Kickin' It: August 2020 Wrap Up

Sunday, September 06, 2020

August was all over the place, with the start of the new semester. I finally ventured out of the house, and even dined inside a restaurant which was the first time since March. I also had a mini break in the beginning of the month so I decided to use it wisely and read some books that have been sitting on my shelves for a long time. Since school has started up again, I know I won’t be reading as much. However, before the month came to the close, I was able to finish a total of 18 books. Here’s what I read in August:

Rural Voices edited by Nora Shalaway Carpenter (3.5 stars): This anthology was filled with a diverse cast of #ownvoices narratives that represent the rural experience. It was a magical anthology that really brings the rural experience to life and tackles the many assumptions people harbor about small towns.

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa (4 stars): The fourth and final book in the original The Iron Fey series was so good. I’m not entirely happy with the ending but overall, the series was so good and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in Kagawa’s fey world. 

Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez (5 stars): I know this Tristan and Isolde retelling would break my heart so I went into it prepared (or as prepared as I could be). It was so heartbreaking and lovely. The writing is absolutely superb. The final book in this series just released in August so I will definitely be continuing in the series.

Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry (4.5 stars): I went into this knowing that it was a West Side Story-esque plot that centered around two rival motorcycle gangs. It was so fantastic! I’ve been trying to get my hands on the sequels but I fear they may be out of print since I haven’t been able to find them anywhere.

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg (3.5 stars): The premise was somewhere between West World meets Disney World, which I thought sounded amazing! The execution, however, started a bit slow. With science fiction, I was a bit out of my comfort zone but overall, it was a good story.

Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard (3 stars): To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement, the first two stories in this anthology were repeats from the previous short story collection, and while the book separated the stories with mixed media excerpts, it wasn’t enough to turn it around for me.

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (4 stars): Do I have some new favorite authors? This was such a lovely surprise. I adored this contemporary!

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins (4 stars): I read Prince Charming last year and really enjoyed it. Her Royal Highness follows a modern-day princess forced to dorm with a commoner. Until they both discover they may have feelings for each other. It’s cliché-ridden but endless fun.

Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay (3.5 stars): I remembered almost nothing from the first book but decided to dive right into this sequel anyway since it’s been gathering dust on my shelf for years. It was good but beginning to show its age with some problematic issues. There was also a bad case of instant love but I didn’t mind it so much. Overall, it was good read and I’m happy to finally say that I finished this duology.

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett (4 stars): So, camping isn’t really my thing so Starry Eyes seemed to narrate all my fears about camping in the wilderness. However, Bennett brought her undeniable charm and banter-filled writing. This romance was absolutely adorable. I’m hoping to read more of her backlist soon.

The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel (4 stars): Similar to science fiction, historical fiction is really not my jam either. However, when this book first released, I was drawn in by the setting in France and its pretty cover. The writing was good. However, the plot was rather bleak and it successfully made me cry (books that take place during wartime always make me tear up).

Library 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service by Michael E. Casey and Laura C. Savastinuk (3 stars): I had to read this for class. It was a bit repetitive but, overall, an interesting overview of what participatory library service is. 

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (5 stars): When I first finished Vampire Academy, I purchased all of the Bloodlines books. The only problem was that, back then (since I read Vampire Academy when they were first releasing), I never really liked Adrian’s character all that much. Bloodlines is Mead’s spin-off series that follows Adrian and Sydney. And, really, I’m mad at myself for not picking this up sooner. I don’t know what I was thinking back then, but I adore Adrian now (Dimitri probably had something to do with it). This was great!

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead (4.5 stars): Bloodlines was so great, in fact, that I immediately started and finished the sequel, The Golden Lily. In comparison, the climax of this one lacked the level of excitement I felt when reading the first. However, it was still great and I couldn’t wait to start the sequel.

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead (4 stars): I usually don’t binge series but I was loving the series too much to stop. While this one was great and I love following Sydney’s adventures, I think the direction Mead was taking the series made me pause in my bingeing. I will most definitely be continuing in the series, though.

Fake it Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen (3 stars): Fake dating is one of my favorite tropes (right up there with the only one bed trope). This book was so much fun but I wasn’t entirely convinced on the romance. I mean, they kissed a few times on their fake dates and readers were supposed to believe that based on that kiss and their shared past, that they’re in love now. I didn’t quite buy it. 

Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm (3.5 stars): This was so cheesy but I kind of loved it. It was a bit instant love-y but sometimes you just need an instant love romance in your life. Plus, it was set in Scotland and the wanderlust really got to me.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (3 stars): This was another book I had to read for class but I had already had this one of my tbr for a while so I was excited to start it. To be honest, I don’t think I learned anything new. Most of the things discussed in this book was common sense if you’re an introvert. It kind of read like the book was for extroverts to learn more about introverts. However, I’m happy I read it and I knew Cain has written more on introverts so maybe I’ll check out some of her other work too.

Recommended for You by Laura Silverman (9/1/20): To receive an extra holiday bonus, the bookstore staff must sell the most books. Two workers, Shoshanna and Jake, become rivals as they strive for that bonus. It sounds like it’s filled with some cute romance tropes that I’m sure to love!

Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp (9/15/20): I don’t know much about this one but there’s five friends, some sort of game, and a deadly weekend. Ingredients for greatness? I think so.

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (9/1/20): The blurb says that it’s “perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.” I’ve never read One of Us is Lying but Knives Out was one of my favorite movies from last year so I was easily sold. This follows Avery who receives an unexpected fortune from a mysterious millionaire.

How was your August? Did you read any amazing books?

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