July has been a wonderful month for reading. I was able to devour so many books that had been on my tbr for the longest time and enjoy each and every one of them. I was also able to read some new books that I hadn’t initially planned on reading. I rated so many of the books a perfect five out of five rating (and for good reason!) and recommend almost if not all of them if they sound like books that you would be interested in reading. Without further ado, here are all of the books that I read in July!
Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead
Summary: Is Rose’s fate to kill the person she loves most? It’s springtime at St. Vladimir’s Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since Mason’s death, Rose hasn’t been feeling quite right. She has dark flashbacks in the middle of practice, can’t concentrate in class, and has terrifying dreams about Lissa. But Rose has an even bigger secret… She’s in love with Dimitri. And this time, it’s way more than a crush. Then Strigoi target the academy in the deadliest attack in Moroi history, and Dimitri is taken. Rose must protect Lissa at all costs, but keeping her best friend safe could mean losing Dimitri forever…
My thoughts: This was my first time reading through this series (aside from the first book, which I read in 2014). I am thoroughly impressed with the writing of the series and can see why this series was so insanely popular. I knew the biggest plot twist of this book but I didn’t know how it was going to come about. When it happened, I was shocked. And as the book continued, I was even more surprised. It ended on such a cliff hanger and I immediately dove into the next book within minutes!
Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead
Summary: The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them… including Dimitri. He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?
My thoughts: This book was a bit slow for me. I stuck with it because it’s against my morals to dnf a book (do not finish). Fifty percent through, I was so glad that I kept reading! The plot picked up and everything started happening at a more rapid pace than the beginning of the book. Rose remains my favourite character of the entire series because she’s so funny and determined to do what’s right. I’m really excited to see what happens in the rest of the series!
Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Richelle Mead
Summary: Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere. She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won’t rest until Rose joins him… forever.
My thoughts: This book was insane in all of the good ways. So many different things happened (yet were so integral to the plot, I couldn’t believe the mastery of the writing) and all of the characters went through so much. Looking back on the first few novels of the series, it is amazing to see the development of the plot and the characters throughout all of the books. I didn’t know the plot twists of this book and was on the edge of my seat for most of the book. And the cliff hanger at the end? I didn’t expect it at all. Just as I finished the second to the last book in the series, I went into the series finale anxiously wanting to see how everything is wrapped up!
Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead
Summary: Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come. Now the law has finally caught up with Rose – for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir. But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back…and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?
My thoughts: I think this just might have been the perfect way to end the series. Every single loose end (including the plot points introduced in the book itself) was resolved and explained clearly. I loved this book and everything that happened. There were callbacks from the very beginning of the series, which I sincerely appreciated. And the ending! I loved how the series ended. I think that all of the characters were tested to their limits. I loved how the last chapter was dedicated to setting up the future that would happen after the book ended. For the first time in a long time, I was more than happy with how the series finished and where the characters were in their storylines.
Homecoming (Vampire Academy #6.5) by Richelle Mead
Summary: [SPOILERS] Homecoming is a short story that takes place after the events of Last Sacrifice, about Rose and Dimitri, the couple from Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. They are going back to Russia to see Dimitri’s family, something that both of them sorely need. Dimitri had finally been restored into a Dhampir, after being forcibly changed into Strigoi. His family needs to see him for themselves, and Rose needs to go back to Russia and face her trauma from the trip she made before.
My thoughts: I am so glad that when I did decide to get into this series, it had already been completed by the author. I’m glad that I wasn’t waiting around for the next instalment or waiting to see what would happen next. This was such a nice bonus novella to show Rose and Dimitri’s life after everything that had happened during Last Sacrifice. I was very happy with this novella and enjoyed reading it.
Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Summary: Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality. Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths. Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods. The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.
My thoughts: This book surprised me in all of the best ways. I lost count of the plot twists that I didn’t see coming. I think I audibly gasped more than a few times whilst reading this book. The action is so fast-paced and I could have sworn that that something happened on every page. I loved the characters and it was so interesting to see how all of them were interacting with each other. The plot developed at the perfect pace and I was on the edge of my seat. I devoured this book in record time and rated it five out of five stars! I highly recommend!
The Ivies by Alexa Donne
Summary: Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly. Alexa Donne delivers a nail-biting and timely thriller about teens who will stop at nothing to get into the college of their dreams. Too bad no one told them murder isn’t an extracurricular.
My thoughts: This was a great quick murder mystery read. I loved the dark academia setting and how high pressure the school environment was. I felt like I was right there along with the girls as they were finding out about who was getting into college and who wasn’t. I felt invested in the characters. I had a few guesses about who had committed the murder (and I was right about some of the things, but not all!)and there were tons of twists that I didn’t expect at all. At the end, for the big reveal, I was so surprised! It wasn’t for the reason that I had expected, but it seemed to be on-brand for the person who had committed the crime. I enjoyed the ending and how it wasn’t the storybook happy ending. It was a very fitting end to the book. I recommend to all true crime junkies!
From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
Summary: If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one. After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close. But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything. Including Ivan Lukov.
My thoughts: This is one of my favourite books of all time. I have lost track of how many times I read this book. It is the perfect enemies-to-lovers book. It has so many of my favourite tropes that every time I read it I enjoy it as much as I had during the first time. The sport, figure skating, is one of my favourite sports ever. Having the best tropes paired with the best sport makes this book pretty much perfect for me. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited and I recommend it more than other other book I have ever blogged about!
The Hardest Fall by Ella Maise
Summary: The first time you meet someone, you make eye contact. You smile, say hello. Should be simple, if you’re anyone but me. The first time I met Dylan Reed, I found myself making eye contact with a different part of his body. You see, I’m very good at being shy, not to mention extremely well-versed in rambling nonsense and, unfortunately, rather highly skilled at making a fool of myself in front of a guy I’m attracted to. At the time, I knew nothing about him and thought none of what I said would matter since I’d never speak to him again. Turns out, I was very wrong. He was the star wide receiver of the football team, one of the few players expected to make it into the NFL, and I ended up seeing him all over campus. I might have also propositioned him, run away from him, attacked him with a cooking utensil…and…uh, maybe I shouldn’t tell you all of it. It’s pretty normal stuff, things you’d expect…from me. Eventually, the time came when I couldn’t hide anymore—not that he’d have let me even if I tried. Before now, he never knew I was secretly watching him. Now that we see each other every day, he knows when I have a hard time looking away. It doesn’t help that I’m not the most subtle person in the world either. He smiles at me and tells me he finds me fascinating because of my quirks. I can’t even tell him that I think my heart beats differently whenever he’s around. He thinks we’re going to be best friends. I think I have a big thing for him, and the more I get to know him, the more I don’t care that I’m not allowed to be his friend, let alone fall for him. The thing is, that’s exactly what I’m doing—what we’re doing, I think. Falling. Hard.
My thoughts: This is a comfort novel for me! I read this for the first time in 2018 and have reread it once or twice since then. I enjoy the characters and the plot line has so many distinct and unique points to enjoy. It’s a quick sports romance set in college with likeable characters and a few characters that are completely garbage (you know, the characters we love to hate!). I haven’t read it in a while, so as I’m rereading it I’m seeing some of the plot points as if for the first time. Which is just the way that I like it because it’s surprising to me as I read more!
These are all of the books that I read in July! I didn’t know how many I was going to read at the beginning of the month but I am pleasantly surprised at how many I finished. Almost all of the books I read were new to me (only two rereads!) so I was happy to branch out and try new things. I recommend all of the books to anyone who liked the summary! Do you have any recommendations? Let me know down in the comments! And, as always, thank you so much for reading!