July Wrap Up and August TBR

Thursday, 30 July 2015

So I thought I would start a little segment on my blog that I know is very popular around the book blogging community and that is to discuss what I read in the previous month and what I intend, or hope to read in the following month. So here goes nothing, this is my July Wrap Up and my TBR for the month of August!

So July for me was a very quiet month in terms of work because obviously being a primary teacher, the schools break up for the summer holidays in like the second week, which meant I had a lot of time to sit down and actually get through lots of books uninterrupted! It was beautiful! I miss being in the classroom with the children but it's nice to actually have some time to sit and chill after such a busy year! However, as it is now officially the summer holidays and I have a trip to Italy coming up next week, on which I plan to do nothing but slob and read, I expect to get through quite a few books! So this month I managed to read 12 books, made up of 9 full books, 1 novella, a graphic novel and I started but DNF'd a 10th novel. I am extremely satisfied with that! I've read some brilliant books this month and I've also read quite frankly, some terrible books as well, but we'll get into them in a minute! This month was filled with some great surprises and some horrible let downs of anticipated reads, which was a real shame so it's quite a mixed bunch! In terms of my reading challenge, I have read 51/50 meaning I have completed my yearly challenge! I am so impressed with myself as this is the first year where I've actually kept track of my reading habits so it's really nice to see that I'm clearly doing above and beyond my own expectation. Technically however I should only be on 49 as I've DNF'd two books but Goodreads counts them as read so I'm going with that! So lets see what I read this month and my opinions on them!

1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (4/5 stars)
This was a very dramatic and intense read and I'm not surprised with all of the hype it is getting - it's definitely worth all of the praise. I'm so glad that the publishers decided this book was worthy of a sequel because there was no way that story could be left as a standalone because it's left me craving more of this world. It will definitely be interesting to see where this book takes off from. It makes me sad that we have to wait almost a year before the next book is out!

2. The School for School and Evil by Soman Chainani (3/5 stars)
The premise of the book sounds so intrinsic! When a princess and a witch are switched schools, they have to discover things about themselves that they never once knew. This was a really fun and engaging take on the fairytale genre. It has set up a lot of things for the following sequels so I'll be interested where this story could take us from here. If you love fairytales, you'll definitely want to give this one a try!

3. Chopstix by A.T. Raydan (1/5 stars)
It's always difficult when you receive a book for review that you are sure you are going to love, but then it turns out to be a book that you really don't gel with. The premise sounded amazing and I was so happy when it arrived. I could not wait to start it. A chinese superhero who uses chopsticks to deal out justice in a world of crime. I tried so hard with this book but I just couldn't do it. I think there is definitely something to be said about a book when you can't even get past page 33. I do try to believe in giving books a second chance and to try and stay positive but I just couldn't with this book.

4. Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples (4/5 stars)
I loved Saga! I don't know why it's taken me so long to get to this graphic novel series because everyone who is anyone has been ranting and raving about how amazing this series is and how it just gets better and better with each instalment. They couldn't be more correct! I've only read the first volume but the illustrations and the story just pulls you in and you can't seem to put it down. It's set in a futuristic galaxy where two worlds are at war with one another, and two budding young citizens have fallen in love and given birth to a child. The only issue is they're from two very different worlds and they're on the run!

5. Armada by Ernest Cline (4/5 stars)
For fans of Ready Player One or all things Sci-Fi and nerdy comes a fantastic instalment by acclaimed author Ernest Cline. This novel was an quick witted, action-packed, nerdy dedication to the little gamer inside me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it attributes to all those who enjoy Sci-Fi, video game culture, and sporting rememberable characters. Cline has a unique way of integrating decades old pop culture with modern storytelling and it works fantastically well in the Sci-Fi settings he creates.

6. Nick and Charlie: A Solitaire Novella by Alice Oseman (5/5 stars)
This was absolutely adorable. To revisit two of my favourite characters from Solitaire and to find out they have their own novella was just perfection. I'm sorry Alice but I need more from Nick and Charlie. This novella brought on all of the feels as you slowly progress into the story. You fall in love with these characters all over again and then watch as they face trials in their relationship. It's definitely a novella that will tug on your heart strings and I'd go as far to call you heartless if you couldn't agree in the slightest.

