Hi everybody, and welcome to my July wrap up!
July has been one of those weird months. I feel like I didn’t get a lot done in July, but when I look back at the books I read, it turns out I read quite a lot of books! And not just that, but some REALLY, REALLY GOOD BOOKS as well. Also, I totally reached and surpassed my Goodreads 2020 reading challenge this month so woohoo me! Same with music, before writing this wrap-up I thought there weren’t a lot of good songs this month, but looking back there were actually some REALLY GOOD SONGS.
So though my brain is tricking me into thinking it was a meh month, it was actually pretty good!
Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to in July:
Lost Talismans and a Tequila by Annette Marie
Let’s see… I finished this book in a day while feeling the complete maelstrom of emotions, I immediately started again from the beginning and I thought about these characters for the whole week afterwards. Clearly, it’s been another Annette Marie masterpiece.
Overall, I have to admit this has been one of my favorite installments in the series. This series overall is just becoming more and more perfect to me and I adore every single minute spent reading it. Please don’t hesitate to read it. It has it all: nail-biting action, angsty yet hopeful romance, a ton of humor, jaw-dropping plot twists, brilliant conspiracies, twisted revelations and most of all, a lot of heart.
Rating: 5 stars | Read the full review
Upside Down by N.R. Walker
This was the cutest book. It’s an M/M romance, but both main characters are romantic asexual which is just EVERYTHING. They meet at a support group for asexuality and have the cutest banter and they bond over books and everything is just adorable and perfect, okay?
Rating: 4,5 stars
Love, Creekwood by Becky Albertalli
Look, I’m not normally one for novellas, but this is an exception because 1) it checks back in on my fave Creekwood characters, meaning more Simon and Blue and more Leah and Abby and 2) all the money Becky earns for this novella goes to The Trevor Project, a charity providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth.
Though this wasn’t a necessary read per se, I did really enjoy connecting one more time with my fave characters. I still love the characters individually and their relationships are just the cutest and yep, this book kind of made me tear up a bit. Also, did you know it is told exclusively in e-mails? Be still, my beating heart.
Rating: 3,5 stars
Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
I ADORED THIS BOOK! It was the perfectly executed fake dating trope I needed in my reading life, but it also had so much amazing humor and banter and an amazingly supportive yet hilarious friend group. I laughed out loud A LOT. Also, Luc and Oliver were adorable together.
Rating: 5 stars
Loveless by Alice Oseman
I wish Alice Oseman’s books had been around when I was a teenager, but I am happy they are here now, because I believe Alice Oseman is one of THE BEST YA CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS right now. Loveless was again another win! It’s an amazing aro-ace coming-of-age story with a wonderful focus on friendship that made me cry a little. Also, there’s a sapphic enemies-to-lovers which was everything.
Rating: 5 stars
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
This book reeled me in because of the premise: a girl who loves books working together with an alien who loved pop music to try and save the world. As a firm believer that books and music could save the world, this book felt like it was written for me. But add in multiple references to favorite books and songs, well-done demi-ace and anxiety rep, a lovely romance, non-binary representation and a haunting commentary on racism and oppression, and this book becomes a real gem.
Rating: 4 stars
Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy (re-read)
Weird story: I actually dreamed about this book one night. Not about the events of the book or the characters, but about me re-reading the book. So the next morning, I just did just that. And I finished the book again in a day. Even after all these years, I still love this story and these characters (not the cover though). This is just an adorable M/M friends-to-lovers romance, set in the world of hockey, with some smut. I kind of want to re-read the sequel now as well. Should I wait til I dream about it, or just do it?
Rating: 4 stars
Beach Read by Emily Henry
This story about a romance writer and a literary fiction writer who both suffer from writer’s block and challenge each other to a genre swap was massively hyped and loved and as such, I became a bit intimidated and put it off for a few months. But I finally picked up the audiobook and after a few chapters I already kicked myself for procrastinating. Because I LOVED THIS. It’s not just a rom-com as the title, premise and cover may suggest, as it features two characters who both have major issues and the story, the feelings and the romance are a bit messy because of it. Messy in a real, raw kind of way. I liked it. Plus the banter, the humor and the writing insights made me love it even more.
