August slipped away into a moment in time… My last month of summer was a great reading month! Now that I’m a senior, I’ll be busy for the rest of the year with college applications but will hopefully have some time to get some reading in. I’m excited to read more fall-esque books soon- I’ve been saving all my dark academia and non-romances for the fall season.
- Read: 8 books
- Two 3-stars, two 4-stars, two 5-stars, two w/ no rating
- Favorite book of August: I Kissed Shara Wheeler
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver (no rating)
This was a required summer reading for AP Lit, and even though I will not rate it, I enjoyed it a lot!
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Rachel Lynn Solomon does it again with another heartwarming, emotional coming of age romance! Quinn’s background and personality was crafted with so much nuance and realism. A lot of teenagers like myself can relate to her anxieties about college, her future career, and living up to familial expectations. I also adored the premise about wedding planning. Tarek was the perfect love interest, and the romance was cute. The one big thing that made me cringe was that the story was centered around Quinn’s rejection of romance and fear of falling in love, which led to a lot of frustrating moments where she would push Tarek away when he tried to be honest about his feelings for her. I, personally, couldn’t relate to her in that aspect and was often annoyed with her actions toward Tarek. Even though she grew from these fears, it made the romance a little too exasperating to me. Rating: 4 stars
Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie (no rating)
This book was my last AP Lit required reading, and I also liked it a lot!
The Bodyguard by Katherine Center
This was a perfect romcom that has such potential to be turned into a movie. The premise of a woman being a bodyguard for a movie star was a total trope reversal and so fun! This book was also hilarious and had a sweet love interest and cast of characters. My only very slight issue was that the writing was a little too choppy and childish. Rating: 4 stars
The No-Show by Beth O’Leary
This is definitely the most bizarre “romance” I’ve ever read. I say “romance” because you shouldn’t go into this expecting it to be a rom-com, because in my opinion it’s not. It is very much chick-lit/literary fiction, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the execution of the plot was not done well. I don’t blame the author, since I doubt that even the best writer would be able to craft a good romance with this fever dream of a premise. My reading experience was satisfactory until the huge plot twist hit. It felt like a very annoying cop-out at first, but then I understood the reasoning behind it. Even so, I just don’t think that any romantic component of the book was able to shine because of how convoluted the plot was. I completely understand why this book is so polarizing, but my feelings are so muddled that I have to give The No-Show a middle-of-the-road rating. Rating: 3 stars
I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston
I can say with certainty that this will be my favorite book of 2022. The mark of a really excellent YA book is if it makes me, an exhausted senior, relish the high school experience. Not only did this book do that, it’s probably the most relatable, delightful YA high school book I’ve ever read. The life of a teenager is detailed so earnestly through the large cast of unique, lovable, and complex characters. I absolutely adored the unlikely found family created as well as the nuanced discussion on being queer in a religious town. The mystery plotline was exciting and fast-paced. The academic rivals to lovers was unlike anything I’ve ever read in that it was extremely profound and emotional. I’m surprised to say that this is Casey McQuiston’s best book and deserves so much more hype! Rating: 5 stars
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
There were both good parts and bad parts about this book. First, the good parts: the commentary on grief and family was very good, and so was the main character’s development from beginning to end. The premise was so interesting, and overall the story was wholesome. However, the book was much more about dealing with death than it was about romance. I thought the romance was pretty weak. Also, the writing was very juvenile and cheesy; I could tell that the author is well-versed in the YA genre, but her writing just didn’t fit well in an adult book. Rating: 3 stars
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Although a little slow at first, this book was a wild ride. I loved following 4-5 different points of view from both new and old characters, since each POV was important in building up the plot from different directions. Aelin/Celaena’s character growth was beautifully crafted throughout the book, and I loved seeing her relationship with Rowan grow as well. SJM really has a knack for dramatics in the best way possible. The last 10 percent of the book was full of betrayal, sacrifice, and heartbreak involving all the characters. I can’t wait to continue the series! Rating: 5 stars
P.S: I still do not at all understand why people don’t like Chaol! I find him to be an immensely realistic and human character who always ends up doing anything for the people he loves. You all are missing out on a real gem.