Hey there, book nerds!
Did you miss me?? I sure as heck missed you!! So here’s the deal, I could provide excuses for why I’m doing THREE MONTHS of wrap ups in one post, but honestly what can I say that will justify that?? At the end of the day I didn’t want to rob my blog of these wrap ups due to my real-life distractions, so I figured combining them into one post was better than never posting them at all! And I hope you all agree! But mark my words this won’t happen again!
My patient followers (bless you) you’ve waited a long time so let’s go ahead and dive into my May, June, and July 2018 Wrap Up!
May Reads (Full RsTC):
1) Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds – 4 STARS
This is the first book I’ve ever read in verse and I’m so blessed it was devoted to such a relevant and thought-provoking topic. This is one of those stories that sucks you in so quickly that you’re not even aware it’s done until you physically run out of pages to turn. And that ending y’all. THAT ENDING.
2) Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young – 4 STARS
This beautiful book turned buddy read was a birthday gift from Destiny. I was drawn to this book from the moment I saw the cover art, and felt it mostly lived up to the hype. The atmospheric writing had bursts of delicately graphic violence balanced with super slow-burning romance and showed a ton of promise for this debut author.
3) Purple Orchids by Samantha Christy – 2.5 STARS
Maybe I was in a foul mood while reading this “second-chance romance,” but it got me all hot and bothered — and not in a good way. To be fair, I don’t think this was a bad book nor do I think the writing was crap, but it did feature characters that REFUSE TO TALK TO EACH OTHER. I’m just so tired of reading books where characters destroy their own HEAs because they won’t have a freaking conversation. I mean maybe if these were high school characters I’d let it slide, but adults making themselves miserable for YEARS and then fixing everything seemingly instantaneously once they finally talk…no. Just no. It’s been months and I’m still salty, y’all.
4) You Will Be Mine by Natasha Preston – 2 STARS
I should have listened to my fellow reviewers on this wannabe thriller. I wanted the negative reviews to be wrong so badly because the synopsis had me hooked — as did most of the first half of the book. The problem? The big “twist” made very little sense and was such a lackluster way to end the story. If you disagree hit me up because I’d love to chat about the twist I wanted to see pan out.
5) ARC: Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka – 4 STARS
I received this Shakespearean-themed ARC at NTTBF (see post below) and although it’s predictable this is a super cute adaptation of the “greatest love story of all time.” If you’re a theater geek or simply in the market for a bingeable summer read I’d definitely check this one out. Full review here!
6) Royally Screwed by Emma Chase – 2.75 STARS
I’d be lying if I said this summer’s Royal wedding didn’t influence my reading of this Prince & Pauper romance. And while my low-star opinion is definitely not the norm (the book is currently sitting at 4.08 Stars on Goodreads), I do feel it’s justified. The male lead we’re introduced to at the beginning is a straight up jerk. He’s selfish, rude, and out loud states some of the most degrading comments against women that I simply couldn’t forgive. And despite the fact that some of the over-the-top drama seems straight out of the soaps this novel still ended up being wildly predictable. At the end of the day it’s an easy read, but this wouldn’t be my first choice for a royal reread.
Average Star Rating: 3.21 STARS
June Reads (Full RsTC):
1) Autoboyography by Christina Lauren – 4.5 STARS
Would it be irresponsible to just put a mountain emoji here? Assuming the answer is yes, I’ll elaborate. This book is penned by one of my favorite writing duos and while it wasn’t perfect it did evoke a lot of emotions and thoughts about religion, sexuality, and acceptance. One of the most original and memorable reads of my summer.
2) ARC: Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington – 3 STARS
I initially read a sampler of this music-infused contemporary (told in alternating POVs that flash between the past and the present) a few months back and was hooked. There were parts I loved, lines I adored, and some slight swooning. However, after getting to read the whole thing I discovered there was also unnecessary side stories, rehashing of addressed issues, and characters that didn’t get the time they deserved. It’s a light read, but, unfortunately, it won’t be a memorable one.
3) The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager – 4 Stars
I could not be more thrilled to announce that I actually really enjoyed this murder mystery. As some of you know, I wasn’t a fan of Sager’s debut (Final Girls) and it’s cop out ending, but his sophomore novel displays a ton of improvement. And despite some minor issues, one twist left me so shook I couldn’t possibly have ranked this any lower. So give Sager another chance and enjoy your summers at Camp Nightingale.
