I have read 8 amazing books this month and I’m sorry to say that at the moment I am in a bit of a reading slump. Hopefully, I get over it very soon! 

Here are the books I have read this month!

And I Darken by Kiersten White 

“Absolutely riveting.” —Alexandra Bracken, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Passenger 

This vividly rendered novel reads like HBO’s Game of Thrones . . . if it were set in the Ottoman Empire. Ambitious in scope and intimate in execution, the story’s atmospheric setting is rife with political intrigue, with a deftly plotted narrative driven by fiercely passionate characters and a fearsome heroine. Fans of Victoria Aveyard’s THE RED QUEEN, Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING, and Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES won’t want to miss this visceral, immersive, and mesmerizing novel, the first in the And I Darken series.

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets. 

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion. 

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point. 

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.

A link to my review here!

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

 In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets? 

A link to my review here!

The Enemy Within by Scott Burn

Seventeen-year-old Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. He soon finds himself in an institution under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him. Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions weren’t just in his head. 

There are three others who have shared those same thoughts and they’ve been searching for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses certain abilities, which they’re going to need when a covert military group begins hunting them down. 

As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side to trust. But in the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species. 

Potected by Claire Zorn 

I have three months left to call Katie my older sister. Then the gap will close and I will pass her. I will get older. But Katie will always be fifteen, eleven months and twenty-one days old.

Hannah’s world is in pieces and she doesn’t need the school counsellor to tell her she has deep-seated psychological issues. With a seriously depressed mum, an injured dad and a dead sister, who wouldn’t have problems?

Hannah should feel terrible but for the first time in ages, she feels a glimmer of hope and isn’t afraid anymore. Is it because the elusive Josh is taking an interest in her? Or does it run deeper than that?

In a family torn apart by grief and guilt, one girl’s struggle to come to terms with years of torment shows just how long old wounds can take to heal. 

Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant 

Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there s another thing that makes it even worse: when she touches another person or anything that belongs to them from clothes to textbooks to cell phones she sees a vision of their emotions. She can read a person’s fears and anxieties, their secrets and loves … and what they have yet to learn about calculus. This is helpful for her work as a math tutor, but it means she can never get close to people. Eva avoids touching anyone and everyone. People think it’s because she s a clean freak with the emphasis on freak but it s all she can do to protect herself from other people’s issues. 

Then one day a new student walks into Eva’s life. His jacket gives off so much emotional trauma that she falls to the floor. Eva is instantly drawn to Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist who also has a troubled home life, and her feelings only grow when she realizes that she can touch Zenn’s skin without having visions. But when she discovers the history that links them, the truth threatens to tear the two apart. 

Zenn Diagram, Wendy Brant’s sparkling debut novel, offers an irresistible combination of math and romance, with just a hint of the paranormal. Readers will swoon over Zenn and connect instantly with Eva, the most fully drawn prodigy in teen fiction today.

A link to my review here!

Love & Vodka: A Book of Poetry for Glass Hearts

Love & Vodka is a poetry book that will touch you deeply. Christina Strigas can bring you into her world and make you feel a part of her story. She takes words and draws you into them until you feel each one with raw intensity. She is a natural-born poet. This poetry book is full of passion, lust and longing with a tour de force that will move the reader with an attention to detail and moments in time. Christina Strigas shows a vulnerabiity in this poetry collection not seen before. Love & Vodka is Christina Strigas’ third poetry book. This book is written for all the hearts that shatter, that are transparent, that crack, rebuild and see truth. This is for the souls that connect through words. The poems in this book will make you breathless from their honesty. This poetry collection is full of poems that will make you contemplate the magic of connections disconnections, rejection, love, drinking, pain, marriage, loneliness, honor and the perils of living so many lifetimes in one. Delve into poetry head first and read passages over again to connect. This book has a modern feel with an ancient way of writing. Inspired by Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and modern poets such as Mary Oliver and Billy Collins to name a few, Christina Strigas uses stream of consciousness to devour themes and words and spurt them forth into a poem. A contemporary poetry book that will not disappoint you and that will restore your faith into the power of poetry again.

A link to my review here!

Now I Rise by Kiersten White 

Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost. 

A link to my review here!

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows, a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming. 

A link to my review here!

Books read out of my tbr this month: 7/10

Currently Reading 

Age of the Ashers by Diana Tyler 

What if all the ancient myths are true?

Eighteen-year-old Chloe Zacharias is perfectly content being an outsider. But an ancient prophecy has different plans, plans to catapult her into the middle of an ages-old war between beings she only thought were mythical. Filled with magic, mystery, and sprinklings of Greek mythology, Age of the Ashers is a powerful fantasy adventure for those who love to lose themselves in the world of make-believe.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?
R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels. 

A Very New Day by Steven Salmon

A Very New Day is about a boy with Cerebral palsy, who goes to go regular school for the first time in junior high and uses Morse code to write. Rich Trout is unable to use his hands. Instead, he drives his electric wheelchair and writes in Morse code with his head. Rich doubts that he belongs in regular school after being isolated to special education classes only.
He is inspired by Mrs. Tilley, his English teacher, who treats him as a regular student and shows Rich that anything is possible. Rich has one dream, to be a writer. Mrs. Tilley introduces Rich to an author friend of hers, who also has Cerebral palsy, serving as an inspiration and role model.

That’s all for this wrap-up! I’m so excited for next month as I will be taking up numerous challenges including a re-try on the book-a-day for the rest of the year, all while also starting up my brand new book club Beyond The Surface! where we will be reading My Heart and Other Black Holes picked by my partner Indy for our very first book of the month! 

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think of the books I have read this month! Have you read any of them? Which ones would you read? 

-Till next time!

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22 thoughts on “July Reading Wrap-Up

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