July in Review // The Month That Didn’t Exist

(Last Updated On: August 1, 2019)

How is it August? I literally was sending emails out yesterday and referring to today as July 1; I feel like I lost a month of my life!

July was a stressful month for me. My reading largely suffered when I had an especially bad week and did nothing but lay in bed and stare into space. But the good news is that week is behind me, Flapping Pages has been soft-relaunched and is accepting both arc donations and requests (I am working on something exciting, too!), and am slowly accepting my new reality.

Patreon News: I’m currently running a poll for feedback on early post access as a patron benefit. In my mind, I can’t fathom someone finding value in seeing a reader interview or book review early but what matters is what you want. Even if you aren’t a current patron, the poll is open for anyone that wants to help me build something of value.


I read eight books in July! (Technically I read 9 books in July but I read most of Immunity in June.) Another month of weird reading patterns; I’ve been reading a lot in spurts and then not reading for 1-2 weeks each month for awhile now. I’m just trying to go with the flow as best as I can.

โœจย As a quick reminder, I’ve done away with star ratings on my blog reviews. You can read more about my reasoning in this discussion post on ratings systems, but you can find my ratings on Goodreads!

My Favorite Read of July

The Storm CrowI read a few amazing books in July, but The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson stands out above the rest in my mind.

If you enjoy books that feature good sibling relationships, intricate world-building, and female friendships, then this book is for you!

It’s no secret that that book meant a lot to me personally. I don’t talk much about my depression, but this book made me feel seen in a way I don’t think I have ever experienced before. It is powerful to see yourself and your struggles on the page; it validates your experiences and lets you know that you are not alone. I needed this book when I read it, and I am forever thankful.

๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review

All July Reads

ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted below by an asterisk *

  • * Immunity (Contagion #2) by Erin BowmanImmunity was one of my most anticipated sequels for 2019, and this was such a satisfying end to a great duology! There is a notable genre shift to more science fiction than horror, but the overall plotting of the story makes sense and I enjoyed it so much! | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review
  • * American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan – if you are a fan of true crime, this account of the hunt for Israel Keynes is a must-read. Incredibly well written and haunting, at times it reads like fiction instead of non-fiction. | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review
  • Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalo It is rare that I love the second book more than the first, but Hunting Prince Dracula is one of those instances! The writing is beautiful, engaging, and fast-pacedโ€ฆ I devoured this book in one sitting on a hot afternoon. I found the mystery better developed and less obvious, and of course Thomas Cresswell is still too pure for this world. | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full review
  • * This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone –ย this was such a unique reading experience. I went in thinking it was one thing and it turned everything on its head. The writing is poetic and the story is beautiful, but the novella did challenge me to let go of my need to understand everything and just experience the writing.| ๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review
  • * The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson – I loved this book so much and bought a finished copy when I was 10% into my eARC. | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review
  • * Salvation Day by Kali Wallace – I am still trying to sort out my thoughts on this one, but this definitely is sci-fi at its best of looking forward to potential futures. The world-building is vast; Wallace crafted a fully-realized future for humanity which touches on a refugee crisis, a government corrupted by power and secrets. | ๐Ÿ“– ARC Review to Come
  • A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss –ย A sweet story about two bunnies falling in love and standing up to the Man (aka Stink Bug), featuring the power of voting and supportive friends.ย | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full review
  • War (The Four Horsemen #2) by Laura ThalassaI have to say that this was not nearly as problematic as the first book, and was pleased to see more of the mythos of the Four Horsemen built into the narrative.
  • * The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow #1) by Margaret Owen – this book is incredible, with a really cool magic system and world which touches on power, politics, and fighting for what is right. | ๐Ÿ“– ARC Review to Come

DNF – Did Not Finish

  • None!

July Statistics

Total Books Read: 8 | Total Pages Read: 2,894

Total Books Read in 2019: 52
Goodreads Reading Goal:ย 52 ๐ŸŽ‰

2019 GR Challenge Finished

ARC Mountain Update

I recently put myself on an ARC Ban (as of July 12, 2019), and last week I wrote a post about the ban to hold me accountable. I know it has really only been a few days since the ban was announced but I want to start including this new section now.

Current ARC Total: 36
Finished in July:
1 (The Merciful Crow)
Reviews to Write: 3 (Rage, Salvation Day, The Merciful Crow)

Awesome Community Posts

My blog hopping has been sporadic and apparently I didn’t save many links because I am almost 3 weeks behind right now. ๐Ÿ˜“ But here are a few posts that I read and loved last month, and I will try to be better in August!

Upcoming Readalong: August 4 – 31!

Don’t forget that Kate @ Your Tita Kate and I are hosting a read-along for A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna! Will you be joining us?!

#SparkAlong Social Media Graphic 1

Thank you

Thank you, everyone, so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me last month! Unrelated to the blog, but I am hosting an international giveaway on Twitter to celebrate reaching 2,500 followers. Check out the tweet below for info! (And if you are an international blogger, be sure to check out the Flapping Pages giveaway!)

I hope that you had a fantastic July, let me know how your month went in the comments below!

spacer_wLetโ€™sย go on another adventureย together!


  1. sepiareads

    August 1, 2019 at 5:09 PM

    The year is going by so fast! I’m glad you had a great reading week! As you already know, I also read Hunting Prince Dracula and I agree that the mystery was much better developed.Good luck on your ARC ban!

    1. Kal

      August 2, 2019 at 9:14 PM

      I know, I can’t believe how fast the year is flying by! Thank you so much, and happy reading this August!

