Monthly Recaps

JULY RECAP // oops vacation made me a reading machine ft. book mail & a readathon tbr

Hey hey friends and how are you all doing?

Unfortuneatly streaks never last when it comes to recaps, as you’ve all probably noticed I’m a tad late to this one. Not as late as quite a few other times though. I can only do so much folks.

Anyways, apparently I read A TON last month and I’m also now a superhero. Let’s get into it!

Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey {★★★☆☆}: not going to linger on this one too long because I honestly don’t have all that many thoughts anymore. According to my GR review, I finished this on the very first day of July, so that explains a lot. I had high hopes for this one but it unfortunetaly was just rather average. I didn’t hate it, but expected more. It was also weirdly sexual for a book about only just over 18-year olds. Idk that didn’t sit with me very well. Teens have sex, yes, but I don’t need to read about them sexually thirsting over each other. Read for a fun NA contemporary, I guess.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid {★★★★★}: TJR HAS DONE IT AGAIN AND I LOVED THIS BOOK!! Listened to the entire thing on audiobook, which I’m 1) very chuffed about and 2) seriously loved. It’s narrated by Julia Whelan, who is absolutely fantastic. Not going to say too much because I have a review coming at some point, but this book is an absolute whirlwind of emotions! It’s expertly told and full of compelling celeb characters who you can’t keep your eyes away from. Big thanks to Penguin Random House for the eARC via Netgalley & ALC via And to Penguin Random House South Africa for the physical copy! GR review here <3<3

The Will We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman {★★★★☆}: This book was literallly 8 minutes long (another audiobook!!) and I had never heard the complete poem anyways so gave it a listen. ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR!! You definitely need to go and listen to it if you haven’t yet because it’s just an absolute piece of art. Big thanks to PRH Audio for the ALC via – GR review here!

Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon {★★★★☆}: I have one word for you: FUN. This is my first read from this author, and actually the one that sounded the most like my thing (though I do want to read Sandhya’s other titles). And ugh it really is just a bunch of fun. If you’re looking for a diverse Beauty and The Beast retelling with a castle/boarding school setting and a super cute romance, here’s your book. I also found that I really enjoyed the writing style and I only mention this because I have actually started a Menon book before. I just never finished it because I did NOT vibe with that writing, so I was surprised that I liked this a lot. Anyways, definitely recommend for a solid YA fairytale retelling, she’s a good time. Complete GR review here <3<3

The Deal by Elle Kennedy {★★★★☆}: if you were wondering if I specifically chose this cover over that ugly one with some random dude’s 6-pack on it, then yes you’d be correct. That look is NOT IT, but this one is a lot cuter. Anyways, I saw this was free on Kindle like 2 weeks ago and decided why the heck not as I’d heard it was a fun time. I came for a NA romance, and a NA romance was what I got. And a sports romance. Both of which I love. As you can tell by the rating, I really enjoyed this one. The writing is pretty meh, and some of the dialouge was pretty cheesy. BUT I thought the romance was so so so adorable and I am lowkey obsessed with them. I need to get back on campus so I can go meet a hockey player PLEASE *wink wink* Trigger warnings for sexual assault, rape, domestic abuse (mentioned, not on page). More thougths here!

You and Me On Vacation by Emily Henry {★★★★★}: No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. Ruby has read this book not only TWICE in one year, but twice in six months. I’m an evolving human being my friends. I was possesed 6 months ago or something because past me did not appreciate this absolute beauty of a romance. Forever bowing down before Emily Henry and ugh I WANT A BEST-FRIEND TO FALL IN LOVE WITH ME NOW!!! I have a 10-year long blog tour review up where I gush about this book so go read that. Big thaks to Penguin UK for the eARC via Netgalley <3<3

Love, Creekwood by Becky Albertalli {★★★½☆}: yo it’s like I’ve rediscovered how wonderful Becky and the Simonverse is recently and I’m just living my best life tbh. I actually rewatched Love, Simon before reading this smol novella and *insert all the heart eyes*. Mini rewatch review real quick so I can gush about how wonderful that film is. You all know that I’m obsessed with early 2000s rom-com movies right? And I’m forever sad that they don’t make them like that anymore. But this one just has this ENERGY about it and I loved it so much. The music and the characters and the dialogue = chef’s kiss. End of review. Anyways, back to this book, which actually has mixed reviews. And I mean it was slightly pointless, but I really enjoyed as it gave me the chance to get back into this world. It’s super cute and I would jump off a cliff for Simon and Bram. A thank you to Penguin SA for the review copy. GR review here *insert more heart eyes*

