Mini Book Reviews: August-September 2021

Hello book nerds! I am back with another mini review recap! I might really start doing this bi-monthly now. Especially if I find myself stressed and caught up on a lot of things, much like the past few weeks, this might be a really great way to still share my reviews and talk to you nerds about books.

So for now, I am featuring my August and September reads! I read some amazing (and may not so amazing?) books these months. From spooky books, to queer books, boyband romance, witchy books, and more! I am so excited to share them with you!

The Dead and the Dark

Cover of The Dead and the Dark

My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My thoughts:

Oh, this was a riveting read! I loved the atmosphere of this book. The eeriness of the setting and the melancholic tone definitely pulls you in as a reader. You get invested in the story and the characters and you’re anticipating and making theories as you read. I loved that!

The characters were great and I loved Logan as the main character! It was amazing how the author managed to give the characters each their own spotlight and give proper characterizations to them. As I read I knew more about their wants, their desires, their flaws, their mistakes. That made the story all the more interesting for me.

I guess, you could also say there was little to no action (I guess I was expecting more). But do not be deceived! You still get hooked with the story and mysteriousness of the plot. Also, the prose here is just poetic, and sad, and a little bit dark, which added more to the flow of the story and the build of the characters.

Above all, I love how it featured a queer family and queer love stories. It also showed that sometimes we have to strive to live in a world that hate us. It was heartbreaking, and also very real.

This was a really great read. Perfect as the spooky season nears!

Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for sending over an e-galley! (This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

An Unexpected Kind of Love

Cover of An Unexpected Kind of Love

My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My thoughts:

Listen, this sounded so cute when I read the synopsis! I was not prepared for the steamy moments that followed. 😂

This, to me, is a textbook romcom. It had all the elements of a good, swoony romcom story! It was fast-paced, has a charming love interest and the relatable main character, the best friend to the rescue, the semi-jealous ex(?), the final grand gesture (sort of? no spoilers tho, lol!). And above all, it makes you want to fall in love, believe in the idea of love. So if you’re looking for a lot of romance, a teeny bit of angst, and some steamy scenes, this is it!

E-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.

If This Gets Out

Cover of If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My thoughts:

Finished this book at 3 AM in the morning and all I could think about is Ruben and Zach and Angel and Jon *cries*

This book was just incredible. Yes, I expected boyband romance, yes, I expected angst and pining. But damn, it still caught me off guard.

What Sophie and Cale has created here is a riveting story about the pressure towards young artists (esp queer, marginalized artists), young people being exploited and controlled by the industry, trying to figure out your sexuality, figuring out what you really want and standing by it, finding family among strangers and coming together, and about finding strength and hope. And of course, a story about love.

This book has left a mark on me and I’ll forever cherish this story about Ruben, Zach, Angel, and Jon. Kudos to the authors! I cannot wait until it releases to the world! 💜 (Also, check out my fancast for Zach and Ruben here!)

I will most likely post a full review for If This Gets Out as well, probably around a month before release date. Please look forward to that! I’m also a part of the official street team, so feel free to follow me on social media for some ITGO-updates and more!

(E-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

Broken Web

Cover of Broken Web

My rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

My thoughts:

I seriously wanted to just lay down and stare at the ceiling after reading this. This had been incredible. *cries*

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Broken Web. From the rich world-building, to the fantastic plot twists, all the way to the complex villain, it all just comes together to form this exciting and immersive sequel. The first 30% was a bit slow, and there was little to no action. However, there’s so much details to uncover, a lot of history and magic, and I love that. I loved reading the story through Sirscha’s perspective, and I loved the plot twists! I was also pleasantly surprised when I started to sympathize with the villain. And of course, I am living for bi Sirscha! Few days before I read this, I saw the author confirm that the MC is bi. That makes my queer self so happy.

Overall, Broken Web was a great read! I regret I wasn’t able to read this sooner, and I try not to be too harsh on myself about it because I know life happens. But reading this now, wow. In some ways, it felt like a respite. Like it was the book I needed and read at just the right moment.

Thank you so, so much to Page Street for sending me an ARC. This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.

Big Boned

Cover of Big Boned

My rating:

Rating: 0 out of 5.

My thoughts:

I unfortunately did not finish this one. I guess it just wasn’t for me?

The MC is okay, but I don’t exactly feel the need to root for her. I find it off that she keeps judging people/giving comments based on their body types too. I get that it’s because she’s so insecure, but damn. I also feel like she’s a bit too judgmental towards her mother when it comes to the fact that she’s now trying to date after her husband left. She hasn’t been the best mother yes, (oh she definitely hasn’t and I didn’t like her for that), but I also didn’t like how judgy Lori was.

I like that the book tried to highlight social and political issues in South Africa, that’s great and quite educational for readers. But using it as a turning point in Lori’s character arc feels a little off for me. Like she has suddenly found her voice only when she started doing paintings about social gender-based issues, when she didn’t seem to care about it at the start of the book.

