July Wrap Up and August TBR
July was a month of readathons and trying to sneak in as much reading wherever I can (not that I don't try to do that usually). For time's sake, I'm combining my July Wrap Up and August TBR together this month so that I'm not posting my August TBR halfway through August. My Wrap Up will not include the books I read during the Tome Topple Readathon and the Summer Biannual Bibliothon, but if you want to hear more about these books, please go and check out those books.
July Wrap Up
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
This is the second book in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series and follows twins, Jack and Jill before that had even stepped foot in Elanor West's Home for Wayward Childre. We see what leads them to find the impossible staircase at twelve-years-old that lead them to a world so unlike their own, and what eventually had driven them away.
Ever since I read the first book, Every Heart a Doorway, I've been intrigued by the worlds that Seanan McGuire had created for these children who, after experiencing these worlds, have become an orphan in what their parents would say their "home" is. Jack and Jill were two characters in the first book that I found particularly interesting, and I enjoyed reading about their backstory that led them to become who they are in the first book.
There is a running theme throughout this book of how parents forcing their children to become these ideals that they have in their head will be more detrimental to the development of these children. The following quote really struck me and I think it really speaks to what the book is about:
"Give ten children a toy box, and watch them select ten different toys, regardless of gender or religion or parental expectations. Children have preferences. The danger comes when they, as with any human, are denied those preferences for too long."
Overall, I gave Down Among the Sticks and Bones 4.5/5 out of 5 stars. If you haven't read the Wayward Children series yet, do it! They're not very long and you will fly through them.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic takes place in a world where there are four parallel Londons: Grey London, a land that has forgotten magic; Red London, a land that thrives on magic; White London, a land war-torn by magic; and Black London, a land that has been forgotten. For centuries the doors between these worlds had been closed off and only the Antari, a rare magic user, are able to travel in between worlds. This book follows an Antari named Kell, who is a messenger for the Red London crown. But he’s also a smuggler who illegally buys and sells trinkets from other Londons. When he takes something that he isn’t supposed to, it’s up to him and a Grey London thief to try and save the parallel worlds from destruction.
What a ride this book was! I'm basically kicking myself that it has taken me so long to pick up a V.E. Schwab book because she is such a talented writer. I'm obsessed with the whole concept of the world and how they all have a city called London but the rest of the world is completely different and how they relate to magic is different. Each time I turned the page I wanted to learn more and more about the world and these characters. But even with how rich the world is, it had never felt like it was an info-dumped. Everything was seamlessly weaved in amongst the action, deception and political intrigue.
I, of course, gave A Darker Shade of Magic 5 out of 5 stars and you shouldn't be surprised with what shows up on my August TBR.
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Continuing on with my re-read of Cassandra Clare's books, I listened to City of Lost Souls on audiobook. I had forgotten a lot more than I had thought I had, so I'm glad to have re-read it. There isn't much more I can say, as this is the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments, but I will say that the scene in the epilogue left me as stunned and emotional as it did the first time. If you've read City of Lost Souls, you know what I'm talking about.
I gave City of Lost Souls 4 out of 5 stars.
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
I'm still not done this book! I had to pause again due to the start of the Booktubeathon, but I'm now 270 pages in. I'm really enjoying it now! I love the romance, the dogs, the texting—it's all so great. I'm excited to continue this book later this month because I trust that it's only going to continue to get better from here.
My plan for August at the moment is to finish the remainder of the books on my Booktubathon TBR that I don't get to during the Booktubathon. If I somehow get through all of these books before August is over, I plan on reading one or both of these books.
The Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
This book was on my Tome Topple TBR, but I didn't end up reading it and it's near the top, if not on the top, of books that I need to read this year. Hopefully, I will tackle this tome in August!
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue follows a young bisexual man named Henry "Monty" Montague who was bred and trained to be a gentleman, but he has always had a bit of a roguish side to him. Monty is about to embark on a Grand Tour around Europe to escape his father's expectations to take over the family estate. He plans to spend the next year having adventures with his sister and his best friend Percy, who he is in love with. However, one reckless decision changes their plans all calls everything that Monty knows into question.
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
As I mentioned above, A Darker Shade of Magic was one of my favourite reads from July, so I'm dying to know where this story will go next. There isn't a whole lot that I'm able to say about this book, obviously because it's a sequel, but if you haven't read the first book, you should do it like right now.
That's all for my July Wrap Up and August TBR! What was your favourite book that you read in July? What book are you most excited to read in August? Let me know in the comments below.
Tomorrow Ben and I will be posting our Summer Blog Tour Post here and Tuesday will be my Booktubathon Wrap Up, so be sure that you're following me on Twitter and Instagram for when those go up.
Until next time, have a lovely rest of your day and read something awesome!