A look at July

I’m so behind this month. Only posting my July wrap-up and it’s almost August. *FOR SHAME!!*

July had some of my favourite books of the year so far and some books I’d rather not think about again.

I started the month with Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds.

It’s been almost 2 months since I read this book and I still can’t articulate how it made me feel. A verse novel, that I was assured via a bookstagram poll was okay to use for my monthly #poetrychallenge, this book just knocked me for six.

A beautifully written masterpiece that deals with the cycle of violence and the ‘rules’ that govern it. In this case fifteen year old Will finds himself on the cusp of continuing that cycle in order to avenge his brother. With a gun in his wasteband Will steps on to an elevator that will bring him down seven floors and potentially change the course of his life. The journey takes 67 seconds. The elevator stops on all six floors on the long way down and Will gets a new visitor on each floor.

This book tells multiple stories in an unforgettable way and it does it in a way that is unique and equal parts sad and stunning. Absolutely one of my favourite reads of the year and I think will also have to go on my all time favourites shelf because I can’t stop thinking about it and I’m still stunned by how much it conveyed with so few words.

After Long Way Down I found it difficult to find something to hold my attention. I read Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger by Nigel Slater which I did enjoy but I also read a few contemporaries that threatened to put me off everything forever. This may seem like an exaggeration but at the time it felt very real.

I have a few books set aside for potential reading slumps. They are books that I have not read but I know I’m going to enjoy. I know this because I’ve either read a sample or they are written by authors who I know won’t disappoint. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is one such book.

This was my reading highlight of the month.

I was in the mood for violence and a kickass heroine who wasn’t too stupid to live and that’s what I got.

I absolutely savored this book. The writing was fabulous, the plot was incredibly engaging and the world building, in my opinion, was outstanding.

I’m not sure I would ever really call Mia a ‘likable’ character. She is a baby assassin so she isn’t really supposed to be but for me she was a fantastic heroine and I just loved that she didn’t need no ‘mans’ to save her. She may not be likable but she is still awesome and I’m really taken with her.

For anyone thinking about reading this book I give you the following information. Do with it what you will.

1. This is not and never could be YA. The author has shared this information MANY times. Having read it I can confirm that this is not and never could be YA. The first chapter should really be all you need to read to confirm this. Hell the first line should be enough.

“People often shit themselves when they die.”

2. There is lots and lots of violence and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of blood.

3. It’s third person POV. This is personally my least favourite type of narration but the reason for that is I think it’s difficult to pull it off. Jay Kristoff pulls it off.

4. Footnotes. I heard a lot about the footnotes before I started this. It seems to be something that bothered a lot of people and for some took them out of the story. For myself the opposite was true. I felt this was a really clever way of world building without taking you completely out of the narrative. I particularly liked any of the footnotes that gave us anecdotes. The geek in me wants to go through all the footnotes and try to put them into a timeline so I can have myself a little history of the Republic. This is something that could well happen in the near future.

5. DO. NOT. GET. ATTACHED. TO. ANYONE. Be warned though. I went into this telling myself not to get attached to anyone and I failed miserably.

I also recommend reading Jay Kristoff’s gif review for this if you fancy giving it a go.

I think this may well be one of my favourite books so far this year. I’m afraid to read Godsgrave right away though. I’m legitimately afraid of what’s going to happen next AND Darkdawn has been delayed by a year because Mr Kristoff wants to give it his all and felt that if he tried to get it out this year he wouldn’t be giving us the story the characters deserve. This is actually really cool and I love that he won’t throw any old shit at us. September 2019 is a long way off though and I’m wondering if I should hang onto Godsgrave until early next year? I could also just read it and reread Nevernight and Godsgrave multiple times before Darkdawn comes out? Or else save Godsgrave for the next reading slump? So hard to call.

I ended the month on a Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett reread because I was in the mood to laugh. It did not disappoint and I’m really looking forward to the TV show next year.

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