It’s the end of July, and that means it’s time for my July 2021 wrap-up! Since I had a busy month, I didn’t read quite as much. Still, I got a decent amount of reading done and I’m excited to share my overall thoughts!
But now, without further delay, let’s get into the books!
Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
I read this for June’s @thismonthsreadathon twenty-four-hour readathon, and I enjoyed it so much! It had the perfect balance of sweet and sad moments, both in the romance plot and in the story in general. I also liked all the different characters, though Lara definitely stole the show for me. But Ollie came close; I absolutely loved his sense of humor and fortitude, and the way he could own up to his own mistakes.
In short, Only Mostly Devastated was a great YA romance that I recommend reading if you like the genre. I enjoyed it, and I hope you do, too!
Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Okay, I love this book so much. This was my second time reading it, but everything was just as amazing as it was the first time around. The characters, the story, the themes, all the cultural elements Khorram worked into the plot…everything about this book just blows me away. I can confidently say it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.
So, obviously, I highly recommend that you read it, too. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed! (Or, at least, I hope you won’t be!)
Full Review (including CW)
Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh
This book just wasn’t as good as the first in the duology. Even though some aspects of it (such as Mariko’s character) improved, I just didn’t love it quite as much, overall. But there was still plenty about Smoke in the Sun that I did like, don’t get me wrong! It did have an exciting, action-packed plot with lots of magic and complexity; but I wanted and expected more magic and more political intrigue, not just what was contained in chapters about Kanako. Plus, we got to see more of some of my favorite characters, which I loved.
And, overall, I recommend reading the duology. I just also recommend tempering your expectations after Flame in the Mist, because the second book is a little less amazing.
Saint Dorian and the Witch by Michael Raship
To be honest, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. But it totally blew me away with how amazing it was. My favorite aspect was definitely the world-building; Raship put so much detail into everything about this world, especially the main religion and its smaller counterpart. I also loved the varied characters and their different arcs; they each had such an interesting story and played important roles in the overall plot. Speaking of which, I loved the plot, too, and how it built upon itself from one event to the next.
So, in short, this book is a hidden gem and I definitely recommend taking the time to read it. Fans of fantasy won’t be disappointed, because this book has everything that a good fantasy story needs.
Joy’s Summer Love Playlist by Piper Bee
I read this book as part of a book tour and I’m happy I signed up for it! Because, overall, this was a perfect summer-themed romance that had all the best summer vibes. (Seriously, Bee incorporated so many different summer tropes. There was everything from a carnival to the beach to fireworks, and I loved it.) The romance itself was nice, too, and I enjoyed it despite the fact that it had a little bit of love triangle action. Plus, the varied and incredibly interesting cast of characters definitely made up for that, in my opinion.
So, overall, despite a few moments that missed the mark for me, I enjoyed this book and recommend reading it if you like the YA romance genre.
Full Review (including CW)
Leaves of Remedy by Claudia Boon
Originally, I hadn’t worked this book into my July schedule. But when Boon reached out and asked if I’d like to review an ARC, I had to say yes. (I mean, dragons. Dragons!) And I’m glad I did because I enjoyed reading this one. I adored the extensive world-building Boon included, in particular. But the characters were also very well-written, and the plot had was pretty exciting. It certainly kept me entertained.
So, if you’re a fan of fantasy, I recommend checking this one out. I found that it seemed slightly more geared towards the younger side of the YA spectrum, but I think readers of all ages could enjoy it.
Club Olympus by James Morley
I had a bit of a tough time rating and reviewing this book, to be honest. Basically, I loved the premise and the way Morley carried it out; the plot had so much excitement and intrigue. Just in general, the story itself was amazing. However, I definitely had a bit of a problem with some of the characters and some of the narration. I just didn’t appreciate some things, but, on the other hand, I can see why Morley included those characterizations and ideas. (You can check out the full review for more details.)
