July Wrap-Up! || 2018

July was supposed to be an epic reading month for me. I had high hopes of smashing my reading goals, finally catching up on my Goodreads challenge and conquering my TBR by staking a flag in it. Alas, this was not quite the reality. But let me tell you about all the amazing books I did get around to reading.

I participated in the month-long edition of the Alphabethon and went on two (!!) small holidays in July so it was a busy month indeed. So before we get any further into this wrap-up, let’s have a quick look at how I did for the Alphabethon:


If you have no idea what I’m talking about, have a read of my announcement post and what my goals were and the rules (etc) for this round. Usually, the Alphabethon is a week-long read-a-thon and each round works progressively through the Alphabet.

So you read all books only starting with F, for example.

In this round, we attempted to read through the Alphabet. I did a miserable job of it but heigh-ho I still did read eight books and one can’t quite sniff at that. There were 11 books in particular I was pushing to get to, out of those, I read 4. That’s how good I am at sticking to my TBRs.

On average I was reading 500 – 800 pages a week and the good weeks were fuelled by plane trips and a solid x-many hours to sit and read with no distractions. I’m pleased with how much I got read but I know I could have read more. I got really stuck on Mimus and was reading that for over a week – and it just killed my fire.

The first time I went away in the month I read heaps but the second time I read very little. And between all that I was working and making a relatively poor effort to smashing through books. But dang, a month is a longggg time to commit to a read-a-thon; I think from now on I’ll stick to week-long read-a-thons instead, for the sake of my sanity!

And quickly! Some links to great deals around the web! I’m feeling lazy and this is an enormous intro so instead of telling you about all their individual deals that are on here’s a quick summary: The Book Depository and Wordery are FREE GLOBAL SHIPPING, Angus & Robertson and Booktopia are Australian companies and offer awesome shipping deals too! I am an affiliate with them all so by using my links to buy some books you help support Upside-Down Books! All of them have a wonderful range of books at a great price:

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository


What I Read

Red Rising
by Pierce Brown

5 Star Rating System 4 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Author: Pierce Brown
Published: January 2014
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 383 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

I really enjoyed this and smashed it out at the start of the month. I’ve already gone and bought the sequel so I can continue on the story!!! I was so impressed with the world-building and how unique it was for a sci-fi.

My review

Goodreads Button

The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas

5 Star Rating System 5 stars

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Author: Angie Thomas
Published: February 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 438 {paperback}

This was as incredible as everyone has been making it out to be. It was such a good read and so addictive. It has so many good points to make and a bunch of beautiful and awesome characters. Definitely can’t recommend this one enough.

My review

Goodreads Button

Nil Unlocked
by Lynne Matson

5 Star Rating System 5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Author: Lynne Matson
Published: May 2016
Publisher: Square Fish
Pages: 448 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

I have been fiercely addicted to this series. After reading book one last month I bought the second straight away and read it just about straight away too. I just love the tension and mystery of this story as all the kids try to escape the island. And after this book, I’m more intrigued than ever to see how things wrap up in book three!

My review

Goodreads Button

American Gods
by Neil Gaiman 

5 Star Rating System 4 stars

Genre: Fantasy
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: July 2001
Publisher: Harper Audio
Audiobook Length: 19 hrs 36 mins

Page Count Equivalent: 541 {paperback}

This was such a weird but interesting read. I listened to the audiobook which was really good but this would definitely be worth a re-read to get the full picture. You spend so much of the first read trying to suss out what’s going on, so a second visit could mean you enjoy taking your time! The ending tied everything together so nicely, however!

Review to come

Goodreads Button

Time Crawlers
by Varun Sayal

5 Star Rating System 3 and a half stars

Genre: Sci-Fi, Short Stories
Author: Varun Sayal
Published: June 2018
Publisher: Kindle Direct Publishing
Pages: 100 {kindle}

This was a cute little read that consisted of multiple short stories about ALIENS and the different ways they could already be on or involved in the planet. It was funny, awesome and totally perfect for sci-fi nerds to dip into.

My review

Goodreads Button

by Lilli Thal

5 Star Rating System 3 stars

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Fantasy
Author: Lilli Thal
Published: 2003
Publisher: Annick Press
Pages: 394 {paperback}

This read was what slowed me down in the month. After powering through several books I just got stuck reading this for so long. I really enjoyed it, however. It was such a unique fantasy story about jesters! And who doesn’t love that?

Review to come

Goodreads Button

Saga, Vol. 3
by Vaughan & Staples

5 Star Rating System 4 stars

Genre: Graphic Novel, Sci-Fi
Author: Brian Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Published: March 2014
Publisher: Image Comics
Pages: 144 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

I’ve been so enjoying the Saga series and this third instalment certainly wasn’t a let down. It’s still wonderfully sassy, every so slightly crude and beautifully illustrated. I simply cannot wait to see where the story will go from here.

Review to come

Goodreads Button

by Frank Herbert

5 Star Rating System 4 stars

Genre: Sci-Fi
Author: Frank Herbert
Published: June 1965
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Audiobook Length: 21 hrs 8 mins

Page Count Equivalent: 577 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

This was such an in-depth sci-fi novel and it was a struggle to get your head around a lot of the time. I definitely want to do a re-read of this one now that I understand the story so I can pick up on the finer details. It’s some of the best world-building I’ve ever read, that’s for sure!