7. One by Sarah Crossan (5/5 stars)
This was a heartbreakingly touching novel that has clearly become one of my all time favourites. I laughed, loved and cried at this novel. It brought out all of the emotions in me and I can't say that many novels can bring me out in all of the feelings. It's so impressive to see the reactions it can bring out in the reader with so few words. It's truly amazing. A novel that truly open's reader's eyes, minds and hearts to the idea of what it is to be truly whole. Together, we are one.

8. Trouble by Non Pratt (4/5 stars)
Trouble was a very striking and influential book that balances so many important topics that need discussing. The novel really speaks out to it's reader and it's very clear to see why it was a nominee for the YA Book Prize. Non captures the teenage experience so vividly and creates such contrasting characters that work so well together in this story. By capturing the brutal reality in each of her character's lives, it was exciting to see the 'heart on the sleeve' approach to their reactions.

9. Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid (2/5 stars)
I have to admit this book was quite a bit of a let down in comparison to it's predecessor. Adi Alsaid's thought process for some of his characters was quite worrying to be honest, especially with how amazing I thought his character development was in Let's Get Lost. Hopefully this was just a graze in Alsaid's work because the passion he feels for his books really makes me want to pick them up, so hopefully I'll enjoy his next work more than I did this one. Although I'm questioning whether my generous rating is based on pity, I look forward to seeing where Alsaid's work develops from here on out.

10. The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward (4/5 stars)
With a bright, vibrant cover and a quote from Zoella plastered on the front, The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward probably wasn't going to be my first choice of book to pick up. In honesty it screams teenage girl doesn't it? However, this is seriously one to read if you're slightly wary about it, it may just surprise you! This was a very light-hearted and easy read. I can definitely see why the marketing team have pitched it at the level it's at because whilst the book is action packed and adrenaline pumping, it does have some very younger novel tropes. However, besides it's faults I'm very glad I read it. It got me out of the mood I was in after reading my previous book.

11. Killer Game by Kirsty McKay (4/5 stars)
Killer Game was an enthusiastic and budding read for anyone who wants to feel that the exhilaration of teenage mischief with a dark and foreboding twist. I think if you're going into this it's best to go in blind and to enjoy the characters development for what is there and try not to focus too heavily on working out the culprit. Everything reveals itself in due course.This book is definitely one I will be re-reading in the future. Although I know the outcome and the culprit, it will be interesting to re-read the book baring this in mind and looking out for all of the clues.

12. Night Owls by Jenn Bennett (5/5 stars)
It's very difficult for a book to bring back beautiful memories of falling in love. Real love. Night Owls by Jenn Bennett accomplished that easily. The story is absolutely beautiful, focusing not solely on the love story which is what I really enjoyed about it. It actually had substance and a main plot and then the beautiful love story was weaved throughout it. The characters were dynamic and their individual struggles were emotionally touching. Definitely a new favourite to add to the shelf!

So those were the 12 books that I picked up in the month of July, but what do I intend on reading in August? As I mentioned earlier on, I'll be going on holiday to Italy and just chilling, so I plan to get through lots of books. When I'm on holiday I tend to read a book in an average of 3-4 hours depending on what I'm doing so I've taken some bulkier books to keep me occupied! After I return from holiday, I expect to be reasonably busy because I'll be in London and then taking in the pleasures of having a brand new puppy who I can imagine is going to be a handful! So without further ado, here are some of the titles I'll be getting to in the month of August:

  • Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas (Currently reading)
  • ILLUMINAE by Alie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (ARC)
  • Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Managuan and Deborah Biancotti (ARC)
  • The Baby by Lisa Drakeford
  • The Body Electric by Beth Revis

But that's not all! This month is going to be a little different because I'm going to include a bit of reader interaction! Below is a poll that I'd like you to vote on to decide which book (amongst the othersI have) that you think I should read in the month of August! I'll be interested to see what you vote for out of the options I've chosen!

What book should I read this month?
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (re-read)
Solitaire by Alice Oseman (re-read)
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner
Poll Maker

Let me know in the comments below what books you read this month and one book you're looking forward to reading next month! Are any of you going to be reading one of the books I'm reading this month?


  1. I'm reading Illuminae right now. I couldnt wait so i bumped it to the top of the pile.


    1. It's literally going to be my next read after Because You'll Never Meet Me! I cannot wait to start it!


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