Monthly Wrap-Up: July 2022

My July wrap-up is surprisingly long considering the slump I have found myself in for the last few weeks. I’ve somehow made it through eight books, more than last month. This is a complete shock to me. I spent a few weeks agonising over the beast that was the Zodiac Academy book four. Apparently from that point on it was plain sailing, kind of. 

The Set Up by Kothari Falguni 

Read: 7/07/22

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Audiobooks are where my July wrap-up gets really bulked out. I quite enjoy these types of books as they are super short, especially if you listen at 1.4x speed like me, and they pad out my reading challenge very well. 

This was another example of an ok Audible Orginal. I’m yet to be completely wowed by one, other than the pretty good Love Lines series by Cara Bastone. 

If you want to read my review of The Set Up you can do so here.

Synopsis: “Just three dates. That’s all I’m asking. One boy shares your sense of humour. Another has similar interests and ideals. The third boy has a helpful heart like yours.”

When Aditi Gupta comes home late from work as a pediatric resident one night and her grandfather offers this pitch, she reluctantly agrees. She’s far too busy with med school to be dating, and besides, she dreams of a love for the ages, like her parents, not an arranged marriage. And yet she finds herself agreeing to three dates because she loves her grandfather. All she has to do is make herself utterly ineligible and problem solved!

And sure enough her first date with the disgustingly handsome and intriguing Krishna Lal goes exactly as planned: not well! But then the second date comes around and Aditi finds that there is more at stake than just three bad dates. Suddenly, her heart is on the line, and maybe her grandfather’s, too.

Shadow Princess (Zodiac Academy #4) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti 

Read: 18/06/22 – 8/07/22

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I don’t want to say this is where my horrible reading month started, but the time it took me to read it kind of shows that it is. Honestly, these books are actually pretty good, but they seem to be getting 100 pages longer the further you get into the series. Which honestly, is very daunting to me. 

What I will say though is that these books seem to be getting better. I didn’t enjoy Shadow Princess as much as The Reckoning, but this series has come a long way since book one. 

Check out my review of Shadow Princess here

Synopsis: After the events of the Lunar Eclipse, Tory and Darcy must learn to deal with the darkness which shadows their lives.

With a secret binding them to Darius and Orion, they must find a way to all work together for the greater good. But some things are easier said than done…

The Not So Chosen One by Kate Emery  

Read: 8/07/22 – 13/07/22

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

*I was sent an arc of this in exchange for an honest review*

The premise of this sounded very interesting, but unfortunately, it wasn’t executed brilliantly. It was a decent read in the end, and I’m assuming it’s going to be a series. If it is then I’ll definitely check out book two, but I don’t think the first book had enough substance to it. 

I did a full review of The Not So Chosen One if you want to read it here.

Synopsis: Lucy is just a regular teenager with regular worries: homework, friends, getting home for dinner on time. Oh, and there’s the small matter of how she’s going to tell her mother about her unplanned pregnancy.

So when she first hears about Drake’s College, a school for students with magical talent, she’s sure someone’s messing with her. But despite her scepticism, she’s soon swept up into a world beyond her wildest imaginings—and now she’s got something else to hide.

At Drake’s, Lucy befriends Jack, a teacher’s assistant who has secrets of his own. More concerningly, Lucy’s ‘talent’ doesn’t seem to be materialising, and one of the other students collapses in a mysterious incident. There’s danger in the air…

The Darkening by Sunya Mara 

Read: 13/07/22 – 22/07/22

Rating: 4 out of 5.

*I was sent an arc of this exchange for an honest review*

The reading slump was still well and truly alive when it came ot reading this. I read almost the entire second half in the last day of the dates read and although this was very good I was so happy to see the end of it. 

Doesn’t it suck that slumps can really alter your opinion of a book. It’s a shame because this probably would have been a 4.5 or possibly even a 5. I still gave it a positive review though. You can read it here

Synopsis: Vesper Vale is the daughter of revolutionaries. Failed revolutionaries. When her mother was caught by the queen’s soldiers, they gave her a choice: death by the hangman’s axe, or death by the Storm that surrounds the city and curses anyone it touches. She chose the Storm. And when the queen’s soldiers—led by a paranoid prince—catch up to Vesper’s father after twelve years on the run, Vesper will do whatever it takes to save him from sharing that fate.

