July Wrap-up

Hey guys! In the last couple of months I feel that I ended up hitting a bit of a slump. I am thankful that during June I ended up coming out of that slump. I felt like I ended up reading quite a lot of books in July. In the last couple of months I found myself wanting to only listen to audiobooks. I couldn’t really focus on actually reading. I finally have gotten back into my groove. Let’s dive in and see what I ended up reading in July!

The Prodigal SonProdigal Son (Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein #1) By Dean Koontz and Kevin J. Anderson 

Genre: Horror, Fiction, Thriller, Fantasy, Mystery
Pages: 498 pages
Publication Date: June 15th 2007
Publisher: Bantam
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Every city has secrets. But none as terrible as this. His name is Deucalion, a tattooed man of mysterious origin, a sleight-of-reality artist who’s traveled the centuries with a secret worse than death. He arrives as a serial killer stalks the streets, a killer who carefully selects his victims for the humanity that is missing in himself. Detective Carson O’Connor is cool, cynical, and every bit as tough as she looks. Her partner Michael Maddison would back her up all the way to Hell itself–and that just may be where this case ends up. For the no-nonsense O’Connor is suddenly talking about an ages-old conspiracy, a near immortal race of beings, and killers that are more—and less—than human. Soon it will be clear that as crazy as she sounds, the truth is even more ominous. For their quarry isn’t merely a homicidal maniac—but his deranged maker.

My Thoughts: I had never read the book Frankenstein but now after reading this I would love to read it. I overall enjoyed this story. I was a bit confused by the characters. I know there were only a few characters I actually remembered who they were. Other characters by brain was a bit flaky on who and what they did. I did think the story was enjoyable. It was also extremely creepy. It also took place in New Orleans which I absolutely loved. I am a huge fan of Nola. I probably will end up continuing with the series.

*This was a buddy read with Jenna @J.K. I’m Exploring & Luna @Bookish Luna*


Home Before DarkHome Before Dark By Riley Sager 

Genre: Thriller, Horror, Mystery, Fiction
Pages: 384 pages
Publication Date: June 30th 2020
Publisher: Dutton Books
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: What was it like? Living in that house.

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.

In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?

My Thoughts: I was really looking forward to this book. It was one of m most anticipated releases of the year. However I didn’t really end up enjoying it as much as I thought I would. I don’t want to say to much because I have been meaning to write a review for it. I was so bummed I didn’t end up enjoying it as much as I had hoped.

*This was a buddy read with Jenna @J.K. I’m Exploring*


The Magic of RealityThe Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True By Richard Dawkins 

Genre: Science, Nonfiction, Philosophy, Religion
Pages: 257 pages
Publication Date: June 21st 2012
Publisher: Black Swan
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Magic takes many forms. Supernatural magic is what our ancestors used in order to explain the world before they developed the scientific method. The ancient Egyptians explained the night by suggesting the goddess Nut swallowed the sun. The Vikings believed a rainbow was the gods’ bridge to earth. The Japanese used to explain earthquakes by conjuring a gigantic catfish that carried the world on its back—earthquakes occurred each time it flipped its tail. These are magical, extraordinary tales. But there is another kind of magic, and it lies in the exhilaration of discovering the real answers to these questions. It is the magic of reality—science.

Packed with clever thought experiments, dazzling illustrations and jaw-dropping facts, The Magic of Reality explains a stunningly wide range of natural phenomena. What is stuff made of? How old is the universe? Why do the continents look like disconnected pieces of a puzzle? What causes tsunamis? Why are there so many kinds of plants and animals? Who was the first man, or woman? This is a page-turning, graphic detective story that not only mines all the sciences for its clues but primes the reader to think like a scientist as well.

Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist and one of science education’s most passionate advocates, has spent his career elucidating the wonders of science for adult readers. But now, in a dramatic departure, he has teamed up with acclaimed artist Dave McKean and used his unrivaled explanatory powers to share the magic of science with readers of all ages. This is a treasure trove for anyone who has ever wondered how the world works. Dawkins and McKean have created an illustrated guide to the secrets of our world—and the universe beyond—that will entertain and inform for years to come.

