Hi everybody, and welcome to my August wrap up!
August has once more been a weird month. I started out feeling pretty slumpy, as I read a few books I didn’t like as much and that brought on a tiny slump. Which luckily went away as I read some AMAZING books. Also, this month was amazing music-wise AND TV-wise. It was also my last month at home as I am now back to the office full-time so at least that feels a little normal again (though what is normal anymore?).
Hope everyone is still doing good in these weird times!
Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to in August:
I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch
I was super-hyped for this supposedly romantic comedy about two girls who are bitter rivals at art school and yet anonymously fall in love on a fanfic site.But unfortunately the story suffered from some misleading advertising, as it was neither very romantic, nor particularly funny.
I Kissed Alice is actually a heavy story that depicts messy, deeply flawed and unlikeable characters with serious issues, toxic friendships and harmful family expectations. Though I liked the art school setting, the focus on class issues and privilege, as well as the beautiful illustrations, unfortunately the unlikeable characters and my own wrong expectations caused me not to enjoy the story as much as I could have with the right expectations.
Rating: 3 stars | Read the full review
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Cemetery Boys was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 and I’m happy to say it totally lived up to the hype and anticipation! I loved this book about a latinx trans boy who wants to prove himself as a brujo to his family but ends up summoning the wrong ghost… and falling for him.
I actually sped through it in a single day, that’s how invested I was. I absolutely adored this book and recommend it wholeheartedly. It was intriguing, spooky, adorable and fun. I loved it so much that I’m definitely buying a copy for my shelves and will often re-read it.
Rating: 4,5 stars | Full review coming September 3rd!
Inappropriate by Vi Keeland
I was in the mood for a fun and steamy rom-com and thought Inappropriate would be a good choice. I liked that it’s about a woman who is terminated from her job for inappropriate behaviour (topless sunbathing on a private beach holiday) and decides to email her boss’s boss’s boss to give him a piece of her mind. I thought it would be a fun pen pal romance with a lot to say about sexism in the workplace.
But when that aspect of the story was pretty much over in chapter 3 or 4 and it turned out that the main hero was kind of an arrogant, cocky douchebag with issues, I lost interest. I finished the book, but didn’t like the way the story went, nor the characters. I think it’s another example of going into a book with the wrong expectations, so maybe other people will still enjoy this!
Rating: 2,5 stars
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
This book has been blurbed as “very close to perfect” and I can only agree wholeheartedly. It’s a gem of a story, one which not only made it to my top yearly favorites, but will undoubtedly be a favorite for many, many years to come and will definitely be re-read multiple times.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is like a ray of sunshine, a shot of serotonin and a warm hug combined. It’s magical, charming, quirky and diverse. It’s everything the world needs right now.
Overall, this is just a modern fairy tale that is basically happiness in book format. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop raving about this book. I don’t think I want to stop raving about this book. I recommend it to absolutely everyone who wants to feel instant happiness. Also, I listened to this on audiobook and the narration is just perfect. 10/10 recommend.
Rating: 5 stars | Read the full review
Fence Vol 1-3 by C.S. Pacat and Johanna The Mad (Re-Read)
Since the fourth volume of this graphic series was out this month, I decided to re-read the previous installments and I’m happy I did! I fell right back in love with these characters and the story.
Rating: 5 stars
Fence Vol 4: Rivals by C.S. Pacat and Johanna The Mad
Volume 4 is probably my favorite Fence volume to date. After getting to know the boys and forming the team, it feels like we’re really off for an adventure. In this volume, the boys have their first match as a team and they all learn that fencing in a team is a lot different than fencing on your own. I loved the group dynamics, I loved learning more about fencing, and I loved that we got some great Nicholas and Seji scenes (also Aiden and Harvard and Bobby and Dante – so much to ship in this series!)
Rating: 5 stars
How To Save An Undead Life by Hailey Edwards
Recently, I’ve been on a quest to read more new adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance and step out of my comfort zone. Basically, I want to find an author and/or series I can love as much as I do Annette Marie’s books (which I also stumbled upon by accident and gave a try when I might not have picked them up otherwise. And what a loss that would have been!) So I figure there are a lot of other gems out there I need to try. This month I started with the first book in The Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy series by Hailey Edwards, about a young necromancer who has been (incorrectly) incarcerated for the murder of her guardian and recently released for reasons unknown.
