July was one of those very bookish months (not that I’m complaining in the slightest). With both YALC, and a glorious lack of exams, July is pretty much the peak time in the YA community. In total I read ten books this month, and I was lucky enough to enjoy all ten of them (some more than others, of course. That’s just how it goes).
At the beginning of the month I read Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt, which I absolutely adored. Part of me wishing that the book was longer, but I also felt that the story was incredibly poignant and benefited from being shorter.
Next I read 1984 by George Orwell whilst on holiday in Spain – I know, it’s hardly a typical poolside read, but I loved loved loved this book. I thought it was so amazingly written, and I found Winston’s world equal parts fancinating and terrifying. This is definitely a book that will stay with me for a long time, and I feel as if I need to read it again and again to get as much as possible out of it.
I next read The Lonliest Girl In The Universe by Lauren James. I have to admit that I did not love this book as much as I thought I would (simply because there has been so much hype), but I still really enjoyed it. I think the story was really original, and of course Lauren James has fantastic writing. It sort of changed genre midway through the book, which had the potential to not work at all, but in this book it was perfect.
Next I started on another classic – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I already knew I would enjoy this, as I knew I liked the story after watching the movie (the one with Keira Knightley). But I did not think I would fall in love with this book so completely. It was so entertaining, and adorable in a way I did not expect; it was perfect. If you’re wanting to start reading more classics, I would really recommend this one!
After this, I decided it was time to get stuck into my YALC TBR in the run up to the convention. So I started with what felt like the most fitting book – Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt. This book was all kinds of cute. It reminded me of those books about boybands (where the main character is basically the only girl on the planet not in love with the lead singer), except about books. Wonderful, I know. And obviously I’m not a conventions kid, but I loved the way Maggie described the life of one; this really got me in the mood for the rest of my YALC reading and preparation!
I then went on to read Freshers by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen, which I found both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. And hilarious – I was literally doubled over laughing at times. I loved how Luke, one of the two main characters, was so flawed, to the point where I kind of disliked him a lot of the time, as it felt very realistic; the whole story in general just felt like it was filling me with tips on what (and what not) to do at university (I also got my copy of Freshers signed at YALC, and both of them were absolutely lovely)!
Following Freshers, I went for a darker YA on my TBR: After the Fire by Will Hill. This book. Wow. This was so hard-hitting, and emotional, and I was utterly gripped from start to finish. As a reader, there was the perfect balance between intrigue at the psychology behind the characters, and empathy for their struggles – it was simply incredible.
Wing Jones by Katherine Webber. This book has been on my TBR since the start of the year, and I am so delighted that I finally read it. Wing is now one of my favourite characters ever, and everything about this book (the plot, the characters, everything) was magical. I won’t gush too much, as I have a full review coming soon, but I truly did adore this.
The Thursday before YALC began, I spent the day reading The Graces by Laure Eve – there was something really enchanting about this book. Admittedly, I struggled to connect with the main character, but I feel that Laure Eve created a brilliant atmosphere, and the story was so intriguing. There’s also going to be a sequel, which is very exciting!
Lastly, this month I read The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (as part of my classical summer reading!) – I enjoyed this, and I especially liked the fairytale element to it. The Bloody Chamber is a collection of short stories, and it’s a really interesting mix; there are some which are blatant retelling, and some more abstract interpretations of fairytales. This took me slightly longer than I expected to read, but I’ll put that down to me being very busy at YALC at the end of the month!
I really loved my reading this month – it felt really varied, and I read more of what I loved as well as dabbling in some new-to-me genres. I hope to enjoy my August reading as much, and enjoy the rest of the summer!