August 2021 Book Wrap Up

August is over already, and as Taylor Swift famously sang, “August slipped away into a moment in time, ’cause it was never mine”.
This month felt long to me, its weeks getting more distant from the present every day. I went on holiday the first week of August, I wrote a post about it, but it feels like months ago. I got drunk in a bar for the first time in two years, read ten books, got a haircut, Lorde’s new album came out, and I started rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was a busy month that felt like a year.

Most of the books I read in August were from my library app that still refuses to show the book cover, so my amount of pictures this month is very limited.

Favourite reads of August

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

the inheritance games

“Everything’s a game, Avery Grambs. The only thing we get to decide in this life is if we play to win.”

I love a good Jennifer Lynn Barnes series. My favourite was The Fixer, until I read The Inheritance Games. It follows a very similar plot to Knives Out, a wealthy older man dies and leaves all his fortune to a young woman instead of his family. The difference is that the woman is a teenager and a complete stranger who has never met the man. What follows is her trying to figure out her connection to this man and trying to survive her stay at his old mansion that she now owns.

The second part is coming out in September, which I’ve already pre-ordered!

There were people out there who might live or die because of me, futures good or bad might be realized because of my choices. What right did I even have to be the one making them?

That Weekend by Kara Thomas

that weekend kara thomas

“Nothing is more terrifying than a villain who sees himself as a hero.”

Kara Thomas never disappoints, if you’re looking for an exciting YA thriller, she’s the queen. That Weekend is her most recent book, and I loved it. It was different from her others. When I thought the story was becoming predictable, it completely changed, surprising me with an unexpected plot twist.

The book follows three friends that go campaign, but only one of them comes back alive, barely. I think this story was great and I can’t wait for a new Kara Thomas novel.

Fiction reads

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

the midnight library

Every year, I go through an existential life crisis, replaying the what-ifs and different choices I could’ve made. This book focuses on that. It follows a woman who experiences many different lives, her what-ifs and what-could’ve-beens. After she tries to kill herself, she ends up in the Midnight Library. A library between life and death that has a book for every life you could’ve had.

I liked the story and reading about how one small decision can change your complete future, but it also stressed me out. I’ve found that Matt Haig’s books give me anxiety while also calming me down.

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

the switch

I love Beth O’Leary’s writing, I read The Flatshare last year, which I loved, so I knew I would like this one too. The Switch follows a woman in her 20s living in London, and her 79-year-old grandmother, who lives in a small town in Yorkshire. Tired of their own lives, they decide to switch places for two months to have new experiences. The grandma tries online dating for the first time, and her granddaughter learns to disconnect from her busy London life.

Hood by Jenny Elder Moke

Hood Jenny Elder Moke

“You have the blood of kings and rebels within you, love. Let it rise to meet the call.”

What if Robin Hood had a daughter and she was as good with the bow as him? I thought I’d love this book, I liked the story and was interested in the characters but I couldn’t get over how whiny the protagonist was. I think I had high expectations for this book, but it was overall a disappointing read.

Thriller reads

The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

I was looking for a “back to school thriller”, those that happen in universities or private schools and have mean girls and murder. The Girls Are All So Nice Here has all those things and more. I really enjoyed this book, and I didn’t expect the ending. The story is focused on a university reunion that’s bound to uncover a crime that happened ten years ago.

People thought girls’ bodies were our deadliest weapons. They had no idea about the mountains our imaginations could move.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

“The killer’s got a chainsaw/boat hook/butcher’s knife and this girl’s got zip: no upper body strength, no mass, no shotgun. All she’s got is good cardio and an all-American face.”

I tried liking this book, mainly because it has such great reviews, but I struggled with the characters. None of them were likeable, something that I need in a book. The other issue was that I’ve already read this book, it’s called Final Girls by Riley Sager, and I read it last year. The plot is so similar that reading this book was like having déjà vu. I might have enjoyed this book more if I hadn’t read Final Girls first.

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

“No one knew they’d moved in together. Now one of them is dead. Could this be the perfect murder?”

I know a lot of people wrote books during the lockdown. Some struggling writers I follow on Twitter are getting their first book published this year because, unlike me, they spent 2020 working on their novel instead of laying on the sofa binge-watching shows, wondering if that’s all there is in life. I knew some of these books would be set in a covid world, and I had zero intentions of reading them, but when I heard about 56 Days, I knew I had to read it.

Two people meet right before lockdown starts and decide to move in together for the time being, but they don’t know that one of them has a big secret until one dies.

Non-fiction reads

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron

“Here are some questions I am constantly noodling over: Do you splurge or do you hoard? Do you live every day as if it’s your last, or do you save your money on the chance you’ll live twenty more years? Is life too short, or is it going to be too long? Do you work as hard as you can, or do you slow down to smell the roses?”

This collection of essays had so many quotable moments it’s hard to choose just a few. I didn’t know what to expect when I got this book, but I was looking for a distraction, a memoir of some kind, and I found Nora Ephron’s. She wrote this book in her 60s, writing down advice and funny stories of her life. I love reading advice from older women to learn how they’ve navigated life. This book was entertaining, with some over the top stories, and just a bit out of touch.

It’s always hard to remember love – years pass and you say to yourself, Was I really in love, or was I just kidding myself? Was I really in love, or was I just pretending he was the man of my dreams? Was I really in love, or was I just desperate?

Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of thirty-five you will be nostalgic for at the age of forty-five.

An Almost Zero Waste Life: Learning How to Embrace Less to Live More by Megean Weldon

zero waste life

This is just your average Zero Waste guide. It covers a lot of what I already found on Live Green, which I read in June. It’s helpful, but it’s still missing a lot of information, and some of the advice felt a bit basic. I’m looking for something with more context: why should you bring your own container to a take out restaurant? I don’t just want the advice, I want the data. I want to know how many take-out containers don’t get recycled each year and how we can fix that. This is just an example, but this book wasn’t what I thought it would be. 

I’m excited for September. I already have some planned spooky books to read because, for me, autumn starts in August and Halloween starts in September. Summer is too long if not.

5 thoughts on “August 2021 Book Wrap Up

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