My Thoughts: I have been meaning to pick this up for years now. I don’t remember when but a couple of years ago my boyfriend and I saw Richard Dawkins in person. After that was over my boyfriend recommended me this book. I finally picked it up! I have been in the mood lately to read nonfiction. That’s not a subject I pick up often. If I do it’s usually about celebrities lives. This was very different and out of my element. I just loved how he brings up topics that occur in everyday life just stuff we have forgotten about. At least that is how I felt. It was easy to understand which was the main draw for this book. It was geared towards younger readers and gives a simplified explanation for things. I really would like to read more from Richard Dawkins. He talks about other topics I am very interested in.


House of MysteryHouse of Mystery, Volume 1: Room and Boredom (House of Mystery #1) By Matthew Sturges (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Bill Willingham (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Luca Rossi (Artist), D. Ross Campbell (Artist), Jill Thompson (Artist), Zachary Baldus (Artist), Steve Rolston (Artist), Sean Gordon Murphy (Artist), Lee Loughridge (Colourist), Dave Stewart (Colourist), Todd Klein (Letterer), Esao Andrews (Cover Artist)

Genre: Mystery, Graphic Novel, Fiction
Pages: 128 pages
Publication Date: January 20th 2009
Publisher: Vertigo
My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Matthew Sturges, writer of the Eisner-nominated Jack of Fables, and his Jackco-writer Bill Willingham (Fables), proudly unlock the doors to the House of Mystery, a series that reinvents a classic DC Comics comic. House of Mystery focuses on five characters trapped in a supernatural bar, trying to solve the mystery of how and why they’re imprisoned there. Each one has a terrible past they’d like to forget, and with no books, newspapers or TV allowed in the House, they face an eternity of boredom. But stories become the new currency, and fortunately, the House attracts only the finest storytellers.

My Thoughts: I had added this to my TBR a while back. I am a fan of the Fables series. (I still need to finish..) When I saw that Bill Willingham had another series out I was interested. I finally decided to pick it up. I wasn’t a fan. I just felt like the story interested me enough to continue on. I didn’t know what was going on. I unfortunately didn’t like it enough to want to continue and try to figure out what’s happening.


The MallThe Mall By Megan McCafferty 

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 320 pages
Publication Date: January 28th 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. It probably will end up as one of my favorites that I ended up reading it 2020. I just loved that it brought me back to the 90s. It reminded me of so many things and places, I was in such a happy place reading this story. This book would have been 5 stars if the friendship was better. I did do a review on this book. You can find it here. I end up saying a lot more about what I loved and go in depth on why I wasn’t a fan of the friendship.

*I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

*This was a buddy read with Bex @As Told By Bex*


Tea Dragon TapestryThe Tea Dragon Tapestry (Tea Dragon #3) By Katie O’Neill

Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, Graphic Novel Comics, Fiction, Childrens
Pages: 128 pages
Publication Date: October 27th 2020
Publisher: Oni Press
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Join Greta and Minette once more for the heartwarming conclusion of the award-winning Tea Dragon series!

Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside.

Told with the same care and charm as the previous installments of the Tea Dragon series, The Tea Dragon Tapestry welcomes old friends and new into a heartfelt story of purpose, love, and growth.

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this. I am so sad to see that this is the final book in the series. I have to say this is definitely my favorite out of the three. It does deal with some heavier topics. I do feel I related to certain topics so that added to the experience. It also doesn’t help that the topics are talked about with all these cute pictures. Plus this book has major fall and winter vibes. It makes in cozy. I will be putting up a review closer to the release date.


The Hunting PartyThe Hunting Party By Lucy Foley

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Pages: 352 pages
Publication Date: February 12th 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.

All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.

Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?

My Thoughts: I was really looking forward to reading this thriller. It had been on my radar but just haven’t picked it up. Thanks to Luna @ (insert) she got me a copy so I finally had a reason to read it. I have to say  I found this story predictable. I figured out a couple of things early on in the story. I also just felt the person who died in the end wasn’t very surprising. I am bummed because I have been looking forward to reading this for a while now.


The Crow RiderThe Crow Rider By (The ​Storm Crow #2) By Kalyn Josephson

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 368 pages
Publication Date: July 7th 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: The thrilling conclusion to the epic Storm Crow duology that follows a fallen princess as she tries to bring back the magical elemental crows taken from her people.

