July was a crazy month—we moved across the country (with a toddler and two cats in tow), I started writing a new book, and we got a puppy! Despite all the craziness, I still somehow powered through my TBR list. True Book Slut right here! I had three 5-star reads this month—two were ARCs and the other was from my backlist—and the rest were all 4 stars! I highly recommend every single book I read this month! Here are all the books I read in July and my thoughts about them!

To All the Books I Read This Month: July

July 28, 2019

July was a crazy month—we moved across the country (with a toddler and two cats in tow), I started writing a new book, and we got a puppy! Despite all the craziness, I still somehow powered through my TBR list. True Book Slut right here! I had three 5-star reads this month—two were ARCs and the other was from my backlist—and the rest were all 4 stars! I highly recommend every single book I read this month! Here are all the books I read in July and my thoughts about them!

To All the Books I Read This Month: July

July 28, 2019

MY NAME'S KELSEY AND I'M A BOOK SLUT

Categories

Would I say my reading addiction is a problem?

Would you consider the fact that I've blown my daughter's future college fund on new books an issue? Cool, me either. I knew we'd be friends.

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July was a crazy month—we moved across the country (with a toddler and two cats in tow), I started writing a new book, and we got a puppy! Despite all the craziness, I still somehow powered through my TBR list. True Book Slut right here! I had three 5-star reads this month—two were ARCs and the other was from my backlist—and the rest were all 4 stars!  I highly recommend every single book I read this month! Here are all the books I read in July and my thoughts about them!

July was a crazy month—we moved across the country (with a toddler and two cats in tow), I started writing a new book, and we got a puppy! Despite all the craziness, I still somehow powered through my TBR list. True Book Slut right here!

I had three 5-star reads this month—two were ARCs and the other was from my backlist—and the rest were all 4 stars! I highly recommend every single book I read this month!

Here are all the books I read in July and my thoughts about them!

Just a heads up, this post contains affiliate links—that means I get a small commission of any sales made from the links below, but the price is the same for you whether you purchase via my link or directly from Amazon 🙂

1. The Great Alone

AUTHOR: Kristin Hannah

GENRE: Historical Fiction

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND THIS?: Yes

SUMMARY: The Great Alone, is the story of the Allbrights, a family on a perpetual search for belonging. Leni, a smart and lonely girl, is at the constant mercy of her parents—her damaged POW father and her naive and over-trusting mother.

When Leni’s father, Ernt, uproots and moves the family to yet another location, he’s convinced this time will be different—Alaska’s the answer to all their problems.

Unprepared and ill-equipped, the Allbrights find solace in the people of Alaska who teach them the ways of their new and wild home and share their supplies.

Although Leni and her mother learn how to protect themselves from the dangers lurking outside their small wood cabin, they can’t figure out how to escape from what’s inside their home, particularly, Ernt’s demons.

Ernt’s temper turns volatile and out of control each winter as the cold and dark ascend, threatening to destroy everything Leni and her mother have found, and built, in Alaska.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: This was a gripping and strong story. At times it verged on YA (being told from teenage Leni’s view) and it was a bit predictable, but it was still a very good and enjoyable read.


2. Things You Save in a Fire

AUTHOR: Katherine Center

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Romance

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND THIS?: Yes

SUMMARY: Things You Save in a Fire is the story of Cassie, a female firefighter who prides herself on her ability to stay utterly calm in the face of catastrophe, thanks to her rough and unemotional demeanor. But when Cassie accidentally lets her feelings get the better of her, an uncharacteristic moment changes the trajectory of her entire career, aka, her entire life.

In a moment of duress, Cassie agrees to leave her beloved Austin, TX fire station—and home—to move to Boston to take care of her ailing, and semi-estranged, mother.

Cassie believes she’ll be just fine in her new male-dominated, non-progressive environment because of her ability to follow the rules. Thankfully, her old fire chief armed her with everything she needs to know about her new job—never let them see you cry, be stronger than everyone, and never, ever get involved with a fellow firefighter.

