Monthly Wrap-Up: July Reading 2023

It’s August now, which means it’s a new month! So it’s time to wrap up July!

The first thing I want to say, before I get into it, is wow, I don’t think I’ve even been able to post one of these on the first of the month! I could be completely wrong though.

The other thing I wanted to say was, ew July was a little pathetic, reading and review wise. Actually, very pathetic review wise. Sure, I technically read eight books and just a thousand pages, but they were all for a children’s series, and I didn’t read and review anything else. So I’m disappointed in myself for that.

But yeah, without further ado, let’s get into my states for The StoryGraph for my July reading 2023.

July 2023 Reading

😐 MOODS: Adventurous was the biggest slice of pie once again. There are like no Moods on this graph though for July though. The only other one is Mysterious, which is almost as big as Adventurous.

👢 PACE: Unlike last month every single book I read was fast-paced. This is the first month where fast-paced was the entire graph, though.

🔢 PAGE NUMBER: Everything I read was super short this month, because all I read were the books in the Deltora Quest series, and they’re all less than 150 pages. So all of them were less than 300 pages.

📖 FICTION/NONFICTION: All fiction once again this month.

🎭 GENRES: Fantasy was the biggest part of the graph this time, as per usual. The only other genre on the bar graph, though, is Children’s, which is actually equal. So hasn’t been as colorful as it usually is.

📄 FORMAT: This little StoryGraph pie chart is actually correct again! All the books I read were physical print copies.

⭐ RATING: My median star rating for last month was 4.0. I rated two books 3.5 stars, four books 4.0 stars, and two books 4.5 stars.

📉 PAGES READ DAILY: I read some during the second week, but dipped down a bit in the middle. During the last third of the month of July though, I read a lot, comparatively.

The Books I Read in July

Wrapping Up the Wrap-Up

So July still kind of definitely sucked reading and review wise. But for whatever reason, over the last couple of years, I’ve had some trouble not falling into reading slumps and the like during the summer. I don’t know what it is about summertime or whatever, but I’ve had trouble getting into books lately.

I’m hoping that’s going to change with August though, since it’s kind of the bridge between summer and fall, and fall is my reading jam. Plus, I’ve never really had as much trouble finding a book to read in August. So yeah, the July 2023 Reading Wrap-Up comes to a close.

As per usual, thank you all so much for reading and have a wonderful day/night! What books did you guys read in July? What did you think of them? What genres did you read?

See ya ~Mar

Weekly Wrap-Up: 7/3 – 7/9

Wow, okay, so like I’m super late (again) with this one. But it’s still Monday where I’m at, so this post is still very much valid!

Last week I was waaayy better than I’ve been sign posting lately. No book reviews, unfortunately, but my posting was still better.

Anyway, I won’t ramble. Here’s last week’s weekly wrap-up.

Tuesday 7/4: 4th of July – Independence Day

Last Tuesday was the 4th of July, otherwise known as Independence Day. 🇺🇲🎆🇺🇲🎆

I was feeling under the weather, or else I would’ve posted something. It was nice to relax and listen to the fireworks going off all around my town, though.

Wednesday 7/5: WWW Wednesday

On Wednesday, I participated in yet another WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday 4/5

Thursday 7/6: Summer Reads with Mermaids

Thursday, I decided to do something a bit different. Every season or so, I do a post about books with that particular season’s vibe. For this summer, I decided to do a post about YA and middle grade mermaid books that I’ve read.

Some Summer Reads with Mermaids

Friday 4/7: First Line Friday

Last Friday, I once again participated in First Line Fridays. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words.

First Line Friday #20

Sunday 4/9: Book Hauls from the First Half of 2023 / Most Anticipated Reads of Quarter Three

Yesterday, I double posted. For my first post, I did one for all of my book hauls for the first half of this year. This is cuz I don’t collect books at the same rate as a lot of other book bloggers, lol, but I still wanted to show off my haul so far.

For my second post, I finally got around to posting about my most anticipated SSF books releasing in July, August, and September this year. These are the ones I’ve been the most interested in yet!

The Books I Hauled from the First Half of 2023

My Most Anticipated SFF Reads of 2023 for Quarter Three

Books I Read Last Week

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series - 21st Anniversary Edition by Emily Rodda

Goals for 4/10 – 4/16

The main goal for this week is to read more than one book, lol. For real though, I’d like to post at least as many times as I did last week. So five different posts hopefully, at least one of which is gonna be a book review.

And as always, thank you so much for reading, and have a great day/night!

See ya ~Mar

The Books I Hauled from the First Half of 2023

Okay, so I know that July started a week ago, but I’ve been busy! …And sick, unfortunately. But I’m finally here to show off all the books that I’ve hauled during the first half of the year.

