Sunday 31 July 2016

July Wrap-Up.

I once again felt sure that I would be totally behind after this month, and then was proved wrong at the last moment because I read three books in one week. Therefore, I managed 6 of my 7 reads altogether, which I'm really pleased about!

  1. 'The Jungle Books'; Rudyard Kipling. I got more than I bargained for with this book, because it ended up being both the first and second Jungle Book combined! Still, I liked it a lot: the stories were entertaining and I was surprised by how different it ended up being to my expectations of it. Some of my favourite stories actually ended up being the ones that didn't feature Mowgli, possibly because he's not nearly as loveable on the books as he is on screen. Still, Kipling really knew his stuff when it came to the animals and culture of India, and it was an enlightening read. 3.5/5 stars.
  2. 'Angels & Demons'; Dan Brown. I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy this read when I first went into it because Dan Brown's 'version' of history has received so many complaints about it's inaccuracy and misleading information. I could see why people were so annoyed as I read the book, but when moving beyond that, 'Angels & Demons' isn't a bad book. Brown's writing is in no way eloquent, but is fast-paced and gripping. It's filled with twists and turns (though the dramatic 'cliff-hangers' at the end of each chapter are...cringe-worthy). I can't understand why Brown would choose to write a YA version of books in this series either, it doesn't seem to be aimed at adults to begin with. 3/5 Stars.
  3. 'The Rosie Effect'; Graeme Simsion. I absolutely adored 'The Rosie Project' when I first read it a year or so ago, so reading 'The Rosie Effect' has been on my list for a while now. The only thing that put me off was my worry that it wouldn't be as good as the first book. While that ended up being true, I still enjoyed this book a lot. Simsion's writing was still witty and clever, and Don was every inch the loveable narrator I remembered. Simsion decided to take a slightly more serious route with this one (there were rather a lot of heavy conversations about parental suitability, nature vs. nurture and mental health) which meant that it wasn't as charming as it's predecessor. But I still rooted for Don & Rosie all the way through, and liked the ending. 4/5 Stars.
  4. 'The Girl Of Ink & Stars'; Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Hands down my favourite read of the month, I adored this book! First, the cover and book design are stunning and while the cartography doesn't play as big a role as I'd hoped it still added something to the story. I loved the plot, the mythical, magical world-building was fantastic, and I thought the characters and writing were impressive for a Middle Grade book. I wish that Hargrave had dug a little deeper into the past of some characters such as the Governor or Isabella's mother. Nevertheless, a stunning debut. 4/5 Stars.
  5. 'Sisters Red'; Jackson Pearce. The only Fairy Tale retelling of the month and based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood, I had high hopes for this one. In the end, I liked it but wan't blown away. A gripping plot, badass heroine with one eye, and an alternating viewpoint that showcased an interesting relationship between two sisters made this book special in it's own way. However, said badass heroine was too bitter and angry and I would have liked to have seen more vulnerability from her character. I also thought that the villain could have done with a more prominent leader to 'hate' as the group of Fenris were a bit vague. 2/5 Stars.
  6. 'The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes'; Arthur Conan Doyle. More classic short stories? Of course! This time, they focused on my favourite Detective duo: Sherlock Holmes & John Watson. The shorter stories definitely suited these characters better and I found the plots a whole lot more interesting for a majority of them. A couple didn't end very well and I would have liked more of a conclusion, but generally this is my favourite installment in the series so far. 5/5 Stars.

This month I have read five books for Pretty Deadly Review's Backlist Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to twenty eight. This month's reads were:

- 'The Jungle Books' by Rudyard Kipling
- 'Angels & Demons' by Dan Brown
- 'The Rosie Effect' by Graeme Simsion
- 'Sisters Red' by Jackson Pearce
- 'The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes' by Arthur Conan Doyle.

This month I have read one books for Falling For YA's Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge bringing my yearly total so far to twelve. This month's reads were:

- 'The Rosie Effect' by Graeme Simsion

This month I have gained six points for Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads' Prequel & Sequel Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to forty four

- 'The Jungle Books' by Rudyard Kipling (+2)
- 'The Rosie Effect' by Graeme Simsion (+2)
- 'The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes' by Arthur Conan Doyle (+2)

This month I have read one book for [un]Conventional Reviews' New Releases Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to ten. This month's read was:

- 'The Girl Of Ink & Stars' by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

This month I have read one book for Daily Prophecy's Retelling Challenge, bringing my yearly total to six

- 'Sisters Red' by Jackson Pearce

I've also updated my Bookish Bingo card and Story Sprites board!

Name In Title: The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes; Arthur Conan Doyle.
Magic: Crow Moon; Anna McKerrow.
Historical Setting 1900s - 1950s: Salt To The Sea; Ruta Sepetys.
June, July or August Release: Notes On Being Teenage; Rosalind Jana.
Red Cover: Sisters Red; Jackson Pearce.
Freebie: The Girl On The Train; Paula Hawkins.
POC MC: The Jungle Books; Rudyard Kipling.
Over 500 Pages: Angels & Demons; Dan Brown.
Mental Health: All The Bright Places; Jennifer Niven.
Outdoors: Thin Air; Michelle Paver.
Food In Title Or Cover: The Rosie Effect; Graeme Simsion.
Monsters: The Girl Of Ink & Stars; Kiran Millwood Hargrave

2016 Fantasy: The Girl Of Ink & Stars; Kiran Millwood Hargrave.
Setting - 19th Century: The Jungle Books; Rudyard Kipling.
Book By Deceased Author: The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes; Arthur Conan Doyle.
Character With Physical Deformity: Sisters Red; Jackson Pearce.

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