August Reading Wrap-Up

August: A busy month full of fantastic books. Here’s what I read…
(Book covers link to Goodreads pages!)

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson – I adored this story. It’s dark and magical and gorgeous, a fresh take on Neverland and Peter Pan. Though this is Tiger Lily’s tale, Tinkerbell narrates, which I thought was a brilliant choice on Jody Lynn Anderson’s part. I loved observing Tiger Lily’s relationships with Peter and Tick Tok and Pine Sap through Tink’s filter, and I loved how enamored Tink was with Tiger Lily’s fierceness and devotion. Lots of messy, complicated relationships, lots of swoon, and an ending that was so bittersweet I’m still thinking about it nearly a month later. *content sigh*

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – Amazing world-building and a totally unique concept, I liked Shadow and Bone even more than I’d anticipated. The Darkling is a complex and fascinating character, Alina grew to be a girl who was likable and strong, and Mal… well, he was just adorable. A big recommend if you’re a fantasy fan, or if you like books that have super high stakes and are full of surprises. I can’t wait to read Siege and Storm!

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley – Where I Belong is a cute (though slightly predictable) contemporary story about Corrinne, a rich city girl who, thanks to the recession and her laid-off daddy, is forced to leave NYC and move in with her grandparents, who live in a small Texas town. She meets people different from herself and has to reprioritize and decide who she really wants to be. Shenanigans and profound personal growth ensue.

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves – What I knew of On the Island‘s concept (Anna, thirty-year-old teacher, and T.J, sixteen-year-old cancer survivor, engage in a romantic relationship on a deserted island) worried me at first. But never fear — Anna and T.J. spend a long time on the island (years) and there’s a lot of maturing and growing and bonding that takes place before they ever consider each other anything more than survival buddies. Hard to believe, perhaps, but their eventual romance (which is legal and tasteful and pretty darn hot) is totally believeable. I was genuinely rooting for Anna and T.J. until the very last pages of their story. On the Island reminded me a bit of The Blue Lagoon, and the writing is excellent — sparse but emotional. Recommend!

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway – This one came with marvelous recommendations from some of my most trusted bookish friends. Everyone who loved it claimed it was super funny but, as a rule, I steer clear of “funny” books. I usually don’t end up finding them all that funny. But Audrey, Wait! is actually incredibly funny, and in a natural, subtle, awesome way. Plus, it’s got one of the best contemporary YA voices I’ve read. I totally want to be friends with Audrey, Victoria, James, and Jonah — they’re the coolest! My Bookanista Rec is HERE.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – An enviably clever, amusing, and sensitive adult novel. I adored Lincoln, and I thought the dynamic between Jennifer and Beth was fantastically done, even though their relationship unfolds in nothing but a series of email conversations. This book only furthered my Rainbow Rowell fangirl status, and I can’t wait for her next release, Fangirl. I spoke more about Attachments and its stellar dialogue in this post.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson – We’re discussing this one for YA Book Club Tuesday, September 3rd, so I’m going to hold off on sharing my thoughts until then. For now, all I’ll say is… wow.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – This second book in The Raven Cycle cemented my love for this unique series and its characters. Gansey’s determination and loyalty make me smile, Ronan’s drifter’s soul breaks my heart, and Blue’s spunk and pluckiness are delightful. The intricate dynamic between characters (especially Gansey/Blue/Adam) awes me. I love, too, Maggie Stiefvater’s prose. It’s unmatchable in its loveliness, and made this story a true experience — I never thought I’d care about a dead Welsh king or illegal street racing. Also, there’s a scene toward the end of the novel that takes place at night, overlooking Henrietta, and it is glorious… You’ll know it when you read it. 🙂

Tell me… What’s the best book you read in August?

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10 responses to “August Reading Wrap-Up

  1. I have Tiger Lily on my Kindle…Should bump it up my TBR 🙂 I loved AUDREY, WAIT! Looking forward to reading your thoughts on SECOND CHANCE SUMMER..
    Hope you´re having a wonderful weekend Katy!

    • AUDREY, WAIT was awesome! I’m so glad I finally had a chance to read it. And yes, definitely give TIGER LILY a read. Honestly, I was surprised by how much I loved it.

