Everything I Read In August 2022

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August was a good reading month for me. I kept up my average and read eleven books this month. I read a lot of YA mysteries, started a Pretty Little Liars re-read, finished my Riley Sager mission (for now), and read one of my most anticipated books of the year.

There wasn’t anything truly terrible this month but there were two that I didn’t love. They were entertaining enough but the endings of them just didn’t do it for me. So far my August motivation is carrying over into September and I’m knocking out all kinds of books I’ve wanted to read for a while.

Looking at it now, I knocked out a lot from my list of books like One of Us is Lying. Also, related to this, I won Nothing More to Tell, the newest Karen M. McManus book and I’m so excited for it! On that note, here is everything I read in August!

  • 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.
  • 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. Get that deal 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.

Hidden Pictures

Author: Jason Rekulak

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 5/5

About the book: Mallory is fresh out of rehab at her new job as a babysitter in Spring Brook, New Jersey and things are looking good for her. Ted and Caroline are great bosses and Teddy is the perfect child who is never without his drawing supplies.

But as time passes, his drawings go from rabbits and balloons to a woman’s lifeless body and a man burying her. The drawings become more detailed and complex, far beyond the five-year-olds ability. Mallory begins to think it’s a long-ago unsolved murder and is determined to find out what is going on before it’s too late.

Final thoughts: I loved this. It was SO good! I read 300 of the 368 pages of this in one night although I probably could have finished it all at once. It was a slow burn but had me hooked the entire time and the twists weren’t super outlandish like a lot of thrillers. Big fan. Would recommend.

I literally had no idea what this was about but the first time I saw it, I knew I wanted to read it. It was definitely one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I even bought it at full price which was totally worth it.

Broken Things

Author: Lauren Oliver

Genre: YA mystery

Rating: 3/5

About the book: Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend thanks to their obsession with a book called The Way into Lovelorn where their fantasies became twisted and deadly. But they didn’t.

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, Brynn and Mia are reunited thanks to a seemingly insignificant discovery. They must confront what happened all those years ago, no matter how monstrous they were.

Final thoughts: Meh. I think I need to accept Lauren Oliver just may not be for me. I’ve felt pretty meh about the five other books of hers I’ve also read. Writing this now, I can honestly barely even remember what happened. This was just fine.

The Last Time I Lied

Author: Riley Sager

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 2.5/5

About the book: Emma watched her bunkmates sneak out of their cabin in the middle of the night fifteen years ago, Vivian hushing her with a finger to her lips. They were never seen again. Now, she’s a successful artist turning her past into paintings. At a gallery showing, Francesca Harris-White, the owner of the summer camp, shows up, buys a painting, and implores her to return of the camp’s reopening.

She reluctantly agrees but it’s clear all is not right at Camp Nightingale as her past comes back to haunt her. History begins to repeat itself as Emma tries to uncover what happened fifteen years ago.

Final thoughts: From Goodreads: **SPOILERS BELOW** 
Things I liked

-The setting
-The very ending because it was better than the deaths just being an accident
-Miranda, Krystal, and Sasha

Things I didn’t like

-That we only got like two pages for the actual truth of what happened 15 years ago.
-Vivian’s map. Useless and unnecessary for her and Emma.
-How did this camp accidentally end up with 15 extra campers? How do five teachers mess up the housing situation? Is there a counselor in Emma’s cabin? She said she doesn’t want to be in charge of the girls but she’s the only one we see in charge of them?
-The whole wig storyline? It felt too silly to be nefarious even though it amounts to nothing.
-The whole buildup of Lottie not being in the picture near the end for no reason whatsoever.
-Chets Revenge was so obvious as soon as she saw him in the boat and so out of the blue.
-What even was the point of the camera at Emma’s cabin? What would that do for her safety? If you’re so worried about her, one, don’t bring her back, and two, if you bring her back, put them all over because looking down at one door is pointless.
-Emma didn’t tell ANYONE in authority about vivians diary hiding place or what she was looking for? Ever? What?
-At the end, we think the girls just drowned as an accident (I was so annoyed it was just an accident, that’s the worst in thrillers) but then in the very end chapter, Emma gets the call “confirming what she suspected all along”? Like, there was no hint anywhere she suspected they didn’t accidentally drown the Vivian just shows up next to head right after the call?

I liked most of it but then I got really annoyed when she went out to look for the girls until the last few pages. Looking back, I’m annoyed about a lot of this and apparently like it less than I thought. I don’t feel as cheated by this as I do by Home Before Dark though.

I Killed Zoe Spanos

Author: Kit Frick (how great is that name?!)

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 2/5

About the book: Anna has high hopes for a fresh start after arriving in Herron Mills for her summer nanny job but she finds a town reeling from the disappearance of Zoe Spanos on New Year’s Eve and Anna’s resemblance to Zoe.

