Princess Geek Reads: Everything I Read In July

I have good news! This month was actually a great reading month for me, mostly because I found some books that got me out of my slump! It was a wild ride of emotions with these books, and I’ve been excited to talk about them. I got to a novella, an audio book, and some pretty chunky books, too! And let me tell you, these stories were vastly different from each other, so maybe that’s why this was such a fun reading month. Anyway, let’s get to it!

Mistborn: Secret History by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy

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I don’t even know how I feel about this story anymore, haha! It’s been almost a month since I’ve finished it (I started it in June and finished it the first day of July, I think). Now, I’m going to say that I actually keep forgetting I even read this. Not because this book is forgettable, but it kind of feels like some weird fever dream..

First off, I will say I really loved this novella. Kelsier was my favorite character in the original Mistborn trilogy until his untimely death, in which case Spook took over as my favorite. This book hit in all the right places for both of my favorites. It was SO GOOD to be reading Kelsier again, and all those plot twists…ya’ll, Sanderson has mad game. I mean, HOW? “How” is pretty much all I said reading this, because I just couldn’t comprehend not only how I wasn’t spoiled about half this stuff (I probably was, I just couldn’t understand it out of context), but also how Sanderson keeps thinking up all these ways to torment his readers.

The scene between Kelsier and Spook had me shook, because I remember reading the same scene from Spook’s point of view in The Hero Of Ages, and all that time I never realized is was Kelsier who had been cheering him on when Spook was about to be taken by Ruin. You can imagine I was probably crying, right? Maybe… And DON’t even get me started on that reunion between Vin and Kelsier!

I thought this was a really strong novella, and it didn’t seem too long or too short. It did leave me with a lot of questions, all of which would probably leave me with a RAFO (Read And Find Out) from Sanderson. Just got to wait for the story to continue, I guess! Anyways, I highly recommend this to any Mistborn fan! I mean…you’re probably going to need it in order to understand what’s coming…

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, Celaena, an assassin, is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

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This has been a long time coming, because I’ve been interested in the Throne of Glass series since I was in high school, I just never got around to reading it. A few weeks ago I picked up the first book at Target, and ended up reading it randomly. I don’t even know if I really like this book (or the series in general), because I spent most of the time being angry at it, haha! There’s a serious love triangle in it, and it just frustrates the heck out of me. I have a friend who knows who the girl ends up with, and you have no idea how many times I’ve considered asking her to just tell me, or to look it up myself. The frustration is that bad!

I feel like Sarah J. Maas is so hyped up that I was just expecting more from this. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the characters were great (except for Nehemia…I HATE NEHEMIA), but the writing wasn’t what I expected. Of course, this was her first book, so that is to be expected. In fact, I find myself relegating to Maas and this story in a lot of ways when it comes to this book. I not only saw my own writing style in this, but I also saw myself in the protagonist, Celaena. No, I’m not an assassin (haha!) but I think our personalities are very similar. People who know me might think otherwise, but there was just something about her I guess!

I decided I did not like the story, and I think it’s kind of boring. I’m definitely only there to see who she ends up with, but I’m hoping the story will draw me in more as time goes on. I mean…I really HOPE it does…

Rating: 3.75/5 Stars

Seasons of the Storm by Elle Cosimano

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Synopsis: One cold, crisp night, Jack Sommers was faced with a choice—live forever according to the ancient, magical rules of Gaia, or die.

Jack chose to live, and in exchange, he became a Winter—an immortal physical embodiment of the season on Earth. Every year, he must hunt the Season who comes before him. Summer kills Spring. Autumn kills Summer. Winter kills Autumn. And Spring kills Winter.

Jack and Fleur, a Winter and a Spring, fall for each other against all odds. To be together, they’ll have to escape the cycle that’s been forcing them apart. But their creator won’t let them go without a fight.

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I first learned of this book back in high school right before it came out, and it went on my list of books I wanted to get whenever they released. Over time, I kept forgetting about it until a few months ago when I finally went ahead and bought it. Even then, it took me a while before I picked it up. And…

WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG????

