Friday 3 September 2021

August 2021 Reading Wrap Up


August is over (!) and I'm apparently sticking with my average of 7 books a month. I think though, hopefully this won't jinx it, that my reading has picked back up again as I'm finally out of my weird not picking up a physical book for weeks thing that I had going on. I've decided to go back to a fixed TBR for this month too, mostly because I'm participating in a readathon and also because I'm hoping that having the books already planned out will help with my motivation for the month. 


Silent Victims (Prime Suspect #3) by Lynda La Plante

I finished off my bind up of the three Prime Suspect cases, with this one possibly being my favourite? They all seemed to get around the same rating, fairly average due to the fact that they were entertaining at the time but not particularly rememberable. La Plante always writes really gritty, dark crime books that have all the grim realities of policing especially for women in the 90's. If that's your thing check these out but be aware they contain a fair amount of sexism, racism and homophobia. 

S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett

This was my main audiobook for the month, I got it free on World Book Day and decided to give it a shot whilst I was in the mood for mysteries. I've heard a lot of mixed things about this book and unfortunately whilst I liked what the book was trying to do, a lot of the plot points and dialogue didn't really work for me. This book follows a northern working class girl beginning at a prestigious boarding school who's invited by an elite group of students to a country estate for the weekend. It tried to be this dark, tense thriller but I just didn't feel particularly threatened by any of the events mostly because I couldn't take the posh characters seriously. They were such stereotypes. Other things like the fact none of the students own phones because they prefer traditional values just weren't realistic either. It was entertaining for what it was but I don't know if I'm invested enough to continue the series. 

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite  

A super short, fast-paced thriller that kept me captivated from start to finish. Oyinkan Braithwaite has such a readable writing style, with short chapters that are still satisfying. I really enjoyed this examination of sisterhood and murder, darkly funny and entertaining. This would be perfectly adapted as a mini-series, hopefully it's already been optioned cause I'd love to see these characters portrayed on screen. 

My lowest rated for the month was this YA mystery that revolved around a group of teens invited to a murder mystery dinner, each with their own secrets about an event that happened one year prior, and how the night turns into a mysterious persons revenge plan. It was all just a bit far fetched and ridiculous for me. The writing was kind of odd in places, the characters were completely forgettable and the ending was so stupid. The plot had so much potential but it failed in terms of execution. If you like the bizarreness of Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars then you might enjoy this but I wasn't a fan. 

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

I'm officially a fan of time travel novels! This was so much fun and I loved the blend of sci-fi and mystery that this had going on. Set over three different time periods, we follow three women involved with the business of time travel as well as a murder that connects everyone together. This had such an original and interesting premise and it delivered on all fronts. I loved the writing, the plot, the characters. Sometimes the scientific stuff would go over my head a little and the timelines could get confusing but overall I had such a good time with this book and I'm excited to read more from Mascarenhas.  

Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey

Another mystery/thriller, this one is set in 80's small town Minnesota and follows a pre-teen girl as she comes to terms with the secrets her parents keep from the rest of the town as well as the horrific incidents of boys being attacked in her community. Whilst this is pitched as a thriller and there is a mystery sub-plot, I'd say this story mainly focuses on Cassie and her family with the attacks happening in the background although Cassie does attempt to solve the crimes throughout. I really liked Cassie as a character and this book was definitely an interesting read especially with the author being inspired by a true story that happened in her hometown. Another reviewer described it as a small town domestic drama, more character driven then plot.    

Strange the Dreamer by Lainie Taylor 

I finally finished this book! After starting it in June and then not picking it up for over a month, I managed to smash out the last 250 pages in two days to get it done. I had such a major slump with this book but beside how long it took, this really was a wonderfully told story. Lainie Taylor's writing is stunning! There are some beautiful passages in here with gorgeously vivid descriptions. The plot is imaginative and intriguing and the characters of Lazlo and Sarai and their relationship is just heartbreaking perfection. The only reason I didn't give it five stars was because of how long it took me to finish it but other then that, I loved it completely. 

Lastly, we have only my second DNF of the year! I was actually on the blog tour for this one and was due to do a review but I just couldn't get any further then about 25% in so changed my post to a spotlight instead. This is a contemporary romance about a young woman who discovers her boyfriend is potentially cheating on her after she travels to meet up with him for her birthday and his phone has ended up in the possession of a lyft driver. This lyft driver then begins texting with her and she spends her birthday following his instructions for the perfect day. A year later she decided to track him down in order to finally meet him in person. I just couldn't get behind the set up of the plot, it just seemed really unbelievable to me and I didn't understand how she was falling in love with this guy she'd only texted for a couple of hours. In the end I didn't care enough to continue any further. 

That brings us up to speed on everything I read in August, I'm excited for September and all the books I plan on reading. You can check out my September TBR here! Happy Reading!

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