Monthly Wrap-Up: August 2018

I knew I had a not-so-good month in August, but I didn’t realize just how few books I ended up actually reading until I started putting together this list. However, if there is one thing learned, it’s that reading is really about quantity, not quality, and even though I didn’t read a whole lot of books, I did read some really, really good ones and that’s all that matters! (August was also apparently the month of purple covers. No seriously, look at the covers of all the books I read 😂)

25446343MUSE OF NIGHTMARES: No other book that I read for the rest of the year has any chance of topping Muse of Nightmares as Best Book of 2018 – and possibly ever – for me. This duology are two of my favorite books. As with Strange the Dreamer, Laini’s writing and storytelling is unparalleled. I spent over a week reading this slowly so I could savor every magical word. This book took me on a wild ride of emotions and I finished it with a full, grateful heart. And I promise, eventually I will get to my full review, but I’ve been putting it off because it’s impossible to put into words how much these books mean to me.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  [review]  ★★★★★

Mirage coverMIRAGE: This was everything I had hoped it would be. With dynamic characters, beautiful writing, and an important message, I was completely captivated from the beginning and there wasn’t much I didn’t enjoy. This is such a wonderful debut novel and I can’t wait for more from this author. It’s a perfect blend of sci-fi and fantasy. From the lush writing to the vivid descriptions, Somaiya Daud has created an intriguing world that I couldn’t get enough of. Her writing, world-building, plot, and characters all came together perfectly to create an intricate, engaging story.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★½

36426005HEART OF THORNS: Considering this is the only book on this list whose synopsis I had to look up, that does not bode well. I literally could not remember what happened for the majority of this book, and had to go through other reviews to refresh my memories. I know that while I enjoyed it enough to give it a decent rating, it was full of many of the typical YA fantasy tropes. However, the very last part of the book, the action really begins to pick up and ends with a cliffhanger, which is enough to get me to read the next installment in the series.  ★★★

35615200BRAVE ENOUGH: This was a heartwarming, encouraging story about facing adversity. The book follows Cason, an aspiring ballerina who has just been diagnosed with cancer, and Davis, a former cancer patient recovering from drug addiction. Both characters were well-written, strong, and inspiring. Both of their stories were full of ups and downs as we followed them on their journey. I loved how the author didn’t shy away from the hard stuff concerning both diseases; she realistically portrayed Davis’ struggles of battling addiction as well as Cason’s battle with cancer. Brave Enough is an enjoyable book with a powerful message about being courageous and maintaining hope through life’s hardships.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★

34433755GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE: An Asian-inspired fantasy in which two of the demon king’s concubines fall in love with each other and conspire to free themselves, this is a beautiful, diverse story about friendship, love, trauma, survivorship, oppression, and fighting for freedom. The vivid world-building, lush writing, and wonderful characters form an enchanting novel that nothing short of perfection. The slow-burn f/f romance between Lei and Wren was executed wonderfully. It developed quietly and naturally as the story went on, and never once detracted from the plot. I’m eager for news of a sequel!  ARC provided by the publisher.  [review]  ★★★★★

35721194BRIGHTLY BURNING: Jane Eyre in space? Uh, YES PLEASE. This was such an unique and totally interesting retelling of the classic. Once I started really getting into the book, I began to realize just how close of a retelling it was though. For almost three-quarters of the book, it stuck pretty close to the original story, yet I think it could have really benefited by deviating at certain parts. After a while, it began pretty predictable and it took my enjoyment out of reading. I really liked the premise, the characters, and the ending, but I do wish there was a little more artistic freedom with the middle portion of the book.  ★★★

29422091THESE REBEL WAVES: I was actually not planning to read this right away, but then my FairyLoot box showed up and it was amazing so I immediately sat down to start the book…and then couldn’t seem to put it down. I appear to be in the minority, however, in regards to this in that I loved every single about it. I thought the writing was engaging and descriptive, I connected with all three of the protagonists, and the world-building and plot were so intriguing and compelling. I cannot wait for the next book in the series and to see how this adventure continues!  ★★★★½

36502054SEA WITCH: There have been a lot of The Little Mermaid retellings lately, but I think this one is my favorite. I loved the atmospheric writing and how the historical setting remained true to the origins of the tale. This is more of a origin story for the sea witch of The Little Mermaid, and so the ending is very bittersweet. It was heartbreaking, and while I want every character to live their happily ever after, I thought it was very fitting for the story and well-done. ★★★★★

37811028FOR A MUSE OF FIRE: I really enjoyed Heidi Heilig’s other series, so I was super excited to get my hands on a copy of this! This is an Asian fantasy, inspired by French Colonialism and Southeast Asia, and it features magic and necromancy. All the characters were complex and intriguing, and I especially liked the protagonist, Jetta. I also adored the format: the book is told through chapters from Jetta’s POV, but between those chapters were song lyrics, play acts, letters, etc. which contributed to the story and plot. I really enjoyed this and I think others will too.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  ★★★½


#SixforSunday – Books That Have Been on My TBR the Longest | Blog Tour + Giveaway: Mirage | WWW Wednesday #12 | Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Need to Reread | Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Bookish Merch | Top 5 Wednesday: Love Triangles I Didn’t Hate | WWW Wednesday #11


10 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up: August 2018

  1. Wow you read some really great books! I really have to reread Strange the Dreamer so I can get to Muse of Nightmares! I’m also excited for Brave Enough, Mirage, Muse of Fire, and Girls of Paper and Fire!

    Liked by 1 person

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