Guest Writer Wrap-Ups

July Wrap Up

Hey! My friend Audrey is going to hop on over here to write a guest post for this blog! I personally have had a horrible reading month (only finishing Tweet Cute), so I thought you might have a little more enjoyment hearing from my friend. Enjoy!

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Ah, it’s been a while since I’ve written a post for this blog. I was in a huge reading slump for the entirety of 2019 and didn’t really get back into reading until early May of this year. But, once May hit, I took off and started reading like crazy, trying to catch up on all the 2019 releases I missed, and books that have been rotting on my TBR. I’ve read almost double my Goodreads reading goal, and have consistently read books over the past few months. I was able to read nearly 20 books in July, so instead of going through each book and giving thoughts on them (which would probably result in me writing a million pages detailing all my thoughts), I decided to do a “speed wrap-up” where I just go through my major reading highlights of the month. Here is my “speed wrap-up”: 

*Note: I tried to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but there are still small references to events that happen in these books that may be considered “spoilery” for some people

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Best book: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

This is my first Cosmere book, and after seeing all of the high ratings and reviews, I finally decided to pick it up. It was kind of daunting since it is quite long (nearly 700 pages!) but wow. I was completely blown away. The magic system is incredibly unique and a bit complicated, but Sanderson explains it so well as we learn about it with our main character. The world is cruel yet fascinating, where the skaa are slaves, the nobility thrives, and the Lord Ruler is the omnipotent emperor of the land. The characters were so appealing as well. I loved the thieving crew we follow, and our 2 main characters, Kelsier and Vin. I don’t think I can fully express how much I loved this book, but it has quickly become one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. 

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Worst book: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

I am definitely in the minority opinion for this book, but I just couldn’t get into it. The plot was progressing at such a slow pace, and the characters and their interactions were just so bland. I was looking forward to reading a slow-burn, enemies to lovers romance story with some interesting backstory to the caliph. Instead, I got a rushed instalove relationship, a love triangle that reminded me of the one from the Grisha trilogy, and a character who just couldn’t seem to make up her mind. There wasn’t really a plot either since the book is quite character-focused, so I was really bored reading this book. I did like the writing style that Ahdieh had, but it just didn’t enhance the bland storyline. 

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Most surprising book: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

I don’t usually read mystery/thriller novels since I tend to stay in my fantasy and contemporary bubble, but I thought that I would just try to pick up one after all the fantasy books I had read, and I definitely don’t regret it. This book was so fun, following Stevie as she tries to solve the infamous Ellingham case, as well as some other events that happen at the Ellingham academy. I thought Stevie was a great character to follow since she felt so real. We see her at her lows, dealing with mental illness, but also at her highs where she enjoys spending time with her friends and discovering more about the case. This book was also filled with several plot twists that I didn’t see coming. Overall, I found my reading experience to be really fun, which I honestly didn’t expect, considering I hardly read any books from this genre. 

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Most disappointing book: King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

If you don’t know, Six of Crows is probably my favorite series that I have finished. I didn’t love the Grisha trilogy, however, so I was a little apprehensive going into this book. I’m not the biggest Nikolai fan and didn’t really see his appeal in the Grisha trilogy, but I was really interested in seeing how he and the other Grisha characters dealt with their trauma from the Ravkan civil war. Instead, this book went down a path that I didn’t enjoy. It brought back a certain character that I felt to be completely unnecessary, had a romance I didn’t care for, and had a boring plot. On the other hand, Nina’s storyline was empowering and intriguing, but one of the new characters introduced felt too similar to an already existing character in the Grisha universe (you probably know who I’m talking about). I think that this book was kind of unnecessary since both Ruin and Rising and Crooked Kingdom ended off pretty well, but oh well. 

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Now, these are just the major highlights of my month, so if you would like to see my ratings for the rest of the books I read, you can check out my Goodreads. All in all, I am very satisfied with the books I read this month, and hope to read some more great books in August and the rest of the year. Let me know some of your favorite books that you loved, or even hated this month, and happy reading!

-Audrey

10 thoughts on “July Wrap Up”

  1. I certainly would have balked at a 700 page novel! Good for you for going for it! My favorite July book was Cricket Hunters by Jeremy Hepler. It’s a coming of age story in which superstition (or is it actual witchcraft? I’m not telling!) plays a big roll. It’s almost horror, maybe light horror, mostly suspense. Very good!

    1. Haha, it was definitely scary reading such a long book, but I ended up really enjoying it. I love coming of age stories, and horror is a genre I would love to explore more. Definitely going to consider picking this book up in the future 😊

  2. I’ve heard only good things about Brandon Sanderson! Looking forward to reading his books too. I’m also not a fan of Shadow and Bone and probably wont finish the series. Still curious about SoC, though 💗

    1. Brandon Sanderson is a popular author I’ve wanted to try for a long time, and I’m definitely glad I did! I would definitely recommend giving SoC a try though. I feel like the characters were more compelling, and it also deviated from the common (and boring) YA tropes I found in the Grisha trilogy!

  3. Glad to see how much you enjoyed The Final Empire! I can’t wait to get back into that universe in the near future. Sorry to hear about Bardugo’s book though. Six of Crows is one of my all-time favourite YA novels too. Great speedy wrap-up! 😀

    1. Yea, it was quite disappointing that King of Scars couldn’t live up to the hype that surrounded it 😔. I loved the Final Empire though and hopefully you can immerse yourself in that universe when you pick it up again!

  4. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed The Final Empire. I absolutely loved that book, it was my favorite of the series so far. I think I found it at the right time for me, it all just clicked. The magic, the fear and dread of the Lord Ruler and those he commands, and Vin, such a fantastic character. I still have to read The Bands of Mourning, the last of the second trilogy. That trilogy hasn’t clicked with me quite the way the first did (at least Final Empire, anyway… I did think the first series lost some of its shine by book three), but I’m still very much enjoying it, seeing how Sanderson extrapolates everything into the future.

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