July 2017 Wrap-Up

July was one of the craziest months work-wise so I am glad I managed to read at all. Books definitely became my solace.
I was overall really lucky this month! They were mostly great reads.
Shame I didn’t get to go to the movies this month, nothing really piqued my interest. I hear good things about August, though!
I had my third and last Bookishly experience, which ended with a bang. I definitely recommend it and will be posting a wrap-up post for it soon.
I managed to grab my Kindle and head to the beach on the odd weekend so that was great.
So yeah, July was pretty darn amazing!


Summary:

Total Books Read: 5

Longest Read: Betrayed (Lake of Sins #4) (513 pages)

Shortest Read: Holding (272 pages)

Book of the Month: All Our Wrong Todays

Favourite Cover:

Challenges Progress:

GoodReads: 47/52

British Books Challenge: 22/12

2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 40/35


July Books:

 

My first read of the month actually started mid-June. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer is an extremely imaginative book, as is expected from the author.

However, like in my previous experience with his work, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the world he created the writing lost me at times and I never really felt the urge to pick up the book unless I was in a very specific mood. I also wished I had had more explanations by the end, not just hints.

I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

 

Betrayed (Lake Of Sins, #4) by L.S. O’Dea is the fourth instalment of a YA Dystopian series I have been thoroughly enjoying.

This one did not grip me nearly as much as the others because it is quite heavy on the romance. Still, I went through it quickly as usual and cannot wait to find the answers in following books to a few clues given here.

I rated it 3.25/5 stars.

 

I had trouble staying with Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica mainly because the main character annoyed the heck out of me and I did not find certain aspects of the book believable.

Still, I enjoyed it somewhat and it left me pondering about the good things in life and how feeble they are, as well as how even when we mean well we end up doing bad things.

I rated it 3/5 stars.

 

Well, Holding by Graham Norton was a bit wish-wash for me.
The character development was okay but as a mystery, to me it failed to deliver.
I still enjoyed it, it was a different read than usual, with the overweight sergeant.

I rated it 3/5 stars.

 

I finished the month with a bang, All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai was definitely the book of the month for me.

The writing completely grabbed my attention, and I have to tell you, I am quite picky with humour.
Even if not fully unexpected, the way the story developed completely had my attention and considering we are talking about time travel here I found it believable.
Definitely recommend it if you are looking for a light read about a heavy theme, with a lot of soul searching and thought provocation involved.

I rated it 4.5/5 stars.

 

 


Where I got the books:

Author

  • Betrayed (Lake Of Sins, #4)

 

Edelweiss

  • All Our Wrong Todays
  •  

    Netgalley

    • Borne
    • Every Last Lie
    • Holding

     

    Features:

     

    Other Posts in July:

  • Unboxing #3

  • How was July for you?
    Do you have a Wrap-up post? Please link it below!

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    All Our Wrong Todays

    Title: All Our Wrong Todays

    Author: Elan Mastai

    Genres: Science Fiction

    Length: 384 pages | 4012 Kindle locations

    Source: Edelweiss

    Publisher: Dutton Books

    Publishing Date: Feb 7th, 2017

    Rating: 4.5/5

    Premise:

    Tom lives in a world quite close to what we pictured the future would be like back in the 50s. Technology is so advanced that Tom’s father actually manages to build a time machine. Tom travels back in time to witness the moment where the future began but things get so messy that when he goes back to 2016 it’s no longer his world. It’s the world as we know it. Can Tom go back and fix what he did wrong? Can he fix the past so that his world can exist again?

    Review:

    I had a really good time reading this. I found it refreshing that the narrator was an ordinary guy who screws up a lot and throughout the book has normal reactions, he doesn’t just turn into this amazing hero just because he is the main character of a book and needs to show evolution. So in such a bizarre scenario I actually found Tom Barren quite normal. And his sense of humour contributed quite positively to the character.

    The other thing I loved about the book was the pace. You don’t just get backstory dumped, the story flows and you are there every step of the way, and there are twists quite early on, as early as a quarter into the book, if I remember correctly. Everything attests to the character of Tom and his evolution, and will sooner or later be picked back up, but at the same time you are being entertained, not just reading lengthy descriptions but actually watching stuff happen.

    There isn’t much hard sci-fi until later in the book and I found the semi-explanations satisfying because, again, Tom is a normal dude, he is not supposed to know how all this works.

    Towards the end I gradually lost interest both because of the hard sci-fi, Tom’s decision that it was not possible to save his world, he didn’t even try and I still don’t get why and things just got really complicated, not sure if I buy into all of it but… It still wrapped up nicely. The writing got a bit gushy for my taste but it does make sense and I was pleased.

