Monthly Wrap-Up: August 2022

August has felt like the longest month ever. Looking through my wrap-up I actually can’t believe that all of these books were read last month. Nine reads is a lot for me, however, the majority of them were novellas or graphic novels. Still a great number though. 

Belladonna by Adalyn Grace

Read: 30/07/22 – 09/08/22

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Belladonna was one of my favourite reads of August. It read very quickly and the story was interesting. I did a full review of it if you want to read it. Check it out here

Synopsis: Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.

However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.

The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones 

Read: 30/07/022 – 10/08/22

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I actually started this a lot earlier than my Goodreads says, but like an idiot, I forgot to add it at that time. It took me so long to get through this, the worldbuilding was quite heavy and the movement of the story felt a bit static to me. 

Read my full review here if you want to read my in-depth thoughts. 

Synopsis: Once upon a time, the kingdoms of Wales were rife with magic and conflict – and eighteen-year-old Mererid ‘Mer’ is well-acquainted with both. As the last living water diviner, she can manipulate water with magic – a unique elemental power many would kill to possess.

For years, Mer has been running from the prince who bound her into his service – and forced her to kill thousands with her magic. Now, all Mer truly wants is a safe, quiet life, far from power and politics.

But then Mer’s old handler – the king’s spymaster – returns with a proposition: use her powers to bring down the very prince that abused them both.

Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender 

Read: 09/08/22 – 12/08/22

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I haven’t posted my review for this yet as it is out later this month so I won’t say anything here. Just know that I rated it four stars, so it was pretty good. My review will be up around the 20th of this month so keep an eye out for it.

Synopsis: Lark Winters wants to be a writer, and for now that means posting on their social media accounts––anything to build their platform. When former best friend Kasim accidentally posts a thread on Lark’s Twitter declaring his love for a secret, unrequited crush, Lark’s tweets are suddenly the talk of the school—and beyond. To protect Kasim, Lark decides to take the fall, pretending they accidentally posted the thread in reference to another classmate. It seems like a great idea: Lark gets closer to their crush, Kasim keeps his privacy, and Lark’s social media stats explode. But living a lie takes a toll—as does the judgment of thousands of Internet strangers. Lark tries their best to be perfect at all costs, but nothing seems good enough for the anonymous hordes––or for Kasim, who is growing closer to Lark, just like it used to be between them . . .

In the end, Lark must embrace their right to their messy emotions and learn how to be in love.

A Tail as Old as Time by Elle Hay 

Read: 16/08/22

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

A Tail as Old as Time was decent at best. It was a somewhat fun listen as its short length allowed me to get another book ticked off my Goodreads challenge, but that was basically the only positive. Read my review here if you want to.

Synopsis: Ever since Alana Diaz adopted her cat Furrari, she has found herself in a feud with her infuriating neighbour, whom she knows only by the name on the passive-aggressive notes he leaves on her door – R. Jones. Alana works hard all day, and the last thing she needs when she finally relaxes on her balcony with a glass of wine and her new furry roommate is her neighbour’s dog barking his head off. The only solution is to retreat inside. So what if her neighbour has smouldering good looks? It’s ruined when he glares at her little fuzzball of joy for upsetting his dog, Kevin. And who the hell names their dog Kevin, anyway?

But when Furrari and Kevin both go missing, Alana and Jones are left with no choice but to team up. As their pets lead them through the beaches, fancy hotels, and more all over Coral Gables, two lonely, jaded people might find they’ve been chasing the wrong things all along.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

Read: 31/07/22 – 16/08/22

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I love Taylor Jenkins Reid so much. Her books are so amazing and I know that if I decide to read one I’m probably going ot love it. That was no different here. Still hasn’t quite topped Daisy Jones & The Six but it came close. 

I did a full review of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo so read it here if you want. 

Synopsis: Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth

Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland 

Read: 14/08/22 – 24/08/22

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is another book that I haven’t posted a review for so I won’t say much here. Again the review for this will be posted around the 20th so keep your eyes peeled. 

