August 2021 Reads
Updated: Mar 10
It was a pretty great reading month this month. I’m deep into the Throne of Glass series, which is fantastic. I also found some really great Kindle Unlimited reads. I’ve had Kindle Unlimited for a few months now (thanks to a long free trial period), but have struggled to find books that I actually enjoy. This month there were some gems!
Normally, I put my reading round-ups in order, but this month, almost half my reading with from the Throne of Glass series with several other books in the mix. I’ve stuck all my Throne of Glass books at the end, so they can be together with friends.
Heartstopper V3 by Alice Oseman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
I continued reading this series of graphic novels this month. They follow two high school boys as they fall in love and they are super sweet and heartwarming. Even though this volume touched some more serious topics, it still felt like a hug.
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
This book (which came out in 2011) is having a big moment right now thanks to Tik Tok. It follows the relationship of Achilles and Patroclus throughout their life, especially during the events that occur during the Illiad. Achilles (of the famous Achilles’ heel) is the best warrior in all of Greece and Patroclus is his closest companion (aka the love of his life). If you are familiar with the Illiad, you know how this story is going to end (it’s a Greek tragedy, so not well), but this retelling is so emotionally poignant that you can’t help but hope that this time they’ll get a different ending. I thought the writing was beautiful and emotional.
Be warned this will wreck you. I had initially picked this book up back in May but put it on hold about 30% of the way through because I was still emotionally traumatized from A Little Life and wasn’t ready for another heart ripper. Glad I waited a bit because I did cry about this book for a couple of days.
The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
I finally found a book on Kindle Unlimited that I really enjoyed. It’s definitely a challenge to find the good ones amidst the clutter in KU. I heard about this book from TikTok (surprising no one). It follows Catalina as she goes back home to a family wedding in Spain and brings a fake date, who happens to be a coworker she detests. This book was so cheesy in the best ways. Is it predictable? Yeah. But it’s a delight.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨/5
This is a short story collection by the same woman who wrote Into the Dream House (one of the best books I’ve ever read). It’s literary horror, which means spookiness and lots of cultural commentary and also sometimes I didn’t know what was happening. Machado plays a lot with the idea of women’s bodies in a way that feels very poignant. She’s a truly amazing writer. I’m going to go through each short story.
The Husband Stitch- This was my favorite story of the collection. It’s based on the story of the girl with the green ribbon around her neck, which haunted me as a child. It was stunning!
Inventory- This story takes place in a pandemic, which felt a little too close to home and spooky, but really beautiful. It’s told as a list of the narrator’s sexual partners over the years leading up to and through this world-ending disease.
Mothers- TBH, I did not understand this one at all. I read it twice and still had no clue what was happening. I’m sure it was brilliant.
Especially Heinous- This one was the scariest in the collection for me. It’s told through episode synopses of Law and Order SVU. It’s a commentary on the way we consume media around violence towards women. The girls with bells for eyes haunted me for several nights.
Real Women Have Bodies- There’s a plague where women are losing their bodies and slowly becoming incorporeal. It’s one of the more tender stories in the collection.
Eight Bites- This is the story of a woman who is undergoing gastric bypass surgery and is lovingly haunted by all the fat that she is losing.
The Resident- Another one where I was a little confused. The narrative of this one is that a woman resident writer in the mountains with a bunch of other artists (where she was once a girl scout) and then things get weird.
Difficult at Parties- Another really good, hits you in the gut, story. This one follows this woman who has been raped. She’s trying to recover and rediscover her sexuality, but she can hear the thoughts of people having sex (both in porn and real-life). It’s strangely joyful and the funniest story in the collection.
The Takeover by TL Swan ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Another KU win! This is the second book in the Miles High Club, which follows the Miles brothers as they each fall in love. The four brothers run a media empire and are all multi-millionaires (honestly my favorite) I read The Stopover last year and really enjoyed it. This definitely falls into the genre of hot people fix their problems with sex, which I’m not mad about.
The Takeover follows Tristian Miles as he falls for a widow who has three sons. It’s both very steamy and also very sweet. The moments with the kids are too precious. I cried multiple times in the back half of the book. It feels very much like a Disney Channel Orginal Movie where these brothers are trying to get rid of this man who is dating their mom, but from the parent’s perspective. A delightful weekend read.
To Love Jason Thorn by Ella Maise ⭐️⭐️✨/5
Another KU romance in my attempt to get a few more books done this month! Although this book wasn’t objectively great quality, it was fun. I likely will read the second one. It follows Olive and Jason. Jason was Olive’s brother’s best friend when they were kids and Olive always had the biggest crush on him, but then Jason moved away and became a movie star. Olive is now in college (? she completely stopped going to class 30% into the book, so…?) and reconnects with Jason when he is cast as the lead in the movie adaptation of her book. She’s still pining for him and he’s being a hot mess express. Then they have to get married as a PR ploy to recover his image…?
Does the plot entirely make sense? No. The further we go into the book the less anyone’s motivations or the actions make sense, but it was a fun time. SPOILERS (highlight to read): I was very confused by the Charolotte drugging Jason’s drink plotline. That was weird and seemed to make no sense at all… Also, I was very not into the scene where he fingered Olive when she was clearly like drunk-drunk-drunk (this is where he gets a red flag). It didn’t seem necessary to the plot and was also never addressed again. And then, I’m a little confused about the progression of their relationship. They went from 0 to 150 in a second and it was a lot. Like Olive was always in love with Jason (why? IDK) and then 10 seconds later Jason is literally 110% invested in Olive.
The Casanova by T. L. Swan ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Guys, this book was everything. I read it in one night because I couldn’t put it down (finished it at 3:00 am). It was such a delight all the way through and then there was this crazy twist at the end that I completely adored. This book was making me shed a tear over dead parents on one page and then three pages later the couple was meeting his parents naked. Am I a T. L. Swan stan now?
