August Wrap Up 2021

I read a mix of books in terms of genre and star ratings in August! I find this transition between summer and fall to be strange for my reading mood. I am always torn between wanting to read romance but also craving horror and atmospheric novels- it is interesting to say the least.

I will be sharing all the books I read in August from my least favourite book of the month to my favourite.

Gods & Monsters is the third and final book in the Serpent & Dove series. It was a decent conclusion, though I still have a few questions. I do think it is a stronger book than the second one and that this story would have been better served as a duology, which was the author’s original plan. A lot of what happens in Gods & Monsters feels similar to the events of the first book, especially when it comes to the romantic tension. I also have mixed feelings about the audiobook narration and feel as though these books are much too long! It is a fun series though and I adored some of the side characters and the entire premise of a romance between a witch and a witch hunter.

A Slow Fire Burning is Paula Hawkin’s newest thriller and I thought it was an interesting mix between The Girl on the Train and Into the Water. It has some of thrills of the first and the character development of the second. I thought each of the perspectives were compelling, though I did Laura’s POV and her backstory. Some of it was predictable but it was satisfying overall. I highly recommend A Slow Fire Burning on audio, as it is narrated by Rosamund Pike and she is incredible!

I received Reset in once of my Once Upon a Book Club boxes and I am so glad that it was! This book is seriously underrated and not one I would ever found on my own. It is classified as a utopian romance, which is a unique genre and I would be interesting in reading more like it. I did think there were some pacing issues in the middle, but I thought the characters had great chemistry and the entire premise was compelling. What would you do if everyone’s memories were reset every four years but you were having dreams about your past life?

I love Sally Rooney’s writing, so I was thrilled when I received an ALC of Beautiful World, Where Are You from While I continue to enjoy Rooney’s writing and I thought that she covered some interesting topics, of her three books this is the one that I related to the least. That said, I know many readers will identifying with Beautiful World, Where Are You and the conversations within it. It is one that I am excited to talk about with others to really parse out my own feelings about it.

Battle Royal was a lot of fun! I love that both characters were judges on a Great British Bake Off like show and that this was the ultimate grump sunshine romance. I also thought the added competition of who gets to bake the royal wedding cake was entertaining. There were also some great side and characters and different side stories. I will say that I found myself more invested in some of the side plots than I was in the main romance. I also think it is important to note that there is a large focus on grief in this book as both characters have lost family members. I am so excited for the sequel, which follows Dominic’s sister Pet, who was actually my favourite character!

I think Apples Never Fall might just be my favourite Liane Moriarty novel, at least of the ones that I have read! I am also watching Nine Perfect Strangers as I am writing this, so I am on a bit of a Liane Moriarty kick. What I loved so much about Apples Never Fall is how it really is more of a family drama than a mystery or a thriller. In some ways it reminded me of Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid as we are following four siblings and their dynamics and they all happens to be athletic- though in Malibu Rising they surf and in Apples Never Fall they play tennis.

This is one of those books that I absolutely loved but I cannot even begin to tell you why. It is up there as one of the weirdest and most confusing books I have ever read. I think All’s Well will be hit or miss- it will be the perfect book for the right reader, it is just a matter of determining who the right reader is. It is not one I would universally recommend, but if you like strange books where you won’t get all the answers, check this out. The conversations around chronic illness felt so authentic and I felt so frustrated for Miranda. I also thought the parallels between the Shakespeare play All’s Well That Ends Well and the events in this book were genius!

I cannot wait to continue on with the rest of the books in this series, which I think I am going to do on audio because I have heard they are great that way! I loved the premise of The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, but in the end it was the characters and their relationships with one another that made this book truly special. I also loved the setting and the atmospheric and all of the nods to classic literature. I was delighted to discover that Sherlock Holmes had such a huge role in the story! Also, this is the perfect example of the found family trope done well.

Give me all the dragon books because I absolutely loved it! I actually find myself thinking about it more and more. I love the politics of this world and I cannot wait to see how they play out in the rest of the books in the series. I also appreciate the slow burn romance and think that Fireborne one of the better friends-to-lovers books that I have read.

So many people have been loving Razorblade Tears, and I am definitely one of them. I listened to the entire audiobook in one day while sitting on the beach. I could not get enough of these characters and their story of revenge. Ike and Buddy Lee have more in common than you would think on the surface and their dynamic was fantastic and complicated. Though I wish they did right by their sons when they were alive, their grief and their growth felt authentic.

No surprises here- Kazuo Ishiguro has done it again! The Remains of the Day is vastly different than the others two books I have read and loved from Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go and Klara and the Sun), but the way that he writes about humanity always stands out to me. The Remains of the Day seems like a simple story about a butler reflecting on his life, but it is so much more than that.

And of course Redemptor has to be my favourite book of August, which is such a relief as it was also my most anticipated book of the year! I absolutely loved the conclusion to Tarisai’s story and this is without a doubt my favourite duology. I am in awe of Jordan Ifueko and the world and characters that she created. We are introduced to some new characters in Redemptor who are complex and I immediately became invested in them. There are also some shocking moments here but it it wraps up in a satisfying way.

What was the best book you read in August?

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22 thoughts on “August Wrap Up 2021

  1. You had a really great reading month! My favorite book was Songs in Ursa Major which is a historical fiction book about music in the late 1960s/early 70s and it was SO good!

  2. Before the Devil Breaks You, the third book in the Diviners series by Libba Bray, is one of the best things I read in August. I’m so hooked on that spooky series. I think she did a great job with it.

  3. wow, you read so many great books in august!! i really need to read the raybearer duology, and apples never fall looks amazing. i’d never heard or battle royal, but it looks fantastic and i’d love to read it. i hope you have a great september 🤍🤍

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