The month of August was a very big reading month for me, which you may have guessed based on the fact that you’ve already seen three wrap ups: August Wrap Up, Pt. 1; 7 in 7 Readathon Wrap Up, and the Graphic Novels Wrap Up. Because of all of the other wrap ups that I’ve posted, I’m mostly just going to list the books that I’ve read that are wrapped up in full elsewhere and I’ll direct you to those posts.
As far as stats are concerned, I’ve read 29 books this month, which equaled 7,198 pages. Now, when I say books, I am including graphic novels, which you may or may not choose to do. Of the 29 books I read, six were YA contemporary, five were “adult” novels (which I realize spans a lot of genres, but you know), seven were romance novels, two were non-fiction, and nine were graphic novels. I am desperately missing fantasy worlds right now, so I wouldn’t be surprised if next month looks very different. I made graphics for this month, but I’m not sure how well they’re going to work so let me know your thoughts!
1. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
I’ve already wrapped up the first four books in this list in my 7 in 7 Readathon Wrap Up post, so look there for more details. Quick thoughts from When Dimple Met Rishi are that I enjoyed it, but it used one of my least favorite conflict devices, so I gave it a four out of five stars.
2. The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith
I hated this book. I gave it a one star. If you’re curious, please see my 7 in 7 Readathon Wrap Up post.
3. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
I added this book to my favorites of 2017 shelf on Goodreads immediately because I loved it so much. Etta is a black, bisexual, ballerina who is recovering from an eating disorder not otherwise specified and this book knocked it out of the park. It has incredible discussions and I loved it so much. Highly recommend.
4. Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
I love this book, which you may have picked up on based on my 7 in 7 Readathon post or from my Book Talk about this book. I really hope you all pick this up if contemporary romance is even remotely your kind of thing. I just really can’t recommend it highly enough. I added it to my Favorites of 2017 shelf as well.
5. Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
First of all, this cover is beautiful. You can tell I had a lot of feelings from the tabs you can see in that image and believe me, there are a lot that are kind of hiding from you. While my full review is not posted yet, it is written and will be posted sometime in the next week so keep a look out for that.
This book is written almost like a letter to Gavin, Grace’s abusive now ex-boyfriend. When I say abusive, I mean emotionally, not physically, but there were also a few scenes that I would classify as sexually abusive as well. The way that it’s written makes it fascinating because it’s like Grace explaining how she fell for Gavin. I feel like this paragraph is sort of demonstrative of that, but I will note that it’s not one of my favorite:
I don’t know this yet, but these moments between us are choreography for the movie of your life. This thing you’re doing–the look, the stop, the awed stare–you stole it right out of the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice. You’re ripping off Colin Firth like nobody’s business and I don’t even realize it. You’re two steps away from rising out of a lake wearing a drenched white shirt. It’s only later that I’ll see you’re feeding me rehearsed lines and perfectly timed smiles and gasps and tears that come at precisely the right moment. A year from now I’ll be screaming Fuck you, FUCK YOU into a pillow because I won’t have the guts to say the words to your face.
But right now, a boy is staring at me from the end of the hall and even though he doesn’t say a word, he’s claimed me.
I’m new territory and you’ve planted your flag.
So that gives you a little hint of how the book is written, though I do apologize for the long quote. I just also wanted you all to have an idea before you head in that this book can be very hard to read. I haven’t always had healthy relationships and neither have some of my friends and sometimes this felt like someone put our relationships in a blender and wrote out a book with as many red flags as possible. I think this is so important for so many reasons. First of all, when I was in high school, I had no idea what a healthy relationship looked like. I didn’t know that my friends and I were learning really toxic behaviors and normalizing them from our relationships. I had no idea. So I appreciate this book from that respect, but I also loved it because of how it shows that not all abusive relationships are physically abusive. So yes, five stars to this book, despite how hard it was to read. Keep an eye out for my full review if you’re curious for more thoughts!
6. The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
I also have a full review up of The Duchess Deal, which I loved and also desperately needed after having read Bad Romance. Emma and the Duke of Ashbury wind up in a marriage of convenience and Ash does his best to keep Emma at a distance, but Emma is not having it. Some people have compared it to Beauty and the Beast, but there are Batman elements too.
