One of the best parts of the summer is being able to read, swim, read, and tan. Did I mention reading outside in the summer is my favorite thing ever? My reading plans in July primarily focused on Book Expo ARCs and some necessary (summer) contemporaries. I actually read my three most anticipated books of the year this month, and I found myself craving more adult books and romance in July than usual! I definitely blame the latter for my love for the Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy this year—I recently bought the first book in the spin-off series, The Chase.
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord (reread) | 4.5/5 Stars
I enjoyed The Start of Me and You even more the second time around! And like the first time around, I spent a lot of time reading it and floating around my pool.
The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord (ARC) | 4/5
This was a solid sequel to The Start of Me and You, but I wasn’t as in love as I hoped I’d be.
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren | 3.5/5
I liked how Love and Other Words flipped between the past and the present, but I feel like the book didn’t really bring anything I hadn’t seen before.
Unpregnant by Jenni Hendricks and Ted Caplan (ARC) | 5/5
If you thought that there could never be a thing called a ‘funny YA abortion story,’ think again and read Unpregnant when it comes out this fall.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (ARC) | 5/5
I just knew Ninth House was going to blow me away, and it probably sounds ridiculous saying it because what else would you expect, but I found my favorite book of the year.
Pretty Guilty Women by Gina Lamanna (ARC) | 4/5
Pretty Guilty Women definitely makes for the perfect beach read and has some fast-paced, less complicated Big Little Lies vibes.
Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker (ARC) | 3.5/5
Cute and diverse graphic novel!
The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett (ARC) | 5/5
As expected because she is one of my all-time favorite authors, Jenn Bennett’s take on YA fantasy and historical fiction was everything I wanted.
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | 4/5
I’m a little sad that I’ve finished reading Emery Lord’s published work, but Open Road Summer was a cute summer contemporary about romance, friendship and self-growth.
Maybe This Time by Kasie West | 5/5
In line with loving books that I really wanted to love, I found my favorite Kasie West book!
Hudson Valley (Nuts, Cream of the Crop & Buns) series by Alice Clayton |
As mentioned above, I’ve been craving contemporary romance lately, which led me to Alice Clayton’s Hudson Valley series. This trilogy has plenty of friendship, food and steamy romance to go around
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys (ARC) | 5/5
I’ve been waiting over two years for Ruta Sepetys’ upcoming novel and once again, I was blown away by her beautiful and important storytelling.
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (ARC) | 3.5/5
DNF: Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi. Major unpopular opinion here, but I was not a huge fan of Mary H.K. Choi’s Emergency Contact last year. Since so many people love her work and I’m always up for giving authors a second chance, I decided to try reading her upcoming release, Permanent Record. I really did not enjoy the writing style and Pablo’s narration/ him as a character. I read the first 120 pages and decided that it was just not the book for me.
Big Little Lies S2 (HBO) – I think I forgot to mention in last month’s wrap-up that I had started watching Big Little Lies S2. As much as I loved S1 and I did look forward to watching a new episode every week this season, overall S2 felt so unnecessary?! While the show dives deeper into big issues, like sexual and physical abuse, I felt some of the storylines were really unnecessary and the more I think about it, the more their lives would have been easier if they didn’t tell the lie. But will I watch a possible third season? Of course!
Outdaughtered S5 (TLC)- My favorite comfort reality show also returned this summer. Outdaughtered is just one of the cutest shows ever and I’m a little sad that this season was only 8 episodes.
The Man in the High Castle S1 & S2 (Prime)- I’ve been leaning towards shorter and fluffier TV shows this summer (and avoiding hour long shows as much as possible), but I decided to dive into one of the shows on my to-watch list, The Man in the High Castle. I didn’t except to love this show as much as I did! I admit I’m not a huge fan of the sci-fi-esque aspect (don’t want to be too spoilery), but I feel like it makes the show way less predictable. However, I admit that some of the politics do go a bit over my head.
Spider-Man 2: Far From Home– Spider-Man has always been the Marvel superhero I’ve been the most invested in, and like many, Tom Holland is my favorite Spider-Man. Far From Home was so good, easily becoming my favorite Marvel movie. I don’t know how we are going to wait two years for the sequel!
The Hate U Give- I finally watched The Hate U Give! I was really impressed with this movie and I loved the Angie Thomas cameo. My main/only complaint was that it felt (and somewhat was) very long.
Started watching/currently watching:
Last Chance U S4 (Netflix)
Sugar Rush S2 (Netflix)
The Man in the High Castle S3 (Prime)
Say Yes to the Dress S18 (TLC)
- I hauled three books in July. Two were purchased, including Youd’ Be Mine by Erin Hanh and The Chase by Elle Kennedy. The third was Your Heart is the Sea by Nikita Gill, which was kindly sent to me by Thought Catalog.
- I unexpectedly got the iPhone XR and I’m freaking in love with it. I was managing pretty well with my iPhone 6- I had some problems here and there with it and I had just recently gotten the battery replaced- but my family decided to take advantage of a Verizon sale and upgraded our phones. I try not to be phone obsessed, but the XR is just so cool! I’m loving the battery life (I can go 2 days with regular cell phone use without charging), the Face ID is so cool, and the camera is pretty great for a cell phone. If I’m too lazy to take my camera out for some bookish photos, the XR will definitely do.
- Taylor Swift dropped another song from Lover, “The Archer.” I really love the lyrics, but not totally in love with the beat? Based on the three songs that have been released so far, I’m interested to see how cohesive the vibe of her seventh album.
- Marissa Meyer is coming out with four new books between 2020 and 2023, including two contemporary romances! The first contemporary romance is titled Instant Karma, set for release in November 2020.
What did you read and watch in July? Share in the comments!