August 2022 Reading Wrap-Up

The books were en fuego this month! My eldest daughter loves to read in bed with me at night – it’s our little tradition. Since the evening activities haven’t started yet, we’ve had even more time to read. Hours of reading at night with my girl is something I treasure.

Anyway, on to the reads!

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

Image Credit: Amazon

I have mixed feelings about this book. I was excited to read it because I heard rave reviews and the waitlist was 60 people deep, but honestly, I don’t get the hype. With that said, I almost want to read it again to catch the Easter eggs hidden throughout to reveal the twist at the end (without giving it away, it’s sort of Sixth Sense esq). I found the protagonist a little cringe and I have a really hard time when I have secondhand embarrassment with how a character is acting especially when it feels out of character for lack of a better phrase.

Not the worst book I’ve ever read, but not my fave.

Rating: 3 Lindsey Buckingham’s

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Image Credit: Amazon

Celaena Sardothien returns to Rifthold to settle the score with Arobynn Hamel and rescue her cousin,  Aedion Ashryver. It’s a continuation in the 7 book Throne of Glass series. I can’t say much about the series without giving away plot points, but this is by far my favorite series from Sarah J. Maas. Each book gets better and better and the side characters are just as compelling as the main ones, in particular, Manon, heir to the Blackbeak Witch Clan. If you are looking for a series to get into the Maas fandom, I recommend this one. It’s not as “sexy” as some of the other ones, but I prefer the writing.

Rating: 4 Lindsey Buckingham’s

Moonflower Murders (Magpie Murders #2) by Anthony Horowitz

Image Credit: Amazon

If you haven’t read an Anthony Horowitz book, stop what you’re doing and pick one up. The two series I’ve been working through are: The Word is Murder and the Magpie Murders. This is number 2 in the series and picks back up with Susan Ryeland, a former editor of deceased author Alan Conway, now living and running a hotel in Greece with her partner. But her past catches up with her when Lawrence and Pauline Treherne, owners of a hotel in England, approach her about solving the mystery of their missing daughter that might have a connection to a Conway novel based on a murder that occurred at their hotel years ago. Susan takes on the case and is forced back into a world she had left behind.

What I love about these books is that it’s a book within a book. We follow Susan, but then get Conway’s novel in the middle, allowing the reader to try and solve the case alongside Susan. I really thought I had it figured out this time, but I fell for a late red herring.

Seriously whether or not you love mystery novels, you need to read Horowitz. He’s absolutely brilliant.

Rating: 5 Lindsey Buckingham’s

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Image Credit: Amazon

I fell down BookTok (the best TikTok rabbit-hole after Sassy Baking TikTok in my humble opinion) and this was one of the books recommended if you needed to let out some feminine rage after the overturn of Roe v. Wade. I would describe this book as: what if Hogwarts was only for girls and instead of being sorted into houses you are sorted into Primeras and Segundas? That’s where we meet our heroine, Daniela, a high-ranking Primera at the school with a dark secret. She and her rival, Carmen, are placed as the Primera and Segunda for a son of a high-ranking government official with a promising political career. As if that isn’t enough, Daniela is forced to spy for the opposition and finds herself questioning everything she has worked for.

It’s a super interesting book with a likable heroine. I’ve already reserved the second book in the series.

Rating: 4 Lindsey Buckingham’s

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Image Credit: Amazon

This may be my favorite book in the Throne of Glass series thus far. The readers get a lot of answers to things that have been building since book one. Without giving too much away, we finally get some, erm, fairy fucking as I like to call it, between Rowan and Celeana. I will say Maas’ sex scenes are a lot. It’s hit or miss (or cringe). Lots of roaring and knocking down trees with their climaxing. I don’t know, I want a realistic sex scene once and awhile. Maybe it was just ok and not Earth-shattering. Mix it up. We also get a lot more Manon which I LOVE. She is quickly becoming my favorite character. I think Maas laid out this story brilliantly and I can’t wait to read 6 and 7.

Rating: 4.5 Lindsey Buckingham’s

Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola

Image Credit: Amazon

Bolu Babalola might be my favorite new author of 2022. After loving her short story book, Love in Colour, I immediately reserved Honey & Spice. The premise isn’t new, but the execution is fresh. What I also love about the book is that the protagonist, Kiki, hasn’t had sex and Malakai doesn’t force her. But, at the same token, her being a virgin isn’t a big plot point, but something mentioned. I don’t know, there is just something refreshing about romance that isn’t wrapped up in sex, but just as passionate and intriguing. Well-written, modern love story you can get lost in.

Rating: 4.5 Lindsey Buckingham’s

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Image Credit: Goodreads

Ever since I read Free Food for Millionaires people have been telling me I have to read Pachinko. I definitely prefer Pachinko. The book tells a story over multiple generations of Korean immigrants living in Japan. Although we jump around to different POV, the main character we see life through is Sunja. She is a much more sympathetic character than the protagonist in Free Food for Millionaires and the story is compelling and an insight into cultures and clashes I’m not super familiar with. I knocked off 1/2 a point only because the ended felt very abrupt.

Rating: 4.5 Lindsey Buckingham’s

We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Image Credit: Amazon

Sometimes I feel like book series are stretched out too much for that coin. But, in the case of We Set The Dark series, I think it needed another book. The second book is entirely from Carmen’s POV – and while it’s nice to get to know the Segunda better – I feel like we miss out on hearing again from Dani. The story felt fairly predictable and just didn’t do it for me. I really think it needed to be fleshed out more and extended into a 3rd book with a little more of what happens after the war between La Voz and Medio. On a positive note, it’s refreshing to see a young, same-sex couple navigate new love. Representation matters.

Rating: 3 Lindsey Buckingham’s

And that wraps up August! See you in Sept. with the next installment! 🙂


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