August Reading Wrap Up

Hey there, everyone! I hope everyone met some goals with reading this July. God, I can’t believe it is already August. I didn’t meet my goal of 16 books, but honestly, that was a crazy goal, so I’m just happy I could read on some days.

Anyway, how did everyone else do this past month? Meet any personal goals?

Nocturne

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I liked the atmospheric feel of the novel, and it would be a perfect adaptation of a ballet or opera. But on the other hand, I felt like it was too long and too short at the same time. Some parts were wrapped up too quickly, while others were dragged out.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thieves’ Gambit

This book was so good! Thieves’ Gambit had incredible pacing and thrilling high stakes and was so good! And the way the book ended, ugh, sooooo good. It ended in a way that leaves room for a sequel, but it is also closed enough that if I don’t get one, I’ll survive. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed because I loved it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

City of Nightmares

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but read City of Nightmares and do yourself a favor and read her previous trilogy, too. I like the UK version of this cover much better than the US cover. Ness and Cy have such a great relationship, and the fact that Ness, who is terrified of everything, trusts Cy, a vampire, speaks volumes! I also love every detail of her running away terrified, from crab walking backward to scrambling up curtains. The storytelling is so good, and I’m excited about the sequel!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Byways

So, this was a novel I had mixed feelings about. I did like the relationship and dynamic between CeeCee and Jesse. I wish there had been more development between the two characters, but for the most part, it was really good. I also like how it felt like Lewis Carroll wrote this book. It does feel like an Alice in Wonderland retelling without being so on the nose. But it did take a bit to develop, and the pacing and plot dragged at times, making it a little boring.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Ida in the Middle

This was a book that made me feel a lot of things. All good. There is so much I want to say, but I need to give it a full-blown review before I wrap my head around everything I want to say. It was beautiful and touching. I like the fantasy touch to the story because it also helped Ida form a closer relationship with her culture and her family and establish her own identity—the perfect read for parents and teachers to read with young adults and children.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

If Mary Shelley were alive today, this is the story she would have written. It was such a brilliant new way to frame the narrative of Frankenstein. But let’s be honest, we all know that Victor was always the monster, and Adam, well, he may have done some heinous things…or did he? This novel makes you look at Shelley’s classic in a whole new way.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Follow the Shadows

I did not finish (DNF) this book. I struggled; I really did. Not only did it seem incredibly juvenile, especially when it was marketed to me as a young adult book, but the main character was unlikable from the beginning. If I were like 11 or 12, I could get behind this novel. It has a young girl who practices Wicca and is transported to a dragon’s realm. However, the formatting and the way the dragons spoke to her through the use of crystals, not to mention the crystals themselves, didn’t flow and was very off-putting.

DNF

Guardians of Dawn Zhara

This was such a wholesome book, and I loved every bit of it. Zhara is a fantastic character, and she balances out Han so well. They are such a cute couple, and let me say, Han is adorable. I mean it; he’s so oblivious and innocent and sweet and kind, and he’s just a sweetheart, and I love that about him. He’s very much like Tuxedo Mask because he is there for moral support and backup and more than prepared to fight if he needs to, but he also believes Zhara is all-powerful like Sailor Moon. Oh yeah, this book has such strong Sailor Moon vibes.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Manslaughter Park

I like Jane Austen, but I don’t. I like her stories and social commentary, but for some reason, her writing style doesn’t click. However, Price’s does because I ate this book alive! It was so good, and the queer direction that Price took with telling this murder mystery to fit so well with the characters. Also, this book had me going. The red herrings kept me from looking at the obvious suspect because they were the obvious suspect, but they also weren’t. I kept guessing, and I liked that. I want Price to adapt all of Austens’ work. Or maybe I’ll get lucky, and she’ll move on to the Bronte sisters.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ariadne

Jennifer Saint knows just how to tell a story. I loved the way the story began, but more than that, I loved how it was short and sweet. Saint’s story flows effortlessly, telling the story not only of Ariadne but also of her sister Phaedra and how both girls were affected by the tyranny of their father, King Minos. There is strong character development, and the pacing is fantastic. The writing and storytelling are so engaging and easy to get lost in.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Love & Resistance

This book is different from what I would usually pick up, but I am so thankful that the publisher saw fit to send it to me. It was so great. It focuses on school bullying and cyberbullying. But more than that, it shows that being complacent is just as bad as being bullies, and grouping people into boxes is just as bad. People are complex, and this novel shows just how complex they are and that the system begins to break down by understanding that.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Seven Faceless Saints

This is another novel I liked more than I thought I would. The cover makes me second-guess the plot, but once I read it, it all makes sense. Roz and Damien are childhood friends turned enemies-to-lovers, and I love that about them. I the dynamic between them, how there is this push and pull between right and wrong in the storytelling. Honestly, with that slow-burn romance, the mystery of the deaths, and the connection to the Saint of Chaos, the story just continues to build toward this climactic ending, making it absolutely addictive.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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