Book review| July 2017

Book review| July 2017

July is gone and so are 5 books that I read this past month. Yes, 5 book. Despite the first two weeks of the month being quite hectic, I ended up making up during the later weeks of the month because a) I have a week of vacation and b) I feel well-rested and energized which makes me want to read. Here’s the 5 books I read in July.  book review july 2017

Cassandra Clare – Lord of Shadows (Dark Artifices #2)
E. Lockhart – We Were Liars
Jim Butcher – Storm Front (Dresden Files #1)
Steven Hall – The Raw Shark Texts
Rachel Joyce – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Cassandra Clare – Lord of Shadows (Dark Artifices #2)

book review july 2017

Now that Malcolm Fade has seemingly been defeated, life goes back to normal, well about as normal as can be for a Shadowhunter, for Emma Carstairs. There is still that little thing between Julian and her. Mark is kind enough to try and help out, but he is torn between his two true loves. In the mean time, the Fae are trying to wreak havoc on the Cold Peace, while Kit is trying to figure out whether he wants to be a shadowhunter and Diana tries to keep her deepest secrets just that.

Quite possibly one of the most anticipated releases of the year and I wasn’t a huge fan. There I said it: I gave Lord of Shadows a meager 2 stars on Goodreads. Why? Because the plot dragged on for what seemed like ages and in the end it did too much in too few pages. There was a lot of pining after seemingly unreachable loves by multiple characters and I only felt for one: Mark Blackthorn. To me, he was the best out of the cast of characters we are presented with. I truly felt for him. However, may aspects of the storyline felt like trying to do too much. And don’t get me wrong, because I’m all for increasing diversity in novels, but the whole Diana/ Gwyn angle felt too contrived and trying too hard. To me, this was clearly an ‘inbetween’ novel as it is the second book in the series. I still want to know how things end in book 3, but this book felt a little overdone and too samey samey.

Steven Hall – The Raw Shark Texts

book review july 2017

One day a man named Eric Sanderson wakes up on the floor of a room he doesn’t recognize. He walks down the stairs and finds a letter addressed to him: from his earlier self. Apparently there have been 11 different versions of him and each time he wakes up on the floor having forgotten everything about himself. He sees a shrink and in the mean time receives piles of letters from former Eric warning him for the Ludovician: a monstrous shark that preys on thoughts. Eric doesn’t really buy into it until he is watching TV late one night and is nearly swallowed by the thing.

Part cultural satire, part eclectic novel, part romance, part a retelling of Jaws: this book had a lot going for it, but in the end I felt it all fell a little bit flat. The storyline seemed too absurd at times, which in the end kind of makes sense. However, the real reason why everything happens is never revealed, which leaves you with this ‘WTH did I just read?’ feeling until well after reading this book. I was amused and compelled throughout the book though and there were many parts I enjoyed. The further the story developed and the clearer it became that its conclusion was near, the more I felt the book lacked in originality and in the end resorted to the one of the oldest and overused endings to a story. Such a shame for such an unusual and mostly original piece of work.

E. Lockhart – We Were Liars

book review july 2017

Cadence is part of a super rich, super handsome family. And that is all that matters. That is what she is taught her whole life. Each summer the family meets on their own private island, run by the patriarch: Cadence’s grandfather. Told by Cadence as a series of memories to the good old days, it becomes clear that somethings just don’t add up. Why was she found practically naked and alone on a beach one night? And why won’t anyone tell her what happened to grandpa’s house?

I picked up We Were Liars after finding it at my local charity shop for 80 cts. I had been meaning to read it, but this being a YA mystery, I wasn’t too sure, which is why I was so pleasantly surprised. This book made me cry, but it could have done without the pages and pages of lovesick teenager. I often figured: what’s the point. And the point is that there is no point to that part of the story. At least not for me. I’d have rated this 5 stars if the plot had been more consistent and less piny.

Jim Butcher – Storm Front (Dresden Files #1)

book review july 2017

Meet Harry Dresden: professional wizard and private detective. Working from his Chicago office, he isn’t exactly the most popular boy on the block. Then luck comes his way: he gets a private assignment AND is rung up by Chicago PD to help out on a case. In the mean time he has to take to not offend the White Council, is interrupted by a demon on a first date and manages to offend and save one of his most loyal colleagues. All that in just a week’s time.

This book was a birthday gift after a friend told me about the premise of this series. And I simply couldn’t wait to get started. I terribly enjoyed myself while reading this and rated it 5 stars despite the sexism. Even when the women in this story are all quite kick ass, they are still described mostly for how pretty they are or can be. But once I got over that and the case unravels more and more, action picks up and the plot moved along a lot more quickly. This is a fast-paced adult urban fantasy read that has me hooked. I’m already eyeballing the second installment.

Rachel Joyce – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

book review july 2017

Harold isn’t really anyone in particular. He just retired from the brewery and Maureen, his wife, loves to clean. He hasn’t really been doing much really. He just exists. But then one morning the post arrives and he receives a letter from Queenie: a colleague he once knew from work. She has cancer and she had to think of him. He sets out to post a reply, only to not look back and keep on walking. Instead of mailing his letter as he had intended, Harold decides to walk from Kingsbridge in Devon to Berwick-upon-Tweed: the northenmost town in England.

This book came onto my radar after I spotted someone reading it on the train. It sounded right up my alley and it was. This book was just very endearing about a mundane couple who are mostly just very British and how they got caught up in a web of suspicion and betrayal as time wore on. I found the story was slow at certain times, yet high-paced and almost exhilarating at other times. The ending was a little lackluster: after having come all this way Harold is a bit done in and that dragged the entire spirit of the story down for me. In the end this is one of those books that gives you all the feels and that’s why I rated it a solid 3 stars.

What is the last book you read?

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4 thoughts on “Book review| July 2017

  1. I’m “currently” reading Lord of Shadows but I keep putting myself off because it’s going to be such a long wait for the sequel once I’ve finished it. I’ve heard good things about it, bad things and it makes me wonder how I’ll feel about it.
    Yet I can’t convince myself to just keep on reading.. 2019? Come on! That’s way too long for a sequel, haha.
    The last book I read was Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling. I always was curious about the speech she gave at Harvard all those years ago, so I finally got around to reading it. Loved it.

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