In September, I ended up reading 31 books. This is quite a lot less than I read in other months, because I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump where I’ve found it hard to enjoy what I was reading. Of course I’ve still read a lot of books, but I usually read a bit more! In this post, I’ll share my 4 and 5 star reads, so as not to overwhelm you with reviews.
Grace Ellis & Shae Beagle – Moonstruck, Volume 1: Magic to Brew
I read some mixed reviews, but I really really loved this! The art is honestly incredible, I loved it a lot. And the characters and setting are amazing, so imaginative and fun. The plot was a little less developed, and it was quite rushed towards the end, so I do get why people may have liked this less, but overall, I really enjoyed this.
Trista Mateer – Aphrodite Made Me Do It
This is a very thought-provoking, beautifully written and structured poetry collection. I hadn’t read anything by the author before, but I have been wanting to read more poetry, and this turned out to be an excellent choice. There’s a lot of heavy, emotional content, but a lot of empowering content as well.
There are two “main characters”: the poet, writing about her own experience with love and life, and Aphrodite, talking about her own life and giving advice/having a conversation with the poet. I thought this worked really well, and it made for some very insightful poems.
My absolute favourite part of this poetry collection, being aromantic, was seeing such an inclusive portrayal of love. Often, love is reduced to romantic love, and this paints a very limited picture, but here, it was wonderful to see it portrayed as any type of love for any person.
Another favourite part of this book is that there’s full colour art in it, which really adds a lot to the poems as well. I absolutely loved some of the art, especially the work that was combined with text, as it was very provocative and combined really well with the textual content.
The book lists the following CWs: body image, sexual assault, rape, eating disorders, queerphobia, emotional abuse, physical abuse, gore, blood, death, fire
Additional CWs: trauma, mental illness
Ruta Sepetys – Salt to the Sea
This was so incredibly painful to read.
CWs: death, WW2, drowning, guns, gore, wounds, blood, rape
Victoria Schwab – Tunnel of Bones
This book is pretty creepy, considering it’s a middlegrade, and I had to read it in one sitting. (Yes, I’m an adult, what about it?) It’s such a fun, atmospheric read, and I loved spending more time with Cassidy and Jacob.
Jen Wilde – Going Off Script
I was very apprehensive to start this novel, because I love Queens of Geek and The Brightsiders with all my heart, and I guess I was really afraid this wouldn’t live up to my super high expectations. But of course I needn’t haven worried, because Jen Wilde totally did it again.
This book is just so queer, and I loved every minute of reading it. It was amazing to see neurodiversity represented as well: Bex has anxiety and she takes Ritalin, which, combined with the descriptions of her functioning, makes me assume she has ADHD as well.
There were also gender feels in here, which I was pleased to see. This wasn’t very explicit or at the forefront at all, but I did find it really relatable.
Rep: lesbian gender questioning MC with ADHD and anxiety, gay side characters, Indian lesbian side character, black gay side character, black queer side character, black non-binary side character
CWs: anxiety, sexism, homophobia, queerbaiting, mention of vomit
Rory Power – Wilder Girls
I’m finding it difficult to rate this book. On the one hand, there’s the writing. The eerie, atmospheric, sort of quiet, and absolutely beautiful writing. This gave the book a sort of quiet suspense, and it kept me hooked from start to finish. And this really was a very good book!
But on the other hand, I kept waiting for… more. More suspense, more depth, more action. And especially more of a resolution.
CWs: death, gore, body horror, stitching, guns, blood, suicide, gassing
David Levithan – Two Boys Kissing
I expected this to be a very fast, very fluffy read. And it was fast, but it definitely wasn’t fluffy.
The story is being told through the perspective of a choir of men who died of AIDS, relating their own experiences to the gay kids that came after them. Right from the very first page, I was surprised by how poetic the writing style was, which isn’t something I’ve come to expect from David Levithan. This really enhanced the story for me, and the unique perspective added a lot of emotional depth to the book, rooting the stories of several gay teenagers in queer history.
Overall, this book had much more depth to it than I was expecting, and I really appreciated that.
Rep: gay MCs, gay Korean MC, gay Latinx MC, gay trans MC
CWs: attempted suicide; homophobia; homophobic violence; homophobic slurs; physical abuse by a parent; discussions of AIDS, dying, illness and hospitals; mention of self harm
A.D. Lawless – Breathe Out Slow
This was a way more emotional read than I was expecting, but that also made it a perfect hurt-comfort read. Because of that, I just loved Liam so much! It’s a pretty sad book though, as it mainly focuses on losing someone you love and how life goes on without them and you have to learn to keep living too.
Rep: m/m romance
CWs: death of a side character, car accident, cheating, grief, sex, violence, alcohol consumption, involuntary drugging, hospital, homophobia
Elizabeth Acevedo – With the Fire on High
You can read my review here!
Joany de Vries – Verschijning
Wat heb ik een plezier gehad bij het lezen van dit boek! Het heeft een enorm frisse, vaak humoristische schrijfstijl en een plot dat precies spannend genoeg is om me het in één ruk te laten uitlezen, zonder dat ik er slapeloze nachten van ga krijgen.
How many books did you end up reading in August? What was your favourite read of the month?