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August was a pretty average reading month for me, nothing crazy high or low. I ended up reading twelve books and my average rating is probably like 2/5 for August.
I actually DNF’d two books and read a bunch that just weren’t that good. But I read them anyway (Belly, I’m looking at you.) I actually had multiple people in my life invested in that awful series with me but more on that later.
For now, here is my severely underwhelming list of everything I read in August 2021.
- If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free. Get that Audible deal here.
- If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd! You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
- Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
- If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
- Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
- Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
- Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.
Lady in the Lake
Author: Laura Lippman
About the book: Baltimore in 1966 seems to be a city full of secrets everyone but Maddie knows. Last year she was a happy housewife and this year she bolted from an almost twenty-year marriage to have a meaningful life and make good on her youthful ambitions.
She does this by getting a job at a newspaper to, hopefully, write a story about a missing woman, Cleo Sherwood, whose body was found in the fountain of a city park lake.
Final thoughts: I would not consider this a thriller at all. It was actually pretty boring and thinking about it now, just not that interesting. I don’t remember most of it.
From GoodReads: This was just fine. All the perspectives were a little confusing and didn’t really feel necessary. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
The Dragon Behind the Glass
Author: Emily Voigt
Genre: Non-violent true crime
Rating: DNF, 2/5
About the book: Emily sets out on a quest to see a wild Asian Arowana. A fish that is incredibly rare in the wild but can go for $150,000 or more in the pet trade.
This is her journey in search of the fish, a blend of history, true crime, and adventure.
Final thoughts: This isn’t necessarily bad, I usually give DNFs 1 star, but I’m not sure it needed to be a whole book. It didn’t have me captivated like The Feather Thief.
From GoodReads: DNF at 58%. I wish I cared about fish enough to finish this. I started out intrigued but now I don’t even look forward to reading before bed because I’m just not that’s interested in it anymore.
The Perfect Stranger
Author: Megan Miranda
About the book: Leah needs to get out of Boston so when her friend Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania together to start over, she jumps at the chance.
Everything starts to fall apart when a woman resembling Leah is assaulted by the lake and Emmy disappears days later.
Leah is determined to find Emmy but along the way starts to wonder if she ever even knew the real Emmy at all.
Final thoughts: I loved this one. I read the whole thing in one day with a begrudging three-hour break between most of it and the last few chapters.
From GoodReads: I loved this one! Between this, All the Missing Girls, and The Last House Guest, this is my favorite for sure.
The Au Pair
Author: Emma Rous
Genre: Mystery thriller
About the book: Seraphine and her twin brother Danny were born in the summer on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself off the cliff and the au pair fled.
Now as an adult, Seraphine is mourning the death of her father. She finds a photograph in his belongings that makes her question everything: a photo of her parents, older brother, and just one baby.
Final thoughts: I wouldn’t stay this is a remarkable book but it was full of twists and turns and had me curious about what would happen the whole time.
From GoodReads: This isn’t super fast-paced but it was entertaining. The second half had me hooked though
The Cold Vanish
Author: Jon Billman
Genre: True crime
Rating: DNF, 1/5
About the book: Jon decides to investigate the disappearance of Jacob Gray in Olympic National Park, talking with his family and other people involved in the investigation.
Before reading this I would read this review and comment.
Final thoughts: I had very high hopes for this one as I am very intrigued by this kind of thing but I just kept hoping I would be done and every time I looked at how far I was I thought “that’s it?”
From GoodReads: DNF around 50%. It started interesting then he mentioned he likes Dave Paulides and I rolled my eyes. The further I got, the less interested I was. I want to know how it ends but after reading the other reviews, I don’t care to finish it.
Author: Amelia Brunskill
Genre: YA mystery
About the book: Anna and her identical twin were the same on the outside but inside it’s hard to believe they’re twins at all. They tell each other everything, at least that’s what Jess thought.
Jess’s life begins to unravel after Anna falls to her death from their bedroom window while sneaking out. Now Jess is determined to find out everything about her sister and learn what really happened that night.
