July 2023 Wrap Up

July was one of the best reading months I’ve had in the past year, I had SO much more time to read books!


  • Read: 8 books
  • Two 3 stars, three 4 stars, three 5 stars
  • Favorite book of July: All of Our Demise

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore

This book was the sequel to Bringing Down the Duke and was almost equally as enjoyable as the first book! Lucie was an especially headstrong and independent main character who was committed to the women’s suffrage movement, creating a really nuanced inner conflict regarding wanting a husband but staying committed to the cause. Tristan was an equally multidimensional love interest who was able to work through his own trauma and desires. The only reason why I rated this less than the first book was that the tropes in it weren’t my favorite. Although there was enemies to lovers, it could have been a little more angstier and slow burn in my opinion. The enemies with benefits/one night stand situation decreased the level of angst and tension. The romance also wasn’t as much of the main focus in this book. Rating: 4 stars

Georgie, All Along by Katie Clayborn

This book just wasn’t exactly what I was expecting or looking for. It was more about the main character “finding herself” than the romance, which made the romance itself much weaker. It leaned more literary fiction/chick lit than rom-com, and I didn’t love how many inner monologues there were. The small town atmosphere bored me along with the pages of internal dialogue, and I ended up not really caring about the characters. Rating: 3 stars

The Drowning Faith by R.F. Kuang

This is a novella that comes right before the final book in the Poppy War trilogy. 15 pages of beautiful, beautiful pain. It was fascinating to be able to understand Rin and Nezha’s complex relationship through Nezha’s point of view, which will make the last book in the series even more emotional and heartbreaking. Rating: 5 stars

Then She was Gone by Lisa Jewell

I’m trying to get back into thrillers/mysteries/horror books and I found this book at a Little Free Library a couple years ago, so I decided to give it a go. I could not put it down and read it in under a day! It was very eerie and distributing, and I liked reading the multiple POVs which slowly revealed the truth of the girl’s disappearance. There were just the right amount of characters for the reader to mistrust, making it fun to form theories. Even though the subject matter was very dark, I liked how the book ended on a positive note. I just wish it was slightly less predictable and had more plot twists, because I did guess a few of the reveals. Rating: 4 stars

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

This was a brilliant conclusion to The Poppy War trilogy. As is integral to the trilogy, there was a lot of emphasis placed on military strategy, war, and Rin’s character arc. Kuang’s themes of the morality of war, imperialism, and who is “right” and “wrong” will really make readers ponder. However, I did not enjoy this book as much as the other two because The Cike (aka all my favorite characters) were gone, taking away the lighter and more humorous elements of the story. I also didn’t personally enjoy the ending very much. Nevertheless, this will forever be one of the best written fantasy series I have ever read! Rating: 4 stars

You, With a View by Jessica Joyce

I am genuinely so impressed with this author’s debut novel. It combined all my favorite tropes– road trip romance, academic rivals, and enemies to lovers– seamlessly into a quite poignant romance novel that also explored themes of grief and going after your dreams. The photography element to the book also led to some really beautiful and romantic scenes. I adored the banter between Theo and Noelle, it was actually so hilarious. The grandpa was also adorable. I could not recommend this romance more. Rating: 5 stars

All of our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

I loved this book so much, it’s such an underrated young adult fantasy duology! The magic system was really innovative and imaginative– there aren’t a ton of books out there about spells and cursing. Even though it is classified as young adult, there was a degree of depth, darkness, and nuance to all the main characters which I don’t normally see in YA fantasy books. All the characters were TRULY morally gray, and they had such complex relationships with each other. Another hidden gem in this book was the romantic element. There were 3 romances, and 2 of them were unexpected but ultimately had me so invested. One of the romances was one of the best slow burn, ACTUAL enemies to lovers romances that I’ve ever read. Overall, I highly recommend the All of Us Villains duology for anyone who is looking for a darker, magic-filled Hunger Games type YA fantasy book with plenty of betrayal, action, and romance. Rating: 5 stars

The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams

My biggest issue here was the writing style. It felt somehow even more immature than YA, the dialogue was straight out of a cheesy TV sitcom, and everything felt a touch too cliche and cringey. The characters spoke and behaved like 12 year olds. It was unfortunately too millennial for me and was just not my vibe, so it even affected the cute friends-to-lovers relationship. Definitely very cookie-cutter and basic for a romance– nothing too exciting or new. I’m also realizing that I surprisingly don’t love the mutual pining trope– it leads to miscommunication that isn’t cute, just frustrating and annoying. Rating: 3 stars

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