August 2023 Wrap Up

Not to be a total cliche, but August really did slip away into a moment in time. I spent most of it packing for college, being nervous about college, and moving into college. I’ve made it a little over a week in college and I’m already back home for Labor Day weekend, but baby steps, right? I’m currently trying to figure out how to check out books at my college library and once I do that, my college reading era will be in full swing. Still trying to get used to classes, studying, and my social life, so I might not read that much for the next few months. Anyway, August was a pretty good reading month, with only 4 and 5 star reads!


  • Read: 5 books
  • Three 4 stars, two 5 stars
  • Favorite book of August: Divine Rivals

The Serpent and the Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent

A Hunger Games-style competition in a vampire kingdom? Count me in. The book absolutely delivered what the premise promised us– there was so much action, alliances formed, and of course betrayal. The worldbuilding was intriguing but slightly unstable and unexplained. Oraya was such a genuine main character whose ideals and goals changed throughout the story. Raihn was an equally real love interest, and their romance was surprisingly well paced and not too rushed through the course of the competition. I can’t resist a complex father-daughter relationship, and this one was amazingly written and one of my favorite parts of the book. The ending was brutal and explosive and definitely had the shock factor, setting up for an interesting sequel. Rating: 4 stars

Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams

 I recently read another book by the same author, and I’m happy to say this one was marginally better. The characters were definitely not as immature and cringey as the characters in The Cheat Sheet. It was a really sweet relationship with a sweet hero and heroine, and there was a lot of depth to both characters and them realizing that they had new, different desires for their lives. The small town setting was also fun! There was really nothing outwardly wrong with this book, but I’m an angsty gal and everyone being sweet all the time was a tad boring. Rating: 4 stars

Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

This book was deeply romantic and emotional, and a unique take on the fantasy genre! I enjoyed the setting/late 1800s time period that the story was inspired by. The old-timey-ness of the trains, typewriters, and newspapers actually paired well with the magical war between the gods. The plot was simple and easy to follow, which is always a breath of fresh air when it comes to the fantasy genre. The rivals to lovers romance had me in a chokehold, it was so well written and beautiful. The commentary on the effects of war and grief gave a serious tone, while the found family aspect added the perfect amount of humor and lightness. I’m DYING to find out what happens in the sequel. Rating: 5 stars

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

This was my favorite Ali Hazelwood book. Elsie was the least quirky/not like other girls main character of all 3 books, so I was never annoyed by her. She was also deeply relatable: in the words of Taylor Swift, a “pathological people pleaser” who changed her personality to cater to other’s needs. The love interest, Jack, was so perfectly in tune with her and was able to see right through her people pleasing. The two of them were extremely well matched and their romance was delectable. Rating: 5 stars

The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen

This was a classic fantasy enemies-to-lovers romance with a driven and ruthless protagonist and tons of deception and betrayal. Lara was a super interesting MC who had to grapple with her father’s brainwashing and the choice between two kingdoms. The romance was slightly underwhelming up until the last 10 percent, where it became infinitely more interesting. It was pretty hard to understand all the trading and politics between the 4 or 5 kingdoms, as well as the naval strategy– and I personally wasn’t interested in that stuff either. I would’ve probably preferred a magic system as opposed to a typical rival kingdoms war plot. However, I enjoyed the portion of the plot that focused on Lara’s deception and her mission. I will be reading the next book, because that cliffhanger was crazy. Rating: 4 stars

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