It’s not surprising that August was my lowest reading month since the last half of the month I started slumping. I had my first appointment at the neuroscience center that I was referred to and ever since then I have been struggling to concentrate. Next week, I am going back for the third time, which is encouraging because my new team of doctors is taking it so seriously and are committed to figuring out what is going on with me and they will be with me for the rest of my health journey. But it is also discouraging because it is three and a half hours away from me so the trip takes a lot out of me each time. Plus, my worst case diagnosis (MS) is now my best case scenario. At least to me it is. My doctors might think differently (ha!) but the other option(s) would require possible surgery amongst other things and that has been hard to wrap my head around. To be honest though, I used to think the same about MS and now I’ve had about eight months to come to terms with it so I know if it goes a different way that I will be ok. I feel like I might be more comfortable with MS because I know more about it and I didn’t even realize this other option was a thing until I met with one of my MS specialists earlier this month. Anyways, I thought I would mention it here because it has started to affect not only my reading but my blogging and this community has been such a great stress reliever and a comfort to me these past nine months. It is just so amazing to talk (write) about books and listen to (read) other fellow book lovers talk about books.
But enough about that, let’s get into the 12 books that I read last month. I’m going to try something different this month and I will first be going through my August TBR and letting you know what I read and didn’t read from that list. Then I will share all the other bonus books that I read.
This was a DNF for me. I just didn’t mesh with the main character, or any character really, at all.
This book is actually banned on Amazon because its subject matter is very dark. It involves two characters, Rabbit and Dolly, who were childhood best friends and both are victims of the same child rape ring. They grow up, fall in love, and get their revenge. Tillie Cole is my favorite dark romance author and she always does an incredible job of taking such difficult topics and having her characters find redemption. I fell in love with both Rabbit and Dolly who are two incredibly messed up people and I was rooting for them and was so emotionally invested in their story. I won’t recommend this because it is such a difficult topic to read but if it sounds interesting to you then I would give it a go.
My cat, Fern, chose David Copperfield for this one. I didn’t finish it in August but hopefully this month.
I still can’t believe that my son picked this for me but I really think it was the first book he saw when he went to my shelves! Anyways, I went into this thinking it was like a locked room mystery/thriller where these authors are being slowly picked off by a killer at a writing retreat. Wow, I couldn’t have been more wrong! This is a cleverly crafted horror where four authors spend the night at a haunted house for PR reasons by invitation of the owner of a popular horror entertainment website and the aftermath of that decision for all of them. This book was gruesome, terrifying, brutal but also captivating, engrossing and entertaining. I always appreciate the way an author formats their books and I especially love when it plays into the story like Thomas did with Kill Creek. Like every horror there are lots of trigger warnings like, domestic abuse, death, gore, body horror, psychological horror, suicide. I was very impressed with this and I can’t wait to read Thomas’s second novel, Violet in the near future.
I love this whole series so much and I can’t recommend it enough. I was so excited last month when I found out there is going to be a fourth Stevie book coming out next year. I don’t want to spoil anything but I will say that I was a little let down by the conclusion of this trilogy. I had it going a different way in my head so that’s obviously a me thing and not a book thing. I do know that if teenage me had read this series she would have been even more obsessed with them and I’m kind of sad that I didn’t have Stevie when I was a teenager. I don’t know if that makes sense but I feel like I would have identified more with her. These books also have some great anxiety rep!
I ended up DNF’ing this at 12%. I’m so disappointed because I have really enjoyed Ellison’s newer books but this felt like it was written by someone different. I really enjoy police procedurals but this was so boring and I hated our main detective. My most hated trope is the “not like other girls” and there was already so much of that in the small amount that I did read. I would pass on this series but I do recommend her newer releases.
A one word title
I chose Nemesis by Jo Nesbo for this one but I didn’t get a chance to finish this. I haven’t picked it up in a few weeks but I feel confident that I will finish it this month.
*I didn’t read any of Romanceopoly books or finish any of my Tome Topple books.
I reviewed these as part of my Pop Culture Readathon wrap up but I actually finished them on August 1.
This is a dark academia book with a group of Shakespeare students at a prestigious and small arts college. The school is so prestigious because it is highly competitive and every year students are dropped from the program if they don’t feel like they are achieving enough. This pressure combined with some of the group dynamics leads to a possible murder and the story really takes off from there. I really enjoyed the Shakespeare aspect and I have heard some people say that it wasn’t realistic to them (which is a fair assessment) but to me it all felt incredibly real. I was also captivated by the dynamics and roles each person played in the group and how they all interacted with each other. I am always fascinated by what motivates people to make the choices that they do and I think that is what made me love this book so much.
I decided to listen to this one because I really enjoy listening to books written in verse, especially when they are narrated by the author. This book follows two girls, one in New York and the other in the Dominican Republic, who don’t know about each other but share the same father. When their father dies in a plane crash they have to deal with not only their grief but also the family secrets they weren’t even aware of. The first half of this book was very difficult for me to get through because I can still vividly remember 9/11 and so reading a book about a plane crash was pretty triggering. I also still struggle to read books having to do with grief but that is getting easier as more time passes since I lost my Grandma. So, overall, the first half of this book was an experience but I also think that it really speaks to Acevedo’s talent that she could invoke such strong emotions in me. Also, speaking of 9/11, I was shocked when I got to the end of this book and in her author’s note, Acevedo tells us that this book is based on an actual plane crash that happened shortly after 9/ll because I had no idea. I am ashamed that I completely missed her entire community’s loss and I am grateful that she brought it to my attention. I really enjoyed the back and forth narration between the two sisters and it was so interesting to see their two completely different worlds. Acevedo is one of the best YA writers out there and I will forever buy anything that she writes. Trigger warnings for death, grief, sexual abuse, and toxic parenting.
My son and I were reading this on and off for the last six months. We took a big break over the summer but we finished it the first week school was back and we both really enjoyed it. Cassidy had a near death experience and ever since then she has been able to see beyond the veil to the Other Side. She also found a ghost best friend who is almost always with her and of course tags along when Cassidy’s parents get their own ghost adventure reality show. The first stop is Amsterdam and there she learns more about what she is capable of and becomes entangled with a sinister ghost. This was such a fun story and incredibly well written. It was so fun to read out loud because it was so wonderfully descriptive and because of that it was so vivid in our minds. We will be picking up the second book in this series and continuing on with our read-a-long .