Wednesday 29 August 2018

A Wrap Up: August 2018, Part One

Hi, and thanks for stopping by. 

Having been through a supremely rough period in my personal life, the past couple of months I just totally ditched my formal (unwrapped) TBRs and have been mood-reading, which I think has been good for me; if I'd tried to stick to my original TBRs, I really do think that I would've stopped reading altogether for this period of time/been in a huge book-slumpy hangover!! Anyway, here are the books I did manage to get to in the first half of August...

M.A. Bennett’s The Island
1.5-2 stars

I'd like to firstly thank the publisher for providing me with this book, free of charge, through NetGalley.
I definitely don't think this had any of the suspense that STAGS managed to create. I think the twist in the plot was uber predictable, but most annoying of all was the protagonist. Link was just a constant misogynist and he excused his sexism because he was "geeky" and all meek and mild. Ugh. Annoyed the hell out of me, and I would have DNF'd if I didn't feel obliged to finish as it was an arc.

Gloria Chao’s American Panda
3.5 stars

I really enjoyed learning more about different elements of some Chinese culture in this book; it was interesting and added another dimension to the story. My favourite element was definitely the navigation of a supremely difficult but achingly heartfelt mother-daughter relationship. I laughed out loud, cringed and 'aww'd' over some of their shared interactions.

Peter Bognanni’s Things I’m Seeing Without You
4 stars

This book took such a different direction to what I was expecting; I think I thought it would be made up mostly of flashbacks/old conversations & then a young girl struggling through her grief. Whilst these elements were present, I was surprised (in a great way) by the plot twist and I loved the romantic relationships. I also loved the development of the father-daughter relationship, with the strange career backdrop which made for some seriously sweet moments and some humorous ones.

Katherine Webber’s Only Love Can Break Your Heart
3 stars

Wing Jones was probably in my top ten/fifteen books of 2017, so you bet I was SO excited to read what Katherine Webber wrote next...I was disappointed, unfortunately. I get that Katherine was trying to do something different, with this anti-fairytale vibe, the supposed love interest ending up being just a crappy person, but I think she invested too much time in setting up the relationship in the first place, so suddenly it felt like a totally different Seth took over in the end. Actually though, I found Seth creepy and overbearing and unattractive even from the start...maybe that's just a harsh personal preference, I don't know?! I'm super interested to read my friends' reviews of this.

Ava Dellaira’s Love Letters to the Dead
2 stars

The main thing I didn't like about this narrative was how young Laurel read as. Maybe that's entirely unfair, because she is supposed to be a freshman in high school which is pretty young, be honest, it really just reminded me of how much I prefer YA these days where characters are 16 at the very youngest. Also, it kind of bugged me that the whole "letters to the dead" concept (which is pretty cool, in my opinion) didn't inspire Laurel at all personally...she just wrote to people that other people loved?!

Holly Bourne’s Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?
3 stars

Let me firstly say that I think the width and breadth of mental illness represented here was awesome, as was the whole "kindness is contagious" theory created by Holly. Otherwise, though, I was entirely disappointed by this book; Holly Bourne was number two in my top 5 authors of the year in 2017, and one of her books was my second favourite of the entire year, too, so you can imagine how gutted I was to not enjoy this. I usually love Holly's feisty female protagonists, but I have to admit I found Olive borderline grating.

Chloe Seager’s The Friendship Fails of Emma Nash
4 stars

Humour written to absolute cringeworthy perfection. Emma is just one of the most adorable, loveable, skin-crawlingly awkward, hilarious protagonists I have ever read. I keep saying that her story reminds me so much of Geek Girl, only a sex-conscious version. Once again, brilliant discussion of female masturbation, pornography, social media and so much more. Couldn't recommend the Emma Nash books more!!

Lucy Keating’s Dreamology
2 stars

This is one of those novels that I wish I'd had the idea for; it's such a cool concept, a girl who falls in love with the boy of her dreams, only to turn up for her first day at a new school and find him sat in her classroom. Unfortunately, the execution really really let this one down. Alice was quite a dull protagonist to me, and Max had nowhere near enough charm to warrant her adoration of him. Shame!!

So those are the books I read in the first half of August - a slightly mixed bag, and some seriously sad disappointments!!! I'll be posting a part two soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Till next time