In August, I read 45 books, which is around the same amount as last month. After having reached my reading goal last month, I’m just continuing to read as much or as little as I want, without pressuring myself. I’ve been reading more than ever this year, but I don’t know the specific reason for it, honestly. It does mean I’ve been able to read a lot of amazing books though!
My favourites of the month have been Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao, This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron, Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins, The Guncle by Steven Rowley, and Off the Record by Camryn Garrett.
In this post, I’ll share my Goodreads reviews of my 4 and 5 star reads of the month. Want to keep track of my reading in more detail? Feel free to add me on Goodreads!
Sarah Everett – Some Other Now
*spoilers* I ended up having somewhat mixed feelings about this book, especially because a love triangle where two brothers are involved just weirds me out, honestly, and I don’t understand why it’s always seemed to have had such a big appeal in YA books. But everything else about this book was SO amazing. It was such a melancholical, emotional read, and it was gorgeously written, and aside from the love triangle, the found family trope here was truly amazing. This book gave me a lot of older YA vibes, but in a really good way.
Dhonielle Clayton, ed. – Blackout
This is going to make for an amazing adaptation! It’s such a good short story collection, where all the stories are interwoven.
Xiran Jay Zhao – Iron Widow
This was just one big powermove of a book. I read most of it in one sitting and it’s definitely one of my favourite feminist books now. It’s both a fun sci-fi and a really great commentary of misogyny in a very patriarchal society, and Zetian is a main character who takes no hostages, will not be shamed into submission, and will do anything to achieve her goals. This book is also polyamorous, and her love interests are both on her level of morally grey, which makes for really interesting dynamics.
Keito Gaku – Boys Run the Riot, vol. 1
I didn’t review this, but I really loved this own voices trans manga!
Maureen Johnson – The Box in the Woods
I was a little wary about this book, because did we really need another sequel when the Truly Devious mystery has been wrapped up? And no, we definitely didn’t, but this was still a really fun addition and an intriguing new mystery, although I didn’t find it quite as interesting as the Truly Devious mystery. I did love the setting of a summer camp, and seeing all of Stevie’s friends again, although I’m really not feeling her relationship with David, like, at all. If you haven’t read the Truly Devious books and don’t want to have to read 4 books, I think you could definitely read this as a standalone, because there’s no huge spoilers for the previous books and everything is easily understandable!
Dahlia Donovan – Pierced Peony
I enjoyed this book even more than the first one! Motts is such a great main character, and it gives me so much hope for the future to see an autistic character who’s significantly older than me who doesn’t bother to mask and who’s just exactly who she is. I’m craving more cosy mysteries now as well, so time to do some digging!
Kalynn Bayron – This Poison Heart
Wow wow wow. 10/10. Douze points. Stunningly perfect reading experience.
I came for the vibes, and I stayed for them too, but also for the amazing reading experience, the creepy, mysterious vibes, the way Greek mythology was interwoven in the story in a way I’ve never seen before. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, could not put it down but could also not get myself to read faster in case I missed something, and there were so many amazing secrets and reveals. Book 2 is immediately one of my most anticipated releases of 2022 (hopefully?!)!
Gabriela Martins – Like a Love Song
10/10 reading experience, exactly what I want out of a YA romance! This was such a sweet, comforting read, but also one with a lot of psychological depth and a lot of character growth. I loved that most of the drama happened outside of the romance, and I absolutely adored bisexual icon William with his goofy socks as a love interest.
Steven Rowley – The Guncle
Feelgood that will make you feel happy and sad at the same time
Hettie Bell – Knit, Purl, a Baby and a Girl
You know a book is good when the main character makes choices you wouldn’t make yet you’re still with her all the way. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book because honestly, pregnancy scares me and I would never want it for myself, so I wasn’t sure if I’d be comfortable reading about it. And I definitely made sure I was in the right headspace for it, but then I really really enjoyed this book! It was mostly a really cosy book, what with all the knitting, yet it still has its serious moments. The relationship starts quite early on, which had me worried a lot for what was still to come, but I loved the relationship between Poppy and Rhiannon, and I think they went through a lot of growth together. I also appreciated that there was a lot of growth Poppy had to go through on her own and with her sister, and I was glad to see she got the space for that as well. I also really liked the fat rep!
Sarah Dass – Where the Rhythm Takes You
This was an incredibly fun read, with a lot of yearning! Perfect summer read that I could see myself rereading a bunch
Brianna R. Shrum – The Art of French Kissing
This was some excellent writing. Such a fun read!
Misa Sugiura – Love and Other Natural Disasters
All of this felt so incredibly real, while being a very entertaining read at the same time. I’d expected this to be more of a romance story, but the actual romance didn’t really get developed – not in a bad way, it was just not really the main focus. The focus was more on this messy, complicated web of exes and crushes between these sapphic girls. Because of this, I would actually really like a sequel to this where the romance gets more developed and we see Nozomi’s growth continue even further, I think there would be a lot of potential for that.
Julie Murphy – If the Shoe Fits
I’m so glad Julie Murphy decided to venture into adult romance! This was a delight. I especially loved that it was low on the fatphobia, because sometimes that can be a really overarching theme in books with fat rep and it’s nice to see something overwhelmingly positive instead for a change. I also loved how, even though this was a Cinderella retelling, Cindy actually has a really good relationship with her step mother and step sisters. Overall a super fun read!
Olivia Dade – Teach Me
I liked this more than Spoiler Alert?? The lack of fatphobia (for the most part) was really refreshing, I looooved the characters, it was funny, and I loved that they were in their 40s as romance characters tend to be younger!
Marie Lipscomb – Rhythm
Finally, some good fucking food
(I didn’t review the two sequels, but I practically inhaled this series and would highly recommend them!)
Anita Kelly – Sing Anyway
I had so much fun reading this! I absolutely loved the characters and the writing style, they had some great conversations about being non-binary and being fat, but mostly I was just really cheering them on from the sidelines. Can’t wait to read more from this author!
Julie Murphy – Pumpkin
I did really enjoy this, and I loved Waylon. Unfortunately I didn’t love this as much as I’d hoped though – this was a 5 star prediction for me – but I still really liked it.
Camryn Garrett – Off the Record
This was just a perfect book. Between Full Disclosure and this, I’m so impressed with Camryn Garrett’s writing.
Rab Ferguson – Landfill Mountains
I haven’t read a lot of climate fiction, but it’s definitely a genre that interests me. What I mainly appreciated about this book was its intriguing blend of genres, seemingly effortlessly combining a dystopian novel with fairytales. It seems like the genres would clash, but they worked together so well and it made the depressing yet very relevant topic of climate change feel a little lighter, while still packing a punch. The novel holds a lot of ideas on how stories and storytelling are fundamental parts of humanity, and that when there are humans, there will be stories, no matter how bleak their circumstances.
Lauren James – Green Rising
Lauren James is an auto-buy author for me, and I got my copy of this book early because I ordered a signed copy through her Etsy, so I wanted to read it before it came out! This does a lot of great things in terms of how realistic the politics are and creating awareness surrounding what to focus on when it comes to climate change. I loved the way the Greenfingers were incorporated, and the body horror that came with it. I did think this book was fairly straightforward compared to the plot twists I’ve grown used to from her other books, but this was still a really good read!
Tillie Walden – Are You Listening?
It’s amazing how Tillie Walden can invoke so much emotion with fairly simplistic art and dialogue.
Molly Ostertag – The Girl From the Sea
This was very very cute but also the ending made me cry
What was your favourite read this month?