She’s got it in the bag—she’ll simple be her usually hardcore, rule-abiding self times a million. That is until she encounters The Rookie—another new recruit who stirs something in her she’s never experienced before. Before she’s even realize what happens, all her rules—and all her control—has gone right out the window.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: This has been the most unputdownable book I’ve read all year. I literally sacrificed sleep, work and friends because this things was glued to my hands from page one.

It’s a sweet, engrossing and butterflies-in-the-stomach kind of story that will grab your heart. I absolutely adored this book!


3. Nine Perfect Strangers

AUTHOR: Liane Moriarty

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND THIS?: Yes

SUMMARY: In Nine Perfect Strangers, a health resort brings together nine strangers, each one on a search. Some are seeking weight loss. Others are seeking a complete life detox. And all are seeking answers.

But when the already unconventional program manager flies off the rails, the group of strangers is forced to team together and figure out how to save themselves from the unpredictable—and dangerous—roller coaster they’ve found themselves on.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: I was wary of this book before reading it because of the mixed reviews it’s received. Thankfully, I ended up really enjoying it! It’s typical Moriarty—lots of characters, lots of different stories tied together, and a lot of suspense! This is a fun and fast read.


4. Miracle Creek

AUTHOR: Angie Kim

GENRE: Thriller | Courtroom Drama

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND THIS?: Yes

SUMMARY: Miracle Creek starts off with the trial of Elizabeth, a woman accused of killing her autistic son by blowing up the hyperbaric oxygen tank where he did his therapeutic “dives”.

The tank, known as the Miracle Submarine, is run by an immigrant family from Korea—the Yoos. The Yoo’s patients are mainly developmentally-delayed children whose parents are so desperate for a “normal” life they’ve turned to this alternative, and supposedly dangerous, method.

But when the submarine explodes, killing a child and a parent, all signs point to premeditated murder, leading to a grueling and twisting trial.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: This was the first courtroom thriller I’ve ever read and I’m hooked! It was so gripping and compelling; I couldn’t put it down.

The only reason it didn’t get a full 5 stars from me is because it felt drawn out in the second half. The first part of the book started out so fast-paced but then started to dwindle.


5. Little Fires Everywhere

AUTHOR: Celeste Ng

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND THIS?: Yes

SUMMARY: Little Fires Everywhere is the story of a pristine and perfect town called Shaker Heights. Its meticulously planned layout, houses, and community give all its residents the stability and consistency they crave, especially Elena Richardson, Shaker Heights’ biggest cheerleader.

But when a new neighbor, an artist and single mother named Mia, moves into one of the rentals, the firm foundation everyone thought they were standing on doesn’t appear so sound anymore.

After a custody battle breaks out when one of the Shaker Heights families tries to adopt a baby, the neighborhood is divided, putting Mia and Elena on opposite sides. Elena, determined to win, lets go of her rules and structure in order to dig out the secrets Mia’s worked so hard to contain.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: This was my favorite book this month. The writing was spectacular and the storyline was amazing. Celeste Ng has become one of my new favorite authors.


6. The Farm

AUTHOR: Joanne Ramos

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND THIS?: Yes

SUMMARY: It’s no secret—everything has a price. Even the perfect baby.

The Farm is the story of Golden Oaks, a surrogacy center nestled in the remote countryside where the megarich can outsource their pregnancies. The surrogates are referred to as “Hosts”, women selected based on their reproductive health and willingness to be the property of “The Farm” for the entire nine months of their pregnancies.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is thrilled when she’s selected to be a Host, knowing that the payoff she’ll get after the delivery will be enough to change her and her daughter’s lives forever. But sweet and naive Jane realizes shortly into her stay that it’s not as liberating of an experience as she imagined. Plagued by guilt and fueled with evidence that her daughter is in danger, Jane becomes convinced her daughter’s life depends on her ability to break free from the Farm.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: I had mixed feelings about this book, which seems to be the case for everyone who’s read it. This is not a dystopian story like The Handmaid’s Tale, despite common misconception.

This is a contemporary piece of fiction that questions what personal freedom is and how big of a role money has in our modern society.

Although I really enjoyed the premise and the storyline, it left a bit to be desired. It was a great book—I gave it 4 stars!—but I felt a few of the characters’ stories fell flat.


