The Month of Slumps, Manga and That Kid Wizard // Books I Read in July

Books I Read in July

I know everyone says this, but HOW is it August? I’m honestly having such a hard time processing this. July was not a good reading month. I felt extra slumpy and started about a dozen different books, but didn’t want to finish any of them. It wasn’t even because the book was bad I was just getting super distracted. It was a really mixed reading month too. I didn’t really read anything that I fell head over heels in love with. I didn’t even feel inspired to write any blog posts or reviews because I just felt so blah. I appreciate you all so much for sticking with me!

July wasn’t the best month in general, but oh well. It happens! I don’t like to talk about myself too much because #boring but I have my first ever psychologist appointment coming up soon and saying I’m terrified is an understatement. Some positive vibes would be appreciated ♥

Anyway, not much else happened in July except for me playing Pokemon Go and surviving for two weeks without Internet. Oh and I watched a TV show for the first time since like January. STRANGER THINGS IS AMAZING. I’m only on episode two, but it’s so good. The 80’s atmosphere is so amazing and I am actually in love with the musical scores.

In 2 days I’ve been blogging for SIX MONTHS, which – what even? I have some things planned but that’s a secret for now 😏.

Books I Read and Reviewed

I managed to read 13 books this month. This sounds like a lot, but half of these were graphic novels, mangas and short-ish books. I took part in The Biannual Bibliphon, The Make Me Read It Readathon and BookTube-A-Thon…  I failed spectacularly at all of them, but hey I still had fun! I read manga for the first time and I really enjoyed it.

My favourite reads of this month were: the princess saves herself in this one, Holding the Man, Saga Vol 1Replica and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Covers = My Review and/or Goodreads

1-3 Stars

Batman The Killing Joke by Alan Moore The Grownup by Gillian Flynn Love at Fourteen by Fuka Mizutani

Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore (writer) & Brian Bolland (illustrator) [] – In my most controversial graphic novel ratings I gave this 1 star. I’m not a Batman fan, but that didn’t influence my decision. I hate The Joker. It’s not the good hate either. This was misogynistic and used sexual abuse for “shock value”. The only thing this had going for it was the art. Please don’t hate me if you love this comic. It’s just not anything I want a part of.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn [★★] – Despite hating Gone Girl I went into this with an open mind. It was a short story and sounded really interesting and I just wanted to love a Gillian Flynn book. Unfortunately, this wasn’t it. It basically followed the same plot as Gone Girl with an unlikable main character and a series of plot twists that to me were extremely predictable and pointless. The best thing about this was the fafct that I missed that the MC was a sex worker and the opening line was “I didn’t stop giving handjobs because I wasn’t good at it” and it resulted in my being extremely confused and highly amused. I haven’t given up on Gillian Flynn yet though. I will try Dark Places next. Hopefully that’ll be one I enjoy! I read this for BookTube-A-Thon and completed the challenges of Read a Book After Sunset and Read a Book with Yellow on the Cover.

Love at Fourteen, Vol 1 by Fuka Mizutani [★★★] – This was a manga I found randomly whilst browsing the graphic novel section at my library. It was a contemporary and it was okay. The MCs where supposed to be 14 but acted like they were 18. Not really my thing, but the art was cute and it was a quick and easy read. I don’t think I’ll continue on with the series though.

4 Stars

Bodies of Water by V. H. Leslie Cinder by Marissa Meyer Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling  Jack Thorne John Tiffany

Bodies of Water by V.H. Leslie – Despite being a short read this took me a surprisingly long time to get through. It was extremely different than what I was expecting, but it addressed a lot of important issues about women’s health. There was also WLW, but it didn’t have a happy ending, unfortunately. Trigger warnings for suicide. I read this for BookTube-A-Thon and completed the Read a Book You Discovered from BookTube challenge.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – I FINALLY READ THIS. I liked it so much more than I was expecting. I loved Cinder and Iko. Levana seems like such an interesting character too I can’t wait to learn more about her. This had a lot of tropes, but I found myself not caring for some reason haha. I’m interested to see where the rest of the series goes! I was supposed to read this for Make Me Read It but that didn’t exactly happen so I read zero books for that readathon. Oops. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne – You may have heard of this? I don’t know 😝 This is honestly one of the most difficult ratings I’v EVER decided on. If I was reviewing solely on plot it’d be a 3, but reading experience would be 5. I had issues. A lot of issues. However the nostalgia I felt whilst reading this was beyond real. There were parts I REALLY loved. I honestly just want to drown myself in Harry Potter. I compromised and went with 4 stars, but this is at the highest point of 4 stars. If I was one of those reviewers that got super intricate this would be like a 4.95. I just can’t give it a full five stars.

