July Wrap Up
Well, that’s July done! I had a pretty successful reading month. I participated in the last Biannual Bibliothon ever—I only completed two challenges and read one book, but it still counts. I read a total of 4 books in July that I’m excited to talk about, so let’s get the ball rolling.
The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali follows seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali, who is finding it harder and hard to live up to the expectations of her conservative Muslim parents. She dresses conservatively at home and saves dressing how she wants to the times she goes out without her parent’s knowledge. Only months stand between her and an unmonitored life at Caltech, pursuing her dream career as an engineer. But when her parents find her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, they send her away to Bangladesh where she is surrounded by tradition and arranged marriages. While away, Ruhksana reads her grandmothers old diaries and realizes that she must fight for her love. But could this cause her to lose everyone else in her life?
Oh my—did I love this book! I have a full review of this book coming, so I won’t go into too much detail about what I thought, but I flew through this book. The writing style is very personable, and it feels like Rukhsana invites you into her story. This book deals with a lot of important topics of family, culture, and how a person’s culture affects how they come out or if they feel safe to come out. These stories are incredibly valuable, and we need more like this book.
I do want to add content warnings for homophobia, islamophobia, colourism, physical assault, and description of rape and abuse. If one or more of these topics will impact your mental health, please consider this before picking up this book.
More of my thoughts to come in my full review, but I loved this book and gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy Jones and The Six takes place in the late sixties and seventies and follows a music sensation and what ultimately lead to their break up at the height of their career. Daisy is coming of age—her life is sex, drugs, and rock and roll—and her voice is starting to get noticed. Also getting noticed is The Six and their leading man, Billy Dunne. Daisy and Billy cross paths, and a producer decides they would be better together.
This book was unlike anything that I’ve read before. It’s told from many different character perspectives in an interview style, where each character is telling the interviewer their perspective on what happened to Daisy Jones and The Six. It could have been jarring to read, but the different voices blended seamlessly. It made you feel like they were real people, and I honestly thought this book was about a real band for a hot second.
I do want to add a content warnings for substance abuse/addiction and abortion. If one or more of these topics will impact your mental health, please consider this before picking up this book.
I completed this book during the Biannual Bibliothon to complete two challenges—read a host’s 5-star read and read a predicted 5-star read. Unsurprisingly, I gave Daisy Jones and The Six 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Again, but Better by Christine Riccio
Again, but Better follows Shane, who seems to have been the perfect college student on paper—she has fantastic grades and is in pre-med, she has missed out on the college experience. She goes home every weekend, she hasn’t made any friends, and she has no love life. So Shane decides to sign up for a semester abroad in London, and she intends to get the full college experience. However, it’s harder than she initially expected to step out of her comfort zone, and she deals with a lot of self-doubts. Shane comes to realize that sometimes determination and the courage to step into unfamiliar territory can make all the difference.
I was very excited to pick up this book basically from when Christine finished the first draft. I followed Christine writing vlogs of her entire journey to publishing her debut novel, and I thought that it would be a fun contemporary that I would love. I’m sad to say that I was a little disappointed. There were quite a few enjoyable, cute moments but it felt like some obstacles were resolved too easily and there was a plot device used that didn’t really make sense based on what was presented earlier in the book. There was some setup, but it felt like there could have been more.
That being said, the characters were still fun, the writing flowed well, and I still enjoyed reading this book. I ended up giving Again, but Better 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Foe by Iain Ried
Foe takes place in the near future and follows a married couple, Junior and Henrietta, who live in seclusion, far away from the city. One day, a stranger from the city comes to visit with news that Junior has been selected to be sent away. What’s strange is that all arrangements had already been made and that Henrietta won’t be left alone.
This book was wild! This story is told through character relations, but we focus physiologically on Junior. There also is this looming unknown of who this stranger really is and why Junior has been selected to be sent away. Iain Reid gives you sprinklings of hints along the way to make you feel like you know what’s going to happen (or at least gets the wheels turning), but you probably don’t.
I won’t say much more because I don’t want to get into spoiler territory, but I ended up giving Foe 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
That’s all for the books that I read in July. What’s your favourite book that you read this past month? Did you participate in the final Bibliothon? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time, have a lovely rest of your day and read something awesome!