wrap-ups

July Wrap Up

05/08/2022

Hoohoo, friends of the blade!

It’s August already and I’m actually very happy July is over. It was a weird month for me in which nothing happened but at least I read a lot. So this July wrap up will be mostly books and not much personal life because there isn’t anything to say really. Read on and see for yourself…



PERSONAL LIFE

Uhhh… well, there’s not much to tell. One heatwave was chasing the next one, so I basically worked, read and did not much else, simply because it was too hot for me to function properly. I don’t cope with heat very well and I had the worst time this month. I did have some time and reason to get creative though which was amazing! It felt so good to hold a brush in my hand again and work on layouts and try different colour combinations and just be able to be creative.
I’m also back to stomach troubles but what else is new. And that’s it. Nothing of interest happened in July and it was probably the most annoying month of the year so far.


WHAT I READ

from fake to foreverFrom Fake to Forever by Laila Rafi

Jiya Ahmed has a dream: she wants to complete her MBA and get a job in the city. The problem is that her parents think it’s high time she put her books away and focused on becoming good wife material – but surely there’s more to life than finding the right boy?
Ibrahim Saeed has a goal: he wants to avoid marriage but more specifically, he wants to avoid the arranged marriage his father has planned for him. Why would he want to end up like his (clearly unhappy) older brother with a partner of his father’s choosing?
Ibrahim’s cheeky brother introduces them with the perfect setup: a fake relationship to stall their parents. As they embark on their plan, the attraction they set out to fake starts feeling all too real … but love was never part of the deal.

I wish this book had more pages to explore the characters and their relationship. It was quite short and the beginning was really slow and dragged a bit while at the end everything went super fast. I didn’t really get into the relationship between the two main characters. I think it lacked some chemistry, especially because Jiya’s chemistry with Ibrahim’s younger brother was much better. I still enjoyed the humor in the book as well as the family dynamics. Read my full review of From Fake to Forever here.

book loversBook Lovers by Emily Henry

Nora is a cut-throat literary agent at the top of her game. Her whole life is books.
Charlie is an editor with a gift for creating bestsellers. And he’s Nora’s work nemesis.
Nora has been through enough break-ups to know she’s the woman men date before they find their happy-ever-after. That’s why Nora’s sister has persuaded her to swap her desk in the city for a month’s holiday in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. It’s a small town straight out of a romance novel, but instead of meeting sexy lumberjacks, handsome doctors or cute bartenders, Nora keeps bumping into…Charlie.

I LOVED this book! I especially enjoyed Nora and Charlie’s conversations, full of banter and quick, sharp replies and a humor that had me laugh and snort so much. I loved both Nora and Charlie individually but together they were such a good couple. I also loved how different their lives are and how they became the people they are, and I liked the portrayal of Nora and her sister’s relationship. Emily Henry is definitely a new favourite author!

you deserve each otherYou Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.
Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.
But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves-and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.

Many people whose opinions I trust loved this book and at first I didn’t get the hype at all. But when I finally found an in with the characters and started to understand them better, I started to love the book as well. I enjoyed this story of lovers reconnecting and remembering why they love each other in the first place. This story shows that love isn’t always easy and that it takes communication to get through troubles. I liked the mixture of problems, anger and stress, and the history already there between the characters, the feelings of being home with each other and getting to know different sides of the partner. This book made me laugh and angry and wanting to slap sense into the characters. I liked this a lot more than I thought I would during the first chapters.

you and me on vacationYou and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry

12 YEARS AGO: Poppy and Alex meet. They hate each other, and are pretty confident they’ll never speak again.
11 YEARS AGO: They’re forced to share a ride home from college and by the end of it a friendship is formed. And a pact: every year, one vacation together.
10 YEARS AGO: Alex discovers his fear of flying on the way to Vancouver.
Poppy holds his hand the whole way.
7 YEARS AGO: They get far too drunk and narrowly avoid getting matching tattoos in New Orleans.
2 YEARS AGO: It all goes wrong.
THIS YEAR: Poppy asks Alex to join her on one last trip. A trip that will determine the rest of their lives.

Have I mentioned yet that Emily Henry is a favourite author? I wish there would be an endless supply of stories by her. I just love them all. And You And Me On Vacation definitely was no different. I loved the tension between Alex and Poppy, the years of history – good and bad – between them. I loved how they toed the line between platonic and romantic love constantly while the “what if”s were hanging over their heads. I loved how they were both so gone for each other but tried not to acknowledge it to protect their friendship. I loved how all the unsaid things came to light and I loved how well they matched despite all their differences. While this wasn’t my favourite Emily Henry book, I still loved it so, so much! Come join me in my hole of obsessing over Emily Henry’s books!

