August Wrap-Up

I feel like July was a very long time ago, but that somehow I missed August completely? For me, August is one of those months that just happens without me realising it – July is mid-winter and holidays, and September is when university amps up and I am buried beneath an avalanche of essays. August just is. Thankfully, this means that I was able to get some reading done and I finished August with a solid five books read!

The first book that I read in August was Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I picked this book up at one of my earlier forays into the world of second-hand bookfests and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since. I knew there was a movie and I was vaguely aware of the storyline and I was ready for a powerfully poetic book that would leave me with a lot of feelings. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to that. It was sad, and it did leave me feeling how I expected it to – hollow, thoughtful, and a little disturbed. However, it took me a looooong time to get there. Reading it just felt like a mission, and I had to force myself to sit down and get through it. It’s a heavy topic, but the writing meanders around and the plot feels disjointed. It’s very much a train-of-thought type narrative that idles and dithers about. For that reason it wasn’t an engaging read for me, as it felt more like the narrator was sifting through her thoughts, rather than telling a story. I can understand why the style is like it is, and I appreciated it but I just didn’t enjoy it that much.

The second book that I read was The Female of The Species by Mindy McGinnis. I saw this in the library, bright yellow cover, witty cover-art and catchy blurb. I thought, ‘this will be a an gritty read with a witty feminist take on high-school culture’. No, the blurb of this book is not metaphorical. The main character, Alex, does actually know how to kill a man. This book is not what you’d expect and I really really enjoyed it. It was raw and disturbing and really sad, but it was well-written, and it covered some extremely important topics. I’ve got a full review up earlier on my blog!

Thirdly, I read The Falconer and the sequel The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May. I’d seen these beautiful covers all over Instagram and the story sounded right up my alley. I came across the first two books in my local library, which I actually didn’t recognise at first because they had hideous covers! Now, I don’t mean to be harsh but when the alternative cover-art is gorgeous, I cannot help but be extremely critical of an alternative! However, I decided to put aside my bias against the covers and read them (because I am a big person and need to stop being influenced by cover-art and font). It was my first time reading anything steam-punk which was super cool, and I loved that it was set in Scotland. I liked the love-interest, and enjoyed the plot and the characters. There are elements that are a little cliche’ / follow the regular ya-style, but I find these books perfect for when you need something a bit lighter! Both books were fast-paced and enjoyable, and pretty addictive. I’m looking forward to reading the third book in the next few months.

Finally, my favourite book of the month… The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I picked this one up from my favourite second-hand store (I just realised that all these books are either from the library or second-hand which is an accurate reflection of how stingy I am). I really wanted to read this one in June for Pride Month but couldn’t find it in the library, and so I was thrilled when I stumbled across it for only $2! It was heart-breaking and beautiful and I really enjoyed Madeline Miller’s narrative voice. I found that I really enjoyed learning a little more about Greek myth and the important characters within that history. This book has definitely inspired me to read up more of Greek mythology and history!

What was your top read in August?

Cass xx

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