Starfish by Akemi Dawn
I got lucky with most of the books I read this month and I was happy that I picked this one to start out August with. We follow Kiko, an artist who is hoping to escape her emotionally and mentally abusive mother by going away to an art college. Kiko has a hard time with her anxiety and self-confidence because her mom is constantly telling Kiko she isn’t as beautiful as her because of her Japanese heritage on Kiko’s dad side, while her mom is white. At a high school party, Kiko runs into her childhood best friend, they reconnect, and after some trauma from Kiko’s past comes back to haunt her, she goes with her friend to his home in California. I absolutely loved how the author depicted anxiety, trauma, and struggling with one’s identity. I completely related to Kiko about her anxiety and struggling with identity.
Credence by Penelope Douglas
This is probably the most “scandalous” Penelope Douglas book I have read so far. The main character, Tiernan, lost both of her parents suddenly and ended up going to live with her father’s stepbrother Jake and 2 step cousins, Noah and Kaleb, in the middle of nowhere, Colorado. I just want to say this now, but this book is probably not for everyone. There was taboo content and some abuse. But even though there were some tougher subjects in this book, I still enjoyed it and I liked how Douglas handle these topics and troubled main character.
Devolution by Max Brooks
I feel like this book got a lot of hype, so I had decent expectations for Devolution. The subject matter that great and interesting but I felt like there was so much exposition. I thought most of the characters were cheesy and I just didn’t believe the relationships at all. I just didn’t care much about this book at all honestly.
Corrupt by Penelope Douglas
So, I am a part of a Penelope Douglas fan page on Facebook since I started reading her books a few months ago. Everyone on that page is absolutely in love with the Devil’s Night series, Corrupt being the first book in that series. This book is a multiple timeline book following Erika or Rika, who is in love with Michael Crist, her boyfriend’s older brother who seems to have no interest in her at all. We also follow Michael’s point of view. Michael and his closest friends are stars of their high school basketball team and they are infamous in their town for causing trouble. They want revenge against Rika for past events that landed Michael’s friends in prison. This is a dark romance. It could be read as a standalone book since there is no cliffhanger but there are 3 other books that follow Michael and his friends, known as the four horsemen.
Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova
Another brilliant book by Zoraida Cordova! Absolutely loved it! Renata is the main character who was kidnapped as a child by royal officials who want to use her powers of stealing memories to benefit the king. As an adult she is now part of the resistance group trying to protect those in the kingdom with powers. In order to save someone, she cares about, she must play double agent. The magic system is unique, and the world building is beautiful. Highly recommend
The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel
This was probably my biggest disappointment of the month. I had read from several people that Mandel’s storytelling and this book specifically would be perfect for me, but it just fell short. There are some ghosts, white-collar crimes, and a bunch of characters that make decisions that just don’t make sense to me at all. I still want to try another book by Mandel because I have heard good things about her books. This one just wasn’t for me.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Sarah J Maas has done it again! I am very impressed and satisfied with every book I have read by her so far. This book is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and I am just a sucker for these kinds of books everyone! If you love faes, romance, magic, danger, and strong passionate characters, check this book out!
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Third book in the Illuminae Files and guys sadly, I ended still not liking this series. I had such high hopes for this series because it seems like everyone loves it but it just wasn’t for me. All the main characters from the first two books are back and trying to survive. It was just okay.
Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
I was a part of a book club in the month of August where they ended up picking this book to read. Even though I enjoy YA books, in general, YA romance is sometimes too predictable and that was the main problem with this book. It was cute and sweet like most YA romance books are, but I guessed exactly what was going to happen from the cover and the first page. It was a quick and easy read. If you like YA romance and are okay with predictable story lines, you would enjoy this book. It was just okay for me.
Rebel Mages (Wand Fasted/Light Mage) by Laurie Forest
This book contains two novellas from the Black Witch Chronicle series, Light Mage and Wandfasted. If you are going to read this series, I would recommend reading this book after the third book, The Shadow Wand. Rebel Mages will not spoil anything if you did read it before the main books, but it just adds more to this incredible world and explains a bit more the history that led to the events in the trilogy.
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
I feel like everyone probably knows the story of Dr Jekyll and My Hyde so I am not going to go into a description of it but I will just say, I enjoyed it. Not my favorite classic but definitely not the worst I’ve read.
Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron
This collection of short stories was filed with supernatural and cosmic horror and each story was unique. There were several stories that were disturbing but in a good way?! I am usually not a fan of short stories, but these were definitely a great read.
Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston
This is the third book in the Once Upon A Con series and man, I really like this whole series. Filled with nerds and book talk, great friendships, supportive parents, and a super cute romance; this book just had everything I wanted.
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Now that I have read this book, I can safely say that I am mad at myself for how long it took me to finally read it! It was so great! Probably one of the best hate to love stories I had read in a while. We follow Lou, a witch, and Reid, a witch hunter, who end up married and of course, Reid has no idea Lou is a witch. There is an ongoing war between the Church and the witches, Lou being in the center of it. I can’t wait to read the sequel that just came out on the 1st of September.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Another great book by Hendrix. After reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Killing Vampires by him, I was excited to continue reading his books. Abby and Gretchen became best friends when they were in fifth grade but now that they are in high school Gretchen has become very strange. This leads Abby to believe her best friend is possessed. It was a fun supernatural horror story.
Romanov by Nadine Brandes
I really liked this book that follows a fantastical story loosely based on Anastasia Romanov and the entire Romanov family. Anastasia “Nastya” is learning to dabble with magic in order to help her younger brother and hopefully protect her family. A young handsome soldier and Nastya slowly become friends but can she fully trust anyone outside of her family. I have always been interested in Romanov history and legends. Romanov was a new and fun approach to this story.
The Shadows by Alex North
I loved this book! It was a perfect horror thriller that definitely got me into the fall mood. We follow Paul who is coming back to his childhood town because his mother is dying. Paul hadn’t been back to that town in 25 years because it holds too many bad memories. The book follows two timelines, the present and the Paul’s past leading up to a gruesome murder by a couple of his friends. Strange events are starting up again, more murders, and an urban legend that haunted Paul and those close to him. Highly recommend
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
When everyone kept telling me how Stormlight Archive is Sanderson’s true epic high fantasy series, even more than Mistborn, I wasn’t sure I believe them just because I didn’t think it would have a different writing style than what I am used to from Sanderson. Boy was I wrong. This is definitely a different style and formula than any other Brandon Sanderson book I have read before. It reminded me a lot of Jordan’s writing style in The Wheel of Time. I can’t wait to find out more about this world, these characters, and especially the magic system. Kaladin was incredible, almost reaching Vin from Mistborn level.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
This was probably one of the best books I read in the month of August. I haven’t read a Gothic horror this great in a long time. A “haunted” house in the middle of the woods in Mexico, creepy hallucinations, strong and determined main character; I just loved it all.
Ninth House by Leigh Barbugo
Ninth House was the first book by Leigh Barbugo that I have ever read, and I was not disappointed. I will say it wasn’t my favorite book of the month, but it was still good. I enjoyed Barbugo’s writing style a lot. In this book, we follow Alex who is a student at Yale and is a member of a secret society that is in charge on mentoring the activity of the other secret societies at Yale. There is magic, demons, and murder mysteries. The main character has a lot of pain and issues to deal with and I really liked how Barbugo wrote this character. I am excited to continue reading more from Barbugo and continue this series when more books come out.