20 Books Of Summer Reading Challenge

I decided to take part in the 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge that I saw going around, that took place between June 3rd – September 3rd. I decided to be optimistic and chose to go all in and aimed to read to full 20 books. Why not? Soooo.. Lets see how I did!

1. The Book of Gaza – Various Authors

This is a book of short stories written by the people of Gaza. I really enjoyed this read and it was unexpected, as I received this in the mail from NinjaBook Box as part of their PreLoved Books subscription. Each of the stories were different but represented a different aspect and stories of Gaza from different view points. There are different variations of this book, such as, The Book Of Tokyo, The Book Of Liverpool etc, which I am now tempted to pick up.

2. Game of Thrones (book 1) – George R.R. Martin

I don’t think that this book needs any explanation!. I read this based on other people’s opinions and recommendations and I didn’t really enjoy it myself. I didn’t go into it expecting to like to if I’m being honest, so maybe I prejudged it. I may pick up the sequel, as I do own it, but it’s not one that I would rush back to. I would need to do it with less biased and more of an opened heart and when I’ve got more time and not completing a challenge.

Image result for ted bundy americas most evil serial killer3. Ted Bundy: America’s Most Evil Serial Killer – Al Cimino

This was another book that I picked up and bought because of the hype and other people’s recommendations, but this time I had a positive experience. If I can say that with a book about Ted Bundy, an evil and sadistic serial killer. There were parts that were graphic and vile, but it kept me hooked and made me keep reading until I finished, as I wanted to know what happened to him. As it said and as the media described, I was fascinated by him and what happened.

Image result for fahrenheit 4514. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

This is a book that has been on my To Read list for a while and its quite a short one, which I hadn’t realised. It didn’t live up to what I had expected, possibly because of the hype that had surrounded it and therefore the expectation I had built up in my own head because of it. I listened to the audiobook version of this and I did enjoy doing it that way, especially as it was 2 for 1 at the time. I got to tick it off my To Read list and get another one of my Summer Reading Challenge List.

5. The Written – Ben Galley

This was a book that I was approached to read for TheWriteReads UltimateBlogTour and it surprised me. It took me a while to get in, to the extent that I did purchase the audiobook, which I don’t recommend (they aren’t completely the same). Once I did get into it, I did enjoy it and it was good. The characters and the writing, really did a lot to set up this world, especially as it was a fantasy book and I usually struggle with fantasy.

6. The Chain – Adrian McKinty

This is a thriller and I loved it!! It was different to everything I’ve read so far this year and it was goooood. The whole concept behind it is what enticed me and the story definitely lived up to it. I saw this on NetGalley and I didn’t hesitate to request it and was so happy when it was approved. This is a book that I highly recommend to everyone.

order-of-the-phoenix7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling

I forgot how funny this book is, as I always connect it with the emotional death of a certain character, (NO SPOILERS). This time around, listening to the audiobook version, I laughed so much, whether it was because of Fred and George, or because of poor Ronald and how much nobody believes in him and how they all dismiss him or are shocked when he’s doing good. You need the laughs in this book, before the seriousness in the books to follow.

8. XX – Angela Chadwick

I didn’t know what to expect from this book when I requested it from Amazon Vine, only a small description. When I started reading it, I grasped what it was going to be about and I couldn’t put it down. The reactions of the characters in this book, because of the possibility of there being Ovum to Ovum fertilisation was astonishing. I thought it was a bit over the top, until I started discussing this book and got quite similar dramatic conversations, from men. This is a book that has taken me by surprise, simply because I hadn’t heard anything about it before had, and one I think is important, even if its just for discussion.

9. The Year of the Rat – Clare Furniss

This is another book that I didn’t know anything about before requesting it form Amazon Vine, apart from the small description provided. This book dealt with death and grief and how someone young deals and comes to deals with these. How your mind works and how you treat the people around you, as well as yourself.

Image result for swallows and amazons book10. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

I’ve had many books on my To Read list for a while now, this being one of them as well. This is meant to have been a Classics, whether regular or children’s, but again, this one was a little bit of a let down. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what I ended up listening to. Maybe it was because I was listening to this through an audiobook, that it just lost something, but that doesn’t usually happen when I listen to audiobooks. I did enjoy that it showed the importance of teamwork and friendship, which is good for a children’s book.

11. Flight of a Starling – Lisa Heathfield

I was excited to read and request this book from Amazon Vine, as I did my research this time, and wanted a quick and easy, contemporary read. I knew it was going to be and emotional read, and it was, but there was a massive spoiler in this book, which ruined and took away some of this. the first chapter should have been placed somewhere else and it would have given this book more of a punch and read so much better. 

12. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days – Jeff Kinney

Every time I get into a reading slump, these books are perfect for getting me out of them. They are quick and easy, with a story you don’t have to put much effect to get into. They’re funny and the drawings just add that little extra to them. they have a good chunky size to them, so I feel like I’ve read a good size book and it pulls me straight out of my slump. Brilliant. As you can tell, this is the fourth book, so I’ve done it four times so far and it works each time.

