An Interesting August Reading Recap

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In August I read:

  • The Very Secret Society of Very Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
  • A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
  • A Court This Cruel and Lovely by Stacia Stark
  • Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson
  • A Kingdom This Cursed and Empty by Stacia Stark
  • One Dark Window by Rachel Gill
  • The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

I seem to have really found my stride within the romantasy/fantasy genre and have just been devouring book after book. This month was full of really good reads and I’m excited to talk a bit about them.

Reading Recap Banner

The Very Secret Society of Very Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

This book was equal parts cozy and witchy. The found family trope was done so well in this book and I appreciated that so much. I’ve noticed a lot of people referring to this book as a bit too “twee” and while many aspects of it are, the spicy scene we get is definitely NOT twee.

The plot is a bit predictable, I did not see the twist coming but that is probably because I listened to the book as an audiobook rather than read it. And felt like I might have missed a few key hints at what was coming at the book’s end.

All in all, though, I genuinely enjoyed this little witchy, cozy story. The characters were quirky enough and the ending wrapped up nicely.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches gets 3.75 stars out of 5 from me.

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

Where do I even begin with this one?

I went into this book completely hating Nesta and really dreaded her being the main character. However, this book has a surprisingly good amount of depth and growth for Nesta, as she works through her trauma. Her romance with Cassian has me debating switching teams because wow. Under that playful, puppy dog exterior is a man with deep love and loyalty.

Surprisingly, I did not like how Feyre’s pregnancy became a secondary subplot in this book. I also do not like that half the characters didn’t actually seem like themselves.

Why is Rhysand acting like Tamlin and taking away Feyre’s choice?

However, that is a bit beyond the point and diving too deep.

There was also a bit of found family within this book which was really nice, considering the inner circle basically resorted to treating Nesta like a vulture who was too volatile to be trusted near any of them.

By the end of this book, I still wasn’t a big fan of Nesta, but I was able to understand what she was going through, and getting to read her story from her POV is impressive. I also enjoyed the love story that develops between her and Cassian.

Overall, this book gets a generous 4 out of 5 stars.

A Court This Cruel and Lovely by Stacia Stark

Ah, more faerie smut.

Realistically though, this book was interesting. The plot moves along nicely, every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was proved wrong.

There are a lot of similar tropes to ACOTAR but they are done very well.

If I had any gripes, it would be that because we don’t know much about the characters, they come across as not very fleshed out. Maybe if we were given a bit more at the beginning, the characters might feel more fleshed out.

The tension was great right from the start, though the chemistry definitely took its time to grow between our two main characters, Prisca and Lorien. Lorien is a bit of a brute and definitely is your fairly typical alpha-male type personality you will find in these types of books.

Prisca is very sheltered which creates an interesting dynamic between her and Lorien and his “inner circle” as the story progresses.

All in all, though I loved the slow burn and spice in this book so it gets 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

This book took me by surprise. It felt like I was watching a movie where the main character is aware and openly speaking to the camera.

Our main character isn’t one that cannot be relied upon, he is just as curious as us (the reader) to solve the mystery afoot.

A family reunion set in snow-capped mountains as a gruesome murder with plenty of suspects. Sign me up!

It almost reminds me of Daisy Darker, except that Daisy Darker’s family was much more intolerable.

The main thing I did not like about this book was the amount of reveals. Because there are quite a few spread throughout the story and with plenty of characters, sometimes I found myself confused before my brain would catch up and piece it together.

Overall a fun and intriguing read, with 4 out of 5 stars from me.

A Kingdom This Cursed and Empty by Stacia Stark

I am truly conflicted as to whether I prefer this book or the first book.

This is the second book in the series and I enjoyed how many questions were answered. However, when I think about it more, the first book is a bit more enjoyable than the second.

I didn’t like Lorien’s revelation. What in the heck kind of cliffhanger was that, and the whole “I have a crown and don’t want it because I am just a humble village girl” was a bit annoying.

What I did really enjoy in this book was getting to see more of the world-building and history behind the story with plenty of questions answered regarding the main character’s pasts.

So while the first book gets a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars, this book gets 4 out of 5 stars.

One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig

In terms of reading speed, I read this book as fast as I read A Court This Cruel and Lovely.

There is such a gothic, magical, and autumnal vibe to this book, I almost wish I had waited and read it later into the autumn season.

The chemistry between our main characters Elspeth and Ravyn is up there with my love for Feysand and Xiolence.

I also found I really enjoyed the rhymes within the book surrounding the cards. It was fun to read them in a little jingle.

The magic system in this book is also complex and a lot of the magic comes at too high of a cost.

This was another heart-wrenching cliffhanger. I am definitely going to need a break from all these cliffhangers.

Overall though, I loved this book so much. I need to buy a physical copy so I can re-read it once we are knee-deep in spooky season.

This book gets 5 out of 5 stars.

The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth has been an author with a few books on my TBR for a while now and this book was quite the letdown.

The ending was absolutely un-suspenseful, which after wading through hours of build-up, was just frustrating.

Gabe and Pippa seem to have the perfect marriage, but not everything is as it seems.

Max and Amanda seem to have all the problems, but perspective is important.

The characters I found myself rooting for at the beginning, I found really disliking by the end.

The characters also felt a little lackluster. Pippa refers to how sex has always been something that kept her and Gabe tethered to each other, they seemed to lack any other chemistry.

Max and Amanda’s relationship intrigued me and I found I really enjoyed their story.

This story follows the POV of Pippa and Amanda, going back and forth between the woman as the story unfolds and the mystery is revealed.

Gabe and Pippa’s girls might have been my favorite characters though. They are so sweet and wholesome and a fresh of breath air within this mess of adult lives.

Overall, I’d give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

This month was an interesting mix of fantasy romance books with a couple of mysteries and thrillers thrown in. It felt kind of like going back to my roots as mysteries and domestic thrillers were what got me back into reading.

I have some planned reads for September but am also excited about what pops up along the way.

I am also 2 books away from achieving my reading goal for the year! Perhaps it is time to add a few more books to my yearly reading goal.

How are your reading goals coming along?

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