Thursday, August 31, 2017

August Wrap-Up

I'm having a bunch of weird feelings about it being the last day of August right now. I mean, I love autumn, and I'm SO EXCITED that summer is coming to an end because it means cooler temperatures and flannel and pumpkin-flavored things and pretty colors, but at the same time...there's just no way that today's the last day of August. That's not a thing that's happening right now in my head. It's just not. I think I'm stuck near the end of July somewhere.

And with the end of August comes the end of summer break. Within a week, I'll be starting my second year of college! Equal parts exciting and intimidating. The week or so is definitely going to be hectic, what with moving and such, so any posts I manage to get up will be scheduled in advance.

August was a pretty great reading month for me - I was actually hoping to get a bit more in, considering it's my last month of 2017 without classes, but I think I still did rather well. And in terms of star ratings, this was an amazing month. A third of the books I read were 5-star reads!

TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY by Cassandra Clare: This was a really interesting story collection! I liked getting to know more about the Shadowhunter world, and I liked how this tied a bunch of characters from the first four series together, both ones we've seen before and ones we haven't seen, but I really thought I was going to be getting more about Simon.

LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices #1): This was incredible. I did not at all expect it to be as good as it was. It's absolutely my favorite of the Shadowhunter books that I've read, and I've been impatiently waiting for my library hold on LORD OF SHADOWS to come in since I finished. Once I got past the beginning, it didn't even really seem that long because I was so invested in the story.

CAPTAIN MARVEL, VOL. 1: RISE OF ALPHA FIGHT by Tara Butters: I really had no idea what was going on here. I think I got the general idea (maybe), and I always appreciate some Carol Danvers sass, but I couldn't tell you why she was in space or who the other characters were. ½

POE DAMERON, VOL. 1: BLACK SQUADRON by Charles Soule: This is such a promising start to another Star Wars comic series! And it's definitely solidified my love of Poe Dameron and Leia's new(ish) role as General. I'll have to read some more before December to hold me over until The Last Jedi.

DREAMLAND BURNING by Jennifer Latham: This was a really interesting book, but most of the things that I wanted to say about it are going to get overshadowed by the fact that there is a canon, on-page self-describing confirmed aromantic asexual character. I've literally never seen that in a book before and I think I just about screamed.

JUST VISITING by Dahlia Adler: This was a really interesting read because it's very different from pretty much all other YA contemporaries I've read, in a good way. At the same time, though, it just didn't quite pull me in enough for me to really love it. The characters were fantastic, though. ½

ALEX, APPROXIMATELY by Jenn Bennett: This was such a cute book! Bailey's a wonderful main character, and Porter has that perfect balance of not being overly nice and not being a total asshole that just makes you forgive everything and love him. And there were a couple of darker themes in the book that I wasn't expecting but that were handled really well.

THE GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE by Mackenzi Lee: I finally got a chance to read this! It definitely isn't what I thought I was getting into, and it took me a while to readjust my expectations. Once I did that, though, it was a really great book! My favorite parts were near the end, so I can't say much, but I can say that I'm very excited for the sequel.

HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME by Adam Silvera: I had no idea how much I would love this book or how much it would emotionally destroy me. It's just been one of those books that I can't stop thinking about. For such a short book, it packed an incredible emotional punch, and I feel like I need to real it again to really appreciate how intricately crafted everything was. Not yet, though. I'm still recovering.

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon: Another book that I've been looking forward to forever! I loved both Dimple and Rishi, and I loved seeing their relationship evolve throughout the book. I'm really excited to see what Sandhya Menon writes next.

THE CROWN'S FATE by Evelyn Skye (The Crown's Game #2): After the first book in this duology totally blew me away, I knew that this one wasn't going to disappoint me. For the first hundred pages or so, I thought it might actually be even better, but I think it lost a bit of steam after that. It was still a fantastic book, but I wasn't kept as much on the edge of my seat. I'm really sad that the series is over, but it's such a good ending.

OUR OWN PRIVATE UNIVERSE by Robin Talley: This was a bit of a disappointment, and surprisingly, the part that I liked least was the relationship between Aki and Christa. There was just too much going on there that was somewhat iffy basis for a relationship, so I didn't find myself rooting for them. The parts about family and friendship were pretty great, though.

YOU'RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE by Whitney Gardner: I think my number-one complaint about this book is that there wasn't more art. There's already quite a bit, and I love what was there so much that I really wanted to see more! I enjoyed the story, but the art is what really made this book stand out. ½

WE ARE OKAY by Nina LaCour: Wow. This was quite an adventure for such a tiny little book! I had no idea that I was going to be so invested, or that characters I'd known for fewer than 200 pages were going to leave me sobbing so much I had to take a moment to collect myself before turning the page. It's just so beautiful.

THE LOVE INTEREST by Cale Dietrich: This was a really fun book! I was excited about what was going on, I liked the characters, I thought the whole premise was fascinating, and it was really funny to look at the most horrible clich├ęs and be able to think of so many books that follow that exact same love interest pattern.

DNFed this month:
  • THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin (Mara Dyer #1): I was not having a great time reading this. When I got to page 200, I realized that I'd rather read a spoilery recap than finish the book. So I did. And I'm glad I DNFed it, because there was just more and more of stuff I didn't like in the first place, plus a bunch of stuff that made absolutely no sense.
  • Total books: 15 completed, 1 DNF
  • Longest book: Lady Midnight, 698 pages
  • Shortest book: Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Rise of Alpha Flight, 112 pages
  • Favorite book: History is All You Left Me
  • Least favorite book: 

Backlist Reader Challenge: 1 this month, overall 21/60 (Just Visiting)

Read it Again, Sam Challenge: 0 this month, overall 18/16+

2017 Debut Author Challenge: 3 this month, overall 11/12 (When Dimple Met Rishi, You're Welcome, Universe, The Love Interest)

2017 Series Enders Challenge: 1 this month, overall 5/5-10 (The Crown's Fate) - officially completed! Hopefully I'll be reading more, though.


2017 Discussion Challenge: 1 this month, overall 6/11-20 (I Don't Like Series Finales) - I decided to go ahead and count How to Choose Your Next Book from last month, since it's not my typical discussion post but closer to that than anything else.

How are you doing this month? Coping with the fact that summer is pretty much over? Or excited for fall, like me? What great (or not-so-great) books have you been reading lately? Tell me in the comments!