July was fun, exciting, and hot. Summer is my favourite season of the year, and July always ends up being one of my favourite months. This month was no different.
I only read four books this month because I was taking part in Tome Topple, the aim of which was to read 500+ page books, so I read fewer books, but chunkier ones. I was also away for a couple of weekends, leaving me less time to read.
The books I’d planned to read this month were:
The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet
Convenience Store Woman
State of Sorrow
The Poppy War
I Am Thunder
The books I actually read were:
Strange the Dreamer // 4.5 stars // I loved this so much. It was lyrical, moving, and enchanting. Laini Taylor’s world-building is second to none and the ideas she comes up with – gods, monsters, and myths – are wonderfully imaginative. The last few chapters were heart-stopping, and the final cliffhanger left me desperate for the sequel.
I Am Thunder // 4 stars // Everyone should read this book. It’s a gripping, own voices read that gives non-Muslims an intense look at what life is like for Muslims in the UK. The depictions of Islamophobia draw on real life events and are a stark reminder of the work we’ve still got to do in the fight for equality. Muzna’s experiences of radicalisation are realistic, visceral, and at times harrowing, and her character development from a shy teen, to a strong woman is excellent. My only criticism is the slut-shaming that arose between different female characters. It didn’t add anything to the story, and went mostly unchallenged.
Karate Heat // 3 stars // I discovered this manga on Netgalley one day while searching for new titles. The first volume is a fun introduction to a new series and the budding friendship between the two protagonists is sweet, as Takumi teaches Shinya the basics of karate. The plot and dialogue lost focus at times, but the art style is pretty great and I’ll happily read the next volume when it’s translated.
Children of Blood and Bone // 4.5 stars // I put this book down for a while once I reached the halfway mark, and I honestly don’t know why. I adored it. The world-building, cultural influences, and writing are all fantastic. I love the characters, and the actions scenes are electric. My only criticism would be that sometimes things seem to happen too quickly, or with little reasoning behind them, for the sake of furthering the plot. But overall, this is a stunning read, and Tomi Adeyemi does a brilliant job of reflecting the current issues facing black people and POC in a fantasy world setting.
I’m also half way through The Poppy War and The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet, so I feel like I didn’t completely ignore last month’s TBR.
I also shared 10 tips on how to attend YALC like a boss and posted my birthday book haul, which also doubled as my June book haul. There were so many other posts I wanted to write this month, but I just ended up being too busy.
July is one of my favourite months of the year because it’s summer and it’s YALC. Here are a few things I got up to:
- At the beginning of July, I was invited to Orion’s On Tour event in Birmingham. This was a chance for their bloggers, authors, and staff to get to meet each other and to network while picking up a couple of free books. I had a fantastic time hanging out with Vicky @whatvickyread and making some new friends. The Orion team were keen for suggestions on how they could reach out more to their readers, so I left a few ideas in their suggestions box.
- During the last weekend of July, I attended YALC for the third time. I went with the wonderful Hollie @Hollieblog and Katherine @TheWritingHideout and I had THE BEST time. I’ll have a full wrap up from YALC up soon, but a few highlights were meeting Alice Oseman, Akemi Dawn Bowman, Muhammad Khan, and Becky Chambers (and getting my books signed by them), picking up ARCs of The Girl King/Girls of Paper and Fire/Tempests and Slaughter, and meeting up with old and new friends. YALC is undoubtedly my favourite book event of the year, and once again it lived up to expectations.
- I took part in Tome Topple in July, but because I work full time and do a lot of sports classes in my free time, I didn’t read many books. You can read my full wrap up, and why I ‘failed’ the readathon here.
- I bought some new vegan makeup this month (Superdrug‘s own brand ‘Revolution’ is cruelty free) and I LEARNED HOW TO CONTOUR MY FACE. Although Hollie did have to help me blend it out on the first day of YALC, when I got very overexcited with the bronzer, I think I’m getting better each time I practice.
- My boyfriend came for a spontaneous lunch date and I dragged him to Starbucks so I could have their vegan porridge, only to discover that they now do a vegan chocolate macaroon-type dessert. Who knew? Generally, I prefer going to independent cafes over chains, because they often have more vegan options, and I like supporting local businesses, but this time I just really fancied some Starbucks porridge.
- I hit 500 followers in Instagram! I was thrilled about this, as I’ve really been trying to improve my photo compositions and theme recently, and it was lovely to hit that milestone. If you’d like to follow me on IG, my handle is @readingthroughinfinity.
So, that’s it for my July. What did you get up to over the last? Did you attend any conventions or blogging events? Or read anything exciting?