July’20 Wrap Up

So, I mainly listened to audiobooks in July.

I worked pretty much all month, and it gave me a lot of time to just inhale books. It was wonderful, but now I’m super immersed in two different fantasy worlds. Book 3 for one of them doesn’t come out until next year, so I’m dying inside. For the other, listening to the Daevabad trilogy back to back was a brilliant mistake, because it’s taken over my life. Now I’m terrified to finish the last 4ish hours of book 3 and I’m so stressed about it.

Overall, I enjoyed pretty much everything I read last month! There was one book that was a DNF, I’ll link that review with the book, but if you’ve been on my blog recently, you might already know which book. Some of the books lived up to expectations, some defied them, and others just didn’t live up at all.

Instead of me just continuing to ramble, let’s jump into what I read this past month!

Dark ShoresDark Shores (Dark Shores #1) – Danielle L. Jensen

Audiobook Finished: July 2, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / Review / GR

“[…] I don’t know what it is, but I love characters that are basically stuck between a rock and a hard place, and they must “do their duty”, all while internally contemplating if their duty is “right”. They’re also typically falling for the hot head heroine, so, Marcus does it for me. And when you pair Teriana and him together, sparks fly, and some choice barbed words are shared, and you just want to shove them together. The sexual tension was…*chef’s kiss* so good.

Then there’s the freaking ending, and I wanted to scream. Because of course it ended that way! Waiting for Gilded Serpents is legit going to suck so much.

I really, really enjoyed the world Danielle created. Roman, without explicitly being Roman. It made it really easy to imagine the world, the scope of the Celendor Empire. It very easily came to life in my mind. Then you had the Maarin, the magical bridge between the two halves of the world. Then you had the Dark Shores, with Gods and magic and so much unknown. I mean, this book literally has everything you could want in a book.”

dark skiesDark Skies (Dark Shores #2) – Danielle L. Jensen

Audiobook Finished; July 4, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review / GR

“[…] This book is full of twists and turns. There’s betrayal and the “bad” guy isn’t just the evil Queen or the blight affecting the land. I really didn’t expect the ending, and I’m curious to see if a certain someone is going to be making an appearance in book 3. I really wouldn’t mind if this person didn’t, but I bet they do. It would be an even bigger plot twist. But like, the ending itself was, mind blowing-ly (is that a word?) tense and I couldn’t wait to finish it, even though I was beyond stressed.

I’m SO ANNOYED with how it ended between Lydia and Killian, and I need book 3, like, yesterday. I groaned and breathed “no” while listening at work, because that couldn’t be how this book was going to end.

Once again Danielle did not disappoint. I’ve said it a few times now, she’s a master and her books just come to life and draw you in. Her characters are so good and so engaging that you have to like them. That and how she writes their relationships is perfect. If you haven’t yet, you should definitely pick up Dark Shores and Dark Skies! You’re seriously missing out and depriving yourself of some really, really good books.”

the city of brass2The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) – S.A. Chakraborty

Audiobook Finsihed: July 8, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review TK / GR

 I hate myself for waiting this long to read this book. The audiobook is fantastic and transports you right into the book. I love Nahri, and I wasn’t expecting the first half of the book to play out the way it did, or for that long. That’s not a complaint, I just expected to be transported to Daevabad sooner. And oh, Dara and Nahri’s relationship in this book. It was so enjoyable. I’m a sucker for when two people are more or less forced to travel together, and being together for ages, bonds them, and then feelings bloom. And then Daevabad itself…why can’t it be a real place? I felt like I was transported there, but honestly, I’d love to see it for real. This book was amazing, and I’m terrified to see how it all ends.

straight on till morningStraight On Till Morning (Twisted Tales #8) – Liz Braswell

Audiobook Finished: July 10, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review / GR

“[…] Like I said, this book was long, and the plot was slow and lagged. I found myself just wanting the story to be over. I’d been hoping for the book to feature a partnership between Wendy and Hook, a-la Emma Swan and Hook on Once Upon a Time, but sadly, the characters (for the most part) stay true to the movie. I should specify, not the romance, because these are very much the movie characters, but I guess I was expecting something more, something else?