    All Our Wrong Todays is quite a ride, but a good one. There is humour, failure, different ways to deal with failure, so a lot of personal growth involved, and I have to say I got emotionally involved with the story to the point where I truly cared about what happened to the characters. At the same time it is a thought-provoking book, in more ways than one. I wish I had highlighted some passages because they would make some really nifty quotes.
    You should definitely pick it up.

    Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Edelweiss for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    Read from Jul 23rd to Jul 29th, 2017
    GR Review

    Stacking The Shelves [21] July 29th

    sts3

    Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


    I am really excited about this week’s addition to my shelves. I believe I had requested both and they had been denied so I was really happy that this time I was accepted!
    Both books have been getting some serious hype too so I am excited and nervous in equal amounts!


    Netgalley

    The Blind
    by A.F. Brady

    Sam James has spent years carefully crafting her reputation as the best psychologist at Typhlos, Manhattan’s most challenging psychiatric institution. She boasts the highest success rates with the most disturbed patients, believing if she can’t save herself, she’ll save someone else. It’s this savior complex that serves her well in helping patients battle their inner demons, though it leads Sam down some dark paths and opens her eyes to her own mental turmoil.

    When Richard, a mysterious patient no other therapist wants to treat, is admitted to Typhlos, Sam is determined to unlock his secrets and his psyche. What she can’t figure out is why does Richard appear to be so completely normal in a hospital filled with madness? And what, really, is he doing at the institution? As Sam gets pulled into Richard’s twisted past, she can’t help but analyze her own life, and what she discovers terrifies her. And so the mind games begin. But who is the savior and who is the saved?

    This sounds quite heavy on the psychological side with a lot of craziness going on. It should be quite gripping.


    Hanna Who Fell from the Sky
    by Christopher Meades

    Hanna has never been outside her secluded community of Clearhaven. She has never questioned why her father has four wives or why she has fourteen brothers and sisters. And in only one week, on her eighteenth birthday, Hanna will follow tradition and become the fifth wife of a man more than twice her age.

    But just days before the wedding, Hanna meets Daniel, an enigmatic stranger who challenges her to question her fate and to follow her own will. Then her mother tells her a secret–one that could grant Hanna the freedom she’s known only in her dreams. As her world unravels around her, Hanna must decide whether she was really meant for something greater than the claustrophobic world of Clearhaven. But can she abandon her beloved younger sister and the only home she’s ever known? Or is there another option–one too fantastical to believe?

    With lush, evocative prose, Christopher Meades takes readers on an emotional journey into a fascinating, unknown world–and, along the way, brilliantly illuminates complexities of faith, identity and how our origins shape who we are.

    I have had this thing for books involving cults for a few years now. There’s something about the idea of completely alien realities existing in our own and how people react when they are confronted with how things work on the outside.
    I don’t know what to think of the ‘too fantastical to believe’ part of the blurb as the book is only classified as contemporary fiction, but it should still be an interesting and emotional read.


    And that’s it for this week!

    Have you read this book or do you plan to?

    Are you excited about reading any particular books you got this week?

    Please comment below and if you have a STS post please post it in comments.

    Unboxing #3

    Hello there!

    I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. I am appreciating every single moment of it! The sun is shining, I am in a great mood, sipping a lovely tea and I got to recently unbox my third Bookishly tea box so I figured I would share it with you.

    Here we go!


    I can’t get enough of these lovely stickers!

    Opening the package, this is what I saw:

    Let’s look at each item in more detail, shall we?

    The bookmark with a Moby Dick quote was lovely.
    As always, the material and colours blew me away.

    The little notebook was, again, much too pretty to actually use!

    I am not much of a fan of chamomile but I will definitely try the tea.

    And the book… Well, the book…

    Yes. Yes, I am saving the wrapping paper. I am beginning to worry I am becoming a hoarder but come on, it’s gorgeous!

    Anyway, the book….


    Can you believe I have actually never read this amazing classic? I am so happy!

    And oh my gosh the smell!!!

    Come on, I cannot be the only one who loves smelling vintage books, right?
    That lovely library smell instantly makes me feel good.

    So suffice it to say I really enjoyed this one!


    Have you bought any subscription boxes?
    Do you recommend them?
    If you have posted about it please leave the link in Comments!

    Holding

    Title: Holding

    Author: Graham Norton

    Genres: Crime | Mystery

    Length: 272 pages | 3293 Kindle locations

    Source: Netgalley

    Publisher: Atria Books

    Publishing Date: Aug 1st, 2017

    Rating: 3/5

    Premise:

    In Duneen, Ireland human remains are found in a construction work site.
    As Sergeant PJ Collins struggles to find what happened, he discovers a lifetime of secrets and resentments amongst the inhabitants of the sleepy Irish village.

    Review:

    Holding didn’t hold my attention for the most part, though as the resolution was approaching it got fairly exciting.