This is the third book in the Miles High series. This book follows Elliot Miles, who is the CEO of the London branch and an art collector, and Kate, head of IT at Miles Media. They’ve worked together for years and always hated each other, but Elliot gets the hots for Kate and romance ensues. It’s a wild time that kept me swooning and on my toes. What more could I really ask for? I also want credit for predicting the first part of the twist. I saw it coming from the last book! But the final twist, I didn’t expect, but it was so so so good. Truly, what made this book 5 stars. SPOILER (highlight to read): I knew the blonde woman from the auctions was the artist that he was looking for.
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨/5
Welcome to the Throne of Glass section of this round-up (aka most of what I read this month). There might be spoilers for the previous books in my reviews, so tread with caution.
Let’s start with Crown of Midnight. We pick up where we left off in TOG, Celaena’s the King’s Champion and she’s got to kill people and really get back to her assassin roots. I felt this book read very much the same as TOG. It’s a very average YA fantasy. I love Celaena and I’m just fine with everything else. There’s some romance in this book, but honestly, I’m not super invested in any of it, despite loving both the boys (Dorian & Chaol) Celaena is clearly too good for both of them. But just you wait...
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Then I read Assassin’s Blade (because I’m following Rosebudmodee on TikTok’s reading order). This book was very good! It was originally published as a series of novellas and sometimes you can feel that, but overall what a great time. This book takes place before Celaena ends up a slave in the salt mines and follows her on several adventures. You really get a feel for her character in these books and I went into this book thoroughly enjoying her as a character and when I finished I was like this girl is my ride-or-die. Honestly, I think you could read this book as a standalone and still really enjoy it.
A Couple Spoiler Things: (Highlight over the text to read)
Fuck Arobynn. What an absolute asshole.
Justice for Sam Courtland. I will never get over this man’s death. With this reading order, I did know his death was coming, but it still hit me like a brick to the chest. Every time they mention it in the later books I cry because this man was a ten out of ten gem and didn’t deserve any of the bad things that happened to him. People always give SJM shit for not killing off characters, but Sam begs to differ.
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Wow! Wow! Wow! It’s honestly like the first three books were prologues to this. The real series is here and it is Queen Shit. We finally get to meet Aelin and Rowan in these books (the people everyone is always talking about). This book is so good!
We’ve got a lot happening, so I’m going to run through the major plotlines.
Manon is this witch whose storyline seems pretty much completely unrelated to everyone else at this point. Her plot is mostly the plot of How to Train Your Dragon with a quick side trip to visit Aaragog (the giant spider from Harry Potter).
Celaena gets sent across the continent to murder a royal family. She doesn’t and instead she goes to the land of the half-fae where she trains with Rowan, a warrior who works for her kind of sketchy aunt. Rowan is a little bit of a jerk, but also romantic tension. She’s working through her trauma and stepping into her power. SPOILER (highlight to read) I just about died during the scene where Rowan was tattooing her. Also when they fought together to save the town and then he took care of her, melt my heart. And then, when she frees him from Maeve’s blood oath and he swears the blood oath to her, consider me a stan.
Dorian is being a grade-A cutie! 🥰 what a leetle gem. He’s falling in love with a healer named Sorscha and trying to do his best to learn how to control his magic. SPOILER (highlight to read) the king cutting off Sorcha’s head! I audibly gasped and threw my book. Poor sweet Dorian
Chaol is trying his best but he’s an enneagram 6 and he can’t be loyal to everyone!!!! So he’s trying to figure out how to help Celeana, while also not betraying the royal family. Also, the Dorian-Chaol bromance might be my favorite part of the series.
I’m still CRUSHED about Sam. Truly heartbroken.
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
While I was reading this book, I thought to myself “Is this the best book I’ve ever read?” I don’t think it has bypassed Evelyn Hugo for my number one spot, but it’s certainly up there. This book was amazing! Truly such an engaging plot and cast of characters. There’s still a lot happening, but I adored all the storylines. All the women in this book are just out here doing Queen Shit. I’ll go through the main storylines again
Manon is still doing her witch stuff in the desert with her cutie pootie wyvern Abraxos (is this not also what Nesta named her sword?) She befriends a girl named Elide (who knew Aelin when they were children). Kaltain is also hanging with the witches. She’s essentially been turned into a zombie slave for the Duke. TBH I did forget that we actually met her in the first two books until she explicitly explains her connection to Celaena. SPOILER The moment when Aelin saves Manon, is so good. And then when Manon leaves her the message all over the town. 10 out of 10. So good!!! Manon is great.
Aelin is back in town and she’s hanging with her cousin trying to figure out how to overthrow the king and get Dorian back. She’s a queen (both literally and figuratively). Her new relationship with Lysandra is everything. Lysandra is also queen status. Wow. Wow. Wow. Also (and I say this with my whole chest) fuck Arobynn. SPOILER (highlight to read): I WEPT when she went to visit Sam’s grave and was like you would have been a good king 😭. And then when Rowan left a stone on his grave too. Tears streaming down my cheeks.
Dorian is trapped in his body with a Valg prince and I’m so scared for my little nugget.
Chaol is trying his best, but honestly, he’s like a third-grader in an AP calc class. Bless his heart. Also, his new friend Nesryn is great. We love her.
The ending SPOILERS: I do not understand what the king said at the end. It just completely went over my head. The bad guy is the duke? The king wanted to find Aelin to free himself? IDK Hopefully someone will explain it to me later.
😢 = I shed a tear
😭 = I ugly cried
🍆 = Some steamy scenes (Rated R)
💎 = A gem
💖 = Warmed my heart
👻 = Scary!
😍= Swoon-worthy love-story
🚩= Red Flag!