Monthly Wrap-Up: August 2020

Hi everyone! Welcome to my first monthly wrap-up post. I am sure these will evolve over time, but for now I’ll include Book Coven book club, fave books you can buy now, books to look out for and books I want to read soon. August was a great month for 5 star reading – more than half of the books I read achieved this! I went on holiday too, which was a really nice break from work (fortunately we had great weather – it’s gone cold now!)

Book Club

Every month the mods of the Book Coven get us to suggest books that make up the book club bracket. We then vote all the way through to a final, and that’s the book we read together over the course of 3 weeks. Then the amazing Paragraphs and Pages asks us some super insightful questions and off we go.

This month we read Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This is a really creepy, bizarre horror novel that I definitely wouldn’t normally end up picking up, but I am really glad I did. It follows Noemi, a socialite sent to the countryside to investigate what’s happening to her cousin Catalina after receiving a concerning letter. But things at High Place are even worse than they appear, leaving both women in more danger than they could have imagined. Silvia has a great writing style that really draws you in, and I loved Noemi as a character – strong and caring, a winning combination. Meaghan asked some super great questions that made me consider things I didn’t pick up on when reading. You can read my friend Sam’s review for the blog tour right here.

Next month we will be reading The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant, a book I have already read and loved but can’t wait to read again. See you there?

Favourites

On to my favourite books this month that you can pick up in stores right now. It is really hard to choose this month because lots of them were so good!

Ace of Shades and King of Fools are sitting there waiting for you, ready for Queen of Volts that releases on September 1st! They follow Enne, a girl that grew up on an island at a finishing school for girls, who has ventured into the City of Sin to search for her adoptive mother who never returned home. There she meets Levi, the head of a gang, The Irons. Honestly I loved the concept of these books and they are so full of mystery and puzzles. You can see my review of Queen of Volts here.

Now is also the perfect time to read The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic before The Burning God arrives in November. They follow Rin, a girl who was going to be forced into marriage who trains her way to military school to avoid that future. Honestly, these are some of the most wonderfully written heavily military books I’ve ever read. They combine detail and character growth beautifully – and The Burning God is just as wonderful. You can see my review of The Burning God here.

Finally, Record of a Spaceborn Few is the most recent book in Becky Chamber’s Wayfarers series. I loved it just as much as the others. It follows a small group of humans living on the huge space-based city of Fleet, formed of huge spaceships. It is very character driven, and the stories all connect in the best ways. There is a strong theme of being lost and finding yourself which I connected with a lot. I can’t wait for the next book in the series releasing in 2021! You can see my spotlight post on Becky Chambers here.

Books to Look Out For

I had the pleasure of reading many amazing eARCs from NetGalley this month. I’ve already mentioned Queen of Volts and The Burning God, so I’ll talk about the others.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue became my favourite book of all time. It’s out in October and I honestly feel like it is V.E. Schwab’s best work to date. Emotive and gripping, I feel like it’s her most personal story. I highly recommend it, and you can see my review here.

The Betrayals by Bridget Collins is releasing in November, so I was super glad to get an advanced copy of this. I have the Waterstones edition of pre-order, and I do not regret it! The book centres on The Grand Jeu, which we never actually learn much about, which I love because it relies on reader imagination and will have so many different interpretations! There are some things I’m still not sure about that I’ll have to think about on my re-read, but overall this is a great book.

I didn’t read that many YA books this month, but my favourite was an eARC of Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez. It’s a story set in Rosario, Argentina, and follows Camlia, a girl who longs to play football professionally but is being pressured into medicine. I love this book mostly because Camila makes such mature decisions when it comes to the romance in her life – this representation is so, so important for teenagers, particularly girls, to have. You can read my review here. I strongly recommend you check this book out!

Next month?

I am so excited for September – A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik releases which I’m very much looking forward to. I’m also re-reading Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers as I just bought Igniting Darkness.

August purchases included Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman, Wing Jones by Katherine Webber, Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, and Tumbling by Caela Carter. Definitely going to get to these in September, as part of the Hamilton inspired bingo by the Book Coven!