13. The Colorado Kind – Stephen King

I was giving this as a gift for my birthday, the illustrated edition of The Colorado Kid by Stephen King. It took me a while to get into this book, which is shocking because of how short this book is, especially compared to other Stephen King books. It definitely wasn’t my favourite SK book, but I did end up getting into it and I did enjoy the ending and it was the ending that made me enjoy this book. I liked the illustrations and that gave this book that little something extra.

Image result for ready player one book14. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

This is one of my all time favourite Audiobooks and the book that actually got me into listening to audiobooks. This is the third time that I’ve listened to Ready Player One and I’m still enjoying it just as much, possibly even more so. This is one I highly recommend to people, and one that I recommend that people listen to the audiobook and get to experience it that way.

Image result for a different time michael hill15. A Different Time – Michael K. Hill

This is another book that I read, thanks to being apart of a BlogTour and one that I quite possibly wouldn’t have read otherwise. I am so thankful that I have because I thoroughly enjoyed it and it didn’t come from a genre that I usually read, a SCI-FI Romance. It had some emotion to it and the sci-fi element came it unexpectedly, even though I knew what the genre was. I did enjoy it and it was quite a short read, being 200 pages.

Image result for sapphire smyth dragons16. DRAGONS: Sapphire Smyth – R.J. Furness

This is Book Three is the Shadows series and this was by far my favourite in the series. The writing and the characters have developed, showing that the authors skills have also developed, the more he has been writing this series. I was gripped and excited to carried on reading this book and this series. Which you will see with what my next book in this challenge is going to be.

Image result for sapphire smyth enemies17. ENEMIES: Sapphire Smyth – R.J. Furness

This is Book Four in the Shadows series and I was so excited to carry on reading this series. The previous book got me excited and this didn’t let me down. You get to uncover more of a backstory and get some answers that you have been waiting for. You are still left with question and are still left on a cliff-hanger, needing the next book!

img_214618. The Flatshare –  Beth O’Leary 

This is another book that I received thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme, however, I was already listening to it on Audible. I really enjoyed doing it this way, as I got to experience the book in two formats. Plus I got to carry on listening to the book and pick up where I left of and listen to the audiobook version when I was doing housework or doing things when I wasn’t able to read the actual physical book. This keep me constantly into the story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus, the audiobook version has an interview with the author, that I would’ve otherwise have missed out on.

Image result for the familiars stacey halls

19. The Familiars – Stacey Halls 

This was an extra audiobook I received thanks to an offer and I wasn’t really expecting all that much. Possibly because of that, I really ended up enjoying this a lot and found myself listening to extra chapters and doing things just so I could keep listening to it and find out what was going to happen. I found myself invested in the characters and in the storyline. Then, listening to the interview at the end and discovering that it’s based somewhat on true events and real people makes it that much more fascinating and making me want to explore it more.

20. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling

20. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling

This is the six book in the Harry Potter series and the last book I read to complete this challenge. This has always been my least favourite Harry Potter book, but rereading it this time around, listening to it an audible with someone else reading it to me, I got a whole new take on it. It’s still not my favourite and it never will be, but I saw things this time around that I never got before. I understood why this book is important and I picked up on subtle things this time around, that I haven’t done in my previous reads of this book. Maybe, by listening to the audiobook and having someone else read it to me, knowing I don’t enjoy it, doing this reread, I could skim certain parts I usually don’t enjoy and I got to experience them a new way. It was interesting and I enjoyed it more. I sympathised so much more with Snape in this book and that took me by surprise. That’s why I enjoy rereading books.

I really enjoyed this Summer Reading Challenge as it gave me a little boost of encouragement to read a good chunk of books over the summer in order to complete this challenge. Even though I started 2 weeks late and I was falling behind, the fact that I did complete it (and even finished additional books) before the 3rd September, gives me joy. I have put together a little breakdown of my Summer reads:


  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix #5
  • Swallows and Amazons
  • Ready Player One
  • The Familiars
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince #6


  • The Book of Gaza
  • Ted Bundy: America’s Most Evil Serial Killer
  • XX
  • The Year of the Rat
  • Flight of the Starling
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Dog Day #4
  • The Colorado Kid (Illustrated Edition)


  • The Written
  • The Chain
  • A Different Time
  • Dragons: Sapphire Smyth #3
  • Enemies: Sapphire Smyth #4


  • Game of Thrones #1 (Audiobook & Book)
  • The Flatshare (Audiobook & Book)

Out of these 20 books, my favourites out of the new reads I read this summer (not including the rereads in the list above) were: The Chain and The Familiars. They were so different from anything I’ve read and I enjoyed them thoroughly. My least favourite were, Game of Thrones and Fahrenheit 451, as they were disappointing and let downs as there was so much build ups and hype behind them.

This was my 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge. How did you all do? Let me know as im really interested to find out.

Published by ShayneysReviews

Hello! My name is Shayney Hardcastle. I am a massive book enthusiast so I created this blog as my own little place where I can write and express my thoughts and review each book I have read. I am 23 and am currently living in a small town in Wales, in the United Kingdom, and love how reading let's me explore the world outside of this small town. I have also recently been sent more and more books and ARC by authors to review and wanted a place to review them that wasn't just on Goodreads and Amazon.

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