MONTHLY WRAP UP – JULY 2021

To close out each month, we’ll be posting a break down of everything we reviewed, beginning with the reads we loved.. and ending with the reads we didn’t. Not only does this compile all our reviews in one handy summary for you to peruse, or catch up on, it also gives us an interesting birds eye view of the month and our reads. And maybe, even, our moods.


☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

The Idea Of You by Robinne Lee — see Micky’s review here
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas — see Micky’s review here

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren — see Hollis’ review here
Subject Twenty One by A.E. Warren — see Micky’s review here
Falling by T.J. Newman — see Micky’s review here
These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan — see Micky’s review here
Would I Lie To You by Aliya Ali-Afzal — see Micky’s review here
The Stand-In by Lily Chu — see Micky’s review here
A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson — see Hollis’ review here
Is This It? by Hannah Tovey — see Micky’s review here
Isn’t It Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams — see Micky’s review here
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune — see Micky’s review here

☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers — see Hollis’ & Micky’s review here
Just Folking Around by Penny Reid — see Hollis’ & Micky’s reviews here
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim — see Hollis’ review here
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris — see Micky’s review here
Lobizona by Romina Garber — see Hollis’ review here
The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey — see Micky’s review here
Reputation by Lex Croucher — see Micky’s review here
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides — see Micky’s review here
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee — see Micky’s review here
Totally Folked by Penny Reid — see Hollis’ & Micky’s reviews here
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri — see Micky’s review here
53 Letters For My Lover by Leylah Attar — see Hollis’ review here

☆ ☆ star reads

The Forevers by Chris Whitaker — see Micky’s review here
Lore & Lust by Karla Nikole — see Hollis’ review here

star reads

u n r a t e d

The Taking of Jake Livingstone by Ryan Douglass — see Hollis’ review here
21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph — see Hollis’ review here

DNF


additional reads not reviewed for blog : several!
total reads by Micky : nineteen
favourite read of the month : A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
least favourite read of the month : The Forevers by Chris Whittaker
most read genre : contemporary wins this month

total reviews by Hollis : eleven
favourite read of the month : The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
least favourite read of the month : The Taking of Jake Livingstone by Ryan Douglass
most read genre : contemporary

53 LETTERS FOR MY LOVER by Leylah Attar

This is not your typical love story. 
It’s not so black and white. Lines are crossed. 
Walls are smashed. Good becomes bad. 
Bad becomes very, very good.

Shayda Hijazi—the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect daughter. For thirty-three years, she has played by the rules, swallowing secrets, burying dreams and doing whatever it takes to anchor her family. Shayda Hijazi is about to come face to face with the one thing that can rip it all apart, the one thing her heart has always been denied: Love.

Troy Heathgate—untamed, exhilarating, dangerous—a man who does exactly as he pleases. Life bends to his will. Until he comes across the one thing he would give it all up for, but can never have.

Born on the same day in opposite corners of the world, their lives collide. And nothing is ever the same again. 

Spanning three decades, 53 Letters for My Lover is a fiercely sensual, emotional ride to the heart of an epic, forbidden love that defies it all—an intimate exploration of love, loyalty, passion, betrayal, and the human journey for hope, happiness and redemption.


Title : 53 Letters For My Lover
Author : Leylah Attar
Series : 53 Letters For My Lover (book one)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 398
Genre : romance
Publisher : Pitch73 Publishing
Release Date : June 17, 2014

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 3.5 star review

Micky has been waiting for me to read this since 2015.. this probably isn’t how she expected to be repaid by me finally reading it.

As usual I did not have any real clue what this was about before going into it so suffice it to say I was immediately off balance by this story because it seemed to be setting up a cheating plotline. Additionally when we first meet the love interest, he isn’t put in a very flattering light. And I wonder if this was done on purpose. I’m sure the author knew she would have to make this convincing for her readers and we had to be right alongside the MC with fighting off our desire for this connection, this affair. I can appreciate that in hindsight. But it made my early enjoyment pretty low.

Strangely, I was won over. Not always. I found some elements of this story to be a little all over the place, including some of the character behaviours, almost as if scenes from something else had been spliced in to an existing manuscript. But then.. I was totally pulled under by the sheer loveliness of some of this; the irresistible connection. The love. Also? It was smoking hot. I feel like we don’t get sex scenes like this anymore? 2014, you were something else. Come back, I miss you.

