Hey friends, long time no talk. I hope you guys are all doing well and if you started school at the beginning of the month, I hope it’s all been smooth sailing and you guys aren’t too stressed out about it! I’m back to finally do my book wrap up for the month of August! I finished a total of seven books in August and you guys know I like to ramble, so you may want to go get a snack to get you through this post LOL. I hope you guys enjoy! P.s. the pictures to go along with each book aren’t going to be cohesive with each other, I’ve changed my Instagram filter/theme and some are from before I did that. Shameless plug, if you want to follow my Instagram @ericasbookshelves CICK HERE
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
This was the first book I finished in August and it was not a great way to start the month off. I wanted to love this book so badly, it just seemed like it was going to be right up my alley but sadly, this book really disappointed me. The town of Sparrow is cursed, centuries ago three sisters accused of witchcraft were drowned in the waters surrounding the town. Every summer since, the sisters have returned to inhabit the bodies of three girls in order to take their revenge on the town and lure boys into the harbour to drown them. Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town but this year a new boy named Bo shows up on the eve of the sisters return and Penny feels the need to protect him and help him resist the call of the sisters. From the description of this book I thought this was going to be a fun, creepy, witchy read with a side of ghosts. But the book wasn’t creepy and it wasn’t even really that witchy. I will admit, I really enjoyed the first half of this book, I was hooked on the writing and the need to see where it went. But about 1/4 of the way through the book I had this little theory pop up in my head about what the twist in this book could be. I didn’t like what I came up with and my reaction to my own theory was literally “wow if she does that I’m going to be so annoyed, that would be so dumb” I thought that there was no chance of the author doing it. But then she did. And it literally ruined the entire book for me. The characters as a whole were okay, they weren’t very developed but that didn’t really bother me. I wasn’t down for the romance in this one at all, it was such a bad case of insta-love, it’s ridiculous. I will say that I loved the flashbacks to when the sisters were alive, they were unexpected but they quickly became my favourite part of the book. Even though I didn’t love this book, I can see why a lot of people liked it. I think I would have liked it more if it had came out when I was younger. I think if you’re a younger reader interested in dipping your toes into the realm of creepy/ghost/witchy books, but aren’t quite prepared to jump in head first, this could be a good book to start with. I liked Ernshaw’s writing enough to give her another chance with whatever she puts out next and I’ll decide from there.
Mockingjay(The Hunger Games 03) by Suzanne Collins
This was my least favourite book in the trilogy but that’s not to say it was a bad book by any means. It felt so good to finally read/finish this trilogy but I’m kind of kicking myself for not reading it while the hype was going on because I feel like I missed out on connecting to people over it. Since this is the last book in the trilogy, I don’t want to spoil anyone so I will just give you a quick description of what book one, The Hunger Games, is about. The nation of Panem is made up of a central, wealthy Capitol region, surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in history there was a rebellion by District 13 which resulted in the Capitol creating the annual event known as the Hunger Games. Each district is forced to provide one boy and one girl to compete in the games. When Katniss Everdeen’s younger sister is drawn at the reaping, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. Katniss and the other male tribute, Peeta, are plunged into the Games against bigger, stronger and more prepared contestants. Do they have what it takes to win? They’d better because the Games are a cruel and manipulated fight to the death. Like I said, this was my least favourite in the trilogy and I think it had more to do with the fact that this is the only book where the Games actually aren’t present at all. As twisted as they are, the Games were always incredibly tense and fascinating to read. I feel like during the first half of this book, both nothing and a lot happens, which doesn’t make any sense unless you read it. I also think another reason this one wasn’t my favourite is because of the whole Peeta situation—that’s all I’m going to say because I don’t want to spoil anything. The writing in this one was still gripping and the action scenes were great when they happened. I just thought this one wasn’t as quick paced as the other two books, it was a great concluding novel though. I will also say, there were a couple deaths in this book that fucked me up, I didn’t see them coming at all and when they happened I literally sat there with my mouth hanging open saying to myself “there’s no way that just happened..it had to be a dream, RIGHT?!” If you haven’t read this series then I would highly recommend it, it got all the hype it did for a reason and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! Oh and #teampeeta all the way!
