July Wrap-Up! | 2019

I’m beginning to think that I will never get a wrap-up out on time ever again. WHY IS LIFE SO BUSY. My goal is that given that we’re so close to September now, I will start putting together my August wrap-up once this one is done! I shall try, I shall persevere, but good lord do I need an extra three days per week.

Time management has become increasingly difficult lately. I’ll talk more about what I’ve been doing in the “What About Me” section below but between work and being an adult, I’ve never struggled so much to find the motivation to sit down and blog every other night, or to get my weekly batch of Instagram photos done every weekend, or trying to get one video up on YouTube per week. Sure, I’ve probably bitten off more than I can chew but gee, I wish I could just get it all done.

All of that aside, however, July was a really good reading month for me. I managed to read six books even though I didn’t make any extra effort to fit them all in. My lifestyle at the moment usually allows for three to four books a month. So I’m really proud of this! I’ve also been making awesome progress towards my goal of prioritising reading recommendations and gifts I’ve been given. Out of the twelve books I received at Christmas, I’ve read nine. How great is that! Now, let’s have a look at what I read.

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The Forever War
by Joe Haldeman

5 Star Rating System 4 stars


Genre: Sci-Fi
Author: Joe Haldeman
Published: December 1974
Publisher: Voyager
Pages: 278 {paperback}

This was one of the book swaps I’ve done with Jayden. If you don’t know what this is, we’ve decided to give each other a book we’ve enjoyed to the other each month to try something out of our comfort zone. This was a sci-fi, philosophical reflection on the Vietnam War, basically. And it was brilliant. I’m genuinely keen to read the sequel – I will have my full review up shortly (it is currently drafted and needs only typing!).

Will I continue the series? YES

Review to come

by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman

5 Star Rating System 4 stars

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Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Author: Neal & Jarrod Shusterman
Published: October 2018
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 399 {paperback}

I’m amazed that more people aren’t talking about this. I enjoyed this so much! This is a high-stakes dystopian, set in California and for once I didn’t find the American setting grating (no offence, but it’s excessively boring when 99% of dystopians are set in America). But THIS. This has a real troop of characters trying to survive as society rapidly falls apart when California runs out of water. This felt real and believable and that’s what made it such a good story.

Review to come

by Sarah Crossan

5 Star Rating System 4 stars

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Genre: Poetry, Contemporary, Young Adult
Author: Sarah Crossan
Published: March 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 416 {paperback}

This took me completely by surprise. I never read poetry – in general, I’m reluctant to touch it even with a ten-foot pole. It’s just not my thing. But, after seeing several good reviews, I decided to give this one a go. And I so liked it! GASP. It was a beautiful story and being written in prose meant that the emphasis came across really well.

My review

 The Goddess Test
by Aimée Carter

5 Star Rating System 4 stars


Genre: Mythology, Young Adult
Author: Aimée Carter
Published: April 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 293 {paperback}

This is a book that had been on my wishlist forever and ever and my best friend Sarah sent it to me for my birthday. WHICH WAS AWESOME. I read this so fast because the story was so much fun. I’m a real fan of Carter’s books; they’re always entertaining and just good. This is a retelling of the Persephone story and seeing as I’ve really been into Greek Mythology lately thanks to Stephen Fry, I enjoyed this tenfold.

Will I continue the series? YES

Review to come

The Boy Who Steals Houses
by C. G. Drews

5 Star Rating System 5 stars

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Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Author: C. G. Drews
Published: April 2019
Publisher: Orchard Books
Pages: 347 {paperback}

Written by the wonderful Cait over at Paper Fury, this was my favourite read in July. I found this even better than her first book, A Thousand Perfect Notes, with its beautiful story, Autism representation and just the sheer tragedy of the story. You’re really missing out if you haven’t read this yet. I practically put my life on hold once I’d started reading this because it was so hard to put down!

My review

Childhood’s End
by Arthur C. Clarke

5 Star Rating System 4 and a half stars

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Genre: Sci-Fi
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
Published: August 1953
Publisher: Del Rey
Pages: 224 {paperback}

This really surprised me by being my second favourite read of the month, given that I read nothing under a 4-star rating last month. This was the first book swap that Jayden and I did and I LOVED the plot twists in this one. The story is about what happens when these mysterious aliens come to earth and take over. It’s really, really interesting. I even had a guy on the train home from work one day tap me on the shoulder to say it was his favourite book.

