July Wrap Up

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‘I departed on a journey and much did I learn and see, but when I come from my journey, my work was still there for me.’ – Keira, 2016.

Indeed, I went on a journey of learning this month and as such did not have much time to read, although I bought an awful lot of books. In fact, four of these ten books I read in the last week and two of them I finished today. Despite this, I read a lot of truly amazing books, what with me giving six of ten books five stars. In addition to this I found some new favourites and a new ship, so I’m rather pleased. Despite my lack of reading in the past two months, I am only 2 books behind in my reading goal, so hopefully I can catch that up soon! Do you think I can read 18 books next month? I’m off school the whole month, but there is also a lot of work to do as we are moving. I suppose we shall see, won’t we! Anyway, I am not showing you my TBR this month as I never posted one and even if I had there would have only been two books on it: We Were Liars and The Orphan Queen, both of which I read for the book club. So, let me just talk about the books.


  • The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson. I really enjoyed the characters in this book in addition to the way in which Lisa Williamson portrayed the issues of transgender identities in high school. I found the book to be compelling and emotional and would definitely recommend it! Five stars, for sure. Also, Amnesty International UK endorses this book.
  • Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. This was amazing, just as incredible as the first book and left be devastated and elated! Excellent prose as always and a masterpiece full of beautiful moments. Naturally, another five stars to Diana Gabaldon.
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I have mixed feelings about this book and I am giving it 3 stars. I found the beginning to be a bit stereotypical, the middle to be very interesting and the ‘twist’ at the end to be disappointing. It did not hold as much emotional impact as I would have liked and it was not realistic in terms of the way the situation would have worked were this to be real life, which, since this is realistic fiction, is a major issue. All in all, the beginning was 2.5 stars, the middle 4 stars and the end 2.5 stars. I would not recommend this book, but I would equally not dissuade anyone from reading it as it was, for the most part, enjoyable.This is quite sad for me, as it is one of my best friend’s favourite book.
  • The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. I really, really enjoyed this book, but I felt like I didn’t have enough attachment to the characters and their relationships. The map-making parts were my favourite as well as the folklore, but there was really something missing, although I did enjoy the story. As such, I am giving it 4 stars, although if I gave quarter stars as well as half stars, it would really be a 3.75. However, I like to keep things simple and so I don’t. Therefore, four stars are perfectly suitable.
  • And I Darken by Kiersten White. This was really interesting and I highly enjoyed it. I am highly anticipating the next book in the series! I really enjoyed both Lada and Radu and found the relationships with Mehmed to be a nice balance of dramatic, complicated and really sweet: basically, Kiersten White managed to have drama-filled relationships that made me invested in all sides of any love shapes and really love the characters more. A feat nigh on impossible to complete, and Ms. Kiersten White has really accomplished it. A well-deserved five stars.
  • Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley. This book was enjoyable, but I felt like there was a lot missing. As Lucy Worsley is a historian, I would have liked much more insight into Tudor life beyond the very limited glimpses of court life. Even the glimpses of Court life could have been more than they were. In addition to this, the end was to sickly sweet and not realistic enough and in addition to this felt rushed. I didn’t make enough connections with the characters and found the main character, at times, annoying. Despite this, I did enjoy the book and gave it 3.5 stars.
  • Dear World, How Are You? by Toby Little. This was compelling, interesting, riveting in away that collections of letters rarely are and absolutely heart-warming. It inspired me to want to raise my future children as well as Sabine must have raised Toby Little. This non-fiction book is now the first non-fiction book I have ever read in a day and also the first one to garner as much praise, although I have read some absolutely fantastic non-fiction books that ought to be read by everyone.                                                                                                                                             This is a book that I hope to share with all of my friends and family, my future children and grandchildren and that I hope my grandchildren will share with their grandchildren. I think I might have found my favourite non-fiction book of the year and of my entire life so far. It goes without saying that I gave this book five stars.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien. This book took a long time to read, partially because it took me about a week to get through the prologue, but after that I picked up the speed and ended up really, really enjoying it. I particularly love Sam’s personality. I absolutely cannot wait to read the next of the series, although I will be taking a break for probably another month or so in order to read other things ;). I gave this book 5 stars.
  • The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows. I really, really enjoyed this book and found it, whilst the wraith reminded me of many other things, quite original and the characters delightfully complex. I have this book 4.5 stars, as I still wasn’t fully invested in all of the characters.
  • The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows. This was a phenomenal sequel to a wonderful first book. I loved the characters more and I became even more and more invested in their relationships and struggles. This book was highly pleasurable to read and I am thrilled I decided to read the sequel immediately after finishing the first book. The only fault I could possibly pick with this book, is that it ended all too nicely. However, as I absolutely adored the characters and felt like they were friends to me after reading this, I am entirely forgiving of the author and will not hold it against the book as I did with Eliza Rose. Therefore, I am proud to say that this book has also received a full five stars from me this month.

And that is all I managed to read! Happy reading, Keira x.

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