I will say that I liked the partnership and friendship between Wendy and Tinkerbell, which I really wasn’t expecting to be a staple of this story. I liked that we got to explore Neverland, and how it was a bit more sinister than Wendy ever imagined. I also liked that it felt like the movie, just expanded. I still really want to go to Neverland and find Peter Pan. I don’t think that is a wish I’ll ever stop making. Ever. I love the magic of it all.”

rage and ruinRage and Ruin (The Harbinger #2) – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Audiobook Finished: July 14, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review / GR

“[…] There’s just something about books that pit Heaven and Hell against each other, in a battle for biblical end times that I love. Freaking give me those fallen angel/arch ngel confrontations and a scheme to create hell on Earth.

I. Am. Here. For. It.

Things are really just starting to heat up, the battle for the end times is on the horizon, and it looks like a curve ball (or two) just landed. I’m beyond excited to see what happens next, what the reasoning is for that final scene of the book, and if the *right side* of history is going to win.

Or is hell on Earth going to reign supreme?”

the boundlessThe Boundless (The Beholder #2) – Anna Bright

Audiobook Finished: July 16, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / Review / GR

 “[…] Anna does wonderful things in this book, and leaves you wanting more, wanting to see what’s next for Selah and her friends and family. I’m sad that this the end of this duology. I love how Anna expertly weaves fairytales and folklore into this alternate history fantasy. It always feels seamless and instantly recognizable. Even if you don’t outright know the whole story, you know it. Does that make sense?

I also liked the cyclical nature of it all and the way good triumphed. Selah played the game that Baba Yaga had invited her to play, and Selah played it better, because unlike those who wielded their power over others, she chose to use her power to help and lift people. I’m still so thoroughly impressed with Selah’s journey through this duology, and especially this book. Anna, I applaud you, because oh my damn.” 

pandemoniumPandemonium (Pandemonium #1) – Willow Anderson

eARC Finished: July 19, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review / GR

 “[…] I really enjoyed Lace and Victoria. Their sister bond was really enjoyable, and I loved how fiercely protective Victoria is of Lace. I liked how she’s sort of fight first, ask questions later. She’s wonderful, they’re both wonderful.

Also, what is it about the name “Killian” that automatically makes me love a character? Like, instantly, I’m trash for any male character named Killian. So, imagine my excitement for there being a mysterious Killian in this book.

I’m also learning that I have a thing for dark, mysterious, seemingly morally grey Ringmasters. It has to be the allure of the unknown, and from the moment we first lay eyes on the Ringmaster of Pandemonium, I just went yup, I’m sunk.”

journeys through faladonThe Titan Divide (Journeys Through Faladon #1) – The Ruinsong Order

eARC Finished: DNF at 53%

⭐️⭐️ / Review / GR

“[…] Other than the writing style and voice, there were spelling issues (which, I expect in ARCs, so no biggie) as well as incredibly long sentences broken up by 4-5 commas. There were also large passages of narrative that served no purpose to the plot. There was a whole lot of repetitiveness that seemed to serve no purpose other than to pad out word counts. These instances didn’t do the book any favors, and I wondered how many times I was going to have to reread the same information over and over. All of this is relatively easily fixed with some heavy editing, so again, no biggie.”

the kingdom of copperThe Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2) – S.A. Chakraborty

Audiobook Finished: July 21, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review TK / GR

So, listening to this pretty much right after The City of Brass was either the best decision, or the worst and then going on to listening to The Empire of Gold…I’m obsessed and way too involved. I’m all over the place with my emotions and the ending…THE ENDING. I can’t. I love Nahri, Dara (despite his choices), Ali, Mutahdir and Jamshid. So much is happening, I wasn’t expecting a 5-year time jump at the start of this book, and I’m. Just. Stressing. Out. Like, I can’t recommend this series enough.

wait for youWait for You (Wait for You #1) – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Paperback Finished: July 26, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review TK / GR

This was a re-read for me, as I hadn’t read it in years and I’m still working my way through JLA’s backlist. I forgot how good and enjoyable this book is, and omfg Cam. Jen seriously writes the best male characters. It’s been a while since I’d read a New Adult romance, and this was such a breath of fresh air. I loved Avery, I forgot how good of a character she is. I forgot her backstory, and other than a few scenes, it was basically like reading this book for the first time. The dynamic between the two of them is perfect and it makes you fall in love with them. I’m already planning on slipping book 2 into my 3-month TBR, because why not. Also, I’m impatient and want to read the next one.

HazeHaze – Rebecca Crunden

eARC Finished: July 27, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / Review / GR

“[…] I liked the cast of characters, and Miles is probably my favorite. I love protector, big brother types. Like, so much. His relationship with Eliza is pretty wholesome, and I loved that he would always answer the phone if she called.