My review



the statistics

Genres Read:


Pages Read:

graph (1).png

Total: 1,957

Progress Towards Goodreads Challenge:

66%, or, 33/50 books

what about me

Ah, well, if you couldn’t tell from the sheer lack of content, I have been struggling to keep up with my online life. Work has been unexpectedly hard. I’m just over two months into my new role and it’s been a constant quest to re-establish routine and be content. This is something I’ve never struggled with before, I must admit.

I’m slowly piecing my life back together with glue, it feels like. But the good news is I think I’m actually making progress: it’s just taken this long. My great achievement so far was how much I read in July (although August is not quite looking so sharp, but that’s okay) and that I’m keeping up fairly consistently with Instagram.

It may seem like I’m making my life into one big chore, but without any of this, I feel so lacking in purpose. So it’s a tick for my daily posts for Instagram. I’ve carved out a routine that Saturday is my day to set aside a couple of hours and take those photos.

I’ve rebooted my routine with audiobooks too. The Fiery Cross (Outland #5) really knocked me down with how long it was. But I’ve got the mental capacity/space/whatever you want to call it to be able to listen to audiobooks again whilst I’m driving. Up until now, I’ve been able to sometimes listen to music, but anything more has felt overwhelming. This means I’ve rocketed through another 20% of that book this month (it’s 55 hours long) and I’m well on the way to reaching the end.

I also finished editing my book (the one I’ve been writing for the last seven years, yes) which is MASSIVE. I’ve been slowly plucking up the motivation to now look at publishing but that is truly a massive job. It will happen, but I cannot promise it will happen soon. There is so much research to do before I even start putting forward applications to agents and YIKES. Overwhelming, yes. But it’s happening slowly and this is an achievement I’m counting.

YouTube has fallen off the bandwagon a bit, I do admit. I’ve tried really hard to not let it slip because I love doing it. But I’ve decided it’s my last priority (hence the one video that made it up last month). It’s been sort of like slowly introducing yourself into a more intense workout, this quest to remount the horse of social media.

So the plan? September will be my month to look at blogging. My goal is to post twice a week, and to increase that once I’ve done that consistently. I think once I find my groove with this again, I’ll see the routine follow suit with YouTube. They usually go hand in hand.

SO I WILL DO IT. I will find peace and calm and organisation. I just feel like I’ve been wading in water for so long, and only now have I found the shore. So as long as I take deep breaths and eat plump burritos, I think I’ll be fine.

Movies I Watched: 

Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)Spider-Man: Far from Home, 2019: 8/10 stars

This was brilliant, as expected. It was one of just two movies that I got around to watching in July. This was funny and everything you could ever want from the new Spider-Man movies. I would highly recommend watching this if you haven’t yet!

James Earl Jones and JD McCrary in The Lion King (2019)The Lion King, 2019: 6/10 stars

Ah, now this was a tiny bit disappointing. Whilst the movie was fine – it was a copy and paste of the original more or less so *shrug* – it just didn’t really have a ‘wow’ factor for me. And I really didn’t enjoy Beyonce as Nala. She ruined all the songs she sang for me because she did her own thing and heck, I don’t want to feel like I’m watching a Beyonce concert when I signed up for the Lion King. Timon and Pumba were by far the best thing about this film.

Tick! July done! 

What was your favourite book that you read in July? 

Happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~


6 thoughts on “July Wrap-Up! | 2019

  1. Congrats on finishing a round of edits on your novel, that is AWESOME. Definitely caught that as an accomplishment, because it is HUGE. If you ever want to chat about querying and the trenches, I’ve learned a lot in my time in them and I’m happy to help out! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely understand that feeling!! I’m more than happy to chat about querying whenever. I made *so many mistakes* the first time I queried (not that I think you will! <3), so I'm always happy to share those horror stories. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooo I am very interested in reading Dry! I bet it would make an excellent audiobook…

    I don’t blame you one bit for falling behind on your online life! Book blogging, bookstagram, and booktube?! I can’t even keep up with book blogging let alone any other platforms lol I can totally relate. I’m really struggling to juggle my personal life with my blogging life. I hope that I can do better during the winter months.

    Liked by 1 person

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