Friday, August 4, 2017

July 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

Whoops, this is a few days late. Mostly because I was pretty much reading up until the last possible moment of the month, wanting to try (for some reason?) to get as much reading into the month as possible. And I had a lot of fun doing that? I wasn't really trying to do that until BookTubeAThon started - I vlogged for it, I'm hoping to get it up sometime next week.

Anyway - it was a good reading month in quantity but also in quality. I read a lot of things, sure, but I also read a lot of good things. And even managed to check off a few Diversity Bingo challenges, which is great because I'm officially behind. Reading challenges is when being a mood reader bites me in the ass.

Onto the books and then some thoughts - probably a good few because, well like I said, a lot in general but also a lot of good.

  • Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba #1) by Daniel Jose Older (4/5)
  • A Christmas Carroll: A Strangely Beautiful Novella by Leanna Renee Hieber (5/5)
  • The King by Tiffany Reisz (5/5)
  • Coffee Boy by Austin Chant (5/5)
  • Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman (5/5)
  • The Blue Horses by Mary Oliver (4/5)
  • Wizards in Space, Volume 1 edited by Olivia Dolphin (4/5)
  • Queer, There, and Everywhere by Sarah Prager (5/5)
  • Want (Want #1) by Cindy Pon (4/5)
  • Adaptation (Adaptation #1) by Malinda Lo (5/5)
  • Dog Songs: Poems by Mary Oliver (4/5)
  • Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher (2/5)
  • Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuirre (5/5)
  • Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest (4/5)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where the Find them: Original Screenplay by J.K Rowling (4/5)
  • The Gauntlet by Karuna Riaza (4/5)
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2) by Seanan McGuire (4.5/5)
  • Exit, Pursued by Bear by E.K Johnston (5/5)
  • The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord (5/5)
  • The Gunslinger (Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King (4/5)
  • Illusive (Illusive #1) by Emily Lloyd-Jones (3.5/5)
Graphic novels/comic/manga:

  • Kill or Be Killed, Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips
  • Dimension W, Volume(s) 1, 2, 3, 4, + 5 by Yuji Iwahara (4.5 average)
  • Giant Days, Volume 5 by John Allison, Max Sarin (4/5)
So I read a lot of good, good stuff this month. You can see a bunch of 5 stars up there, but also a bunch of 4 stars. And the 4 stars were really fucking good in their own right, excuse the language. I normally try not to swear on blog but I'm tired, and also amped up about books. As always. I read 21 books, 7 graphic novels. Which equals to a total of: 5,902 pages with the graphic novels - 4,846 without gn.

I'm going to try and be super brief about most of the ones I loved, only going into depth about a few, just because there's so many but I live giving my mini-thoughts about the books I read.

I'm kind of mad at myself that I waited so long to read Half-Ressurection Blues? I've had it since just after it came out and it was so good and so much fun, and listening to the author narrate it was an experience. I don't know if this is weird to say, but he's got a good voice. And the way it's written feels conversation - highly recommend the book, and the audiobook if you're into that. 

The King - do I need to spew lover about Tiffany Reisz again? A Christmas Carroll was really, really adorable and I'm glad we got that last piece of closure. I'm loving Mary Olivers poems, which should be unsurprising since I read two of her collections this month.

The Gauntlet. Everyone was right about it being like jumanji and I highly recommend it - interesting, surprised me, and a ton of fun. Coffee Boy and Knit One, Girl Two were both short, adorable romances and I'd recommend them both, definitely going to be checking out more from the authors. 

Finally, the last few I really loved. First: Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones. I feel like I'm one of the last people to start this novella series but if you haven't, it's incredible. It's so damn interesting and just so good? I love fantasy, portal fantasy included, and I loved the idea of this book and also loved the way she wrote it. Would highly recommend both, cannot wait until the third comes out.

The Names They Gave Us was heartfelt and sad. It deals with cancer, though, just to warn you - the MC's mom has agressive breast cancer. It also deals with a whole slew of other problems and it's really, really good. I want to read the spinoff about Anna, I don't think it'll happen but I'd 100% read it.

(trigger warnings for sexual assault/rape discussion, just the below paragraph)

Exit, Pursued by Bear. This book. I cried through probably at least 60% of it. It's so well done, though. I'm not a survivor of an assault so I can't speak for that, but... I can't read books about rape, so I wasn't going to pick this one up. It makes me sick to read, especially when the writer feels like we need a detailed description of it happening? None of that is in this book. This book handles our main character with respect, but also lets her be confused. She doesn't know to feel, she doesn't remember it. I think I want to write a full review, but one last thing: how respectful every adult she encountered was incredible, how supportive her best friend was and mostly everyone in her life who was a friend. I just... if you can stomach it, I'd recommend reading this book. It's on a horrible subject matter, but it's an incredible read. 

Finally, we're ending on a lighter note because I feel like we should. Adaptation by Malinda Lo. There's mixed opinions about this book but holy shit, I loved it. I loved it in a way that I haven't a book in a while. It's fun, a little ridiculous, and deals with conspiracy theories - remember when there were those bird problems? And then conspiracy theories? Well - what if they were real? Oh, and also aliens? Haven't read book two yet - it's a duology - but I am definitely planning on doing so, I'm just kind of nervous about how it's going to end. This was only my second book by Malinda Lo but I think she might be an auto buy author now for me? (I read Ash by her last year, which is incredible)

Whew, that was a lot of words, took me a while to figure out what I wanted to say. And I don't feel like I did most of these books justice, I also don't feel like I really correctly articulated what I wanted to say about Exit, Pursued by Bear. Either way - if you've read any of these books let me know, or if me talking about them made you want to pick them up! (if you end up reading any, please come back or let me know on twitter)

And with that -
Happy Reading!

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