July was my best reading month to date this year! I was able to start and finish 17 books and 1 audiobook for a total of 114 books in 2019. I am actually 28 books ahead of schedule on my Goodreads goal, which bodes well for hitting a stretch goal and beating my 2018 record of 179 total books read. I participated and co-hosted a YA Contemporary Readathon for a good chunk of the month, so that accounts for like half of what I read. I have always loved reading contemporaries in the summer.
I’m actually SUPER proud of myself for getting so many books done this month because I was expecting very low numbers. July marked my first foray into NaNoWriMo and I set myself a 30k word goal (which I met, btw!!), and a huge chunk of my time was spent at my computer typing away. Not gonna lie, my brain is pretty much fried at this point, but it was so worth it! I have a short vacation coming up and I plan to lay in a hammock and do nothing but read and nap for 4 days.
Well, without further adieu let’s see what I read this month. I am not going to go into detail on every book (there are so many), but I’ll highlight where I feel it’s warranted.
The Duff by Kodt Keplinger
280 pages. 4/5 Stars.
Let me just say, this book is NOTHING like the movie. Like…at all. Not only was it far from the silly rom-com of the film, but it had like 300% more sex. I was not opposed to this, but it was definitely unexpected.
Snowsisters by Tom Wilinski & Jen Sternick
256 pages. 3/5 Stars.
Super mixed feelings on this book. The concept was cool, and the general plot was interesting, but the execution was severely lacking and a lot of the characters were not great. Trigger warnings for transphobia, homophobia, and implied abuse.
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
416 pages. 4/5 Stars.
One of three Dessen books this month, I realized while planning my readathon that I own but have never read a good chunk of her books. I very much enjoyed this one.
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
345 pages. 3.5/5 Stars.
I feel like this is the book most associated with Dessen, and yet I still had never read it. It is one of her older books and I feel like it read like that. YA has developed so much in the last decade, and definitely falls into the “old YA” category for me. I probably would have given this a higher rating if I’d read it in HS when it first released.
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
371 pages. 4/5 Stars.
I really enjoyed this one. Dessen isn’t afraid to address tough topics, and this was a good example of how well she handles them. The love story portion of this definitely took a backseat to the rest, but I wouldn’t consider that a bad thing in this case.
Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here by Anna Breslaw
288 pages. 4/5 Stars. Reread.
Any story that involves fanfiction gets an instant boost for me. I loved the main character – Scarlett – AND the character of Ruth, but really wasn’t a fan of the “love interest”, Gideon. This book didn’t need to include a romantic subplot to make it good, and I feel like maybe it was unneeded in the scheme of things. However, the rest of the plot was awesome.
Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes
400 pages. 4/5 Stars. Reread
A great plot, interesting characters, and plenty of realistic mental issues being dealt with. Maguire is a very well written character and I really enjoyed this book.
P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
330 pages. 4/5 Stars. Reread.
Kasie West is one of my go-to Contemporary authors and this is a great example of why. I loved the slow burn, secret admirer, hate-to-love, trope-fest this book had going on and I want more! It hits like all of my buckets for YA Contemporary!
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
438 Pages. 4.5 Stars. Reread.
As a die-hard fan of fanfiction, this book is my cup of tea! I knew that no Contemporary Readathon would be complete without it. I am super stoked for the release of Wayward Son this fall, and will def be rereading Carry On before that drops!
The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie
352 Pages. 5 Stars. Reread.
So for those of you who have never read the Ritchie sisters before, this is their debut into the YA Fantasy world. They are best known for their amazing, epic, super steamy, bow-chicka-wow-wow, gonna-need-a-cold-shower adult romances. It just proves their brilliance in their ability to transition to such a different type of story, and this book is awesome! Multiple POVs, unique “magic”, awesome characters, a great plot, and soooo many twists and turns. Such a win. Also, have the next book ready because the cliffhanger ending is crazy!
The Last Hope by Krista and Becca Ritchie
400 Pages. 5 Stars.
The sequel to The Raging Ones, this book took us in a direction I never expected and loved immensely! We also got a new POV for a character I instantly adored. Considering their origin as romance authors, its no surprise that the Ritchie’s are fabulous at building relationships between their characters, and this had so many awesome examples of that. Can HIGHLY recommend!!
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
408 Pages. 5/5 Stars. Reread.
A reread in prep for King of Fools, I had forgotten how much I loved this book. The world has some serious Ketterdam vibes, but the story itself doesn’t feel like a copy of Six of Crows, despite some generic similarities. I love the characters, the plot, the intrigue. All of it.
King of Fools by Amanda Foody
602 Pages. 4.5/5 Stars.
I like big books and I cannot lie. I will say, I am very glad I read AoS as a refresher, because I would have otherwise been lost in the intricacies of the plot here. This book adds in another POV, a girl gang (!!!), and a SERIOUS HEARTBREAK. I need the next book NOW!!!!!!!
The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty
352 Pages. 5/5 Stars. Reread.
I enjoyed this book just as much this time as I did when I first read it ages ago! Sage is a great main character and Alex is a total catch. This had lots of intrigue, a good love story, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing!
The Traitor’s Ruin by Erin Beaty
384 Pages. 4.5/5 Stars.
The sequel to The Traitor’s Kiss, I loved where the story went in this one. We got to see a whole new country and culture, and the new characters this added were great. I did get a little emotionally exhausted with this one (I won’t say why because it is a spoiler), which knocked off half a star for me. However, it had me excited for the final book!
The Traitor’s Kingdom by Erin Beaty
384 Pages. 4/5 Stars.
The final book in the trilogy, this baby was packed full of political intrigue and so many twists and turns. It was a little confusing at time (soooo much happening) but it kept me guessing right up until the end. I love when a story catches me off guard, and this one definitely did. A great ending to the series.
Hunted by Bex-Chan
481 Pages. 4/5 Stars.
I rounded out my reading month with some fanfiction! Bex-Chan is the author of my all time favorite Dramione fanfic (and fave fanfic period), Isolation, and I don’t know how I missed the fact that she had another full-length story! According to her bio, this was her first foray into Dramione, and it definitely lacked some of the polish of Isolation. However, I am such a sucker for Dramione fics and this checked all of the right boxes. I will be adding this to my go-to list when I need a Dramione binge.
Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
15 hours 21 Minutes. 5/5 Stars. Narrated by Khristine Hvam. Reread.
This is one of my very favorite series, and the audio book is brilliantly done! On more than one occasion I would take the long way home from work just to eek out a few more minutes of listening! Laini Taylor is a wordsmith and her writing is so beautiful. So. Good.
And there we have it! How many books did you accomplish this month? What was your favorite?! Tell us in the comments below!