Amanda’s July Reading Recap

In July I read two popular books, one middle grade, and two YA Science-Fiction books. I was most excited about Recursion, because I love Dark Matter. Many of my friends enjoyed Where the Crawdads Sing so I picked it up. It’s fun to read a popular book even if it’s not a genre you normally choose. I hope this list helps you choose your books in the future.


Author: Blake Crouch

Published: June 11th 2019 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)

Pages: 329

4 Stars

Plot: Neuroscientist Helena Smith and New York City cop Barry Sutton make an unlikely pair, but they’re the world’s only chance of defeating a new affliction known as False Memory Syndrome — a mysterious illness that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

It’s an interesting time travel novel. I didn’t love it as much as Dark Matter, because I didn’t connect with the characters. But if you love Science Fiction then you should definitely read it. It’s difficult to put down once you start the book. The story has some interesting themes about memory which would make for a good book club discussion.

Gemina (Illuminae Files Book 2) 

Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Published: October 18th 2016 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 659

4 Stars

Plot: This is the second book of the Illuminae files series and continues the story where there is an intergalactic war between mining companies. In Gemina another male and female duo are trying to defeat an invasion on a space station that surrounds a wormhole. It’s sort of a Die Hard in space.

Each book is written and illustrated as a file of emails, surveillance footage, and diary entries. You have to read the hardback to get the full experience. However, the audio production is incredible with different actors and sound effects. So I ended up listening as I read along with the hardback. It’s such a unique experience and I totally recommend it!

Fish in a Tree 

Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt 

Published: February 5th 2015 by Nancy Paulsen Books

Pages: 288 pages

3 Stars

Plot: A sixth grade girl, Ally, struggles with dyslexia and friendships over the course of a school year. 

I liked the main character, but there are many other storylines of characters struggling with being a bully, physical fights with other students, hunger, parents being deployed, immigration, and other hardships. Some of those storylines are resolved and others are not. I appreciated the dyslexia storyline, but I didn’t see the need to incorporate so many other problems. I did not recommend this to my daughter.

Where the Crawdads Sing

Author: Delia Owens 

Published: August 14th 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Pages: 384

4 Stars

Plot: A coming-of-age crime drama about a girl growing up alone in the marshes of North Carolina. 

This is a combination of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and To Kill a Mockingbird. I  would not have read this if it weren’t so hyped. I am glad I read it and I can see why readers love this book. The audiobook and being able to hear the “magnolia mouth” accents are enjoyable. The descriptions of nature are fantastic, but I felt the story was unrealistic. It’s still an interesting book and it’s very easy to follow the plot.

Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) 

Author: Brandon Sanderson 

Published: September 24th 2013 by Delacorte Press

Pages: 386

3 Stars

Plot:  A burst in the sky gave ordinary men and women superpowers and they are called Epics. The Epics turn out to be bad guys and they take over towns. A group called the Reckoners are trying to defeat them in a city that used to be Chicago.

I love Brandon Sanderson’s books. He is one of my favorite authors. However, this one of my least favorite books of his. I love the concept of hero-type people turning evil with superpowers and creative things happening to cities, but the book moved too slow for me. It was a lot of talking and not a lot of action. The talking does help you relate to the characters. It really may have been the wrong book at the wrong time.

I’ve already started on my books for August. Which books have you loved recently? I’m always looking for suggestions!

Photo by Annie Spratt 

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