And yeah, the reason why I’m doing a big post about this halfway through the year instead of during my monthly reading wrap-ups… Well, it’s because I don’t do as large of book hauls as most of the rest of the book blogging community. So I decided to do two massive posts including all of the books I’ve gotten during both halves of the year.

Let’s go!

NOTE: Large pics are books I’ve hauled and read, and medium pics are books that I’ve just hauled so far.

Unraveler by Frances Hardinge
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Mass
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Alice by Christina Henry
Red Queen by Christina Henry
A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
The Elements of Style: 4th Annotated Edition by William Shrunk and E.B. White
Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton
Chance by Matthew FitzSimmons
In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune
Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth
I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy
The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson
Witch King by Martha Wells
Deltora Quest: 21st Anniversary Edition by Emily Rodda
Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

If you’re here, congratulations on making it to the bottom of this very long, photo filled post! Wow, I collected more books over the past six months than I thought I did! I didn’t even realize this until I finished up this post, haha.

What books have you read this year so far? What books have you hauled? Do we have any of the same ones?

And as always, thank you so much for reading, and have an excellent day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Weekly Wrap-Up: 6/26 – 7/2

Wow, okay, so like I’m super late with this one. But it’s still Monday where I’m at, so this post is still very much valid!

Last week I was slightly less productive than I’d hoped, but I still did like four posts, so I’ll take it as a win. Especially compared to some of the weeks preceding it. Ugh.

Anyway, I’ll stop yakking. Here’s last week’s weekly wrap-up.

Wednesday 6/28: WWW Wednesday

On Wednesday, I, as per usual, participated in another WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday 6/28

Friday 6/30: First Line Friday

On Friday, I once again participated in First Line Fridays. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words.

First Line Friday #19

Sunday 7/2: Song of Silver, Flame Like Night Review / June 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

Yesterday, I posted my review for Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao. It’s a YA fantasy novel inspired by Chinese folklore. I gave it ★★★★☆.

I also posted my monthly reading wrap-up for June 2023. I was actually pretty early with posting it for once, haha.

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night Review

June 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

Books I Read Last Week

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

Goals for 7/3 – 7/9

The main goal for this week is to read more than one book, lol. For real though, I’d like to post at least as many times as I did this past week. Normally, I’d try for a fifth post, but I’m hosting a gathering this weekend and I’ve got to do some extra cleaning and prep, so I’m not sure if I’d be able to.

So, goals: read more than one book, four posts, my usual posts, and… we’ll see what else I do.

And as always, thank you so much for reading, and have a great day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Monthly Wrap-Up: June Reading 2023

June 2023 Reading

Hey, look! I’m super early with my reading wrap this month! June 2023 Reading statistics incoming!

Anyway, before I get into it: June… I’m not at all  happy with how much I read last month. My statistics were pretty bad on The StoryGraph. It was the least amount of reading that I’ve done yet this year. I don’t even have the excuse that stuff went down, like in May. I just had the worst reading slump ever.

Anyway, I’ve talked enough. On with the stats!

June 2023 Reading Stats

I read 2 books and 885 pages

😐 MOODS: Adventurous was the biggest slice of pie once again. There aren’t a lot of Moods on this graph though. The only others are Mysterious and Emotional, which are equal.

👢 PACE: Unlike last month every single book I read was medium-paced. I think this is the first month where medium-paced was the entire graph, though.

🔢 PAGE NUMBER: I read a lot of shorter books in June, similar to what I read in April and May. 300 to 499 was the only kind of pie here.

📖 FICTION/NONFICTION: All fiction once again this month.

🎭 GENRES: Fantasy was the biggest part of the graph this time, as per usual. The only other genre on the bar graph, though, is YA. So it’s much less colorful than usual.

📄 FORMAT: This little StoryGraph pie chart is actually correct for once! All the (two) books I read were physical print copies.

⭐ RATING: My median star rating for the month of June was 3.5. I rated one book 3 stars and one book 4 stars.

📉 PAGES READ DAILY: I read some during the first week, but dipped down a ton in the middle, particularly in the last third of the month. During the last couple of days of June though, I read a lot.

The Books I Read in June

Witch King by Martha Wells

★★★☆☆

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

★★★★☆

Wrapping Up the Wrap-Up

So June was not what I had hoped it would bet be. I hate reading blocks. Ugh! But, I’m very hopeful that July will be better. I seem to be out of the slump, so I’m hoping for good things.

I haven’t had the time to really read yet, but I’ve already got a book cued up – one that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. So yeah, the June 2023 Reading Wrap-Up comes to a close.

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Weekly Wrap-Up: 6/19 – 6/25

Ugh, so last week I wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped. I’ve just been having the absolute worst reading slump for the last couple of weeks.

Honestly – and I feel a bit bad for saying this – I think Witch King triggered it. No it wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t really good (in my opinion) either. It was just… there. And “there” types of books are always the ones that kind of nudge me towards reading slumps, unfortunately.

