Book Update: July (I read scary stuffs)

Hey Happy Bookworms!

July was the month when I was overcome with the desire to scare myself out of my skin. Why? I hear you ask – welcome to my constant refusal to accept that summer is a thing and my desire to live in perpetual autumn! It’s nice to have you here 😉
Ironically the way library holds work I’m most likely going to read all my spooky books next month when I’m ready to move onto something else (irony is so funnn *screaming intensifies*)

I also learnt a valuable lesson this month: I have to start vetting my books more. *sighs* I read some truly terrible books this month that have been on my TBR for ages, from random periods of my life where I just decided to have no taste for a while & just outdated ones from the beginning of my account, the books I always say I’ll get to & I don’t. Well there’s a reason for that. My subconscious knows I won’t like them WHY CAN’T I LISTEN??
Anyway I’m rechecking synopses, reading my friends’ reviews or at least looking at their ratings, & trying to focus mainly on books I really want to read.

I’m not even gonna pretend these are mini reviews anymore.

*All reviews will be spoiler free because otherwise it’s not really helpful to anyone (unless otherwise stated)
*🧸children’s 🍿YA 💼Adult
*🌠 means that I got an e-copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review

💼 Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

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This took me a while to get into & used to the writing style but I really enjoyed it! It was creative & different and did an incredible job of making us scared of a fantasy (I was terrified for my non-existent babies) Overall I loved the atmosphere but like most people, needed a bit more clarity on the end because I think there were some inconsistencies.

I liked the constant mystery of is Lauren telling the truth or is she hallucinating? (It’s clear she’s suffering from postnatal depression either way) And how we saw the story through 2 perspectives which helped argue both ways. I’m impressed by how well their characters were built up for a horror book *I definitely approve*
I would have liked Harper to have interacted with Lauren more, especially at the end (and why did she act like they were bffs when I don’t see why Lauren would trust her really??)

*this para is spoilers* And I would have liked the ending to be cleared up a little bit: it’s revealed that Lauren voices the lady in the hospital (is she possessed? 🤔 <– what I’m guessing happened??) also if the nurse saw a patient when the video skipped wouldn’t she still have reacted? It was the middle of the night.
And Harper believes that Lauren made it all up (but what does she think about the singing she heard?) I believe that Lauren’s story was true so…what’s up with the whole hospital thing? ALSO WHY DIDN’T THEY TELL US THE BABIES’ EYE COLOUR AT THE END???
Andddd the last bit about what Patrick’s hiding?? Like is it just his affair? Or is it more??

🍿 Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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I FINALLY READ IT! This was so so so adorable! It was funny & light and just a cute quick read to pick up.

Also I’m really proud of myself – I guessed who Blue was almost immediately idk I just had a hunch 😅

A couple details were a bit rushed and a bit random (that music list in the music room??) and Simon’s friends were a bit weird sometimes, I feel like they all overreacted a lot and were quite awkward around each other 🤷‍♀️ I think the book tried to cover a lot and so the story was stretched a bit thin but I appreciated the author trying to give all the side characters actual backstories.

Now to watch the movie! (just give me another 5 years to do so 😅)

🍿 Stolen by Lucy Christopher


I’m not sure what I was expecting when going into this but it wasn’t…this.

This is kinda a confusing one to review. It’s obviously not your typical book but I found it fascinating.
It didn’t make me feel too strongly either way but I just really enjoyed it? Idk it’s hard to explain. It’s just a really unique & interesting perspective into kidnappings & isolation 🤷‍♀️

💼🌠 Here Is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan

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Well for her first stab at adult books I thought it went pretty well.

The writing tone reminded me of Sally Rooney’s normal people and the themes of the book were pretty similar too so chances are if you liked that, you’ll like this, or vice versa.

But the book itself was a little confusing, normally I love Sarah Crossan’s writing style but this time it was very difficult to keep track of the timeline, making me mix up the order of events. Also to keep straight all the characters, who often weren’t introduced in the typical way & you were just left to guess at who they probably were. And I must say the whole ‘you’ thing tripped me up a couple of times. I’ve read books in the 2nd person before & normally it takes some getting used to but the fact that this kept swapping between different persons really messed me up.

But all in all this was pretty enjoyable; read it in a couple of hours & cried (but then I am an emotional bean so what did we expect?)