Review to come

Goodreads Button

On the Blog

On Booktube

The Statistics

Genres Read:

graph (1)

Pages Read:


Total: 3,025

Progress Towards Goodreads Challenge:

53%, or, 42/80 books

I finally lowered my Goodreads goal because I just wasn’t even coming close to catching up. So it’s gone from 100 to 80 and I’m still 5 books behind! But I should be able to read 80 books  by the end of the year.

What About Me_

Evidently, July was a fun and busy month for me. On the boring side of things, I did about two weeks of work. Same old same old. On the exciting side of things, I went on TWO holidays. I’m living the dream.

At the start of the month I visited my sister in Melbourne and spent a week wedding dress shopping with her! (also for her, not for me) which was oodles of fun. I ate many good foods and visited every bookstore I came across. If I ever catch up on my feature about bookstores around the world, I will indeed have plenty in the pipeline for Melbourne.

Whilst I was in Melbourne, I had some solid downtime and considering it was SO FREAKING COLD it was a great opportunity to snuggle up with a book. And that I did. And I had such an amazing run of books it was crazy.

The next holiday I went on was to Esperance – which, if you haven’t heard of it, is very far south in Western Australia. This is where Jayden (my boyfriend) is from so we went to spend a week with his parents. AND I SAW A WHALE. Highlight of my life right there.

But between visiting the numerous amazing beaches (best beaches in the world guys, literal fact), waving at whales and cycling to buy juices like the cool kids were are, I did not read much. Even though I had two 8-hour drives to listen to audiobooks in. I know, I am a failure of a bookworm.

That’s about it for July, though. I’m in the middle of two puzzles, desperately trying to find enough time to blog, do Youtube and Instagram, and trying not to freeze to death as winter continues on eternally. Thank goodness for Netflix and heating.

Movies I Watched:

The Greatest Showman, 2018: 8/10 stars

I finally watched. FINALLY. I feel like I’d started to avoid this and not be so excited about it because the hype was so incredibly over the top. But holy moly, this was honestly a damn good film. With damn good songs. And a damn good narrative.

Ant-Man and the Wasp, 2018: 7/10 stars

This was really funny and whilst it was not a Thor movie it was super enjoyable. The side characters in this make it. But it’s just a solid, good Marvel movie with many many many many laughs.

The Terminator, 1984: 6/10 stars

I’ve been trying to be really good and watch some of the films that Jayden likes. But if you’ve been around here for a while and frequently read up on the films I usually watched, I think you might be a little surprised – perhaps even nearly spilled you tea – seeing THIS film here. To be honest, I actually enjoyed this but there was a certain lack of plot and a certain overdose of PEWPEWPEWPEWPEW. Alas, that is action movies for you, no?

Serena, 2014: 3/10 stars

This is one of my lowest rated films ever. It wasn’t what I expected at all and was mildly terrifying. The plot is so lacking and confusing and badly put together. The actual filming was prettily done but SO MANY NOPES FOR THIS FILM.

When Harry Met Sally, 1989: 9/10 stars

Somehow, I’d reached the age of 22 without ever having seen this film. I have thus finally amended that. This was BRILLIANT. Like, obviously I knew it was going to be good – it’s one of the most famous romcoms of all time – but I had a good solid few cackling laughs throughout.

The Terminal, 2004: 10/10

This was a re-watch for me and hell yeah I rated it 10 stars. It’s one of my favourite movies to re-watch. I’d say it’s probably right up there with Harry Potter the number of times I’ve seen it (okay, maybe not quite that much). I LOVE IT.

TV Series I Watched:

Masterchef Australia, series 10

This finally finished! It was such a good season and I so enjoyed watching it. I loved the outcome and I’m sure looking forward to having all my week nights back again now that it’s done!

Amazing Interiors, series 1

This is such a funny series. It’s a half-hour house reno show but about people who’ve done totally ridiculous things to their houses with enormous budgets. I’m 100% addicted to it.

Victoria, series 1

I finished this one too! Go me! What a great end to series one and holy guacamole I need to jump right on to series two and see what happens next. Which seems like a silly thing to say for historical fiction BUT NONETHELESS.

Black Books, series 3

I finished re-watching this with Jayden and as ever, was devastated that it had the audacity to finish. This series is 30400% my humour and I laugh my way through every single episode.

Tick! July done! 

What was your favourite book that you read in July? 

Happy Reading

~~ Kirstie ~~


9 thoughts on “July Wrap-Up! || 2018

  1. You read 2 books that I’ve been dying to read: Red Rising and American Gods! I’m impressed that you tackled American Gods because every time I look at the over 20 hour audiobook it intimidates me into NOT reading it…

    How are you liking the next books in the Red Rising series? As good as the first book? Do I need to read ASAP?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I impressed myself!! Long audiobooks are so intimidating but I’m listening to them so much lately that I’m flying through them.

      Red Rising was so amazing when I got into it but I’ve not started Book two yet – although I’m itching to!! You should DEFINITELY get into the series!


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