I have no words. Even though the synopsis really interested me, I was not prepared for how good this would actually be. It was nothing like I thought it would be, but ended up being everything I wanted it to be! In fact, this was the book that really got me out of my reading slump!

The writing was brilliant. Like, it’s been a while since I’ve read a book that could bring all the feels like that just through the writing style. I think the last book I read like that was Lovely War by Julie Berry back in February 2021? I believe this was loosely based off of Romeo and Juliet, and I could tell exactly how it was going to end when I was still at the beginning, so that didn’t help with how emotional this book made me.

Or…did I know the end?

The characters were extremely lovable and the plot was one of the best I’ve seen in a while. I’m not lying when I saw this book made me break down and sob in front of my siblings, like no joke! But there was things about this book I didn’t like. Whenever there was an action scene, things tended to feel a little slow and jagged. And as for the ending, I still don’t really know how to feel. I think she could have easily ended the story there, because there wasn’t really any loose ends to tie up, at least in my opinion. I’ll definitely be reading the second book, but yeah, I thought the ended was good enough. It was just confusing. All in all, the book was amazing, but I just have mixed feelings about the end…

Rating: 4.75/5 Stars

Endless Night by Agatha Christie

Genre: Crime/Mystery

Synopsis: Gipsy’s Acre was a truly beautiful upland site with views out to sea – and in Michael Rogers it stirred a child-like fantasy. There, amongst the dark fir trees, he planned to build a house, find a girl and live happily ever after. Yet, as he left the village, a shadow of menace hung over the land. For this was the place where accidents happened. Perhaps Michael should have heeded the locals’ warnings: ‘There’s no luck for them as meddles with Gipsy’s Acre.’ Michael Rogers is a man who is about to learn the true meaning of the old saying ‘In my end is my beginning.’

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My sister found a plethora of Agatha Christie audio books and got me onto this one. I read And Then There Were None earlier this year with her, in which I decided to take a break from her books because they leave me feeling a little uneasy at times! I figured enough time had passed for me to listen to this one. And y’all, I don’t even know what to say, haha! No matter how many mysteries Christie writes, it seems she always has creative plot twists. This one was no exception!

For the whole first half of this book, it felt like nothing was happening. It was still nice to read, but I was a little on edge since I wasn’t sure when the bad stuff would start happening, haha! And when the mystery began, I thought I had it all figured out at one point…until I didn’t.

I will say that listening to the audio book version was what made this story for me. I feel like things would have been very different if I had only read it. The narrator’s performance was the best I have ever heard, and I could tell he put everything he had into it. I highly recommend this to any mystery lover!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

A Touch of Ruin by Scarlett St. Clair

Genre: Romance/Greek Mythology/Retelling

Synopsis: Persephone’s relationship with Hades has gone public and the resulting media storm disrupts her normal life and threatens to expose her as the Goddess of Spring.

Hades, God of the Dead, is burdened by a hellish past that everyone’s eager to expose in an effort to warn Persephone away.

Things only get worse when a horrible tragedy leaves Persephone’s heart in ruin and Hades refusing to help. Desperate, she takes matters into her own hands, striking bargains with severe consequences.

Faced with a side of Hades she never knew and crushing loss, Persephone wonders if she can truly become Hades’ queen.

~ ~ ~

Remember when I read the first book in this series and I said I wasn’t going to the next one? Well…

I will be honest and say I liked this one, at least for the last half of it. But I still thought the writing was a little dry at times, and the characters annoyed the crap out of me. Except for Hermes. Hermes is like, the only completely likable character here who never does anything to make me angry at him, haha!

The story was a bit more interesting this time around, so there was that. I think the reason I got through it so fast was because of how much crap I skipped in it, haha! Other than that, I don’t have a lot to say about this series. My feelings toward it are mostly neutral, if I’m being honest, and I can’t say I recommend it. I guess some people will like it, and some people will hate it. Whatever floats your boat!