4) The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – 4.5 Stars
This gender swapped Pretty Woman-channeling contemporary is one of my favorite reads of the summer. It’s steamy, shocking, and swoon worthy all while showcasing a highly underrepresented group of people in literature — let alone romance. This ownvoice debut author deserves all the hype so check this poolside-worthy read out pronto!
5) Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch – 3.75 STARS
Things I remember about this fluffy contemporary: 1) I read it while eating gelato on the plane to Italy, 2) I feel like this would have been my everything while in high school, 3) There was NO competition — in my mind — in this “love triangle” scenario. You know who was the obvious choice from the meet-cute scene. I highly recommend this to teenagers going through a transitional period or for anyone who wants a light read to wrap up their summer.
6) Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire – 3 STARS
I honestly don’t know how to rate this. There’s a time in my life that I think I would have adored this book (which is why it’s rated higher than it probably should be), but now I see it for the clusterF it was. There’s all sorts of drama, cringeworthy levels of possessiveness — like straight up Marky Mark in Fear levels of cling — and a heroine that seems to equally demand respect while accepting crap all in the name of “love.” It IS a fast-paced read, but a problematic one at that.
Average Star Rating: 3.79 STARS
July Reads (Full RsTC):
1) Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – 4 STARS
Y’all I’m torn. And I apologize because given the topic that’s probably an insensitive word choice. But I don’t know how else to describe what I’m feeling right now. I remember reading this book back in ’09 and being incredibly taken with the world of Wind Gap. It was dark, creepy, and just THE definition of messed up. Eyelashes and missing teeth, anyone? Flash forward to present day where I’m fresh off a reread in preparation for the HBO miniseries and I find myself torn. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, more well-read, or because I knew where the story was going to lead, but Flynn’s story didn’t pack the same punch it once had. At the end of the day there is NO doubt that this a complex story about even more convoluted characters and I’m hoping watching the HBO series will bring more resolution to my current state of confusion.
2) Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – 3 STARS
I did it. I finally started this series and I think it’ll take me “exactly 264 days” to figure out how I feel about it. I’m invested enough in the story to want to keep going, but I’m going to be honest y’all, I don’t think I can take much more of the instapanic princess we find in Juliette. Between her freakouts, the
strikeouts, and the repetitive word choices I’m just baffled how not one but TWO alphas are fawning over her. If you can get past the purple prose you’ll find an interesting story, but is it worth it? Jury’s still out.
3) Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi – 3.5 STARS
Despite the fact that very little happened I still enjoyed this novella more than its’ predecessor. It’s clear this was a vehicle to provide Warner with a redemption arc by “justifying” his
cruelty actions in book 1. It shows his troubled past. It shows his desire to break away from the confines of his title and family. It shows his love for Juliette. REPEATEDLY. And while these inner musings prove he’s hands down a more interesting character than Adam (read: the other stem of the triangle) I still just feel kind of meh about it all. IS it worth it? Should I keep reading? Let me know below!
4) Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – 5 STARS
The final book in this wrap up was also my favorite read of the summer — so far. From the world building and the violence to the endless amounts of quotable lines I feel like I lived — momentarily — in the streets of Godsgrave and the Red Church. Jay has a way with writing that makes you feel like you’re living amongst the text and that’s just so rare and beautiful and worth every minute of your time. Do yourselves a favor and pick this up asap or I’ll stick Mia on your shadow.
Average Star Rating: 3.88 STARS
Here’s what went down in May, June, and July:
8 Top Ten Tuesday Posts: Books I’d Slay For, Favorite Color Covers, Poolside Reads, Original TBR, Summer 2018 TBR, PRIDE Stacks, Best Reads (So Far) of 2018, and CAT edition (Celebrity Autobiographies)
1 Wrap Up: April 2018 Wrap Up
I wish this post was filled with triple the amount of books and posts like some of my kick ass blogging friends, but it’s not and I need to be happy with my own pace and progress! I hope you guys enjoyed reading this and I appreciate you sticking with me through the delays in content!
As always I want to know if you’ve read and loved or read and tossed any of these titles! Did you partake in any of the same tags/posts? Which was your favorite? Let me know below!
And, as always, Happy Reading!