July 2020 Reading Wrap Up

I thought July 2020 had been quite a slow reading month, but actually with the help of a number of audiobooks and titles I had started but not yet finished, it was a vast improvement on the likes of March, April and May.

July 2020 total title finished: 10
Paperbacks: 2 (both library)
Hardbacks: 0
eBooks: 2 (1 owned, 1 library)
Audiobooks: 5 (3 owned, 1 library and 1 audio ARC)
Graphic Novels: 1 (owned)

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Book 1: You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Date Started: 4th July 2020
Date Finished: 6th July 2020
Format: Audiobook (Narrated by Alaska Jackson)

Firstly as I listed to the audio version of the novel, can I say how much I enjoyed Alaska Jackson’s performance and highly recommend the audiobook version of this story. As for the story, ‘You Should See Me In A Crown’ falls into my new favourite style of Young Adult contemporary in which we get an incredibly well balanced story that focuses on serious topics such as racism (in a small town setting) and accessing Higher Education from a financially disadvantaged position. But it also covers a sapphic romance and high school politics when the main character, Liz, runs for Prom Queen for a college scholarship. Definitely one I recommend you picking up.

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Book 2: No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Date Started: 13th July 2020
Date Finished: 13th July 2020
Format: Audiobook (Narrated by Greta Thunberg)

I am contemplating reducing my rating for this – but may have to consider it more. I think Greta is incredibly inspirational and has been continuing to draw attention and action to the climate crisis. However, even her passion about this topic doesn’t deflect that it is a collection of essays, and they are all very similar. Additionally this is short so that level of repetition doesn’t really work, even as a call to action rather than guidance on how to improve yourself.

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Book 3: Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Date Started: 24th June 2020
Date Finished: 19th July 2020
Format: eBook

The second book in the Brown Sisters series (although can be read separately), was brilliant. I loved it almost as much as the first and may later have a longer review for it. Dani ends up fake dating a colleague after he rescues her from a lift during a practice fire alarm. As per all the best fake dating tropes, they realise they may have feelings for one another, but can it ever work when Dani doesn’t do relationships? Equal parts cute, smutty and soft.

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Book 4 : The Shadows by Alex North

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Date Started: 18th July 2020
Date Finished: 22nd July 2020
Format: AudioARC (Narrated by Hannah Arterton and John Heffernan)

My first audio ARC from Netgalley, and I really enjoyed this adult mystery thriller. My full thoughts can be found at my Review for The Shadows.

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Book 5 : This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Date Started: 10th March 2020
Date Finished: 25th July 2020
Format: Paperback (from Library)

This is a really hard novella to review, because in some respects I had no idea what was happening between the warring agencies trying to control the time narrative. Yet the writing was so decadent that I felt I was in the world of Red and Blue with each chapter’s location change. Also at the heart of this were two characters slowly falling in love via letter, and realistically that was what had me hooked. (I don’t even particularly like letters as a writing device). But this worked for me, and I feel it left an impression that meant I had to rate it highly.

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Book 6 : Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Date Started: 25th July 2020
Date Finished: 26th July 2020
Format: eBook (from Library)

Novels in verse is apparently my new love of 2020 (yet straight up poetry still escapes my interests). This teen contemporary focused on the same that is placed on those who experience periods (especially teenage girls). After our main character accidentally starts her period during an intimate moment, it forces her into a spotlight where other teens shame her for a natural biological function. This manages to explore a number of important themes (such as cyber bullying and menstruation) in way that kept me reading late into the night.

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Book 7 : Proud (Anthology) Editted by Juno Dawson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Date Started: 2nd April 2020
Date Finished: 26th July 2020
Format: Paperback (From Library)

An anthology collection of stories/poems and art based around LGBTQIA+ experiences. Admittedly it doesn’t manage to touch thoroughly on every group and does focus more on the L and G stories. Like any anthology, there were a couple of stories I was less interested in, but generally I really loved the collection and how some stories managed to be fluffy and sweet, whilst others were more serious in tone. Dean Atta’s closing poem was the stand out for me personally.

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Book 8 : Check, Please! Book 2 – Sticks & Scones by Ngozi Ukazu

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Date Started: 13th July 2020
Date Finished: 26th July 2020
Format: Graphic Novel

Check, Please! Volume 1 really impressed me and I knew I wanted to read the second volume as soon as I could. Unfortunately this didn’t quite tick as many of my boxes (hence not reading it all in one day). The art style continues to be adorable and finally my favourite couple are together. But I think that unfortunately the cast that made the first so enjoyable are far more absent in this second volume. Still, a lovely way to end the duology of volumes.

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Book 9 : Torchwood: Iceberg by Grace Knight

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book 10: Torchwood: Dinner and a Show by Gareth David-Lloyd

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Date Started: 27th July 2020
Date Finished: 27th July 2020
Format: Audiobooks (narrated by Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd)

I will keep these brief, but apologise in advance that you are likely to see plenty more in my wrap ups. I loved Torchwood when it was a show, and these short audio stories just allow me a little more into the world. Special kudos to Iceberg for really capturing the voice of one Dr Owen Harper. If anyone wants to know more of my thoughts about this audio series, let me know.

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What books have you read in July 2020 and loved? Feel free to offer any recommendations in the comments below.

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