As she digs deeper into the mystery and Zoe’s life, she becomes convinced they’re connected somehow. Two months later, Zoe’s body is found and Anna is charged with manslaughter but her confession is riddled with holes.

Final thoughts: From Goodreads: **SPOILERS BELOW** Just like The Last Time I Lied, I really enjoyed this. Until the ending and big reveal.

My least favorite kind of thriller is when there’s the whole build-up of mystery around someone’s death, there are suspects, someone’s been accused or is in jail or whatever then we find out they died accidentally on their own. Sure, someone was involved in this but it was an attempt to hurt someone else and the wrong person ended up dead. But we get one page about that and chapters about how Zoe’s death was actually just an accident.

I get this happens in real life but I’m here for thrills and wild things that are probably unrealistic. Not accidents. And this has not one but TWO accidental deaths and the second one comes out of nowhere but still didn’t surprise me at all.

I was intrigued and curious about what really happened the whole time, how Anna’s memories were really connected to all of this until the reveal. It was just really disappointing.

Also, while it had me hooked, how on earth could that intro confession be considered legit in any way by literally anyone!?

Oh, and how can all of Anna’s blackouts/lapses be left hanging? She lost a lot of random time with paisley and that’s never addressed.

Final Girls

Author: Riley Sager

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Quincy, Lisa, and Sam all have something in common. They’re all Final Girls, the only survivors of three tragic massacres. They want to put their past behind them and despite media attempts, they never meet.

Things are looking up for Quincy until Lisa is found dead, wrist slit in the bathtub and Sam shows up on Quincy’s doorstep. Sam is insistent on making Quincy relive the past and when details of Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy is racing against the clock to unravel Sam’s truths and lies and, most importantly, what happened that night at Pine Cottage.

Final thoughts: This was the last of the Riley Sager books I have and my favorite so far. The twist was good, the pacing was good, I just really enjoyed this one.

Last Girl Lied To

Author: L.E. Flynn

Genre: YA mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Trixie left a party one night and walked into the ocean. Fiona says she doesn’t remember anything but she believes Trixie isn’t really dead.

The trail of clues leads her to Beau and Jasper, Trixie’s friend with benefits who turned Fiona down and may be happy Trixie isn’t around anymore.

The closer she gets to Beau and Jasper, the more she learns her friend may not have been who she thought and that she may have wanted to disappear the whole time.

Final thoughts: This kind of reminded me of Local Girls. I like that it’s a mystery but not a murder mystery. It’s not full of tons of crazy twists and turns but it kept me on my toes. Big fan.

Pretty Little Liars

Author: Sara Shepard

Genre: YA mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Everyone has something to hide, especially Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily after their friend Ali disappeared, but now someone is threatening to expose them in all the worst ways.

Final thoughts: I love these books. I love this show. This is a reread for me and I know this is not top-notch literature, but I love it for exactly what it is: nostalgic teen drama.

Smoke Screen

Author: Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger

Genre: Nordic Noir

Rating: 3/5

About the book: After an explosion in Oslo on New Year’s Eve, the city is put on a terrorist alert. Alexander Blix pulls out a survivor from the icy waters who turns out to be the mother of Patricia, a two-year-old kidnapped ten years ago. Emma Ramm joins Alexander in investigating both cases.

Final thoughts: I didn’t hate this, I didn’t love it. Of the three in the series, which I’ve now finished, this was my least favorite but bombing stories just don’t do it for me and this involves that. I was curious to know what happened and how everything happened so I was intrigued but it was mostly just fine for me.

The Ivies

Author: Alex Donne

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 3/5

About the book: Everyone knows the Ivies, the coveted universities, but not everyone knows the Ivies, the five girls at Cafflin Academy that will do whatever it takes to get into the Ivy League.

They disrupt class ranks to improve their own odds by decreasing the chances of others. The competitive college admissions process is serious business. And even sometimes deadly.

Final thoughts: From Goodreads: This was entertaining enough and I was curious about who did it but that motive was literally the worst option out there.

Flawless

Author: Sara Shepard

Genre: YA mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: I won’t include details for these since they’re all sequels and I don’t want to spoil anything.

Final thoughts: Just like the first book this is fun but not high-brow literature. I still love them.

Perfect

Author: Sara Shepard

Genre: YA mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: I won’t include details for these since they’re all sequels and I don’t want to spoil anything.

Final thoughts: This one was good and I suppose these are minor spoilers but the second half of Emily’s story was so annoying. She can go to conversion camp and stay in Rosewood or go to Iowa. She agrees to the camp then finds out her mentor wasn’t changed by it so she goes to Iowa instead? Like? Girl, just go to the camp and pretend it worked so you can stay in Rosewood. Ugh. That’s all.

Have you read any of these? Which ones? What did you read in August?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a cheesehead at heart currently residing in the Sunshine State. You can probably find me reading, watching Forensic Files, or both.

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