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Hello Hello! How are you?

Today I’m back with a wrap-up post for the month of July which seemed to whizz by in about 2 seconds flat! July was also a really tiring month for me with lots of things to do, and lots of appointments, and a fair few bad days when my conditions flared up. I’m feeling a bit better now but still really fatigued — at least I have a week of holidays to look forward to at the end of August!

In July, I read a total of 9 books, which I’m really happy about, so keep on reading to find out more about my reading month!

FAVOURITE BOOKS OF THE MONTH

Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone (#1 Ernest Cunningham) by Benjamin Stevenson — 5 stars

I buddy read this book with Candyce from The Book Dutchesses and while we read most of it in June, I did manage to finish it in the first days of July. This book really took me by surprise. I had been seeing it all over the book community and I knew people had great things to say about it, but apart from the blurb being really intriguing, I didn’t know where it would go. This book took me by surprise at every turn and I honestly loved every minute of it. I love the main character/narrator who I would definitely describe as both morally grey and unreliable, and I loved his voice and his attitude throughout the story. I loved how it all slotted into place right at the very end and I really enjoyed discussing this one with Candyce, as we had a lot to talk about! I gave it 5 stars and I absolutely adored it, I’ll try to get a review up on the blog soon!

Crave (#1 Crave) by Tracy Wolff — 5 stars

This one was also a massive surprise and OMG!! I mostly binged it in one single afternoon once I got into the story, and it just made me so obsessed, so quickly. I love anything with vampires, witches and other kinds of shapeshifters, so this was like the perfect pick me up and book to help me get back into reading. I also really loved the school setting, which is one of my favourites and this Academy is literally so intriguing to me, I’d love it to be a real place I can visit. I was surprised at how invested I was in this story within the first few pages, but it’s written in such a way that you can’t put it down. I promptly ordered the 2nd book, and preordered the 3rd and 4th (in paperback) and I really need to get back into the story (I’m just afraid that I’ll chuck every other plan out the window and only read these books!). I gave it 5 stars and loved it so much! I’ll also get a review up soon.

City of Thorns (#1 The Demon Queen Trials) by C. N. Crawford — 4 stars

And the last book I’m putting in my favourites for last month is one I only discovered towards the end of the month but that obsessed me nearly as much as Crave did. I found this book recommended to me on Bookstagram and I was so intrigued by the blurb and the meme that I decided to purchase the first book on Kindle and give it a shot. Well… I read about 2 pages before I realised how good it was and then the world could have imploded, no one would have gotten my Kindle out of my grasp. I’m not ashamed to say that I actually binged this in the middle of the night (and suffered for it at work the next day, sorry not sorry!) and loved every minute of it. This is a demon/mortal sort of enemies to lovers, sexual tension, magical paranormal romance fantasy and it was SO good! I loved this world and these characters, Rowan is such a kick arse FMC! I gave this book 4 stars and I’ve since purchased and read both the second and third instalments in this series. I actually just finished the 3rd book on Thursday night! I’ll get a review of the series up on my blog in August hopefully!

MY JULY READS

Le dit des cigales (#2 Le grimoire d’Elfie) by Audrey Alwett — 5 stars

In July, I also managed to read a few graphic novels/comic books and this was one of them. I got this French graphic novel from my library and it’s the second in this mini series about three sisters who go around France in a big red London bus that they’ve turned into a bookstore, and they come across lots of mysteries along the way. The smallest sister is also discovering that she is a witch and I don’t actually think that the two older sisters realise that their mother was a famous witch. I really enjoyed this one. There is some great camaraderie between the sisters and I love all the trouble they get up to, and how the eldest tries to rein them in every time. I gave this one 5 stars and I’m hoping to read a spin-off of this series this month hopefully.

Varso-Vie (#3 Irena) by Jean-David Morvan — 5 stars

The next graphic novel I managed to read in July is the 3rd instalment in a mini series about Irena Sendler, an incredible woman who worked tirelessly in Poland during the 2nd World War to get as many Jewish children out of the ghetto and to safety in Christian families. These graphic novels are definitely for an adult readership because they are very gory and detailed at times, but I enjoyed every minute of this one. I know that sounds weird because it is based on a true story and it is about the 2nd World War and the atrocities that happened during and after that time, but I enjoyed reading about this woman and the children she saved. I love the art style which makes you want to stare at lots of small details for hours, and I also just managed to finish the 4th and 5th books, to finish the series (I’ll include them in next week’s WWW Wednesday post!). I gave this one 5 stars.

