Hi everyone! After my smaller than usual June wrap up, July ended up being a really good month for me! I had a full week off from work so I was able to get a lot more reading done in July, and I ended up finishing 6 books! It’s still lower than my average, but not bad at all.
As usual, before we get into the actual books let’s talk about statistics! I read a total of 2,280 pages, and the average time it took me to finish a book was about 3 days. 5 of the books were published in 2020 and one was published in 2019, so a lot of more recent releases in July! I read 3 fantasy, 2 romance, and 1 science fiction, and had one 3 star, three 4 star, and two 5 star reads. Finally, two of the books I read were ARCs.
A Whisper in the Dark by Jessi Elliott & KJ Sutton – ★★★☆☆
This was an interesting set up for a vampire series! I like the concept of vampires being assigned to a section of their city based on their eye color when they awaken, it’s not something that I’ve seen before. Even with it only being 94 pages, I was able to get a sense of the character and her surroundings. That said, it’s only the first entry into this vampire serial and there wasn’t a TON that happened, so I’m cautiously optimistic about the rest of this series.
Ashes of the Sun by Django WexlerAshes of the Sun by Django Wexler – ★★★★☆
This was my first book by Django Wexler, and I have to say I’m pretty impressed! This particular book is almost 600 pages long and it really flew by! I was engaged the entire time while reading it and found the world to be incredibly interesting. I didn’t realize until way after I finished it that it’s actually inspired by Star Wars which may be why I was a little confused about some aspects of the book that I mentioned in my original review since I’m not familiar with anything having to do with Star Wars other than what’s just common knowledge. I’m so grateful to Orbit for allowing me to read an early copy of this book!
Shielded by Kaylynn Flanders – ★★★★☆
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It was fast paced and I was invested enough in the characters (especially Jennesara) to want to know what happens to them. I liked how strong she was, both in terms of her fighting abilities and in the way she handled difficult situations. I enjoyed the beginnings of this romance which from my point of view was more of an instant attraction kind of thing rather than insta love. The only downside is I don’t think the world was explained enough because I was very confused as to some of the places and people that were mentioned, as well as how the magic system works. I’m hoping for answers to those questions in the sequel!
Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams – ★★★★☆
If you know anything about me and the kinds of books I like and don’t like, you would know that extreme religion is NOT something that I enjoy in books. However, with this book it sounded really intriguing to me with the whole apocalypse and cult thing. I was horrified the entire time I read this (mainly because of what people will do in the name of their God) but it was like a car crash that you just can’t look away from. I liked the way that everything wrapped up, although I do have trouble wrapping my head around the whole prophet thing. Then again, I’m very much NOT religious. Also, there is Type 1 diabetes rep which, from what I can tell, is good representation from the comments I’ve seen from others who have experience with Type 1 diabetes.
Beach Read by Emily Henry – ★★★★★
It’s funny that I should read a book about a cult, and then pick up a romance book that also has the inclusion of a cult! In this case however, it comes into play with an author wanting to write about a cult. That plays a pretty small part in this book though, because it is a romance after all! I absolutely adore romances like this, where you get emotionally attached to the characters and really feel for them and what they are going through. I loved the enemies-to-lovers (but not quite enemies) that happened in this book, and the banter was AMAZING. I only wish that we would’ve gotten a bit from Gus’s perspective, but that’s only because I wanted to know what he was thinking about!
Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – ★★★★★
After finishing Beach Read, I was really feeling in the mood for romances so I decided to try out Get A Life, Chloe Brown and it was such a good decision! I read this entire book with a big grin on my face and tears in my eyes. This was one of the best romances that I’ve read (probably EVER), and will most likely make it onto my best of the year list. I just loved Chloe and Red so much! Talia Hibbert made them feel so real and likeable, and I was rooting for them the entire time. I also liked the way that the whole third act “trouble in paradise” thing played out for them, because it was done differently that I’ve seen in other romances that I’ve read. I immediately picked up the second book, Take A Hint, Dani Brown after this and (spoilers for my August Wrap Up) loved it almost as much as this first book! I clearly need to read more of Talia Hibbert’s books now.