August Wrap-Up

Although it seems like August was only a minute long, I still managed to read 13 amazing books and listen to one audiobook. I broke down my thoughts on each book on my Instagram page but wanted to add mini-reviews for each on here!

Fiction

Feels Like Falling ( 4 stars, 389 pages )

I recommend this to anyone who loved Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias; it full of southern charm, strong female friendships, romantic drama, and most importantly, hope. I loved all of the characters, including (oddly enough) Brooke — once you read this one, you’ll understand what I mean. Diane was, by far, my favorite character as she was full of sheer determination and I wanted her to have everything that she wanted out of life.

The Last Story of Mina Lee ( 4 stars, 384 pages )

I was torn between loving this book and feeling complete sadness for the characters. I loved the alternating perspectives of Mina and Margot and the way that the timelines of the two women matched up as the reader learned more about Mina’s past and Margot’s discovery of a life she didn’t know anything about.

Anxious People ( 5 stars, 352 pages )

This book is good for your heart. I was in a bit of a reading slump and wasn’t wanting to pick up any books to read but I thought I would give this one a try and I am so grateful that I listened to my inner librarian. The characters that Backman created will certainly be staying with me for a long long time and I will be reading this book again, plus I will be recommending it to everyone. I laughed ( out loud ) on multiple occasions, cried and felt my heart grow in size thanks to this beautiful book.

The Comeback ( 5 stars, 383 pages )

Riveting, inspiring, haunting, and unputdownable. This book was such an unexpected read for me and once I started, I couldn’t put it down. Grace Hyde is all of the women who have ever been harassed because of their beauty, made to feel inferior because of their talents, and who have almost given up for fear of retaliation. Ella Berman encapsulated countless emotions into this story and created a truly captivating and memorable character.

Migrations ( 4 stars, 8 hours 47 minutes )

MIGRATIONS hit me right in the heart as the author portrayed but oh world could look like if we don’t begin taking the environment and our wildlife seriously. The utter devastation that I felt as Franny described the last of the birds dying out, the heaps of trash discovered floating in the ocean, and the disappearance of all fish. I would like to consider myself an environmentally friendly person but this book made me stop to think that I could do more. 

Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Horror

When No One is Watching ( 4 stars, 368 pages )

I don’t know that I’ve read a thriller like this before. It was a fascinating look into the very real problems that people in our communities of color face every day but it was also a look at the problems that these same communities have faced in the past. I know that historical fiction thriller is a thing but this novel brought such an incredible historical perspective into this story that I forgot it was a thriller until things started getting intense. We are all fooling ourselves if we don’t take a step back to realize that the history represented within the pages of this book are more than likely the same histories that our neighborhoods have seen.

The Night Swim ( 4 stars, 352 pages )

Okay, I think I need to begin my review by saying that this book was captivating but in glancing at reviews, it seems that a lot of people have neglected to paint this book with bright a bright red ‘trigger warning’ sign. The entirety of this story focused on sexual assault and rape. There is an entire section that is devoted to what a sexual assault victim endures during a sexual assault investigation and examination; Goldin depicted this with such reality that it made me feel sick to my stomach. And then there were the scenes involving the rape of one of the characters… it was awful. But, on the other side of the coin, Megan Goldin wrote this story in such a real way that it draws attention to what a survivor endures and how unfair the entire process is to them. I was completely mesmerized by Goldin’s writing style and I was even more impressed with her ability to weave the stories of the characters together until they came together in one conclusion.

One by One ( 3.5 stars, 384 pages )

Let me begin by saying that Ruth Ware is one of my FAVORITE authors. I have read everything she’s written and has always loved the way she crafts her stories, drawing you in and keeping you on the edge of your seat. I will always read her books and I am already counting down the minutes until her next book is released.

With this being said, ONE BY ONE fell flat for me. You seriously have no idea how painful this is for me to write but I am going to be honest. There was just too much in this storyline — too many characters, unnecessary tech discussion, and the “snoop” information at the beginning of each chapter were almost unnecessary. I also rarely negatively say this but I guessed the ending of this book from page 30 but wasn’t blown away by the route that Ware got the reader to that discovery.

Little Disasters ( 3 stars, 432 pages )

To be honest, I am not sure what my thoughts were going into this book. The synopsis sounds like it is going to be a dark and twisty look at motherhood and friendship and, in a way, it was. This book tackled some incredibly heavy and sensitive topics surrounding child abuse, mental health, and motherhood. I wasn’t prepared for this book, at all.

Romance

The Trouble with Hating You ( 4 stars, 336 pages )

I loved this romance! There was something so appealing about all of the characters in this story. I found myself rooting for all of them but really I couldn’t get enough of Jay Shah. I wanted him to have everything that he deserved because he was seemed like such a genuine character, who never gave up. It was also a glimpse of different religious customs that I found to be fascinating.

You Had Me at Hola ( 5 stars, 320 pages )

What an incredibly refreshing book this was! I laughed, out loud, on multiple occasions, and was completely enamored with the powerhouse that Jasmine was (although she didn’t know it until the end). This story was full of wit, sass, emotion, and holy-steam moments. By the end of the book, I kept thinking about how I hope that Alexis Daria writes another book and includes some aspect of Jasmine and Ashton in it or any of the other characters. I loved them all!

The Switch ( 5 stars, 336 pages )

I couldn’t put this book down. Eileen’s characters had me dissolving into a fit of giggles as I pictured my grandmother having this experience. And then there was Leena, who I related to on countless levels. Oh, and let’s talk about that heart-throb Jackson – I looked forward to his interactions with Leena because he was just perfection. 

Historical Fiction

The Exiles ( 5 stars, 370 pages)

I went into this book thinking that it would be interesting as I am not familiar with this period or with the colonization of Australia through English prisoners. But, what I got was a heartbreaking story following a young woman who suffered such a terrible injustice and her journey aboard the Medea slave ship. From the jail to the slave ship, the conditions were unbearable; it made me feel sick to my stomach just thinking about someone being treated that way and forced to leave their life behind.

The Henna Artist ( 5 stars, 368 pages)

I loved Lakshmi because she was brave, driven, and brilliant. I admired Kanta for her determination to have a family and her unwavering support of Lakshmi and Radha. I also loved Maharaja because, despite her ranking within the community, she was still able to see those that were deemed to be “beneath her “ through the caste system. Finally, even though the reader was never formally introduced to Lakshmi’s Saas, I loved her for all that she taught her taught in-law. 

Total Pages Read: 4,774

Average Rating: 4.32

Favorites: Anxious People

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