The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centred Planet by John Green {★★★★☆}: to be very honest, I had absolutely no idea Mr Green was coming out with a new book otherwise I probably would’ve had it on my anticipated releases. Also didn’t know it was non-fiction but it’s actually kinda great that my first venture into the genre was through a fiction author I like. I listened to this on audiobook (!!!!) so it’s narrated by John Green, and I could honestly listen to him reading a shopping list. I do want to get a review up of this one also so I won’t say too much. BUT I highly enjoyed this book, and thought he presented this array of topics in a really interesting and engaging way. Love to see it. Big thanks to PRH Audio for the ALC via <3<3

Wow I haven’t done a TBR in a while. I already knew this but they’re just kinda stressful and I never want to stick to them. BUT Topping The TBR (the book club I co-host) is hosting an Elements Readathon this month and I of course am joining. So here’s my ~tentative~ TBR:

  • Read a short book (less than 300 pages): Kill Joy by Holly Jackson
  • Read a standalone: Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry
  • Read a book about a character who goes on a journey of self-discovery: Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • Read a book with flying in it (including space ships, magic, humans and creatures): Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Bonus: for Women’s Month read a book with a strong female protagonist: Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

Wish me luck!

The awesome people over at Jonathan Ball Publishers are just the bestest so huge thanks for sending me:

  • The Son of The Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
  • Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk & Nicola Yoon
  • We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman
  • Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

So excited that Pan Macmillan sent this one my way as it sounds briliant:

  • Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

I was a rep for Book Cozi, who kindly sent me the movie tie-in edition The Duke & I by Julia Quinn for their Bridgerton merch series.

Bought myself:

  • The People In the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney
  • Mr Salary by Sally Rooney
  • The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • Crooked Kingdom collector’s edition by Leigh Bardugo

Click to go to the post

Yo I actually watched quite a lot of great stuff? Apparently I also have a terrible memory because I always forget what I watched. Love that for me *sighs*

Anyways, my FAVOURITE of this month has to be Enola Holmes, which I finally got around to watching. And I just had an absolute blast. I literally gave it 5 stars on Letterboxd, which I hardly ever do. I don’t think it’s the best movie ever or anything, but I just… loved it? Idk what I’m trying to say but I think it was just a movie I didn’t know I needed in my life? It has such a stellar cast, I loved Enola and I loved Millie Bobby Brown as Enola. I love that time period, I loved how fun it was and I really loved the lil romance going on there. It was just the bestest and it’s been a while since I watched a film that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to rewatch, if that makes sense?

As I mentioned earlier, I also rewatched Love, Simon which was such a delight and I’m apparently re-obsessed with that film. I forgot that it was THAT good and what a standout teen film it is, especially amongst other recent films.

Some other really good watches include I, Tonya (wow!!) and Princess Mononoke (another wow!!). Oh also watched Black Widow and I really need to watch more Florence Pugh movies because she truly is excellent.

I’m not sure if I started this one last month or if it was in June, but I’ve been watching Sex & The City. Which is… welp I have mixed feelings. I, to be very honest, do not like this show all that much. None of the characters really stand out and though I love her aesthetic, Carrie is lowkey boring. That being said, I do think it poses some interesting questions. And it of course was quite a standout at the time it was released. I kinda of have a ritual where I watch an episode or two once a week. So I dislike it but I also keep watching? Idk who I am lmao.

I… don’t know how to update you on my life and always feel awkward here. Really not sure why.

Last month, I mentioned that the semester had ended as I was drafting that post. So yes, I finished the semester last month. Ironic that now as I type this, the second sesmester has just started. Which, for probably the first time ever, I’m not looking forward to. I’m interested in the learning but ugh I just have the lowest mental energy at the moment and I wanted that break to be longer. Anyone else feel like that?

So that’s where I am at currently. Hanging in there but it’s unfortunately up and down.




  • plantyofpages

    I’m sorry that Last Chance Books was a bit of a bummer! I have that book on my TBR and was really looking forward to it since it’s apparently a “You’ve Got Mail” inspired story! However, idk how I feel about reading the sex lives of 18 years olds lol… I think it’s pitched as YA too, I hate when books do that! I loved reading this wrap up! You bought some super interesting books this month!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Eeeeep hello again, it’s so nice to have you and you are too kind but thank you for stopping by!!!! So sorry it’s taken this long to reply *hides*

      Unfortunately yes, Last Chance Books does not live up. I was extremely excited too because You’ve Got Mail is one of my all time faves but alas, too good to be true. They’re technically just over 18 BUT the characters felt quite immature and the sex stuff made me feel very icky??? Idk it was not a great time but maybe you’ll like it? Don’t want to deter you so by all means give it a go!!!

