July Recap & Haul Time!

August 3, 2022

It’s time for a look at my July reading life!

It’s time for another wrap-up/haul post — and some fun stats!

This month was Graphicsathon, so I read a LOT of graphic novels, and this is going to be a doozy of a post!
Some of the graphics I read were in a series, so I’ll try to consolidate as much as possible.

The month at a glance:

  • books completed: 30 (!!!!)
  • books DNFed: 4
  • average rating: 3.8 (I expected it to be much lower than this tbh)
  • best book: Square³
  • worst book: Strangers


A chart of pages read per day, ranging from 0 to 947

A pie chart of formats read: 43.6% ebook, 16.4% physical, 1.8% audio, and 38.2% graphic novel. A pie chart of genres read: 50% horror, 20.6% fantasy, 11.8% contemporary, 5.9% sci-fi, and 5.9% romance.
A pie chart of ratings given: 41.2% 5 stars, 14.7% 4 stars, 8.8% 3 stars, 14.7% 2 stars. 8.8% 1 star, and 11.8% DNF. A pie chart of release dates: 73.5% new releases, 26.5% backlist titles.

What I read:

(each title link will direct you to my review for more thoughts!)

emoji key:
✨ review copy → 💞 buddy/group read → 🔁 re-read → 🎧 audiobook → 🍰 graphic novel/manga
🫙 TBR jar → 🗓️ 2022 TBR → 🌻 seasonal TBR → 😻 Devour Your TBR
💫 half-star

  • Anybody Home? // Michael J. Seidlinger: ✨ + ❌DNF❌ → So devastated. This was an incredibly anticipated release, but it was so boring and confusing for me.
  • Wash Day Diaries // Jamila Rowser & Robyn Smith: ✨🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐💫 → Loved the premise, but this was just okay (and had some very dodgy mental health rep).
  • Stargazers // L.P. Hernandez: ✨ + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → One of my favorites of the month! Horror with heart, indeed.
  • This is How You Lose the Time War // Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone: 🌻 + ❌DNF❌ → Listen, nobody is more disappointed than me, but this did NOT do it for me.
  • The Sneaking, Hiding, Vibrating Creature // Nathan W. Pyle: 🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → This was so freaking cute and I recommend it to any cat lover!
  • Bone Parish series // Cullen Bunn: 🔁🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → I re-read the first 2 volumes, vol. 3 was new-to-me, and I adored the whole series.

  • The Me You Love in the Dark // Skottie Young: 🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → This was an absolutely incredible blend of horror and toxic romance and I LOVED it!
  • Alice Ever After #1-2 // Dan Panosian: 🍰 + ⭐⭐ → I usually love dark retellings of Alice in Wonderland, but this wasn’t fun and was poorly told IMO.
  • Blackwater // Jeannette Arroyo & Ren Graham: ✨🍰 + ⭐⭐ → I feel unkind giving this such a low rating because I found out at the end of my eARC that Netgalley had given out incomplete copies (WITHOUT mentioning it… which is super frustrating!) and the eARC ended in the most abrupt, awful spot, but I did get to read almost half of this book and what I read was so blah.
  • Crumbs // Danie Stirling: ✨🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐💫 → This was super whimsical and pretty! I adored the first 80% but didn’t like the ending, so it ended up with a 3.5.
  • Over My Dead Body // Sweeney Boo: ✨🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → Another favorite of the month and I’ll probably buy a finished copy. This was lovely and featuring a super fun, diverse witchy school.
  • Broken Beautiful Hearts // Kami Garcia: 🫙 + ❌DNF❌ → This just wasn’t for me, and when I was considering DNFing it, I read spoiler-y reviews and found out that I probably wasn’t going to appreciate the direction it took later on.
  • The Dead Romantics // Ashley Poston: ✨💞🎧 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → I’m so, SO happy that I gave this author another chance, because I adored this! Buddy read with Ashley!

  • Screams From the Dark // Ellen Datlow: ✨🌻 + ⭐⭐ → There were a couple of gems from authors I mostly already adored, but this anthology overall was one of the worst I’ve ever read, as much as that pains me to say.
  • Wait Till Helen Comes Graphic Novel // Mary Downing Hahn: ✨🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐ → This was just okay. I know it’s an adaptation of an older book, but I didn’t expect it to feel so dated, still!
  • Frizzy // Claribel A. Ortega: ✨🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → Such a gorgeous, adorable, sweet graphic novel with a very important message about racism, colorism, and anti-Blackness.
  • The Nice House on the Lake, Vol. 1 // James Tynion IV: ✨🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐ → A really cool premise, though the art didn’t do any favors for this massive cast of characters.
  • #thighgap // Chandler Morrison: ✨🌻 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐ → So much less “extreme” than I expected based on this author’s reputation, but not a bad read – just a bit repetitive (and SO heavy on the body-shaming).
  • Lore Olympus: Vol. 2 // Rachel Smythe: 🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → The “puppy love” between Persephone and Cerberus… I could read entire volumes JUST about that. ♥
  • The Conjuring: The Lover // David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick: ✨🍰 + ⭐ → I love The Conjuring films so I wanted to love this, but NOPE.
  • All My Friends Are Ghosts // S.M. Vidaurri: 🍰 + ⭐⭐ → A cute premise, a terrible execution.

