July was an interesting reading month for me! The first two weeks of July were busy ones, but I still managed to read 10 books and 3,759 pages. I am going to talk about these 10 books in order from my least favourite to my favourite book of the month. I had one two star and one five star read, so most of the books I read in July fell somewhere in between.
Falling had a lot of potential and I was really into it in the beginning, but I thought it had some pacing issues in the middle and it dragged a little bit. I also felt that it fell into some stereotypes and was pretty cliché. I was hoping that it would go in a more interesting and less predictable direction, but I was ultimately disappointed.
Even though Where the Rhythm Takes You is technically my second least favourite book of the month, I still adored it and gave it four stars. I love second chance romances, and the fact that this one was about having a second chance with your first love was really sweet. It is the perfect summer book, as it is mostly set on a resort in Tobago. It also has the trope where one of the characters is famous while the other is not! Also, Reyna is an artist, which I always love and am drawn to. Where the Rhythm Takes You is loosely inspired by Persuasion by Jane Austen, which just added an extra element and was fun!
My Contrary Mary is the first book in a new series from Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows. If you read and loved My Lady Jane, like I did, then I have no doubt that you will feel the same about My Contrary Mary. This book follows Mary Queen of Scots and gives her a new story, which I just loved! I am a HUGE fan of the show Reign and we get so many reference to the show in here. I had so much fun with that! There are also some great side characters and it is just downright hilarious and ridiculous. I cannot wait for the next book!
Claire Fuller is an auto-buy author for me, and I really liked her latest release, Unsettled Ground, and I think it is one that I will come to appreciate more and more as time goes on. There was something so heartbreaking and bittersweet about this story, but it was beautifully written and I felt a deep connection to the characters. I am thrilled that it was shortlisted for The Women’s Prize for Fiction and would be pleased if it won!
Becky Chambers never misses! I absolutely loved A Psalm for the Wild-Built! It was nothing like I expected it to be, but I loved every second. Becky Chamber has this really powerful way of creating characters and forming intense and authentic bonds between them. I never knew that I needed to read about a friendship between a tea monk and a robot. For a novella that is only 160, there were a lot of interesting and important conversations in here, and it was really emotional! I am so happy that it is a series, and the second book, A Prayer for the Crown-Sky, is supposed to be released next year.
I have been wanting to try more manga, so I was so excited when I was gifted this gorgeous Pride and Prejudice manga that was created by Stacy King with Po Tse. I adored the illustrations and the fact that it really had the heart and essence of what makes Pride and Prejudice so special. It made me want to reread the full novel! I know that Stacy King has adapted more classics as mangas and I would love to get my hands on some of them!
While We Were Dating is the sixth book in Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date series, and it might just be my favourite! I thought that Anna and Ben had so much chemistry. This book is steamy!! It also has a trope which I mentioned loving earlier and that is where one of the characters is famous. In this book, Anna is an actress and Ben agrees so enter into a fake dating situation in order to help Anna get publicity. What I really appreciated about While We Were Dating was the strong communication between these two characters. There are important discussions about race, body image, and mental health. It was so refreshing! Also, we had fun cameos from Theo and Maddie from The Wedding Party, as Ben and Theo are brothers!
It Happened One Summer is the perfect beach read and has found its way onto my shelf of my favourite romances! Piper is based on Alexis from Schitt’s Creek and you can totally tell. Tessa Bailey did such an amazing job at capturing what makes Alexis such a charming character. Brenden felt a lot like Luke from Gilmore Girls in that he was stubborn and so stuck in his ways. It was fun to see them push each other but not try to change one another. These characters grew but stayed true to themselves, which was refreshing. And the chemistry!!!
And coming in at five stars and my favourite book of the year is Ace of Spades. This book is getting a lot of attention and it deserves it! It has been compared to both Gossip Girl and Get Out and that is completely accurate. I highly recommend reading Ace of Spades for book club or as a buddy read, as there is a lot to unpack in this one. I have never read anything quite like it and cannot believe that it is Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé’s debut and she started to write it as a freshman in college!
What was your favourite book of July?