August has come and gone so fast that I didn’t realize it was time for yet another monthly wrap-up, hence why it’s as late as it actually is. Whoops. Anyway, this is how my month went.
August was quite a quiet month for me. I went back to work on August 1 after a one week break. Many colleagues were on Summer leave so the few that were still working had to do some extra office days. Normally I work those at home. Because we had a heatwave coming, it was okay to work at the office since there was airconditioning. It broke down once and let me tell you, that wasn’t fun.
Furthermore, I had a dinner for my mom’s birhtday, barely touched my blog (big oops) and the new Demi Lovato album came out and that one is ffire. I love it, because I’m a sucker for rock music and I’m really happy it’s getting its well-deserved revival. Also, I’ve read several books and hauled several as well.
One summer in Venice by Nicky Pellegrino
This book was perfect for a lazy summer day. I listened to the Dutch audiobook and the story takes us to Venice with all its cute narrow streets and moreover its finest foods. It’s not a spectacular or great book – in fact it’s somewhat predictable -, but just what you need to relax a little. ⭐⭐⭐ (3 stars)
These Twisted Bonds by Lexi Ryan
I started this book in July actually, but didn’t manage tof inish it. My review will be up soon – okay I shouldn’t say that out loud because you know what happened before -, but I can already give yo some spoilers. I didn’t like it as much as I liked These Hollow Vows after my second attempt, in my opinion it could have just been one book altogehter. I’ve listened to the audiobook for this and the narration was fine. ⭐⭐⭐,5 (3,5 stars)
The Words We Keep by Erin Stewart
After reading Scars Like Wings back in 2019 or 2020 (I cannot even remember), I was really curious for this new book by Erin Stewart. So, I pre-ordered it. However, it took me several months to pick it up. I finally did in August and quite honestly I wasn’t as blown away as with Stewart’s previous book. I cannot judge the representation of mental health, but nevertheless this story is raw and emotional. I just didn’t fly through it as I did with Scars Like Wings. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 stars)
Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen
This was one of the most anticipated books for this entire summer. Naturally, I was curious. When I picked this book up however, I was lost and confused. I didn’t connect to the characters, the plot and the world. It all stayed somewhat vague for me. Therefore, I couldn’t enjoy the book as much as I wanted to. However, i find it just too good for 2 stars. ⭐⭐,5 (2,5 stars)
You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
This novel is a huge hype on Booktok and to be honest, the synopsis really intrigued me. Therefore, I decided to pick this book up. However, it didn’t meet my – probably way too high – expectations and wasn’t as emotional as I was expecting or maybe even looking for. Furthermore, I couldn’t stand the main character July most of the time, although her grief was strong. Unfortunately, this hyped book is not really for me. ⭐⭐⭐ (3 stars)
To Italy, With Love by Nicky Pellegrino
This book is the compenion novel to A Dream Of Italy, which I read last year. This novel is not really spectacular, but was the perfect read for the heatwave weekend. ⭐⭐⭐ (3 stars)
In het vervloekte hart by Rima Orie
This book is a Dutch YA fantasy and quite a good one. Usually I’m not the biggest fan of Dutch YA fantasy books, but this one sparked my interest from start to finish. The author implemented historical elements of colonial Surinam within the actual story, the country where her roots are. Furthermore, there are horror elements intertwined in it which makes it even more original. This is just not your generic story about colonialism or the special snowflake girl on a military academy. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 stars)
De jongen die van de klif sprong en zacht terechtkwam by Stefan Raatgever
Another originally Dutch book about a coming out. I was really looking forward to read this and the synopsis again sounded intriguing, but unfortunately it didn’t meet my expectations. The author is a journalist for a newspaper and somehow that was visible throughout the story. Sometimes it felt to me that I was reading the news instead of a story where the MC struggles with his identity and sexuality. I just couldn’t invest myself in this book which is a pity. ⭐⭐⭐ (3 stars)
All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman
And yet another book that has been on my list forever but didn’t meet my expectations. People praise it as The Hunger Games but then with magic. In my opinion, this is one of the most dangerous comparisons to make because The Hunger Games is such a YA classic. I just couldn’t help myself and kept looking for similarities between that series and All Of Us Villains. Of course, I found none. Furthermore, I found the pace of the book quite off, the actual tournament started just around 40 or 50% into the story. That’s kind of late. Also the characters weren’t that interesting which made the book a bit boring overall. I won’t be reading the sequel probably. ⭐⭐⭐ (3 stars)
Het zolderkamertje aan de Bloemgracht by Mia Zomerdijk
And finally – how original -, yet another originally Dutch book. It was quite predictable, but sometimes that doesn’t matter. I flew through it though. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 stars)
I hauled the following ebooks and audiobooks:
- To Italy, with love by Nicky Pellegrino (Dutch edition);
- Hoop voor het landhuis by Anne Jacobs (Dutch edition, originally German and not translated to English);
- The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas (Dutch edition although it wasn’t released yet but there was an exclusive ebook deal. Fun fact, I already own the English version);
- With Love From London by Sarah Jio (Dutch edition);
- Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu (Dutch edition);
- Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart (Dutch edition);
- The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain (Dutch edition);
- The White Girl by Tony Birch (Dutch edition);
- Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen (Dutch edition);
- Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean (Dutch edition);
- Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Audio pre-order);
- All Of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman (audio).
This was my August. I’ve managed to read quite a lot, but unfortunately many books did not meet my expectations. What will September bring?