What I’ve Been Reading Lately – July Reviews

Happy Show us Your Books Day!!! Linking up with Steph and Jana today to share some recent reads. Hope you are all enjoying this summer reading season. I know I am! The only problem is that summer is soooo busy that there are nights when I sit down to read and I do not even have the energy to look at the words on a page. This happens every year and I just have to embrace it šŸ˜‰ The warm weather and socializing make up for it, of course!!! I am mostly reading ARCs and library books these days, and I’m ok with that. I have to keep up with those ARCs so I can keep being approved for them, after all!

That being said, it took me a lot longer to get through some of the books I read this month than it normally would – but here are the books I’m dying to talk about:

Here are a few books I loved:
A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I absolutely loved and devoured this book. As in, tried to ignore almost everything in my life for 3 days to finish it. It was SO good. Mind you, this book probably isn’t for everyone – it’s a retelling of Beauty & the Beast with very loose ties to the original. It’s not high fantasy though, it’s pretty readable and it was definitely very compelling to follow along with. I can’t WAIT to read my ARC of the second one asap because this one leaves you hanging just a little bit!!

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad OnesAtomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

I absolutely loved this. So relatable and applicable and motivating. I don’t always find non-fiction/self-help type books to be easy to read or pay attention to, but this one is definitely one with a lot of little tidbits that I HOPE will lead to lasting change in some areas of my life. His website and newsletter are also excellent. (I listened to this via Scribd).

BecomingBecoming by Michelle Obama

I think it is almost impossible not to enjoy this book. I really enjoyed the inside peek into the White House life, but I also LOVED hearing about her early life, how she met Barack, her family and education, and the initiatives she took on as the first lady. So good. Her narration was also excellent and I highly recommend the audiobook – it is not a short book, but it held my interest throughout.

Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy, #4)Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

I LOVED the first three books in the Hidden Legacy series so I was highly anticipating this one. I knew it was about a different main character, Nevada’s sister, Catalina, and I grew to really love her too by the end of this book. I am simply DYING to read the next in the series now though and I can’t, for years to come!! UGH!!! Catalina’s magical abilities are SO cool and interesting. She is a strong character and she has definite similar tendencies to Nevada. I love their family loyalties and willingness to help others even if it maybe isn’t in their best interests.
Anyway, like I said, I loved almost everything about this book except for one little thing which I am happy to talk about if you’ve already read it too. This whole world is very fascinating to me. Thank you to Avon and Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

RecursionRecursion by Blake Crouch

I really liked this, and it was exactly what I expected from Blake Crouch after enjoying Dark Matter. However, I found parts of it suuuuper confusing and had to re-read sections. This was probably more me than the book and I shouldn’t have chosen to read it during such a busy season in my personal life. I loved Barry and Helena. The last half was really intense and heartfelt and I loved the ending. Highly recommend this book – I can’t say I will read everything he ever writes because I still feel like too much of a wimp to try Pines but I do love this writing. Thank you to Netgalley and Crown Publishing for the ARC of this book which published June 11.

 Don't You Forget About MeDon’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Oh, I really loved this book. It was charming and hilarious and adorable. It was also long – but it flew by, for me. I love how British it is. It reminds me of a better Sophie Kinsella book – the main character is perceived as a bit of a hot mess, but she isn’t as much of one as the Kinsella books I’ve read. Haha. I would re-read this in a heartbeat and I did re-read several pages immediately after finishing. This is perfect chick lit/women’s fiction for the summer time. It’s romantic but not really a romance book. Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for the ARC of this book! 

The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke, #3)The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

This series continues to be so fun to read. I loved Penny and Gabe and being “reunited” with the other characters from the previous books. I absolutely feel the need to read all of Tessa Dare’s books at some point in this lifetime. If you like cute and funny historical romance, try this series! Start with the first one, The Duchess Deal though šŸ™‚ There will be one more to come and I cannot WAIT for that!!! Thank you to Edelweiss and Avon for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Lady in the Coppergate TowerThe Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen

This was a solid addition to the series and I loved Hazel and Sam and their adventure in this book. Now I want to re-read the other two books. I get the feeling there will be a fourth…fingers crossed?!

Thank you to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the ARC of this proper romance book – it comes out Aug 6!

Other books I liked enough: 

The Right Swipe (Modern Love, #1)The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

I definitely liked this – the characters were mostly great, I found the CTE in football aspect extremely interesting, I liked the whole dating app competitors thing and the set up of the main love interest. It didn’t hold my interest quite as much as I was expecting though, and I’m not sure why. I also found Annabelle hard to get on board with even though I know she was intended to be that way. I will definitely read more from this author in the future. Thank you Avon & Edelweiss for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Don't Ever TellDon’t Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson

This started out feeling pretty creepy to the extent that I didn’t feel like reading it before bed (but I’m a bit wimpy these days)…however, ultimately, it fell a little bit flat. I guessed most of the twists except one and that maybe didn’t help. Interesting concept and definitely had me hooked to the page and not super long so would make a good beach read. Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

The Wedding PartyThe Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

I liked this book enough and read it in mostly one sitting. The characters were fun, cute, and loveable. It was especially fun to re-connect with characters from the first two books in this series although it took me a few minutes to sort out the timeline and I’ll admit that I didn’t remember Theo particularly well from The Wedding Date. I just didn’t love it as much as the first two in this series…and that happens sometimes!
Thank you to Berkley and Edelweiss for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Meet Me in MonacoMeet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor

I flew through this book pretty quickly and I liked the concept of it, despite it not really being about Grace Kelly aside from her being a peripheral character. I enjoyed the dual perspectives. I really liked the characters overall and the setting. The plot moved quickly and it was fun to read. I had some issues with some things that happened near the end though, and I can’t rate it higher because of that…don’t want to spoil anything but it just didn’t quite end up the way I expected overall. I will still pursue other works by these authors as I enjoy their style though!! And that cover…WOW!!! Thank you to Edelweiss and William Morrow for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Hattie's Home for Broken HeartsHattie’s Home for Broken Hearts by Tilly Tennant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was cute and I liked the plot, the setting, and the characters. The writing wasn’t my favourite of all time, and I think it is a bit forgettable overall but it was still a good enough read at the time. I will admit that I picked this up solely based on the main character’s name which is the same as my niece, and the cover – which satisfied a category in Erin’s book challenge. šŸ™‚
Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

And that’s about it! What have you been reading lately?

Currently reading: Soulless by Gail Carriger (so good) and Washington Black by Edi Edugyan

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