This week, though, I’m definitely aiming to do better! But before I get into that, let’s wrap up last week first!

Wednesday 6/21: WWW Wednesday

Last Wednesday, I had planned on double posting, but I ended up not having time. So I just participated in WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday 6/21

Thursday 6/22: Popular Books That I’ve Read Never

On Thursday, I did another Popular Books That I’ve Read Never post. It’d been about a month since I posted one, so I decided it was more than time for another.

Popular Books That I’ve Read Never is pretty much what it says on the tin: I highlight popular books that I’ve never read, and so far, don’t have any plans to read.

Popular Books That I’ve Read Never #3

Sunday 6/25: Witch & Wizard Review

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Yesterday, I did another Retrospective Book Review. Retrospective Book Reviews (previously Reading Retrospectives), for those who don’t know, are basically book reviews, but they’re on books that I read before I started this blog.

The book I did this time was Witch & Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet. Yesterday, I’d finished skimming through it and was ready to post my review. I gave it ★✫☆☆☆.

Witch & Wizard Review

Books I Read Last Week

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

Goals for 6/26 – 7/2

So yeah, I wasn’t nearly as proactive as I’d wanted to be last week, but sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles. But this week, as I mentioned at the top, I’m definitely aiming to be better.

All I’m planning for this week, is to do at least five posts, and to finish at least one book. I really don’t know why, but for whatever reason I feel like if I put specific goals here, I’m bound to screw up again. 🤷

Fingers crossed I meet my nonspecific goals! 🤞

And as always, thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

“Witch & Wizard” by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet | Book Review

It’d been two and a half months since I last did a retrospective book review – not to mention that I’ve been in THE WORST reading slump – so I decided that it was more than time for another.

Retrospective Book Reviews (previously Reading Retrospectives), for those who don’t know, are basically book reviews, but they’re on books that I read before I started this blog. So, in order for them to get their day in the sun, I go back through them and see if my opinion when I originally read them holds up.

This week, I’m re-reviewing a book I read a couple of years ago. It’s Witch & Wizard, the first book in the aforementioned YA series, written by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet.

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

SERIES: Witch & Wizard (Book #1)

LENGTH: 314 pages

GENRES: Dystopian, Fantasy, YA, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Jimmy Patterson

RELEASE DATE: 14 December 2009

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager.

But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they’d never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents–and maybe the world?

My Review

So, I’ve been in the worst reading funk that I’ve been in for a long time. For whatever reason, summers are rough for me, and I almost always end up with a reading block for some duration of the season.

So I thought, what better way to get the brain wanting to read then skimming over a book I didn’t really care for when I read it, and re-reviewing it for the blog?

No better way, I decided. So here we are. Onwards, to the rant!

The Rant

Witch & Wizard is an aggressively mediocre book, that was the brainchild of a collab better James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet. Yes, the same guy who wrote those godawful Maximum Ride books, and just pumps out like twenty books a year on average. (His poor ghostwriters…) And yes, if you couldn’t tell by the title, this is going to be a roast.

So let’s get straight to the point: this book sucks. Like, when I first attempted to read it as a young teen, I think I only got two thirds of the way through. Then, when I finally got through the thing years later as an adult, I didn’t like it. Yes, I admit, I gave it three and a half stars. But I also gave The Savior’s Champion three and a half stars, and Blood & Honey two and a half stars. I read all three of these books when I’d just started out reviewing books online, and I was afraid to be critical.

But those days are over. Now, I’m gonna say what I actually think and feel about these books.

Let’s get started with the thing that has always annoyed me with this book: the villain and the villain’s name. He appears at the beginning of the book in a flashforward, and then appears very little throughout the book. I never found him very threatening, even when I first read it. Also, he’s only referred to as The One Who Is The One. Very annoying to read, as well as extremely uninspired.

The dystopian world and the magic system also don’t make any sense. There’s no buildup and there’s no background on like anything. And there was just far too much action and far too little character introspection. Whenever I get to the end, I still never feel like I know who our main characters – Whit and Wisty Allgood – are. (Plus, their POVs read exactly the same. They’re really not that distinguished from one another.)

The most grating thing about Witch & Wizard, however, is most definitely the invented slang. It just doesn’t feel like… actual slang. I’m sorry, but as someone who was definitely a teenager when they first read it, I can definitely say then and now that no teenager or kid will ever use Erlenmeyer as a slang term. NEVER. It’s waaayy too long, and not at all catchy. And the rest of the invented slang is also pretty clunky and unnatural.

Honestly, I found this book at least as messy as the Maximum Ride series. It really felt like a disaster to read. (And to read again.)

By this rant, you’re probably wondering why I gave this such a generous one and three-quarters stars. Well, that’s cuz I know that there are far worse books – heck, I’ve read some far worse books. So that’s why.

