July Reads | 2019

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all having an awesome day!

This is my equivalent to a monthly wrap-up. As majority of my wrap-ups consisted of what I read throughout the month I thought I’d just call it July Reads. Don’t know why I explained that you probably already figured that out haha. I think this is all spoiler free, hopefully. Buckle up, I feel like this is going to be a long post!

  • Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell, Illustrations by Simini Blocker (rating 4/5)

This was such a cute book. It’s under 200 pages, so a nice quick read as well. Almost Midnight is two short stories called ‘Midnight’ and ‘Kindred Spirits’.

Midnight focuses on two people: Noel and Mags. It’s set at a New Year’s Eve party where they meet every year and you see how each year their relationship grows.

Kindred Spirits is focused on Elena. She’s a massive Star Wars fan and decides to queue up outside the movie theatre before the new upcoming Star Wars movie. It doesn’t go the way she had always dreamed about and she was expecting massive crowds but when she gets there, there are only two other people. This story is about her experience where she spends time getting to know the two fellow die hard fans.

The illustrations throughout were so cute and fitted the vibe of the stories. It left me feeling so warm and smiling. It’s such a cute, light-hearted book. Could easily pick this up anytime.

  • Heart of the Dragon by Gena Showalter (rating 3/5)

This is the first book in Gena Showalter’s A Tale of Atlantis series and as her lords of the underworld series they can also be read as stand-alones. This series was obviously inspired by the world of Atlantis and in this book we are following Darius who is the guard to the gate of Atlantis and must kill any traveller who comes through. Over three centuries he shows no mercy until Grace comes along and let’s just emotions that he thought he lost become alive again.

Gena Showalter’s novels is known for action and romance, LOTS. The action is not as focused as the romance. I’m just going to say now this one wasn’t a favourite. I normally really like her books but this one wasn’t my favourite.

All her books involve pretty much an insta-love or insta-attraction. Normally, I’m not fazed (as long as it’s done well) and just hope as the story goes on the relationship aspect will grow out of it and going into something more meaningful. This time I felt like the relationship was rushed. There were moments in the book that I was here for and others where I was just….what??. Especially at the beginning when they first met and he was saying to himself how he was starting to feel. I found it hard to believe as for three hundred years he’s been known by his people as ruthless, cold-hearted who displayed no emotion, and all of a sudden he’s feeling an immediate change. He did act distant to maintain this image but it was broken quickly. Overall, I just felt like the pacing of the relationship should have been spaced more.

There wasn’t heaps towards the plot. The whole thing was just about trying to find Grace’s brother (not a spoiler) and Darius came along to help. There were a few action scenes but wasn’t 100% sold.

I gave it three stars but really I think it’s going towards more of a low three stars. I’ve never given anything below a three but I debated whether to or not. For me this rating (three stars) means that I finished the book, it was okay but I probably won’t pick it up again in the near future. I hope the other books in this series will be better.

  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (4 or 4.5/5)

I really loved this book! I’ve read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, seen the movie, and loved that as well so I was looking forward to start reading this as it’s been on my shelf for a while now. This is an easy, contemporary read with lots to it.

The Sun is Also a Star is about Daniel and Natasha. Natasha is facing her last day in America as she is being deported back to Jamaica. Daniel dreams about becoming a poet but with the expectations of his parents of wanting him to go to Yale and become a doctor, it seems impossible.

The messages throughout this book are so important to read about. I enjoyed the format of this book. It mainly focusses on the two primary characters Natasha and Daniel but it also includes chapters or passages on characters we meet along the way to understand their backstory which adds more context to the overall story. It’s well done in my opinion.

It does contain an insta-love as the story is set in one day but the pacing was done well that I forgot this was only one day. It didn’t feel rushed or forced. The ending was also so sweet that it left me smiling and feeling giddy. It wasn’t the ending I pictured when I started the book but was happy with it. Also, I saw this was turned into a movie this year so I’m keen to see how it is.

  • Star-Crossed by Frances Kelly and Penny Murray (rating 3.75/5)

Star-Crossed is an anthology of stories all about the love stories throughout history. These are famous romances from literary books and real romances. I’m happy I’ve finally finished this book as it’s a book I’ve been just picking up and putting down for a few months. It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying it but that it was a good filler book to have in between reads. It was an interesting read. It’s a book you can take anywhere with you and open to any page. There were a couple I already knew but I enjoyed learning and reading about all the new ones. It was nice seeing how they were inspirations to things we see know. One of them was about how the Taj Mahal came to be.

  • The Count of Monte Cristo (Manga Classics) by Stacy King (Story Adaptation), Nokman Poon (Illustrations) (rating 4.5)

Original story by Alexandre Dumas.

This was one of my favourite reads this month. I enjoyed it immensely. I had heard of the story about The Count of Monte Cristo but was clueless to the actual story. Now that I’ve read it, I can say I loved the reading experience. Having it in manga form is such a great way to learn about a classic. The illustrations are so well done, it definitely helps with the reading experience. The Count of Monte Cristo is a complex story. There are so many characters connected to one another that the illustrations help in remembering who is who. Also, they include a relationship tree in back so thank you! This is my fourth Manga Classics that I’ve read and will absolutely be looking out for more.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Until next time…


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