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata Replica by Lauren Oliver Vs Aliens by Yu Suzuki

Death Note, Vol 1 by Tsugumi Ohba (writer) & Takeshi Obata (illustrator)  – The first manga I ever read! And I really, really enjoyed it! I was not expecting Light to be such an an antagonistic character. He was hilariously dramatic at times in the best way. I’m super excited to continue on with this series and see what develops between Light and “L”. I read this for The Biannual Bibliophon and completed the Read a Book in a Different Format challenge.

Replica by Lauren Oliver – I was so excited when Hachette Australia put this up on Netgalley and even more excited when I got approved. This was my first Lauren Oliver book and I really enjoyed it. I read it by alternating between Lyra and Gemma’s chapters. I preferred Lyra a lot more. This had some things I hate though like girl hate and instalove. The whole concept of the Replicas was super interesting and I can’t remember the last time I read a 500+ book in 3 days. I’ll have a full review up closer to the release date!

VS Aliens by Yu Suzuki – Another library find and I’m really glad I picked it up! It’s definitely not “the best story ever” or anything life changing, but sometimes you just need something fun and easy to read. This helped my reading slump a little. There kind of isn’t much of a plot and what happens is so hilariously ridiculous, but the characters and the relationships are adorable. I really, really loved this and I wish there was more. The art was so cute too.

5 Stars

Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave The Last Council by Kazu Kibuishi The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave – Okay, you guys know how I always talk about I cry in like every book I read? Well, when I say this book made me cry I mean IT MADE ME CRY. I think I spent 3/4 of this crying. And I mean CRYING. Like sobbing. Verbally. My face scrunched up with my Kindle out the way because I was scared I was going to water damage it. I was angry and sad and happy. I felt everything. If you want an extremely gritty and personal memoir on being gay in Australia in the 70s-90s with what it’s also like to be HIV positive then I can not recommend this enough. I read this for BookTube-A-Thon half completing the Read a Book and Watch its Movie Adaptation challenge. There was zero way I could put myself through that much emotional distress so close together so I chose not to watch the movie. I will get to it though!

Amulet, Vol 4: The Last Council – I read this to try and help me get out of my slump, it didn’t really work but it was still amazing. This series never fails to impress me. The art is so, so stunning. YOU NEED TO READ THESE GRAPHIC NOVELS.

the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace – Wow. Wow. WOW! GUYS! I was so happy I stumbled upon this poetry book on the Kindle store whilst it was free. I was immediately intrigued by the title because HELL YEAH. It’s super empowering.  This made me cry and the poems were so heartwrenchingly beautiful. I annotated SO much, but one of my favourite lines was: “once upon a time, the princess rose from the ashes, her dragon lovers made of her, & crowned herself the mother-fucking queen of herself – how’s that for a happily ever after?” Seriously. Read this.

Saga, Vol 1 by Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Fiona Staples (illustrator) – This was one of the strangest and most beautiful things I’ve EVER read. The art was BREATHTAKING. It was super fast paced and intense and I can not wait to read volume 2.

Upcoming Blog Plans

I should have my Basic Guide to Marvel Comics up soon! Then I plan on doing a post about graphic novels and comics that aren’t about superheroes.

I’m going to try and start fresh with reviews next month. I’ll try and have [fingers crossed] one review up a week. I really want to make my posting more organised so I’m going to try and work out a schedule.

Finally, I’m thinking of starting a Design section on my blog where I’ll make Bookmarks that people can print out as well as things like desktop and phone wallpapers. I was inspired by Esther @ Chapter Adventures to start this up. I made a couple mock bookmarks and posted them on Twitter. I’m not a professional, but I think I’m okay-ish 🙈 If you’d be interested in anything like that, let me know! I mean I’m probably just going to do it anyway 😂 but it’d be even better if people were on board!

mock-1 mock-2
Lowkey proud of the background on the first because it’s not a photo, I made it with Gradients and Photoshop brushes and I’m actually considering printing out the ADSOM one for myself lmao.

Of course everything will be free. I’m also working on a Design Resource post where I’ll mention all my favourite resources for vectors, fonts and stock images.

If you made it through this post then you deserve an endless amount of cookies or whatever your preferred dessert is.

I would love to hear any thoughts you have on the books I read this month! Make sure to leave a link to your Wrap Up posts so I can drop by!

I hope you all had a fantastic July and have an even more wonderful August.


