Back in June, I read five books over the course of one month and I was seriously wondering what July would bring. With a readathon packed in, there was no way this one wasn’t going to be just as bad, right? I ended up being back in my reading game and finishing 14 books. Like, what the hell??
Lorali by Laura Dockrill
A last YALC book I managed to pick up just in time. I didn’t know what to expect with this one, I was so scared that I would be a traditional, sappy romance novel. It wasn’t though, and I was so imaginative that I couldn’t help but love it. I especially adored the part where the Mer-world entwined with the real world and becomes a hype to youngsters, didn’t add a damn thing to the story, but it felt so realistic. I also loved that Dockrill’s imagined world goes further than just Mer, and trying not to spoil anything, I’m just going to say that I loved the boys the best. Definitely going to read book number two!
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
The premise of this series is right up my alley, so I couldn’t not pick the first book up. A second book in a trilogy is always a dangerous book to read, as it may just be one giant build-up to book three. This one didn’t suffer from the second book curse however and dragged me along a story that kept me at the edge of my seat. Shusterman knows just where to take his original premise and make it even more haunting in this one. I seriously can’t wait to read the conclusion, but I still have to wait so looooooooong.
It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne
Yup, this book received my not-often-given gold star rating, which means that it is an absolute perfect book to me. I have some high expectations for Bourne books, and I was a bit scared that she would not be able to live up to them with this one. I was utterly wrong though as Bourne perfectly blends social commentary with a romance novel and it’s the most amazing thing to read. She calls out all the things that have annoyed me in the past and I just want to hug Bourne for doing so. And that ending, it could not have been more perfect! I honestly had tears in my eyes. What an amazing author!!!
Morning Star by Pierce Brown
First series of my third series I need to finish list is done! I would like to formally apologize to anyone who had to endure me while I was reading this book. I sighed out loud, whimpered, cursed and probably made the weirdest facial expressions in the world. Yep, I got REALLY invested in this story. Brown basically plays with your emotions in this one, and I could barely keep my head cool. He ends this series with the biggest bang possible and I could not have loved it any more than I did. What a bloody brilliant series!!!
Dread Nation by Justine Ireland
This book has about the weirdest premise imaginable, so of course I had to read it. I was still a little doubtful though as I didn’t really know how racism, zombies and the War Between the States would be able to fit together. Ireland is one master storyteller though and makes it all fit seamlessly! Perfect blend of history, suspense, social commentary, stabby-stabbyness AND NO ROMANCE THAT TAKES AWAY FROM THE STORY. The blatant racism and rationalization of that racism was very hard to take, but so important to read. I ended up not being able to put it down and finished it in one siting.
When We Collided by Emery Lord
Picked it up when I was in the mood for a cute romancy read, but quickly discovered that this was not going to be that book. The combination of a romance novel and an honest portrayal of mental health (apparently it should be a surprise which illness, but I really expect everyone to know it immediately) wasn’t working for me, and I started considering to DNF. I kept reading as I can’t DNF a book anyway and discovered the harrowing story of a girl living with her illness underneath the romancy parts. Fell in love with this side of the story, but still can’t stomach the romance. Ended up loving it in general though. Full review to come.
The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May
Another series on my list finished! And I don’t really know what happened with this one. I was utterly enthralled by the first book, but didn’t feel book two nor book three. The absolute worst part is that I really can’t say why I didn’t love these last two books as much as book one. The world got just a little too complicated to follow and the characters were too busy with their love life for my taste. Add to that an ending that was just a little too neat and I’m gutted that the series couldn’t keep the high standard of the first book.
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
A reread in order to finish this series and it ended up being just as magical and original the second time around. The setting, the characters, the magic system, it was all amazing to read. I mean, who can’t love a gun-wielding firecracker of girl, storming through a world filled with mythical horses and other beings, while her story is told in the most amazing style of writing? I’m so glad I’ve decided to add this series to my series I need to finish list and I can’t wait to pick up the next book. What an amazing ride it will be.
Starflight by Melissa Landers
I was so excited to read this book once I read the short description, but it took me a long while until I was able to get my hands on it. I was so ready for this space opera! Unfortunately the book didn’t manage to live up to my expectations. It wasn’t bad at all, but it sort of felt… like I’ve read it all before??? I couldn’t find one original thing in the story, and I kept hoping that it would come. But it didn’t. Again, it wasn’t bad, I’ve just literally read it before. (And no, I do know that I didn’t accidentally reread this book.)
The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
I FINALLY GOT TO READ A NEW O’NEILL BOOK. And somehow I’d forgotten what an O’Neill book is like… Let me spell it out for you, when Louise O’Neill takes on The Little Mermaid for a feminist retelling, you should brace yourself for one harrowing, haunting tale that rips your insides to pieces. O’Neill creates a disturbing underwater Mer-world that feels all too real at the same time. This is definitely how the story of The Little Mermaid would be if it would happen today and it nearly destroyed me. Damn this book was good.
Goodnight, Boy by Nikki Sheehan
(Proof received for free, this does not affect my opinion.) When I picked up this book from my shelves where it had been standing for a year, I was expecting a heartbreaking story. Unfortunately I never managed to feel for the main character and his story. The style of writing is very clipped and unembellished, which meant that the author had to bring everything to the table to get her story across and for me, it didn’t fully work. I could barely follow where it was going and which message she wanted to convey. All in all, this wasn’t a book for me.
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Another reread to finish the series and just like the first time, it proved to be a slow read. But a little quicker than the last time, the story started to get under my skin and I NEEDED to know what was going on. Johansen crafted her world brilliantly, you might think that it’s based on medieval times, but there are mentions of things from our current time like books by Rowling and Tolkien. Where is this world situated on our timeline and what did they cross exactly? I’m definitely picking up the sequel very soon!!!
Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes by Holly Bourne
When I’m able to buy a pre-release of a new Bourne book, there is no way I’m passing up on that. This book was especially difficult to take, not because the story was bad, but because you get in the head of a girl with a mental illness (she doesn’t want to know what the “label” is, so neither do we in the beginning) that turns it into very heavy reading. The ending of the book hit me like a ton of bricks, I had some serious problems not to break down and cry in the middle of YALC, but it was so worth it. Bourne wrote another gem. I’m still reeling.
All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth
This was the last book I wanted to read before YALC, but wasn’t able to get my hands on it in time. So of course I got it as soon as possible once I got to London (that cover is so beautiful. #CoverBuy). The set-up of this murder mystery is very weird and original, but in the best way possible. I loved how all the pieces of the puzzle slowly came together to make a very interesting picture. I did guess very early on what happened, but as I kept guessing throughout the story, it didn’t bother me at all. Amazing read!
What do you think of all the books I read this month? Are there any on this list you’d like to read too? Let me know in the comments!