7. Three Flames

AUTHOR: Alan Lightman

GENRE: Historical Fiction

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND THIS?: Yes

SUMMARY: Three Flames is the story of a struggling Cambodian family, and the intertwining personal narratives of each of its members.

Beginning in 1973 right before the Cambodian Genocide and working its way through the years to 2015, Three Flames travels through the lives of a mother struggling with her father’s murder even decades after it happened, a daughter married too young to a violent and cheating husband, a brother determined to win the heart of the most beautiful girl in the village and escape the dreary farmer’s life he is facing, a young girl determined to stand up to her father in order to fight for her education, and a loyal daughter who takes work in a brutal factory to pay off her father’s gambling debt.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: This is an eye-opening, empowering, and oh so heartbreaking book. The stories of the individual characters are fascinating and painted in such a vivid way you’ll feel like you’re right there with them.

This book is even more special because it was birthed from the author’s personal work as the founder of Harpswell Foundation, “a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance a new generation of female leaders in Cambodia and all of Southeast Asia”.


8. The Island of Sea Women

AUTHOR: Lisa See

GENRE: Historical Fiction

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND THIS?: Yes

SUMMARY: The Island of Sea Women takes place on Jeju, a Korean island where women are the primary money-earners and the men stay at home with the children. Most women on this island find work as haenyeo in all-women diving collectives that farm the sea.

Young-sook is the daughter of a haenyeo captain who was raised in the sea and has only ever known a rural way of life. Mi-ja is the daughter of a late Japanese-collaborator (Korea’s hated enemy) and grew up in the city, surrounded by the most lavish of everything.

Despite their differences, Young-sook and Mi-ja become closer than sisters, forming a friendship they promise to put before anything. However, time and rites of passage eventually pull them apart, breaking their bond and turning them against each other.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: I loved so many different aspects of this book! The history in it was captivating and enriching. The feminist angle was amazing; I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a “girl power” story. And the characters were charming and enthralling. I will definitely be reading more from this author soon!


9. Watching You

AUTHOR: Lisa Jewell

GENRE: Psychological Thriller

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND THIS?: Yes

SUMMARY: In Watching You, Melville Heights—one of London’s premiere neighborhoods—is not as pristine as it seems, especially on the street of the painted houses.

When Joey and her new husband move into her brother’s charming house, she can’t help but feel out of place—everyone seems so put together and successful, while she is anything but. But her focus on whether or not she belongs quickly goes away when she notices one of her neighbors—a charming and magnetizing older man named Tom. Joey can’t get enough of him—she watches him daily, making note of his daily habits and routines as her obsession grows. And in her state of fixation she doesn’t notice that her secret crush isn’t so secret—Tom’s son Freddie has caught on.

When a gruesome murder takes place in Tom’s home, Joey is the main suspect thanks to a personal item that was left at the scene of the crime. But with everyone watching everybody else and long-buried secrets beginning to surface, things might not be exactly how they appear.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: This was a great thriller! The storyline was interesting and unique, unfolding at the perfect pace. If you want a tantalizing read, this is a good one!


RATING SYSTEM:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️—Add this to your must-read list immediately. This is an important and moving book. I highly recommend.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️—This book was entertaining, well-written, and worthwhile. I definitely recommend.

⭐️⭐️⭐️—This book was decent and a good read. I recommend, but do not consider it a must-read.

⭐️⭐️—This book had one or two positive qualities, but overall I do not recommend.

⭐️—This book fell flat in several ways. I do not recommend.


What was your favorite book of July? Share it in the comments below!

Explore more categories:  Book Love, Monthly Reading Wrap Up

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MY NAME'S KELSEY AND I'M A BOOK SLUT

Categories

Would I say my reading addiction is a problem?

Would you consider the fact that I've blown my daughter's future college fund on new books an issue? Cool, me either. I knew we'd be friends.

BOOK Lists

KINDLE DIRECT PUBLISHING

CHICK LIT WRITING ADVICE

popular posts

The best of Wilmington

How to host a wine tasting

Decorating with Flowers

Best of Boho Outdoors

insiDer

become an

SUPER JUICY BOOK NEWS AND PUBLISHING TIPS
DELIVERED WEEKLY

BOOKISH THINGS