August Wrap-Up!

Hello lovelies! πŸ₯°

How is it September already?! This is my monthly “time flies by too fast” panic rant. I don’t know if it’s just me, but September is synonymous with new beginnings and change. I’m both nervous and excited for the things that are happening and I’m happy that August was a time of rest, a “calm before the storm” kind of month and that I managed to read some books I loved!

My goal in August was to read as much as I could and mostly read romances because August was Romance Awareness Month. I read romances all the time to be honest but it was nice to have an excuse to almost exclusively read romances or romance-heavy books.

How Moon Fuentez Fell In Love With The Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliand. β˜…β˜…β˜….5 stars
I was lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for this book. The writing style and themes were nothing short of beautiful. However, I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped because of the way religion was dealt with. You can see my full review here.
With You Forever by Chloe Liese.β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… stars. I have to thank the ARC gods (erm, Netgalley) for the amazing opportunity of being an early reviewer for this book. The Bergman Brothers series is one of my all time favourite romance series and With you Forever might be my favourite to date! See my full review here.
Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… stars. This book was such a nice surprise!!! It reminded me of Geekerella because of the way it dealt with fanfiction, cons and fandom wars. This book was incredibly funny, perfectly steamy and handled the theme of fat representation in a beautiful way. I can only recommend! 
Barbarian Lover by Ruby Dixon β˜…β˜…β˜….5 stars. So I decided to continue reading The Ice Planet Barbarian series because I have all of the audiobooks and these are perfect "palate cleansers", aka books that get you out of reading slumps. This was book focused more on plot and connection and dealt with infertility and it was a nice discussion on the topic (even if the outcome was disappointing). 

And then something terrible happened. I decided to read fantasy books and a particular bad one put me in a slump and slowed my reading progress.

The City of Brass by S.A Chakraborty. β˜…β˜….5 stars
The best part about this book is that I buddy read this with the lovely Cherelle @aboltoutofthebook. That's it. That's the only good thing. Okay, I'm being dramatic but I had such high hopes for this book and the series. I have only heard positive things about the characters, universe and writing style and while nothing was terrible, something didn't click. The universe is incredibly rich but some parts dragged on unnecessarily and I still don't understand the dynamic and tension between the different clans so I just couldn't understand the characters's motives and choices. *deep sigh*
The Dragon Republic by R.F Kuang. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5 stars.
This book however was a huge relief!! The Poppy War is an absolute masterpiece and I'm so happy that this book avoided the "second book syndrome" and was just incredible!! I just didn't get the "feels" that would have made me give it five stars but I'm so happy about the lore, the characters and the way the story went. I just needed a few days to recover but I am ready to read The Burning God!
Broken Prince by Erin Watt - no rating. 
This book was my desperate attempt to avoid my reading slump. This is also why I read the first book in the series back in January and it did its job. I just don't know what it is about the characters and the ridiculous situations they find themselves in, but I was hooked. Also, that cliffhanger?? I can't wait to read the next book in the series!
Drag Me Up by R.M Virtues β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I was so very excited to read this book because Hades and Persephone retellings are my kryptonite. In this book Hades is demisexual and Persephone is a trans woman and they are both people of color. I was basking in the representation. I thought I would give this five stars but there wasn't enough angst or tension between Hades and Persephone. Their chemistry was undeniable but something was missing. I would definitely recommend this book if you are looking for a different, diverse take on the myth!

And then the reading gods were with me because I was motivated enough to read again and I actually enjoyed all of the books above!

Sick Kids In Love by Hannah Moskowitz. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5 stars
THIS BOOK. This book was AMAZING!!! I loved all of the discussions about ableism, chronic illnesses and biases. It raised so many valid points in a beautifully articulated manner. I felt seen. Sasha was hilarious (the banter was pure gold!), supportive and patient. Isabel was a great main character and I loved her personality. This is such a unique and important book and it deserves way more hype!
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… stars. This was so much better than Shatter Me!!! I still felt like it was a little bit of a filler book but we got to discover the characters a little bit better and Kenji was the real star of the book. He acted as comic relief but you can tell he went through many hardships and still chooses to fight; I also loved learning about Juliette's powers and her growing connection to Warner. The writing style in this was very poetic and metaphorical and you can tell the author chooses her words with purpose. 
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… stars.
This book still haunts me. I have no words to describe the emotions that I experienced as I read this. It's such a heartbreaking, dark and raw experience and I'm in awe of the author's skills to weave such a simple yet intricate story in 200 pages.
Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I am a sucker for historical romances. I love them with everything I have and I realized I wanted nothing more than to read about Black women in historical settings because the erasure is real. This book taught me so much about the conditions of Black people after the American Civil War and the tension in the book was written perfectly; I wish it were just a little bit steamier because the slow burn was real and everything happened off the page. I cannot recommend this book enough and I will be reading more books by Beverly Jenkins!!