So, yes, a little bit of a mixed bag. I’m so glad I finally read this; mostly because I’m cashing in a very overdue promise but also because the good? Was very good. Obviously this won’t be for everyone but honestly if not for the recommendation, and had I actually known the plot, I probably wouldn’t have ever picked it up.

Also, as a bonus for my fellow Canucks, this is set in Toronto. And while it doesn’t go overboard with sight seeing or references, it was still fun to see little name drops and occasionally be able to picture where a scene was unfolding.

Also also? Make sure you read the novella that follows this. I won’t be reviewing it for the blog but it’s required reading for sure.

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – JULY 20, 2021

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


Totally Folked by Penny Reid is the first in a new series spinning off from the Winston Brothers world (which is also part of the Knitting in the City world) and this new book tackles Jackson James’ romance.

Isn’t it Bromantic by Lyssa Kay Adams is the fourth in the Bromance Book Club series. Some of us are behind in this series (whoops) but still keen to read on.

False Witness by Karin Slaughter is a standalone thriller from this prolific author and we are excited for this release as it’ll make the wait for the next Will Trent instalment easier to bear.

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan is a fantasy fae tale with lots of twists and turns that should keep you glued to the page.



Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – JULY 13, 2021

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


What Are We Doing About Zoya by Anisha Bhatia is a story about an imperfect Indian daughter bucking societal and cultural norms.

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey is being comp’d as a Schitts Creek romcom and yeah, we need.

Exposed by Kristen Callihan is the much anticipated fourth instalment in the author’s VIP series. Do we need a synopsis? Nope. We are reading this.

A Psalm For The Wild Built by Becky Chambers is the start of a new sci-fi series about how a world evolved and learnt, then things come full circle.



Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – JULY 6, 2021

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim is a YA fantasy reimagining of The Six Swans but with a twist, or two, and set in an Asian-inspired world. Check out review here.

Any Way The Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell is the m u c h anticipated finale to the Simon Snow series.

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson is a sapphic queer YA contemporary novel. Between that and the cover we don’t even need to know more!



Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 

DON’T BREATHE A WORD by Jordyn Taylor

Present Day:
Eva has never felt like she belonged… not in her own family or with her friends in New York City, and certainly not at a fancy boarding school like Hardwick Preparatory Academy. So when she is invited to join the Fives, an elite secret society, she jumps at the opportunity to finally be a part of something.

But what if the Fives are about more than just having the best parties and receiving special privileges from the school? What if they are also responsible for keeping some of Hardwick’s biggest secrets buried?

1962:
There is only one reason why Connie would volunteer to be one of the six students to participate in testing Hardwick’s nuclear fallout shelter: Craig Allenby. While the thought of nuclear war sends her into a panic, she can’t pass up the opportunity to spend four days locked in with the school’s golden boy. However, Connie and the other students quickly discover that there is more to this “test” than they previously thought. As they are forced to follow an escalating series of commands, Connie realizes that one wrong move could have dangerous consequences.

Separated by sixty years , Eva’s and Connie’s stories become inextricably intertwined as Eva unravels the mystery of how six students went into the fallout shelter all those years ago . . . but only five came out. 


Title : Don’t Breathe a Word
Author : Jordyn Taylor
Format : ARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : YA mystery contemporary/historical
Publisher : HarperTeen
Release Date : May 18, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 3 star review

This was an interesting dual-timeline story, that later connects, of an event in the past that is the catalyst for the creation of a secret society at a boarding school. It mashes up Cold War paranoia with present day priviledge and the new girl at said school who is brought into the society and uncovers the crime at the heart of the organization.

I found this an easy read and enjoyed it when I didn’t think too hard about the unlikeliness of the whole thing enduring through the decades. Also the fact that no one had uncovered anything in the decades since? Like with most stories, suspend some disbelief and you’ll have a good time.

At it’s heart, however, is a good message for teens — and those of us non-teens who sometimes forget — that people worth your time, be them friends or family or peers, won’t demand sacrifice or secrets or for you to bury your discomfort just to be in their presence. Friendship, love, respect.. these are not conditional.

While this wasn’t perhaps all that surprising or original, except for the circumstances taking place during the historical timeline, if you like secret societies, boarding school settings, and mysteries for YA protagonists to unravel, you should give this one a go.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **