July Wrap Up

The month of July seemed to be against me when it came to reading. There were a few reading slumps in the middle of the month. Maybe the 16 books from last month left me a bit worn down or maybe the hectic hustle of Comic-Con left me needing more time to recover. I am still happy with my results for the month. I read a total of 10 books including 7 full length novels, 2 shorter novellas, and one short story. That’s a total of 3,405 pages read. More than 75% of the pages read last month, meaning a few of the novels I read had higher page counts than the average one. This averages to about 2 1/2 books a week. Still pretty hefty for the average reader.

This month has been pretty dry when it comes to reviews so I will add links to all the reviews as they are completed. Time to get serious about book review catch up.

So here is the break down for my July reads:

Novels

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5
Source: Library

This was one of those hyped reads that I was so eager to get my hands on. I devoured it in one day and was left pretty speechless by the ending. I still have not reviewed it and I blame my reading slump. Look out for the review in the next few months.

 

 

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3.5

Source: Library

This was another hyped book that I picked up at the library. The cover is so alluring that I almost bought it. Seriously, it sat in my Amazon shopping cart for three weeks and I debated buying each time. I am kind of glad I didn’t because it was a bit too Disney for me. I know it says Disney, i just expected more depth to it and it wasn’t there. A review on this read is coming as well.

 

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4

Source: Library
The Remnant Chronicles series took up most of my month. The Kiss of Deception was an intense read and it hooked me from the first chapter. I just had to read all three books before starting anything else. The author creates a fantastic new world for me to explore and I love the mystery and attempt at women power in this read. You have to understand that there is a build up to a true strong woman throughout the series otherwise you may struggle with the first book in the series.

 

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Source: Library
This is the second book in The Remnant Chronicles and I devoured it. I enjoyed learning about the so called “barbarians” that Lia and Rafe’s people have shunned for so many generations. I love the bond that Lia creates with the common people. One thing that has left me with the need to buy this series is the reading of the old tales of Venda. I love books that have old script that the main character needs to learn and decipher.

 

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5

Source: Library

The final book in this series left me with so many emotions. I don’t want this series to be completed. I need more Lia and Rafe. This final book gets five stars not only because it was excellent but because I had over 11 hours of audiobook to live in for a while. Sometimes large books tend to be overkill but this one was worth every page.

 

 

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Source: Purchase
This was my first printed short story purchase ever and I am so happy with my purchase. I got to meet the author during a panel signing at Comic-Con and grabbed several of her books including the first two books in this series. I loved this read and know it will be one that I keep coming back to. There is so much going on between the pages and Nnedi’s writing reminds me a lot of Octavia Butler’s writing. Both authors I highly admire.

 

home

 

5

Source: Library

This is the second book in the Binti series and I loved it just as much as the first one. It is about 76 pages longer and takes the reader through life at the University and back at Binti’s home. I am still in awe of Nnedi’s world building. I love both reads!

 

 

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5

Source: Purchase
This was an impulse buy simply for the cover. I mean look at it! And maybe for the title as well. I did not read the synopsis until after I had read the book. This is another favorite book simply for the concept and that ending! If you have read it then you will understand it’s connection to my blog name. I highly recommend this read!

 

 

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Source: Purchase

This was another cover purchase as well as a hyped up book that I felt the need to buy. I just finished it a few hours before this wrap up so look out for the review and rating to follow.

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Source: Amazon
I picked this short story up for free through a recent Amazon promotion. It was a great little read and another recently finished read, so stay tuned for the rating a review.

 

 

 

 

What about your July wrap up? Any good book recommendations? If so comment below and feel free to send me any links to your reviews!

Short Story Saturday! The Trash Collector

23491039._UY475_SS475_Title: The Trash Collector

Author: Monica Shaughnessy

Genre: Fiction, Short Stories

Number of pages: 17 pages

Time it took me to read:  1 Day

Synopsis: 

When objects begin to disappear from porches, Lydia Strichter suspects the neighborhood hoarder, Dale Kreplick. He’s a strange man with an even stranger habit of digging through people’s trash. But when she sets out to prove the “Trash Collector” is behind these thefts, she discovers more than the culprit. She discovers some things can’t easily be discarded. A heart-warming story of tolerance, grief, and the persistence of memory.

Novel Review:

The Trash Collector was a pleasant little read with a clear message at the ending.  Lydia, the main character of the story, is a bitter older women whose husband had passed a little over a year ago (makes sense why she is bitter). A young man, Dale, who Lydia has nicknamed the Trash Collector, roams through the neighborhood on trash day and goes through everyone’s trash. Lydia has noticed that someone is stealing things from people’s yard and quickly places blame on Dale. She holds a neighborhood meeting and comes up with a plan to catch a thief when things don’t go her way.

Without giving away any spoilers, I have to say that I can appreciate what the author was doing here. The two morals of the story was clear and a very important moral for those who are

(1) quick to judge, cruel, and even racist

(2) forget the value in things

This is a story I could see reading in something like Readers Digest. The plot was pretty predictable and it was clear what was going to happen half way through the read. I didn’t have a problem with this because that is not the main focus of this read, the morals are.

