Hello everyone and welcome to my July 2020 wrap up! Now friends, brace yourselves, because I stuck to my TBR for ANOTHER WHOLE MONTH! And, I read more than I set out to. AGAIN. I don’t know what’s going on lately but I am reading a ton of amazing books. Looks like lockdown has some benefits for me huh? Let’s get stuck in.
The first three books I read this month were The Steel Prince (re-read), Night of Knives and The Rebel Army. These are the bind ups of the Shades of Magic graphic novel series by V. E. Schwab which tell the story of Prince Maxim before he becomes King. They act as a sort of prequel to the original trilogy though you can read them as standalone stories too! The graphic novels were action packed and exciting with amazing artwork and diverse characters. Now I just to actual finish the Shades of Magic trilogy!
The Damned was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I am so happy that I LOVED it! I participated in the blog tour organised by Hodder so I wrote a full review that you can read here. It is a lush and spell binding tale of power, betrayal and forbidden love, in a world shared between the dazzling New Orleans and a much older land full of magical power.
Okay so, I kinda forgot I’d read this? Which more or less sums it up I guess. I usually keep track on Goodreads and update my Twitter “books read” thread but for some reason I didn’t this month so I’m adding it in now! This was a verse novel about a teenager who gets her period during her first sexual encounter and is then trolled online and bullied because of it. There were some really powerful messages in here about how periods are not something to be ashamed of, but the character dynamics felt really off to me. Particularly how the main character and her best friend treated each other, though I do think this was intended but it just didn’t work for me.
I’d seen this book popping up all over book Twitter and booktube, so I was really looking forward to picking it up and luckily was granted access via Netgalley! Beach Read is an adult romance with an enemies to lovers trope, a small town romance with some smut that wasn’t too explicit. It actually went a little deeper than I was expecting, so content warnings for cancer, death, grief and abuse. It was an enjoyable read but I did feel a little let down as I didn’t love it as much as I anticipated.
This month I read a memoir. George tells us about his life experiences from being young to becoming an adult as a queer black person. There were lots of important topics covered such as racism, homophobia, marginalisation, sexual harassment which meant that this read was extremely impactful and thought provoking. I would high recommend listening to the audiobook as it’s narrated by George themselves.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
I was SO excited to read this – another highly anticipated read! We have a fat, black, bisexual female main character called Dani who is a PhD student, and a male main character called Zafir who is a Muslim man who suffers from anxiety and was a professional sports player before a death in the family. I can only speak for the anxiety rep, but I personally found it so relatable and true to my experience!
Aside from that, we had a fake dating trope (a FAVE), friends to lovers, it was hilarious, soft and smutty and I read it in like 24 hours. Talia Hibbert is a new favourite author and I cannot wait for the next book in the Brown Sisters trilogy! Keep an eye out for a full review and maaaaybe something a little exciting and new about this book soon 👀
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
I’d heard some really amazing things about this book since it’s publication, so I was super excited to finally read it. You Should See Me in a Crown was such a warm and fuzzy coming of age story with a swoon worthy sapphic romance and lots of prom shenanigans. There were important discussions around racism, homophobia and white privilege and the way that these issues were eventually handled by the characters in the school was really heartwarming. I loved seeing Liz flourish and her confidence grow, and the relationship between her and Mack was just so SWEET. Content warnings for death of a parent and anxiety.
This was another Netgalley read that honestly I hadn’t heard of before, but I do enjoy a good new adult read so I was interested! In Rule Breaker we follow two perspectives, Mason from Washington USA and Leilani from Hawaii. There were discussions of racism, privilege, oppression and prejudice which were super important and I appreciated reading about them. However the romance was a little lacking for me and felt very ‘insta lovey’ which I don’t always mind, but I just wasn’t really on board with this one. Content warnings for cancer, grief and death!
AAAAAHHHH. Okay. Scream over. I bloody loved this book! This a Summer romance story with an age gap where the woman is older, and I think it’s the first I’ve read! There is impeccable fat rep, it’s period positive, it’s told in dual perspective from Tess, a fat 40 year old assistant principal and Lucas, a 26 year old (hot) Swedish tennis coach who is SO THOUGHTFUL.
40-Love was packed with banter and some serious laugh out loud moments. There was angst and yearning which was 10/10 for me but also so much love and compassion. The smut was just *chefs kiss* and I swear I was smiling and grinning and giggling throughout this entire book. Along with frank conversations about sex and consent, more important topics were handled such as fatphobia and sexism, and even media portrayal and loneliness.
Olivia Dade is definitely a favourite author now, and weeks later, I still can’t stop thinking about this book; it just had everything for me.
So clearly after how much I loved 40-Love, I just needed to read more Olivia Dade. Teach Me is again dual perspective with two history teachers, again with amazing fat rep. It’s kiiiiind of enemies to lovers (not really but you’ll see what I mean if you read it), it’s wholesome and again, it has super hot smut. Again, I really loved how sex positive this book was! Content warnings for abuse, poverty, classism and sexism.
Ratings: Three 5 star reads, two 4.5 star reads, four 4 star reads, one 3.5 star read, two 3 star reads
Highlights: I found a new fave author AND read two new all time faves this month
And there we have it, my July 2020 wrap up! I’ve had such a good reading month; I’m feeling super inspired and really excited about the rest of the year and all the other awesome books I hope to read!
Have you read any of these books?
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