Recent Reads, July 2023

This was a busy month for me – I traveled to New York for my friend’s wedding – and didn’t end up getting in as much reading as I usually do. I also used the time in the car to make a serious dent in my re-read (via audiobooks) of the Throne of Glass series, but since I’ve already shared those books before, I’m not including them in this post. Here are the new (to me) books that I read in July.

Where You See Yourself by Claire Forrest

Wow, I loved this book so much! It’s a coming of age and coming of acceptance story about Effie, a high school senior who is dealing with all the typical teenager issues – friends, her crush, college applications – but also uses a wheelchair. The story follows Effie throughout her senior year, as she goes to classes and student council meetings, applies to colleges and goes on campus tours, and dances the night away at prom. It also follows her grappling with her disbaility, and learning how, and when, to speak up for her needs. I just really loved how Effie’s disability was handled in the story – you can really tell that the author is also disabled. It’s a story that I wish I could have read when I was younger, and one that I’m so glad is around for the next generation of disabled youth.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

A movie version of this book is coming out in the next few weeks on Amazon, so I wanted to read the book first! I think I finished it in about a day – it’s a really cute rom com that asks what would happen if the Prince of Wales and America’s First Son ended up dating! After a faux pas at a British wedding and rumors that they hate each other, the boys’ handlers devise a scenario where the two have public hang outs so it looks like they’re best friends. But then public hang outs turn into private ones, and sparks start to fly. It’s also a story about acceptance, speaking up for yourself, and family expectations.

Silver Nitrate by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia

I got an ARC of this through NetGalley, but the book is out now! I always love Sylvia Moreno-Garcia’s books, and this was no exception. Montserrat is an undervalued, overworked sound editor who always feels overlooked – both professionally, and in her private life, too, since she’s had a crush on her childhood friend Tristan, a minor soap opera star, for years. But the two learn that Tristan’s neighbor is the director of a cult horror film, and he tells them his last, unfinished film was cursed – and asks them for their help to finish it and undo the curse. It’s a dark, spooky story with mystery and magic and Hollywood. I loved it.

Behind the Net by Stephanie Archer

Hockey romances are super popular on Bookstagram and Booktok, so I decided to give this one a try… and I’ve decided it’s just not my thing! Pippa and Jamie went to high school together, but now he’s a professional hockey player and she’s just been hired to be his assistant – and neither are sure that the other remembers them! Conveniently, both also had a secret crush on the other back then, too. Now, they’re determined to keep things professional, until Jamie learns something about Pippa’s ex and he can’t help but feel a little competitive. It starts to seem more and more unlikely that they’ll be able to keep things professional for very long at all! This is definitely a spicy book, so be aware if you decide to read!

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