August saw a notable uptick in books read. I was no longer on my workcation, and thus had more time to read and binge listen. It was definitely a mixed bag of books this month. Some I absolutely loved (Homegoing and Starlight), and others I had to force myself to finish (Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend and Sex Criminals). There were also a few books I wasn’t able to make myself finish (Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, Ivory and Bone, and And I Darken). The three main characters in Confessions were two-dimensional cliches, Ivory was written in first person present, which I find horrible to read. Plus it wasn’t that interesting. I would have overcome my disdain if it had been an interesting story. Darken was blah. Lada became annoying and felt like a caricature. Radu was too whiny.
Ten of the books listed here I read for the Reader Decathlon. My thoughts on them can be found here.
The A Royal Spyness series was a light, somewhat fluffy mystery series. The books are fun to listen to, but I recommend doing so in small doses – don’t binge listen or the flaws will get very annoying. There really isn’t any character growth across the 10 books, Queenie needs to disappear from future volumes, and Georgie’s obtuseness and poor decision-making abilities start to grate. Katherine Kellgren, however, was a phenomenal narrator. She could easily switch accents and genders. Predictably Irrational focused on the fact that while people think we are rational beings, they really aren’t. We are easily manipulated and tend to make decisions that aren’t always the best even if we “know” what we’re doing isn’t the most efficient or logical decision. Murphy’s Law was the first book in another light, somewhat fluffy mystery series. I liked it, but I’m not making the mistake of binge listening to it as I did with A Royal Spyness.
Entreat Me was an interesting take on Beauty and the Beast. It wasn’t bad, but definitely not my favorite retelling (that place is held by Bryony and Roses). The Rose and the Dagger was a decent sequel. The duology as a whole wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. Not books I’ll ever reread. Homegoing was beautiful. I plan on writing more about it in a review (to post later in September). My sister told me to read A Wild Swan, and she was right to. The fairy tale retellings were beautiful and dark and fractured. The tone reminded me of Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty. I also agree with her regarding the Beauty and the Beast retelling – messed up and thought provoking. Hex Hall was alright, interesting enough that I’ll read (or at least skim) the sequels. A Royal Experiment was a fascinating look at George III and his epic failure to bring monogamy and morality back to the British court. Queen Charlotte especially was unable to step out of the role he wanted of her, to the ultimate detriment of her relationships with her children.
Graphic (5) / Manga (1)
I’m still plugging away at One Piece. I like it, but it isn’t a series I need to devour.
Read Alouds (2)