July Reading Round-Up

July Round Up.jpg

*This post contains affiliate links. 

I had a huge batch of library books I'd requested come in all at once in July - so almost any plans I had for reading went out the window as I read all my library books! Which, ended up being great because there were so many great ones. However, I was slightly stingy on giving any a full 5 stars. 

Some notes on how I do wrap ups:  I rate books on a 1-5 star scale. (1= worst book ever why did I read this?; 2= did not enjoy; 3= this was good!; 4= I really liked it! 5= OMG LOVED THIS IT'S THE BEST EVER!) For the most part, you're going to see 3-5 star ratings from me and not a lot of negative simply because if I don't like a book, I'm not going to finish it.


That Could Be Enough* by Alyssa Cole

  • Genre: Historical Romance Novella (#ownvoices)
  • Format:  ebook
  • Rating:  3.5 stars

Quick Summary:  A servant in Eliza Hamilton's household meets and falls for a flirtatious dressmaker. 

I discovered Alyssa Cole earlier this year and when I heard she had a F/F romance novella inspired by Hamilton, I knew I had to get it! This novella takes place after A.Ham's death and a servant in his household is helping Eliza gather stories about him. 

I loved the opposites attract and the throw back to Hamilton! (So many references to the musical!)

You'll like this book if you also enjoy:  Hamilton, F/F romance, historical fiction/romance, opposites attract

Trigger warnings:  I can't remember a lot of them, I feel like there's reference to child abuse/abandonment/poverty. There might be some mild violence. 

My Lady's Choosing* by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris

  • Genre:  Historical Choose Your Own Adventure Romance
  • Format:  Library Paperback
  • Rating:  4.5 Stars

Quick Summary:  Become a penniless (yet very appealing) young woman in Regency England and choose form countless romantic love interests and adventures. 

I wish I had taken my time with this book! It's a choose your own adventure, and SO FUN! When I picked it up one night (not long before it was due back at the library) I thought it would be a fun quick read. I'd choose one path to go on, then go back and quickly skim the other couple options. 

Um... WRONG. 

This book will take you several sit downs to get through even half of the options it gives you! There's four "main" roads you can go down, but each of them has an uncountable amount of directions they can go! (Yes, F/F are options!) If I could go back, I'd have taken my time and chosen one path each day the whole time I had the book so I could experience as many as possible.

It's also completely hilarious and makes fun of all of the classic romance novel tropes which made it even better!

You'll like this book if you also enjoy:  choose your own adventure, historical romance, paranormal romance, gothic romance, F/F romance, Scottish romance, humorous books, making fun of romance books

Trigger warnings:  There are references to poverty, fire, sexual assault, and violence. 

Trail of Lightning* (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

  • Genre:  Urban Fantasy (#ownvoices)
  • Format:  Library Hardcover
  • Rating: 4.5 Stars

Quick Summary:  A monster hunter investigates recent disappearances caused by a supernatural monster and enlists the help of a young medicine man. 

This book was so fantastic. I'd heard a lot of people getting excited for this #ownvoices Native American urban fantasy and it did not disappoint! There were so many twists and turns, I loved our heroine, Maggie, as well as Kai, and it was a gritty look at an alternate universe/post apocalyptic America where Native Americans take the spotlight.

The only reason I didn't give it a full 5 stars was because there were a lot of times I had a hard time following the plot and had to go "wait... what's going on?"

You'll like this book if you also enjoy:  While it's not exactly the same genre, I can see fans of The Nevernight Chronicles enjoying this book, as well as fans of other urban fantasy series like Kate Daniels.

Trigger warnings:  This book is very violent and intense, so not for the feint of heart! Violence, child abuse and death, murder, (I think) sexual assault. Basically, every trigger warning ever. 

The Calculating Stars* (Lady Astronauts #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal

  • Genre:  Historical Science-Fiction
  • Format:  Library Paperback
  • Rating:  4.5 Stars

Quick Summary:  Elma wishes to be one of the first lady astronauts after a meteorite hits the USA and the danger of Earth being uninhabitable looms in the future. 

I went from one outstanding book to the next! I've only read three of Mary Robinette Kowal's books so far - and this most definitely my favorite yet! 

It's a sci-fi, but has more of the feel of a historical novel. Elma and her husband are the ultimate relationship goals and I am IN LOVE with them. You have and awesome and diverse group of female pilots, mathematicians, and scientists. There's discussion about mental illness, racism, and sexism. The research Kowal did for the time period, the math, piloting, and NASA is absolutely incredible!

The only reason it didn't get a full five stars from me is because there were moments I felt the story was dragging. 

