July 2022 Wrap Up

This month I read a ton of books, though I did read three 3 star books in a row so that was annoying. A few of them were required readings for classes like AP Environmental Science and AP Lit, which I still count in my wrap ups but won’t rate since I didn’t really choose to read them. I’m also finally not behind on my reading goal anymore!

Stats:

  • Read: 9 books
  • Three 3 stars, three 4 stars, one 5 star, two w/ no ratings
  • 1 DNF
  • Favorite book of July: The Dragon Republic

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

This is definitely Christina Lauren’s most beautifully written and heart wrenching romance. I’m not usually into second chance romances or friends to lovers, but this book crafted both those tropes so well, and implemented two timelines seamlessly. I loved how Macy’s relationship with Elliot was built over time, but I think a hidden gem was also Macy’s relationship with her father. I shed a few tears while reading! The only thing that I didn’t love was that Macy and Elliot’s estrangement resulted from miscommunication, which is a thing I hate in conflicts. Rating: 4 stars

Earth Day and the Environmental Movement by Christy Peterson- no rating

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War series has taken over my life and my every waking thought. It has rapidly become one of my all-time favorite series. I despised this book and I loved it at the same time. It will probably become a top book of 2022. The immense pain I was put through was downright sadistic, but I would gladly go through it again. R.F. Kuang has crafted a military fantasy with thrillingly high stakes, beautifully complex relationships, and thought-provoking themes of morality in war. It has such a strong underlying social commentary on Western colonization and imperialism as well. Rin is the most multi-dimensional and human anti-hero I have ever read about, and she continued her journey of grief, greed, and power in this book. I wish we had seen more of the Cike because they’re my favorite part, but civil war works too! I am terrified to finish the series and find out what happens in the conclusion of this epic. Rating: 5 stars

Something Wilder by Christina Lauren- DNF

I usually don’t DNF books, much less Christina Lauren books, so this was a pretty big deal. First of all, I’ve never been into the whole yeehaw, cowboy, treasure hunt scene. Secondly, I could just tell that this book was going to have a lot more yeehaw treasure-hunting than romance. Lastly, this book was barely giving any Christina Lauren vibes and the main character felt flat to me. I got about 12 chapters in and decided that it wasn’t for me.

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

This one was a reread, because I remembered it having a lot of camping and being very summer-y. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around! My favorite part was all the hiking and camping, I actually learned a lot about backpacking! The second-chance, friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romance was also sweet. The dialogue and writing was cheesy at times, but other than that this was cute. Rating: 4 stars

This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi

Well, this was a disappointment and a half. Almost NOTHING happened in this book plot-wise, and there was so much internal monologue that I was falling asleep just trying to get through it. The main characters– Alizeh and Kamran– were so dull and lacked personality, and all these things caused me to become pretty detached from the story. The romance was terrible and way too insta-lovey for my taste. The only time I got excited was when things FINALLY started to pick up during the last 50 pages. Still, I look forward to reading the sequel since I think it will be far more interesting. Rating: 3 stars

The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

I don’t know how to feel about this one; I thought the setup was very strange. The plot switches back and forth between a present-day bank hostage situation and flashbacks of Nora’s former life as the daughter of a con artist. I felt like I was being pulled in two different directions at once, and the bank heist plot didn’t fit in that well with the flashbacks. In my opinion, the book would have been better if all the flashbacks had just been turned into a linear story. I did appreciate the commentary on abuse and trauma, though. Rating: 3 stars

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka- no rating

Addicted to You by Krista and Becca Ritchie

I had seen this series all over BookTok and wanted to see what the hype was about, and I really enjoyed it! I can’t speak to how accurately the depiction of addiction was handled, but it was interesting to see how Lily and Lo coped with their obsessions. The story got much more emotional than I expected! The romance was definitely not the swooniest, but only because there were so many personal issues the main characters had to deal with. I loved all of the characters as well as the beginnings of a found family. Rating: 4 stars

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

 I’m noticing a pattern in these YA fantasy/dystopian books. They have SUCH a slow plot in the beginning and middle of the story which bores me to tears, and suddenly the ending has a million plot twists and action-filled drama. This was definitely the case with Red Queen. I think for its era, it would have been a 5 star read. But these days, there are books that do it much better. The ending was very engaging, but unfortunately it was too little too late. The love triangle wasn’t done well, either, and was too insta-lovey in my opinion. Still, I started to see some depth and complexity to the main characters towards the end and will probably continue the series. Rating: 3 stars

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