42 thoughts on “The Month of Slumps, Manga and That Kid Wizard // Books I Read in July

  1. I’m still waiting on my copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and yours is the first review I’ve read (I’m being super fussy because I don’t want any spoilers) that wasn’t a perfect score. Now I just want to read it even more. But I have to wait until the mail is delivered tomorrow…

    Replica sounds so good! I can’t wait to read it! I’m looking forward to seeing your review!


  2. 1. I’d like my cookies now.
    2. Awesome bookmarks. How do you do that? I love them!
    3. How did you add the Bloglovin’ widget to your page? I really want to add mine, but I’m a noob at this.
    And finally,
    4. Do you live in Australia? Because I’m so jealous you got to read Replica! ::burns with envy::
    Great job on all those books, you book-reading machine! Whoop whoop!


    1. 🍪🍪🍪 – there you go!!

      Aw, thank you!! I use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator 😊 I’m really into Web/Graphic design so it’s just something I’ve been learning about it for like 10 years, haha.

      We were all new once. so don’t worry too much ♥ It’s actually just an image of the logo linked to my bloglovin’ because WordPress doesn’t allow you to use JavaScript codes which is what you need for widgets.

      Yeppp. I feel really lucky that an Australian publisher put it up, haha. It’s one of the few times living in Australia has been to my benefit 😂 It was such a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. I wish you a great first appointment. A good idea would be to make a list of things you want to mention or discuss. It worked for me because I just read what I wanted to work on and then answered the questions the psychologist asked me. It was still nervewrecking but a lot easier than I imagined. All was well.
    2. Stranger Things is incredible!!!!!! I wasn’t sold on it until episode 3. After that you realize the show creeps on you and you freaking love it. The 80s vibe gets better and better. The action, the horror, the characters all get amazing with each episode. I’m on episode 6 and I can’t wait to get off work to watch it.
    3. So sad that The Grownup wasn’t as good. I actually wasn’t that interested in the blurb and that’s why I haven’t picked it up, but I love her writing so I’ll give her a chance.
    4. The Cursed Child… So many mixed emotions. I don’t know if I want to read it just yet, but I don’t want to be spoiled.
    5. Yessss, your future blog plans sound amazing. That galaxy/sky background looks amazing, well done!! I love both bookmarks!


    1. Thanks so much, Esther ♥ I was thinking of doing something similar to that! I’m not actually sure what I want to talk about, but I’m definitely going to try and think of some things and make a list on my phone.

      Ahh, that makes me so excited to continue the series! It’s such an atmospheric experience.

      If you like her other books then you might like it! The blurb is kind over misleading. It definitely follows a similar formula to Gone Girl. I definitely understand your mixed emotions regarding Cursed Child! Some things didn’t fit right, but it was definitely an enjoyable reading experience. I’ll be interested to see what you think on both of them 😊

      Aww, thank you so much!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been going through a reading slump as well. I don’t what it is about this time of year for me that I can’t seem to read with my normal enthusiasm. Perhaps August will be different. Despite your reading slump you managed to get more reading done than I did so I commend you on that. Happy reading for August


  5. I’ll have cheesecake please, but it’s never a mission to get through your posts Lauren! Good luck with the psychologist, I’m sending you uber positive vibes from across the world! You’ll be totally fine. 🙂 I’ve pre-ordered Cursed Child but haven’t picked it up yet – I can’t wait to read it and I’m glad you mostly enjoyed it. It’s so nice/scary/emotional to be wrapped up in the Potterverse all over again right?! x


    1. 🧀🍰 – there’s no cheesecake emoji so I got creative 😂

      Thanks so much, Sammie! Yes definitely!! It’s made me want to reread the series so badly and it literally felt like I’d traveled back in time to 2005-2007. I can’t wait to see what you think of it!!


  6. Wow! EPIC July wrap-up! I’m looking forward to your Basic Guide to Marvel Comics. I love graphic novels but when it comes to Marvel, I haven’t even scratched the surface. Pretty neat looking bookmarks 😉


  7. Your bookmarks look awesome! Great idea! I can’t believe you read the new HP already. I opened it Sunday but I haven’t read it yet. I plan to read and review it for my Goodreads group by the end of the month. You were busy this month. Good for you! You got lots of reading done. The Grownup had an awesome first line, but I still haven’t read past the first few pages. It didn’t hold my attention at all. Love your idea for comic books. I’d love see that. 🙂


    1. Thanks so much, Jill!

      Haha! I bought it on my Kindle the minute it was released and then spent all day reading it. It was surprisingly quick because of the script format. I’ll definitely be interested to see what you think 😊