  2. Meeghan reads

    August 2, 2019 at 1:58 AM

    I’m so glad that War wasn’t as problematic as Pestilence. I’ve re-added it to my TBR… ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™ˆ
    Also, congrats again on 2.5k on Twitter!! You deserve all the good things, Kal!! ๐Ÿ’•

    1. Kal

      August 2, 2019 at 9:17 PM

      Ugh, Pestilence was essentially torture pr0n and made me so uncomfortable. BUT! War doesn’t have that massive abuse even from the beginning and while there’s the whole “changing a man” theme, it actually ties into the plot overall in a neat way. I nabbed it on Kindle Unlimited.

      Thank you so much, Meeghan!

  3. Theelderbooks

    August 2, 2019 at 5:11 AM

    It’s a wonder to me how you manage to keep your life balanced with all that. Congrats on reaching you reading goal ! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Kal

      August 2, 2019 at 9:17 PM

      Aww, thank you so much (and I don’t even know, haha)!

  4. May @ Forever and Everly

    August 2, 2019 at 10:52 AM

    Aahhh CONGRATS on reaching your reading goal!!! That’s amazing and definitely something I’m in awe of, considering that I’m like 10 books behind on mine ๐Ÿ˜… I’m happy you loved The Storm Crow so much and that it could have a lot of meaning to you, and I can’t wait to see your thoughts on The Merciful Crow since I feel like I’ve heard mixed things! And I’m so sorry to hear that there were some bad days this month, I’m sending you all the love and light and I hope that August treats you better ๐Ÿ’—

    1. Kal

      August 2, 2019 at 9:23 PM

      Thank you so much, May! I purposefully set my goal low so I don’t stress out about it, so I am glad to finally knock it out of the way! I know you will catch up on yours, you can do it! I really enjoyed The Merciful Crow and will probably it down to write my backlog of reviews over the weekend.

      Sending lots of love your way, an happy reading!

  5. Kelly | Another Book in the Wall

    August 2, 2019 at 8:04 PM

    Wonderful wrap up, love!! Oh my gosh, congrats on reaching your reading goal already! That is amazing! <3 I'm fully convinced that July didn't happen, because I swear, it was July 1st only yesterday! Where's Doc and Marty, because I think I stole their DeLorean by accident. It's so great to hear that you enjoyed The Storm Crow so much, and truly felt yourself represented in it! I hope you have an incredible August, Kal! <3

    1. Kal

      August 3, 2019 at 3:19 PM

      Thank you so much Kelly, and I am so glad I beat what what was supposed to be “easy” reading goal for the year finally! July was a time portal, of this I am convinced. Happy August to you as well, my love!

  6. TheCaffeinatedReader

    August 3, 2019 at 2:33 PM

    You had so many great things going on this month in general <3 and I can't wait for the readalong tomorrow <3 I'm in! [And also on an ARC ban lol]

    1. Kal

      August 3, 2019 at 3:30 PM

      Aww thank you so much, July was a lot of poo but I also made some strides so. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THE READALONG. It will be amazing! Also godspeed on the arc ban, my self-control is tested every damn day.

  7. northernplunder

    August 3, 2019 at 3:01 PM

    im so glad you loved the storm crow, i finally bought a finished copy too so im really over the moon w that story.

    i hope august treats you better, you deserve the world.

    1. Kal

      August 4, 2019 at 11:32 AM

      Thank you so much, Lauren! Isn’t the special cover for The Storm Crow beautiful? I honestly kind of want a second copy to display naked on my shelf.

      You also deserve the world, my love! Happy reading!

  8. Norrie

    August 5, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    July was a super weird month for me too. Like, it was shorter than normal?! ๐Ÿ˜€
    I’m really curious about the Contagion series… but i told myself i need to finish some series before i start a new one, so for now i just saved it on my list ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Kal

      August 5, 2019 at 11:14 AM

      July was really weird??? Like I don’t understand.
      Contagion is such a gem and I want more people to read the duology because it is great. But I get you on the whole needing to read stuff first. I feel my TBR plotting against me.

  9. attackingmyanxiety

    August 5, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    Yay for reaching your reading goal (I’m almost at mine!) and hitting 2.5k on Twitter ๐ŸŽ‰
    Eight books is very impressive and it sounds like you read some really good gems in July!

    1. Kal

      August 19, 2019 at 4:53 PM

      Thank you so much, and I hope you reach your reading goal soon as well!
      I hope you are having a wonderful August!

  10. Clo @ Book Dragons

    August 7, 2019 at 8:23 AM

    Ah wooo for all the reading you got done and I can’t believe it’s August. Ok funny story, since we’re a little way into August as I type this. I’m volunteering at my library for a reading challenge thing, and we have to write the dates kids read books onto their cards and I kept putting down september instead of august cause apparently I’ve done away with august xD Hope you have a fabulous August lovely <3

    1. Kal

      August 19, 2019 at 5:04 PM

      Aww thank you, and I can’t believe it’s August (erm, well… that August is almost over at this point). And lolol at writing September down, oopsies. I hope you are having a wonderful month, love!

  11. waytoofantasy

    August 9, 2019 at 4:08 PM

    8 books is still fantastic! That’s two books a week, when you think about it, that’s great. I also can’t believe it’s August, and I’m so far behind in blog hopping (hello from a week in the future LOL). Hope your August is great, Kal!

    1. Kal

      August 19, 2019 at 5:16 PM

      You are so right, 8 books is a fantastic amount when you break it down like that! I don’t know what is wrong with my brain. I am about a month behind on hopping and got 2 weeks behind on comments again. This is Fine. Why is August almost over? I have eleventy billion September arcs that I haven’t read yet

      1. waytoofantasy

        August 20, 2019 at 1:08 PM

        Nothing is wrong with your brain! We just have high expectations of ourselves and think we’re super human readers or something lol. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Eleventy billion sounds like a lot. Good luck!

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