July 2017 Wrap-Up & Haul

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Hello everyone!

Needless to say, it’s been a while since I’ve written a brand new blog post.

I could probably list a thousand excuses as to why I’ve been away for so long, but I think this is the simplest explanation that I could give — I really, really needed a break. A break from blogging, from bookstagramming, and, yes, even a break from reading. I felt so overwhelmed with everything and when a fun hobby that I love so much started to feel more like a chore or a job… that’s when I knew I had to stop and step away from everything for a bit. Thankfully, I think I’ve gotten back into the rhythm of everything throughout the past two weeks or so and, though an enormous book slump loomed over me for weeks on end, the challenge of BooktubeAThon took me out of it fairly quickly (I read seven books in seven days and I am immensely proud of myself). So, finally, I’m back with a brand new website layout (feel free to click around and look through my blog because I’m really happy with how everything turned out), more books to write about (and to review because I’m very behind on reviewing the books that I’ve read this year), and lots of fangirl-y emotions that I’m ready to unleash upon my keyboard. Oh, and a diploma since I graduated from high school in June. *throws confetti into the air*

Anyway, enough with my tedious rambling. Without further ado, here is my kinda-sorta-but-not-really-late monthly wrap-up for July (and a bit of a recap of June as well since I barely read during that month *shudders*).


BooksRead

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
★★★★★Add on Goodreads

Okay, so I technically read this book at the end of June but I couldn’t resist including it within this wrap-up because I loved this novel so much. The To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before books are some of my favorite contemporaries purely because of the diversity of the characters, the addictive romance, and the witty one-liners that never failed to make me smile (i.e. Kitty’s amazingly sassy remarks). I was so glad that Jenny decided to turn this duology into a trilogy because I grew to love these characters so much and I just wanted more of them. After finally reading AAFLJ, I can definitely say that I enjoyed the direction that Jenny took the story in so much! It feels so bittersweet to me that this is the close of Lara Jean and Peter K’s story, but these books will always hold a special place in my heart and this concluding novel was a great way to end this whirlwind of love letters, self-discovery, romance, baking, family, friends, and, for me personally, emotional turmoil caused by Peter Kavinsky. (I’m also still freaking out over the TATBILB movie news because that practically came out of nowhere and I am feeling all of the feelings.)

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire
★★★★.5 Add on Goodreads

After being in an intense and rather unbearable reading slump for the majority of July, I decided to participate in BooktubeAThon 2017! The first book I read for the readathon was Every Heart A Doorway and, oh my God, it. was. so. good. This book has fantastical elements that I loved, writing that mystified me from the very first page, a plot that was action-packed yet somehow compacted into 169 pages, and characters that are so rich in essence and so diverse. This story contains an asexual main character, a trans poc main character, and so many more diverse and brilliant characters, I literally could not read enough about them?? My only real critique of the book (and the overall reason I gave it 4.5/5 stars) is that I wish the book was just a tad bit longer so the ending didn’t feel so abrupt. Aside from that, the plot was captivating and the characters were lovely and amazing and GAH, I loved this book so much.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
★★★★ Add on Goodreads

When Dimple Met Rishi was one of my most anticipated novels for the entire year and it definitely did not disappoint! The characters were both witty and hilarious and so precious (and Dimple is a staunch feminist which I absolutely loved) and the plot was a bit of a rollercoaster but I enjoyed it a lot. Even though there were a few romance cliches and somewhat cringe-y lines, I think that this was a really great young adult contemporary novel and I can’t wait to read Sandhya’s future novels because I’m sure they’ll be just as cute, adorable, and diverse as this gem.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
★★★ Add on Goodreads

One of the reading challenges for BooktubeAThon was to read a book entirely outside. So, naturally, I had to find one of the shortest books I owned so I could read it quickly, escape back inside, and return to my bedroom to hide away from civilization as fast as possible. I ended up picking up The Time Machine and while it wasn’t my favorite read of the month, it was a fairly good classic novel and I enjoyed the various sci-fi elements within the story.