Curvy Girls Can’t Date Quarterbacks (#1 Curvy Girl Club) by Kelsie Stelting — 4 stars

I actually ended up reading a lot of books on my Kindle in July and one of those was another book I discovered through some memes or reels on Bookstagram, and I also might have binged this in the middle of the night… Oops. I’m a curry girl myself so I was drawn to this book as you don’t really get very many curvy female characters in romance books, so I was very intrigued. Wow, this book packed a punch, both on the topic of being a plus size person (the whole theme was handled really well), and also the romance between the “curvy girl” and the quarterback. I liked where this went even if there was a lot of sadness and heartbreak at one point and the main character fell out with a lot of people. Everything fell into place towards the end and it was honestly such a cute, happily-ever-after kind of story. I’m not usually one for HEA stories but it was a nice change and a palate cleanser after a lot of complex and or hard-hitting stories. I gave it 4 stars but I’m not sure if I’ll continue this series or not, as each book is based on a different girl in the Curvy Girl Club, and I actually liked this FMC the most so… I will have to see!

La longue marche des dindes by Léonie Bischoff — 4.5 stars

The last graphic novel I read in July was also from my library and it was a graphic novel adapted from The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr. I really enjoyed this story because of the historical elements including the different ethnicities and groups of people we get to see in this story. It definitely feels like a coming-of-age story and I really liked the rag-tag group of characters walking these turkeys across the country to sell them in Denver in the 1860s. I really enjoyed the art style in this book, it was beautiful and it was very close to a watercolour style with some stunning colours. I had a great time reading this book and will have to keep my eye out for anymore graphic novels by this author! I gave this story 4.5 stars.

Ariane, l’astucieuse by Isabelle Pandazopoulos — 3.5 stars

The last French book I read in July was also one from my library and this time it was a YA fantasy/mythology retelling of Ariadne. I already knew her story linked to the Minotaur and to Perseus (I might be getting the name wrong but I’m pretty sure that’s who the MMC was!). I’ve always loved mythology and even retellings and this one was okay. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a young adult book or if it’s because this author isn’t very frivolous with her words, but it kind of fell a bit flat for me. In my mind, mythological retellings are really whimsical, magical and completely unique as if a genre in and of themselves, and this one just didn’t feel like that kind of vibe. I also already knew the story so what happened wasn’t a surprise. I think this author wrote a load of other books, so I’d be intrigued to read more, but probably not any of these mythology retellings. I gave it 3.5 stars.

Lord of Embers (#2 The Demon Queen Trials) by C. N. Crawford — 4 stars

And the final book I read in July was the second instalment in The Demon Queen Trials series. I have to say that this one kind of suffered from middle book syndrome, but the story, the world and the characters were still so intriguing and captivating to me that I literally flew through it in a matter of days. I liked where this one went as it revealed a lot of secrets or even complete plot twists and the tension between the two main characters grew massively. The author kept her writing style really easy but also kept her world complex, and I thought the dialogue flowed better in this book too. I gave it 4 stars and I’ll get a review of the series up on my blog in the month of August!

 

JULY READING STATS

Number of books: 9

Number of pages: 2,313 pages

Star ratings:

3.5 stars: 1 book

4 stars: 3 books

4.5 stars: 1 book

5 stars: 4 books

Average rating: 4.44⭐

Genres: 1 adult mystery/thriller, 1 French YA fantasy graphic novel, 1 YA fantasy paranormal romance, 1 French historical fiction graphic novel, 1 YA contemporary romance, 1 French YA historical fiction graphic novel, 1 French YA fantasy/mythology retelling, 2 NA fantasy paranormal romances. 

READING CHALLENGE WRAP-UP

In July, I also managed to make some progress on my various reading challenges, and I feel like I’m doing a much better job this year with the Popsugar Reading Challenge especially. Last month, I managed to tackle a total of 7 challenges, and here they are:

  • Popsugar Reading Challenge, prompt 3: A book about a vacation — Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone (#1 Ernest Cunningham) by Benjamin Stevenson
  • Popsugar Reading Challenge, prompt 7: A book with “Girl” in the title — Curvy Girls Can’t Date Quarterbacks (#1 Curvy Girl Club) by Kelsie Stelting
  • Popsugar Reading Challenge, prompt 29: A book your friend recommended — Crave (#1 Crave) by Tracy Wolff
  • Popsugar Reading Challenge, prompt 44: A book that was self-published — City of Thorns (#1 The Demon Queen Trials) by C. N. Crawford
  • 23 books in 2023 — Crave (#1 Crave) by Tracy Wolff
  • Disney Reading Challenge, Tangled prompt: A book with a smouldering MMC — City of Thorns (#1 The Demon Queen Trials) by Kelsie Stelting
  • Disney Reading Challenge, Peter Pan prompt — A book by an author you’ve never read before — Ariane, l’astucieuse by Isabelle Pandazopoulos

I still don’t have an update for the total number of physical books on my TBR since I haven’t made any progress un hauling them yet, but I’ll try to spend some time doing that before the summer ends.


That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading my post.

See you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

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