Wednesday, August 3, 2016

July Reading Wrap Up and Haul

In July, thanks to Booktubeathon, I finally got over my reading slump. 
I read nine books in the month of July. 

1) The Art of Homemaking by Daryl V. Hoole

This book goes through all the aspects of homemaking. 
It was really outdated. I think there were some good ideas and information in it but in the age of Pinterest there wasn't anything I couldn't find online. I imagine that when this was published it was a big help to a lot of homemakers. But not really nowadays. 
I gave it three stars. ***

2) On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher

"Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It's the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she's become her twenty-seven-year-old self and the door won't open.
Evie's soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it's too late." (Goodreads)

You can see my entire review of this on Scones and Crackers here.
I enjoyed this book. I gave it 3.5 stars. ***.5

3)Five Kingdoms, Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull

"On Halloween below a haunted house, Cole Randolph wanted to have fun. But he dives after friends whisked away to The Outskirts.The five kingdoms lie in between - wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. Some people are born there. Some find their way there from other worlds." (Goodreads)

I really enjoy this series and it was a good first book. 4 stars ****

4) Five Kingdoms, Rogue Knight by Brandon Mull

"A mysterious foe massacres towns, leaving no survivors. And a rebel "Rogue Knight” upsets the balance of power. Pursued by enemies, Cole and Mira use a new kind of magic for protection and to outwit the High King, ruthlessly seeking to regain what he has lost." (Goodreads)

This is good. It is a good follow up and had me even more interested in finishing the series. 
4 stars ****

5) Five Kingdoms, Crystal Keepers by Brandon Mull

"Ruled by Abram Trench, the one Grand Shaper who stayed loyal to the evil High King, the government of Zeropolis uses advanced technologies to keep tight control. Luckily, the resistance in Zeropolis is anchored by the Crystal Keepers;a group of young rebels with unique weapons." (Goodreads)

I didn't like this one as much as the first two but it was still fun and good. I am looking forward to reading the next two in the series. Still gave it 4 stars ****

6) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

"WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZEFrom the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II." (Goodreads)

This one went back and forth for me. There were times when it was a 3 and times when it was a 4.5. 
The first part I had a hard time staying engaged as I was listening to the audio book and kept zoning out but then I switched to the hard copy and became much more engaged. 
There were characters I wanted more from and things I didn't like that happened but overall I still had to give it 4 stars ****

7) Austenland by Shannon Hale

"Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined" (Goodreads) 

I went into this wondering if the fact that it has become one of my very favorite movies would make me like the book more... but it is still the same rating for me. I like it but I think the movie brings to life the humor so much more. And I find movie Jane so much more likeable than book Jane. 
3 stars ***

8) Stargirl  by Jerry Spinelli

"From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, hallways hum “Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. Until they are not. Leo urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her - normal." (Goodreads)

I read this in just a few hours as it was pretty short and I needed it to finish it that day for booktubeathon. It was okay. I thought about it a lot. I didn't love the characters and I felt like Stargirl was a bit more outrageous than she needed to be. And yet I was still really sad about what happened with her. I think it was a decent book. 3 stars ***

9) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

"When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever." (Goodreads)

I love Beauty and the Beast so I was pretty wary of whether I would like this re-telling or not... but I ended up loving it. 
It was exciting and interesting and I felt like it was really well written. 
I can't wait to read the next one. 
Keep in mind that this series is in the genre called New Adult even though it is categorized, in my library at least, as Young Adult. This means that while it is pretty much a young adult book, it does have some sex scenes. It is not as graphic as the more adult books but there are a few scenes. 
4.5 stars ****.5

As far as books we bought in July I am going to just add the July haul onto the end of this post now: 

In July the girls both got quite a few books.
Abi got the two My Little Pony books to jumpstart our summer reading program. 
Maddy got two Owl Diaries books for the summer reading program but they are not in the picture. 
Then they picked out a new book at Barnes and Noble for free from their summer reading program. 
Abi got Mr. Lemoncello's Library and Maddy picked out the Puppy Pirates Stowaway
We visited The King's English bookstore once this month and I let them each pick out one book. 
Abi got the Unicorn and Phoebe book two and Maddy got a book about Hedgehogs (not pictured)

I got two pre-orders this month. 
The Heart of the Home anniversary edition by Susan Branch ordered from her website. 
On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher and Billy and Me by Giovanni Fletcher (and yes, they are related. Gi is Carrie's sister in law) were ordered from Book Depository 

Have you read any great books in July? 

No comments: