However, I really enjoyed the main character and the love interest, which made me continue reading it even when there was a chance that I might DNF it. Overall, I rated this book 2.75/5 stars.
The ninth book I read this month and the third book I read for the Reading Rush was The Passengers by John Marrs. This book completed the challenge of reading a book that starts with the word “The”. This book was PERFECT. Honestly one of the best books I have EVER READ. John Marrs continues to amaze me with his phenomenal plot twist and effortless writing. You can click here to read my full review of this novel. Obviously, I gave it 5/5 stars, and you will definitely be seeing this one in my Top Books of 2020 post come December 31!
The tenth book I read this month and the fourth book I read for the Reading Rush was I’m Thinking Of Ending Things by Iain Reid. This book completed the challenge of reading a novel completely outside. While I had issues with this challenge, I decided to safely read this book outside in my enclosed backyard on a nice sunny afternoon. This book is barely 200 pages, so I read it very quickly. Since I had heard some fantastic reviews for this book from reviewers whom I typically share the same opinion with, I was saddened that I did not enjoy this novel. The writing was great, but the ending of the novel was not for me. I rated this book 2/5 stars.
The eleventh book I read this month was Hamartia by Raquel Rich. While I am not usually an SFF (Science-Fiction/Fantasy) fan, I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel! You can read my full review of it here. Thanks to Raquel Rich for sending me a copy of your book to read and review! I gave this book a 4/5 star rating.
The twelfth book I read this month was A Woman Alone by Nina Laurin. Laurin’s 2019 release, The Starter Wife, was my favourite book of last year, so I was incredibly excited to read her 2020 release! Unfortunately, this book fell short for me. I was LOVING after the first half, but as the story continued (and continued to get more complicated), I found myself enjoying it less and less. The ending was definitely unexpected, but the steps it took to get there were not very effective in my opinion. Regardless, I still enjoyed it and gave it 4/5 stars.
The thirteenth and final book I read this month was The Other People by C.J. Tudor. Truth be told, as of the time I am writing this post, I have not yet finished the novel, but definitely will be 11:59 PM on July 31 (the day when this post is going live)! So far I am REALLY enjoying it! It is just the amount of suspense and weirdness I love to read in thriller novels!
Those are all of the books I read this month! I am SO proud of myself for using my time well and reading so many fantastic books! I hope you all had a great reading month, as well!
Good Night Book Owls!