Pub date: 20th August

🍿 The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter


I have another post coming on this but just know this was an extremely problematic book & to not read it. (Review & quotes here)

🍿 Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton


This is gonna be a Netflix series & boy does it show. 😒
It has SO MUCH drama like crazy sitcom reality TV drama with secret dads & a crazed revenge plot. Basically all the family drama you could ever think of & then add a little more (no one was safe)

And honestly? It was just too long – it didn’t get good until like halfway through & the first half just felt childish. A guilt read like this should not be this long. Speaking of; WHY ON EARTH IS THIS A SERIES???

My favourite character was of course Bette because I love me the queen bee of the story as they’re the only remotely interesting people. June was occasionally fun but Gigi was the floppiest character ever (I just hate overly positive people like that, they annoy the heck out of me) AND ALEC he did a full 180 reaalll quick if I was Gigi I wouldn’t trust him any further than I could throw him smh. Will was the snakiest person ever 🐍 👀 and wtf was Henri’s character? 😂 But I liked him he was interesting, kept you on your toes. 

💼 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


When I first read this I was quite young, probably too young. I knew what it was meant to mean & so I experienced it through a kind of second hand account I guess.
I appreciated it so much more the second time; I understood so much more, I felt so much more & I can fully accept this as the literary masterpiece it is.

🍿 Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins


A buddy read with the lovely Amber who made this hilarious with me 😂

trash trash trashidy trash

Perfect for a buddy read yes, but a great piece of literature no. (Polar opposite to the handmaid’s tale above 😅)

What can I say about this? Not a lot really happened – I guess because this is a series (god forbid) this was more set up than anything else?
It surprised me in a lot of ways through – it dealt with so many serious topics! 😱 definitely shocking for YA in 2012 so kudos for that I guess 👏

The British rep though like can we not? 🤦‍♀️ 100% the author googled British slang & played ‘how many of these can we randomly fit in’ AND THEN because there obviously wasn’t enough embarrassment let’s add 2 more brits in ~woo~
The kicker is the other characters had to then explain what the heck they were going on about 😅
It was honestly so god awful – Kai is meant to be a teenage boy with a posh upbringing & just no.

And Anna was such a weird character? She’s SUPER religious (I’ve never seen a book shove a religion in your face quite as much as this) but then she turns, I don’t even know, I guess we’ll go with faux party girl?
*shots shots shots*

This book is based largely in Christian ideology but probably wouldn’t even appeal to Christians? Idk the creepy gargoyle spirits might be your thing 🤷‍♀️
So as a non-Christian it was a lot but as a Christian it probably would have been weird? (AKA you can’t win)

…Also whoever Janelle’s husband Jimmy is there is a special place in hell for all your drummer jokes.

Later I came up with this joke which I was pretty proud of:
How many drummers does it take to change a lightbulb?
Probably a lot because of how dim they are 
So am I as bad as Janelle’s husband Jimmy? Yes, yes I am & no regrets.

💼 And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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So my brain decided to remember who did it from watching the BBC version 5 YEARS AGO ✌

But apart from that I loved it!
I guess it was interesting reading it & knowing who it was because I could pick up on everything you’d miss the first time but I would have loved to experience reading it for real (alas my book memory is apparently superhuman)

SUCH a clever book & concept though, actually loved the writing style (which was what I was a little worried about going into this) and can’t wait to read more Agatha Christie!

🍿 The Lost Sisters by Holly Black

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The idea of perspective has always intrigued me so I love reading things like this where we get to see an account from another character.

*Slight the cruel prince spoilers?*

Honestly it’s been too long since I read the original series; the hatred of Taryn & Locke has worn off and I only have a blurred memory for a point of reference of the events.

The first point worked in my favour because I’ve always quite liked Taryn & at the very least understood her & probably related to her. I remember when I first realised this book was a thing & refused to read it because why would I want to spend any time on such a betrayal? But eventually it worked it’s way into my TBR & here we are 50 pages later (yes it really is that short) and it was…incredible? There is a specific style of writing that I love that is very self aware and explorative and this had that.

The second point however worked against me & if this were any longer, probably hindered my enjoyment a lot. As this is written as a letter to Jude (and obviously you are expected to read it quite closely after the first book) there is little to no explanation of any of the main events so I was pretty lost & had to do some quick googling (praise be fan explanations & recaps 🙌)

Conclusion: don’t wait years to read it like I did but don’t read it when you’re still bitter

Have you read any of these? Plan to? Tell me all!

