Wow! Thanks to so many readathons happening, July has been an excellent reading month for me! I managed to read 15 books this month, which is something I haven’t done in a long time! You may want to grab a snack and some tea or coffee, this might be a long post!
Continuing the #HPReadathon2017, I read Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows, and Tales of Beedle the Bard all by JK Rowling, course. I gave all of these 5 out of 5 stars obviously! I’m planning a wrap-up of my readathon experience, so I’ll leave it there for now.
There were two week-long readathons at the end of July, but before I talk about those, I read a few books at the beginning of this month that weren’t Harry Potter! related These short summaries of my feelings should be void of any spoilers, but if I include any, I will warn you first!
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
This is a story about three teenagers who are given the opportunity to be the first people (along with a crew of trained astronauts) on the moon in decades. Each is looking to escape something on Earth, but little do they know, there are mysteries and horrors waiting for them on the moon.
I picked this one up on a whim from the library and read it mostly in one sitting. I was so caught up in the mystery that I didn’t take too many notes. One I did make after finishing was “What the actual F did I just read?!?!” Reading this I had similar feelings as when I finished the TV show Lost. There are so many mysteries and confusing aspects, and for many of them I didn’t feel like I really got an answer to them. Overall, this was a fast-paced, fun read that I gave 3 out of 5 stars!
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
I loved this story so much that I plan to do a whole blog post about it, so be on the lookout for that! For now, I’ll just say that this has become a new favorite book, and of course I gave it 5 stars!
The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman
This is the third book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. There isn’t much I can say about the synopsis of this one without spoiling the others, but I’ll include the synopsis of the first book, The Golden Compass from Goodreads: “Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.”
This whole series was hard to follow, which makes me question the fact that this is supposed to be for children. There were so many concepts that went over my head, and I’m 24! If you are reading this just for the adventures and not getting too bogged down in details, it is a very good story though. I picked this series up as part of Bookslosion’s book of the month for June, and I’m glad I did just because I never read this as a child. Also, Phillip Pullman is coming out with a new trilogy set in the same world, and I’m intrigued enough with this story to pick it up! Overall I gave this book (and the series) 3 out of 5 stars.
The Unseen World by Liz Moore
This is a story about a young girl named Ada, who is raised by David, her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father, who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. Home-schooled, Ada accompanies David to work every day; by twelve, she is a painfully shy prodigy. The lab begins to gain acclaim at the same time that David’s mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving Ada virtually an orphan, she is taken in by one of David’s colleagues. Soon after she embarks on a mission to uncover her father’s secrets: a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood.
This story jumps back and forth between Ada’s childhood in the 80s to the present day with a couple snippets from David’s youth as well. This is a very character driven story, which made it go slow at times, especially since I’ve been reading a lot of YA fantasy and fast-paced contemporaries that have a lot more going on in them. I thought the writing was stilted and awkward, but there is a reason for it, that is revealed at the end of the book. Honestly, I was going to give this a 2 star rating until I got to the epilogue, which caused me to bump it up to 3 stars. I listened to this one as an audiobook, and the narrator was great and handled the stilted tone of writing very well. Would definitely recommend the audiobook!
Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman
This is a story about a girl called Skye, who is sent to a camp for troubled teenagers after her sister dies in an accident. However, once she is at the camp she starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister and the mystery takes off from there.
I picked this one up because it was part of Zoella’s Book Club last year and for some reason I never got around to reading this one. This book is fairly short, so I read it quickly, but the mystery itself wasn’t as captivating as I was expecting it to be. I will say that I didn’t figure out the mystery until it was revealed, which was nice because I don’t like when stories are too predictable. However, once the mystery is revealed, it was very anticlimactic for me. Despite this, there were several aspects that I enjoyed like the camp setting and the connections Skye makes (both friendships and a romance) while at this camp. Overall, I gave this one a 3 out of 5 stars.