  2. More books for the TBR! Although I already have several on the list from your previous recommendations. 🙂 I HAVE to get ON THE ISLAND. And THE ATTACHMENTS. And one of these days I will read SHADOW AND BONE. Great reads, Katy! I too look forward to your thoughts on SCS.

    • OH – and THE DREAM THIEVES?!?!?! SO jealous you’ve already gotten to read it! I can’t wait for September 21!

      • I can’t wait for you to read it! I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews, and I can see why some people had trouble becoming absorbed (it’s a very specific, unique, strange story) but I loved it. I have such a crush on Gansey and his boat shoes. 😉

    • I’m looking forward to hearing what you thought of SECOND CHANCE SUMMER, too, Alison. In detail, anyway, because I remember you saying it’s one of your recent favorites. And yes, I think you’ll love ON THE ISLAND — please read it soon!

  3. Rachelwrites007

    I LOVE AUDREY WAIT! (Hate the pb cover love the original) I still think it’s one of the best funny YAs out there. I can’t seem to get into any of her other books sadly. I also looooved TIGER LILY – man that book is GOOD. 🙂 I haven’t read SECOND CHANCE SUMMER yet and boy oh boy if you loved SHADOW AND BONE you’ll loooove SEIGE AND STORM. It’s even better. Leigh agreed with me at one of her signings lol. I didn’t like Mal at all but I love a character in book2 😛 As for Rainbow Rowell, I seem to the only person in the world who can’t get into her books. Sigh. I’m also still stuck in DREAM THIEVES – I love the writing but I just feel like not much is happening at the moment(pg 200). *sigh* I need to try to get back into it as its a friend’s ARC. 🙂 Great wrap up Katy! Definitely adding SCS to my TBR list!!

    • I’ve yet to try any of Robin Benway’s other books, Rachel, but I’ve heard APRIL, MAY, & JUNE is very good. I’m hoping my library has it in stock. I hope you’re able to get back into THE DREAM THIEVES. I’ve heard from others who didn’t love it, but I am definitely not one of those people. 🙂

  4. Ah, I’m so glad you loved Tiger Lily. I feel like that one was sort of under the radar, but it’s such a messy-beautiful, bittersweet book! I’m also glad you enjoyed Shadow & Bone; I liked the 2nd book much more. 🙂 (And I love the Darkling!)

    I am very curious about Audrey, Wait! now, and I’ve already got ATTACHMENTS on hold at the library. Also looking forward to FANGIRL. 🙂 I didn’t finish SECOND CHANCE SUMMER in time for YA Book Club, but I’m liking what I’ve read so far – and I’ve only been hearing good things. It’s actually making me kind of anxious to see how everything turns out!

    And YAY I’m glad The Dream Thieves looks like it lived up to your expectations. Mine were very high too after The Raven Boys, but I’ve come to generally trust Maggie, more so after DT. It’s funny that you mention your unexpected investment in dead Welsh kings and illegal street racing because I feel the same too. I also don’t think I’ve ever been so invested in a book where I honestly have little idea of where the story is going and what is going to happen! It’s incredible to me that I can care so much and trust so much to overlook this sort of amorphous plot – something that would normally bother me in books, like that feeling where the story seems plot-less or all-over-the-place. Of course, the Raven Cycle books are not like that at all and while I can’t see what the bigger picture is yet, I can see all the plot threads moving and that we’re headed towards something!

    The Dream Thieves was the best book I read in August, but Charm & Strange was great as well!

    • “I also don’t think I’ve ever been so invested in a book where I honestly have little idea of where the story is going and what is going to happen! It’s incredible to me that I can care so much and trust so much to overlook this sort of amorphous plot…” <— Yes! There are very few authors I'd trust with this kind of indefinite plot, but Maggie Stiefvater has me so invested in her characters, I don't really care what they do, so long as I get to spend time with them.

      And I totally agree with you about TIGER LILY. That book deserves far more hype than it's gotten. I adored every moment of it, and I'm still thinking of it more than a month later.

      As far as FANGIRL goes… Can I please read that book RIGHT NOW? I love Rainbow Rowell's writing so much!