July has been a busy month of PhD interviews and graduation, not to mention YALC, which means I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks. I’m looking forward to a month of relaxing next!
Best New Release
A TASTE OF IRON AND GOLD, by Alexandra Rowland, was pitched to me as being in the vein of WINTER’S ORBIT and A MARVELLOUS LIGHT, two of my favourite books of 2021. So naturally I had to read it (and was able to get an ARC) and it does so perfectly fit alongside those titles, absolutely stuffed with romance tropes.
A prince who struggles with anxiety gets a very uptight bodyguard and together the pair embark on an investigation into counterfeit coins. Along the way, attraction blooms, but they might not be allowed to follow their hearts.
Best Backlist Read
My focus this month was reading for YALC, which meant I mostly read 2022 releases, or re-read a few backlists ahead of new entries. That meant there were very few books to actually pick from this month!
However, one of those YALC reads was backlist GREEN RISING, by Lauren James. This is her latest UKYA sci-fi, a climate fiction book about teens with the ability to grow things tacking climate change and being used by corporations who want to look like they’re doing something.
Most Surprising Read
A TOWN CALLED SOLACE, by Mary Lawson, was the August book club pick. I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to like this one based on the blurb – a historical about a tangled bunch of people’s lives that seemed to imply there was a thriller element for it (there wasn’t – it’s not a great blurb!)
However, I really enjoyed it because the voices were so distinct. The three narrators are all of different generations and that comes across so clearly and you don’t even need to see the name in the chapter to work out who’s speaking despite it being first person.
Best UK-Authored Read
I was lucky enough to read THE AGENCY FOR SCANDAL, by Laura Wood, early this month. Six months early in fact – this is a January 2023 release that doesn’t even have a cover yet!
It is another funny, swoony historical from the author of A SKY PAINTED GOLD and set in Victorian England (like A SINGLE THREAD OF MOONLIGHT, and there are references to characters from that book too!) It was so much fun to read, and chock-full of romance tropes like “only one bed” and “have to work with secret crush.”
MINDWALKER, by Kate Dylan, is a UKYA sci-fi debut out in September that was such a thrill of a ride. It’s a short book packing a lot of punch, set in a post apocalyptic US where teenagers with mind-meld tech can take over operatives’ bodies and and get them to safety when missions go wrong. But that tech kills them at 19.
Sil is the best of the best, but having just turned 18, she hasn’t got long left. When she’s accused of a crime she didn’t do, she goes on the run and ends up infiltrating a group trying to stop the tech. But the longer she stays with them, the more secrets she uncovers.
Most Anticipated August Read
DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS, by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr, is the start of this duo’s next duology. I loved their A THRONE OF SWANS duology and so have been eagerly awaiting this next book of theirs ever since they started hinting about it. The Ancient Greek inspired setting is another draw!
Set in an Ancient Greek world where the Bronze Age Minoa didn’t suddenly collapse, this story is a loose retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice. The heroine must travel into the underworld on Orpheus’ behalf to find Eurydice
How was your July?