July was the month I decided to revisit YA, it was also the month when 90% of the books I read were from the library, which proves I should’ve joined the library years ago, and I could’ve saved so much.
This month was a rollercoaster, it was so long, and the weather changed so many times it felt like I’ve gone through spring, summer and autumn in just 31 days. I read most of these books during a heatwave where my only solution to fight the awful heat was to read in the shade in the park. Others, I read curled up on my sofa with a blanket and tea while there was a massive storm outside. Climate change combined with the English summer makes July a crazy weather month.
Favourite reads of July
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig
This has to be the best book I read in July, I liked it so much I wrote a whole post about it. I’m glad I decided to give Matt Haig a chance because I love his writing.
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
I love any Riley Sager book, but they can get so nerve-wracking that I have to take a long break before reading another. Lock Every Door was great, and it was never going the way I expected. If you’re looking for an exciting thriller, this is the one. It has glamour, drama and crime in a historic building in New York.
Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: An Introvert’s Year of Living Dangerously by Jessica Pan
Is it too cheesy to say this book made me feel seen? Jessica Pan is a shintrovert, a shy introvert, who decides she’s tired of being miserable, so she starts living and acting like an extrovert. She goes to improv classes, talks to strangers on the tube, gives a speech in a theatre… basically anything that me, another shintrovert, would pass out with anxiety if I had to do.
The book is supposed to inspire other introverts to join the social world, but I don’t think that worked with me. I’m happy living my safe and shy life. At least for now.
Loneliness, on the other hand, has no age bracket. I used to think that exciting countries could keep you happy and warm on novelty alone. Now I know: you can move to Paris, delight in the city, drink your cafe au lait, but no matter how pretty the buildings and balconies are, eventually you’re going to find yourself hugging the lamp posts for company like you’re in Les Miserables.
I don’t volunteer. I don’t participate in organized religion. I don’t play team sports. Where do selfish, godless, lazy people go to make friends? That’s where I need to be.
The Cousins by Karen M. McManus
Karen M. McManus never disappoints, I love all of her books, but I think The Cousins might be my favourite one, and I wasn’t expecting the twist at the end.
Three cousins that have never met their rich grandmother get invited to spend the summer on her resort island, uncovering a series of family mysteries that happened more than 20 years ago.
“Everybody has secrets,” she says, taking a sip of her drink. “That’s nondebatable. The only question is whether you’re keeping your own, or someone else’s.”
Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mystery, #1) by Tirzah Price
This book gave major Enola Holmes vibes, which means I loved it. Pride and Premeditation explores Lizzie Bennet acting as an aspiring lawyer detective trying to solve a murder on her own, with the sometimes annoying help from Mr Darcy.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a brilliant idea, conceived and executed by a clever young woman, must be claimed by a man.
Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards
Another great YA thriller, it kept me guessing almost until the end. This book follows five strangers stranded in an airport that decided to rent a car to drive home, but it turns out one of them is a psychopath.
Loveless by Alice Oseman
Loveless is about a university student that realises she’s asexual aromantic. The book follows Georgia as she tries to date and kiss people, to be “normal” but discovers she’s disgusted by such a simple act.
Sunil said he felt indifferent about sex. I’d never heard anyone talk about sex like that before. Like it was a takeaway cuisine you thought was OK, but you wouldn’t personally choose it.
I had to include this new category because these two books were just plain bad.
Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I hated this book, which I wasn’t expecting because I’ve read Jennifer Lynn Barnes before, and she has great series like The Fixer and Debutantes. But this was just bad, and I couldn’t finish it. I think maybe I would’ve liked this when I was 14? It has weird Twilight vibes.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I know this is a controversial opinion because many people love this book, it was a Goodreads Choice winner in 2019, so I thought I’d love it too. The story sounded perfect to me, but I hated the format. I thought the interview style was too chaotic and all over the place.
I’m finishing this post from a cabin in the woods where I’ll stay for the rest of the week. I’ve only been here two hours, and so far, it has rained, soaking my not-weather-appropriate shoes, and now it’s extremely sunny and warm. I guess the crazy summer weather will be here in August too.