2021 · Wrap ups

August Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2021

Another month with a slow start but great overall outcome 🙂

July had a slow start to things. Sorry. August had a slow start to thing. Deja vu…. anyone else also strugling keeping interest in books but then suddely everything changes and you can read fast enough, have enough reading time, or not enough books?

I ended up with 1 DNF (but took me over 2 weeks to come to that conclusion) and 9 completed but only 4 of those where full length novels so I read 1900 pages this month.

I completed my entire TBR and TBR game which makes me very happy.

Also I participated in the 1000 Door Readathon for the first time ever. Which was so random and a lot of fun! A full vlog can be found here.

Anyway.

Let’s just dive in 🙂

As a reminder: To me, 5 ivy leaves is an amazing book that stuck with me, surprised me, one I could stop thinking about, I got lost in, etc. 4 ivy leaves is an enjoyable read something I really liked, but that’s it. 3 ivy leaves are either a disappointing read, or the book is just OK.

Switch by A S King

e-ARC – NetGalley

Tru Beck is a teenage girl from Pennsylvania who lives in a world that has become trapped in a fold in time and space, where “real” time has stopped but humanity continues to mark artificial time based on a website called N3WCLOCK.com. Tru lives in a house that has a switch at its center. No one knows what the switch controls, but her father continually builds larger and larger boxes around the switch (Tru lives in Box #7). Tru leaves the box through a Tru-shaped hole to go to school, where she pays no attention to the new “Solution Time” curriculum. In fact, the only interesting thing that’s ever happened to Tru at school is when she discovers (on her first try) that she can throw a javelin farther than any human has ever thrown anything before in human history.

I did a full review of this book here, but in short I have mixed feelings.

The Girl and The Dinosaur by Holly Hughes

e-book – Library

 The wishing stars burn bright tonight, the air is thick with dreams
And a deeply sleeping dinosaur is waking up it seems . . . 


In a little town by the seaside, Marianne can often be found foraging on the beach. But she isn’t playing with children her own age; instead Marianne is alone, digging for dinosaur bones. When she finds an entire skeleton, she names him Bony and vows to become his best friend.

That night, she goes to sleep wishing with all her heart that her dinosaur might come to life . . . and her wish comes true. Together, a girl and her dinosaur’s adventures are only limited by their imagination. 

This was not as good as I expected. It was shorter that expected too. But what really annoyed me was the difference in font and the placement choices. Yeah I know, petty but it really pissed me off and ruined my enjoyment of this. And essentially the synopsis promissed me “masterful storytelling” (or something like that) but I don’t think thats true.

The Wicked + The Divine volume 1 by Kieron Gillen etc.

e-book – Library

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

It almost surpriced me that I enjoyed thso graphic novel that much. It was such a fun read! It mixed the fame/popstar elements with gods and religion but all types of gods from Urd to Sakmeth. It was great. I will deinitely continue with the series.

Velvet Was The Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

eARC – NetGalley

1970s, Mexico City. Maite is a secretary who lives for one thing: the latest issue of Secret Romance. While student protests and political unrest consume the city, Maite escapes into stories of passion and danger.

Her next-door neighbor, Leonora, a beautiful art student, seems to live a life of intrigue and romance that Maite envies. When Leonora disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman—and journeying deeper into Leonora’s secret life of student radicals and dissidents.

Meanwhile, someone else is also looking for Leonora at the behest of his boss, a shadowy figure who commands goon squads dedicated to squashing political activists. Elvis is an eccentric criminal who longs to escape his own life: He loathes violence and loves old movies and rock ’n’ roll. But as Elvis searches for the missing woman, he comes to observe Maite from a distance—and grows more and more obsessed with this woman who shares his love of music and the unspoken loneliness of his heart.

Now as Maite and Elvis come closer to discovering the truth behind Leonora’s disappearance, they can no longer escape the danger that threatens to consume their lives, with hitmen, government agents, and Russian spies all aiming to protect Leonora’s secrets—at gunpoint.

Velvet Was the Night is an edgy, simmering historical novel for lovers of smoky noirs and anti-heroes.

I enjoyed this more that I thought I would. I honetly don’t like historical fiction, but to me this was way more noir than historical fiction and I really enjoyed it. The tendsion was good throughout and the mystery worth while. The twists and turns were complex but I didnt loose intrest or anything and when allt hepuzzle piece came together in the end I didn’t see that comign but it make perfect sense. Loved it. I didn’t like the main character Maitre but I felt her narrative was the best which is a weird feelign to me.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

Audiobook – Scribd

A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully.

Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor’s lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.

At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She’s a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.

This was my second read during the 1000 Door Readathon (vlog link down below). I wasnt expecting much but I had heard good things. I ended up really liking this. I loved the quiet slow strength of women that this book protrais. I would honestly serve this empress if I could. Just saying! Definitely continuing with this series.

A Dead Djinn In Cairo by P. Djeli Clark

Audiobook – Scribd

Egypt, 1912. In an alternate Cairo infused with the otherworldly, the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities investigate disturbances between the mortal and the (possibly) divine. What starts off as an odd suicide case for Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi leads her through the city’s underbelly as she encounters rampaging ghouls, saucy assassins, clockwork angels, and plot that could unravel time itself.

This was my 3rd and final read for 1000 Doors Readathon. I’ve never read anythign by P Djeli Clarke but I have my eyes on several of their books. This was very enjoyable. I loved the paranormal world/setting. The mystery was a fun one though a tad predictable.

The Wicked + The Divine volume 2 by Kieron Gillen etc.

eGraphic Novel – Library

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

Not as good as volume 1 but I have tons of question after this ending!!!

Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee

eARC – NetGalley

Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. They just want to paint.

One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers.

But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes—and the awful source of the magical pigments they use—they find they can no longer stay out of politics.

What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight…

I really enjoyed this book with all the art and art references and magic. I loved both he main character and the dragon in here and focus on non-violent fights. Lovely.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Book – Owned

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

I loved this and will definitely continue with the sereis. I still cant get over how long it took for Fitz to acept his name and then how long it took before we got the answer to the name question! Poor Fitz! I’m here for you. lol.

The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

Audiobook – Own

DNF

For fans of Sarah Waters and The Crimson Petal and the White, a vibrant tale of female boxers and their scheming patrons in 18th-century Bristol.

Some call the prize ring a nursery for vice . . .

Born into a brothel, Ruth’s future looks bleak until she catches the eye of Mr. Dryer. A rich Bristol merchant and enthusiast of the ring, he trains gutsy Ruth as a puglist. Soon she rules the blood-spattered sawdust at the infamous Hatchet Inn.

Dryer’s wife Charlotte lives in the shadows. A grieving orphan, she hides away, scarred by smallpox, ignored by Dryer, and engaged in dangerous mind games with her brother.

When Dryer sidelines Ruth after a disastrous fight, and focuses on training her husband Tom, Charlotte presents Ruth with an extraordinary proposition. As the tension mounts before Tom’s Championship fight, two worlds collide with electrifying consequences.

The Fair Fight will take you from a filthy brothel to the finest houses in the town, from the world of street-fighters to the world of champions. Alive with the smells and the sounds of the streets, it is a raucous, intoxicating tale of courage, reinvention and fighting your way to the top. 

This didn’t contain as much boxing as I wanted. It had three perspectives and only 1 contained the boxing so I gave up.

Me and Historical Fiction strike again! No match…

Reading Challenge check:

Let’s hold me accountable.

I have two goals this year which involve acquiring books;

  1. only buy two books a month,
  2. only request two ARCs a month.

Rules: For buying books it only for books I, personally, spend money on including subscription boxes (one per box), but it excludes my audible membership and all free books and gifts. For the ARC’s I’ve focused on my request-button-pressing and not getting the requests approved because you don’t know if it will be approved, nor do you know when it will be approved. Therefore, only two request-clicks per month. I can move the points between the months and if I don’t use them in one month transfer them to the next month.

I will have this on my wrap-ups every month.

Let’s check if I stuck to my goals:

  • Only buy two books a month:
    • The Murder of Molly Southborne by Tade Thompson

Available credit from last month; 4

Credit transferring over to next month: 5

  • Only request two ARC’s:
    • Vespertine by Margareth Rogerson

Available credits from last month; -10

Credit transferring over to next month: -9

Oh fuck…. This statement is getting old but oh so relevant

TBR Shelf Reads

I also had a goal of reading one book form my physical shelf and one books from my e-book shelf per month. None of these can involve 2020 or 2021 acquired books. Based on all the books I read this month these are the once from my shelves:

Physical shelf
  • Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb
E-book shelf
  • Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb

That’s it!

Have you read any of these?

Until next time; happy reading!

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