This year is flying by and it’s honestly a bit terrifying. I wasn’t sure how good of a reading month August was going to be, since I started school this week and also moved. However, I managed to read 19 books this month! I’m honestly so proud of myself. I also have to give Clara (whom I’m sure you all know at this point) most of the credit for this. We did The Great Exchange of 2017 this month, and we each swapped 15 books, so her books make up about half of my wrap-up this month! So let’s jump right in, shall we?
Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash: ★★★★ I knew after the end of Booktube-a-thon that if I picked up something big or complicated (like ACOWAR, which was my original plan) I would fall into a reading slump. This was the perfect quick pick-me-up that I was able to read in one sitting, with a sweet and cute story. My only complaint was the art was a little simple and I couldn’t always distinguish characters.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: ★★★ The satire and parody aspects of this book were absolutely fabulous. It just got extremely weird at points, and about halfway through the book the humor just got a little bit too repetitive for me. I really appreciate what this book was trying to do, it just wasn’t for me.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: ★★★★★ I have no idea why it took me so long to pick up this book. Literally no idea. Because I loved it so much. It was so cute, and the romance was perfect. I especially loved seeing a girl who is so close with her sisters, since I’m an only child and I’ve never really had that.
PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han: ★★★★★ I didn’t like this one quite as much as the first, but it was still absolutely perfect. I loved the character development, as well as the development of the romance. I’m so bummed I didn’t pick these books up sooner. They’re so cute and sweet.
The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer: ★ I haven’t rated a book 1 star in ages, so that’s really a testament to how much I hated it. The writing was incredibly confusing, and the last-minute addition of magical realism just felt like a cop-out, rather than tackling some of the deeper topics that could have been explored. You can read my full review here.
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson: ★★★ This book is one of the classics that I wanted to read this year, so now I can check it off the list. It surprised me – I was expecting to fall in love with the adventure in this story, but I ended up loving the characters a whole lot more. The plot sort of fell to the wayside, but the characters were interesting.
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín: ★★★ I actually think I liked the movie of this a little bit better than the book. The writing was a little dry and bland for me, and it made the book seem to drag on a little bit.
Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman: ★★★★ I knew I was going to enjoy this book going into it, and it did not disappoint. I also appreciated that it wasn’t just a simple romance that we usually see in contemporaries. Every character was very well developed.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire: ★★★★★ I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages. I loved it so much, not least because our main character is asexual. ON PAGE NAMED as asexual. And it made me so happy. We really need more books like this because it had such a good discussion of different sexualities and genders, and it wasn’t even a contemporary.
Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han: ★★★★★ I don’t think this series could have ended any more perfectly. It was everything I didn’t know I wanted in a contemporary series, and more. These books are probably going end up on my all-time favorites shelf.
*from here on out are all the books that I borrowed from Clara*
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett: ★★★★ Clara’s been trying to get me to read Terry Pratchett for over a year. And I finally did it! (I hope you’re happy, Clara). This book was so good. I loved the writing, especially the little foot notes. I definitely would have loved this more if I’d read it when I was younger (I think it’s technically middle grade) but it was still a fantastic, magical read.
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West: ★★★★★ Again, another author that Clara has been pushing me to read for over a year. This one did not disappoint. Like Lara Jean, I really loved how this book blended familial relationships with romance, and I thought the discussion of class-relations was also interesting.
A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett: ★★★★ I liked this book even better than the first. Pratchett expanded the world beautifully, and I loved all of the new characters. Plus, the Nac Mac Feels are just pure awesomeness no matter what.
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett: ★★★★ This one is probably my least favorite of the four that I read, but I still really enjoyed it. My biggest complaint about this one is I felt like Pratchett was trying to make his transition into YA with this one, and the way he did that (through the romance) still felt a little bit juvenile.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki: ★★★★ Wow. What an emotional roller-coaster this was. I loved the writing, and reading from both Ruth’s and Nao’s perspectives was so interesting. I loved how Ozeki blended the past with the present. I have really mixed feelings about the ending, though, which is why I knocked off a star.
I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett: ★★★★★ This one is absolutely an all-time-favorite. I can’t really even explain why I loved it so much. It was just that perfect. Tiffany has grown up so much, and I’m so proud of her. Just. Perfect.
The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi: ★★★★ This one was fascinating. I’ve never read a book quite like this, but it gave me some very strong Next to Normal vibes, since they both center around a girl whose mother suffers from mental illness. The ending felt a little bit rushed to me, but I still really enjoyed it.
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig: ★★★★ I knew I was going to enjoy this one, and I absolutely did. It lived up to my expectations completely, but I wish it had exceeded them. I also got some pretty strong Passenger vibes from this, but it was definitely still its own entity and story.
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord: ★★★★★ (note for Clara: I hope you’re happy, and YES I will read The Names They Gave Us when I finish your books. I promise) Another author that Clara has been trying to get me to read for wayyyy too long. I really don’t have much of an excuse, other than lack of these books in Barnes and Noble. But, I finally read it. I loved it so much. It destroyed my soul, but I loved every minute of it.
What books did you read this month? Do you swap books with friends? Tell me in the comments!