July went by so quickly, you guys! It was one of the busiest months for me so far this year, mostly because my family was around and I spent most of my free time with them, leaving very little time to read books and be around the blogging community as much as I would have wanted.
But anyway! It’s been a preeeeetty great month with quite a few highlights, such as:
- I had my birthday. It was a very uneventful affair, but overall really quite nice — we pretty much just stayed in, ordered pizza, ate cake and doughnuts, and watched Friends.
- I got into Pokemon GO. I was kind of obsessed with it for about two weeks, and then my interest slowly dwindled as I realised there wasn’t that much to catch around my area, haha. The Melbourne CBD is a party, though. *sits in envy*
- I went to New Zealand. You can see some of the pictures I took here… and by some, I mean four, haha.
- I attended Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight book launch just several days ago. IT WAS PRETTY FREAKIN’ AWESOME, especially because I got to meet some other Melbourne-based book bloggers. 😀
As for the blog, here’s what we got up to this month:
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets by Benjamin Alire Saenz | ★★★☆☆ | A solid coming-of-age, character-driven novel. Sadly I didn’t get the emotional impact I was expecting, and I think the hype kind of let me down.
- Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil | ★★★★☆ | Superbly entertaining and relatable, with really geeky characters. It’s set in Melbourne, too!
- All The Feels by Danika Stone | ★★☆☆☆ | Has one-dimensional, frustrating characters. An unconvincing love interest that comes across as accidentally creepy. A really negative portrayal of fans and fandom in general.
- And I Darken by Kiersten White | ★★★★★ | Slow-boiled, intense and gripping. Full of political intrigue and engaging characters.
- The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen | ★★☆☆☆ | Fluffy, light-hearted, and fast-paced, but ultimately forgettable.
- My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows | ★★★★☆ | Utterly charming, with witty writing and snarky humour. Just don’t take it seriously.
- The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski | ★★★★☆ | Great world-building, with little details that add so much to the setting. Forbidden love. Strong, intelligent protagonist who uses her brain more than brawn.
- What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick | ★★☆☆☆ | Unfortunately Fitzpatrick’s weakest work, so far. Messy plot. Not enough characterisation or character development.
- This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
- The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
- Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
- Top Ten Bookish Facts About Me | In which, you know, you learn a little bit more about your resident blogger – such as the fact that I’m actually not that big of a Harry Potter fan. (Say whaaat?)
- The Netflix and Books Book Tag | Which book has the best cast of characters and friendships, like Friends? Which book is a guilty pleasure, like Gossip Girl?
- Top Ten Young Adult Books Set in Australia | Let’s travel outside of US-based YA books and see what else is out there!
- Let’s Talk: The New Adult Genre | What kinds of things would you like to see in NA fiction?
Around the Blogosphere
- Ari at The Daydreaming Book Worm discusses stand-alone novels and wonders if they are becoming extinct.
- Sara at Freadom Speaks talks about rating books – why do we rate books the way we do?
- Jen at Reader in a Reverie shares a bookworm’s recipe for a relaxing evening.
- Regina at The Bibliotheque asks: can we readers stop romanticising real life?
- Chelsea at Books for Thought shares some free font resources.
- Madeline at The SFF Bookshelf asks: does being feminine mean you can’t be a warrior?
- Paul at The Galaxial Word shares six fail-proof methods to turbo-charge your book reviews.
- Trang and Lashaan at Bookidot talks about the different types of readers there is.
- Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks discusses negative reviews and why you shouldn’t apologise for them.
- Janna at Literary Quicksand shares a post to help you determine if a book club is for you.
- Alexa at Words Off the Page talks about the importance of parents in YA fiction.
- Jenny at Jenny in Neverland asks: does using stock images make you a bad blogger?
- Liselle at Lunch-Time Librarian discusses backlist books versus ARCs: the good and the bad.
- Lydia at 22 is Still Young Adult shares her thoughts on the community’s reaction to (fictional) cheating.
- Alex at Fiery Reads asks: what matters more to you when reviewing a book, technical stuff or entertainment?
- Esther at Chapter Adventures talks about the pros and cons of disclosing a plot twist.
Most Anticipated Reads
Nevernight – Jay Kristoff
Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
Apparently this one is a lot darker and more mature than Illuminae, which I haven’t read and probably will never get to at this point (oops).
Replica – Lauren Oliver (ARC)
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. ‘A sickly child’, her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father’s connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she’s always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father’s name seems inextricably linked to it.
Amidst the frenzy outside the institute’s walls, Lyra – or number 24 as she is known as at Haven – and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven’s purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever…
This book is formatted in an ambitious way, and I’m not entirely sure what to expect! Lauren Oliver’s works are a hit or miss for me — I liked Before I Fall, disliked Delirium — so hopefully this will help me make up my mind about her. 😀
Holding Up The Universe – Jennifer Niven (ARC)
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer.
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.
I hadn’t realised how much drama the summary of this book brought up until the Melbourne book bloggers Twitter group discussed it, and now I’m veeeery curious! I’m definitely going in with an open mind, so I guess we’ll see.
How did July go for you, and what’s on your August TBR? Leave me a link to your wrap-up or let me know in the comments! ❤