So, I read all but one of the books on my TBR for July, but then I added one that wasn't on the list. So I came out even. 15 books? Let's find out together.
Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok - I decided not to read this. I was running out of time, and I had added another book to my list, and I heard it wasn't all that from another reader, so I left it off.
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn - This was the book club book for July. It was an adventurous mystery set in Victorian England. Lots of bizarre things happened and the main character is a sassy lady. It was fun, but it's hard to talk about genre fiction at book club.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang - This was okay. I had a lot of hope for it because the main character is autistic. It was super steamy, but it took a turn I didn't like so I had to stop reading it for a week. I did finally finish it, but it was too much.
Disssenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Life & Works by Victoria Ortiz - I enjoyed this little biography of RBG. I liked the pictures included.
Tin Heart by Shivaun Plozza - This book is about a teen girl who is a successful heart transplant recipient. She spent a lot of years thinking she was going to die, and now that she's not, she has to figure out how to be a regular kid. Working against her are the fact that her mother is a militant vegan and her little brother dresses in costume every day. Also, she thinks she's (illegally) found the family of her donor.
Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller - The jury is still out on this one. It's not sci-fi, not fantasy, maybe historical fiction? But kind of all those things. The main character is a girl who is training to be a warrior in her village. This is unusual, but her father is the chief and she is actually the best. When she takes her trial to become an actual warrior, she is betrayed and she ends up being cast out of the village to try to survive in the wild and to try to kill the local god in order to be allowed back in. She makes friends of two boys who were cast out of their village too. It was really good. She is a badass.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas - This is the only 10 bookmark book for this month. It was so good. It's about a 15 year old girl who is a rap prodigy. She also happens to be the daughter of a promising rapper who was killed in a gang shooting when she was 4. She wants to get famous for her rap and doesn't want to do it the way her family thinks is best. She starts to get caught up. It's a perfect example of kids not realizing the long-term effects of their actions.
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau-Preto - This book is told in three voices. Veronyka is a poor girl who wants to be a Phoenix Rider, but her sister kills her Phoenix. She runs away to dress as a boy and hide in a Phoenix rider outpost and training center. Tristan is an apprentic Phoenix Rider and the son of the guy in charge of the outpost. Veronyka helps him improve in his training. Sev is a guy who wants to be a Phoenix Rider but more importantly he wants to stay alive, so he is a soldier in the army that is heading to attack the outpost.
Birthday by Meredith Russo - Morgan and Eric are best friends. They were born on the same day and have been friends forever. Morgan's mom died when he was 11. He begins to realize he is a girl by the time he is 12, but he's afraid to tell Eric. The story is told only on their birthday. Some crazy stuff happens on their birthday some years. I like this one a lot.
Lovely War by Julie Berry - This was interesting. The conceit is that Ares and Aphrodite are having an illicit affair, but her husband Hephaestus catches them. He holds them hostage and puts them on trial with himself as judge and jury. Aphrodite tells a story of two couples in WWI to prove that she is really good at her job and loves what she does. Without this side story, this would be a pretty boring love story. Aphrodite brings in Apollo and Hades to share their parts in the story.
You Must Not Miss by Katrina Leno - I really didn't like this book. The main character is damaged by divorce, neglect, abandonment, and depression. Instead of dealing with it, she creates an imaginary world where she can take people who are mean to her and they will be eaten alive. It's horrific and she never actually deals with the reality of her life.
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie - This was fun. It was a collection of little short stories about princesses in history who did not live the life of luxury sold by Disney. They were married off against their will, held in captivity, run mad, and sometimes killed.
The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie - I liked this much more than the last book of hers I read. The main character was strange and angry, and learned a lot on her journey. It was weird. Don't get me wrong, but it was not a sweet easy utopia.
Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer - This is another Beauty and the Beast re-telling. It wasn't bad, in fact it was pretty good. But after A Curse So Dark and Lonely, it just didn't beat that one. This one got confusing. There were some string of consciousness passages that got away from me. I had no idea what was going on.
The Cold Is In Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale - Billed as a Medusa retelling, it does feature a girl with snakes in her hair. The girls in the village have been cursed. Every so often one goes mad and attacks her parents and has to be carted off to The Place. All Milla knows is that she's never good enough and her parents vastly prefer her brother. When her new friend Irid is invaded by the demon, Milla goes to save her.
The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth by Josh Levin - This is the one I randomly added this month. It's about Linda Taylor, who was found to have defrauded welfare of thousands of dollars using many names and claiming children she didn't have. But it doesn't stop there. She claimed to be the long, lost daughter of a man who recently died with lots of money hidden in his house. She married lots of men, sometimes at the same time, but using various names. She probably had a hand in killing at least 3 people. She was a seriously sinister character.
This was a really long post. I am considering splitting it in half and doing one of these wrap ups halfway through the month to keep this down to a manageable post. What did you read in July?