I liked this book, but I’m not hooked yet. I liked the main character, her sentient house called Woolly and her zombie parakeet called Keet. But I didn’t like the secondary characters and I felt like the entire book was just an intro. There was no real build-up, no real climax and that threw me off. Also, I’m not sure of the tone of this story – is it YA, adult or new adult?
I’m currently reading the second book and I hope that’ll be a more definite YAY or NAY for me.
Rating: 3,5 stars
Bloodfire Academy by Alexis Calder
Again, I wanted to try something new, by an author I hadn’t heard of before and this book spoke to me. And honestly, I’m happy I took a chance, because I really did enjoy this book about a supernatural academy! I believe this is a reverse harem series though, so we’ll see what happens and if this hopeless romantic can like the reverse harem trope. But for now, I’m loving it. Overall, I do recommend this book to anyone who, like me, wants to try some new adult fantasy with a fun and likable heroine, sexy heroes, an eerie academy setting and some steamy scenes. I enjoyed it and will definitely be picking up the second book in the series!
Rating: 4 stars | Read the full review
Top Ten Tuesday
Quote It Wednesday
Can’t Wait Wednesday
Ummm, is it me or did all my faves have a comeback this month? (Except Stray Kids, but I hear they have a comeback soon and I doubt these guys even sleep…)
MY FAVE: Dreamcatcher – BOCA
I may have mentioned this a few times before, but just so we’re clear: Dreamcatcher is my all-time favorite female k-pop band. They have such a unique sound – I love their rock inspired beats. Every release is so unique and yet so them. This release is another absolute win.
SuperM – 100
This is such a fun and catchy song – definitely super motivating too!
BTS – Dynamite
You didn’t think I’d forget BTS, did you? I think this song has taken over the world and I love that for these guys. This song (that is entirely sung in English!) is such a fun, catchy song that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I love it and dare anyone not to dance when you hear it.
(That said, I’m kind of hoping for a dark concept next comeback, because while I love the colourful, poppy BTS, I also kind of miss the darker, deeper BTS of Mic Drop, BST, Fake Love or Not Today)
Itzy – Not Shy
I always have a little trouble with Itzy songs when I first hear them. Not Shy is another fun, poppy, confident song and I love these girls, but I have to admit it’s not my favorite by them (yet).
Oneus – To Be Or Not To Be
These guys have not yet released a single song I didn’t love. They are so talented.
I spent most of August completely obsessed with one tv show:
The Umbrella Academy Season 2
I love this show so, so much! In my opinion, season two was even better than season one. I pretty much binge-watched all of the episodes and then spent the rest of the month either thinking about the episodes, rewatching best-of scenes and googling for theories about the ending. I loved everything about this season, but I have a special place in my heart for Ben this season. Also, this soundtrack is just everything.
I watched more episodes of The Baby-Sitters Club, and liked it. It’s been a fun flashback to my childhood.
I also started another kdrama, but I’m still in the first few episodes, so I’ll keep my thoughts for next months’ wrap up. It’s Flower Boy Next Door, about a super shy and socially anxious lady whose life changes when the extraverted Enrique moves into the appartment across from hers.
Well, after 5 months at home, I finally went back to work at the office full-time at the end of August. I’m of course very happy that this part of my life will be going back to normal and I can be a little less anxious about losing my job due to Corona. Though of course, I will miss the extra time I had every day to sleep in, take Pixel for long walks and read. But luckily I can still do all those things on the weekends 😉
Things that made me happy this month:
- DID YOU SEE ALL THESE MUSIC COME-BACKS?
- The House in the Cerulean Sea <3
- The Umbrella Academy
THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:
- Stray Kids comeback!
- Book releases I’m looking forward to: Blood and Honey, A Deadly Education, Iron Heart, The Ninth Life, Well Played and Fence: Striking Distance