  • Heathen series // Natasha Alterici: 🔁🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → The first volume was a re-read so I could finally complete the series and I loved it even more the second time around.
  • Square³ // Mira Grant: 🫙 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → This month’s #1 fave! Nobody who knows me is surprised… it’s a Mira Grant title, after all. (and it was SO timely and effective)
  • Cryptid Club // Sarah Andersen: ✨🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → I LOVE the Cryptid Club comics and this collection was so cute!
  • Strangers // Michaelbrent Collings: 💞 + ⭐ → It’s SO incredibly rare that I give a book 1 star, but this was awful, infuriating, and had some of the most misogynistic, over-the-top slut-shaming I’ve EVER read.
  • Men, Women, and Chainsaws // Stephen Graham Jones: 🫙 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐ → REALLY fun and creepy – highly recommending this to my fellow Texas Chainsaw fans!
  • Hell Followed With Us // Andrew Joseph White: ✨💞 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 → I had so much fun with the body horror and religious zealot aspects of this that it was aaaalmost perfect! Also, the trans and autistic rep? Chef’s kiss! Buddy read with Sam!
  • Kill River // Cameron Roubique: 💞🌻 + ⭐ → No big deal, I only spent years meaning to read this and being 100% convinced I would love it for it to end up boring me to tears… 😭
  • Darling // K. Ancrum: ✨💞 + ❌DNF❌ → Nah, not for me. I think it’s time for me to accept that K’s writing and characters aren’t my jam anymore, sadly. Buddy read with Malli!

And now, for some of my favorite recent hauls:

July treated me pretty well in the haul department, as you can see 👀

And finally, a little life update:

July was honestly a pretty rough month in our home! I don’t want to harp on too much about it, but it was a rough mental health month, I think mostly due to the fact that I have summertime SAD and July is always the worst month for that (it’s so hot and humid, right in the middle of summer, and fall still feels so far away). There was also a lot of anxiety surrounding the kittens getting their spays as well as Lyric going for her first routine check-up in a long time, but thankfully, everything went well with all 3 cats and everyone seems happy and healthy! I also had my hours at work cut in half for the time being, which is super stressful, but I’m staying positive and hoping it’s a very temporary problem. Needless to say, though, I’m really happy to say good fucking riddance to July, and I’m hoping August is better and calmer!

How was your month? What was your favorite book you read or hauled, or what was something nice that happened in your life?



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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. What a HAUL you have this month, holy crap! I’m so impressed. I really hope you love Hart + Mercy, and The Drowned Woods, both are going to make my favorites list this year. They’re just so, so good. What Moves the Dead is so delightfully creepy, too, right up your alley! I sincerely hope that August is a better month for you, friend. July sounds like it was rough. Sending you love!

      1. Thank you so much, Jordyn! So far, August has started off a LOT better, and I’m really hoping it stays that way. I hope August treats you well, too! I’m so excited to read all of these, especially hearing you rave about some of them. 😍 I’m halfway through What Moves the Dead right now and WOW, I am OBSESSED.

    1. Yaaaaasssssss! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Cafe Con Lychee! 💕 Our next buddy read will be better though. I can feel it!

    1. i think i just noticed it right now, but i love how neat and compact your pie charts are! you’ve read so many interesting books, crumbs especially looks so cute! <3

      i hope you'll have a great august!

    1. Oh my gosh you had such a really great reading month!! I can’t wait to hear what you think of This Vicious Grace as that one really took me by surprise (in a good way!)

      I’m curious about Over My Dead Body and so glad you loved it! I’ll have to give it a try!

      1. Thank you!! I’m so excited to read This Vicious Grace – I even sprang for the pretty B&N edition because I was so hopeful about it, haha! 🥰 I hope you like Over My Dead Body!

    1. Sooo many books!! You had a fabulous month! I love Lore Olympus!!! I hope you have a lovely August, Destiny! <3

        1. OMG.. I know.. I can’t wait for the next volume too! Pre-ordered that so fast. haha

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you had such a rough month in July, Destiny! I hope August is gonna be a better and more positive month for your home! It looks like you had a pretty mixed bag of a reading month but a lot of great looking reads! Crumbs looks adorable and Over My Dead Body and The Dead Romantics also sound so good and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for those. Sending hugs 💜

      1. Aww, thank you Dini! 🥺 I appreciate you! So far so good on August here, so I’m hoping it continues treating us better than July did, lol. I really recommend Crumbs, Over My Dead Body, and The Dead Romantics – they were all WONDERFUL! I hope you like them if you check them out! 🥰

    1. I also read Wash Day Diaries but the mental health rep was so dodgy 😭 I’m hoping Crumbs will be better when I read it later this month! I’m glad that you liked The Dead Romantics, it sounds so good 🥰 I hope things will be better for you in August ❤️

      1. Oh my gosh, I’m so glad I’m not alone in my feelings about Wash Day Diaries! 😭 I felt so bad “calling it out” when I know it has a lot of important elements too, but that doesn’t make it okay that the MH rep was so bad! I hope you like Crumbs better, too. 😀 I thought it was much better!! And thank you, love, I hope August treats you so well 🥰

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