That’s all from me, hope you enjoyed this book and also had a great month of reading. Looking forward to seeing what everybody has been up to. Have you read any of the books mentioned in this post? What did you think?

ARC Review: Queen of Volts

This review contains Spoilers for Ace of Shades and King of Fools.

Oh wow, where to begin? We left King of Fools with the world knowing Enne’s identity as the last living Mizer, creators of volts that everybody fears. She destroyed her relationship with Levi after killing his best friend Jac under influence from the Omerta cast upon her by Vianca. But now, Levi and Enne are free of Vianca’s influence once and for all, but the other, Bryce Balfour, is their new problem. And there’s a new game to play, and not everyone can be a winner. This is a fantastic, twisty end to The Shadow Game trilogy, with more characters and more points of view than before.

Star rating: 5 stars

This is a book with many points of view – Enne, Levi, Sophia, Lola and Harvey all get their own time with the reader now. The gang are more divided than ever thanks to previous events, but they’ll have to work together to overcome the new threats. A new game of cards has pitted them against each other, and it makes for a wonderfully written plot where the reader is never quite sure what these morally grey characters are going to do.

Enne is a great character – but she’s no longer the innocent, sheltered kid from Bellamy. Killing Jac has scarred her, and she’s jumpy and quick to fight. Levi is mourning the death of his best friend but he still has the Irons to handle. Both of them need to decide what to do with the Scarhands and the Doves, both leaderless and either an asset or a threat. Sophia’s parentage is still a big mystery – as is her split talent that she gave to The Bargainer. She is also mourning Jac, and has found herself bound to Vianca’s son, Harrison, through Omerta. Lola is Enne’s second but her friend does something she can’t forgive. Leaving the Spirits, she is now with The Bargainer, who has taken something she didn’t know she was giving up. Finally, Harvey is a confusing character. In love with Bryce, he gave up his freedom to Harrison to save him. The story of where his loyalties lie and the character growth was immense.

I love the diversity in this book – a world where same sex relationships are not treated any differently. There are some really cute romances, which brought some light to a very dark plot. Amanda did a great job and drawing the loose ends to closures, with the book solving mystery after mystery from Enne and Sophia’s parentage to the loyalties of the characters.

Honestly, I really love the concept of this series – especially the family talents, the card games (this final book definitely has the best, most complex game out there). There are many characters to keep track of, but this isn’t made particularly difficult. I’m amazed Amanda managed to fit all of their stories in so few pages (which is probably why it reads so fast).

Are you looking forward to Queen of Volts? It’s published on 1st September 2020 so not long to wait! Thanks to NetGalley and HQ for the eARC.

WWW Wednesday (26th August 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern for the second time. It’s one of the most unique books I have ever come across, and is such a beautiful novel full of stories within stories. I highly recommend it if you like Strange the Dreamer and books written like it, because it’s so dreamy and whimsical with gorgeous writing.

What did you recently finish reading?

Only the best book I’ve ever read? The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, which I was very lucky to receive an eARC of recently. It has some of the most beautiful quotes ever, made me feel things no book ever has, and broke my heart over and over. This is not one to miss and is Schwab’s best work in my opinion!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I got sidetracked with my re-read of The Starless Sea, so I’m thinking that Ace of Shades and King of Fools will be next so I can go in fresh to Queen of Volts. I can’t wait to see how Amanda Foody ends this trilogy!

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

WWW Wednesday (19th August 2020)

Hi friends, this is the first time I’m taking part in WWW Wednesday. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

Well, at the moment it’s The Burning God by R.F. Kuang. I enjoyed The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic so much, and I’m really grateful to have an eARC of The Burning God. I am so excited to see where the story goes!

What did you recently finish reading?

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. It follows a whole cast of interesting characters who are linked in subtle ways. I love how quiet the plot is because it really gives the characters opportunity to shine and draw you in. My favourite character was definitely Pip because he reminds me of me, especially when I was also 16. You can see my thoughts on Becky Chambers Wayfarers series here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I have just been approved for an eARC of Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody. I really liked the earlier books in the series so I will probably go with that. Or Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman which I bought last week when I was on holiday.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.