My August reading started real slow. I had little motivation to read after slamming out a 17 book Young Adult series. My social life picked back up and I was busy a lot. The Sandman also came out on Netflix and I have my priorities straight (if you have not read that series, you should immediately do so). I’d also bought so many books during that time that I didn’t even know where to start with picking books. Don’t worry, I solved that problem! All my books are on a Random Wheel Generator. Now I spin it twice so I get two books and my Instagram picks my final ones. Indecisiveness be damned.
Overall, this month was incredibly random and all over the place. I guess that’s what happens when you get a random wheel generator. The only book I picked to read was Untamed because it was time.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
I have seen this book for years. Every time I walked into a book store, it was there, just staring at me. But for some reason, I never actually bought it. Maybe it just wasn’t ~time~ yet. Earlier this year, I did a tarot reading for a good friend of mine and she wanted to thank me by buying me this book. She told me she’s read it multiple times. And I see why!! This has been one of my favorites this year. Doyle is raw. She is unapologetic. She absolutely shares so many thoughts I know so many people have but don’t say out loud. She hits on so many things that I’ve felt (hello having to be a “Good Catholic Girl”). A small fear of mine has always been “When I become a mom, I don’t want to lose myself”. I’ve seen friends do that. They are no longer an individual person, they’re this person’s mom. And that’s it. My parents were always individuals who had children – not JUST parents. Doyle talks about this in her book. Being stuck in the “I’m a mom” part of life where she just wants to be a good mom and wife. Not a good person. Specifically a good mom and wife… Then she figured out that if she’s not focusing on herself at all, there’s no way she can be a good anything for anyone else and that’s incredibly important for people to understand – especially women. This book really is for everyone. Buy it now and read it when you’re ready. When it’s time.
Alice by Christina Henry
I really thought I’d LOVE this book. I’m a big Alice in Wonderland fan and I love American McGee’s Alice video games. But this disappointed me. First of all, I found this book in the “horror” section. It’s absolutely not horror and should not be marketed that way. In fact, what makes a horror book? Is it because there’s “adult” themes, like r*pe and murder? Speaking of r*pe… That was way overused in this book. It wasn’t even disturbing. It was disgusting. It was so unnecessary because mention of r*pe was in practically every single chapter with zero point. It was just “There’s a dude and all dudes r*pe women in this world”. There’s a WHOLE WORLD that we’re not really introduced to, we’re just kind of thrown into. I thought this might be on purpose since Alice is in a mental institution and has lost her marbles but the book really doesn’t do much world building. The relationship with Hatch seems rushed even though they’d been talking for years. We didn’t get any sense of that bonding. It’s also a little gross because I think he’s in his 40s and she’s like 24 and never been in a relationship. There’s a lot of hinting at grooming. The characters within Wonderland do show up but in such a bizarre way. Everyone is a villain. Or rather, all the men are villain’s. Other than Alice, there’s barely any other females AND there are zero strong women. Being written by a woman… that’s disappointing. Alice is never portrayed as strong. I think it was a cop out to tie it to Alice in Wonderland. I think the author had an idea and tied it to Alice in Wonderland so she could sell her book. 0/10, don’t waste your time.
The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser
The cover of this book caught my eye but it was the name of the main character that made me buy it. Thea. For those who don’t know, the Greek word for aunt is thea. My mom’s older sister had us call her Thea. Sure, this character’s name was actually Althea and she just went by Thea but I’ll take it. This book was much longer than it should have been. A lot of it really could have been cut out. It was cool to read a romance story about a middle aged woman instead of always reading about people in their 20s. Thea is a very recently divorced 40-something who inherits her random Great Uncle’s house in Scotland (how typical). It’s perfect timing for her to get some me time, which is exactly what she gets. Her romance is a fairly slow burn and I forget they’re in their 40-somethings cause MY GOD ARE YOU TWO IDIOTS?! There are the same tropes as typical 20-something romance books, which really bugged me. Then scared me. Are we all still very oblivious and stupid when we’re older?? Either way, the book was well written, the storyline was good. I would recommend it!
Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
I’m not gonna lie, I picked this book up because it was all over BookTok. I knew nothing about this book. The book goes back and forth between the main male character (Misha) and the main female character (Ryen), which was good because the plot wouldn’t be able to move forward without getting inside both their heads. The plot of this book is great, I’m a fan of it! THAT BEING SAID, the gratuitous sex scenes are so unimaginative. They were just thrown in there to sell books and aren’t needed. If you can get past the bad sex, it’s a good idea. This is the first time I’ve seen a sister/sister relationship similar to my own… Which is sad because it’s not a great one. It did make me feel a little more seen since every sister/sister relationship in media is very much “we’re BFFs and share clothes and tell each other everything”. I liked when Ryen talked about her transition into Popular Girl. She talked about changing herself, not hanging out with someone she really loved hanging out with just because she wanted to be one of those cool girls. We’ve all been there. Also, the name of this book is a dumb name… It could have been so many other things.
Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan
I’ve had this for years and somehow never read it. The art is beautiful. It takes like, 15 minutes to read (if even that). An interesting Snow White twist, making it set in the time the movie was released without being ~medieval~. Since it was so quick, it’s not like you really get into the story though. I would have loved for it to be developed more. I will say that, for some reason, the “wake her up with the kiss” part in this book was a little more disturbing than I thought. It was much more random than a prince (that Snow had already seen earlier in the story) and was just kind of awkward.
Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
This was given to me – I had no idea what it was going into it. I’ve talked a few times about how I don’t like books from multiple perspectives but maybe I used to read really bad ones because this was great. I loved the way it was written, even though it went back and forth throughout time and from so many different people’s perspective. It’s less of a “Missing Person’s Case” and much more about a family. Were there times I just wanted them to get on with the missing person’s part of this? SURE. But in the end, everything that is talked about is actually important. Think about if your family was put under a microscope – that’s what this is about.
Have you read any of these books? Have I convinced you (or not) to read any of these? What was your favorite book to read in August?