This month was full of Fringe Festival madness so reading took a bit of a backseat for me. I still managed to read 7 or 8 books as I was attempting to catch up with my reading challenge and thus chose a lot of fairly small, less than 200 page books; but this last week or two has been a struggle. I've been so uninspired and so overwhelmed by all the books I have to read that I've been putting off finishing what I am reading so I don't have to worry about choosing something else!
August was definitely a meh reading month in terms of my opinion, also. Only two books surpassed the 3 star mark and even then none got anywhere near 5 stars. However, I'm soldiering on and although I was fairly disappointed with a lot of these books, I'm still glad I read them.
First of all, I read July's OwlCrate pick - The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee. I'm not sure if I'm missing something or if my sense of humour is just different to most people's but... this book wasn't funny. It was annoying. Ugh I hated Monty. I really didn't like him. He just acted so immature and was so juvenile and ignorant. I love historical fiction and whilst we will never truly know what it was like to live in those societies, I just felt like Gentleman's Guide was trying to hard to be current. I'm going to place a spoiler warning here because I need to rant. Monty has absolutely no guard up when it comes to his feelings for Percy. Monty is already suffering at the hands of his father - literally, he gets beaten - yet he doesn't think twice about hiding his sexuality. Now, I get it. It's 2017, sexuality isn't taboo yada yada. Except in the time period this book was set it is absolutely ridiculous that someone would be so open. I don't know. I just felt like the author didn't put in much research into society in that time and in all honesty the whole book was a let down. It just felt forced and as though the idea for this Grand Tour came to the author but she then had to shove in LGBTQ+ elements and forgot the rest of the plot. I also really really hated Monty. I gave this 3 stars in the end but it was just such a let down :(
If you saw my blog tour stop then you know I read T is For Tree by Greg Fowler this month. I loved this book. I gave it 4/4.5 stars. I could spend a lot of time ranting here but I'll do my best to... not. I have seen nothing but SJW's ripping this book to shreds. They've went into this book with the mindset that because it features a MC who is "different" they need to scrutinise it and judge it that much harder. Every tiny thing they are finding faults with. Ugh. I'm not even going to go any further because it makes me mad. Yes, Eddy is disabled. Yes, it sucks his grandmother abused him. Yes, it sucks even more that she suddenly decides she loves him and tries to explain it's because she loves him but it doesn't matter because Eddy forgives her anyway - that scenario is a problem. But for god's sake. This is Eddy's story. This is what happened to him. It's fabulism. There's a magical tree for goodness sake. But oh no we have to bitch about the fact Eddy doesn't get shown to be clever himself there has to be magic involved. If you seriously read this book and took from it that disabled people are only smart and worth anything if they have a magic tree the you are the problem, not this book.
Thief! by Malorie Blackman was another 3 star read, although I did round that up from 2.75. Here we follow Lydia who after being accused of stealing something ends up in a future version of this world where things have basically all gone to crap and it's because of this accusation. That's a horrific explanation, I know. The book was enjoyable and I got where the story was trying to go. The reason this book was rated so low was that I think this would have been much better had it been more focused on the dystopian world. Let me try and explain. The first half of this book is Lydia in our time, then she ends up in the future and it's all about her finding the 'leader' of the town and getting back to her own time. I loved the dystopian world though. It was so interesting and I wanted to see more and know more and I wish when Malorie was writing it she realised how good it was and scrapped the original idea of Lydia's story and just giving us a proper dystopian. Or even, somehow include Lydia's story but set it so the dystopian world is the present and then use Lydia to refer to the past.
I finally picked up the first book in the Gallagher Girls series, I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter. I own all of them now, along with her other series (that I thought was a trilogy but apparently a fourth book is coming out? Anyway, I gave this a solid 3 stars. It was good, although a little juvenile as it's really aimed as a bridge series between middle grade and YA. I tried to keep this in mind as I read it but what I didn't really like was the romance. I get it, it's literally in the title and synopsis. I knew going into it there'd be a boy, I just sort of thought we'd see more of the school and the spy classes and things. I'm holding out hope that as the series goes on we get a little more from it but for a quick read, reminiscent of the books I read as a child (and wished I'd picked up as a 13 year old!) I can't complain!
All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman has been on my radar for a few years now after Carrie Hope Fletcher recommended it. Carrie reads and recommends quite a lot of adult books so, as a 20 year old, I do want to broaden my horizons a little and so far the books Carrie has suggested that I've picked up have all been delightful (including her own books!) and this one was no exception. I gave this 4 stars. It's such a small book but it's delightful. It's funny and clever and ugh. It was so heartwarming and I loved it!
When I was in primary school... I just checked my library history and it was 2008, when I was in primary 7! Catherine (Cathy) MacPhail visited my school. I don't recall what exactly it was she was doing because it wasn't like a whole school assembly or anything, there was a teacher who came into our class and asked the teacher who was a good reader. Everyone in the class looked at me and said 'Emma!! She always reads!' - If we got handed a book to read in class and told to read one chapter I'd have finished the whole thing - so I got to go to the library with a bunch of other, p6/7 pupils and listen to Cathy talk about her books and then I went to my village library and took out all of her books they had in stock. I can't remember if I ever read Another Me (Library History says I checked it out but to be fair, I did take out her entire catalogue so...) but I saw a proof(!) in a charity shop - it was also signed and dedicated, so thanks Pippa! - and grabbed it. I gave it 3.75 stars. It was just a good read, not quite as mysterious as I'd like but still good. I definitely want to pick up more of Cathy's books as she is a YA author and I was trying to read them as a child so perhaps I should give them a go now!
CatCall by Linda Newbury was a weird one that got 3 stars from me. I can't really describe this but I picked it up because Cat and well.. It's strange. Good but strange. It took me a bit of time to get into and even then I wasn't loving it. It was probably geared more toward a middle grade audience and as I didn't realise that going into it, I was a tad bored. Still worth a read, even though I'm pretty confused about what happened
Finally, I finished When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon this month. It felt like I was reading this for ages. I just wasn't loving it as much as everyone online has - will I ever learn? I never love the books booktubers have been in partnership with to discuss... Overall I gave this 3.75 stars but rounded it up to 4. It was cute, I just had so many problems with Dimple. She was such a bitch to Rishi and so selfish and ugh. The plot was great and the romance was so cute but I really cannot stand the way Dimple acted and the fact Rishi went along with it... Well, he didn't at one point - actually stood up for himself, but of course he forgot all about it shortly after. *sigh*
I also want to mention that I am in the middle of rereading Ways of the Doomed by Moira McPartlin. I was sent this years ago (my first ever book I was sent for review!!) and whilst I enjoyed it, it was certainly more about world building and set up for the rest of the trilogy. Recently, I was contacted about reviewing the second book, Wants of the Silent but since it's been about two years since I read the first book I've forgotten a lot that went on. It's also set in a fairly complex and well built up world so I wanted to get back into that. I'm mostly skim reading and just taking in a couple of pages at a time but I wanted to mention it as I will be posting a review of the second book when I finally get a chance to read it and since its book 2, I'll give you time to read the first one!
So, a fairly successful month for reading. It felt a lot worse so I'm pleased with myself. I do hope September is better as, although the short books in August got me from 12 down to 8 books behind schedule, Catcall and WDMR taking forever have thrown me back to 10 books behind! Ahhh! I have two trips this month so hopefully I can knock out a good couple of books then!!