July Reading Wrap Up

Hey there, everyone! I hope everyone met some goals with reading this July. God, I can’t believe it is already August. I didn’t meet my goal of 16 books, but honestly, that was a crazy goal, so I’m just happy I could read on some days.

Anyway, how did everyone else do this past month? Meet any personal goals?

Our Crooked Hearts

Melissa Albert is excellent at what she does. She had me hooked with Into the Hazel Wood, and she had me hooked here as well. There were times when the characterization was stiff, but as the story progressed, it made sense why the characters felt lackluster, and that was because something was taken from them. Definitely witchy, eerie, and atmospheric. Worth the read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Black Candle Women

I found this book to be so incredibly frustrating. The youngest daughter needs more personality and voice, so I’ve forgotten her name. Her mother, Veronica, is a helicopter parent to the extreme. She’s controlling, gaslighting, and manipulative. She’s worried about her daughter getting hurt. She fails to realize that not allowing her daughter to have a life and keeping her in a gilded cage is hurting her. This was a miss for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

House of Marionne

J. Elle is great at weaving together magic into her storytelling. I like how the story progresses and the whole cotillion setup; it creates a great atmosphere in current times. It brought some history and class into the story, pulling together a narrative. There was some excellent character development and the plot twist at the end; let me say I didn’t see that coming for miles.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Rust in the Root

Oh, such a good book. I have always wanted to read something from Justine Ireland, and omg this was amazing. i love the way she integrated fantasy into historical fiction. It was amazing, simply amazing. I was still a little confused at times about mechomancy but overall, it was a solid story, moved so quickly, and just blew me away.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Murder at a Scottish Wedding

A fun cozy mystery. I loved how the characters actually sounded Scottish. Sometimes when you read, the language of the book is kept more formal and easy to follow, but context is critical here, and it worked. Hall used Scottish lingo and voice to bring the story to life, and the mystery at the end I didn’t see it coming.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Those We Drown

I wanted to like this novel way more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the premise and the mystery and cultish atmosphere on the cruise. It gave me Ghost Ship vibes. But, if this were a horror movie, Liv would have been the first person to die. She was so frustratingly stupid, and I just wanted to shake her half the time.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Wild Is the Witch

So this was the book club pick for my book club, Read with Cyn’s Workshop. I expected more. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but The Nature of Witches was a stronger novel overall. This had an excellent romance tied to it, and it didn’t lack magic. I love that Griffith’s story captures the heart of being a witch, that strong connection to nature and wildlife. But there was a measure of depth lacking here that was present in her first novel. It needed to push the envelope more on the romance and delve into the deeper emotions and conflict surrounding it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


This is definitely a series that needs to be read together. So much in this novel connected to previous novels and built off much of that information. But Cass also adds more characters that create a more extensive story scope. It is not a quick or easy read, switching between characters and focusing on world-building. It was a dense novel. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, but a lot is happening that made this a novel that requires careful reading.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Delicious Monsters

Oo, what a good book. Fair warning, this book does address child abuse, grooming, sexual abuse, and more while not being explicit. I am thankful the author included these trigger warnings at the novel’s beginning. The novel spans ten years, going back and forth between Daisy and Brittany, two girls bound together by a house known for death and miracles. There was an excellent mystery and the way the story unfolded kept me hooked from beginning to end.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This Cursed Crown

This was another book that made me wish I had re-read the first novel. I read the first novel as an ARC, so three years have passed between reading the first book and this one. I remembered so much of the novel, but I would have appreciated this novel more had I re-read the first because there were gaps in my memory. Nevertheless, I loved the split POV even though there were times both characters annoyed me, and I loved the plot twists and the way the story developed, being both unpredictable and fast-paced.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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