So, I think any negatives I found with this book were, for the most part, due to personal taste. Morley’s writing itself was excellent, and he’s definitely talented. I recommend reading the book yourself and seeing how you end up liking it.
The Green Cathedral by Kerry McDonald
This was another book tour I took part in for the month of July! I really enjoyed this one, too, especially since it fit into multiple genres I enjoy. I like action books, but this one had a science fiction twist that made it so much more interesting. (It kind of reminded me, vaguely, of Excavation by James Rollins. Namely because of that aspect.) Anyway, I really enjoyed the overall plot and the events that occurred in the story. And even though I disliked Abel somewhat, especially at the beginning of the book, he grew on me. His character developed to a degree over the course of the story, and I appreciated that.
So, I do recommend checking this one out if you have the time. It’s a worthwhile read, in my opinion.
Becoming a Druid by Mike Mollman
I love Celtic folklore and mythology, so I was thrilled when I got the chance to review this book. And I definitely was not disappointed by it! I loved how the plot built upon itself; what begins as a simple quest storyline grows more complicated as the book progresses, but the growing complexity feels entirely natural. None of the events that occur feel in any way forced. Additionally, I really enjoyed Mollman’s interpretation and presentation of druids and druidesses in the book. To be truthful, I don’t know much historical information about druids, but I liked what Mollman showed here. And, of course, I enjoyed the characters and how each of them contributed to the story.
I definitely recommend reading this one; it’s a great fantasy book, and I enjoy it so much.
Any Way The Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell
I finally got my hands on my own copy of this book about halfway through July! This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2021, and I can now happily say that it went above and beyond my expectations. I loved it; I loved the characters’ progression, and how Rowell included the perfect balance between emotion and action. Obviously, a large part of this book focused on finishing the character arcs started in the first book and continued in the second, but Rowell worked out an amazing action-packed subplot that kind of brought things full circle.
Honestly, I was just so impressed with this book but it’s hard to talk about what I liked about it without giving too much away. So much of the story focused on the character and their development, and obviously, that’s something that’s been happening throughout the entire series.
So, in short, go and read this trilogy if you haven’t already! It’ll definitely be worth your time.
The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray by O.R. Simmonds
Like most people, I’m always down for a good time travel story. And O.R. Simmonds was one of the best I’ve read, so far. I loved the amount of detail he put into developing not just the time travel itself, but also the background and context for all of it. Of course, I also greatly enjoyed the plot of the book and the way events unfolded. It’s always so interesting to see how past, present, and future events play out and come together in these kinds of books; it definitely fascinated me with this one.
So, if that sounds like your kind of book, then I recommend reading it. It has so much going for it, and you’ll most likely find yourself enjoying it.
Subway | Palliatopia by S.W. Lothian
I really didn’t know what to expect from this book going in. But, I was thoroughly happy with the direction Lothian ended up taking the plot. It had plenty of action and exciting twists, and it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Also, I loved how much detail Lothian put into developing everything. Because of all the detail, it felt incredibly realistic and believable. Honestly, my only main complaint about this book was that, sometimes, certain ideas and events felt somewhat redundant. But those instances were few in number and didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story.
In the end, I do recommend checking this one out. If you’re a fan of dystopian fiction, then there’s a good chance it’s a book you’ll like.
So, I hope you enjoyed my July 2021 reading wrap-up! Honestly, I actually didn’t do too bad this month. There was one book I had to cut out of my TBR (Maggie, please forgive me) but for the most part, I got to everything I wanted to read. And since I enjoyed all of them, I definitely count this month as a win! Feel free to drop a comment down below and let me know how your own July reading went.
Additionally, if you enjoyed this July wrap-up, feel free to check out my other monthly wrap-ups for more of the same content.
Now, on to August!
P.S.: The gorgeous personalized bookmark in the photo is from An Unexpected Apothecary. I’m actually a rep of theirs, which is so cool, and which means that if you use the code SUITE10, you’ll get 10% off your order! I don’t get anything from it when you use the code, it’s just to help you save some money!