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?