My sourdough monopoly is taking hold! I made my mum read it & she liked it 🙂

Also thank you so much Abi @ Scribbles & Stories for the book blooger nomination! (Another of my recs she’s amazing 😉)

25 thoughts on “Book Update: July (I read scary stuffs)

  1. xoxlucy says:

    We’re calling it! I have though the exact same thing so, When Tiny Pretty Things becomes a show we were the first to say it 😂lol
    Honestly I came with high expectations for that book and just hated the drama and the characters. It was a big oof for me!
    Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens is such a sweet book! Gosh I’m feeling nostalgic!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chana @ Paper Procrastinators says:

    Aah, I totally relate to having to vet your TBR more! I mean at this point I’ve just accepted that I will read anything and some of it *may* end up being trash 😪 Honestly, I liked the Love, Simon movie more than I did the book! (I feel like this is blasphemous to say as a book lover, but oh well). Maybe that’ll encourage you to watch the movie earlier 😂

    I hope you have a great August! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      I lined up some really great books I’m excited for this month but then I got a bunch of recs that have slightly derailed that plan 😂
      Yes! I’ve heard so many people say that & I’m so excited to watched the movie (and the sequel right? God, shows how late I am that they filmed a whole other movie in the time) I would be screaming bloody murder right now but I preferred the crazy rich Asians movie to the book so we can be sinners together 🤜🤛

      You too! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Abi @ Scribbles and Stories says:

    I can definitely relate to needing to vet your TBR – though I’m actually terrible at doing it! I regularly go through and take books off my TBR but I always seem to leave ones on just because I saw them recommended by some person I don’t even remember 😂

    Congrats on getting through so many books, hopefully the books you read in August will be better quality! Also, I just found Sourdough on the ebook service I use, so I’ll be reading it soon 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      My TBR has become so long now that going through it is so time consumingggg but that’s the exact reason I need to go through it 😂
      I keep struggling with the concept that it should be books I really really want to read not just books that are meh I might like them 🤦‍♀️

      OMGGGGG I’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU 😂 bear in mind it’s quite a different writing style but it’s so worth it! 👌

      Liked by 1 person

  4. KK says:

    Ooh well first of all congratulations for getting your mum to read sourdough!! i applaud you. i’m yet to read it but one day my dear El, one day. Ah yes I’m missing autumn too. give it another month and we’ll be back to the best season of the year so rest assure. Oh *adds Here is the Beehive to her tbr*. Idk i might give The Lost Sisters a try but we shall see. And I’m glad Stolen is long gone. it will not be missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Awww you don’t miss mr creepy kidnapper guy? Sad.
      Yessss but autumn also means school 😖 and I’m not prepared to talk about that yet.
      The lost sisters was only 50 pages so if you can get it at your library or as an ebook then it’ll literally take an hour to read 🤷‍♀️


  5. Amber says:

    Ah I need to start vetting books too 😭 I just end up reading books that I know aren’t even for me just to read them like life is too short for that 😅 The only book I recognise here is Sweet Evil, thanks so much for buddy reading with me on that! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Yessss like i’m not even in the mood for them?? I think the main problem is my library has them so I’m like why not BUT THAT’S NOT GOOD
      Hehe it was actually great we should definitely do another one again sometime! 💞

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amber says:

        Yes exactly!! I totally get you, we have to change this mindset 😂 I’m trying t crack on with my desperate TBR but my library literally has none of the books there *sigh* 😫 It so was and for sure!! I’d love to 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Maybe it’s a lot more fun than I thought 👀
      Ugh that sucks hope you didn’t get stuck reading something awful instead – and then there were none is great though 10000% recommend

      Liked by 1 person

  6. beckythemothling says:

    I totally feel you on vetting books 😑 I can’t tell you how many books I read where I KNEW I wouldn’t like them and then I read them and *surprised pikachu face* I didn’t like them!

    I haven’t read any Agatha Christie yet, but I want to! Her books sound cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      I keep tricking myself into thinking I’ll like trashy books…and unsurprisingly I don’t 😅 Like you can get good romance in normal books what am I doing??

      It was actually SO GOOD! It didn’t drag at all & was actually quite quick so definitely recommend! I’m planning on reading some more in the next couple of months 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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