Kickin' It: July 2019 Wrap Up

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July was a struggle. Well, I’m being a bit dramatic since I still was able to read 10 books. However, the motivation to actually read anything at all was an issue. Last year, around this time, I was knee-deep in a reading slump and I’ve been trying to avoid a repeat. There are a few books that I am super excited to read in August so hopefully, that will help spark more reading motivation in me. While I worry about potential reading slumps, let’s chat about the great books I read this month:

Well Met by Jen DeLuca (5 stars): This book was everything I wanted and didn’t know I needed. A romance set at a Renaissance Faire? It’s ingredients for the perfect novel! The writing was a bit rough in the beginning but as the story progressed, the writing improved immensely. Well Met by Jen DeLuca releases in September.

Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry (5 stars): A 5-star prediction came true! I haven’t read a Katie McGarry book since her debut, Pushing the Limits, released but I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read more from her. Only a Breath Apart was fantastic, with a few unexpected dark elements and a looming family curse.

One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank (4 stars): Such a fun summer read! If you’re into traveling aboard stories with a lovely side of romance, One Paris Summer is definitely for you. 

Laguna Cove by Alyson Noel (2.5 stars): I’ve been making my way through all of Noel’s older contemporaries, in anticipation to finally pick up her newer books. Laguna Cove was okay. It was a rather simple plot that left off in the middle of most of the side characters' stories. 

Neverwake by Amy Plum (4 stars): I finished the Dreamfall duology. It was great, incredibly action packed and well-written. Amy Plum is such an underrated author and her books are always fantastic!

Maid by Stephanie Land (3 stars): This memoir was promoted as being the next Nickel and Dimed (a book I loved back in high school). It definitely was not and the most direct difference between the two was Nickel and Dimed was about a journalist investigating what it’s like to live on minimum wage in the US, whereas Maid is about a mother living with her baby in various homeless shelters and working as a maid for less than minimum wage. It’s a difficult read and at times, extremely upsetting. The depiction of Stephanie’s family made me so troubled. Plus, the ending just ended and I was hoping for just a bit more.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (4 stars): I adored this one. The passion for food and the protagonist’s struggle as a teen mom was great. I would say this book is a bit more character driven than plot driven. Still, I loved it and it made me hungry with all the descriptions of mouthwatering food!

Hidden by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (3 stars): I’m trying to complete this series by the end of the year. And I’m not even enjoying it. Hidden is the 10th book in the House of Night series. It’s endlessly repetitive with the same villain since book one. It seems the longer the series goes on, the worse the characters are to their friends. It’s infuriating.

Revealed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (2 stars): Ugh. I’m pushing myself to read these House of Night books at this point. I have one more after this and then I’m done! Still the same villain. Plus, everyone is angry in this book and… why?

Black Dawn by Rachel Caine (4 stars): The Morganville Vampire series is also a series I’m hoping to complete by the end of the year. And I’m actually enjoying these books. As much as these books (Black Dawn is the 12th book in the series) are a bit repetitive, the newest story arc Caine is putting her characters through is so compelling. I mean, the monsters are made from water so beware of sinks, tubs, and even that glass of water on the table. Black Dawn was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to continue!

How the Light Gets In by Katy Upperman (8/6/19): After reading The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman, I made a point to read more from her and her newest release sounds fantastic! Some small town vibes, a possible haunting, and of course a romance! 

Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez (8/27/19): The sequel to Black Sweet Waves and I am ready for it! Black Sweet Waves is a retelling of the tragic tale of Tristan and Isolde. I’m hoping Wild Savage Stars picks up right where we left off.

Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Berube (8/1/19): This one sounds so spooky! When her sister goes missing, there’s scratching on her window claiming that Skye is the only one who can save her. Sounds like the perfect book to devour during October.

There were so many movies and shows to watch this month! I watched Stranger Things season 3 and as much as I don’t think it was the best season, I thought it was good. I was able to catch a showing of Spiderman: Far From Home which I thought was cute with a few surprising twists. The Lion King live action film was good but I still prefer the animated version. (I’m looking forward to the Mulan live action, doesn’t that trailer look amazing!) I, also, saw Annabelle Comes Home which was my least favorite of the three Annabelle movies. And I also discovered that since the director of The Conjuring had a hand in a few superhero movies, that Annabelle makes a cameo in each one. So I watched Shazam! to get a glimpse of the creepy doll. Overall, it was a good movie month!

joe keery secret handshake GIF by Stranger Things

How was your July? Did you read any amazing books? Did you watch any fantastic shows/movies?

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