Book Reviews: July 2015

book reviews, what i read, to kill a mockingbird review, go set a watchman review, i capture the castle review

First of all, I have to say thank you for all of your amazing comments on my last post. All of your heartfelt condolences and kind thoughts are truly helping me. As I mentioned, reading continues to be a much-needed escape for me, so I wanted to go through the books that I finished in July.

I-Capture I’d wanted to read this book for a while because I’ve heard so many people say good things about it. Cassandra is a young teenager living in a run-down castle in the countryside. Her family is rather eccentric and Cassandra wants to be a writer, so this novel is her “capturing” her daily life in her journal. I really enjoyed Cassandra as a character and narrator. She has excellent observational skills and her witty commentary made me chuckle more than once. I didn’t love the book as much as other people do, but I think it’s a good read and I’m glad I finally picked it up.

To-Kill Once I heard about Go Set a Watchman, I knew that I wanted to reread To Kill a Mockingbird. I hadn’t read it since 8th grade, so I was definitely due for a reread before picking up the new book. This was just as good as I remembered. Scout is a young girl growing up in the South in the 1930s. It’s a coming-of-tale and throughout the novel Scout begins to learn important lessons about race and humanity. Scout as a narrator is A+. I love how she refuses to conform into the mold of a typical young Southern lady. With rereads I often wonder if the book will hold up to my previous memories and this one definitely did.

Harry-Potter-6 I continued my quest to read the entire Harry Potter series from beginning to end. I finished book 6 last month and I also started book 7 (but didn’t finish until August). There’s not too much I can say about the plot, in case that there are people like me who haven’t read the series yet. I will say that I knew about the thing that happens at the end, but I was a bit surprised because I thought it happened in the final book (can I be any more cryptic?).

Go-Set Go Set a Watchman is only the second book I’ve ever preordered (the first was Yes Please). I was very curious about this one. It was written before TKAM, but takes place afterward. Scout is about 26 in this novel and goes back to visit her family in Maycomb, Alabama. Not much has changed in the town, but the characters aren’t entirely as we remember them. My feelings are pretty meh about this book. For me, it just wasn’t up to par with TKAM (granted, that’s a pretty high bar to reach). The writing wasn’t nearly as good and you could see that this was a draft. The story is rather jumbled and I wasn’t too pleased with the direction she took the characters in. Still, I’m glad I read this because I wanted to form my own opinion. It also doesn’t change my feelings about TKAM and perhaps if I hadn’t reread it right before picking up GSAM, there wouldn’t have been such a stark contrast.

If you ever want to know what I’m reading at the moment, I’m pretty good about updating my Goodreads. Do you use Goodreads too? What’s been your favorite read so far this summer?

  • I read I Capture the Castle recently too – I thought it was a wonderful story book. Really made me miss being a teenager!

    Saskia / girlinbrogues.com

    • It was a charming read. Life was much simpler when we were teenagers!

  • Jessica

    TKAM is one of my favorite novels but I still have not read Go Set A Watchman. Honestly, I am kind of up in the air about whether I want to read it or not.

    • I’ve been hearing a lot of people say that about GSAW. Like I said, I am glad I read it because I was very curious about it.

  • I’ve heard about I Capture The Castle, but have never read it. Everyone says that I should though and reading your review confirmed it for me!
    ~Sara
    Sincerely, Sara

    • I think you might like it! It’s sweet :)

  • I felt guilty ordering Go Set a Watchmen :/ Since it was obtained in such a shady way. I’ve heard bad things about it so I’m debating if I should even read it ACK!

    • Yeah, I agree that the circumstances surrounding its “discovery” were pretty shady. I caved and decided to buy it anyway because I was too curious!

  • There are so many classics I’ve yet to read, to kill a mocking bird being one of them. I suppose I should really put more time into checking them off my list. Bummer the sequel/prequel didn’t live up to expectations.

    Those later harry potter books pretty much left me a blubbering mess.

    http://www.iamchiconthecheap.com

    • I’d definitely recommend To Kill a Mockingbird if you feel like picking up a classic! Ahh, Harry Potter is so wonderful. I just have the final movie to watch, then I’ve seen/read it all.

  • Mia

    Oh, I LOVE I Capture the Castle. (I am one of those people you mentioned.) <3 What a good book. I use Goodreads haphazardly–I THINK I have all my books for this year on there now? It's so hard to choose, but my favorite read this summer might be Helene Wecker's The Golem and the Jinni. It's beautifully written and such an interesting historical fantasy about Syrian and Jewish communities in turn-of-the-century NYC.

    • I’ve heard good things about The Golem & the Jinni and I’m pretty sure that I added it to my Goodreads TBR. Plus the cover is so lovely to look at!

  • ahhh To Kill A Mocking Bird .. such a great classic!

    • Yes, I agree- it’s so good! I’m so glad I reread it this year :)