Happy Monday, book nerds!!
I don’t know about y’all, but focusing at work today (I imagine since this post is actually coming to you from Sunday Taylor) is going to be brutal now that #ContemporaryAThon is live! Between work and the Emmy’s tonight (because I’m trash for Michael Che & Colin Jost) it’s going to be hard to get my book per day done, but I’m still going to give it my all, y’all! I started with The Simple Wild and challenge #5 (see above link) and hope it’s as captivating as the rave reviews suggest! If you’re participating please keep me posted on your selections and progress!!
And for those that just want to get to the dang point let’s go ahead and dive into my August 2018 Wrap Up!
August Reads (Full RsTC):
1) First & Then by Emma Mills – 3.5 STARS – the .5 is purely for the adorable cousin Foster.
This was my first foray into the works of Emma Mills and as you can see it fell into the like — not love — category. Don’t get me wrong, I believe I would have adored this light and fluffy contemporary in high school. It was funny, innocent, and highly centered on family and football, which are practically Texas trademarks. My biggest complaint was honestly with the marketing. This was hyped as a Pride & Prejudice “retelling” and I really didn’t see any resemblance except for the frequent mention of Jane Austen and the two leads being prideful. There wasn’t much tension — at least in terms of the romantic portions of this book — and it didn’t really deliver like I thought it would, but at the end of the day it’s a quick read and perfect for young readers.
2) The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis – 4 STARS
It’s weird writing this blurb now, because I believe if it had been written immediately upon finishing TFotS it would be entirely different. You see, McGinnis’ dark tale is very similar to Sadie (see #7), which might be one of my favorite reads of the year. And despite their differences, my love for the latter is definitely clouding my appreciation of the former. That’s not to say this wasn’t a powerful and emotional book, because it absolutely was, but it lacks the subtlety I found in my second-round of vengeful sister reads.
3) ARC: Love and Other Secrets by Christina Mandelski – 3.75 STARS
This sugary contemporary reminded me a lot of First & Then, but read more adult – -maybe because of the seriously game displayed by the male MC. I participated in the blog tour for this YA read and you can check out my full review here!
4) Dear Martin by Nic Stone – 4 STARS
Although it’s light in page count, Dear Martin is without question a heavy read. Stone packs a lot of issues (racism, prejudice, sexism, media manipulation, police brutality, the justice system, and MORE) into this barely 200-page story. If you’re late to this important read like I was, I suggest going into it blind. Seriously, don’t read the synopsis — it’ll spoil some of the book’s most shocking punches to the gut. If you haven’t read it, I sincerely encourage you to do so and discuss your findings with your peers. It’s impactful, relevant, and deserving of your time.
5) ARC: The Queen of the Species by Kimmery Martin – 2.5 STARS
I’m not going to lie, I was lured in by that eye-catching cover art. The colors, the design, it was all working for me. However, predictable “twists,” repetitive info dumps, and a season’s worth of Grey’s Anatomy medical jargon left me feeling torn. I enjoyed that the author was clearly knowledgeable about the subject matter, but when the pages-long descriptions of trauma rounds are more interesting than the fictional doctors delivering the dialogue you tend to start dreading their narratives. I honestly didn’t have many issues with Zadie (one half of our MC duo), but Emma is a whole other story. At the end of the day, the story didn’t work for me, but it’s technically not a bad book. It’s well written and full of new-to-me Scrabble-approved words and highlighter-worthy quotes. And while it did little to get my heart pumping, I do think it’s a unique story that any member of the medical field would enjoy reading.
6) ARC: The Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young – 3.75 STARS
This character-driven contemporary started out slow and contained tropes stacked on top of tropes, however, it somehow really worked — in the moment. Once you get past the descriptive beginning chapters you really become invested in the socially anxious MC and her “bad boy/book boyfriend” counterpart. You get to witness first love, loss, and tons of character development, but unfortunately, it’s magic only lasts for the length of the story. While I remember enjoying the story and characters at the time, I’m afraid it isn’t too memorable once the final page is turned.
7) ARC: Sadie by Courtney Summers – 5 STARS
This book consumed me. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s not the book (or story) I expected, but it absolutely blew me away. I was transfixed by the writing, the layering of important details, and the strength of our MC, Sadie. The repetitive details that piece together the puzzle a little bit more with each passage was initially off putting. But by the time that final piece landed in it’s spot and we’re privy to the big picture “reveal,” well, I just don’t have words. That scene truly felt like it broke me. I was sneak reading at work and when I reached that pivotal scene, I literally felt sick to my stomach. I was fighting back tears, shaking my head, and feeling every ounce of that shock and guilt. If you haven’t read it, it’s hard to explain, but I’d encourage you to get on this thriller asap!! Summers writing is raw, honest, vulnerable, gritty, and unbelievably worthy of your time. If you can, read this soon and give Sadie the much-needed love she deserves.
1 Book Award: Sunshine Blogger Award #2
1 Book Tag: Least Popular Books On My TBR
1 Book Haul: July 2018 Book Haul
1 Wrap Up: May, June, July Wrap Up Post
While August wasn’t my most successful reading month, I did manage to read 3 backlogged titles and 4 ARCs, which isn’t too shabby for this book nerd! How was your August? Did you hit your goals? Did we read any of the same titles? Have you read, loved, or hated any of the ones I crossed off my list? Let me know below!
And, as always, Happy Reading!