    For the most part it focuses on the characters, particularly the Sergeant and the struggle with his excessive weight. The quite accurate accounts of all sorts of situations overweight people have to deal with that few stop to consider was very real.

    As the narrative reached its climax, it was good to see some characters’ growth and others’ inevitable downfall, not to mention what the author did with a potential love triangle.

    But the world building was so shallow; I don’t even understand why the only officer there was Collins, there didn’t even seem to be someone to cover for him if he was sick or something, or to take the calls, even.
    Speaking of which, I didn’t get why he had to leave the scene to make a call from the barracks, for instance. What about cell phones?? It was like Duneen was stuck in the past and in that sense I found the cover quite misleading, might I add.

    Also, as a mystery, to me, the book ultimately it failed to deliver. Maybe I am too used to huge twists and more complex characters. The simplicity of it all was quite refreshing, so that was nice. I enjoyed it but was never really clinging to the pages wanting to know what happened next. It was more like ok you are all very nice characters but what the heck happened here?

    The book felt like a story of a few key characters in a quiet town where everyone seems to know everyone and the mystery was something on the sideline. I would have appreciated a few clues that got the gears running in my brain.

    Overall an okay book that I mildly enjoyed with a solid cast of characters that I am left rooting for.

    Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    Read from Jul 16th to Jul 22nd, 2017
    GR Review

    Stacking The Shelves [20] July 22nd

    sts3

    Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


    This past week I managed to relax a bit because I took monday and tuesday off work.
    I have been reading more and totally addicted to Sims Freeplay on my phone.
    I also managed to request two new books!


    Netgalley

    Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake #1)
    by Rachel Caine

    Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

    With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

    But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

    This book seems to have all the ingredients to make this a very exciting read for me. A serial killer, a strong mother and a mystery. When I requested it I didn’t know it was the first book in a series but who knows maybe it’s one I will be following, we’ll see.


    The Final Correction (Condition, #3)
    by Alec Birri

    A trilogy of dystopian novels based on the author’s own experience of commanding a top secret government unit.

    What if all brain disorders were treatable? No one would lament the passing of dementia or autism, but what if the twisted mind of a sex-offender or murderer could be cured too? Or how about a terrorist or maybe a political extremist? What if we could all be ‘corrected’?

    So, Professor Savage has been unmasked as the monster Alex Salib always knew he was. But what was their agreement and why is she still determined to see it through? The war on terror appears to be back on track but why does President Kalten seem hell bent on ramping it up – are the Americans seriously intent on starting World War Three?

    And what of the treatment itself? Despite Savage’s arrest, the ‘corrections’ go on but to what end? The laws of unintended consequences are about to cause a seismic shift in the very nature of our existence. But then our new masters know that and won’t let it happen until we’re ready…

    …Ready to accept the unacceptable.

    This ebook is the third in the Condition trilogy by Alec Birri. The first two tiles, A Medical Miracle and The Curing Begins, are also available to purchase from all major ebook retailers.

    I finally have all three books so I look forward to reading them all in sequence!


    And that’s it for this week!

    Have you read this book or do you plan to?

    Are you excited about reading any particular books you got this week?

    Please comment below and if you have a STS post please post it in comments.

    Every Last Lie

    Title: Every Last Lie

    Author: Mary Kubica

    Genres: Mystery | Thriller

    Length: 331 pages | 4486 Kindle locations

    Source: Netgalley

    Publisher: Park Row Books

    Publishing Date: Jun 27th, 2017

    Rating: 3/5

    Premise:

    When Clara’s husband dies her world shatters. If that wasn’t bad enough, her four-year-old daughter Maisie claims suggest that it may not have been an accident.
    What exactly happened to Nick? And why is Clara finding so many lies?

    Review:

    Every Last Lie started well enough for me. I actually did not remember the premise of the book so I thought the way it was revealed was gripping.
    I felt for Clara as her world unravelled, but soon enough little things started to bother me, like the fact that she was stuck on Nick and never once wondered about Maisie’s safety.

    The narrative switches between the time before and after the crash, Nick and Clara’s points of view respectively, told in the first person. This works very well.
    I did not particularly like nor dislike Nick’s chapters. There were certain things that touched me but most of all I had a problem with how he seemed to worship Clara. I did not find that believable at all.

    Clara bugged me with her ramblings; some of her thoughts exhausted me and I found myself fighting the urge to skim through the text. Just when things seemed to begin to get interesting, she would step in and be absolutely convinced that something was true when we already knew it was not. I wish the book had been further edited. There was so much there that was just not needed nor added anything to the story.

    I had seen the reveal close to the end coming from a long, long way, so even that did not assuage the feeling of discontent.

    It is a suspenseful book but the best thing I take from it is the image of Nick and his daughter playing and how we should appreciate each day as if it were the last.

    Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    Read from Jul 11th to Jul 16th, 2017
    GR Review