Thursday 8 September 2022

August 2022 Reading Wrap Up

I'm pleased to say that August was a much better month for me with 9 books read (plus a DNF), it helped that I had a week off and a bank holiday weekend too. I enjoyed pretty much all of what I read so a fairly successful month. 


I liked this Japanese Cinderella inspired story about a young girl desperate to escape her cruel stepfamily and flee her town but finds herself befriending a dragon and a witch which sends her on a journey to save her land. It definitely felt magical and I enjoyed the characters and the fairytale feel of it but I felt that there should have been more focus on the dragons and less on the endless list of chores Alliana had to complete. You can read my full review here

Despite the mixed reviews, I enjoyed this contemporary novella about a young woman's spiral amidst her job of reviewing disturbing content for a social media platform. I was really captivated by the toxic workplace environment and the way that information spread across the internet can be so influential. I found the situation fascinating and disturbing in equal measure. I can understand why this wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea but I was gripped and read it one sitting. 

Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey 

This was a much slower mystery then I was anticipating, revolving around a mother who's teenager goes missing on holiday but shows up after four days refusing to talk about what happened to her. I was expecting a dark mystery/thriller but this was a lot more literary, with a strong focus on the relationship between mother and daughter. I did find the characters extremely authentic in the way they spoke and acted and found the mystery of what happened to Lana intriguing. I think the beginning was really strong but parts of the middle tended to slow the pacing down. The strong writing helps to keep this from feeling dull and the ending left me surprised but satisfied.  

On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

One of my favourites of the month was this Irish YA set during the heatwave of 1976 and following a group of teenagers who discover a dolphin has taken up residence near their town's beach. I think it helped that I read this during a heatwave, I speeded through this book whilst sat outside in my garden baking under the sun! The writing is beautiful and vivid, it paints such a strong picture of life in 70's Ireland. I loved the direction the plot went in with the combination of the romance, the rivalry between two towns and the resulting tragedy. A really underrated gem of a book. 

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson     

Morgan Matson remains my go to for YA contemporary books. This is my fifth book by Matson and whilst it's probably my least favourite, it was still really fun and enjoyable. Her books are perfect summer reads and this one about a disgraced politicians daughter finding herself walking dogs for a summer job and falling in love a long the way is extremely adorable. I loved Andie's friendship group a lot as well as her rebuilding her relationship with her dad. I didn't adore the romance in here (although it was pretty sweet at times) and I also felt it was just too long at over 500 pages with lots of unnecessary chapters.   

Who is Tom Ditto? by Danny Wallace

A random library borrow about a man who's girlfriend disappears and he discovers she had an extremely odd hobby of following strangers in order to inject more excitement and spontaneity into her life. Through a group of people who share this interest he finds himself with new friends and a new outlook on life. This was one of those fine reads. Interesting plot, some comedic lines and easy to get through. I liked what it said about taking control of your life and not just doing the same thing every day, that you need to actually live. It didn't leave much of a lasting impression though. 

The Ghost of Gosswater by Lucy Strange      

An historical mystery middle grade that hit that spooky spot. Set in the late 19th century, a young girl is ejected from her family home after the death of her father but discovers that she wasn't his daughter at all. Now sent to live with her real father, she encounters a ghostly presence which brings up questions about her true family and the secrets they were keeping. An atmospheric read with an intrepid main character in Aggie. So many elements that I loved particularly the gothic mansion and the cemetery situated on a misty island!  

Beguiled by Cyla Panin

I really wanted to enjoy this one more then I did because I can't resist a fairytale-esque story especially when it involves wishes gone terribly wrong. When Ella's loom breaks she makes a request to the Bean-Nighe by the river for help and at first it feels to good to be true. She's making beautiful fabric and has become involved with a handsome, mysterious man. But the more she weaves, the more she finds that she may have bargained away more then she initially thought. I really liked this premise and I thought Ella was a strong, independent character who grows so much throughout the book. I struggled with the execution though as it felt sluggish at times and the overall arc was too obvious. You can read my full review here

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien    

It's annoying that I DNF'd the audiobook of this one in the end because I got almost 65% in but considering this is a 23 hour long audiobook, I still had a long way to go! Andy Serkis is an immensely talented narrator who really brought the story to life but it just wasn't holding my attention. It was just too long and there's way too many songs for my liking! This is a re-read so maybe I'll just stick to the physical books in future.    

Ravenfall by Kalyn Josephson 

I completely adored this paranormal/fantasy middle grade about a girl who can see death who teams up with a boy to discover who killed his parents and who is now hunting him down. This was wonderfully magical, I mean the setting is a sentient inn that delivers luggage and holds grudges! There's also a family with psychic abilities and a pet jabberwocky disguised as a cat! It was so much fun with an exciting plot and loveable characters. I cannot wait for the sequel! You can read my full review here.  

What did you read in August? Have you read any of these? Leave a comment below. Happy Reading!    


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