Thia, her allies, and her crow, Res, are planning a rebellion to defeat Queen Razel and Illucia once and for all. Thia must convince the neighboring kingdoms to come to her aid, and Res’ show of strength is the only thing that can help her.

But so many obstacles stand in her way. Res excels at his training, until he loses control of his magic, harming Thia in the process. She is also pursued by Prince Ericen, heir to the Illucian throne and the one person she can’t trust but can’t seem to stay away from.

As the rebel group prepares for war, Res’ magic grows more unstable. Thia has to decide if she can rely on herself and their bond enough to lead the rebellion and become the crow rider she was meant to be.

My Thoughts: I read The Storm Crow last year and really loved it. So the moment I saw the second book on Netgalley, I knew I had to try to read it early. Kal @ Reader Voracious asked me if I wanted to buddy read it and I said sure. I sadly didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. I felt like this was more of a me thing then the book. I didn’t really remember much from the first book. I should have reread it before picking this up. I am so bummed and would like to give this another chance in the future. I will have a bit of a more detailed review up next week. So be on the lookout for that!

*This was a buddy read with Kal @Reader Voracious*


I Killed Zoe SpanosI Killed Zoe Spanos By Kit Frick

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 384 pages
Publication Date: June 30th 2020
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: This gripping thriller follows two teens whose lives become inextricably linked when one confesses to murder and the other becomes determined to uncover the real truth no matter the cost.

What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried…

When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected–and that she knows what happened to her.

Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?

My Thoughts: I have been meaning to pick this one up for a while now. I was waiting to get a hold of the audiobook because I heard it was going to be really good. I ended up really enjoying the story. I felt like it was very fast paced and kept me on my toes. There were a lot of things in the story I did not see coming. I thought the audio was well done. There are podcasts in the book and you can tell they put the time into that. The audio would change when those scenes would happened. Also the audio would be a little hard to hear at times cause the host was talking to people on the phone. So people on the phone would be a bit harder to understand. At times I did find it a bit hard to make out what they were saying but just had to put the volume a bit louder. Overall it was a great story and it ended up surprising me which is all I want in a thriller/mystery.


House of Salt and SorrowsHouse of Salt and Sorrows By Erin A. Craig

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retelling
Pages: 406 pages
Publication Date: August 6th 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Get swept away in Erin A. Craig’s mesmerizing House of Salt and Sorrows. As one by one her beautiful sisters mysteriously die on their isolated island estate, Annaleigh must unravel the curse that haunts her family. Be careful who you dance with. . . .

Four of Annaleigh Thaumas’s eleven sisters have returned to the Salt, the brackish water that surrounds their lonely island home, their lives cut short, each more tragically than the last. Whispers throughout the Highmoor estate say the girls have been cursed by the gods.

When Annaleigh finds out that her sisters have been sneaking out to attend glittering midnight balls and dance until dawn, she’s not sure whether to stop them–or join them. And when she begins to see a series of horrific, ghostly visions and more sisters die, she realizes she must solve the mystery–with the help of Cassius, a sea captain who knows much more about her than he should–and unravel the Thaumas curse before she descends into madness or . . . it claims her next.

My Thoughts: This was another buddy read that I did with Bex @ (insert). I feel like I added this book to my TBR because of how much I enjoyed the cover. I didn’t really know much going in. Boy was this story really enjoyable. Right from the beginning I was sucked in. It is extremely eerie. It also had a mystery element to it which I had not expected. Yes I had guessed early on who I believed was behind everything that was happening I still really enjoyed. Plus there ended up being more to it which I had not guesses. It also left me questioning what was going on a lot of the time. I would read something and start questioning everything and had no idea what to believe. I am in shock that this is Erin’s debut novel. It is so well done. I look forward to reading more from her! I probably will end up posting a review of this sometime as well. I do have a bit more to say on this book.

*This was a buddy read with Bex @As Told By Bex*


The Tale of Mrs WestawayThe Tale of Mrs. Westaway By Ruth Ware

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Short Stories
Pages: 30 pages
Publication Date: March 4th 2019
Publisher: n/a
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: FREE SHORT STORY FOR BOOK CLUB MEMBERS!

