August 2022 Wrap Up: reading lots of anticipated releases

I had such a good reading month, I didn’t love everything I read but I didn’t dislike any of the books either. Even the 3 stars I would recommend because I had a good time reading them. So I’m counting it as a win!

Here are my (very extensive) thoughts on the books I read this month:

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher (4 stars): I really liked this, it made me feel so much dread, there were so many creepy and disturbing things in this book, and the wait for something bad to happen was anxiety-inducing. I appreciated that the two main characters were not idiots or foolishly brave, they were complex, interesting characters. The only thing I had a small issue is that the “chase” at the end dragged a lit bit. 

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher (4.5 stars): This was a quick read, it kept me engaged and the ending was really satisfying, which is hard to in short horror books. It wasn’t scary, but there were a few unnerving moments.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (4 stars): This is a quick read and a very interesting book. As always, Silvia Moreno-García manages to include important topics and conversations in this book, I appreciated that it portrayed misogyny and it addressed the way forced labor was performed by indigenous people in Mexico during the nineteenth century. Also, really liked the setting and how atmospheric this was, and the fact that Moreno- García presents us with flawed and complex characters who make the wrong choices and who are not the type of character that appears in novels often. The concept of this, the way it reimages The Island of Doctor Moreau but sets it in Mexico and the twist of that storyline were all incredible. Overall, I really enjoyed this and it kept me interested even if I wish I was a bit more invested in the story while reading it.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (3.5 stars): It took me a long time to get into this, mainly because the main character was so confused in the beginning that it made it hard to connect with him and he changed bodies so often and most of the people that he had to live as were terrible, so I didn’t feel invested in the characters. I even contemplated DNFing this, but after a while, the mystery was so interesting to me that I really wanted to find out what was going on and I ended up feeling invested in the story even if I was not invested in the characters. 

Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews (4 stars): This book was a good finale for this trilogy, I couldn’t put this down, I found it really entertaining and I loved finding out how everything wrapped up. As always, the world and magic systems in this series are fantastic, it has a super compelling cast of characters, I love the family dynamics and the romance between Catalina and Alessandro was also really good. I wish it was a bit less action-packed, there were mini-action scenes happening all the time because there were like a thousand minor villains and a lot of storylines needed to be wrapped up, but overall I really enjoyed it.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (4 stars): I had such a hard getting into this book because the beginning is confusing and nonsensical but not in a whimsical way, instead in a very dense and scientific way and I just found that to be a bit boring. Nonetheless, a little before the halfway point when the mystery of this world starts to be revealed, I started to really enjoy the story and feel very fascinated by it. The mystery, the different people involved, the history behind what’s going on, all of it is very intriguing and entertaining to read about. After things are revealed to the reader, it was a bit frustrating to see Piranesi stumbling in the dark but he eventually discovers the truth and the story gets even better from there. The speculative elements of the story mixed with a very scientific and philosophical approach to them make the concept feel very unique and interesting.

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood (4.5 stars): While it took me a little bit to get into this, I was sold on it once the characters started to interact more about 60 pages in. I loved the characters, seeing them slowly bond and clear up misunderstandings, how much Levi adored Bee, the chemistry and tension between them, and the smutty scenes. The only issue I had with this was the over-the-top ending that seemed like something taken out of an action movie that came out of nowhere.

Don’t Go Baking My Heart by N.G. Peltier (4.5 stars): This is the best representation of the grumpy/sunshine trope I have read. At first, they were a bit frustrating, especially the hero. Still, throughout the book the character development of the two main characters was outstanding and it ended up being really easy to root for them. The chemistry, tension, and slow development of their relationship were all great. Also, the steamy scenes were great.

The Godparent Trap by Rachen Van Dyken (3 stars): I have mixed feelings about this. The hero in this book is such a jerk to the heroine, and while he was grieving, she was also grieving and she wasn’t a jerk, and he started being mean to her since before everything happened and the explanation for it didn’t completely work for me. Nonetheless, once he stopped being a jerk, I actually liked the romance, it was really sweet. I also really enjoyed the relationship between the main characters and the two kids, that part was sweet and the way parenthood was depicted felt very realistic. Unfortunately, the steamy scenes weren’t that steamy.

For Butter or Worse by Erin La Rosa (3 stars): This is truly a hate-to-love story, these two characters really hate each other at the beginning and I appreciated that. Nonetheless, while the main characters had a lot of chemistry and I could understand the physical attraction, I felt like they went very quickly and without reason from hating each other to being comfortable and vulnerable with each other, which didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Also, the very public apologies and grand gestures are not something I like in my romance, and even less so, if it’s done without talking to the other person about the issues first. But beyond all that, I have to admit that I did enjoy the cute and romantic moments and the steamy scenes were good. I also appreciated the anxiety rep, the fake dates and “fake” PDA, and the way this used google searches and tweets, which worked really well to see the reaction of the public to their romance.

An Impossible Impostor by Deanna Raybourn (3.5 stars): It took me a long time to get into this, mainly because there was no mystery for the first half of the book. The mystery mentioned in the synopsis gets solved really quickly and then the real mystery started around the 50% mark. So not a lot happens in the first half. The second half of the book was a lot better, I was interested in the mystery and I liked that the main characters had some personal stakes in it, which I felt was something missing in the previous book in the series. Also, I really liked Veronica and Stoker as always, even if I wanted a bit more Stoker in this book. The final bit with all the angst between them was really good. I’m excited about where their story is going next.

What are the best and worst books you read in August? Was August a good reading month for you?

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August 2022 TBR: 2022 releases, lots of romance, fantasy sequels and more

I had a good reading month in July and I decided to put together an overly ambitious tbr to see if I can keep the momentum going. Hopefully that’s the case because I’m hoping to read all of these 10 books in August:

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher: this was on my tbr of other people’s favorite books of 2021 which I posted at the beginning of this year and I really want to read all the books on that tbr before the year ends.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke: another book that I included in the other people’s favorite books of 2021 post, I have heard great things about this, I started it and I was liking it so I’m excited to finally finish it.

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang: This is on my list of books I need to finish before the end of the year, I need to get over my fear of being devastated while reading this and finally get to it.

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb: I read the first book two years ago and really liked it, but never continued with the series and it’s time to change that. I’m curious where this story goes especially since some of my favorite booktubers love this series.

Recursion by Blake Crouch: I have been in the mood to read more Sci-fi and this one keeps popping up everywhere, so I’ll give it a chance, especially since and it has a mystery/thriller aspect which I’m curious about.

Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews: I have been waiting for this book for so long and I’m excited that it’s finally being released. I can’t wait to see how this trilogy ends.

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood: I have read and really enjoyed every story that Ali Hazelwood has published and this is one of my most anticipated releases of 2022, I can’t wait to get to it.

For Butter or Worse by Erin La Rosa: this sounds like a really fun romance and I have the audiobook from my library, so it’s just what I need.

The Godparent Trap by Rachel Van Dyken: I remember loving the movie Life’s Too Short when it came out, and I’m SO excited that someone wrote a book inspired by that movie. Also, I have heard good things from people who got ARCs.

An Impossible Impostor by Deanna Raybourn: This is the last book that I have to read to catch up with the Veronica speedwell series, which is a comfort series for me, so I’m happy to get to it.

What books are on your August tbr? Have you read any of the books on my tbr? which one should I prioritize?

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