Synopsis: It is 1937, and Laura Ann Langston lives in an America divided—between those who work the mystical arts and those who do not. Ever since the Great Rust, a catastrophic event that blighted the arcane force called the Dynamism and threw America into disarray, the country has been rebuilding for a better future. And everyone knows the future is industry and technology—otherwise known as Mechomancy—not the traditional mystical arts.

Laura disagrees. A talented young mage from Pennsylvania, Laura hopped a portal to New York City on her seventeenth birthday with hopes of earning her mage’s license and becoming something more than a rootworker

But six months later, she’s got little to show for it other than an empty pocket and broken dreams. With nowhere else to turn, Laura applies for a job with the Bureau of the Arcane’s Conservation Corps, a branch of the US government dedicated to repairing the Dynamism so that Mechomancy can thrive. There she meets the Skylark, a powerful mage with a mysterious past, who reluctantly takes Laura on as an apprentice.

As they’re sent off on their first mission together into the heart of the country’s oldest and most mysterious Blight, they discover the work of mages not encountered since the darkest period in America’s past, when Black mages were killed for their power—work that could threaten Laura’s and the Skylark’s lives, and everything they’ve worked for.

The Perfect Play by G.S Carr

Read: 26/08/22

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Pretty awful. That’s all I have to say here. I’ve already done a proper rant about this book so if that type of review interests you, read it here

Synopsis: Simone Thompson wakes up in a Vegas hotel suite to discover three things:

Her headache might kill her.

The guy spooned behind her isn’t some random Vegas hookup—it’s James Sumner, the NFL’s bad-boy wide receiver and her twin brother’s teammate.

There’s a ring on her finger—you know, the finger.

As part of a football family, Simone knows all about the game, the good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s why she joined her brother’s trip to Vegas in the first place—to keep an eye on him, not to end up entangled with her crush. Her very out-of-her-league crush.

James has always had the hots for Simone and now that they’re married, he sees an opening to prove to her that he’s more than just a playboy and that they really do belong together. But if he’s going to win over his bookish princess, he’ll need to execute the perfect play…

Crimes of Passion by Jack Harbon

Read: 26/08/22

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This was pretty average. My favourite parts were the bits where they were recording the podcasts. 

I have plans to do a proper review of this (just haven’t got around to it yet) so keep a look out for it in the next few days. 

Synopsis: Emery Thompson hates Calvin Chamberlain. From the way he acts like he’s better than everyone to the way he moves through the world thinking his podcast is the cream of the crop, every little thing about the man gets to him. Even that dashing, oh-so-confident smile. He’d rather be caught dead than be around the man any longer than necessary—or admit that last part out loud.

Calvin Chamberlain hates admitting defeat. It’s hard enough losing sponsors for his historical crime podcast while obnoxious pop culture ones like Emery’s only gain more, so it’s a particularly cruel twist of fate when a late fan’s request for a collaboration with Emery lands in his lap. He’s in no position to turn down the plea, and with no way out, Calvin reluctantly agrees.

But keeping things purely professional turns out to be a challenge when these two make it to the studio. Their chemistry crackles through their microphones, and soon, their numbers begin to skyrocket. Can these two make a killing off what they once thought was a death sentence—and more importantly, will Calvin and Emery give into the heat of passion?

Needle and Thread by David Pinckney

Read: 26/08/22

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ending the month on a good note. After reading this graphic novel I checked it out on Goodreads and I was shocked at how low its average rating is. I really enjoyed it personally. The art style was cute, the characters were likable and the plot was strong. 

Read my review of Needle and Thread here. 

Synopsis: Choosing between living the life you want and living the life you’re “supposed to have” is not always an easy choice. Noah, embracing his true-self, wants to pursue a career in costume design, something his loving, public service parents would never approve of. Azarie, the perfect, model daughter of a very stern, traditional family, dreams of embracing the hobbies she secretly loves, hobbies her social circle would never abide by.

The two live different lives and their social statuses keep them from ever crossing paths until they have a chance encounter that exposes some common ground: the desire to be who they truly are. Together, the two set out to put it all on the line and show everyone what they’re made of and what they want to achieve in the form of cosplay. Their growing friendship will be tested and their faith in themselves, as well as each other, will be tried.

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Like this post? Why not read this one too: YCP Best Of: August 2022


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