With a little more time spent exploring the world, the characters, the mystery, this book would have been even better.

As it stands, it’s still really enjoyable and it makes for a pretty quick read – something I do enjoy from time to time. I binged this book in pretty much one sitting. I stayed in the hot tub until I finished the book. I refused to leave until I finished the book. I really didn’t see the plot twist at the end. It had me audibly go “what” to myself. It added a really interesting element to the story that I really liked, but I wish there had been more time to expand on it.”

the princess will save youThe Princess Will Save You (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky #1) – Sarah Henning

Hardcover Finished: July 28, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review TK / GR

To be honest, this was a little bit of a let-down. I found it hard to get into and really stay invested. I thought the last couple chapters were better than about the first 75% of the book. I didn’t really care for the world, or the characters. Amarande was supposed to be this Warrior King’s daughter, trained to fight since birth, yet has never seen any kind of significant battle. Like, if she’s going to be a badass with a blade, show her fighting someone other than a training partner. I know it’s a direct comparison/commentary on The Princess Bride, but in my opinion, I don’t think that helped the book. I was constantly comparing, and it was distracting. I almost think it should have stood on its own.

I also couldn’t really stand Luca. I get that he’s supposed to be the “damsel in distress” but the boy was useless. I mentioned it earlier, but I liked the plot twist thrown in at the ending. That alone might make me pick up book 2.

crystalCrystal (Starlatten #1) – Darby Cupid

eARC Finished: July 29, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / Review / GR

“[…] If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll already know that I’m a big SF fan. But as much as I love a good “set in space” SF, I’m such a sucker for “first alien contact, soul mate, intergalactic turmoil, stranded on Earth, drama filled stories.

Like, such a sucker. So much so, I read this book in like 4 hours because I didn’t want to put it down. The only times I stopped reading was when I got too hot baking in the sun, so I had to go dip in the ocean to cool off. Then it was right back to devouring this book.”

love life and the listLove, Life and the List (Love, Life and the List #1) – Kasie West

Paperback Finished: July 30, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / Review TK / GR

So, my full review for this book is coming, but I loved it! It was predictable in the way most YA contemporaries are, but it was so much fun! I loved Abby and Cooper and the book made me want a guy best friend who I was in love with and in love with me LOL. I’m a sucker for these kinds of contemporary romances and I tend to inhale them. I read this in one day, pausing for food and little things. But I easily fell back into the book. Once I finished the book, I immediately bought #2 and I already have the 3rd on my kindle!

LORELore – Alexandra Bracken

eARC Chapter Sampler Finished July 31, 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️ (for now) / Review TK / GR

“[…} I like Lore, so far (the character), but I feel like we’re still just getting to know her in the handful of chapters provided. I’m definitely interested in finding out the rest of her story, and how it all plays out. I’m really curious about Castor. I cannot wait to see how that all plays out. Then there’s Miles, and ugh, I already love him. He’s just there for Lore, and it feels so wholesome and good.

I really like the world that Alex has created/set up for this story. Seeing as how this is only a handful of the first chapters, the world is still only in its set up stages, but I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty epic. I’ve been following her writing journey with this book over on Instagram, so I know a lot of time, energy and research has gone into this book.

I’m so ready to completely fall in love with the world, the characters – basically everything about this book. I cannot wait.”

14 books, plus a chapter sampler – which I really, desperately want the rest of. All in all, a pretty good reading month! I’m not upset!

What did you read in July, and what was your favorite read?

8 thoughts on “July’20 Wrap Up

    1. I love them. I can listen to them during times I wouldn’t normally be able to read. Though, not being at work means I’m not listening for a solid 7 hours a day. I still listen while making dinner, or taking a shower, or playing animal crossing lol. and since they’re a different medium, I can read them in tandem with a physical book, or eBook without getting them all confused!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah. I use Audible and it’s pricey. I dole out $150 a year for it, but thats cheaper than paying monthly. It’s also cheaper than buying the audiobooks outright. I know there are other services that are cheaper, but I love the quality of audible productions. I would gladly fork over $$$ if it were something like KU where you had access to everything in the Audible library for a set price, instead of a set amount of free credits for a certain price.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not complaining! 😅
      And omg, YES. Do it! Read it! I cannot recommend it enough. I’m so mad I slept on it for two years, but so glad I finally read it. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but so worth it. If you do read it, let me know what you think!!

      Liked by 1 person

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