July 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

July was a bit of a rough month, so my reading suffered just a bit. I didn’t read as much as usual, but I did find a new favorite. So overall, I’d say that balances things about it, right? In total, I read six books last month [two audio books, four physical books]. Without further ado, let’s get into my wrap-up.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Daughter of the Pirate King was basically what I wanted To Kill A Kingdom to be from my June wrap-up. I really enjoyed this pirate hate-to-love story. Basically, if I could combine the magic and lore of To Kill a Kingdom with the romance and character development from Daughter of the Pirate King, I would have the perfect pirate book. I know Levenseller has many books published, and I’ll definitely be putting some on my to be read list starting with the sequel, Daughter of the Siren Queen.

Daughter of the Pirate King follows Alosa, daughter of the pirate king, and Riden, a rival pirate, whose paths cross when Alosa purposefully gets herself kidnapped in order to find a priceless artifact.

“Oh, the ridiculous things one has to do when one is a pirate.”

Daughter of the Pirate King

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Well, I added a new book to my list of favorites. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller was beautiful. The story follows Patroclus and Achilles from Homer’s Illiad before, during and after the events of the Trojan War. Miller manages to subvert the long epic style by creating a quick paced story told mostly from Patroclus’ perspective. The pacing threw me off at first – I didn’t expect this book to cover so much time and move so quickly. However, I grew to love it. The writing style was detailed and lyrical without feeling bogged down, which I attribute to the quick pacing. This is a retelling that will stick with me, and I can’t wait to pick up Miller’s newest novel, Circe.

Patroclus is a young prince banished from his home, Phthia, when he meets the young Achilles, child of King Peleus and the goddess Thetis, and embarks on journeys across Greece, eventually to the fateful siege of Troy where Achilles must prove himself and Patroclus must follow.

“Name one hero who was happy.”

The Song of Achilles

The Tradition by Jericho Brown

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I had been staring at this poetry collection in my Barnes and Noble cart for months, and I finally decided to buy it last month. First of all cover is absolutely gorgeous. But more importantly, the contents of The Tradition are just as beautiful. Jericho Brown has created a collection of poetry that discusses a range of topics, all centered in normalized violence, in a lyrical, unique style. Some of these poems were difficult to read, and I’d suggest checking the content warnings before you begin if you’re concerned.

The Tradition is a poetry collection that discusses violence and the ways in which violence is normalized in society, told through poems about fatherhood, religion, love and more.

“No sound beating ends where it began. None of the beaten end up how we began.”

The Tradition

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Romance is generally not my genre. I’ve picked up a few here and there and enjoyed them, but it’s not something I regularly read. But Get a Life, Chloe Brown was just so hyped up on social media that I had to get a copy. This is a fun, quick read with some steam [this is definitely an adult romance book]. I enjoyed the story and really liked the main character, Chloe. I will say, for me this is at the edge of too much ~romance~ if you catch my drift. The plot also felt a bit off in the second half and relied on miscommunication, which is one of my least favorite tropes of all time. Overall, though, I did enjoy this and might be picking up the companion novel, Take a Hint, Dani Brown.

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek who wants to… get a life, so she embarks on an adventure that begins with moving out of her parents’ house and into an apartment, where the Redford Morgan works and lives as a handyman and secret artist by night.

“Love is certainly never safe, but it’s absolutely worth it.”

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

My first audio book of the month was a winner. But then again, all of Elizabeth Acevedo’s audio books are winners. She narrates them herself, which just adds a wonderful touch to her stories. Clap When You Land is told in verse and was a joy to listen to. I teared up a few times and smiled to myself while listening. This story is based off of true events from American Airlines Flight 587 that crashed shortly after 9/11. All 265 passengers on board were killed. I admit I did not know about this tragedy, and that is part of the point Acevedo makes here with this story. It’s about bringing this to light, about finding yourself, dealing with grief, understanding your place in the world. I’ll read anything Acevedo writes.

Clap When You Land follows Camino and Yahaira whose father dies on a flight bound for the Dominican Republic, only they do not know they are sisters until this tragedy strikes, and they are forced to face the truth while grieving the father they thought they knew.

“A queen offers her hand to be kissed, & can form it into a fist while smiling the whole damn time.”

Clap When You Land

The Illiad by Homer

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

As you can probably guess, I read The Iliad to satisfy my need for more Patroclus and Achilles. And I… kind of got that satisfaction. This is a classic that I had read bits and pieces of throughout the years, and of course, I’d also seen the attempted movie adaptation Troy. Good movie on its own, not so much as an accurate retelling. So, I decided to listen to the audio book for this tome, which is narrated by Dan Stevens [Downton Abbey]. I really enjoyed the narration and most of the story itself. Not being a translation expert, I can’t comment on that accuracy. I don’t really know how to rate this, so I’m sticking with a middle of the road 3.5 stars because I really enjoyed some of the books but was disinterested in others.

The Iliad is one of history’s truly great epics, chronicling the events of the Trojan War – started when Helen of Sparta is captured and taken to Troy – and a struggle among gods and men.

“Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.”

The Iliad

Well, there you have it. I’m looking forward to reading more great books in August. What was your favorite book in July? Let know down in the comments!

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