July Wrap-Up!

Hello lovely people and welcome to my best reading month yet! 
I read a total of 7 books, which is really good for me!

One of the books is missing from the picture because I borrowed it from my brother and have now given him it back, but it was a manga called Barefoot Gen: Vol. 1 by Keiji Nakazawa;
Synopsis - The reissue of this classic manga's first volume has impeccable timing. It recounts the bombing of Hiroshima from the perspective of a young boy, Gen, and his family. But the book's themes (the physical and psychological damage ordinary people suffer from war's realities) ring chillingly true today. Despite its harrowing nature, this work is invaluable for the lessons it offers in history, humanity and compassion. Published to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.
This was a story that definitely made me think, the atrocities that the Japanese suffered in Hiroshima is one of the most horrifying stories in history in my opinion, and it rarely gets spoken about on TV, films or books so reading this was a eye opener. 
I'm not saying this is a really enjoyable read, but it probably is a book I would recommend people read so they can understand more about what happened leading upto, and on that fateful day in history.
I gave this manga 3 out of 5 stars.

Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone by J.K. Rowling
Synopsis - Harry Potter is an ordinary boy who lives in a cupboard under the stairs at his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon's house, which he thinks is normal for someone like him who's parents have been killed in a 'car crash'. He is bullied by them and his fat, spoilt cousin Dudley, and lives a very unremarkable life with only the odd hiccup (like his hair growing back overnight!) to cause him much to think about. That is until an owl turns up with a letter addressed to Harry and all hell breaks loose! He is literally rescued by a world where nothing is as it seems and magic lessons are the order of the day. Read and find out how Harry discovers his true heritage at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, the reason behind his parents mysterious death, who is out to kill him, and how he uncovers the most amazing secret of all time, the fabled Philosopher's Stone! All this and muggles too. Now, what are they?
I probably didn't need to type a synopsis for Harry Potter as I'm the only person in the civilised world who hasn't read it haha but just in case there's another freak of nature out there who hasn't read it, I thought I would!
I put off reading this book for ages because I tried to read it when I was a kid and just didn't understand what everyone saw in it, but recently I thought I'd give it another go because EVERYONE and their dog raved about it, and I've got to admit, I'm a convert!
I've had a lot of people tell me how lucky I am that I get to experience the stories for the first time which is a really nice way to look at it I think.
I will definitely continue with the series and I gave this first book 4 out of 5 stars.

The Death Cure by James Dashner
Synopsis - The Trials are over. WICKED have collected all the information they can. Now it's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test. But something has happened that no-one at WICKED has foreseen: Thomas has remembered more than they think. And he knows WICKED can't be trusted ... The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than anyone could have imagined. With the Gladers divided, can they all make it?
This is the final book in The Maze Runner trilogy, apart from the prequel The Kill Order.
I was really happy with this last book, I enjoyed the ending and thought it wrapped the story up well.
I didn't give it a perfect 5 out of 5 just because I didn't think it was as exciting and action packed as the second book The Scorch Trials, and I gave that 5 stars so I felt I had to give the last book slightly less.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Synopsis - We are the Liars. We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury. We are cracked and broken. A story of love and romance. A tale of tragedy. Which are lies? Which is truth?
There's not much of a synopsis for this book because it's very hard to explain what it's about, I won't spoil it because it does have twists and turns all over the place but I will say I was left underwhelmed personally, everyone was bigging up this book and I just felt like the twists were easy to figure out and the lead characters were slightly annoying.
I gave this book 3 out of 5 because it was well written, I just felt underwhelmed after all the hype it received.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Synopsis - Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.
The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.
When Brimstone called, she always came.
In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole
Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.
I absolutely adored this book! Definitely my favourite of the past month, if not one of my favourites of the year!
Karou is such a strong heroine, she knows how to defend herself, she's not afraid of much and she's funny and smart too.
The writing style is so captivating, I really felt like I could picture all the characters and like I got to know them and care about them.
And then of course there's Akiva....oh my...he's a bit of a dish let's just say!
My book boyfriend is Perry from Under The Never Sky, but Akiva makes me question that decision! 
If only book boys were real!
I gave this book 5 out of 5, I'd give it more if I could and I have already bought the second book!

I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk
Synopsis - Angela is in the city of love – but romance is taking a nose-dive…
When Angela Clark’s boyfriend Alex suggests a trip to Paris at the same time as hip fashion mag Belle asks her to write a piece, she jumps at the chance.
But even as she’s falling for the joie de vivre of Paris, someone’s conspiring to sabotage her big break. And when she spots Alex having a tête-à-tête with his ex in a local bar, Angela’s dreams of Parisian passion all start crashing down around her.
With London and her old life only a train journey away, Angela can’t decide if should stay and face the music or run away home…
This is the third book in the I Heart New York series, I enjoyed this one even though it definitely had a few characters in it who really annoyed me and made me want to dive in the book and throttle them!!
At times I don't know how, or why, Angela kept her cool, because this Angela would have handed out some cans of whoop-ass!! 
I really like where the story is going though and I'm excited to read I Heart Vegas.
I gave this book 4 out of 5.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Synopsis - "You can't touch me," I whisper.
I'm lying, is what I don't tell him.
He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him.
But things happen when people touch me.
Strange things.
Bad things.
No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.
But Juliette has plans of her own.
After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.
This book had to be the biggest disappointment of the month for me, I'd been looking forward to reading it as the trilogy gets a lot of hype, but I found Juliette to be very irritating and the writing style was too sappy for me, all of the gushing about Adams lips and arms and how it never just said Juliette was blushing, it would say something like ''I've fallen off a ladder with a paintbrush full of red paint in my hand'', I mean...what?!
It got better when I got past the halfway point of the book but near the start I was contemplating not finishing it.
I'm glad I did, and I think I'd carry on with the trilogy just because everyone seems to think Unravel Me is a lot better than Shatter Me.
I gave this 3 out of 5.

And that's my wrap-up! I hope August is as successful a reading month as July was!
Let me know if you've read any amazing books this past month, I'm always open to adding books to my to-read list!
TTFN! x

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