WHAT HAVE I BEEN READING LATELY? JULY & AUGUST WRAP UP (24 BOOKS)

If you can’t guess from the title, this post is going to be a long one. In a good way though, I hope, as I’ve had some really great experiences with new books lately and even had the pleasure of revisiting some old favourites. There’s nothing more heart-warming than going back to a familiar book that you adored more than anything and finding out that it’s just as good the second time (and the third, and the fourth..). Pure. Bliss.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

It’s been a hot minute since I read this one, but I picked it up straight after finishing The Kiss Quotient the month before. I’m not quite sure which I enjoyed more, but I can say this with certainty: I have no regrets about giving them both 5 star ratings. They were the gooey, cheesey read that I was desperate for, and friendly to lactose-intolerants.

Shadowfrost by Coco Ma

You don’t need to tell me how jealous you are that I got my hands on an early copy of this one -I already know. The book community seems to have put this book on a pedestal before it’s even hit our shelves. I’m not going to go into too much detail but overall, compared to the hype, it was… disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was lyrical and sweet but I would need at least 20 hands to count out the number of stereotypical tropes included in this one. I can deal with a few (I can even obsess over a few, because let’s be honest- tropes can be amazing when done well), but it just felt like Coco had gone through with a list of YA tropes and ticked off every single one, page by page. That being said, I would definitely read it again. I’d just be more prepared for the predictability next time.

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

Another over-all almost-disappointing read. It wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be. I still gave it 3.5 stars though, which is a high enough rating. There wasn’t anything over-whelmingly bad about it, I just wasn’t as hooked as I wanted to be. Maybe that’s because I was feeling bummed about my previous read, or maybe I wasn’t in the right head space for this one at the time. I’m going to keep both my copies (an ARC and a finished copy) until I give it another go at a later point in time. Luckily, I’m a sucker for rereading and reassessing my opinion on books.

The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima (Books 1-4)

I have been putting off this series for forever. Not only is each book a hunker that’s bigger than my face, but I have to be in exactly the right mood for high fantasy. However, I ended up recommending this series to a friend because I’d heard good things and then when my friend tried to talk about it with me I guiltily admitted I hadn’t picked them up myself yet. I got round to amending that very soon, SO PLEASE FORGIVE ME REECE.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman, Volumes 1 & 2

If you saw my last book haul, you will have noticed that I got volume 2 and of course I wasn’t going to be putting it off long. Why would I make myself suffer without Nick and Charlie for longer than I had to?! I’m a procrastinator but I’m not a complete psychopath.

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

A regular mention on my blog, my best book friend Aurora sent me a copy of this one after adoring the book and meeting the author. She seemed pretty eager for me to read it and I trust her opinions on books more than I trust my own, so of course I was going to pick it up the moment it arrived in the post. I’m very proud that I read it in one sitting and was definitely not disappointed. Cutesy romances are the best things to be reading in summer. CHANGE MY MIND. (You can’t).

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I’ve talked about this one enough on here that I don’t feel like I need to go into great detail other than: yep, it was just as heartbreaking this time round. No, I still couldn’t convince myself to read Muse of Nightmares. I JUST DON’T WANT IT TO BE OVER. EVER.

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

This book broke my rating scale. All year I’ve been handing out 5 stars willy-nilly, but when it came to this one and how great it was compared to anything I’ve ever read- I knew I had to give it a 6. Yes, a 6/5. I know how math works. I won’t go into too much detail because I’m also working on a “top reads of the year so far” post, and I will be gushing about this one as much as possible over there – but let me just say something which will(hopefully) will convince you to pre-order it STRAIGHT AWAY: this is possibly the greatest thing I’ve ever read. It has ruined all other books for me, and I will never be the same. How can anything ever compare?! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME NINA?!

