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July Reading Wrap-up and Goal Check-in

1. The Marvelous by Claire Kann (YA Mystery) (328 pages) (3.5 ⭐️)

Reclusive heiress Jewel invites ten users of the social media app she created to her mansion. While there they must solve puzzles in a high stakes game of Jewel's own invention. If you need a book that will give you a fun reading experience and aren't looking for something to take too seriously then this is a great pick. Certain characters and aspects of the story did border on absurd.

Read if: You can't wait for the sequel to The Inheritance Games and need another mystery filled mansion book now.

2. Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie (Adult Contemporary) (320 pages) (3.75 ⭐️)

12 years ago loner Skye donated her eggs to a childhood friend. Present day she meets Vicky who is her 'egg'. Can Skye form a bond with another person? This novel got a high rating because objectively it does a lot of things I like including plenty of LGBT+ representation, addressing relevant issues, and strong character voice. I really, really disliked Skye, though, and that dragged down my enjoyment of the novel.

Read if: You like novels with strong character POVs a la Angie Thomas' books.

3. The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson (YA Mystery) (383 pages) (5 ⭐️)

Stevie Bell from the Truly Devious trilogy and her friends Nate, Janelle, and David (ith a cameo from Germaine) are back in this standalone. The four attend a summer camp where Stevie solves the infamous 1978 murders of four camp counselors. Everything great about the original trilogy is here along with a much improved David. The last 100 pages or so get very intense and I didn't see the twist coming.

Read if: You enjoyed Riley Sager's The Last Time I Lied.

4. Black Water Sister by Cho Zen (Adult Fantasy) (367 pages) (3 ⭐️)

Jess is broke, unemployed, closeted and moving back to Malaysia with her parents. There she finds herself drawn by the ghost of her grandmother into the world of spirits, gods, and mediums. I had such mixed feelings about this novel (hence the rating). I loved Jess but felt she was too forgiving. My favorite scenes were the ghost/spirit possession ones but the plot was a little hard to follow at times. Overall, it was one wild ride.

Read if: You like family dramas and/or supernatural books/shows.

5. Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee (YA Fantasy) (382 pages) (5 ⭐️)

Sirscha Ashwyn is training to be the queen's spy when she discovers she's a shaman who possesses light magic. She travels to the Dead Woods (a woods full of possessed, dangerous trees) in the hopes that she can destroy it for good. This was a reread for me and was one of my favorite YA fantasies of last year. I'm happy to report it held up upon reread. The atmosphere is creepy, the magic system is cool but simple enough to understand, and the characters have good dynamics/chemistry.

Read if: You want a spooky fantasy.

6. Broken Web by Lori M. Lee (YA Fantasy) (374 pages) (5 ⭐️)

This is the sequel to Forest of Souls and picks up right where that book picked up. The character dynamics and writing style remain the same so if you enjoyed them in the first book you'll like them here. Rather than focusing on the ghoulish elements this novel has more emphasis on Thiy (the land where the characters live) politics. We also travel to more parts of Thiy in the novel.

Full Review: Coming to the blog next week!

TOTAL PAGES READ (JUL): 2,154 (avg. book length: 359 pages)

TOTAL PAGES READ (YTD): 16,384 (avg. book length: 315 pages)

AVERAGE STAR RATING (JUL): 25.5/30⭐️ (4.25 avg. rating)

AVERAGE STAR RATING (YTD): 195.75/230⭐️ (3.76 avg. rating)

1. Read at least 60 books

I read 6 books this month meaning that I have completed 52 books. I hope to complete my yearly goal next month (though of course I'll keep reading after I do).

2. Have at least one book a month be a reread

I completed 2 rereads this month, King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo and The Hand of the Wall by Maureen Johnson. This means I completed my goal for the month.

3. Read at least 1-2 adult books a month

I completed 2 adult books in June: The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren and Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Thus I completed my goal for the month.

4. Read at least 10 nonfiction and/or poetry books

While I started one nonfiction this month I did not finish it, so to date I've read 3 nonfiction and 3 poetry collections and my goal is 60% complete.

5. Post a blog every weekend unless ill and/or recovering from surgery

This month was pretty chaotic with moving and because of that I didn't get a blog up during every weekend but did get one up every week. Even though some went up on Mondays I am still counting this towards my goal.

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