Recent Reads | August 2021
August was one of the best reading month's I've had this year and, even though I didn't read that many books, I loved everything I read. It's also gotten me in the biggest reading mood and I finally feel like I kicked my reading slump to the curb. So let's get on with all I read this past month.
1) The Gatekeeper of Pericael, Hayley Reese Chow
This is a middle-grade fantasy following 12-year old Porter, a boy cursed with splitting his life between our world and the dangerous, full of magic, Pericael. His family has been guarding the portal between the worlds for generations, and it's now Porter's turn to train to become the Gatekeeper. I absolutely adored this story, from the characters to the incredibly rich world, and the enthralling writing. It was an adventure from beginning to end and I couldn't put it down. It reminded me of why I adore middle-grade and that I should definitely read it more often. Truly a gem and I'm so happy I was contacted by the author to review this because I wouldn't have found it otherwise. If you want more in-depth thoughts, I have a full review up on my blog, linked here.
2) Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows duology #2)
After rereading Six of Crows in May, I was looking for a moment when I could squeeze in a reread of Crooked Kingdom. For some reason, even though I remembered nearly everything from the first book, I'd forgotten a lot of details about this one which made this reread an even greater experience. I truly adore this duology and this world more than I can explain, and I know I'll keep going back to it time and time again. These are some of my all-time favourite characters and reading this series again felt like coming home. (Content warnings for violence, death, blood, murder, grief, gore, body horror, kidnapping, slavery, torture, trafficking, addiction, panic attacks/disorders, emotional and physical abuse, mention of past sexual assault/violence and rape.)
3) Take a Hint, Dani Brown, Talia Hibbert (The Brown Sisters #2)
The Brown Sisters series has received A LOT of hype since book one came out and, although I really enjoyed Get a Life, Chloe Brown, I only saw the hype after I read this second one. Dani Brown is someone who doesn't really believe in relationships until she finds herself fake dating her friend Zafir, a hopeless romantic. I already knew I loved Talia Hibbert's writing (and I loved the narrator of the audiobook as well) but what made this one of my favourite romances I've ever read was how much I saw myself in Danika. From her bisexuality to her witch rituals and her approach to dating, I saw details of myself in everything she did (minus the PhD and academic inclination). Zafir was also incredibly endearing and it was great seeing them both grow as people. And what I love about this series as a whole is the pure representation done in the best way possible, without it becoming a plot point. The characters are diverse because society is diverse and they simply exist, just as they are. This audiobook had me walking around grinning like an idiot and I couldn't be happier about it. (Content warnings for sexual content, panic attacks/disorders, mental illness, grief, death of parent, mention of past toxic relationship and emotional abuse.)
4) These Violent Delights, Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights #1)
I kept thinking about this book, so I finally caved and got it and was not at all disappointed. These Violent Delights is a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920's Shanghai, a city divided between two major gangs, and the foreigners trying to take it from them. But when a madness starts spreading itself across the city, Juliette and Roma are forced to set their blood feud aside and work together to keep their people from dying. I'm uploading a full review of this next week, so I won't say too much besides the fact that I loved it. The characters were amazing, I was constantly at the edge of my seat, and Chloe's writing is out of this world. And if that isn't enough, It's also got the perfect enemies to lovers romance. Truly outstanding and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. (Content warnings for gun violence, gore, violence, murder, body horror, illness, medical content, death, racism, xenophobia, colonialism, transphobia, deadnaming, misogyny, emotional and physical abuse.)
This is truly the first time this year where I feel like reading all the time, and I couldn't be happier about it. And it's all due to the incredible books I've been reading recently. What did you read in August? Anything that stood out to you? Let me know in the comments!