The problems I did have with the story was with the main character, Lydia. She is a stereotypical mean old woman that mainstream media has thrust upon us. There really is little sustenance to her other than the usual attributes of this character trope: bitter, nosy, pushy, meddles in other people’s affairs, lashes out, etc. We do get some real emotions from her now and then but not enough to develop the character into an authentic individual.

For me, this it made it difficult to accept the character. Sometimes her dialogue or thoughts felt forced. For example, with the use of my all time hated “r” word used to label a person suffering from a mental development issue.

“The pop, pop of the ruler against his pant leg marked his steps.

Lidia rubbed the goose bumps on her arms. “R[e#%&#].”

I couldn’t justify her wanting to say this. I know she was watching him close to catch him in the act and frustrated when he didn’t act the way she expected but why that word? She hadn’t used it before or after. So it felt out of place. Now I am one for character authenticity but this just didn’t fit and it is such an ugly word. Perhaps the author was going for just that but because she has no experience with that word she just didn’t know how to fit it in “properly”.  Or maybe I am just too sensitive to it being used at all that I can’t see past it. Either way, it didn’t make me feel that the character was flushed out.

I gave this read three stars because it wasn’t anything over the top but I can see value in the messages it is trying to portray.

My rating:

3

Find out more about the book and Monica Shaughnessy here

Follow Monica Shaughnessy on Facebook

June Wrap Up

The first true month I had off from school and work turned out to be a busy month for me with a total of 16 books read this month including 11 full length novels, 1 novella, and 3 short stories. That’s 4,466 pages plus one full length novel only available on Kindle. An average of 4 books a week. This is pretty impressive for me considering I had a bunch of things to do with my kids schools and took off on a literary road trip.

So here is the break down for my June reads:

Novels

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5
Source: Netgalley
Original review
This book ran me through several emotions from fear, anxiety, crying spells, and even a happy dance or two. If you like alternate world fantasies and hero quest tales this is the read for you. I also love that this is an author from New Zealand. I always enjoy reading from authors in other parts of the world than my own.

 

 

Lady Midnight

5

 

 

Source: Library

Original review
I love me some Cassandra Clare and Lady Midnight did not disappoint. Again,  I love the shadow hunter world that she has build and enjoy the different storylines that she is creating around this world. She writes characters that you fall in love with and that is true in this read. I am number 11 of 23 on the library wait list for Lord of Shadows, the second book in this series. It is that good!

 

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5

Source: Purchase
Original review Book 1 and Book 2
This series is one of my all time favorites. I literally atorchagainstthenight_051116-1read all 898 pages in roughly three days. The world building and scene creation is fantastic. I was there with the characters, able to see the actions in my head as I was reading them on the page. A great series! Sabaa Tahir is also one of my new favorite authors to follow on Instagram. She is hilarious and down to earth; great combination for any author!

 

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Source: Purchase
Original review
I enjoyed this read once I got past all the character development issues. I feel that the story really picked up once the kids were actually taking the test. I had some problems with the main character and her flipping back and forth between paranoia and being too casual. The romance seemed a bit forced in this one and it was also a bit predictable. There was just enough mystery for the main plot with all the adults helping Cia and I am ready to dive into the next two books in this series.

 

nyxia-cover

5

Source: Netgalley

Original review
Nxyia is one of my favorite Science Fiction reads of the year, so far. I loved the complexity of the plot, the psychological games that were played on the kids and the twists and turns that were thrown every which way during this read. It was fast paced, enthralling and enjoyable to read. I recommend it to anyone who loves space operas or science fiction in general.

 

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Source: The Author
Original review
It is so difficult to write a brief blurb about this book because there is so much greatness going on within its pages. It is by far my favorite book this year and a book that will stay on my mind for a good while. I highly recommend that everyone gives this book a try. It is something I plan to teach because the message is so subtle but so powerful.

 

 

There are four novels that I have yet to review so I will only give the ratings for each

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4

Source: Library
Book information

 

 

 

 

9780143109273

 

5

Source: Library

Book information

 

 

 

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4

Source: Library
Book information

 

 

 

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4

Source: Library

Book information

 

 

 

Novellas and Short Stories

Every-Heart-a-Doorway

 

4

Source: Purchase
Original review
I cannot say enough good stuff about this little novella. The message it gives is beautiful and fits the title of the book. With an Asexual main character, it lives up to its title as well. What a great little read!

 

Bridgid's Book Cover

 

5

Source: Purchase
Original review
This was a beautifully written twist on a fairytale. I loved the illusion to other well known tales. This short story is definitely worth the read.

 

 

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4

Source: Purchase
Original review
This short story was a blast to read. I loved the new take on the old zombie end of the world story. Don’t be put off by the fact that the main character is a dog. The author does a fantastic job and makes this short story worth a read.

 

Shorts that I have yet to review:

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3

Source: Library

Book information

 

 

 

the doll

4

Source: Library

Book information

 

 

 

 

Whew! That was a lot of books to go through! Thank you for reading to the end!

What about your June wrap up? Any good book recommendations? If so comment below and feel free to send me any links to your reviews!