Friday, September 2, 2022

Monthly Reading Wrap-up ~ August 2022

This year I thought I would share a little more of all my books and I thought the best way to do that would be if I wrapped up my reads of each month, so I can share mini reviews on all the books I've gone through! 

It could be a big range from 2 to 10 books depending on how much I read, but I figure I can share a little synopsis and quick thoughts on each book. I will still be doing more in depth reviews on books that really capture me! 

Monthly Reading Wrap-up ~ August 2022
Belladonna was received as an e-arc - this post contains affiliate links

So, in August I read 10 books - a mix of genres from young adult magical realism to adult historical fiction. I love most genres, and I really want to keep my reads diversified this year - I think I have been doing a great job of that so far! Also, I've been trying to read a mix of old and new books, which I've done a good job at so far this year. I read 7 audio books, 2 physical books, and one e-book this month! 

Here's a quick look at all the books I read in the past month:  

Monthly Reading Wrap-up ~ August 2022

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune ~ ☆☆☆☆☆ - 5 stars. This is a young adult contemporary fantasy/magical realism book and it was amazing. I've written a full review of this, so you can check it out here if you want to see more! This is a book all about a magical orphanage and a staff working under the Department of Magical Youth and he is coming to inspect the orphanage and it's owner and everything the ensues is hilarious and heart-warming. The best way I can describe this is "cozy"- it's the perfect easy, light fantasy read that will make you happy (if you don't love Lucie, we might not be able to be friends!)

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is an adult contemporary fiction - it is a heavy, difficult read. This is a duel timeline novel about a women coming to terms with a relationship with a school teacher with the movement of women speaking out against past sexual assault. This goes from real time to teenage time and it is hard to read about the relationship and it felt very much like a true story, but it was well written and a good book. 

Sometime in Summer by Katrina Leno ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is a young adult magical realism/ contemporary fiction book. It is about our 14 year old main character hitting a rough patch in being a teenager - friendships and family and a string of bad luck. She spends the Summer in a cabin on the East Coast and meets some special Summer friends that help her come in to her own under the comet her parents fell in love together! Cute read - sometimes not the easiest main character to feel for, but we were all teenage girls and it's a realistic portrayal for sure! 

Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is a young adult poetry graphic novel. This is a super heavy topic - the main character's older brother was shot and killed and he's got to follow the "rules" and that is seeking retaliation against the person responsible. This book is set in the elevator as he's making his decision on what to do - the graphics add to the book and it's sad, hard to read, makes you want to find a solution to the cycle of violence and humanizes the voices behind the cycle of violence. 

Five Little Indians by Michelle Good☆☆☆☆ ½ - 4.5 stars. This is a Canadian historical fiction; but, this reads like a true story and these could very well be true stories. It is based on five individuals leaving the residential school system and ending up in downtown Eastside Vancouver and how their lives overlap and interconnect. They all deal with the pain and hardship of the schools very different - some throw themselves in to self-destructive lifestyles, while others are trying to overcome. It is a difficult read, but also a must read - it's full of sadness and hope and you are rooting for these characters. 

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston☆☆☆ - 3 stars. This is a very popular young adult romance novel featuring the first son and Prince of England. This was an okay romance - I thought the characters were cute, but I actually didn't connect with their banter, and while I like politics in a book, I didn't think it needed the full election plot and it somewhat dragged out the story for me. 

Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is a young adult magical realism book - it is the second witchy book by this author and I was really excited for it. It's got a big focus on the outdoors and animals and the connection with animals and nature - it was truly lovely atmospheric setting! This also has a light romance plot with an enemies to lovers feel with a witch and someone who hates witches, forced proximity while seeking down an owl carrying a curse. I enjoyed this! 

The Forest of Stars by Heather Kassner ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is a middle grade fantasy novel - it features a young girl looking for her father that was swept away on a big wind gust. She has the same magic as his and finds it hard to keep herself grounded. She finds a ticket to the Carnival Beneath the Stars - there ends up being dark secrets and twists and it was a cute, easy read. 

Monthly Reading Wrap-up ~ August 2022

A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow ~ ☆☆☆ - 3 stars. This is an adult fantasy novel - it is the follow up book to A Spindle Splintered in the Fractured Fables series. The first one takes place in the Sleeping Beauty universe, but it's somewhat described as a feminist twist with a spider-verse vibe. I enjoyed the first one; but, this one was just good - I found the characters a little insufferable and the story just didn't really do it for me. 

Belladonna by Adalyn Grace ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This was a young adult mystery book with a paranormal twist and a romance plot as well too. It features a main character whose guardians keep dying, but she has some special gifts that allow her to interact with death and see what others cannot. She is whisked away to Thorn Grove Manor where she helps uncover what is really happening there. I found this a little slow to catch a stride and took me 1/3 to really get in to it (then I was hooked, and by the end, I couldn't put it down!) Really enjoyed this.

I would I would call August a really good reading month, I read some great books and lots of good one!

Here's a little refresh of my rating system:

5 Stars: Excellent/Fantastic/Amazing Read 
4.5 Stars: Really Great Read
4 Stars: Great Read 
3.5 Stars: Really Good Book
3 Stars: Good Book 
2.5 Stars: Eh, It was Okay Read
2 Stars: Finished it, but Didn't Enjoy It
1.5 Stars: Not Good at All
1 Star: DNF (Did Not Finish)

What was the best book you read this month?! My favourite of all of these was The House in the Cerulean Sea! 

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