Tuesday, August 12, 2014

July 2014 Recap: Favorite Reads + Updates

July was over a couple of weeks ago, and I am finally ready to post the month's recap. It was a really good reading month with five highly recommended reads, two of them top reads. But as you will see below, the rest are not too bad at all.

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Total Books Read: 18 (4 rereads) 
 Contemporary Romance: 4
 Historical: 3 (Romance/Fiction)
 Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 6
 Urban Fantasy: 1
 LGBT: 4 (Spec Fic/Thriller, Contemporary fiction/romance, M/M Romance & Mystery)

Top Reads of the Month:


My two top reads of the month, although different, kept me at the edge of my seat. Lee Thomas' Butcher's Road, a historical crime thriller with speculative fiction elements, is so fast-paced and edgy that it spoiled my reading momentum for a few days -- I kept looking for another great shot of adrenaline just like it and couldn't find it. I ended up rereading a favorite book afterward before picking up another new read. World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters, a pre-apocalyptic mystery, had the same effect on me for different reasons. The end of a great trilogy, this book's main character, his journey through a pre-apocalyptic world, and the questions he asks through the mysteries he solves, stayed with me for a long while. The last page of this book is just. . .

1)  Butcher's Road by Lee Thomas: A-
2)  World of Trouble (The Last Policeman III) by Ben H. Winters: A-

In July, the B+ reads are all highly recommended. In My Favorite Uncle, I loved Marshall Thornton's excellent writing along with the wit and depth, while in The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine the historical fiction, setting, characters, and atmosphere kept me thoroughly engaged. In Seduced by Molly O'Keefe on the other hand, I loved for the gritty presentation of the characters' post-civil war struggles and the redemptive qualities found in the romance.

3)  My Favorite Uncle by Marshall Thornton: B+
4)  The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine: B+
5)  Seduced by Molly O'Keefe: B+

In the B grouping, there are more solid B's than mixed bags. Of the B books reviewed, Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique and Only Love Garrett Leigh are both strong reads with either solid plotting and/or writing style, characters, and atmosphere that do not let the reader down. And while The Iron King by Julie Kagawa falls under this category with a fantastic world-building and a young adult romance that I believe young adults will enjoy, that same romance was not entirely satisfactory for me personally. I will be reviewing the remaining books soon.

6)  Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews: B
7)  Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique: B
8)  The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa: B
9)  Only Love by Garrett Leigh: B
10) Mr. Right Goes Wrong by Pamela Morsi: B-
11) Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins: B-

My C list is quite short this month. Dissonance is another young adult fantasy piece with an intriguing world-building and a great mystery that kept me reading. Unfortunately the majority of characters are tough to like and the young adult romance that takes center stage did not work for me at all. And unfortunately, although the story in I Want to Hold Your Hand has its highs and positives, I just did not buy the happy ever after, making it a highly frustrating romance read.

12) Dissonance (Dissonance #1) by Ericka O'Rourke: C+
13) I Want to Hold Your Hand by Marie Force: C-

I had a fantastic rereading month in July since all the books I chose are favorite A and B+ reads. All my rereads were highly enjoyed, however, I miss reading good historical romances and Duchess by Night was a treat. I'm also craving mysteries at the moment, so Fair Game was the perfect choice.

Favorite rereads:
14) Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
15) Duchess by Night (Desperate Duchesses #2) by Eloisa James 
16) Countdown City (The Last Policeman II) by Ben H. Winters
17) Fair Game by Josh Lanyon

To be reviewed at a later time:
18) In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

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That is it for July 2014. I'm already deep into my August summer reads, and will try to keep up with my updates. Mysteries, mysteries and more mysteries, I'm craving mysteries. :)


6 comments:

  1. Aarrghhh - stupidly closed the tab and lost my comment!

    I asked if you were going to review MAGIC BREAKS? I finished it the other day and while I liked it, I didn't fall in love with it and am trying to figure out exactly why...

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    1. Li, I am going to review Magic Breaks. I read the book almost as soon as it released and I also liked it, but it I don't think it is one of the best books of the series. There are a few elements missing from this installment, and I do believe that the fact that the authors received a contract for 3 more books made a different in its execution. After all it's not the expected end, right?

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    2. Interesting thought! Yes, it was unexpected, but I guess they now have more room to play around with the resolution...

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    3. I agree. They have a slew of options and I'm curious as to the direction they will take.

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  2. Pretty good month you had there Hils! For me too, July was good :)

    I wonder what grade you gave In Your Dreams. I read Waiting On You and liked it quite a lot. But early buzz for In Your Dreams doesn't seem to be as good :(

    Can't wait for your review of Magic Breaks!

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    1. Nath, I'm relieved that my concentration is back! The first half of the year was tough on both reading and reviewing. Hopefully I'm back on the horse. :)

      In Your Dreams is out in September, I just read it early, but I will let you know how it is. I haven't read any of the buzz. I liked Waiting On You too with some niggles here and there. And, I'm working on my review for Magic Breaks now, so soon! :)

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