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
I FINALLY READ MY FIRST JOE HILL BOOK!! Ahem, sorry about that, can you tell I’m excited?! I love Stephen King and like most people, that’s how I discovered Joe Hill—Joe is Stephen’s son, incase you didn’t know. I had always heard great things about Hill’s work and had picked up a couple of his books but never dove into them until now. I chose to pick up NOS4A2 first because it sort of fit a prompt for the NEWTS readathon I did during August—I used it for the Care of Magical Creatures prompt of “book with an animal on the cover”..dead bugs totally count, right?! hahaha. I also did this one as a loose buddy read with my friend Mina over @cubbifulreads which was super fun! Please go check her out if you have the chance, she’s a lovely person and she reads/talks about some great books. Anyways, I’m glad I picked this one up first, I feel like it gave me a taste of what his writing was like and it had a unique premise. Victoria McQueen had a knack for finding things, she would get on her Raleigh bike and make her way to a rickety bridge that would take her wherever she needed to go. Charles Manx has a love for children, he likes to take them in his Rolls Royce and slip out of the real world roads and onto the route that takes them to the fascinating, and terrifying, Christmasland. One day Vic goes looking for trouble and she ends up finding Manx. She’s the only kid to ever escape Manx and Vic just wants to forget about him and his evil, twisted mind. Only problem is, Charles Manx never forgot about Vic McQueen, and Manx is back on the road and desperate to find her and take revenge. Hill’s writing was fantastic, I feel like his writing reminded me of King’s while still being completely unique to Hill. The pacing was a bit off on this book, I found the middle to drag a little bit, it seemed like there wasn’t much happening except filler for a little bit of it so the book could have done with being a smidge shorter. I both liked and disliked the characters. I liked Vic at the beginning when she was younger and also again towards the end. However, in the middle I wasn’t her biggest fan, she was kind of annoying and weak. I also understand that this was necessary to show based on what she was going through, it just wasn’t my favourite Vic to read about. Manx was an interesting and evil character to read about, however it was hard to actually be scared by him. The way he is described and the way he talks just wan’t scary, even though I know he was supposed to be scary. I wasn’t a huge fan of Lou, but being completely honest, I think most of that just came down to how he spoke, it’s hard to explain but if you’ve read it, I think you’ll understand. Despite having mixed feelings about the characters, I love the story as a whole and trust me when I say, Christmasland is not a place you ever want to find yourself in. I can’t wait to read more Hill books in the future, next up is either Horns or The Fireman.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
I’m not going to lie, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this book. I had avoided reading it for a while, partially because it was a book that was optional reading in school, which made me automatically assume I wouldn’t like it. Partially because I wasn’t really sure what it was about and I didn’t want to read a book about animal slaughter or anything like that because I just can’t read/watch that type of stuff. Well, turns out I was wrong on both counts, I ended up really enjoying this book and it was not about killing animals at all. Yes, it does happen in this book but not in the way I was expecting, it’s not extremely gruesome and it’s not the sole focus of the book at all. Manor farm is a farm run by a cruel and drunken farmer, one day the animals decide to rebel and run Mr. Jone’s and his family away from the farm so they can run it themselves. After that, they rechristen it “Animal Farm”. They hope to create a place where all animals are equal, where everyone has a say, and a place where they’re free, happy and well fed. It starts out like that but it soon becomes a dictatorship and the animals are left wondering if they were better off before. This is a short book which really packs a punch, it is one of the most famous allegories about a political event. It is a social commentary on the Russian Revolution and the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. While I honestly don’t know a whole lot on that topic, I definitely feel like this book will definitely get you thinking and questioning some things. I think it’s a book that everyone should read and I wish I had actually read it back in highschool when everyone else did.
Before She Ignites(Fallen Isles 01) by Jodi Meadows
I actually had no intention of reading this book prior to picking it up, it wasn’t on my radar and even though I had seen it a couple times on Instagram, it never really caught my eye. I picked it up because I needed a book about dragons for a prompt for the NEWTS and I’m actually pretty glad I ended up reading it because I think that this series could end up being really good. Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. She’s spent her whole life being told she’s perfect and special. She’s known all across the Fallen Isles because of the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement that united the seven islands against the mainland. However, Mira has never felt perfect or special, she suffers from crippling anxiety. She obsessively counts and shes far too obsessed with dragons considering her place. One day Mira discovers an explosive secret and is betrayed by the council she spent her entire life serving and supporting. She’s sent to the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles—the Pit. There she’s being guarded by a man who would do anything to get her to tell him what she knows. Without the council supporting her, Mira must learn to think for herself and most importantly, she must learn to survive. Ah, finally a fantasy book that has mental illness rep. I don’t know what it is about fantasy books but it’s definitely not a common thing to find mental illness rep or diversity in that genre, so it’s always nice to see one that does. I actually really liked the anxiety/obsessive thoughts rep in this book, I was a little worried at first that it would be a plot convenience and only pop up when they needed to drive the plot forward. That definitely wasn’t the case though, it was a constant thing throughout the novel and much like real like, it was always there in the back of her head and it often came at the most inopportune moments. I’ve seen quite a few books with anxiety rep but I believe this is the first time I’ve seen a book with obsessive counting and I appreciated it so much. I’m not going to go into any sort of detail here but I will say that this is a way that my anxiety manifests itself, I struggle with it no where near as much as Mira does in the book. However, it is something that is present in my life in varying degrees so it was so nice to see it in a book. As for the actual plot of the book, I found it to be very interesting although a bit repetitive. I also expected more dragons, however, I think that they will be much more present in the later books in the series—duology? Trilogy? I’m not sure. I think that this book provided a good set up for the next installment and I will definitely be picking up the sequel to see where this story goes!
