MONTHLY WRAP-UP: July 2018

Hello there, lovelies! Wellllp, it’s the beginning of August, which means it’s time for my July 2018 wrap-up. Besides completing 7 books, July was also a good month for social interaction and personal goals!

If you know me in real life, you know I’m very introverted and easily would rather spend time by myself — reading, studying, spending quality time with my animals, etc. However, my Dungeons and Dragons group recently started our new campaign, so for five hours every Saturday, I get to go have fun with my friends. Other than that, I’ve also started personal training. Luckily, my best friend is my trainer, so spending an hour every couple days weightlifting feels more like fun than work.

August marks the beginning of my last semester of undergrad at Marshall, so it’s bound to be a bit busier, but I’m hoping to read at least as much as I did last month. Speaking of, let’s get into it! My favorite book that I read last month was Street Magic by Tamora Pierce. Briar Moss is one of my favorite characters of all time, so any book that he plays a major role in is likely to become my favorite. My least favorite was Chosen by P.C. + Kristin Cast. The HOUSE OF NIGHT series is a guilty pleasure for me, but I was quite a bit younger the last time I read it. The writing style is obnoxiously juvenile and the attitudes of the main characters leave a sour taste in my mouth. Hopefully the rest of the series picks back up.

If you’d like to see everything else that I read, keep reading!


B O O K S

books unfinished: 3
books completed: 7
re-reads: 5
new-to-me books: 5
new-to-me authors: 3
total pages read: 2,629

Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll): ☆☆☆☆☆
[WILL BE CONTINUING NEXT MONTH]

Chosen (P.C. & Kristin Cast): ★☆☆☆☆
[RE-READ] This is the third book in the HOUSE OF NIGHT series. In last month’s wrap-up, I predicted this book to get a 3-star rating, and I was wrong way wrong. I like this series decently well overall (so far), but 99% of the things character’s say and do frustrate me. I can’t stand the way the characters speak to each other, the writing in general is dull and repetitive, and as soon as I think a book is going to focus on something cool, it ends up switching gears and talking about Zoey’s tragic love life instead. Back when I originally read this series, I think I stopped after finishing Untamed, which is the next book. After that, I don’t know what to expect. I considered this a guilty pleasure series at best, but this is going downhill pretty quickly, so I don’t know if I can even call it that.
As far as this book in particular, I found myself completely irritated with Zoey throughout the entirety of the book. I can’t do love triangles, or rectangles (dear lord help me), 99% of the time, and this is no exception. I mean, I could definitely see falling for each of the guys, so I’m not blaming her for that, but she really needed to sort herself out before it blew up in her face and she hurt other people (too late). I also hate how she spends the majority of the book insulting people. However, I really do love the sides of the story concerning Stevie Rae and Aphrodite, so I’m going to continue on in the hopes that it focuses more on them.

Final Draft (Riley Redgate): ★★★★☆
You can see my full review here.

Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle (Jeremy Crawford, et al.): ☆☆☆☆☆
[WILL BE CONTINUING NEXT MONTH]

Magic Steps (Tamora Pierce): ★★★★☆
[RE-READ] This is the first book in the CIRCLE OPENS quartet. I miss my baby Briar, but Sandry is my second favorite character out of the group, so this was still a lot of fun — and besides, Pasco reminds me a lot of Briar’s personality when he was first introduced.
I loved watching Sandry become a mentor, seeing as she has always had such a motherly quality about her even though she’s still so young. I had to constantly remind myself that she’s only 14 in this book, because her inner voice sounds and feels so much older. But, she is a noble and she also went through some trauma, which was discussed throughout the CIRCLE OF MAGIC series, so it makes sense that she matured more more quickly. I like that Pierce keeps introducing us to magic that has manifested in different ways, like Pasco’s dancing magic. I remember this series introducing a whole cast of new characters, including my little Evvy, but I can’t remember what their magics are, so it’ll be almost like experiencing them again for the first time! Speaking of magic, we have our first encounter with unmagic, which was REALLY FUCKING INTERESTING. I don’t think the rest of the series goes into detail about unmagic, but I wish she would write more about it. Also, just a minor note, I’m 100% okay with seeing more of Duke Vedris because I love him and just constantly want to give him a hug for some reason.