You'll like this book if you also enjoy:  Hidden Figures, historical fiction, space, awesome/happy/healthy marriages, women in STEM

Trigger warnings:  racism, sexism, anxiety, references to sexual assault and suicidal thoughts, plane crashes, survival

Since You've Been Gone* by Morgan Matson

  • Genre:  Young Adult Contemporary
  • Format:  ebook
  • Rating: 4.5 Stars

Quick Summary:  Emily's BFF mysteriously moves away, but leaves behind a summer bucket list for Emily to complete. 

After reading a few more intense books, it was time for something a bit more light hearted. I've had Since You've Been Gone sitting on my Kindle app for literally years, and decided it was high time I read it. (And yes, I did have the song by Kelly Clarkson in my head each time I picked it up.) This was the perfect fun summer read!

I loved Emily's journey of figuring out who she was without her best friend, facing her fears, making new friends, and making mistakes. I loved her parents who were playwrights and I wished there was more to that story line! This was also a great balance between friendship and romance, where one didn't seem to overpower the other. I'm so glad I picked it up and I can't wait to read Matson's other books!

You'll like this book if you also enjoy:  Other fun YA contemporaries like Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell, shy characters coming out of their shells, bucket lists, theatre people, summer, sweet romance

Trigger warnings:  abandonment, drinking, horses

Slaying It (Chicagoland Vampires 13.5)* by Chloe Neill

  • Genre:  Urban Fantasy Novella
  • Format:  ebook
  • Rating:  3 stars

Quick Summary:  (If you don't want spoilers for the series - skip ahead to the next book review.) Merit is very pregnant and is almost kidnapped by another vampire.

I was so excited when I heard Neill was writing a final Ethan/Merti novella while Merit was pregnant! I was super bummed we didn't get to see her during that time in the final book and knew it would be great! But... this wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was more about Jonah than it was about Ethan/Merit. Which, I did appreciate seeing his story get wrapped up more. But, I still really wanted to see Ethan and Merit. It was still fun though, and I'm anxious for the first book in her spin-off series!

You'll like this book if you also enjoy:  Chicagoland Vampires, learning more about Jonah, novellas, vampires

Trigger warnings:  almost-kidnapping, reference to past emotional/physical abuse in a romantic relationship

If I Fix You* by Abigail Johnson

  • Genre:  Young Adult Contemporary
  • Format:  Library Paperback
  • Rating:  4.5 Stars

Quick Summary:  Jill is the only one who knows the real reason her mother left and struggles to deal with the aftermath the months after. 

This book came as a pleasant surprise! Abigail Johnson was a guest on Mindy' McGinnis' podcast, Writer Writer Pants on Fire, a couple of weeks ago and I just loved her interview! (Also, she's a disabled writer and while her books aren't #ownvoices, I'm all for supporting other disabled writers like myself!) I requested her debut book from my library and it was available almost immediately.

It was a fast read, but also intense. There are some big and serious themes in this book, some of which I expected and others I didn't. I was completely swept up by it and loved the characters and seeing how Jill navigated her life after her mom left. I also loved her friends and her dad!

You'll like this book if you also enjoy:  Mindy McGinnis books - they have the same knack for gritty YA that grapple tough topics, girl mechanics, boy next door trope, bad boys trope

Trigger warnings:  divorce, spouse and child abuse (emotional and physical), neglect, really top notch awful parenting, sexual assault

Currently Reading:

Queen of Shadows* (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J Maas

  • Genre:  Young Adult Fantasy
  • Format:  Hardcover

Quick Summary:  Our heroine returns to the empire to rescue her friends, family, and people, as well as for vengeance for all she's lost. 

With all of my library books I wasn't able to get to QOS as soon as I liked! But I should have it done in the next couple days.

Brief Cases (The Dresden Files 15.1)* by Jim Butcher

  • Genre:  Urban Fantasy Short Story Collection
  • Format:  Library Hardcover

Even when I do finish this book, technically I never finished it because I decided to skip some of the short stories because either I'd already read it, or I just didn't have intrest in that particular character or story.

This was a fun compliation, and I particularly am enjoying the Big Foot stories. But, it just makes me want Peace Talks more. Butcher is pulling a George RR Martin on Dresden Files fans and I'm like "JUST WRITE THE BOOK ALREADY."

Love over Lattes (Desert Monsoon #1)* by Diana A. Hicks

  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Format:  ebook

Quick Summary:  A young mom and college graduate falls for the guy she's been eyeing at the coffee shop - who also happens to offer to be her landlord when she's in need of a place to live. 

This book has been sitting on my Kindle app (along with many others) for several months, and I needed something to occupy my time while sitting at the hair salon waiting for my hair to dry. So, I pulled out my phone and started this one. I've only read the first few chapters but it's cute so far!


What have you all been reading in July? What are some of your favorite genres to read in the summer? Do you have the same problem as me where you'll put holds on a ton of library books thinking they'll come in gradually but they all arrive at once?

Like what you read? Consider buying me a coffee.

If you like YA, check out this promotion from Barnes and Noble!*