      If my schedule goes to plan the Marvel post should be up this weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I also ordered it on Kindle. I didn’t want to wait for it. 😂 I would’ve read it all day too if I wasn’t behind on Nevernight. Finally finished Nevernight. 🤗 Harry Potter is on my list for this month. I’m posting my review the last Friday of the month for my Hype or Like Friday group. That would be awesome. I’m a mega Marvel fangirl! I can’t wait to read it! 😊


  8. Great recap for this month Lauren.
    You’ve read so many books as well. I can’t believe you’ve already finishing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; it was only released yesterday. Either way I’m glad you enjoyed it, I know what you mean about the nostalgia going back to the series after so long. Also I’m glad you enjoyed Replica too, I’ve seen a lot of that book recently and I’m excited for it to be released so I can’t wait to see your review for it! 😀
    Your blog plans sound amazing as well, I love the two bookmarks you’ve created so far so I’d be interested to see what else you come up with! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for your designs! 😀


    1. Thanks so much, Beth ♥

      Haha!! I bought it the moment it was available on my Kindle and then spent all day reading it. Being in a script format it was a pretty quick read! It only took me a couple of hours. It really made me want to reread the series. Replica was such a lovely surprise!

      And thank you again!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right ❤
        I got my copy in hardcover the day it was released as well. I haven't read it for myself yet but I do keep picking it up and flicking through the pages and going to scenes I loved from the play! 🙂
        I'm glad you enjoyed Replica, I can't wait to see your review for it! 😀


  9. I still haven’t read Cinder but I’m kind of tempted to… but I also have so many more books to read (i.e. new releases) that I dunno if I have the energy to binge through the series.

    – HOLDING THE MAN OMG. I haven’t read or watched it but it’s definitely one of those titles I reaaaally want to get to, so I’m glad to see that you enjoyed it a lot.
    – Love those bookmarks and can’t wait to see that design resource post.
    – Hope the appointment goes well! *sends allll my positive vibes to you*


    1. Ahh, I totally know what you mean! I don’t know when I’ll be reading Scarlet because there’s just so many other books I need to get through. I did enjoy it more than I was expecting though!!

      It affected me way more than I was expecting! It was definitely an eye opening read. I’m really excited to watch the movie even though I know I’ll probably cry just a much haha.

      Thanks so much, Reg ♥


      1. Yeah, exactly! Like the number of books I need to read just to catch up is intimidating to me, haha.

        The lazy part of me just wants to watch the movie and skip the book altogether (haha). Hope you like it!


  10. Looking forward to your post on graphic novels and comics. I’ll about one foot in but I still feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of them. Haha. Glad you enjoyed Death Note and Cinder 🙂


  11. Yay cookies!
    Congrats on your blogoversary!
    Glad you enjoyed Cinder and Harry Potter! I’m starting Harry Potter now and I’m both excited and scared at the same time 🙂
    I’ve always wanted to get more into graphic novels and comics so a Basic Guide sounds like a great idea!
    Also, I love bookmarks and wallpapers and such and especially if it’s book-related so I think it’s great if you want to post those! I already love the two you have up!


  12. I’m sorry July wasn’t the best month for you! I can’t believe it’s almost the end of summer. I mean, I swear it just STARTED. Anyway, I can’t wait to see your Marvel posts. I love comics and never see anyone posting about them so I get SUPER excited whenever I do. Hope you have a wonderful August!


  13. Oh my, good luck with the appointment! I hope it goes well. ❤
    I love how you’re not giving up on Gillian Flynn haha, that’s dedication. 😂 Also that first line would have amused me too. 😀
    I LOVE the Death Note anime! I used to have a huge crush on L, haha. Can I BE any more emo?
    So glad you liked Holding the Man, I think I’ll watch the movie soon because I saw the other day that it’s on Netflix! Would love to read the book first but I don’t wanna wait that long. 😂
    Also, the princess saves herself in this one sounds really good!! Love that line. 👌


  14. Wishing you luck for your appointment, I hope everything went well 🙂 ❤ So happy you liked Replica so much, I can' wait to read it, I am WAY too impatient, haha. And I'm glad to hear you loved Cinder as well! Are you going to read the rest of the series? 🙂


  15. hope your psych appt went well. as an experienced visitor of psychologists (crazy is my special talent 😂) the diff perspective they give can be so helpful.
    thanks for reminding to read Deathnote. i don’t know how i can be a manga lover when i’ve never read it!?


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