Books I Read in July

Monthly Book Round-Up

The end of July is here – how is that possible?? – and with it comes the round-up of books I have read and rated for the month.

This wasn’t the most productive month for me reading-wise. We hosted my visiting-from-Florida in-laws for a week, and because of that, the majority of my completed books were read through audio (5 of 8, to be exact). There were a couple books I absolutely loved, and one I wanted to throw out a window because it was so bad. But, it was a decent month overall.


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The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I devoured this book in about three days. I listened to it on audio, and was so captivated by the story and what was going to happen next that I just had to keep listening. Even though I figured out a major plot twist halfway through, I didn’t care. I had to keep going to know exactly how things were going to play out. Also, the narrators were great, which always helps with an audiobook. This novel is the definition of a fun, beach read.


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Thanks for the Money by Joel McHale

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have loved Joel McHale since watching his goofy antics on The Soup a decade ago. He’s got a sarcastic sense of humor that I can appreciate, and he never fails to make me laugh. His book is filled to the brim with his sarcasm, which kind of gets old after awhile. I listened to this on audio, and it was fun to hear McHale’s various celebrity friends read the chapter titles. Only a someone who is a Joel McHale fan will really be able to enjoy this one.


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The River by Peter Heller

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I love Anne Bogel’s podcast What Should I Read Next, and she had been recommending and gushing about this novel for weeks (it’s also a pick for Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide). I happened to see it at the library and thought I would give it a try. With less than 300 pages, I thought I could get through it in no time… It took me over two weeks to complete it. I just couldn’t get into it. I like books with a lot of dialogue, and this book was just too prose-y for me. It was beautifully written, and very (maybe too much so?) detailed, but it just wasn’t my favorite.


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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

My Rating: ⭐️

I don’t like to use the word “hate”, so I will say I absolutely disliked this book to the core. Too many characters POVs. A lot of unnecessary storylines. Unsatisfying ending. This book was awful. I had read Hawkins’s previous novel The Girl on the Train and enjoyed it, but this novel did not enthrall me as that one did. I was for sure this was Hawkins’s debut novel because of the unevenness of the writing, and I was shocked to learn that this came out after Train. I asked about it in the Facebook group and people seem to be divided in their opinions, but I definitely wasn’t the only one left unsatisfied. Proceed with caution.


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The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This one was ok. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it was just meh. This was a Monthly Book Club pick and not a novel I would have picked up otherwise. The story was one that’s been told before with some -what can only be described as- “ick factors” thrown in. It was quite unsettling at times, but it did keep me guessing on who the killer was until the end. This was another book I listened to on audio, and the girl narrating it wasn’t my favorite. This might be better read on paper.


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The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Listening to this book was like receiving a warm hug. It was a delight to listen to a novel that was filled with friendship and creativity. Though there is a disturbing scene toward the end, it didn’t take away from this book’s wholesomeness. The narrator was excellent, speaking with expertise in English, French, and Canadian accents. Set between 1940s England and modern day, it’s a historical novel that encapsulates the much-needed post-war excitement of (then) Princess Elizabeth’s upcoming wedding. This was another Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide pick, and I’m glad I decided to read it.


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Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Another Monthly Book Club pick (the first time I’ve read all three picks for the month). I’m not much into courtroom dramas, and I would never have picked this one up on my own. But boy am I glad I did. More than just a murder mystery, this novel explores so many themes from differences in culture to parenting a child with special needs to living with the choices we make. This is Kim’s debut (she’s a trial lawyer by trade), but she writes as if she’s been putting out novels for years. A great read for thriller and contemporary fiction lovers alike.


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The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was my second time picking up this book. I had borrowed it from the library a few months ago and just didn’t have the time or patience to read it then. I decided to revisit it and downloaded the audio version this time. The story revolves around four siblings’ childhood visit to a fortune-telling gypsy who tells each of the kids the date they will die. Benjamin does a great job of exploring how knowledge can lead to untimely consequences. It was a good “thinker” novel. It’s very well written, and you can tell the Benjamin put in a lot of research behind it. However, I got a bit bored of it by the end, which is why I didn’t give it a higher rating.

 


 

What did you read this past month? Let me know in the comments!

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