Street Magic (Tamora Pierce): ★★★★★
[RE-READ] This is the second book in the CIRCLE OPENS quartet and this is easily one of my favorite books by Tamora Pierce. I’m obsessed with the street rat/thief lord dynamic (which is why I fell in love with Briar in the first place), so learning about other gangs in this world has been so much fun. Briar continues to be one of my absolute favorite Pierce characters, and I really enjoyed seeing how much he has grown between the last book of the CIRCLE OF MAGIC quartet and the first installment of this one. I’d say that Evvy probably earns the title of my favorite young female in this series (Rosethorn is actually my favorite female in Emelan overall). She’s such a spitfire. I felt that the plot of Street Magic moved much, much faster than Magic Steps, but that could just be because I love Briar and Rosethorn so much.

The Oversight (Charlie Fletcher): ☆☆☆☆☆
[WILL BE CONTINUING NEXT MONTH]

The Two Princesses of Bamarre (Gail Carson Levine): ★★★★☆
[RE-READ] You can read my full review here.

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre (Gail Carson Levine): ★★★★★
This is book 0.5 in the TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE series. I think I loved this prequel even more than The Two Princesses of Bamarre, which is almost absurd to me. It is so crazy to find out as an adult that a book you loved as little first-grader now has a prequel. Levine’s writing style is so fun and her stories are so enjoyable that I could hardly contain my excitement while listening to this. Normally I clean or write while listening to books, but I mostly just sat on my bed and stared at my phone with a huge grin on my face. I think I actually squealed when we were introduced to Drualt.

Wayfarer (Alexandra Bracken): ★★★★☆
This is the second and final book in the PASSENGER duology. In last month’s wrap-up, I predicted a 5-star rating for Wayfarer, since I loved Passenger so much. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite make five stars. There were several moments when I was so bored that I had to put it down and come back, likely because time travel is one of my least favorite concepts and reading 1,000+ pages of it had become tedious. That being said, Bracken’s writing is flawless and I still love the the characters. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the addition of Julian, so that’s a plus.


BOOKS MENTIONED


T V  /  M O V I E S

Brain on Fire (2016): ★★★★★
I don’t know what it is, but if Rotten Tomatoes rates it low, I more than likely love it. Brain on Fire is no exception. This movie shows the struggle so many people go through when it comes to getting a correct diagnosis, and also the struggle many doctors go through when they know something is wrong but cannot conclusively decipher what it is. Moretz did an awesome job in this role, and the movie taught me about a disease of which I knew nothing. It also brought to my attention a book that I need to read stat.

How It Ends (2018): ★★★☆☆
Super predictable, but I love apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies, especially ones with a yellow color palette, so I still had a fun time watching it. That being said, I had to actually look up theories on the ending because I still don’t really know what happened, and several of the loose ends made me want to rip my hair out.

Life Sentence, S1 (2018): ★★★★☆
Wow, I didn’t expect to love this as much as I did. I’m glad she volunteers at the hospital because that makes it seem like part-medical drama, which is one of my favorite genres of TV. It gets four stars instead of five because I ended up irritated with most of the characters’ actions by the end of the season. Still, I loved it enough not to get turned away due to my frustration, so I’m looking forward to the next season.

Riverdale, S2 (2017-2018): ☆☆☆☆☆
[WILL BE CONTINUING NEXT MONTH]

Room (2015): ★★★★★
This is easily one of my favorite movies of all time, and also the one that has made me cry the most. I’m sure that you’ve heard of how amazing this movie is, even if you haven’t seen it. Seriously, go give it a watch. Have tissues on hand.

Terrace House: Opening New Doors, P3: ☆☆☆☆☆
[WILL BE CONTINUING NEXT MONTH]

The Vampire Diaries, S3 (2011-2012): ★★★★☆
The Vampire Diaries, S4 (2012-2013): ☆☆☆☆☆
[WILL BE CONTINUING NEXT MONTH]


SHOWS & MOVIES MENTIONED

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