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5 Star Reads in July 2023!

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

I have been having a fun reading year so far! I've read much more than I planned to and enjoyed so many of those reads.



Today I am sharing my top-rated reads from last month.


Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce


This historical fiction--taking place in London during WWII--was on my 2023 TBR list and I am so glad I read it! I loved the characters, the themes, and the friendships! The plot felt very believable and pulled on my heartstrings.


If you enjoy character based historical fiction, I highly recommend trying this one.












Surprised by Joy by CS Lewis


I've slowly been reading through all of CS Lewis's books and had this ebook on my Kindle. It's a memoir-type book, where CS Lewis talks through his journey away from Christianity and back again.


I loved all the anecdotes he shared and found his journey fascinating. If you are a fan of CS Lewis, this is a must read!














Mrs. McGinty's Dead by Agatha Christie


I've also been reading through all of Agatha Christie's books; I read at least one book by her each month and this month's read was a definite 5 star. It is a Poirot that takes place in a small village and I loved it. I always feel so immersed in the setting and characters of Christie's book. This mystery was also a fun one and I did not guess the ending.













Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson


This was Sanderson's third secret project and just as good as the first two. Based on Japanese manga, we follow two characters from two different worlds--the land of spirits and mediation and the land of nightmares. Their lives become intertwined in a strange and magical way, and they must learn to work together to move forward.


I loved the romance, the world building, the characters, and the plot twist at the end (which I thought I knew what was going to happen but then I totally didn't)! If you enjoy fantasy romance, this is a must read!








Castle of Cards and Shadows by Misty Malkasian


This was actually a book I got to beta read for and it released just a few days ago. It is a retelling of the Pied Piper, with a strong main character and a slow burn romance. It has elements of the Selection and some science experiment scenes, as well as an amazing twist near the end. This is a great book for fans of fantasy retellings!














For Love of Ivy by Susan Evans McCloud


This was my main reread for the month and I absolutely loved revisiting it. It is an historical fiction following the couple who first settled Payson, Utah. I love our main character, Ivy. She is so relatable, and I love her courage as she struggles with the trials she faced while settling new land with her husband. It's a beautiful story that leaves you wanting to be better.













The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull


This was another reread for me. I read it as a young teenager, when it first came out. With two sequels now, I decided it was time to revisit it and started listening to it with my kids.


My kids (8, 7, and 5) all loved it. They now make magic candy out of paper to play with, a sure sign of how much they enjoyed it. I also really loved it this time around. It's really fun to read about magic candy and I had forgotten the clever plot twist at the end.










The Prince in Pink by Shannon Hale


This series is a family favorite and we loved this latest book! I was a little worried that it might feel like it was pushing an agenda, but it didn't feel that way at all to me. I loved the way this fit so well with the original Princess in Black book.


It's fun to see this series continuing and to enjoy each new book as much as the previous.








Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash by Wendelin Van Draanen


This is the twelfth of eighteen books in the Sammy Keyes series. Sammy is a young girl who accidentally starts solving crimes as she maneuvers through regular family and friend ups and downs. Even though I am getting far into the series, I am not at all tired of Sammy! I am so glad the series is so long!










I had a lot of great reads in July! What were some of your favorite reads last month? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

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