Even arm herself with her father’s book of dangerous experimental magic.

Even infiltrate the prince’s elite squad of soldier-sorcerers.

Even cheat her way into his cold heart.

But when Vesper learns that there’s more to the story of her mother’s death, she’ll have to make a choice if she wants to save her city: trust the devious prince with her family’s secrets, or follow her mother’s footsteps into the Storm.

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood 

Read: 23/07/22 – 24/07/22 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

*I was sent an arc of this in exchange for an honest review*

Yes, yes, yes! This book was exactly what I needed. I quite literally could not put it down. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here as I will have a full review coming out close to the publication date. But just know I loved this. 

Synopsis: Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project – a literal dream come true – Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.

Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school – archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.

But when her equipment starts to go missing and the staff ignore her, Bee could swear she sees Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas… devouring her with those eyes. The possibilities have all her neurons firing.

But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?

Sun of a Beach by Mia Sosa

Read: 24/07/22 

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Another audiobook to bulk out my July wrap-up, Audible plus really is a great thing. Unlike this book which was so bad, I don’t have the energy to talk about it again. If you want to read my *slightly* rant-fuelled review you can do so here

Synopsis: No-nonsense executive Naomi Reyes can’t believe she let her boss manipulate her into babysitting Donovan Taylor, the most insufferable creative director of all time. Worse, she’ll be trapped on a private island with him, while a bevy of gorgeous models vie for a coveted chance to grace the cover of M-Class magazine’s inaugural swimsuit edition—and, if the office rumors are true, an equally coveted place in Donovan’s bed. Still, if she survives the trip with no major mishaps, she’ll earn a shot at landing a dream job as an M-Class writer. Easy peasy, right?


Donovan Taylor detests people who try to undermine his artistic control, and his boss’s latest machinations send Donovan to a very devious place. Sure, Ms. Reyes will get her precious photo shoot, but it won’t be what she expects. Bonus? Ruffling the feathers of the humorless exec who’s never liked Donovan will be satisfying, too—assuming she doesn’t drown him in the ocean first.

Let the beach games begin . . .

Talli, Daughter of the Moon Vol. 1 by Sourya

Read: 29/07/22

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

*I was sent an arc of this in exchange for an honest review*

I have a review of this coming up in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for it.

Synopsis: Talli is a Summoner: a nearly extinct people, hunted by those who fear their mysterious powers. As a baby, she was adopted by Lord Koska, and all was well for many years… But one day, their castle is sacked by Koska’s rival, Lord Ulric. Talli escapes in the chaos and darkness with the help of the noble (some might say too noble) knight Sir Alan.

With Ulric’s forces hot on her heels, Talli and Alan keep one step ahead, gathering a motley crew of companions and protectors that includes the lethargic-but-incredible swordsman Lélo. Ulric’s Captain Nina pursues them doggedly, but she is unaware of the secret of Talli’s blood: the secret of the Summoners!

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #3) by Phillip Pullman 

Read: 10/06/22 – 30/07/22

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This may also be to blame for my horrible reading month. I absolutely adore these books, but I found I had no motivation to read this. At the time I was going through some drama at work and my hue pile of ARCs made it impossible to pick up a physical book. 

Thankfully in the last week, I have forced myself to get through this and I’ve finally finished the series. I am still giving the book a high score, despite the time taken to read, as it really was beautiful. 

The world Phillip Pullman has created is so rich and complex, and often very beautiful. Hats off to him. 

Synopsis: Will is the bearer of the knife. Now, accompanied by angels, his task is to deliver that powerful, dangerous weapon to Lord Asriel – by the command of his dying father.

But how can he go looking for Lord Asriel when Lyra is gone? Only with her help can he fathom the myriad plots and intrigues that beset him.

The two great powers of the many worlds are lining up for war, and Will must find Lyra, for together they are on their way to battle, an inevitable journey that will even take them to the world of the dead…

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Like this post? Why not read this one too: Book Haul: July 2022

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