      Lots of love xoxoxo

  • ahaana @ Windows to Worlds

    omg last chance books was one of my most anticipated releases, i mean you’ve got mail with teens set in rival bookstores with teen protagonists sounds perfect, so i’m very sad that you didn’t enjoy it as much as you thought you would :/ enola holmes is absolutely amazing, and you’ve gotten so many amazing books this month – i hope you enjoy all of them! so excited for malibu rising, and i hope august treats you well ❤️

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Hey again Ahaana, love yo so much and always adore your comments xoxoxoxox

      Oof I literally forgot I read this book but *sighs* it was really not a good time. We were going strong for a good 40% probably and it just went downhill. Was also such an anticipated read for me because You’ve Got Mail is one of my all time faves so I’m,,, sad.

      Anyways, yup yup yup to Enola Holmes, she’s a masterpiece and I am stoked for the sequel. Hope you also love Malibu Rising, I thought it was so well-done and am hopefully getting my review up fairly soon. Lots of love to youuuuuuuuu <3<3<3 hope you’ve been doing good!!!

  • Lais @ The Bookish Skies

    been following you on insta and omg you have read SO MUCH!!!! the off campus series is *so* popular where i live and one of my fav brazilian book tubers is currently doing a series reading the books and talking about them. i mostly am curious because of his reactions towards the book hahah but i don’t think it would really be for me.

    my sister owes a copy of the anthropocene reviewed she spent *a lot* of money on and i’m honestly a bit intrigued? i’ve been getting slightly more into nonfiction and i think john green would have a great voice & writing to make anything more interesting!

    enrola holmes is indeed the best! i think it’s one of my new comfort movies. i rewatch it often, just because i love millie bobby brown and she’s *so* charismatic! i didn’t love black widow, but i feel the same about florence pugh. she absolutely stole the scene and made the movie more enjoyable hahah

    i hope you love heretics anonymous!!!! i enjoyed that one so muchhhh i hope you do too! wishing you a great august, ruby!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Welp yep hello again and thank you so much for stopping by, adore you to the moon and back <3<3<3

      First of all, just wanna say how I much love you over on insta, you’re the bestest and I hope you know that!!!! Also I need to start reading physical books again. Or rather just ones on my tbr, not random romance books welp. But at least the Off Campus books are a fun time, definitely not perfect but I’ve been enjoying. Idk if it would necessarily be your thing, bc they’re definitely more fun than anything hehe. But I did just finish another in the spin-off series and AM OBSESSED WTH *insert heart eyes*

      Omg I was going to hesitate about The Anthropocene Reviewed but from what you’ve said, I think you’d vibe really well. It’s such an interesting blend of Green’s own life & stories and essays on very important issues, they mesh so well. Such a unique take, from my very uneducated opinion heheh

      Ugh yes Enola Holmes supremacy!!!!! I need the sequel in my life RIGHT NOW. Millie is so good yessss. 100% also agree on Black Window, don’t think it was amazing by any means but loved Pugh’s character. Also very excited to get into Heretics Anonymous, hope I love it just as much as you do. Will keep ya posted *wink wink*

      Lots of love to youuuuu xoxoxoxo

  • Caro @ bookcheshirecat

    Looks like you had a good reading month!! I’m happy to see that you liked Of Curses and Kisses, as it’s such a great retelling! I cannot wait to read the next book in the series 🥰 I also definitely need to read some Emily Henry books! Good luck with the Readathon, it sounds like fun! I hope you’re having a great August ❤

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Welp huge apologies for taking ages to get to this but thank you so much popping by Caro <3<3<3

      Omg Of Curses and Kisses was just so so cute!!! But welp I’m actually not sure if I want to read the next book. Idk it’s not calling to me, but let me know what you think and maybe I’ll change my mind!!


      Lots of love to you Caro xoxoxo

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Oof apologies for taking so long to reply to this but huge thanks for stopping by!!!

      YES YES YES GO READ IT!!! Hoping to get my Malibu Rising review up asap, but it’s so so so well done. EMILY HENRY IS ALSO AMAZING OMG MY QUEEN <3<3<3

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