A Million Junes by Emily Henry
★★★★★ Add on Goodreads

I plan on writing a full review for this novel very soon so I’m going to try and keep this fairly short but this is honestly one of the best young adult contemporaries I’ve read in a long time. I absolutely adored this book and it captivated me from the very first chapter. I’ve fallen in love with Emily Henry’s gorgeous/magical/dreamy writing style and she’s probably one of my new favorite authors because of this book. I related to it more than I thought I ever could, the premise is based around Romeo and Juliet, the romance was swoon-worthy, and there were elements of mystery mixed in with magical realism so flawlessly. I just… I loved this book. A lot.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
★★★★ Add on Goodreads

Can I just start out by saying that this is a novel about a transgender main character, it is written by a transgender author, and the book cover features a transgender model. Like, yes. Just. Yes, yes, yes. I loved this novel so much. The story was heartbreaking at some points and heartwarming at others, all the while it was educational and important and so, so enveloping. The beginning was a bit slow but once I got about a third of the way through I couldn’t set this book down at all. I loved the characters because they were all so well-developed and the romance was (I keep using this word but I don’t even care at this point) SWOON-WORTHY.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
★★★★★ Add on Goodreads

Can I just say right now that I really, really don’t want this series to ever end? Because I love these books so much. They’re fairly short when compared to the average novel yet they dive into plots that leave me absolutely breathless. I think I enjoyed this book more than Every Heart A Doorway because I had already been introduced to Jack and Jill’s character, so it was much easier to immerse myself completely within the story. I loved the fantasy/creepy-ish setting of this book and, again, the diversity within Seanan’s books makes me so happy (this book in particular features a f/f romance and I loved it so much).

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
★★★★★ Add on Goodreads

The best way to end a readathon is with an amazing book and Aristotle and Dante did not disappoint. I’ve read so many mixed reviews about this novel so I went into it not knowing much about the plot or whether or not I would enjoy it as much as I was hoping to. Long story short, I devoured this book in one sitting because I loved it so much. The relationship that formed between Ari and Dante was mesmerizing and as soon as the novel came to a close I stared at my book and wished it would somehow magically expand so I could read more about the characters and their stories. I loved the diverse characters and storylines within this book (most of the characters are POC and the two main characters are LGBTQ+ Latinx characters), the situations that occur within this story range from being happy to sad to heartbreaking to everything in between, and the ending left me huddled in the corner of my room as I curled up into a ball of emotions. This is yet another novel that I plan on writing a full review for soon so prepare for that post because it will likely feature more in-depth details of how much I absolutely adored this book.


BookHaul

  • Mirror Me by Tara St. Pierre (special thanks to the author for sending me this book!)
  • Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
  • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy edited by Ameriie

Favorites

Books

  • Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  • A Million Junes by Emily Henry
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

TV Shows/Films

  • Game of Thrones (every. season. of. it.)
  • Dunkirk (2017)
  • In a Heartbeat (2017)

Albums/Songs

  • literally every Paramore song to ever exist

Other

  • Buzzfeed Unsolved videos
  • Tumblr

I already talked about my favorite books this month and why I loved them so much so I guess now I’ll just talk a bit about my other favorites this month. I decided to binge watch Game of Thrones to see if I could catch up with the entire series before the latest season began and I got very, very addicted to it. Watching 60 hours worth of Game of Thrones is a commitment that I didn’t think I could follow through with, but I did and I loved every minute of it. Dunkirk was definitely one of my favorite movies of the year for so many reasons and I honestly want to see it in theaters again just to experience the cinematography on a theater screen at least one more time. If you haven’t watched In a Heartbeat yet, what are you even doing with your life because it is so adorable and cute and I love it so much?? When it comes to music, I recently re-discovered my love for Paramore and it’s come to the point where the only music I listen to anymore is Paramore. I’m not even kidding. Go listen to After Laughter because it is underrated and so amazing. Aside from all of those, Buzzfeed Unsolved finally came back and words cannot express how happy that makes me. Oh, and lastly — I finally discovered how to properly use Tumblr so if you want you can follow me here


Overall, I think July was a successful reading month and I’m very glad that readathons exist because they never fail to pull me out of a reading slump when I desperately need them to. I’ll hopefully be posting some book reviews, book tags, and weekly memes soon so stay tuned for those. What were your favorite reads for July? Let me know in the comments below!

LoveCourtney1

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