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Ohthe girl who fell beneath the sea

Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.
Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.
Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.
But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking…

As Mina is swept away by the dragon down into the waves, I was swept away by this fantastical, mystical world and its characters. I absolutely loved the magic and the danger of it, the wonderful characters and their quirks and especially Mina, who is such a headstrong girl, fighting for her loved ones, for what’s right, for herself and to right some wrongs. She listens to both her head and heart, is clever but still allows herself emotions. I really enjoyed the story and how the secrets and each character’s past was coming to light and how it all wrapped up in the end. Probably one of my favourite books this year!

the dead romanticsThe Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.
When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.
For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.
Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.
Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.

I don’t know what I expected but I was definitely (positively) surprised by The Dead Romantics. There were so many things I enjoyed about this book. For once, there is the portrayal of grief and how different people deal with it differently. Add to that the slightly complicated family situation for Florence and it makes for very interesting situation and dynamics. But the characters working through their problems was written beautifully and emphatically, with depth to each character and their history. I also liked how Florence’s other struggles were written, but also how wonderfully weird and chaotic she was in general. I loved how both Florence and Ben, the editor, were basically head over heels for each other from the moment they met… but then there was the problem of Ben being a ghost.
I saw the ending coming early on but I still loved the way to the HEA. The Dead Romantics was a beautiful, gentle, sad but hopeful read with a happy ending and many bad puns I loved.

the sword in the stoneThe Sword in the Stone by T.H. White

Before there was a famous king named Arthur, there was a curious boy named Wart and a kind old wizard named Merlyn. Transformed by Merlyn into the forms of his fantasy, Wart learns the value of history from a snake, of education from a badger, and of courage from a hawk-the lessons that help turn a boy into a man. Together, Wart and Merlyn take the reader through this timeless story of childhood and adventure-The Sword in the Stone.

My classics book club wanted to read the whole of The Once and Future King during the last two month. In the group chat was already discussed that many didn’t like the book, it was annoying and slow and that one dnf’d it. I was not inclined to even start but when I did, I very much enjoyed The Sword in the Stone. It was hilariously bizarre story in which every character is… not exactly the brightest candle on the cake and one wizard spouting wisdom on one side while having an owl nest on his head on the other. It was a bit slow, yes, but the situation described and how they were described was just a lot of fun and I read out loud some passages to my boyfriend because I just had to share the absurdity or the actual thoughtful sentences with someone right away. I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this and I’ll definitely read the rest of The Once and Future King!


BOOK HAUL

icebreakerIcebreaker by A.L. Graziadei

Seventeen-year-old Mickey James III is a college freshman, a brother to five sisters, and a hockey legacy. With a father and a grandfather who have gone down in NHL history, Mickey is almost guaranteed the league’s top draft spot.
The only person standing in his way is Jaysen Caulfield, a contender for the #1 spot and Mickey’s infuriating (and infuriatingly attractive) teammate. When rivalry turns to something more, Mickey will have to decide what he really wants, and what he’s willing to risk for it.

Bought this because Jane (@whatjanereads) doesn’t shut up about it on instagram and I am in the mood for more sports in my life.

heaven official'S blessing vol. 3Heaven Official’s Blessing Vol. 3 by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu

Gods should never meddle in the affairs of mortals, but Xie Lian is not one to follow the rules when lives are at risk. He spits in the face of heaven and its laws and descends in a fury to save his country from drought and civil war. Yet this golden child gets a harsh dose of reality when he discovers just how little one individual—even a god—can do to save a crumbling nation. As the people reject and betray him, one young soldier stands by Xie Lian—a boy with a face wrapped in bandages and a fierce loyalty in his heart. In this chaotic past, can an unshakable bond grow from the ashes of unimaginable destruction?

While I don’t obsess over this series as much as I thought I would, I still enjoy it a lot and am actually very excited to read more!

lucie yi is not a romanticLucie Yi Is Not a Romantic by Lauren Ho

Management consultant Lucie Yi is done waiting for Mr. Right. After a harrowing breakup foiled her plans for children—and drove her to a meltdown in a Tribeca baby store—she’s ready to take matters into her own hands. She signs up for an elective co-parenting website to find a suitable partner with whom to procreate—as platonic as family planning can be.
Collin Read checks all of Lucie’s boxes; he shares a similar cultural background, he’s honest, and most important, he’s ready to become a father. When they match, it doesn’t take long for Lucie to take a leap of faith for her future. So what if her conservative family might not approve? When Lucie becomes pregnant, the pair return to Singapore and, sure enough, her parents refuse to look on the bright side. Even more complicated, Lucie’s ex-fiancé reappears, sparking unresolved feelings and compounding work pressures and the baffling ways her body is changing. Suddenly her straightforward arrangement is falling apart before her very eyes, and Lucie will have to decide how to juggle the demands of the people she loves while pursuing the life she really wants.