A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
This book is the first in the Shades of Magic trilogy about Kell, one of the last Antari who can travel between the different Londons: White, Red, and Grey. His role is to carry messages between the rulers of each London, but unofficially he dabbles in illegal smuggling of objects between the Londons. When one such transaction goes amiss, he runs into Delilah Bard, a badass lady pirate-wannabe and the adventure ensues from there!
I absolutely loved this book, and can’t wait to read the rest of the series! I plan to do a series review once I finish, so for now I’ll just give my star-rating for this one: 4 out of 5 stars, and leave it at that!
Now for the Readathons! First I made some slight TBR changes once the readathons began so I’ll list my updated TBRs followed by the pages read for each day.
1534 pages and 4 ½ books read
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (DH) by JK Rowling: Banned Book and Book to Movie Adaptation
2. Tales of Beedle the Bard (TBB) by JK Rowling: From Somewhere Other than Booktube and Host’s Favorite Genre-Fantasy
3. Flame in the Mist (FM) by Renée Ahdieh: Group Book
4. More Happy Than Not (MHTN) by Adam Silvera: Throwback: From a Host’s Recommendation List-Emma’s Choice and LGBTQIA character
Day 1: 341 Total: last 154 pages of A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab and 187 pages of Deathly Hallows
Day 2: 114 pages of DH
Day 3: 234 Total: All 115 pages of TBB and 119 pages of DH
Day 4: 160 pages total: last 122 pages of DH, and 38 pages of FM
Day 5: 276 pages of FM
Day 6: last 116 pages of FM
Day 7: all 293 pages of MHTN
2,111 pages and 7 books read
1. Because You Love To Hate Me (BYLTHM) edited by Ameriie: Hyped Book
2. Flame in the Mist (FM) by Renée Ahdieh: Bought for the Cover
3. Tales of Beedle the Bard (TBB) by JK Rowling: Read a Book Outside and Finish a Book in One Day
4. More Happy Than Not (MHTN) by Adam Silvera: A Character Different Than You
5. Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index (JL) by Julie Isreal: With a Person on the Cover
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (DH) by JK Rowling: Read 7 Books
7. Matilda by Roald Dahl: Read 7 Books
Day 1: 264 pages total: 114 pages of DH and 150 pages of BYLTHM
Day 2: 338 pages total: 119 pages of DH, all 115 pages of TBB, and 104 pages of BYLTHM
Day 3: 246 pages total: last 122 pages of DH, 86 pages of BYLTHM, and 38 pages of FM
Day 4: 276 pages of FM
Day 5: last 116 pages of FM
Day 6: all 293 pages of MHTN
Day 7: 578 pages total: all 240 pages of Matilda and all 338 pages of JL
I had so much fun reading with everyone and participating in some of the Instagram challenges and blog challenges (sorry about not getting to all of those by the way)! I also really enjoyed all the books I read last week, and plan to do full blog posts on several of them: Because You Love to Hate Me (4/5 stars), Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index (5/5), and More Happy Than Not (4/5), and Flame in the Mist 4/5) (and of course Deathly Hallows (5/5) and Tales of Beedle the Bard (5/5) will be included in my #HPReadathon2017 wrap-up). That just leaves Matilda for me to do short reviews here for you.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda is a very young girl, who has an incredible mind and loves to read! However, she isn’t praised for her intelligence, but is ridiculed by her parents and the principal at her school, Miss Trunchbull. Matilda must put her incredible mind to good use to knock the bullying adults down a peg or two.
This story was very similar to the movie, but for once the movie actually had more in it than the book did. I enjoyed the illustrations in the book as well. I picked this book up on the last day of Booktube-A-Thon because I knew I wouldn’t finish The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, which was originally on my TBR, before the readathon ended, so I decided to pick up something short and easy. Matilda was the perfect choice! It was quick and fun, plus it made me really want to re-watch the movie!
Whew! We’ve reached the end of this month’s wrap-up. Stay tuned for my August TBR, several book reviews, a July Owlcrate unboxing, and a wrap-up for the #HPReadathon2017.
That’s all for now. Until next time, happy reading!