Wrap Up | August 2019

Welcome one, welcome all, to my August Wrap Up! You may have noticed that this wrap up comes to you a little late. We’ll just ignore that fact, ok? Ok! At the start of September I went for a much-needed holiday to Mojacar in Spain with my parents – it was just a week of nice weather, walking along the beach, and eating food which is basically all I wanted out of a holiday, to be honest! It did mean, however, that I’m now woefully behind on blogging. I had already hit something of a slump in terms of inspiration in the latter half of August – it was only really NEWTs check-in posts that kept me going at all – but now I’m back I feel refreshed and hopefully ready to be excited about blogging again. But before we can move on we need to look back at August and see what I read!

In August, I read a total of 7 books 6 fiction and 1 non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *). This amounted to 2366 pages in total.

In terms of format: 2 were hardbackwere paperback, 1 was an audiobook, and was an ebook.

As for genre, 1 was a graphic novel, 1 was YA fantasy, 1 was YA romance1 was a thrillerwas fantasy, 1 was contemporary/romance, and 1 was non-fiction/memoir.

Onto the books themselves…

Under a Dancing Star by Laura Wood

Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: young-adult; historical fiction; romance; retelling
Format: paperback
Pages: 402
Read: 1st – 3rd August
Challenge: Around the Year in 52 Books (Week 5: A book by Shakespeare or inspired by Shakespeare)
Review: “[I]f your favourite part about Much Ado is the playful bickering, the obvious chemistry between Bea and Ben, and the joy of watching them both fall for each other, then you’re sure to love this retelling of their story – in particular, the very last line of the book is sure to warm your Shakespeare-loving heart.” (Full Review)

Giant Days, Volume 6 by Various

Rating: 4/5
Genre: graphic novel
Format: ebook
Pages: 112
Read: 5th August

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Rating: 4/5
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Format: hardback
Pages: 456
Read: 4th – 10th August
Review: You say ‘fantasy set in a library’ and I am THERE. This follows Elisabeth Scrivener, an apprentice librarian, but these librarians have very important jobs to look after magical grimoires and make sure they don’t become corrupted and turn into mighty, unstoppable monsters. Obviously, it isn’t that simple and Elisabeth finds herself joining forces with magical Nathaniel and his demon manservant Silas. This reminded me so much of the feel of Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom books which were childhood favourites of mine so I adored the feel of this story.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Rating: 5/5
Genre: fantasy; historical fiction
Format: paperback
Pages: 530
Read: 10th – 18th August
Review: This is dark, guys. Think of how dark you’ve heard it is, and then make it darker still. There were several points during this book in which I was physically repulsed to the point of where I had to take a break from it. It’s relentless, and it takes no prisoners, and the brutality of its narrative only serves to enrich the world and the characters which R.F. Kuang creates. I was mildly surprised to find that Rin’s time at the military school was actually only a portion of this book – it’s mostly focused on shamanism and the realities of brutal warfare.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Rating: 2.5/5
Genre: thriller
Format: hardback
Pages: 226
Read: 21st – 23rd August
Review: I clearly just did not get the fuss about this book which is a shame. The characters, motives, and storyline were all compelling enough but, given the book is so short, I just expected… more from it than I was ever going to get. I kept thinking of metaphorical and psychological explanations of the ‘serial killer’ conceit, and I presumed there would be something more to it than what I was given in the course of the book. The ‘black humour’, for me, was only present in a couple of moments – a memorable one involving a body and an elevator. The book was fine, the writing and pacing was accomplished enough, but I just didn’t get it, I think.

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

Rating: 4/5
Genre: humour; non-fiction; memoir
Format: audiobook
Pages: 269
Read: 19th – 24th August
Review: Even a casual fan of Megan Mullally and/or Nick Offerman would find this funny memoir a must-read or, as I found it, must-listen because the audiobook is fantastic. Megan and Nick’s humour just gels so well and even though I didn’t know much about either of them before picking this up I now feel like I know them, their lives, and their relationship really well because they are so open and funny whilst also being genuine and honest about themselves and each other.

My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Rating: 5/5
Genre: contemporary; romance
Format: paperback
Pages: 371
Read: 28th – 30th August
Review: I’m a sucker for a good Christina Lauren book and this one is possibly my favourite of theirs that I’ve read so far. This is primarily due to the colourful and funny group of friends who are the main players in this story – they’re all professors at UC Santa Barbara who decide to see each other up with profiles on a dating app to try to find love. Predictably, two of the friends end up matching with each other, but all isn’t as it seems, and the two of them must also navigate the pressures of friendship, their careers, and learning how to pen up and communicating honestly with another person, something the main character Millie really struggles with. Although I’ve come to expect fun dynamics and banter from Christina Lauren books this one also had a serious undertone underpinning it all and I found it had such a genuine heart to it that I couldn’t not give it 5-stars.

How did your August reading go?
What was your favourite book you read this month?
Please do share in the comments below and let’s chat books!

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2 responses to “Wrap Up | August 2019”

  1. I adored Sorcery of Thorns! Also, thank for mentioning Under a Dancing Star, which I hadn’t heard of before but sounds like something I’ll love! I think you would also enjoy Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George, which is another YA take on Much Ado, set during the Jazz Age in the US. It’s one of my favorite books so far this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haaa! I really REALLY want to read Poppy War and Sorcery of Thorns! Sounds like you had a great month of reading! August was terrible for me, I only managed to read 1 book :(
    It was a good book, though, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. But I think September will be better!

    Liked by 1 person

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