I enjoyed Lauren Ho’s previous novel, Last Tang Standing, a lot, so of course I had to get this one as well!

the dead romanticsThe Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.
When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.
For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.
Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.
Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.

It’s a new book by Ashley Poston, of course I had to get it! She’s one of my favourite authors, I was in a romance mood anyways and I loved the concept of the story!

delilah green doesn'T careDelilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

Delilah Green swore she would never go back to Bright Falls—nothing is there for her but memories of a lonely childhood where she was little more than a burden to her cold and distant stepfamily. Her life is in New York, with her photography career finally gaining steam and her bed never empty. Sure, it’s a different woman every night, but that’s just fine with her.
When Delilah’s estranged stepsister, Astrid, pressures her into photographing her wedding with a guilt trip and a five-figure check, Delilah finds herself back in the godforsaken town that she used to call home. She plans to breeze in and out, but then she sees Claire Sutherland, one of Astrid’s stuck-up besties, and decides that maybe there’s some fun (and a little retribution) to be had in Bright Falls, after all.
Having raised her eleven-year-old daughter mostly on her own while dealing with her unreliable ex and running a bookstore, Claire Sutherland depends upon a life without surprises. And Delilah Green is an unwelcome surprise…at first. Though they’ve known each other for years, they don’t really know each other—so Claire is unsettled when Delilah figures out exactly what buttons to push. When they’re forced together during a gauntlet of wedding preparations—including a plot to save Astrid from her horrible fiancé—Claire isn’t sure she has the strength to resist Delilah’s charms. Even worse, she’s starting to think she doesn’t want to…

It’s sapphic, people whose opinions I trust like it, it sounds really cool, what’s not to look forward to?

youngbloodYoungblood by Sasha Laurens

Kat Finn and her mother can barely make ends meet living among humans. Like all vampires, they must drink Hema, an expensive synthetic blood substitute, to survive, as nearly all of humanity has been infected by a virus that’s fatal to vampires. Kat isn’t looking forward to an immortal life of barely scraping by, but when she learns she’s been accepted to the Harcote School, a prestigious prep school that’s secretly vampires-only, she knows her fortune is about to change.
Taylor Sanger has grown up in the wealthy vampire world, but she’s tired of its backward, conservative values—especially when it comes to sexuality, since she’s an out-and-proud lesbian. She only has to suffer through a two more years of Harcote before she’s free. But when she discovers her new roommate is Kat Finn, she’s horrified. Because she and Kat used to be best friends, a long time ago, and it didn’t end well.
When Taylor stumbles upon the dead body of a vampire, and Kat makes a shocking discovery in the school’s archives, the two realize that there are deep secrets at Harcote—secrets that link them to the most powerful figures in Vampirdom and to the synthetic blood they all rely on.

Sapphic vampires? A character with my nickname? Sign me the hell up!

infamousInfamous by Lex Croucher

22-year-old aspiring writer Edith ‘Eddie’ Miller and her best friend Rose have always done everything together-climbing trees, throwing grapes at boys, sneaking bottles of wine, practicing kissing . . .
But following their debutante ball Rose is suddenly talking about marriage, and Eddie is horrified.
When Eddie meets charming, renowned poet Nash Nicholson, he invites her to his crumbling Gothic estate in the countryside. The entourage of eccentric artists indulging in pure hedonism is exactly what Eddie needs in order to forget Rose and finish her novel.

It’s queer and I already loved Reputation by Lex Croucher, this was an absolute must-buy for me!

book of nightBook of Night by Holly Black

In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.
Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgängers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.

It’s Holly Black and I love Holly black, there’s nothing more to say.

a magic steeped in poisonA Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.
When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning’s only chance to save her sister’s life.
But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger
.

I heard a lot of good about this book and the synopsis sounds so good!

worlds apartWorlds Apart by Anabelle Stehl

Ihre Träume liegen Welten auseinander …
Die 19-jährige Kaycee Williams hat einen Traum: eine eigene Konditorei. Den stellt sie jedoch zurück, als ihre Mutter stirbt und sie sich um ihre Schwester kümmern muss. Doch dann wird Kaycee für die Show Bake That Cake! angenommen! Am Set lernt sie den gut aussehenden Schauspieler Leo Campbell kennen, der in der Jury sitzt, und zwischen den beiden prickelt es sofort. Als sie sich näherkommen, versucht die Produktionsfirma die junge Liebe für PR-Zwecke auszunutzen. Doch was bedeutet das für Kaycees Chancen in d

I loved the author’s previous series, I know the author personally, of course I had to get the book! Also… baking!


WHAT I BLOGGED


BLOG VISITS
posts by other bloggers I’ve loved this month

Reviews:

Other:



LET'S TALK

And that’s the July wrap up! Tell me about your month. What did you do? What have you read?



Until next time,

KAT

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