Also the romance feels lacking? Idk but I was not feeling the chemistry 😅

Here’s what I really liked tho: The MC’s brother is on the spectrum and I love that the book highlights that. He is the best character in here tbh. I also like how therapy/medication is normalized. The MC goes to see a therapist and I think that’s great.

I made it to 60% of this book before I decided I can’t continue anymore. A shame because I was so excited for it and the fat rep, and I tried really hard to continue. But yeah, this is not for me I think.

Of course, thank you so much to Wattpad Books for sending over an ARC in exchange for a review.

The Witch King

Cover of The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

My rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

My thoughts:

Oh, this was so irresistibly good! Now I know why so many of my friends love this!

The Witch King has it all, I think? It has political intrigueangst and pining, slow burn, “there’s only one bed” trope, intimate discussions and honest thoughts about gender identity and sexuality (which is probably my absolute favorite thing in this book), the world-building and the magic system, modern lives meshed with magic, plus the gorgeous writing style and the prose. Also, it’s such a fun book. Yes, there’s seriousness in this book and sometimes it can get a little dark, but it’s also highly entertaining. This book checks all the boxes for me and I love it.

I think my only issue is that I expected more action for the climax? However, I know the story is far from over and we’re only getting introduced to the bigger picture and the next plot to uncover. I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL.

Nameless

Cover of Nameless

My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My thoughts:

I liked this. This was simple, and quiet, and beautiful.

I pick off scabs
so I can watch
the ways I will heal-
I like to see
my skin unmasked,
and feel myself as real

– Nameless, Brian Oldham

I feel like it took me some time getting used to the writing style and the tone. But once I had a grasp of it, I enjoyed reading and dissecting the prose and poetry here! This was a collection of writings and illustrations about identity, love, sex, loss, healing, queerness, and it was thought-provoking, earnest, and meaningful. On the other hand, I wish this was longer. I wish the author dove into these themes with more writings. Right now, it feels like it ended abruptly. Still, this was a really nice read. That much, I can’t deny.

Thank you so much to Augur Editions for sending over a copy! (This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

No Gods, No Monsters

Cover of No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My thoughts:

Wow wow wow. This took me on quite a ride and made me question what we know about the world.

It dove into the paranormal/supernatural, the secret organizations, the magic and the scientific theories that surround us, the reality that we know, the hardships that people go through, the society and the system we live in.

Another thing that really impressed me is the writing style and the prose. It was dark and eerie and so captivating. And the fact that the author blended horror, fantasy, and science fiction and he did it so brilliantly.

There are a lot of characters and it can get confusing/hard to keep up. However, the way these different characters and their perspectives intertwine was so cool and impressive. (And hello??? That unnamed narrator?!) Kudos to the author for creating such an intricate yet satisfying network of point of views.

I really enjoyed reading this y’all. This one surprised me and I loved it!

Some Faraway Place

Cover of Some Faraway Place (The Bright Sessions #3) by Lauren Shippen

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My thoughts:

Okay, wow wow wow. I don’t even know how to explain this book. This was a beautiful and heart wrenching story of being human—of getting lost, making mistakes, trying to make a connection with others, of falling in love, dealing with our problems, and more. I came for some magic, (and there is magic, yes), but I think what made this book so compelling is the way the author gave me a glimpse of the complexity of reality instead. I love that.

The writing style is just brilliant. I absolutely love how the author isn’t afraid to dive deep into the psyche of the characters, and show the readers how unstable/unreliable the characters are, how lonely they are, what drives them to do things or to cope with the things around them.

In a way, I see Some Faraway Place as a character study that’s just so heartfelt and complex and raw. If I shed a few tears reading the last few chapters, well, no one saw it okay. (Also, I adored the queer rep + fat rep! And the way I got to meet all the previous characters from the past books, too! I think really missed Caleb and Adam)

This series is so underrated and honestly deserves more love.

(Got an e-arc from NetGalley. This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

And that’s it! 9 books in August and September, not bad as well!

If you made it here, thank you and I appreciate you! And now let’s talk! Have you read some of these books as well? What did you think? Or do you have some on your TBR? Go ahead and comment below!


Also, here’s a BTS song recommendation for the day!

My Universe is a recent collaboration between BTS and Coldplay. The song is absolutely beautiful (“My Universe is about how the power of love transcends all things, borders, rules, gender, race and every sexuality,” – Coldplay’s Chris Martin), and the music video is just as equally incredible (I’m talking aesthetics and world-building reminiscent of Marvel movies)!

(Okay, I like this! I might just do this for every post starting now to shake things up a bit and spread a little positivity and energy to everyone. 💜)

2 thoughts on “Mini Book Reviews: August-September 2021

    • Ohmygosh, I am so sorry, super late reply here! I haven’t checked my blog the last few weeks! But omg, yeess. I hope you enjoy If This Gets Out Morgan! And same here. Chris explaining the song in a nutshell was just so precious! Sending hugs to you, I hope you’re doing good!

      Liked by 1 person

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