Despite July being the seventh month of the year, for some reason, I always see as the halfway point of the year even though there are only five more months left! July was a strange month for me, unlike in previous months where there was either something always going on or I was finishing off things for my degree, or simply reading masses of books – July was kind of a standstill month. Perhaps it was because of the excitement of YALC but even though I was reading books still – I just wasn’t devouring them in the same way as I had in May and June. But I still think I found some gems this month.
- Heartstopper Volume One By Alice Oseman
With the release of the second volume of Heartstopper this month I decided to give the first volume a re-read this month. I don’t follow the series online so I’ve had to wait for the next instalment to come out in physical format but even so – I just love Nick and Charlie. I love seeing their relationship come together and watch them grow as people too! Also this month I was lucky enough to attend Read With Pride event at my local Waterstones and hear Alice talk about Nick and Charlie just made me smile. She’s so passionate about her work and her characters, you can really tell by the way she talks about them, and because of that, I think that’s why her books feel so real because you know Alice is just as invested in her characters as we are as readers! I have to say that it’s easily become one of my favourite graphic novel series and I cannot wait till the third instalment is released!
First Time Reads:
- It Only Happens In The Movies By Holly Bourne
- Heartstopper Volume Two By Alice Oseman
- The Language of Kindness By Christie Watson
- Hot Dog Girl By Jennifer Dugan (audiobook)
- Alex in Wonderland By Simon James Green
- Meat Market By Juno Dawson
Now onto my first time reads this month, whether that be individual books or authors. For me, I read my first ever Holly Bourne and Simon James Green books this month and I am pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed them both! I’ve heard nothing but great things about Holly’s work in particular and had several of her books recommended to me over the past few years. I finally picked up It Only Happens in the Movies this month and I devoured it in two sittings right of the start of July and loved how real it felt. Sometimes I think with YA, it’s easy for novels to focus purely on the romance and presenting teen romances as the endgame and that there will be nobody else for that person. But with this book, I loved what Holly did with it, in particular, the depiction of Audrey’s relationship with her ex Milo and first love. This was something I connected with because it surfaced some of my own feelings especially since I saw a lot from my first ever relationship appearing in Milo and Audrey’s. If I’m honest at times I felt like I was reading my own past relationship on the page and had to remind myself that these were fictional characters. I adored the ending too – and released now looking at the computer screen that I may have to write a blog post expressing my feelings about this book because it was fantastic and possibly one of my favourite YA romances that I’ve ever read!
Alex in Wonderland, another book by a new author to me. As I mentioned I went to a Pride event were Alice Oseman was appearing and Simon was also on the panel. Listening to Simon, you couldn’t help but smile and laugh as he spoke and answered questions. I had previously read his short story, Penguins, which featured in the Pride anthology so knew that I liked his writing style. But after hearing him talk about his books I knew that I wanted to read one and so I quickly picked up Alex once the panel had ended. Again another book that I read quickly – despite the month feeling so slow – and I loved it. I found that sometimes with books featuring LGBTQ+ character the story always revolves around the characters’ coming out or it is often purely about their sexuality. But with Alex in Wonderland, it wasn’t. It was just a story about a teenage boy entering his first part-time job, navigating new friendships, crushes and attempting to figure out who is behind the villainous notes being sent to the arcade where he works. I think what made me enjoy this book so much was the character of Alex because he was just a normal awkward teenager and I think that’s something as an adult reading YA you can certainly relate too and in the end laugh because you know that you were probably just the same.
Finally, Meat Market By Juno Dawson. I have been a huge fan of Juno’s work since I first read Say Her Name and Under Her Skin (both books mildly terrified me for weeks after reading them) so I have been thoroughly loving her newer novels too. I read Clean last year and reviewed it here on my blog too, so knew that I would definitely be picking up Meat Market once it was released. Following Jana Novak from being scouted to becoming a well-known name in the modelling world – we follow her through her entrance into the luxurious world of a model but also as she discovers the darker sides. Although this novel definitely focuses on model and their treatment – I think Juno is also challenging us to all confront the images that we are stereotyped as and the treatment we receive from others. Following Jana on her journey from just being a model to finding her voice was something which I found to be deeply moving. If you haven’t picked up this thought-provoking read or if you haven’t read anything by Juno before then you should definitely pick this up!
J.D Robb Reads:
- Strangers in Death
- Salvation in Death
- Ritual in Death
Of course, I couldn’t go through the month without reading something by J.D Robb and this month I read two more novels in the In Death series and a novella too! If you’ve been following me for a while then you will know that this series has quickly become an established favourite of mine. Eve is one of my favourite protagonists of any book or series that I have ever read – I love her wit, attitude and dedication to her job but I especially love seeing her grow as the series progresses. Also, I really need someone else to read this series so I have someone to talk to about it because I think my mother is tired of me talking about despite the fact she has no idea what I am on about half the time!
How was your reading month? Have you read any of these books?