July Wrap-Up

It’s time to wrap-up my July reads. I read 20 books! Wow! That is by far the most books I’ve read in a month. It’s 1 book for every 1.55 days. I also completed my Goodreads Challenge this month, and now stand at 91 books total for the year!

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Books read in July 2016!
  1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  2. You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein (Review)
  3. Jackaby by William Ritter
  4. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  5. Shrill by Lindy West
  6. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  7. All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker (Review)*
  8. If I Stay by Gayle Forman*
  9. Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke*
  10. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (Review)
  11. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
  12. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Review)
  13. The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel (Review)*
  14. Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  15. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover*
  16. The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
  17. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany (Review)

*Audiobook or eARC, not pictured
(Plus 3 books proofread for my work, not pictured and not within my blog’s scope of genre)

Some of these books have yet to be reviewed on my blog, but I will add the links as I add the reviews! I look forward to August being a very successful month as well.

Have you read any of these books? Which ones are you looking forward to reading?

“Baby Doll” by Hollie Overton

27415371.jpg★★★★☆ — New release Tuesday!

When I was at BEA, one of the people in the Hachette booth looked at me and said, “This is like Room, but darker.” And I was in. I was so in.

Lily was kidnapped eight years ago. Since then, she has endured serious torture, sexual abuse, and a pregnancy. But then one day, her kidnapper forgets to lock the door. And Baby Doll runs, runs, runs all the way home.

To spoil anything in this book would be a crime. So I will quote what the synopsis says, “This is what happens next…to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter…and to her captor.”

This book is dark, scary, sad, and twisty. Much like Room, it captures the escape from the kidnapper and the hard adjustment after the horror. But on a different (and in my opinion, better) note, Baby Doll is told from multiple different viewpoints, instead of just the child’s. This brings in different feelings, different perspectives, and I think that makes the story more impactful.

Purchase the book here.

Thank you to the publisher for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Lunar Chronicles (1-4) by Marissa Meyer

★★★★☆

CinderIf you haven’t started on this series, you’ve been missing out. I listened to all of The Lunar Chronicles on audiobook this year. This YA series takes old fairy tales, and gives them a modern, futuristic twist that brings them all together.

Cinder is a cyborg, having been in a tragic accident when she was little. She works in the market as a mechanic, and one 13206760fateful day, Prince Kaito comes to her stall to get his android fixed. This sparks a friendship (and perhaps a romance?) between a regular citizen and the soon-to-be Emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth. Earth is under attack from “The Plague” — a disease that kills a person within weeks of contracting it. No one knows where it comes from or how to cure it. When Cinder’s evil stepmother gives her up for the cyborg draft for medical testing, Cinder finds out some very shocking news about herself. cress-marissa-meyer-top-ten-young-adult-books-of-2014This starts an epic journey and Cinder gains many friends — and enemies — throughout the process.

Scarlet is a young farmer whose grandmother disappears one day. She’s determined to find her, and on the way, she meets a genetically modified man named Wolf. He’s mysterious and Scarlet isn’t sure she should trust him. Cress is a spin on the old Rapunzel story, locked up in a satellite to do evil Queen Fairest_CoverLevana’s bidding with her impressive hacking skills. Queen Levana rules Luna (the Moon), and she is well-known as a cruel leader who killed her own niece, Celene, the rightful Queen of Luna. Princess Winter is her step-daughter, cursed with Lunar Madness and never to be Queen due to her lack of royal blood. Over time, all of these characters, and many more, meet up with Cinder and choose either to follow and help her, or work against her for their own benefit.

WinterThe story is very fast-paced and easy to read, but has the same feel-good plot points like the fairy tales. It has it all: action, romance, humor, politics, and fantasy. The last book in the series, Winter, just came out this November, so now you can read through all 5 books without torturous waiting, like the rest of us did. Lucky you!

Purchase the books here: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter

“Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng

★★★★☆

Everything I Never Told YouEverything I Never Told You is a book that by all accounts, I shouldn’t have liked. I don’t typically like the full family history, the set in the past, or the racial tension type books. But whoa. This book was beautifully sad. I felt so bad for all of the characters. They were all so unhappy with their lives. The parents had so many issues and a lot of them were due to their own choices.

Marilyn and James tried so hard to have happy, successful lives, but something always got in the way of their happiness. They both had challenging childhoods that were very influential on who they became as adults.

The children had hard lives, always trying to get praise or a smile from their parents. Nath was largely neglected by his father, the only one he wanted approval from. Lydia couldn’t be what her mom wanted her to be, and she felt misunderstood by her father. And little Hannah, poor Hannah – always underestimated for her level of comprehension of situations (much like many youngest children).

When Lydia goes missing, her family must try to stick together to figure out what happened to her. Then, Lydia is found dead in the lake. Her family is shocked – this is the catalyst for their falling apart. Everything I Never Told You follows their stories, before the children were born, after they were born, and after Lydia’s death. It spans a wide timeline, but it is beautifully woven and was really a sad, profound book.

I listened to this book on Audible. The narrator was engaging and easy to listen to, with her soft voice saying all of the sad things in the book.

Purchase the book here.

“Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling

★★★★★

New release Tuesday!
Why Not Me?Why Not Me? is a funny collection of essays that has the perfect balance of wit, humor, and candor that Kaling is known for. In the book, you will find great tidbits from her work on The Office and The Mindy Project, stories about her relationships with various celebs (being soupsnakes with BJ Novak, offending unnamed pop stars, etc.), and her tips for looking like a movie star and various dieting mishaps. In addition, there are some great inspirational pieces that (of course) manage to stay hilarious, such as her tips on confidence and her commencement speech to Harvard.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?This book won’t change your life (and if this is what you’re expecting, you don’t know Mindy), but Mindy Kaling shows incredible growth from Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? and passion for what she does and what she stands for.

The unabridged audio version of Why Not Me? is highly entertaining as Kaling reads it herself. However, it should also be noted that there are pictures in the physical book that are not made available to the listener.

Purchase the book here.

“The Wicked Girls” by Alex Marwood

★★★★☆

I listened to this book on Audible. Recommended.

The Wicked GirlsJade and Belle are 11 year olds from different worlds. When they meet, they immediately hit it off. But things go wrong when they end up killing 4-year-old Chloe. Flash forward to the present — both girls have been given new identities to protect them from the angry mobs that want them killed. Amber Gordon works at a water park in a tourist town, and Kirsty Lindsay is a well-known freelance journalist. Their worlds collide when a serial killer strikes in Amber’s town and Kirsty is sent to report on it.

The Wicked Girls is a fast-paced thriller that tells not only the present-day story of Amber and Kirsty, but also flashes back to see what really happened that fateful day with poor, innocent Chloe. Sometimes, circumstances aren’t what they seem — but sometimes, everything isn’t what it seems. A twisted look at murder, justice, and journalism.

Purchase the book here.