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Presented by State Library Victoria

July Wrap Up

Hi everyone!

So July’s over and now it’s already August so here’s the list of books I read last month. I had a fairly good reading month in terms of the amount of books and pages that I read. I also reread some books since library’s are closed again and I was in a Wheel of Time mood. In terms of actual genres that I got to, it was basically all sci-fantasy because who needs books set in the real world when you can go to fictional worlds that are even worse off than the real world am I right. In all honestly though, fantasy is a way of escapism. So out of the fifteen books that I read, 10 are fantasy(4 adult epic fantasy, 2 YA secondary world fantasy, 2 YA urban fantasy, 1 YA historical fantasy and 1 adult historical retelling), 2 classics, 1 dystopian/horror, 1 sci-fi and 1 YA contemporary. 

Here are those books.


Title: Lady Smoke(Ash Princess Trilogy #2)

Author: Laura Sebastian 

Genre: YA fantasy

Book length: On the chunkier side of things.

Thoughts: I really liked this and although some things are fairly generic like the magic systems, I largely enjoyed the worldbuilding and uses tropes in good way.

Recommended to: Fans of YA fantasy that occasionally gets slightly darker.

Final rating: 8/10


Title: The Archived Series(The Archived #1 + The Unbound #2)

Author: V.E Schwab

Genre: YA urban fantasy

Book length: About normal I’d say.

Thoughts: I thought that this was great and really liked the world and magic. The characters were really well written, however, I didn’t really dig the love triangle in both novels and book 2 suffered a bit in pacing especially in the first half where nothing much happened.

Recommended to: Fans of V.E Schwab and anyone looking for some solid fantasy.

Final rating: 8/10


Title: Five Feet Apart

Author: Mikki Daughtry, Rachael Lippincott, and Tobias Iaconis

Genre: YA contemporary/romance

Book length: On the shorter side of things.

Thoughts: Bit of an unpopular opinion but I didn’t like this at all. My largest issue was the romanticisation of cancer and that the two people that fall in love could literally kill each other and their relationship is built on absolutely nothing except for that they are hormonal teenagers and find each other hot. 

Recommended to: It’s been flouted as the new Fault in Our Stars, so if you liked that maybe you’ll enjoy this.

Final rating: 3.5/10


Title: The Diviners(The Diviners #1)

Author: Libba Bray

Genre: YA historical fantasy.

Book length: Fairly large.

Thoughts: I thought that this nice and enjoyed myself and the characters. It was a bit slow in terms of actual plot progression though.

Recommended to: Fans of historical fantasy.

Final rating: 7.5/10


Title: Bearmouth 

Author: Liz Hyder

Genre: YA dystopian/horror

Book length: Normalish

Thoughts: It’s written in a way where the grammar and spelling is purposely messed up as it’s written like diary entries from the perspective of this kid learning to write and it just wasn’t for me and it was quite annoying to read. I really couldn’t be immersed in it at all. 

Recommended to: It’s like how the Todd chapters in the Chaos Walking Trilogy were written though it is even more messed up but if you enjoyed the writing in that, you may like this.

Final rating: 5.5/10


Title: Girls of Paper and Fire(Girls of Paper and Fire #1)

Author: Natasha Ngan

Genre: YA fantasy

Book length: Sitting in that fairly normal range.

Thoughts: I found this to be well written in an interestingly developed world with well written characters(especially Wren, who was awesome!), with a fairly generic beginning and a middle that sort of stalled for a bit but the ending was great.

Recommended to: Anyone looking for some sapphic YA fantasy.

Final rating: 8/10


Title: The Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller

Genre: Adult retelling. 

Book length: Not long enough for a book this good.

Thoughts: So, I loved this retelling of the Iliad and the story of Achilles. The romance between Patroclus and Achilles was awesome even if Achilles was a stubborn mule. Breisis deserved so much and egoistical men are the biggest idiots. Also just the writing was amazing.

Recommended to: Fans of Greek myths and legends, though beware, there are some pretty graphic things in here.

Final rating: 9.5/10


Title: Animal Farm

Author: George Orwell

Genre: Classics/Political allegory

Book length: Really short

Thoughts: Reread for school. Hooray, not. I mean it’s whatever. The message is very important and relevant and I get that, but in terms of actually liking the book and the characters is sort of a different story, especially when the characters and plot is so predictable and blatantly obvious as to what it is saying.

Recommended to: People realising this isn’t just about animals on a farm but rather about Stalin getting his way.

Final rating: 6/10


Title: The Wheel of Time(The Dragon Reborn #3, The Shadow Rising #4, The Fire of Heaven #5, New Spring #0)

Author: Robert Jordan

Genre: Epic fantasy

Book length: All of these are like solid 800-1000 page monsters except New Spring which is the prequel.

Thoughts: So this is one of my favourite fantasy series ever and since I’m back in quarantine with nothing better to do and that these books take a lot of time to read, I thought that I may as well reread some of them. To be fair, they are pretty slow books and the actual payoff doesn’t really come until the last three books of this 14 book series, but I still really love these books and these characters and the worldbuilding is just fantastic.

Recommended to: Anyone wanting a series that will take forever to get through.

Final rating: 9.5/10


Title: The Calculating Stars(Lady Astronaut #1)

Author: Mary Robinette Kowal

Genre: Alternate history/sci-fi

Book length: About average.

Thoughts: I liked this and that it wasn’t only focussed on the sci-fi aspect but also lots on social issues as well, though I would also have liked the actual plot to have moved a bit quicker.

Recommended to: those wanting an alternate history timeline where a meteor hits the Earth in the 1950’s and humanity as to quickly colonise space.

Final rating: 7.5/10


Title: Emma

Author: Jane Austen

Genre: Classics

Book length: Definitely on the longer side of things.

Thoughts: Despite hearing people say that Emma is quite the despicable character, which, she is, it was actually interesting to read from someone’s perspective who is not the best person to be friends with.

Recommended to: Austen and classic literature fans.

Final rating: 7.5/10

Well, those are all the books I got to in July. My prediction for the amount of books I’m going to read in August is either: might muck around and go on a reading spree or not read at all and read the entire internet. Those are the only two options, obviously. Anyway, happy reading and take care out there!


inky State Library Victoria

Another month of great reading! I really liked Circe by Madeline Miller so from this I think I will have to get my hands on a copy of The Song of Achilles! The V.E. Schwab sound good too. Thanks for the recommendations!

2nd Aug, 20

Circe was awesome! I hope you'll like Song of Achilles as well! And haha thank you!

2nd Aug, 20