I realize now that maybe I was frustrated by the lack of spice in Forbidden because I proceeded to read books that were 30% romances, 60% steam and 10% plot.

Barbarian Mine by Ruby Dixon. No rating. 
This is my second favourite!! The couple had such great chemistry and I really loved their romance.
Barbarian's prize by Ruby Dixon. No rating. 
TW sexual assault.
 Finally one of the main characters was a Black girl!! Heck yes. This book was more interesting than the others because Tiffany is a sexual assault survivor and she was trying to build trust and sexual intimacy with the kindest and sweetest alien ever. Their story was very touching and actually had a plot.
That Time I Got Drunk and Saved A Demon by Kimberly Lemming. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5
The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover, the second thing that drew me to this book was the title!! I'm so glad I picked this up. A fun fantasy romance with a black main character who loves food!!!!! This was a surprise favorite! The writing style was very fluid and modern. It was slightly ridiculous but perfect for escapism.

Anticipated releases of the August

Favourite posts of the month

Guys!! I AM MOVING TO PARIS ON MONDAY!!! My apartment is stunning and I am very excited to see some of my classmates again and living the parisian life of my dreams. It was cut short last year because of the pandemic and I only got to live there a month. I am starting my second year of my master’s degree in International Relations and it is also my last school year ever and I am feeling quite anxious about that. I have to do an internship in February and I hope that I will have figured it out by then, or found something I’m remotely interested in. I have so many opportunities and choosing has always been difficult for me. I’m just so grateful that I get to live my dream and I’m going to try my very best!! I also completely redesigned my blog (as well as I could) and I’m really happy with the results. I hope you find it aesthetically pleasing too!

Life goals:

  • Try to be social and be myself
  • Say no when it gets too much but not turn down everyone
  • put myself out there
  • Be more confident
  • Get my nails done

Blogging Goals:

  • Prioritize my blog
  • Post more regularly: at least twice a week
  • Do more blog hopping and interact with other book bloggers more; find more friends!
  • Actively promote my blog on various platforms
  • Put out content I’m proud of

Resources

The world is pretty chaotic so here are some links and resources to get informed and take action!

19 thoughts on “August Wrap-Up!

  1. AHHH Congrats on your move to Paris and all the best with everything there!! Hope you have a great time!
    I’m glad to Hera you loved Sick Kids in Love since I am really looking forward to reading it!
    P.S. Thank you for sharing my post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You read so many books! So glad to hear that you enjoyed Drag Me Up, it deserves all. Also, all the best with Paris!!! It sounds like a dream. Hope you have an amazing time.

    Thanks for linking my post 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha yes, August was a great reading month!! Yes, Drag Me Up was so good, can’t wait to read the other books in the series! And thank you so much!! πŸ’•

      Like

  3. ahhh lovely wrap-up karla! i’ve never been to paris and it has always been my dream to just even eat a croissant in france😭 i’m so happy you enjoyed unravel me! i’ve read the first book of the series, however a friend of mine (not anymoreπŸ”₯) spoiled the whole series for me. but i’m re thinking to read it even with the spoilers . . . have a wonderful september!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much becky!! πŸ’• If you ever visit, my door is wide open!! Also I hate people who spoil books, good riddance haha πŸ˜‚ Apparently the third book is amazing, so I’ll let you know! Happy September to you ❀️

      Like

  4. omg karla i’m gone from the blogosphere for a mere few weeks and I come back to this gorgeous revamped blog of yours?? WOW. I’m really excited to read how the moon feel in love with the universe, and argh sorry for both of us that city of brass was a disappointment (I loved our buddy read though <3) but am thrilled that you loved the dragon republic, I hope that the burning god both wrecked and steals your entire heart when you get to it haha! ooh that is so cool, happy moving! wishing you a lovely september, great post as always! πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you SO MUCH Cherelle!! πŸ’•πŸ’• I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on How Moon Fuentez Fell In Love With The Universe!! I loved our buddy read too!! We need to read another (hopefully enjoyable) book together again! πŸ₯° I’m planning on reading The Dragon Republic at the end of the month and you will be the first to know! ❀️ Happy September to you too πŸ’•πŸ₯°

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You had a rollercoaster ride of a reading month! Glad to see you enjoyed most of your readings!
    Good luck on your move (which happened today now that I think about it). I hope everything went smoothly! πŸ’• Good luck with your goals! Knowing your boundaries about seeing others and going out is good because then you’re not stuck feeling like you have to say yes to everything!
    Lastly, I love your blog headers! They are SO cute! 😊❀️
    Happy reading in September!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It went smoothly, thank you so much Meghan!! πŸ’•
      Yes, I’m going to try to keep looking after myself but being more open!
      And thank you for your eternal support!! ❀️
      Happy reading month to you too!! πŸ₯°

      Liked by 1 person

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