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Oh Hey! I'm Alice, I'm 22 and I'm from Belfast. Welcome to my corner of the internet!

31 Jul 2020

Books I Read in July 2020

*THIS POST CONTAINS GIFTED ITEMS*

Following on from my exceptional reading month that I had in June, July happened and I actually ended up reading TEN books in July! I got myself a Kindle at the start of this month so that's definitely helped me keep on top of my reading. I'm starting a new job this coming month though so I know I definitely won't have as much free time to be taken up with reading so this may be my last excessive reading month for a while so for now here are the books that I managed to work my way through in the month of July!



Heartstopper (Volumes 1-3)

Alice Oseman


Charlie is that one out kid at school and Nick is one of the lads, he's a rugby player but finds himself inexplicably falling for Charlie. This story follows the two boys as they learn more about themselves and each other and watch as their relationship grows from friends to something more.

This is a graphic novel/webcomic series and technically counts as three books since three volumes have been published but I'm just lobbing them all in together since I read them all in one go and in one sitting.

I'd heard about this comic from so many people and it intrigued me so when I saw that volume one was on sale for 99p in the Kindle store I immediately downloaded it and ended up finishing it in about half an hour (maybe less, I wasn't keeping track of time). That is when I discovered that all the currently published parts and the upcoming unpublished parts are available to read for free on the Tapas app as well as on Tumblr so I sat myself down and read my way through all 4 complete chapters in one sitting. I love these characters so so much and I can't wait to read all the future updates.


The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life

Dani Jansen

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Second Story Press for review purposes

Alison has one goal, to become valedictorian of her high school yet somehow, with no prior theatre experience, she's ended up producing her school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream or as her friends affectionately call it 'Ye Olde Shakespeare Disaster"!

This book really didn't vibe with me. I loved theatre in school and I love Shakespeare so it really should have been right up my street but it just wasn't! I just really didn't enjoy any of the characters which for me is such a big thing! I didn't generally hate this book and there were parts that I enjoyed but on a whole, it just didn't do it for me, unfortunately!

Only Mostly Devastated

Sophie Gonzales


This is essentially a modern-day Grease retelling only it's got more gay and less misogyny. It features Ollie and Will who had a bit of a summer fling and suddenly end up being classmates except there's a catch, the boy that Ollie knew from summer is a far cry from the Will he now goes to school with. Oh, and Will isn't out!

This book was a delight! As a Grease fan, it was fun to point out the little nuances that tie it to Grease (my favourite was the featuring of the Those Magic Changes chords). All of the characters in this book were so well thought out and important to the plot and not just stuck in as side characters. Although it is generally upbeat it does deal with grief in a really pure and honest way which was also really nice to read because so often this can be steered away from.


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Taylor Jenkins Reid


Evelyn Hugo was the most beautiful woman in all of Hollywood and now the ageing and reclusive star is finally ready to come clean and explain her life story to a struggling writer.

After I read Daisy Jones and The Six last month I knew that I just had to read this one next. Taylor Jenkins Reid is an absolute marvel and everything that she writes is gold. I think I personally preferred Daisy Jones and The Six but this one was just as immersive and incredible. You truly believe that these characters that she writes about are real people. There were a few parts that dragged a little bit for me but overall this book is an absolute marvel!


Ghosts

Dolly Alderton

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Penguin for review purposes

Nina is in her early 30s and single and while everyone else around her is married she's exploring the world of online dating and during that time her dad is developing Dementia so she finds herself being ghosted in more ways than one.

This was such a great fiction debut for Dolly Alderton, I'd heard great things about Everything I Know About Love so I knew that when I heard about this one that I wanted to read it! It is VERY British which as someone who reads a lot of US-focused novels was refreshing. That being said, there is a lot of heavy swearing so if that's not your thing be wary but that's what comes from it being so British I guess! I enjoyed this book immensely but I just couldn't get into it! I always found myself just reading a chapter at a time. I'm slightly younger than the target audience for this book but if you're older and single you'll definitely see a lot of yourself in this book (I'm young and single and I definitely did) It made me think a lot about the future. I haven't read Normal People yet (shocker I know) but if you liked it I'd say you'll like this one too!


Salt To The Sea

Rita Supetys


A story of love and survival told against the backdrop of one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever known (but one that isn't talked about enough) as four young people make their way to the Wilhelm Gustloff in hope of getting out of Prussia and a new life after the war that obviously doesn't go as expected.

I think my mum and my sister both read this last year and I walked passed it on our communal bookshelf in the hallway and decided to pick it up and I'm so glad I did. I love character-driven fiction and this is character-driven fiction at its finest. This is one of those books that has characters that you will keep thinking about after you've read the final page. I can't tell you how rare it is for a multi-perspective book to have me interested in every perspective. I stayed up until 1am to finish this and I regret nothing! This was such an easy five star read for me!


Love, Creekwood

Becky Albertalli


Following on from Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda (which just happens to be one of my favourite books of all time) and the sequel Leah on The Offbeat comes this little Novella full of emails from the four main characters as they spend their first year at college.

If Becky Albertalli comes out with a new book you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm going to be reading it, I have every book she's ever written. Was this book necessary? Absolutely not but am I very happy that it exists? 100%. I just love these characters so much and will read absolutely everything that features them. This one is only available digitally in the UK which meant that I refreshed my Kindle app at midnight and started right away!


How It All Blew Up

Arvin Ahmadi

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Hot Key books for review purposes

Blackmailed to come out to his conservative Iranian family Amir decides that instead of facing them, he's going to run away to Rome where he meets a whole new crowd of people and discovers more about himself, that is - until it all blows up!

I enjoyed this book quite a lot actually. I loved escaping to Italy with Amir and following him as he went on this journey and finds himself among this wild range of characters. It does have a trigger warning for a fairly graphic scene of bodily harm which didn't trigger me because I'd heard the same story recently on Shagged, Married, Annoyed but I know it's really triggered a lot of people and there was really no need for it! This book does do a great job however of showing that even the things that we romanticise can turn out to be pretty ugly!

The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood


After the totalitarian state of Gilead has overthrown the US government the citizens find themselves in a patriarchal society where the only role of women is for childbearing. This story follows Offred who is a handmaiden and her journey as she and her fellow handmaidens start to fight for their own rights.

I've been wanting to read this for a while and I don't really know how I felt about it! I listened to the audiobook narrated by Joanna David which I enjoyed but I ended up just speeding through it so I don't actually know how much of the story I really took in. I'd love to read it again though because I think looking at it with fresh eyes would maybe help me with it!

Muse of Nightmares

Laini Taylor


Following on from Strange The Dreamer Lazlo and Sarai (and the others) find themselves in a situation that none of them has ever experienced before. (I can't go into more detail without giving you spoilers for Strange the Dreamer which I 100% recommend)

I have a bit of a mild phobia of high fantasy epics so I read Strange the Dreamer in 2018 and this has been sitting on my shelf ever since it came out and I hadn't gotten around to reading it yet because the sheer size of it always put me off but I finally got round to picking it up and OH BOY am I glad that I did.

This book never stopped amazing me from the second I picked it up, the first one was the same. This duology truly is one of the most stunning things I've ever read and I can't believe that this whole thing came from one person's head. I really don't have the words.


What have you been reading recently and what should I add to my reading list for August!

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