July Reading Wrap Up

Friday, 1 August 2014

Ok guys. I can tell that you're all going to tell me that I'm crazy but I read 20 books this month. 20. What can I say? I had a lot of free time! To be fair I did participate in a week long readathon in the middle of the month and I read 8 books during that one week. And I decided I'd start rereading the Harry Potter books and once you start those you can't stop! I don't have them all to photograph though as a few I borrowed from people and have returned and a few were Kindle books. Ok, I'm just going to shut up and talk about the books now!

Everybody Sees The Ants by A.S. King - Oh my god this book was amazing. I'd heard so many amazing reviews of this book and I finally get it, it was so good. It's about a boy called Lucky who gets really badly bullied during high school and about how he learns to stand up for himself. He also daydreams a lot about saving his grandfather who disappeared during the Vietnam war. This book deals with the idea of escapism a lot as well, Lucky escaped into his daydreams, his dad escapes into his job etc. I gave this one 5/5 stars and I can't wait to read more A.S. King books.

Shovel Ready by Alex Sternbergh* - I've already written a full review of this and you can read that here. This book is about a hit man in a post dirty bomb New York. It was really fast paced and exciting, easy read! I loved this and gave it 5/5 stars.

Harry's Last Stand by Harry Leslie Smith* - This is a book written by a 91 year old man about the problems our society is facing and what we can do to save ourselves. This novel was really really interesting. I don't want to talk too much about it as I feel it is one of those things you should start reading without knowing too much about it. It was amazing and very deep. 5/5 stars.

A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki - This book is about a woman in Canada who finds a diary on the beach. It was washed up in a Hello Kitty lunch box and they believe that it came from the Tsunami in Japan. The book is split into alternating chapters with bits about Ruth, the woman who found the diary, and extracts from the diary itself. This was nominated for a lot of prizes and I totally understand why. It was so beautifully written and I loved it. Yet another 5/5 star book for me.

Fuse by Julianna Baggott* - I really hated this book but I read it anyway as I was given it for review. I disliked the first book and had no motivation to read this. 1/5 stars.

Half Bad by Sally Green - This was the first book I read during the readathon. It's about a world where there are good witches and bad witches. The book follows Nathan whose mother was a good witch and his father is a bad witch. He gets treated as a second class citizen and eventually he has to go on the run. I found this really fast paced. It was so good! The characters all seemed really well thought out and I raced through this book. I gave it 5/5 stars and I'm so excited to read the second one when it comes out.

The Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez - This is a memoir about Deborah's life in Afghanistan where she set up a beauty school to teach women there to open their own salons. I enjoyed the story but I found Deborah to be quite annoying. She seemed very culturally ignorant for someone who had lived there for so long. It felt like she was constantly offending people. It was an ok, easy read and I gave it 3/5 stars.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - This is a family that used to go to a lake house every summer but stopped going. When the dad is diagnosed with terminal cancer he decides he wants to spend his last summer there with his family. The story is told from the point of view of his daughter. This was a really nice read but I don't think she should have included so much romance. This book seems to be more about romance than the dad having cancer and I didn't really like that. I feel like if I had one summer to spend with a dying family member I'd be a little more concerned about them than the cute boy next door. I gave this one 3/5 stars.

The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson - This really isn't what I was expecting it to be. It was so short that when I got to the end I was just sort of like 'is that it?'. I gave this 2/5 stars because I didn't 'get' what was going on.

I read all 7 Harry Potter books but I'm just going to include them all in one review because I gave them a;; 5/5 stars. Seriously, these books are amazing and if you haven't read them you need to get on that now!

Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira - This was such a let down for me. Laurel has to write a letter to a dead person for a school project. The project is set because her sister died recently and I think the teacher was hoping that Laurel would write a letter to May and it would help her grieve. Instead she writes letters to people like Kurt Cobain and Amy Whinehouse. I hated the way that Laurel was so obsessed with May because she was a horrible, horrible person. You won't properly understand unless you've read the book but she put Laurel in so many horrible situations and I hated her for it. Still Laurel thinks May was the most amazing person ever which I don't think was at all realistic. I gave it 2/5 stars.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling - This is the memoir of Mindy Kaling, who to be honest I'd never heard of before this book. It was the title that really dragged me in. This was funny and easy to read but I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected to. It was a bit 'meh'. I didn't think it bad I just wasn't totally captivated either. If I had been a fan of hers before reading this I probably would have enjoyed it more!

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - Another Morgan Matson book. I enjoyed this a lot more than Second Chance Summer however. In this book a girl called Emily is left a summer to do list by her friend Sloane. Sloane's entire family has just uprooted and left town, no one knows where they went. I really enjoyed this and the list seemed like a lot of fun. But I thought that Emily seemed obsessed with Sloane and it was really bugging me. Emily is portrayed as very shy and it concerned me that she was so dependent on Sloane. I gave this one 4/5 stars and I still think it is worth a read.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson - Now this was a great book! This is about two girls with eating disorders. The bulimic Cassie dies leaving her friend Lia who is anorexic. I found this to be a really interesting insight to the mind of an anorexic. Whilst at times I found her really frustrating I did still really enjoy the story. I gave this book 4/5 stars. I'd be careful reading this as I think it could be triggering for those fighting an eating disorder/self harm.

Oh wow, there we go. That was a lot of work! If you'd like to keep up with the books I'm reading you can add me as friend on GoodReads here.

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