July Reading Wrap Up | Books I Read This Month

Hello, readers! Today I will be bringing you my July Wrap Up!

I read seven books this month, which is amazing considering how busy July was for me. We took a week long trip and I had a lot of last minute summer to-do’s before I report back to school in August. Here is a quick overview of the books I read:

★:

★:

★: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel,

★: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno; Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke; The Lying Game by Ruth Ware; The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware; Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch; 9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno

★:

Audiobooks: 99 Days and 9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno

ARCs: Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

DNF’d: Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller; Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

Pages Read in July: 2,450 pages (not including the DNF’d books)


Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Goodreads Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3.84
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Page Count:
 320 pages
Series: Themis Files #1
Genre(s): Sci-fi, fantasy
Publisher: Del Ray
Published: April 26, 2016

Plot: A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

Click here for my full review.


99 Days by Katie Cotugno (audiobook)

Goodreads Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3.38
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Page Count:
 384 pages
Genre(s): YA contemporary
Series: 99 Days #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: April 21, 2015

Plot: Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

Click here for my full review. (Some spoilers)


Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke (ARC)

Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ 3.9
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Page Count:
 336 pages
Genre(s): Mystery/thriller
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Published: July 24, 2018

Plot: For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

Click here for my full review.


Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller (DNF)

Goodreads Rating: ★★★☆☆3.59
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Page Count:
 352 pages
Genre(s): YA fantasy
Series: Mask of Shadows #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: August 29, 2017

Plot: I Needed to Win.
They Needed to Die.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

Click here for my full review.


The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Goodreads Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3.52
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Page Count:
 370 pages
Genre(s): Mystery/thriller
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Published: July 25, 2017

Plot: 

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

Atmospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill that will keep you wrong-footed—which has now become Ruth Ware’s signature style—The Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller. Another unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

Click here for my full review.


The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ 
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Page Count: 368 pages
Genre(s): Mystery/thriller
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Published: May 29, 2018

Plot: On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.

Full review to be posted Thursday, August 2.


Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ 4.11
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Page Count:
 400 pages
Genre(s): YA contemporary
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: May 3, 2016

Plot: A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything Lina knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

Click here for my full review.


9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno (audiobook)

Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ 3.81
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Page Count:
 272 pages
Genre(s): YA contemporary
Series: 99 Days #2
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: May 1, 2018

Plot: Molly Barlow isn’t that girl anymore. A business major at her college in Boston, she’s reinvented herself after everything that went down a year ago . . . after all the people she hurt and the family she tore apart.

Slowly, life is getting back to normal. Molly has just said “I love you” to her new boyfriend, Ian, and they are off on a romantic European vacation together, starting with scenic London. But there on a Tube platform, the past catches up to her in the form of Gabe, her ex, traveling on his own parallel vacation with new girlfriend Sadie.

After comparing itineraries, Ian ends up extending an invite for Gabe and Sadie to join them on the next leg of their trip, to Ireland. Sadie, who’s dying to go there, jumps at the prospect. And Molly and Gabe can’t bring themselves to tell the truth about who they once were to each other to their new significant others.

Now Molly has to spend nine days and nine nights with the boy she once loved, the boy whose heart she shredded, without Ian knowing. Will she make it through as new, improved Molly, or will everything that happened between her and Gabe come rushing back?

Click here for my full review.


Overall, I’m happy with my wrap-up for July! The only books I did not get to on my TBR was Hidden Bodies Caroline Kepnes, which I will move to my August TBR, and Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, which I never felt compelled to read. The Death of Mrs. Westaway was a surprise addition to my TBR when I found it at the library, and I loved 99 Days so much that I wanted to go ahead and read the sequel.

Let me know in the comments what you read this month or if you’ve read any of the books on my list! Thanks for reading!

Allison

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