July 2015: Month in Review

What I’ve Been Up To:

I’ve added a mini review feature called Size Doesn’t Matter. Expect to see a lot of these. So far, it seems like I review most books that I rate from 4.5-5, and I suspect I’ll review the ones that make me ranty. I have way too many September books to do a post each, and it’s such a pain to write six paragraphs about a book where I mostly just want to say meh, you know? So anyway, I hope you guys enjoy those because they’ll be sticking around. It has helped me feel a bit more satisfied about blogging again, which is the goal.

My boyfriend and I took a July 4th trip to Charleston. The weather didn’t really cooperate, but it’s a beautiful city with a lot of beautiful nature and gorgeous architecture.

I also took a trip to Ohio for my grandfather’s funeral. He died at the beginning of the month but the service was delayed so that my cousin could make it over from Germany. I hadn’t seen him since I was five, I think, but it turns out he’s pretty cool. It’s for the best that grandpa finally passed (he wasn’t healthy and his mind was gone), but it was a somber trip.

Another month, another Spotify playlist:

The song I was most obsessed with this month: Candles by Daughter
Favorite new artist I found: VÉRITÉ

Movies & TV:
In July, I finally finished up with America’s Next Top Model, well except for cycle 21. I’m watching that one with my boyfriend, because he wanted to see the season where they travel to Korea. Progress on that one is a bit slower. After 20 full cycles, I’m still obsessed. Look what you’ve done, Gillian (Writer of Wrongs).

gif cory antm

Obviously after finishing America’s Next Top Model, I had to start Australia’s Next Top Model. I finished season one, which was jank as hell. Gillian promises it gets better, and season two (which I’ve not quite finished) is already more legit.

I did watch something that didn’t involve modeling, which should probably shock you. A couple years back, I binged the first two seasons of Awkward and I decided to catch up. Well, the best place to stop is after two seasons. Season three was a mess and a half. Sadie is my favorite character by far. She’s so fabulous. You’re welcome. Ship rating: MEGA FRUSTRATING. Jenna and Matty 4 lyf.

gif sadie in love awkward

Reviews Posted:

The ones with asterisks are mini reviews. I had a really amazing reading month; I read 31 books in July, though I didn’t review quite all of them IN July.

5 star:

Fire (Graceling Realm #2) – Kristin Cashore*
The Martian – Andy Weir

4.5 star:

Song of Summer – Laura Lee Anderson
Forever Princess (The Princess Diaries #10) – Meg Cabot
Royal Wedding (The Princess Diaries #11) – Meg Cabot
The Heartbreakers (The Heartbreaker Chronicles #1) – Ali Novak

4 star:

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3) – Kristin Cashore
Court of Fives (Court of Fives #1) – Kate Elliott
Bright Lights, Dark Nights – Stephen Emond
Deceptive (Adverse Effects #2) – Emily Lloyd-Jones
Damage Done – Amanda Panitch

3.5 star:

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) – Kristin Cashore*
The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #2) – Erika Johansen
Illusive (Adverse Effects #1) – Emily Lloyd-Jones*
Map to the Stars – Jen Malone

Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor #1) – Jennifer McGowan
Pretending to Be Erica – Michelle Painchaud*

3 star:

Murder on the Disoriented Express (Adverse Effects #1.5) – Emily Lloyd-Jones*
Shadows of Sherwood (Robyn Hoodlum #1) – Kekla Magoon*
School for Sidekicks – Kelly McCullough*
Resonance (Dissonance #2) – Erica O’Rourke

2.5 star:

The Selection (The Selection #1) – Kiera Cass*
The Elite (The Selection #2) – Kiera Cass*
Mechanica – Betsy Cornwell*


One book was too weird for me, one I was totally not in the mood for and want to try again, one had second person, and one just was not my sort of read.

A History of Glitter and Blood - Hannah Moskowitz
The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd
It's About Love - Steven Camden
Goodbye Stranger - Rebecca Stead

8 responses to “July 2015: Month in Review”

  1. Trisha says:

    I love Candles by Daughter! It’s one of my favorite songs. 🙂

  2. I love mini reviews, I think it’s a great feature! So sorry about your grandpa but it sounds like he is in a better place now which is all you can hope for <3 I haven't watched Top Model in years but those gifs are hilarious! I can only imagine how ridiculous and awesome the show is now. And Aussie version = accents, yum 🙂 You had a fantastic reading month! I hope August is just as good.

    • Christina Franke says:

      Top Model definitely continues to level up in ridiculous. I do still really enjoy the more recent seasons, but I don’t like the way they do judging now. :/

      August totally will not be THAT good. I’ve only finished three books so far. Whoops!

  3. Layla says:

    I can’t believe how many books you got through this month (in addition to watching ANTM). I think I’m still only like at … 70-something for the whole year so far. Anyway, rock on.

    I haven’t read Bitterblue yet and have to give my library copy back soon-ish. I’ve been putting it off – I liked Graceling and Fire but I have a hard time w/ series ends – I hate the feeling that a world I’ve enjoyed spending time in is shutting down. (All of those possibilities that get closed off! Bah.)
    Layla recently posted…Out of Darkness: ReviewMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      It was an astoundingly good month for me with a long car trip upon which I had to do zero driving. I did a book a day one year and it’s totally not happening again.

      Well, if it helps at all, Bitterblue’s a bit open-ended, so you can at least headcanon a lot of the possibilities, though I’m not sure if that helps or increases the scare factor. Bitterblue’s a bit more perky of a narrator and a lot more trusting. The tone is rather different, but I still thought it was great (obviously).

  4. *hugs you tightly*

    Oooh mini reviews. I’m super behind on Feedly but I will check those out. I feel you though, for 2.5-3.5 star books, it is SO HARD to find things to say. Maybe I should group some reviews together in the future too.

    31 books.. *bows down*
    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…Book Review: Miss Mayhem by Rachel HawkinsMy Profile

  5. I love your short mini reviews.

    Funny, I’m also watching older ANTM cycles. I’m in cycle 21, but I realize it’s better if I start with the oldest cycle first.

    Awkward goes up and down. Sadie is the best!

    31 books.. Wow.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Let it go #5. All the books I read in Spain part 1.My Profile

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