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

As I just mentioned, all other books have been ruined for me- so although this book was probably good enough to receive a 5 star, I just couldn’t put it on the same level as Crier’s War, despite how interesting and captivating this one was. Oops.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Ugh. How is this one of the most hyped YA books ever? I trusted you guys and I bought the full trilogy in 1 go and I’m HIGHLY disappointed. It wasn’t DNF-worthy (unlike The Maze Runner and The Raven Boys), but I was mostly motivated by the fact that this book came highly recommended to me. There was so much potential, but instead it was way too gory and made me feel a little sick. I definitely won’t be picking up the sequels anytime soon, that’s for sure.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin. A Craig

I’ve had this one preordered forever so I was ecstatic when my copy arrived, and it was just as beautiful in person as the design looks on screen. I dove straight in without a moment’s hesitation and I wasn’t disappointed. It was the perfect balance of spooky and magical, just what I love in a book.

Royals by Rachel Hawkins

This one has been on my bookshelves so long, I can’t even remember when I got it. After hearing about the new covers that were announced recently, I figured I’d give this one a go and see if it was worth getting the new pretty versions. I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, but I still haven’t got round to ordering the sequel. Eventually, I will.

Reverie by Ryan La Sala

There’s something special about reading a book that doesn’t technically come out until next year. I was honoured to get a glimpse at what might possibly be one of the biggest books of next year. It’s very difficult to explain what went on in the book without spoiling absolutely everything, but it was a lot more fantastical than I was expecting. Based in the real-world, I was expecting a touch of magical realism and not the explosion of super powers that actually occurred. I’m not complaining though. For once.

The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter

Firstly, I’d like to take a moment to thank Harper360 for my ARC of this. If you know me at all then you’ll know that ‘fairy-tale’ and ‘retelling’ are my buzz words. I will pick up anything that even hints at either of those words and thankfully this one did not disappoint. It was whimsical and creative, a refreshing twist on everything I thought I knew about the Snow White tale. I look forward to reading it again in the future, as it’s just one of those books you’ll want to revisit forever.

The Royals Series by Erin Watt (Books 1-3)

Another series I’ve had on my TBR for longer than I can remember, I’m super glad that I managed to tick them off my list. I think there’s 5 books in the series but as far as I’m aware the last 2 follow different main characters, so I only aimed to finish the original ‘trilogy’. They were super addicting and I flew through all 3 in just a few days. For some reason I was under the false-impression that they were fantasy books but, despite my surprise at finding out they weren’t, I wasn’t disappointed. They were exactly what I needed to keep me invested in having a great reading month.

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeno

I KNOW! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT EITHER! When I got this one in the mail from Harper360, I was crying. When I read this book, I was crying. There were a lot of tears involved. I’ve always wanted to read Rin Chupeno’s books, but due to religious beliefs I tend to try avoid heavily witch-themed books (not that I have anything against people who read/write/enjoy them), so when I heard about this one early this year – I knew immediately I would pick it up, no matter what. It’s so nice to finally be able to hype up Rin alongside the rest of you.

To Kill A Kingdom & Into The Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

To Kill A Kingdom was my favourite read of the year a few years ago, and one of the first ARCs I ever read. To be able to read Into The Crooked Place before it’s release was a reminder of how far I’d come, with my blog and with my writing. Alexandra’s books will always hold a special place in my heart, and even though I’m biased: I loved Into The Crooked Place. It was worth the wait guys.

That’s it! That’s everything I’ve read in the last two months. A pretty good selection, if I do say so myself. Some fantasy, some contemporary and even some soft science-fiction.

And Crier’s War trumped them all.

6 thoughts on “WHAT HAVE I BEEN READING LATELY? JULY & AUGUST WRAP UP (24 BOOKS)

Add yours

  1. Lovely post, Lydia!! Oh boy, you’re reminding me how I seriously need to finish the rest of the Seven Realms books! I adored the Demon King, but I just haven’t gotten around to the sequels. Oops! I just read Don’t date Rosa Santos for the first time, and I loved it to pieces! Such a fun cutesy read! It’s so nice to hear that House of Salt and Sorrows was a hit for you (I’m planning on reading it in two weeks!), and Into the Crooked Place too! I have an ARC of the latter and I’m so excited to get started on it very soon! ❤

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