This wrap up is late, but honestly, I’m not even surprised by myself anymore as far as that goes. But, on the bright side, I’m getting it up before the end of the month so I DO have time to squeeze in a non-wrap up post before I’m done, I think.
- Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep
Kill the Queen is a fantasy novel with enough romance thrown in that Jennifer Estep was at Avon’s Kiss Con and that Dani was very insistent that I need to read it. I saved the book for my plane rides back from San Diego and holy cow. This book was so good! I devoured it. DEVOURED. And then I was pretty freaking upset that I didn’t have Protect the Prince with me, since Dani had given me the ARC she picked up at Kiss Con. Basically, Evie is like 17th in line for the throne or something and then every member of the Royal family is slaughtered at once, except for her and the second in line for the throne. Evie winds up joining a Gladiator troupe and pretending not to be royal and meets Lucas Sullivan in such a fun way. I just… I love this book. It’s so good.
2. Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep
Thanks again to Dani for the ability to just go straight into Protect the Prince once I was back to my house. I absolutely adore Evie’s character arc and I’m so excited for the final book in the trilogy. Also, I was texting Dani because I feel like this book sets up what could be an incredible spin off series and I have questions!!! Seriously, Jennifer Estep is going to be at Kiss Con next year and I have a feeling I’m going to fall on her like IS THIS HAPPENING? CAN I HAVE IT? Because it needs to. Anyway, I’m really loving what these books are doing and would definitely recommend. I do think they lean much more heavily toward fantasy than romance (which makes sense because they’re Harper Voyager titles, I think), but they really work for me so hopefully they will you too!
3. Midnight Mass by Sierra Simone
I got a $10.00 Amazon gift card from Verizon and I spent it on getting a few books I’d had my eyes on for a while, one of which was this one. It picks up a couple of years after the end of Priest and while I do get why Simone felt like there was more to say after Priest came to a close, I… think I could have done without it, tbh. Also CW for miscarriage early in pregnancy.
4. Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot
This novella is… so short. Like. So short. And it really just doesn’t work at all in terms of meeting it’s goal, which I think is to get you excited about the start of the new series. I just… I don’t get why it exists.
5. The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
I have… extremely conflicted feelings about this book. I absolutely adored the first two thirds of this book and was feeling like I do a lot of times when I know the bad thing is coming, which is that I didn’t want it to come at all. But in this case, the bad thing was really just a needed CW for sexual violence that I didn’t love how it was handled. But the book overall is really fun and good? I really don’t know how to talk about this book. Probably just go read someone else’s review. Lol
6. The Diviners by Libba Bray
I love this series so freaking much. I read this as part of The Diviners readalong that Melanie, Chelsea, Madalyn, and Jane are hosting and I’m so, so excited for my rereads of the next two books too. Anyway, if you haven’t listened to this book, I would highly recommend you do that. January Lavoy is remarkably talented. This is a super spooky YA historical fantasy that’s perfect for Fall. It follows a group of teenagers, but I think the main character would be Evie, who is this incredibly flawed character who feels like she’s too much and can’t figure out why she’s also not enough. I just… I love Evie. All of the characters really are remarkable. They’re all so real.
7. The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas
Speaking of series I love so much… I stopped at Starbucks on my way home from the bookstore so I could finish this book and then I started DM’ing Aarya because I was FREAKING out. Those last couple of chapters BLEW MY MIND and now I need book four in the worst way. It’s enough actually to make me glad I came into the series when I did and not at the beginning when I would have had to wait a year between each installment. This is book three in the Lady Sherlock series, for the record, and I think the books are really just Sherry Thomas proving over and over again that she’s an actual genius and also great at creating compelling, flawed human beings. I am loving where the story is going so… Yeah. Very much looking forward to book four.
8. Into the Fire by Suzanne Brockmann
Oh Lord. This series has been a roller coaster ride and I really didn’t like this installment. First of all, how dare she go back and affect Tess and Nash’s HEA? I did not sign up for this! I know they’ll wind up working things out in the next installment, but I didn’t KNOW I had to deal with a marriage in trouble story when they haven’t even gotten married!! But whatever. Anyway, this installment is ostensibly not about Izzy, even though Izzy and Danny Gillman’s little sister (who is 17) getting married so she can have health insurance is not a small part of the story. It’s also not supposed to be about Dave and Sophia, I don’t think, but they’re a huge part of this story and dear God, if people don’t start respecting Dave, I’m going to lose it. Ostensibly, the story is supposed to focus on Hannah and Murphy, which is the part of the book I did like. Actually, to be fair, I like Dave and Sophia too. Anyway, Murphy has been on a bender basically since Angelica died and when that white supremacist guy is murdered, the FBI starts looking at him. I guess the FBI can’t sanction murder, but… Ugh. So, yeah, Hannah helps Murphy try to figure out where he was when the murder allegedly happened. It’s a trip. (CW: miscarriage btw)
9. Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
I feel like at this point I should be able to articulate my thoughts about this book so much better than I can right now. But basically, this book is a contemporary fiction novel with a central romance story (that ends HEA) and I really liked it, but I wanted it to be a pure romance. I think that if your expectations are right, you’ll love it. It’s about Evvie, a woman widowed on the day she set out to leave her husband, and Dean, a former pro-baseball player who needs to get away from NYC. They’re both trying to put their lives back together and I really loved their relationship and the way it builds. If you’ve read this, definitely let me know what you think.
10. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
I’ve officially finished re-reading this entire trilogy and I’m like… I mean, I just don’t get how Cassie Clare wrote Clockwork Angel and City of Bones? The Infernal Devices is just so superior, I can’t wrap my head around it. Anyway, I think… I think I might need to re-read The Mortal Instruments though and just carry through and read them all. Is there any point though where the audiobook narrators stay the same? I mean, every book in this series was narrated by different people and I really did not like the narrator in this one. Oh, this book is a YA fantasy about a mundane (Tessa) who is actually not a mundane and she gets kidnapped and then rescued by Shadowhunters. There’s a love triangle that should have been an OT3, tbh, but also, I loved how it was handled. This series is just truly great.
And there you have it! My ten books of the first half of August. I really loved so many books from this month, I can’t choose a favorite. Clockwork Angel, Kill the Queen, The Hollow of Fear, and The Diviners would have to duke it out for me to decide. What was your favorite book that you read this month (so far)?