Hi everybody, and welcome to my August wrap up!
Wow, can you believe we’re already September? I’m so excited for fall, but also a little bummed because we had terrible weather in Belgium all summer, so I’m worried the winter will feel even longer than usual. But oh well, first there’s fall and also, HALLOWEEN IS ONLY 2 MONTHS AWAY, GUYS!
Anyway, here’s what I read, listened to and watched in August 2021:
Rogue Ghosts & Other Miscreants by Annette Marie and Rob Jacobsen
Okay, Rogue Ghost & Other Miscreants is now officially my favorite Warped book so far. Why, you may ask? Well, lots of super valid and well thought-out reasons, which I’ll be sure to specify below. But if you think a lot of them have to do with a certain broody but handsome, morally quite dark grey and notorious Ghost… I’d say how dare y-… yeah you’re definitely right. I just highly, highly recommend the entire Guild Codex series. If you love a good urban fantasy that has it all: humor, action, adventure, mystery, worldbuilding, character development and romance, this is it.
Rating: 5 stars | Full review
Radiance by Grace Draven
This was a super hyped romantic fantasy, but unfortunately it did not quite live up to the hype for me. It features the arranged marriage trope, between a human woman and a non-human man and the differences between the two make them physically unattractive to the other. At least, at first. But the friendship and kinship that grows between the two is adorable. I did love this unique twist on the trope, the fact that the romance is so free of angst and drama and just the fact that both characters are so good and kind and nice and have great banter. But the storyline didn’t interest me and I kind of had to drag myself to read it, which felt like such a shame since a lot of people love this series.
Rating: 3 stars
Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost
The fourth and final Vlad book was another win as usual. I will miss Vlad and Leila but honestly this book only made me want to start the Ian books even more (trying to wait for a bit before I dive in though, just to prolong the adventure as long as possible). I loved finding out more about Leila and the origin of her powers in this book, and I’m also really hoping for more about Gretchen.
Rating: 4 stars
XOXO by Axie Oh
Well, this was just such a nice, adorable and heartwarming palate cleanser of a read. The perfect read for when you’re feeling a slump coming on or when you need something lighter to read in between heavy fantasy series. At least, it was for me. I highly recommend this story if you’re a lover of k-pop and/or k-dramas, forbidden celebrity romances, friendships or just looking for a heartwarming, fast-paced and light YA contemporary read.
Rating: 4 stars | Full review
The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
The Spanish Love Deception is an enemies-to-lovers, fake dating slow burn and really, that alone sold me on trying this book. Also, the main character is Spanish and a lot of the book takes place at her sister’s wedding in Spain and that was just so much fun. I loved this book, it was super addictive. But be warned, it’s super long and very, verrrry slow-burn. I usually adore slow burn and when I first read this warning in a review, I was like ‘I don’t mind, I love slow burn, GIMME IT’ but after a while I have to admit that even I started to skip paragraphs because things were TAKING SOOO LONG and the inner monologues were starting to annoy me. Definitely still recommend, but be warned.
Rating: 3,5 stars
Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane
Just Last Night is my third Mhairi McFarlane book (the previous two being Don’t You Forget About Me and If I Never Met You) and just like my previous reads, this was another straight hit. That said, it’s also heartbreaking and will have you bawling your eyes out. Don’t be fooled by the colorful cover, this is not a rom-com. Oh sure, there is humor and there is also romance, and both aspects are wonderful, BUT this is first and foremost a story about loss and grief. It is deeply emotional and moving, yet also witty and uplifting with characters that you’ll love so much that they will stay with you long after finishing the book. An ode to friendships, in all their messy gloriousness.
Rating: 4,5 stars
Neon Gods by Katee Robert
I tried my first dark romance and I liked it! Neon Gods is a Hades and Persephone retelling that’s set in a modern world where the city of Olympus is ruled by the Thirteen. Society darling Persephone is counting down the days until she can leave Olympus behind, but then one day her mother ambushes her with a surprise engagement to Zeus – leader of the Thirteen, a mean bully and rumored to have killed his first 3 wives. So Persephone runs to Hades and makes a deal. Lots of sexiness follows. I loved it and am already looking forward to book two, which will be a Psyche and Eros retelling.
Rating: 4 stars
Top Ten Tuesday
Quote It Wednesday
Can’t Wait Wednesday
August was a great music month, with a new all-time fave song but also two of my fave bands having a comeback.
MY FAVORITE: All Time Low – PMA (ft. Pale Waves)
So catchy, but most of all so timely and relatable!
Dreamcatcher – BEcause
I love Dreamcatcher and BEcause is another hit. I like how they’re not afraid to experiment with their sound and yet always sound unapologetically like themselves.
Stray Kids – Thunderous
I LOVE STRAY KIDS AND I’M SO HAPPY THEY’RE BACK WITH ANOTHER BANGER. And yes, that required all those caps.
Red Velvet – Queendom
Such a fun, summery power song 🙂
I didn’t watch a ton of TV in August, but I did like what I watched:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 4
My husband and I are still slowly making our way through our Buffy the Vampire Slayer (re)watch, and this month we watched most of season 4. I quite like season 4, as I always liked Riley, we get Spike back and Hush, Hush is one of my all-time favorite Buffy episodes. Not too happy about Oz’s storyline here, that one still hurts all those years later.
Doom At Your Service
I watched most of this kdrama in August (I still have 3-4 episodes to go at the time I’m writing this, but I’m counting it as an August watch anyway) and I’m loving it, though I’ve already cried my heart out so much and I’m not even at the final episodes yet… Doom At Your Service is about a young woman who hears she has a serious illness and only has 3 months left to live. When she emotionally makes a wish for doom to come upon the world, Doom actually comes to her to make a deal: he’ll make sure she can live her life fully for 3 more months without any pain AND grant her one wish, on the condition that she will unleash him upon the world before she dies. If she does not unleash him before her death, the person she loves the most will die. Caught in a tough spot, she agrees. But while she’s trying to find a way out of her deal afterwards, she gets close to Doom and even grows to love him…
August was a month of extremes: I had two weeks of holiday at the end of the month which I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, but it also meant that the weeks before my holiday I had to work SUPER hard at work to make up for those two absent weeks. That was quite stressy, but it was worth it in the end because YAY, HOLIDAY!
We actually used most of our 2-week vacation to finish up some home renovations: after having new windows installed a few months ago, we still had to redo the wallpaper and paint which we finished during our holiday AND we cleaned up a lot of stuff in our backyard so it is clean for winter (we still have a lot of renovations to do in the backyard, but that’ll be for next spring/summer).
We did have a short 3-day trip to the Belgian coast, which was very nice. After almost 2 years of COVID and lockdowns, it was nice just to be able to be out of the house for a few days.
Things that made me happy this month:
- 2 weeks of holiday!!!
- A few fun family outings – missed them so much.
- I got a Fitbit, so I can now track my daily steps, activity, sleep and stress. Now, if only I could manage to keep a workout schedule…
THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:
- NEW ANNETTE MARIE BOOK FEATURING MY FAVORITE DRUID <3
- Umm, just so many amazing bookish releases: The Charm Offensive, A Lot Like Adios, Under The Whispering Door, Vespertine and Dark Rise.
- AUTUMN IS ALMOST HERE!!! (Also, Halloween is almost here woop woop!)