Sign up to my bookclub and receive the short story The Tale of Mrs Westaway completely free. Read now on any device!

When Dr Alderney meets an enigmatic young woman at the Bluebird Rest Home, he is intrigued not just by her beauty, but by her air of sadness and reserve. But Hester Westaway has a story to tell, and as the years go by, Dr Alderney comes closer to unravelling her secrets than perhaps anyone else alive.

Spoiler-free and standalone, The Tale of Mrs Westaway explains what came before my latest novel, The Death of Mrs Westaway.

Are you ready to step into Hester’s world?

My Thoughts: This is a short story you can require just from signing up to Ruth Ware’s email list. When I heard about that I decided to check it out. It has been about 2 years since I read The Death of Mrs. Westaway but I kinda remembered what had happened in that one. I like that this gave you backstory into Mrs. Westaway and who she was as a person. It was very well done. I do highly recommend checking this out if you have read The Death of Mrs. Westaway or before if you haven’t picked it up yet.


Slade HouseSlade House By David Mitchell

Genre: Horror, Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery,
Pages: 238 pages
Publication Date: October 27th 2017
Publisher: Random House
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Keep your eyes peeled for a small black iron door.

Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you’ll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the house’s residents—an odd brother and sister—extend a unique invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late. . . .

Spanning five decades, from the last days of the 1970s to the present, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story—as only David Mitchell could imagine it.

My Thoughts: This is a book I had on my TBR for a while now. I ended up picking up a copy at a library book sale a couple of years ago. It has just been one of those books I had been saying I needed to read. So I decided to pick it up since I didn’t think it would take me long to read. I ended up enjoying it a lot. I liked how each chapter was a different year but they all were related to each other. Each time I was hoping that some how the people would get out and not fall for the brother and sisters tricks. I do have to say the end was so good. I read most of it then for the end I listened by audio. I had to rewind the end to make sure I heard things correctly. It was good. I definitely want to check out more from David Mitchell because I did end up really enjoying his writing a lot.


Venus in The Blind SpotVenus in the Blind Spot By Junji Ito, Yuji Oniki (Translator), Jocelyne Allen (Translator), Masumi Washington (Editor)

Genre: Horror, Adult, Graphic Novel
Pages: 272 pages
Publication Date: August 18th 2020
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: A “best of” collection of creepy tales from Eisner award winner and legendary horror master Junji Ito.

This ultimate collection presents the most remarkable short works of Junji Ito’s career, featuring an adaptation of Rampo Edogawa’s classic horror story “Human Chair” and fan favorite “The Enigma of Amigara Fault.” In a deluxe presentation with special color pages and color illustrations from his most recent long-form manga No Longer Human, every page invites readers to revel in a world of terror.

My Thoughts: This is my second Junji Ito collection this year. I have to say I liked this one but I didn’t like it as much as the other one I read. It had some creepy moments but I just felt a little underwhelmed. I do have a review for this coming out on August 11th so there you will find my thoughts on each story. I just don’t want to say to much since that will be out soon.


Have you guys read any of these books? If so what did you think?

What books did you guys end up reading January? I would love to hear from you!


Bookish In Bed

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6 thoughts on “July Wrap-up

  1. I had no idea there was another Tea Dragon book. I am going to have to see if I can get it from somewhere. I just picked up another Junji Ito collection a few weeks ago, it was Shiver. Have you read that one yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it was soo good. It was a bit on the sadder side but still so enjoyable. Yes I just read Shiver. I ended up really enjoying it. Greg owns all the collections so need to pick up another one this month. Do let me know what you think of Shiver!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed I Killed Zoe Spanos!!! I loved my eARC and bought a hardcover & the audiobook – so I’m glad the audiobook was good 😀

    I should have reread it before picking this up. I am so bummed and would like to give this another chance in the future.

    Well, good news is I sltill haven’t finished the book so maybe by the time you reread it I will actually read the damn thing lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoe Spanos was wild especially the ending. I ended up listening to the audiobook and it was well done.

      Aw I’m sorry you haven’t finished it. I am holding on to the first book so I can reread. I can’t wait to see your final thoughts when you finish.

      Like

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