July Wrap-up!

Happy August my loves! 💞

I hope you’ve all had a lovely July filled with lots of amazing reads.

I’m happy to say July was a pretty good reading month for me! In total, I read seven books which is great considering I was stuck in a bit of a slump the month before. ><

Looking back, I think I read a little bit of everything this time around and I’m so excited to share them with you all!

Here’s what I read this month and my thoughts on each one. 🥰

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Oh, gothic literature, whatever would I do without you? Rebecca follows a nameless protagonist who marries a recent widower and moves into his estate. The romantic suspense continues from there. And even though I saw the big twist coming from a mile away, this book was such a lovely read. Most importantly, the writing is impeccable! I easily lost myself in the pages and felt that I too was at Manderley. The author does an amazing job of setting a mysterious ambiance and placing the reader in the protagonist’s shoes. This made for a great reading experience and is a treat for all Gothic lovers.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Finally! Norwegian Wood has been on my TBR for what feels like years. Now that I’ve read it, I find myself feeling a bit… disappointed. The book is told through Toru’s perspective, as he looks back on his college years. The writing is stunning, as it usually is with this author. Murakami effortlessly transports you back to the late 60s and the prose is at times breathtaking. However, I found myself disturbed by what is probably Murakami’s biggest critique — his female characters. The women in this book are heavily sexualized and one-dimensional, so much so that they just didn’t feel real. So, while I know there is a lot to admire about this book, the portrayal of women just missed the mark for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

all about love by bell hooks

Though it took me a while to read, all about love was, overall, a pleasant experience. I enjoyed hooks’ meditations on the transformative power of love. Without a doubt, there are some great excerpts from this book that I see myself looking back on. Still, I felt the narrative got quite repetitive at times and there were a few takes I disagreed with. I thought I would enjoy this much more than I actually did but it was still a good nonfiction read, nonetheless.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is about a Vietnamese American son writing a letter to his illiterate mother. This has been on my TBR for a minute now, as it’s one of the books I constantly see pop up on BookTok. Unfortunately, my expectations weren’t fully met. Let’s get one thing out of the way, this book is beautiful. Voung has a way with words that is nothing short of exceptional. The prose hits you right where it needs to. However, I found myself wanting more. There just wasn’t enough story to keep me interested. As I read, I became tired of the lyrical writing and had to push through the last few pages. Overall, a beautiful read but not my favorite.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I’m so happy to say that The Hobbit was everything I thought it would be and more. Set in Tolkien’s Middle-earth, it follows Bilbo Baggins on a grand adventure. An exciting story with lively characters and, most importantly, a showcase of masterful world-building from the father of high fantasy himself. Gosh, this was just such a cozy read for me! I loved Bilbo as a protagonist and the adventure kept me hooked all throughout. I enjoyed every minute of this book and can’t wait to get to The Lord of the Rings soon!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus Series #1) by Rick Riordan

Carrying on with my current Percy Jackson obsession, I started the Heroes of Olympus series! This first book follows Jason, Piper, and Leo as they are introduced to Camp Half-Blood and set on a deadly quest. I’ll admit I didn’t fall for the new characters right away, as I missed Percy’s narration terribly. But I slowly warmed up to them and can say I’m eager to see more from this new trio. (Leo is my baby and I will protect him with my life! 🥹) I love how the series was introduced and am excited to read more!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

Love, love, loved this one! The Hacienda is set in the aftermath of the Mexican Independence War and follows Beatriz, a young woman who has married the wealthy owner of the mysterious Hacienda San Isidro. I’m glad I got to this one shortly after reading Rebecca, as Daphne du Maurier’s influence is obvious, in a good way. I do believe it caused me to enjoy this book even more. You can find my full review for The Hacienda right here!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

That’s a wrap!

What was everyone’s favorite read this July? Do leave a comment to let me know!

I wish you all the best for August and hope you encounter some lovely reads this month!

Mucho amor,

Alex 💗