Rating: 5 stars
Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors by Annette Marie and Rob Jacobsen
Oh hey, if this isn’t a BRAND NEW GUILD CODEX BOOK!
Whether you already fell in love with this world before or whether you are a Guild Codex newbie, one thing is inevitable: you will fall head-over-heels in love with Kit Morris, the witty and charming main character of this new series with a love for movies and ill-timed one-liners and pop-culture references.
This fun and fast-paced adventure offers a refreshing and new perspective at a beloved world. Whether you’re a Guild Codex newbie or a longtime fan, this one is not to be missed!
Rating: 5 stars | Read the full review
Top Ten Tuesday
Quote It Wednesday
July was pretty much all about Folklore, but as much as I loved that album as well, there were actually some other pretty great songs this month too, so I think it was a good music month for me!
DREAMCATCHER – R.o.S.E. BLUE
My favorite kpop girl group released an OST song this month, so of course I was all over it. I love R.o.S.E. Blue and I especially love the entire MV, which feels like a movie and a videogame at the same time.
Sleeping With Sirens – Talking To Myself
A new single (no MV though) from Sleeping With Sirens is always a win for me!
Taylor Swift – cardigan
I think almost half the world was listening to Folklore this month (judging from my social media feed anyway), and I was one of them. I love this album and the witchy cottage vibe. Favorite songs of the moment include cardigan, exile, the last great american dynasty and betty.
ATEEZ – Inception
So catchy. Love the song. Love the MV. Love the choreo. Love the dance break.
I watched a few things this month that I really enjoyed:
The King: Eternal Monarch
I’m a pretty big Lee Min Ho fan, and he’s one of the actors I’ve watched the most dramas by ever since I started on my kdrama journey a few years ago. So when I found out his new drama, the first one after his military service, was out on Belgian Netflix, I’m not gonna lie – I freaked out a bit. This is a story about parallel worlds. Lee Min Ho plays the king in a world where Korea is a kingdom, and the story really takes off when he travels to another Korea (the Republic of Korea) where he meets a young police inspector played by Kim Go-Eun.
I enjoyed this story but I have to be honest and admit that it is not my favorite Lee Min Ho drama. I think this is because it felt a bit too confusing to me with the multiple characters in parallel worlds and then time travel became involved and it went a little over my head. I also had some issues getting into the romance aspect. But overall it was a fun fantasy series. I mostly enjoyed Woo Do-Hwan in his double role as Jo Yeong and Jo Eun-Seob.
I watched a few episodes of The Baby-Sitters Club, because I was feeling nostalgic. I loved those books as a kid, and wanted to revisit that. And I liked the episodes so far! It’s a nice walk down memory lane, staying true to the story and the characters, while at the same time making it more time-appropriate.
Nothing really new to tell. In Belgium, Corona restrictions were being less severe, but this month the number of contagions were going up again so the rules were made more strict again. We have to wear masks again when we go out (I did that anyway), our social bubble of people we were allowed to come in close contact with was reduced from 15 to 5 (apart from one friend date I mention below, I stayed pretty isolated anyway) and working from home is encouraged again (I’m still halftime working from home and halftime technically unemployed so again, no changes there). So for me personally, not much has changed, except I’ve gotten a little more anxious again.
But we’re all still healthy and hopeful. Hope you are all doing well and staying healthy in these weird times!
Things that made me happy this month:
- I saw a few friends after months, which made me really happy. A few days after I saw them, Corona restrictions became more strict again, so I think I’ll have to wait a while longer to see anyone else, but I loved the little bit I had! I really do hope I’ll get to see my other friends soon again as well. Also, Pixel got to meet my friend’s new puppy and she loved her play-date.
- I went out to eat a Poké-bowl, which I LOVE and hadn’t had since 2019 probably so yeah 🙂
THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:
- Lots of kpop comebacks and releases: new BTS, Dreamcatcher and Itzy!
- Vicious Spirits by Kat Cho, the sequel to Gumiho, releases!
- Lots of binge-watching of S2 of The Umbrella Academy