July was a weird month. It wasn’t bad in the least bit – I had plenty of days floating around the pool, I was finally able to hang out with friends from college whom I hadn’t seen since we left campus in March, went to the beach every week, celebrated one of my best friend’s 22nd birthday, AND got a new T-Swift album! At the same time, I was really busy with grad school this month, and I feel like my uncertainty for the rest of this year really set in.
I’m really content with the amount of books I read July, having read 14 in total! I feel like I’m really in my summer reading groove now – I find that I basically binge read 2-4 books every week between Thursday through Sunday! I read books that I LOVED this month, but I also had a few misses. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read so many good books this year and a few that have become all-time favorites, but I don’t really have any big expectations for the second half of my 2020 reading year just because of the way life IRL is right now.
The Dare (Briar U #4) by Elle Kennedy | 4/5 Stars
The Dare was another fun installment in the Briar U series (review is coming in August!), but it wasn’t my absolute favorite in the series.
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee | 4.5
The Idea of You was so, so worth the read – if you need a scandalous romance this summer, pick this one up!
Playing with Matches by Hannah Orenstein | 5/5
I’ve been really excited to read Head Over Heels soon, so I figured I should try Hannah Orenstein’s debut, Playing with Matches, beforehand and I LOVED it!
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo | 4/5
I’ve made it my mission to read all of Elizabeth Acevedo’s books this year, and I started with her latest release, Clap When You Land. It was such a unique story, and I loved Elizabeth Acevedo’s writing.
Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl | 5/5
I want to put Have a Little Faith in Me in the hands of every reader looking for a summer camp read or YA book with tons of sex positivity and discussions.
From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon | 4.5/5
Amy Harmon’s From Sand and Ash was such a unique historical fiction read set in Italy WWII, and it made me want to pick up more of Amy Harmon’s books.
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner | 3/5
Unfortunately, Big Summer was one of the books that missed the mark for me this month. I definitely want to give another Jennifer Weiner book a try though – I’m thinking Mrs. Everything?
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo | 5/5
With the Fire on High was beyond worth the hype! Again, Elizabeth Acevedo is such an incredible writer, and the book has such great representation and sheds light on an often untold story in YA contemporary.
Verity by Colleen Hoover | 4/5
I think I finally got back on the Colleen Hoover train this summer through Verity. It was such an interesting blend of romance and thriller that I hadn’t read before.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert | 3/5
I wanted to LOVE Get a Life, Chloe Brown because so many readers have been loving the companion sequel, Take a Hint, Dani Brown, but I just wasn’t that engaged in the story and couldn’t connect to the writing style.
Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman | 5/5
I watched the Netflix adaptation of Unorthodox back in March and loved it, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the memoir – I think I was on my library’s digital holds list for almost two months. I devoured Unorthodox in less than two days, and I’m trying to get all my friends who have or haven’t watched the TV show to pick it up. Although I don’t read a ton of non-fiction, it’s easily one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read.
All Adults Here by Emma Straub | 5/5
I’m such a big fan of Emma Straub’s books, and I think her latest release, All Adults Here, might just be my favorite!
Exodus by Deborah Feldman | 4/5
Although there was a super long hold list for Unorthodox, Deborah Feldman’s follow-up, Exodus, had no wait list at all. Although I enjoyed Unorthodox way more, I thought Exodus was a really great portrayal of the author trying to learn more about her family and herself after leaving her religious community.
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan | 5/5 (reread)
I knew I had to reread The Royal We before picking up the sequel, The Heir Affair, and I loved this William and Kate-inspired contemporary even more this second time around.
I’m currently reading Anna K by Jenny Lee and I’m LOVING it! I’ve been in the mood for adult fiction lately (if you couldn’t tell), but I was finally able to get this book from my library and it couldn’t come at a more perfect time because its YA story has an adult fiction like writing style! I definitely see myself finishing it by the end of this weekend (or today if I push more homework aside, oops). I’m also currently read Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon…and I’m unfortunately thinking about DNF’ing this one. I’m still trying to hold on because I love Sandhya Menon’s other books so much and books about royals, but I just think this book isn’t for me. I haven’t picked it up since last week, and I know if I don’t pick it up by the end of the weekend, I likely won’t pick it up again.
The Babysitter’s Club (Netflix) – The Babysitter’s Club is literally everything I wanted in the Netflix adaptation of my childhood favorite series. It’s definitely geared towards a younger audience, but there was no cringe-ness whatsoever, and I loved the modern updates.
Special S1 (Netflix) – I watched Special for one of my grad school classes, but it quickly became one of my favorite shows I watched this summer! If you’re craving a comedy with short episodes, I can’t help but recommend this one!
Indian Matchmaking (Netflix) – I have a love-hate relationship with Netflix’s reality shows – some of them I’m absolutely obsessed with (I’ll be spending next Friday bingeing the new season of Selling Sunset ), but others I just can’t get into – but Indian Matchmaking was such a love for me!
The Kissing Booth 2 (Netflix) – I had some friends over this week for an outdoor movie night, and The Kissing Booth 2 was our movie of choice. I admit that I don’t remember the first film too well, but I think I liked this second installment better and I’m actually looking forward to the third movie!
Other things I watched: Hamilton (Disney+), Sleepless in Seattle (Netflix), Say Yes to the Dress S19 (TLC), #Anne Frank – Parallel Stories (Netflix), Outer Banks (Netflix)
Continued watching: Below Deck Mediterranean (Bravo), The West Wing (Netflix/NBC), Shtisel S2 (Netflix)
Other Bookish Fun
What did you read and watch in July? Anything that I mentioned? Share in the comments!