I really loved this book. It’s funny and clever and I loved the exchange between Emma and Ash when she’s actually reading the marriage settlement papers, even though Ash is a jerk. I found the way their sexual relationship developed was fascinating and I really enjoyed that it reflected their growing intimacy and Emma really being herself and Ash loving her. And plus, the way the staff kept trying to force Emma and Ash together. Yes. Just a huge fan. I loved it so much. Five stars from me.
7. An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
I lovedthis book. I was a little confused by the Prologue, but once I got into the book (like maybe three chapters in?), I didn’t stop reading until I had finished because I was so obsessed. Basically, this book is about Elle(n) Burns, a Union spy posing as a slave in a Confederate Senator’s household. She has an eidetic memory and she’s a fantastic spy, but she slips up when she first meets Malcolm, a white man in a Rebel uniform who she is inexplicably attracted to. Of course, Malcolm is more than he appears and just ALL THE YES.
I spent half the book like this:
If we’re honest, this is one of my favorite ways to feel during a romance novel, because a) it means I’m invested in the relationship and the characters and b) I love when it takes the characters a little time to get together. In this case, there was a lot of conversation back and forth about the fact that Elle is a black woman at a time, well, Elle is a black woman and Malcolm is a white man. It was really interesting to watch them navigate those dynamics and I was distraught when I got to the end only to realize that I have to wait for Ewan’s book. (Ewan is Malcolm’s brother and the book comes out in November. Get excited!) Five stars for this book! Unsurprisingly.
8. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Seanan McGuire’s writing is gorgeous, just absolutely stunning. I am amazed by the way she writes. It’s so beautiful and magical, it just sucks you in. I want to savor it and also devour it because I’m obsessed with the story. This prequel follows Jack and Jill from Every Heart a Doorway and how they made it to the Moors and what their time there was like. I so enjoyed reading their story. I just don’t have the words. This was my favorite line though:
Time is the alchemy that turns compassion into love.
WHAT A LINE, you know? I’m genuinely obsessed with Seanan McGuire’s writing and I need to get my hands on more of her books ASAP. Also, there were illustrations in this book! Here is my favorite one:
9. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kailing
This totally counts as my nonfiction read for the month. Did I have three on my TBR for the month? Maybe, but shh. Listening to celebrity memoirs is almost as therapeutic as reading a romance novel, though not quite. This isn’t my favorite celebrity memoir, that honor goes to Shonda Rhimes because Year of Yes is hilarious and also to Yes Please because of my complete adoration of Amy Poehler. That said, Why Not Me? has some truly excellent sections that had me laughing out loud in the car as I was driving around trying to do adult things this weekend. I think I’m maybe just a little resentful that it couldn’t somehow make hanging up laundry fun, but that’s obviously unfair.
My favorite parts were definitely when she was describing her relationship with B.J. Novak and Will. I mostly liked her talking about Will because that’s when she talked about Barack Obama and how Michelle Obama is gorgeous and perfect, which I’m here for. Seriously, feel free to text me anytime it crosses your mind how amazing Michelle Obama is because I will always agree with you. I love that woman. Anyway, those were my favorite parts, but I did enjoy listening to the book! Highly recommend the audiobook, honestly.
10. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
I adored this book. I already liked Anna Kendrick based solely on her Twitter feed andPitch Perfect, but after listening to her memoir, I am convinced that we would be the best of friends. Kendrick writes with a sort of self-deprecating humor that comes across making her seem more relatable and less celebrity.
While she relates her journey to fame, she starts in her childhood, which was also when she began her acting career. I loved how she told the story of her first enemy, because same. I am a huge grudge holder so I found this story extremely relatable and when she later told a story about occasionally realizing that she was holding onto a grudge for no reason? Yes, same.
The audiobook is a quick read and one I truly enjoyed. I would highly recommend, especially if you have a six hour drive because that would fit perfectly.
And that’s what I read in August. I added seven books to my favorites of 2017 list in August. Perhaps I should re-evaluate? But I really loved the books I read this month, so I think that’s genuinely accurate. What were your favorite books of August 2017?