Summer Reading Wrap-up

a coffee in a blue cup next to a succulent in a white container

As fall creeps closer, it’s time to take a look at all the books I read in June, July and August. Don’t forget to follow me on Goodreads and let me know below if you read any amazing books during this summer!

As you’ll see, I was able to read a ton of books in June. But July and August lead to a very steep decrease. I chalk this up to more intense wedding planning, being really into podcasts (specifically My Favorite Murder), and not being completely enthralled in a book until reading an Ember in the Ashes. I’ve also been working my way through It during this time, which has definitely kept me busy without actually finishing any books.

June

The Nest | 4 stars

the nest cover

I listened to this book from my library and it was definitely a fast-paced, fun read. It was a family drama, but not so serious that it was too heavy. I think this was a great summer read but I do wish I would have read it physically instead of listening to it. I think I would have appreciated it more. I liked the way everything was woven together. And while the ending left me hanging a little bit, I thought it was fitting to the story.

The only thing that really frustrated me about this novel was that I felt like the “bad guy” wasn’t really brought to justice. But at the same time, that’s part of what made this book what it was. It showed the imperfections in all types of people and the affect that actions can have on others. If you go in looking for a quick family drama read then you’ll be perfectly satisfied.

City of Heavenly Fire | 3 stars

cover of city of heavenly fire

I finally finished up this series after reading the first two books three times to try to get into it. I think I pushed through this series so that I would know what everyone was talking about and because it wasn’t necessarily that hard of a read. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that Cassandra Clare’s writing just might not be for me. I do plan on reading the Dark Artifices’ series, just to see if I connect with her writing now that she’s had years of growth. Everyone says that her books just keep getting better and better. If I don’t like that one though I won’t continue with the series and just accept it’s not for me.

This was a fine finale, which is why I gave it three stars, but it is not a work that has stuck with me and it didn’t make that big of an impact on me. I just wanted to care for the characters more than I do. I did like being able to understand some of the tie-ins with the clockwork series and would highly recommend finishing that series before reading the finale of this one. Clare has created an intricate, interwoven world, but I have yet to really care about any of the characters in the story enough to become as big a fan as so many others are. 

Elantris | 4 stars

cover of Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Another Sanderson book down! I am glad that I read this one before continuing on with any other books. It wasn’t as amazing as the beginning of his Mistborn series, but it was still a good book and an interesting read. Following my pattern with all his books so far, the beginning took me a while to read but after about a third of the story I flew through the rest of it. It was an interesting premise unlike much of what I’d read. When I thought I knew what was going to happen it would change and go in a different direction. I’m excited to continue on with more Sanderson books. Let me know if you think I should finish the Mistborn series or go to The Way of Kings. I’m excited for both of them but don’t know the best direction to go with it. 

The Merest Loss | 1 star

cover of The Merest Loss by Steven Neil

I got this book from NetGalley for free to review. I was really intrigued by the synopsis and was excited to start reading it but quickly became disappointed. I stand by my first thought that this could have been a very interesting and compelling book and while I know the version I got was not a finished copy, it needed a lot of editing to become a well-written story. 

This book was choppy, was basically ALL tell and no show, and I was trying desperately to make it work. I finished this so that I could give it an honest review, but I wish I hadn’t. This took me so long to get through and was not worth the time. I wish it had been more polished because I was intrigued by the potential story. 

The Hypnotist’s Love Story | 3 stars

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty cover

Liane Moriarty really writes books that I love to read. This book was my least favorite of what I’ve read so far because I did not care about the relationships in this book, but I did care about the characters and wanted to see how it all played out. 

While I had fun reading this and it was a quick read, I don’t think I would recommend picking it up. Stick with some of her other ones and you’ll get a better experience. I think this writing fit a lot more into what everyone else is doing and didn’t stand out as much as her other works. Still, a fun, quick read if you’re really needing your Moriarty fix!

July

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend | 2 stars

cover of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

This was a book I was really excited for and had been waiting for “just the right time” to read. Unfortunately, it fell extremely flat. I would also not recommend reading the author bio because it made the story a lot less enjoyable to me. It felt like she was writing a fictionalized version of her life. All of the characters were flat and the attempts at emotion and big moments weren’t done well enough for me to get where I wanted to be when reading them. 

It was slightly condescending and left a bad taste in my mouth for the author. I wish this had been taken a little less seriously because I don’t think it was as serious a story as the author wanted it to be. I wouldn’t recommend picking this up. You can find better stories about books in small towns in other places. 

August

An Ember in the Ashes | 5 stars

cover of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This book was amazing and I regret waiting so long to read it! I was worried it was going to be over-hyped and too similar to other YA books that are out, which is how I felt about Red Queen, but it definitely wasn’t. A very well-written story about friendship, family, who you are and what you stand for. I can’t wait to finish the next one and see where it goes. 

That’s it for now! I’m currently reading A Torch Against the Night, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, The Cruel Prince, and It. I’m hoping to buckle down and get these finished as colder weather starts coming in. 

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