You’re also probably wondering why I haven’t added any quotes to this review, like I usually do. It’s because this book is straight up cringe with its writing. This is actually something I didn’t really notice as a young teen, and is definitely something that my adult eyes identified. So kids and younger teenagers probably won’t find the (nonexistent) prose and (bad) dialogue to be cringey.

But since you’re clearly curious, here’s a couple lines, just for you:

You know things have gone bad when military marches pass for pop music.

and the absolute cringiest part of the novel

I kept on talking without really thinking, until it turned into a chant:

They’re afraid of change, and we must change.
They’re afraid of the young, and we are the young.
They’re afraid of music, and music is our life.
They’re afraid of books, and knowledge, and ideas.
They’re most afraid of our magic.

Closing Thoughts

So yeah, this book is bad. But I’ve somehow read and heard about worse, so this one got a slight pass. A slight. I still find it terrible, even though I know it could’ve been worse.

There’s a good chance that a younger teenager or preteen will like this, but I just can’t bring myself to recommend it. If you’re an adult, read anything else. If you’re a kid, read Percy Jackson or something. There are far better books than this one.

As always, thank you so much for reading, and have an extraordinary day/night.

See ya ~Mar


MY LINKS:


WWW Wednesday: 6/21

Here we are again! WWW Wednesday, one of my favorite weekly posts to participate in!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


The Thing I’m Currently Reading

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

Song Like Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

CURRENT STATUS: 4%

CURRENT FEELS: 😊 (excited)


The Thing I Just Finished Reading

Witch King by Martha Wells

Witch King by Martha Wells

★★★☆☆ • 3 / 5


The Thing I Might Read Next

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

(I know, I know, I flipflop around a bunch… 🤷‍♀️)


Thank you all so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Weekly Wrap-Up: 6/12 – 6/18

I was a lot more productive this past week than I was the week before, and I’m super happy about it. I posted a bunch more and I finally finished another book and reviewed it. So yeah, got a lot more done.

This week, I’m aiming to be just as productive – but hopefully even more so – but we’ll see how that goes! I’m just so glad that last week was better.

Anyway, let’s get on with the wrap-up!

Tuesday 6/13: June 2023 Birthstone Book Covers

Last Tuesday, I not only did a rare Tuesday post, but I also participated in June 2023’s Birthstone Book Covers. Birthstone Book Covers is a monthly post created and hosted by Leslie @ Books Are the New Black.

Birthstone Book Covers: June 2023

Wednesday 6/14: WWW Wednesday

Wednesday I participated in WWW Wednesday, as I usually do. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday 6/14

Friday 6/16: First Line Friday

On Friday, I once again participated in another weekly thing – First Line Fridays. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words.

First Line Friday #18

Sunday 6/18: Witch King Review

Witch King by Martha Wells

Yesterday, I finally got around to posting my book review for Witch King by Martha Wells. It’s a recent fantasy release, and it was probably my most anticipated book coming out this year. But, unfortunately, I thought it fell a bit short. I ended up giving it ★★★☆☆.

Witch King Review

Books I Read Last Week

Witch King by Martha Wells

Goals for 6/19 – 6/25

This week, I definitely want to make sure and post two book reviews. I’ve been really slacking on that sort of post lately, and I really wanna do better. I also, of course, want to participate in my usual weekly posts, as well.

As for other stuff to post on the blog… I want to do another popular books that I’ve never read post. It’s been a while, so I think it’s definitely time. (I also kind of want to do a Majestic Monday, but I’m not sure I’ll have enough time before the day ends.)

Anyway, thank you all so much for reading, and have an excellent day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Weekly Wrap-Up: 6/5 – 6/11

Sooo, I wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped to be last week, but what can I say? I was having too much fun on our little vacation, and then I had a wedding to go to this weekend. So, kinda busy in my own way, I guess.

Anyway, this week’s gonna be better. Hopefully as good as the week before last, but we’ll see.

Anyway, on with the wrap-up!

Wednesday 6/7: WWW Wednesday

Last Wednesday was really the first day that I posted something (that wasn’t a Weekly Wrap-Up). I just participated in my usual Wednesday post, WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday 6/7

Friday 6/9: First Line Friday

On Friday, I also just participated in the weekly Friday post. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words.

First Line Friday #17

Books I Read Last Week

Witch King by Martha Wells

Goals for 6/12 – 6/18

So yeah, this Weekly Wrap-Up is waaayy shorter than usual, but I didn’t have the opportunity to post as much as usual, unfortunately. But I’m hoping to be a lot more frequent this week!

This week, my goal is two book reviews, my usual weekly post participations, posting for the monthly post I participate in, and maybe something else. So I’ll hopefully be able to do all of this.

Anyway, thank you all so much for reading, and have an excellent day/night!

See ya ~Mar