I read five books this month + a poetry book which is pretty good for me and I attribute that to being on holiday this month! Unfortunately I’m back at uni now which will probably result in a drop in the amount of books I can read per month! Alternatively it could go the other way and I could discover some incredible books that I end up prioritising over my university readings… I’m aiming for some kind of balance in between! We’ll see how that goes, but for now I’ll reflect on July!
The first book that I read in July was Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, which isn’t pictured as I had to return it to the library. The last couple of months have seen me develop a greater love for hiring library books which is a good thing as it is kinder to my wallet, but also not such a good thing because it is not kinder to the unread books hanging out on my shelf waiting for their moment.
Anyway, back to Cruel Beauty. Unfortunately this book disappointed me a lot. I had high hopes for it because I love Beauty and the Beast and I was excited for a darker re-telling, not to mention that the cover is really pretty and looked as though it held promise. Needless to say, my expectations were not really met. I found the love story to be unbelievable, the love interest to be uninteresting and the general plot to be strange and not particularly exciting. I got to the point where I just wanted to hurry to the end so that I could pick up my next book. In saying that, I didn’t hate it, I just neutrally felt bored by it!
The next book that I read was my absolute favourite of the month and that was Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I picked this up from the op shop shelf because it was a gorgeous hardcover, and because I’d seen the name floating around and vaguely remembered it receiving good reviews. I bought it because I read the blurb and was absolutely hooked. Iceland + history + a complex/flawed female protagonist + ‘based on a true story’ + a crime where the accused may not have been guilty – no need to ask me twice. It helped that I only had to pay $2 for it. This story was interesting, achingly sad and bitter, but it was also beautifully written with lyrical language and poetic paragraphs. I felt for the protagonist and the complexity of her situation, and even thought you know the outcome from the blurb, you cannot help but cross your fingers for a different ending. This book swallows you whole and you feel as though you are right beside the characters, freezing, starving and terrified. You will feel a little hollow after reading this but it is worth it. Highly recommend.
After Burial Rites I decided to pick up Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder which was leant to me by one of my fellow book-worm pals. She gave me a whole stack of books by Maria V. Snyder a few months ago and I decided it was time to give one of them a go! I was pleasantly surprised by this and I found that I read it pretty quickly and found it extremely easy to read large chunks at a time. I’m a little conflicted as I wasn’t as invested in the romance as I wanted to be, nor did I particularly relate/love the central character, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I read Magic Study straight after and read it faster than the first and enjoyed it equally as much and then moved onto Fire Study which I again flew through. I wasn’t disappointed by the sequels and I enjoyed the direction of the story and the way the world was expanded and explored. I found some parts a little repetitive and I still didn’t find that I clicked more with the main character but I did respect her and enjoy her interactions with the minor characters. In summary, I’d definitely recommend this series but it won’t go onto my favourites list or anything like that. It felt cruisy – an easy-read that fulfilled my fantasy cravings. I’m not particularly fussed about picking up the other three books in the series but I may get around to them some day!
I also read Milk and Honey and my thoughts on that can be found on my previous post, where I unpack how I felt about the poems, and my feelings toward the book in general!
I hope your July was filled with wonderful stories and delicious books!