Goodbye July & hello August!
I don’t know about you all, but I am ready for 2020 to be over. Am I right?
Let’s see what I read & blogged in July…
The last time I gave you all a personal update, I mentioned that we were sending our children back to school in-person…. The lie detector determined that was a lie.
As the deadline loomed over my head, we decided to select the online schooling option for our children for the first semester of school this year. We decided that the in-person schooling option was just going to be too unpredictable, thus decided on online schooling for consistency. Since I work in a library, I am not able to work from home. I needed my children to have a set schedule, so that I could adjust my work schedule around their schedule.
This decision was one of the hardest decisions I’ve made. I think every parent needs to make the decision that is best for them & their own family situation.
» The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
The City We Became is an urban fantasy that felt like an ode to New York City. While this was definitely a unique concept, this story did not grip me in the same way Jemisin’s Broken Earth series did.
» Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
LOVED this spin off of The Raven Cycle. I love Ronan so much! I listened to the audiobook (like I did with The Raven Cycle) because Will Patton’s voice suits Stiefvater’s atmospheric writing perfectly.
» Winkby Rob Harrell
Wink is a MG novel inspired by the author’s own battle with cancer. I would recommend this one to fans of Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
» Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
A book about police brutality geared for the middle grade audience. I would recommend this book to parents looking to open a dialogue about racism & police brutality with their middle grade aged kids.
» The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
Set in India, The Bridge Home is an heartbreaking tale of two sisters who ran away from an abusive home. This book punched me in the feels.
» Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
This was a steamy & highly entertaining new adult M/M romance. I’d recommend this book to fans of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.
» Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
While I wasn’t feeling this book at first, I really appreciated it by the end. I enjoyed watching Queenie’s growth over the course of this book. I’d recommend this books to fans of Normal People by Sally Rooney as they have similar tones.
» The Girl Who Drank the Moonby Kelly Barnhill
This was a reread for me. I enjoyed this just as much as the first time I read it. My criticism still stands that the climax of the story is rushed.
» My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
My Lady Jane is a historical retelling with a fantastical flare. I found this book to be highly entertaining.
» Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld
This was just an okay read for me. I loved that this was a re-imagining of Hilary Clinton’s life, and I enjoyed watching her climb the political ladder. Unfortunately, it was slow paced, boring at parts, and was just WAY too long.
» Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestorby Layla F. Saad
The second book off my anti-racist TBR. This book is excellent for self reflection since it is set up as a 28 day challenge with reflection questions at the end of each chapter.
» The Last Council (Amulet #4) by Kazu Kibuishi
Another wonderful installment to the Amulet series.
» Blended by Sharon M. Draper
Goodreads Challenge Update: 84 books in 2020
NetGalley ARC eBooks:
» The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) by R.F. Kuang
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Release Date: November 19, 2020
The exciting end to The Poppy War trilogy, R. F. Kuang’s acclaimed, award-winning epic fantasy that combines the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating, enthralling effect.
After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead.
Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much—the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges—and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation.
Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it?
This is one of my most anticipated books of 2020, so I am beyond thrilled that I was approved for this ARC!!
» On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.
On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.
» Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai
In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hằng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. In a split second, Linh is ripped from her arms—and Hằng is left behind in the war-torn country.
Six years later, Hằng has made the brutal journey from Việt Nam and is now in Texas as a refugee. She doesn’t know how she will find the little brother who was taken from her until she meets LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams, who decides to help her.
Hằng is overjoyed when she reunites with Linh. But when she realizes he doesn’t remember her, their family, or Việt Nam, her heart is crushed. Though the distance between them feels greater than ever, Hằng has come so far that she will do anything to bridge the gap.
» A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan
Amy Rebecca Tan’s debut novel is a heartwarming middle grade coming-of-age story about the power of community, the power of the library, and the power of forgiveness.
Jamie Bunn made a mistake at the end of the school year. A big one. And every kid in her middle school knows all about it. Now she has to spend her summer vacation volunteering at the local library—as punishment. It may be boring, but at least she’ll be able to hide from mean girl Trina, who’s always had it out for her, and beautiful Trey, the boy at the root of her big mistake.
Or so she thinks.
Not only does her job bring her face-to-face with both her mortal enemy and her ultimate crush, Jamie also encounters a territorial patron, an elderly movie fanatic, a super-tall painter who loves to bake, and a homeless dog. Over the course of the summer, as Jamie gets to know the library and the people in it, she finds—and gives—help where she least expects it.
And she just might find herself along the way.
» The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this wry, gritty novel from the author of When I Was the Greatest.
Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. She’s got a crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away.
Which books did you read this month?
Have you read any of the books I read or hauled this month? If so, what did you think?
Did you buy any books? If so, which ones?
Comment below & let me know 🙂