Hello everyone, and welcome back!
Over the past little while, I feel like I’ve been in a reading slump, so I’m actually surprised at how many books are on this list! Granted five of them are Harry Potter re-reads, but those books get longer and longer, so at least I can say I read a lot of pages? I’ve also started chewing through some of the books on my failed TBR list, so that’s good?
Here’s hoping August is a good finisher month for summer reads. But until then, here’s what I did manage to finish in July!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
I’m still not exactly sure what to say about each Harry Potter book because…you know.
But I am still bitter about the change of Ron’s big moment in the movie. Ron Weasley would grit his teeth through pain and die before he’d let someone hurt his friend. Ron Weasley is a gift and the Harry Potter movies have some kind of whacky agenda to try to make us forget this. (Maybe it’s a Harry/Hermione shipper conspiracy.)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
The first time I read through the Harry Potter books, I liked Hermione okay but she was never really my favourite, probably because she reminded me too much of myself. I was a pretty awkward-looking know-it-all as a kid, too.
But this book is confirmation that Hermione is brilliant, beautiful, and terrifying, and I love her more every time I read the books. I wish the films had let her keep more of her knowledge gaps about wizarding culture and insecurities and somewhat misguided but kindhearted activism.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
I actually got really annoyed with this book when I read it as a teen, because Harry’s continuous rage and lashing out at his friends bothered the crap out of me. How dare you yell at my faves, if Ron Weasley could he would steal a car to bust you out, okay.
But I appreciate this book a lot more now because like, given what Harry has been through and has to go through before the end, the way he gets treated in this book is so entirely frustrating and he has no safe place to vent his rage and I feel you, Harry, let it out.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Snape: brilliant, pitiable, but also an asshole who still said “I see no difference” when someone magically, painfully lengthened Hermione’s teeth down to her collarbone and tried to humiliate the best student in the year on the regular for Knowing Stuff.
Never forget. Never forget.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
That feel when you realize that Dumbledore is peak problematic fave.
(Also this book basically exists to wreck your emotions. If it doesn’t get you with the deaths, it’ll get you with the sad shipping/friendship moments.)
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
This is a fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast, kind of, with a female protagonist who’s as bitter as day-old coffee. Despite that description, this reads eerily similar to some Once Upon a Time Belle/Rumple fanfiction.
Probably my least favourite fairy tale retelling so far other than The Wrath & The Dawn. Sigh. Sorry.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A summer mystery/thriller about a bunch of privileged cousins who hang out on a private family island and stuff happens other than inane conversations, swimming/boating, and boredom.
This is a decent beach read, but not so much memorable for me other than the aesthetic of the writing.
Saints & Misfits by S.K. Ali
My best new read of the month. This one is a slice-of-life contemporary about a Muslim hijabi teen who’s dealing with sexual assault, a crush, her brother moving home, divorced parent life, and basically everything all at once.
It’s a little busy and that erodes some of what can be resolved in the plot and how much we get to know the characters, but it was solid and worth checking out.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
This was another fairy tale type story, but with a blanker slate of a female protagonist and more of a back-and-forth between Greek mythology and Indian folklore.
That was a neat mix, but the pros and cons with this one kind of even it out with Cruel Beauty for me. Other than the horse. The horse is pretty great.
Because You Love to Hate Me, edited by Ameriie
This was an anthology of short stories about villains. It was also a collaboration between BookTubers (who provided prompts and commentary on the stories) and young adult authors.
I kind of struggled through this anthology, to be honest with you, although it did have some stand-out stories. (Yet another reason I will continue to have faith in Victoria Schwab.) More on that in a review later this week!
What were your reads of the month? Any hits or disappointments? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll speak to you again soon!