July 2019 Reading Round-Up

July was a pretty good reading month for me. I got through 7 and a half books (that half went over into August, so it won't show up...

July was a pretty good reading month for me. I got through 7 and a half books (that half went over into August, so it won't show up until next month's round-up). Check out an overview below.

Cujo by Stephen King ★★★★★
Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge (2017 prompt - a book from a nonhuman perspective)

Brief synopsis: There's a lot of bad luck going 'round the small town of Castle Rock. There's infidelity, a downturn in business, toxic masculinity, emotional abuse, a monster in the closet. Not to mention it wasn't very long ago a police officer was found guilty of the brutal murder of multiple women and girls in the town. Now there's a different monster in town, one that used to be so innocent. When Very Good Boy Cujo chases a rabbit down a hole, his life changes for the worst, and the town along with it.

Overall thoughts: Just like any Stephen King book, I was really into reading this novel. It was truly terrifying, and though I've seen the movie, I was sincerely shocked by the ending. While most King books are not kid-friendly, this one would be a tough read for anyone with children. Full review here.

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey ★★★★☆
Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: N/A

Brief synopsis: Ivy is a private investigator in a shady side of town. Most days she's tailing folks suspected of cheating. It's not glamorous, but it pays the bills. When the headmaster of the local magic school (yeah, that's right - magic school) asks Ivy to come investigate a murder, she doesn't exactly jump at the chance. Yeah, the pay is great, but magic's a bit of a sore spot. The magic gene missed her and her twin just happens to be magic school faculty.

Overall thoughts: This book read like YA written for adults and I loved that! It felt very obvious and predictable, but it was a bit more mysterious than I thought initially. I will say there were too many characters, which was very hard to follow, but also kind of one of the major requirements in all murder mysteries. I'd definitely recommend this one if you're into murder mysteries and magic, with just a touch of romance. Full review here.

Whisper Network by Chandler Baker ★★★★★
Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: N/A

Brief synopsis: There are many women who work at Truviv, but this story follows four of them who have each worked there for many years - Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita. When the CEO of the company dies unexpectedly, their boss (Ames) is in talks of getting rolled into the CEO role. But each of these women have a different level of experience with Ames, some of those experiences inappropriate. And when a new female colleague starts getting a little extra attention from him, the women of the office feel some secrets need to be shared before the CEO is a threatening figure to them all.

Overall thoughts: Wow, this book was amazing. I'd heard a lot of positive reviews, but I wasn't expecting how much I enjoyed this novel. It got off to such a slow start, and I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy the book very much, but once it got into the story, I was truly hooked. It was such a tough read, but just in terms of the content. This book was absolutely timely as the main plot of the story focuses on the #metoo movement. I didn't particularly like most of the characters, but I did certainly support them and I think that was part of purpose. I recommend this book if the content wouldn't be too triggering. Full review here.

Supermarket by Bobby Hall ★★☆☆☆
Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book written by a musician.

Brief synopsis: The novel follows Flynn, a young man living at home with his mom, recently dumped, and looking for a job. Enter the supermarket, where he acquires a job as a floater and starts to meet a variety of characters who work along beside him. The array of characters is perfect for Flynn because he's writing a book, and basing his characters off his supermarket buddies. But things start to get weird, and somebody just might die.

Overall thoughts: I was entirely disappointed in this book. Bobby Hall is actually the rapper Logic, who is a beautiful lyricist, so I high very high expectations for this book. But the writing was mediocre and almost childish. The story was so unbelievable, and I kept waiting for it to get better - which spoiler, it didn't. This whole novel is basically just a knock-off Fight Club. Full review here.

Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane ★★★★☆
Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: N/A

Brief synopsis: Rachel is the daughter of well-known and possibly sociopathic author, who she never quite got along with growing up. Unfortunately, her mother was all she had as she had no clue who her father was and her mother kept it a secret she took to the grave. Through a series of searches, Rachel hunts down her father and learns more about herself than perhaps she'd like to know. Nonetheless, she rises through a successful journalism career that comes crashing down after a public breakdown on live news. What follows is a series of twists and turns as Rachel tries to find a semblance of normal in her life.

Overall thoughts: The first half of this book was entirely full of background development and entirely slow and boring. But once I got past the character development pieces, I truly could not put the book down. I had no clue what was going to happen and I really needed to know what was going to happen next. My biggest issue is the book had some unexplained situations and descriptions that weren't touched on again, but didn't make sense. I'd certainly read more from Lehane, but could've definitely appreciated more in way of explanation. Full review here.

The Possession by Michael Rutger ★★★★☆
Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: Two books that share the same title (2)

Brief synopsis: Christy finds herself in a small-town following a lead on cyber-bullying, but it seems there's something a bit more sinister happening because the girl being cyber-bullied has gone missing. Oddly enough, Christy's ex-husband is Nolan Moore, a supernatural investigator with a not-so-hot YouTube series. With the clever ruse of investigating mysterious walls, he convinces his team to travel to the small California town his ex is also investigating.

Overall thoughts: This follow-up to my 2018 favorite, The Anomaly, is not in the same league. Truly, it almost seems part of a different series. I didn't enjoy the multi-perspective yet omnipresent dialogue, I didn't like Christy very much, and the team wasn't quite traumatized enough from the first book's events.  I expected more from this book, but it was still a haunting, nightmare-inducing story.  I enjoy the way Rutger mixes real-life mysteries and myths with fictional storytelling. I still recommend reading this one, but don't expect the same effect as its predecessor. Full review here.

Lady Killer* by Jeff Richards ★☆☆☆☆
Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: N/A

Brief synopsis: Mitch is a bit of a "ladies' man." Recently divorced and father of two, there's just something about him that is appealing to women. Though he's not looking for anything serious, he begins romancing with two women he'd likely call friends. Soon, a jealous husband gets in the way and things take a turn for the worst.

Overall thoughts: This book, wow. What can I say? It was corny in a way I truly hated. The use of "pecker" was excessive and the sex scenes all consisted of at least three rounds of sex. This book was marketed as a "babysitting co-op leads to murder," but that was such a minor piece of information and literally had no impact on the plot of the story. I really did not enjoy this book at all, and found myself cringing through the majority of it. Full review here.

What did you read in July?

* denotes book was received free in exchange of an honest review. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own. 

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