July 2020 Wrap Up

Hello all! I'd like to take this time to document and reflect on all the reading I had completed in the month of July. It's been an interesting month for me. Work is back in full-swing, so I have had far less time to read in comparison to past months. Also, I think I'm finally getting into a groove with this blog, and becoming comfortable with my time management. I believe now is a great time to start analyzing my habits from month to month, and sharing all of my great bookish-experiences with you!

Now, let's look at some stats!

Overall Stats

Total Books Read: 9

Total Pages Read: 2,391

Average Book Length: 266 pages

Range of Publishing Years Read From: 1963-2020

Star Ratings

1 Star: 0

2 Stars: 0

3 Stars: 2

4 Stars: 5

5 Stars: 2

Average Star Rating: 4

Buying Habits

Number of Books Purchased: 4

ARCs Received: 2

Miscellaneous Goals

Readathon Participation: The Reading Rush

Self-Destruct Books Read (to date): 0/6

Goodreads Goal (to date): 58/80

Books Read in July

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

(Link to Full Review) | 3 Stars

In the heat of World War 1, Sophie Lefèvre has come to know German occupation, hunger, and fear as normalities in her French hometown. Though all around her life seems bleak, she yearns for the day her husband comes home from the war, and life can go on normally again. When the new Kommandant forces Sophie and her sister to provide meals for the soldiers, a portrait by her husband becomes her silent rebellion. Unfortunately, when the Kommandant lays eyes on this portrait, his reaction is far from Sophie's intentions in its display.

Almost 100 years later, Olivia Halston admires Sophie's portrait on her bedroom wall. Similarly to Sophie, the painting has become a beacon of hope and memories of a loved one. The painting was a wedding gift from Olivia's husband just before his untimely death. While navigating her grief and strife, she finds herself thrown into an unlikely court battle to save her most valuable possession: Sophie's portrait, The Girl You Left Behind.

Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes

Prequel Novella | 4 Stars

This prequel to The Girl You Left Behind allows the readers an inside look into the romances our two main protagonists were involved in prior to the events of the novel. Similarly to how Sophie and Liv's experiences are parallel in their storylines throughout The Girl, Moyes further explores this concept as we follow the two couples on their respective honeymoons. We see how our main characters struggle to adjust to marriage, and tackle their own personal battles against jealousy, ego, isolation, and rapid changes.

The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming

Book 10 in Series | 4 Stars

In contrast to previous James Bond Thrillers, the readers follow Vivienne Michel, a young woman struggling to escape a former life. Vivienne runs from her demons on a moped expedition through America. A quick stop at a motel off of the back roads proves to be a potentially fatal stay, as the motel houses two cold-blooded killers. Though Vivienne's many attempts of escape fail, she has not lost hope. A charismatic English man, known to us as James Bond, has entered the scene.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Book 2 in Series | 5 Stars

Following the catastrophic events of Scythe, Rowan has taken on a new identity against the Scythdom, Citra struggles to embody her new life as Scythe Anastasia, the tension within the Scythedom is mounting, and a diabolical plot against some beloved characters ensues.

Thunderhead explores the truly unique world Shusterman has designed. It answers many of the burning questions we have about this immortal society and its structure.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Prequel Novel | 3 Stars

Who was Coriolanus Snow before his infamous stint as President Snow of Panem?

On the day of the 10th annual reaping, the Hunger Games is kicked off with a new twist. Twenty-four Capitol students have been hand-picked to act as mentors to the Hunger Games' tributes. Coriolanus knows he is destined for greatness as a descendant of the illustrious house of Snow. However, he finds himself knocked down several pegs and chosen as the candidate for the District 12 girl. The position is not only humiliating, but promises to end the prestige of his family's name. Coriolanus must end up on top in order to win the prize money that will save his family from ruin.

Everland by Wendy Spinale

Link to Full Review | 4 Stars

This story takes us to another world; a mirror of our own. At the peak of a steampunk revolution, the corrupt queen of Germany rains bombs and terror upon England. The destruction of an English laboratory releases a crippling virus that decimates the adults in the country. The children that remain must fend for themselves, while searching for a cure for the virus they are no longer resistant to. Also searching for the cure, is Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer. He knows the cure belongs within the blood of one of the surviving children, and will do whatever it takes to find that cure, and return home-no matter how brutal the job may be.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

4 Stars

Jack Worthing and his dear friend, Algernon, have both wooed and fallen in love with young ladies. However, they have each introduced themselves under the name "Earnest." When the two women, Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax, meet at Jack Worthing's estate, they believe they are in love with and promised to the same man. The two jealously outraged women are soon joined by the posing men. The following events are pure pandemonium.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

4 Stars

In groundbreaking use of genetic engineering, dinosaur DNA has not only been extracted, but replicated. A multi-millionaire madman then uses this DNA to create a resort-style theme park filled to the brim with dinosaurs.

Of course, nothing about this plan seems inherently wrong to anyone, and some paleontologists, a mathematician, and two children are invited to tour the island. There is absolutely no such thing as Chaos Theory, none of the dinosaurs break free, no one dies, and absolutely everything runs without a hitch.

Sorry, I was looking at the wrong book....

Yeah, everything goes to hell.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Link to Full Review | 5 Stars

Eleanor Oliphant is exceptionally detail-oriented, unsocialized, and frank. Her awkwardness knows no bounds, in only the best ways (for a reader's entertainment) possible. Her rigid life is shaken up one day as the unhygienic IT guy from her office latches on to her, and begins to walk with her towards their respective homes. They stumble across Sammy, an elderly man who takes a tumble and lands unconscious. This chance meeting brings the three unlikely people together in an intense and unique triangle of friendships. It's with their love and support that Eleanor comes to confront her own demons and societal struggles after a lifetime of running from them.