I’ve managed to get to my reading wrap up for the previous month before it is almost the end of this month! We’re making progress 😂 In my defense, I read a lot of books (for me) last month. I somehow managed to get through 20 books! The task of rounding them all up and talking about them has been daunting, to say the least.
I have to blame the two readathons I participated in last month, the Trope-ical Readathon and the Magical Readathon. They were both a ton of fun and had me tearing through books. I managed to complete my character’s classes for the Magical Readathon, though I did… less great with my Trope-ical TBR 😅 I am but one, slow reader and there was no way I was getting through all those books! Still, I had a blast with both readathons and I can’t wait until the next round for each.
Alright, now let’s jump in so I can talk about all the books I managed to read in August!
- Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood: This was such a thrilling read! It’s an Ethiopian-inspired retelling of Jane Eyre which is one of my favorite classic novels. I was already primed to love this and it did not disappoint! I loved the world, the characters, and their messy, wonderful relationships. It also brought the creepy factor and I loved that! This would be a great read for spooky season. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
- My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones: Stephen Graham Jones has a way of writing horror that makes it feel like a contemporary. This book was no different and, somehow, it totally works! I enjoyed how this was really a character study of Jade, our main character, who is obsessed with slashers and hates pretty much everything else. It was intriguing following her as she tries to convince people that a slasher has arrived at their small town. Don’t get me wrong, though… there are definitely some pretty horrific things in this book, especially near the end! It all wraps up into a weird, wonderful story that was both spine-tingling and introspective. ★★★★
- Spy x Family Vol 1 by Tatsuya Endo: And here we see the beginning of my obsession with the Forger family, lol. I read this manga after hearing about it all over the bookish community. It sounded cute and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Immediately after finishing this volume, I binged the first season of the anime and put a hold on all the volumes available at my library 😂 It’s just so sweet! It follows a spy who needs a fake family to complete his latest mission. The people he manages to get into his fake family, however, are 1) an assassin (Yor is the BEST) and 2) a telepath (I ADORE Anya). It’s a lot of fun and I need mooooore. ★★★★
- These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall: I read this book as part of a book tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours. I signed up for the tour because this sounded like a gothic horror that would be right up my alley! I had a great time with this dark, brooding story. The atmosphere was on point and I loved that we got some good rep throughout the story. There’s even a sapphic love story mixed in with all the horror. This book certainly made me interested in reading more of Kate Alice Marshall’s work! You can read my full review here. ★★★★
- Hide by Kiersten White: I went into this book with a little bit of hesitancy. I hadn’t been hearing the greatest things about it, but the premise was too good to pass up. A hide and seek competition that is based in a creepy, abandoned theme park? Hints of something more sinister lurking beneath the game? Yes, please! I’m glad I decided to give it a chance because I ended up really enjoying it. It was spooky and strange, with a bit of commentary thrown in on classism. Overall, a great experience! ★★★★
- Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler: My first Octavia E. Butler novel and, sadly, I was a little underwhelmed. It has nothing to do with the writing because this book was quite well-written! It was engaging and intriguing, though the pace was a little lackluster. I think my biggest mistake was starting my Butler journey with a book about vampires. My least favorite “monster”. I’m also gonna say the audiobook narrator did this book no favors… In the end, I liked the writing and world-building, but found myself bored through a good portion of this novel. ★★★
- Hag of the Hills by J.T.T. Ryder: Speaking of being bored! This is a historical fantasy novel that leans heavily on the ‘historical’. It’s a well-written and action packed story. It is very clear that the author knows a ton about the time period in which this story is set and that makes it pretty compelling. But I’m not a historical girlie and I found myself pretty checked out through most of this book. If there had been more of the fantastical and mythological in the book, I would have had a much better time! As it is, I can recognize this is a good novel, just not necessarily for me. You can read my full review here. ★★★
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman: This is another book I went into a little hesitantly because I hadn’t heard the greatest things about it. In the end, though, I really enjoyed this fantasy tale! Was not expecting a sex scene almost right after the story began, but I wasn’t mad about it 😂 This story follows a young man named Tristran who goes in search of a fallen star and ends up falling in love. It was whimsical and fun, with a great story and equally fantastic characters. Gotta give it bonus points because the audiobook is narrated by the author. Neil Gaiman could narrate the dictionary and I would listen to every word! It makes me want to listen to all his books on audio. ★★★★
- An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson: Before reading this book, I had only read one other book by this author, A Sorcery of Thorns. I adored that book and immediately wanted to read other books by the same author. This was the one that was talked about the most, so I picked it up and promptly forgot it on my shelf. I finally read it, though, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the other book! I was hesitant because the presence of fae usually means I’m gonna feel ‘meh’ about a book, but I really enjoyed how they were written in this book. All the rules and the stuffiness and just being weird little guys… I loved it! ★★★★
- Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Edward Durham: I was sent a copy of this book from the author for review. I was excited to get to this because it sounded like something I would love. It has bookish elements, it sounded dark and fantastical, and it was set on an island. All things that I love! And, again, this book found itself chilling on my shelf for far too long. I finally put it on both my readathon TBRs to force myself to pick it up! I’m so glad I did because this was absolutely fantastic! All the elements I thought I would love were done to perfection and I found myself completely lost in this world. You can read my full review here. ★★★★★
- A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger: I read this as part of one of my Goodreads groups and I had a great time with it! I loved Oli and Nina, our two main characters. Oli is an animal person, a cottonhead snake who can switch between his animal form and his human form. He lives in the Reflecting World and is on a quest to help a friend. Nina is a young Indigenous girl trying to learn more about her people’s stories and culture. Their worlds collide in a way that made for an incredibly compelling book! Now I’d love to pick up another book by this author. ★★★★
- Spy x Family Vol 2 by Tatsuya Endo: This is around when my library holds came in, so there is a lot of Spy x Family coming up 😂 The second volume was just as cute and fun as the first! I loved the introduction of Damian and Anya starting at Eden Academy. And, of course, I loved getting more of Loid and Yor and their strange relationship. Definitely a wild ride! ★★★★
- The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: I finally continued on with the Inheritance Games series! I’ve been meaning to read this book since it came out, but never got around to actually picking it up. I’m glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel! Well… besides the terrible Texan accents in the audiobook. I think I’ll have to stick to physical reads for this series, haha. The twists were well executed, the games/riddles were great fun, and I didn’t even hate the love triangle. I had a lot of fun with this one and I’m looking forward to the last book in the trilogy. ★★★★
- Spy x Family Vol 3 by Tatsuya Endo: Though I loved this volume of Spy x Family, I think it’s probably my least favorite. That’s because it introduces (or at least deals a lot with) my least favorite character: Yor’s brother, Yuri. Yuri is a weird, little bean and I just know he’s going to do something to ruin my favorite, fictional family! Still, this volume was a fun time and I still found myself laughing along as I read. ★★★★
- All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban: My second Diana Urban book has to be my favorite Diana Urban book so far. I enjoyed this twisty, turny thriller that kept me guessing throughout the novel. I liked that it went back and forth between the past and the present, as well. And the characters didn’t make me want to fight them! Well… one of them did a teensy bit, but, otherwise, I thought all the characters in this book were well-written. Did I guess ‘whodunit’ fairly quickly? Sure. Did I still enjoy the ride? Absolutely! ★★★★
- Spy x Family Vol 4 by Tatsuya Endo: This is the volume where we get introduced to the Forger family dog, Bond. That makes it one of my favorite volumes out of the entire series! Bond is so stinkin’ cute 😍 Again, this was a fun and sweet volume that just further cemented my love for this series and this fictional family. ★★★★
- Farhenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: Well, I’ve found another classic that I actually enjoy! This was a strange, intense little book and I loved every second of it! Okay, there were some moments that felt a little overwrought, but it just added to the drama. This was a fast-paced, wild ride that had me interested throughout the narrative. I’m sure it helps that Tim Robbins did an incredible job as the audiobook narrator! ★★★★
- The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart: I totally understand the hype with this one. Not only do you get an intricate world filled with an interesting magic system, but you get characters that you can’t help but connect to almost instantly. On top of all that, you get Mephi! Mephi has to be my new favorite character in recent memory. He’s such an incredible animal companion and, I’m not gonna lie, I could read a whole book just about him. I’m eager to continue with this series. ★★★★
- Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe: This was a re-read of a childhood favorite and it certainly withstood the test of time! I will admit there are some unfortunate word choices that are kind of a product of it’s time, but the story overall remains fun and light-hearted. The nostalgia really took hold as I read this and I found myself smiling throughout. It kind of makes me want to sniff out the other books in the series and re-read them, as well! ★★★★
- The Girl in the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag: This sapphic graphic novel practically screams ‘summer vibes’. The art is gorgeous and the story within was lovely! It was such a treat following Morgan as she comes to learn that she can’t live her life stuffing herself into various boxes. It’s a coming-of-age and a coming out story that touched my heart. And the setting is absolutely gorgeous! I’m so glad I gave this graphic novel a read. ★★★★
Book of the Month
As you can tell, I enjoyed pretty much everything I read in August. I had so many four star reads, which is always a good feeling! And though my obsession with Spy x Family is strong and it was close to claiming the top spot, there is only one book that completely wowed me last month. Kinda makes it an easy choice! The Book of the Month for August is…
Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Edward Durham
I didn’t read any books from either of my year-long TBRs this month 😬 Ya girl is not on track with that right now, but I’m gonna get my head in the game this month!
Popsugar Reading Challenge:
- A sapphic book (The Girl from the Sea)
- A book that takes place during your favorite season – summer (My Heart is a Chainsaw)
- A book with a character on the ace spectrum (A Snake Falls to Earth)
- A book with a quote from your favorite author on the cover (The Bone Shard Daughter)
Read Your Shelf Challenge:
- A book with two reviews on the cover (The Bone Shard Daughter)
- A book the includes twins (A Snake Falls to Earth)
- A book with 2 opposing sides (Fledgling)
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge:
- Read the book that’s been on your TBR the longest (Stardust)
- Read a book with an asexual and/or aromantic main character (A Snake Falls to Earth)
How was your reading in August? Did you find a new favorite? Make any progress on some challenges? Let me know in the comments!
And, as always, happy reading!