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Crooked House by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: In the sprawling, half-timbered mansion in the affluent suburb of Swinly Dean, Aristide Leonides lies dead from barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely. In fact, suspicion has already fallen on his luscious widow, a cunning beauty fifty years his junior, set to inherit a sizeable fortune, and rumored to be carrying on with a strapping young tutor comfortably ensconced in the family estate. But criminologist Charles Hayward is casting his own doubts on the innocence of the entire Leonides brood. He knows them intimately. And he’s certain that in a crooked house such as Three Gables, no one’s on the level…

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I finished this pretty quickly, mostly because I spent a lot of yesterday cleaning and I like to listen to books while I do that. This book was nothing like I expected it would be, but I loved it! All the characters were so vibrant and it was just like I was in that crazy house with them (scarily enough, haha!). It had me guessing the entire time, and when it finally revealed who did the murder, I literally got goosebumps!

I will say that this book will probably drive you nuts because it has those moments where you’re like, “dude! You’re stupid! Don’t do that!” Like, come on! How can these characters be so dumb sometimes? I guess you can always expect stuff like that in horror/murder mystery books! But this is fun sometimes, right?

Like Endless Night, I highly recommend this to any lovers of a good mystery book!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for. 

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I actually finished this at about 12:15AM, but I gave it to myself because I literally just had to finish to more chapters and it was just 12 minutes into August, haha! I was a little aggravated at myself though, because for all the reading I’ve done over the last three days I somehow couldn’t finish this before midnight. But I cut myself some slack, because let me tell you- this was a dang hard book to get through.

Let’s talk about how much this book made me suffer. I have never wanted to through a book across the room so badly before. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to rip the pages out of a book, period. At times, I was holding the book so tightly I think there might be dents in the cover from my nails, and some of the pages are a little bent, haha! But to say this book made me angry is an understatement. Reading this, I began to wonder: is it normal for a fictional story to made someone so enraged? I mean, please tell me someone has become enraged reading/watching something before, haha! Maybe I just need therapy. After reading this, I think I do need therapy…

Anyway, as you read in my thoughts for Throne of Glass, I decided I didn’t really like the story. At this point, I was there to see what became of the love triangle between Celaena, Dorian, and Chaol. Well, this book made me decide that I HATE love triangles and it is a horrendous romance trope. I mean, throughout the first and second book, I’m like, “ohhhh it’s Dorian- no wait, it’s Chaol- gosh it’s Dorian again, NO IT’S CHAOL!” – It was seriously starting to stress me out. I will admit that I have actually quit reading stories because of love triangles. I just can’t handle the stress! As I am new to the Throne of Glass fandom, I don’t know who’s side has a higher fan base, but I can kind of guess. Because of this, I am not going to say which side I am on just yet. You will probably be able to guess though, haha!

As I was saying, I did really enjoy the first half of this book. As you might remember, I am an adamant hater of Nehemia (another thing I’m hesitant to admit because I don’t know the fandom’s stance with her yet), but her death left me a little rattled. Maybe that was because of the absolute train wreck that followed??? It led to me wanting to rip the pages out of the book and watch them get shredded in a paper shredder, I kid you not.

The funny/not funny part about this is because one night, literally the night before I read the part where everything goes downhill (like, to the farthest depths of the downhill abyss), I had my sister look up who Celaena gets with in the end. She proceeded to look up pretty much all the plot twists and a few other character fates (she likes knowing things about stuff I’m reading lol). While I was reading this book, she would give me these looks that would remind me that at any moment, if I wanted to call it quits, she would tell me everything. You have no idea how many times I almost came to this. (She did actually tell me about Nehemia’s death and a few things about Chaol, but that was because I asked her to (again, I couldn’t handle the stress lol)). But I pushed through and finished up. I did like the ending, I have to say, and the plot twist that happened right there at the very end.

Will I continue with this series, or let my sister tell me everything? That remains to be seen…

Rating: 3.75/5

I really wanted to get in at least one more book, but I’m happy with how this reading month turned out! I have a lot of books on my TBR for August, and I’m hoping I can slowly catch back up with my reading goal. We’ll see what happens! Anyways, let me know what you read this month! I’d love to hear about it!

God bless y’all and have a wonderful week!

Synopses taken from Goodreads

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