Weekend Warriors(Sisterhood 01) by Fern Michaels
This is another book where I wasn’t even aware of it’s existence and had no plans on reading it, however a coworker recommend it to me and actually lent me her copy so I felt that I had to read it. I was not a fan of this book at all, that being said, this isn’t the type of book I normally pick up so that may be part of it. This book/series follows a group of women that are brought together by a broken hearted mother and her daughters best friend after the daughter is killed in a hit and run. These women are brought together because every one of them has faced tragedy and had the justice system fail them These women are down but they’re not out, they’re determined to take the law into their own hands and go one by one through their cases and take their revenge on the people who wronged them. The premise is a little cheesy, but I thought it could be a fun read.. which it was, but it also wasn’t. Confusing right?! Here’s the thing, the premise was fun, if not a little bit too far—in this first book, their first act of revenge is to literally cut the balls off of the victims rapists, which I wasn’t expecting and wasn’t really a fan of. However, the writing was just awful, so that made the book hard to read. Half the time I couldn’t tell who was talking to eachother because the author didn’t always say right away and all of the characters sounded the exact same so it’s not like I could figure it out from the writing alone. There were also multiple instances where one chapter ended abruptly and I expected the scene to continue on at the beginning of the next chapter, only to discover that the next chapter was about something/someone else entirely. I kept finding myself looking at the page numbers because I thought that the book was literally missing pages. This book wasn’t a hard book to read in the sense that it took me a long time, it was actually a super quick read—I essentially read it in one sitting—but the writing just made me constantly feel like I was missing things. I know there’s going to be some people out there that love this series—there has to be, there’s like 28 books in this series, plus multiple spin offs—but this one just wasn’t for me and I’m honestly not sure who I would recommend it to.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Are you counting? Because if you are you’ll know that we’re on the seventh book, which means this is the final book I read in August! I had heard tons of good things about this book and had been meaning to read it for a while, then the movie was announced and I kept telling myself to read it and like usual, I kept putting it off. Then I decided to use it for a prompt for the NEWTS, which forced me to finally pick it up. I actually ended up watching the movie when I was only like 40 pages into this which made this an interesting reading experience. Just an FYI, the movie is good and tons of fun—although a little bit cheesy—but it’s not a faithful adaptation at all. In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place, which is why most people choose to spend most of their time in the virtual reality of the OASIS. Wade Watts is no exception to this, when he’s in the OASIS, it’s the only time he feels like he can really, truly be comfortable. When the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, dies he reveals that he has left an easter egg in the game and whoever finds it first will get his fortune and gain control of the OASIS. Wade has dedicated his life to being a Gunter and has spent years learning about 80s pop culture and all of Halliday’s favourite things. One day he stumbles on the first clue and ends up being the first person on the scoreboard. After that he realizes that some people would be willing to kill to gain control of the OASIS. Now if Wade wants to survive, not only online but in real life too, he’ll have to win and confront the world that he’s always been desperate to escape. This book is full of 80s references and will appeal to any gamers, film buffs and pop culture lovers. I had a bit of a weird experience reading this book because it was slow going, I found it hard to read big chunks at a time, although I really loved the book as a whole and thought the writing was good. I think this might have stemmed from the fact that I actually thought this was a YA book—it says it is on Goodreads but I’ve only ever seen it in the adult section of my bookstore and it’s not written like YA—and the font in my copy was so small that the pages and chapters were so dense. I think if I knew both of those things going in, my expectations would have been different and it might have changed my experience. Like I said though, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I loved the premise, I thought it was incredibly unique and interesting. I loved the characters, they were all great—with the exception of Nolan Sorrento, but you’re supposed to hate him, he’s the bad guy. I’m not sure if the author has written anything else but if he has, then I’m definitely going to pick it up!
Wow, is anyone still with me?! I told you guys that was going to be a long one but even I didn’t expect I would talk that much, I feel like my fingers are about to fall off haha. Sometimes once I start typing my bits for the wrap up I realize I probably should have written a full review for the book, which was definitely the case for a few of these!
If you are still with me I would love if you told me down in the comments all about your favourite book of the year so far!