Final thoughts: I loved this one quite a bit, too! At first, I couldn’t remember what this was even about but it all came back to me as I wrote this (really, loved it, huh)! I would definitely recommend this one if you like mysteries/thrillers that aren’t too crazy.
Author: Sara Shepard
About the book:
Aldrich University is rocked to it’s core when a hacker leas 40,000 emails onto an easily searchable database and things get bad fast. Rumors and affairs leak and things get worse when Dr. Greg Strasser is found murdered.
Willa returns to the hometown she left fifteen years ago after a night she wants to forget. She’s an investigative reporter and knows something is fishy about his death. She’s determined to find the truth before someone else is murdered.
Final thoughts: I will continue to read every Sara Shepard book because even if they’re not great, I love them.
From GoodReads: 3.5. This was not realistic at all but it was entertaining.
Author: Nick Cutter
About the book: A plague called the ‘Gets is destroying humanity and there is no cure. But, there is a universal healer called ambrosia that was discovered eight miles below the surface of the sea.
A research lab is built there, underwater, but one day it goes dark and a few people brave the depths to unravel the crushing mystery.
Final thoughts: I had high expectations for this one after having read The Troop by Nick Cutter and having that one actually be really creepy. This one fell short, for sure.
I had just watched a few ocean horror movies and was really in the mood to read some ocean horror but you can’t really even tell they’re in the Mariana Trench for most of this.
From GoodReads: Thank eight-pound, six-ounce newborn baby Jesus that this is over. This did not go how I thought it would and not in a good way. I basically zoned out the last 30% because I just didn’t care anymore.
It started out good though, I enjoyed at least the first half (for the most part) but just not enough to give it more than two, maybe 2.5 stars
Strange New World
Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: YA dystopian
About the book: I don’t want to ruin anything from the first book so I won’t include a description here.
(I hate when books have major spoilers in sequel descriptions. Not small stuff, but major things like character deaths or whatever.)
Final thoughts: This was a lot more “pretending to be a celebrity” than normal dystopian and I didn’t love that but overall I enjoyed it. The second half was much better than the first for me.
I also just liked the first book more than this one.
The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: YA contemporary romance
About the book: Every summer Belly leaves her school life behind to escape to Cousins Beach where she spends every summer. It’s also where her favorite people are: Susannah, Conrad, and Jeremiah.
She’s been chasing Conrad for as long as she can remember but things are different now that she’s pretty. She has a new guy named Cam to hopefully distract her from the looks Jeremiah is giving her, even though her heart belongs to Conrad.
Final thoughts: This was so bad. I literally just bought this series based on the covers, used, thankfully, and tortured myself for at least ten hours reading all three of these.
I had all my coworkers invested in these awful stories and even texted one of them about it when I was reading it at home.
Whoever was around me had to hear me complain even if I had to explain the whole premise over and over. I would, that’s how much I wanted to vent about it. I’m mad all over again.
From GoodReads: Well that was annoying. Entertaining enough but man was belly annoying! And what kind of name is belly? I didn’t like this very much but I’ll keep reading because I have the whole series and I’m curious. But how good are the covers!?
It’s Not Summer Without You
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: YA contemporary romance
About the book: Even though I hate it, I know a lot of people don’t so I won’t spoil anything with the second book blurb here.
Final thoughts: From GoodReads:
This review is a choose your own adventure:
1. Belly is the worst (name and as a person)
2. Probably the weirdest love triangle ever.
3. Why am I still torturing myself with this?
We’ll Always Have Summer
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: YA contemporary romance
About the book: This is the final book in the series so I, again, won’t ruin anything for you in case you want to read this for some reason.
Please, if you love or hate this series, I would love to hear why in the comments. Thanks.
Final thoughts: Probably my favorite review ever from GoodReads: Has anyone seen my eyes? They rolled so far out of my head I can’t find them.
Have you read any of these? Which ones? What did you read in August?