August f(x) Wrap Up + September TBR 📖

I’m back, baby~

Remember to stay up to date with the world, listen to those facing atrocities and help spread awareness/donate where you’re able to.


So… August happened. It was a stressful month and it’s mostly due to my work life. Why couldn’t I have been born as an animal that didn’t feel the need to evolve so much?!

Anyway, I didn’t do any blogging. However, I am determined to post at least once a week in September! I have gotten over (mostly) how ugly my blog looks now (I can’t find my old theme 😭), so I’m a little more motivated to post things.

August was actually a pretty good reading month. I fulfilled a couple of the prompts of my f(x) tbr – which you can view here~ As well, as reading two books that didn’t.


AUGUST WRAP UP

the books that fulfilled prompts:

The Beautiful Ones; Silvia Moreno-Garcia

prompt: Pretty Girl on the Cover

rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis: the haphazard manifestations of her powers have long made her the subject of gossip – malicious neighbours even call her the Witch of Oldhouse.

But Nina’s life is about to change, for there is a new arrival in town: Hector Auvray, the renowned entertainer, who has used his own telekinetic talent to perform for admiring audiences around the world. Nina is dazzled by Hector, for he sees her not as a witch, but ripe with magical potential. Under his tutelage, Nina’s talent blossoms – as does her love for the great man.

But great romances are for fairy-tales, and Hector is hiding a secret bitter truth from Nina – and himself – that threatens their courtship.

Waterstones

First of all, the cover for The Beautiful Ones is stunning!

Secondly, I really enjoyed this book.

The writing is atmospheric and pretty. The characters are very interesting and despite it being somewhat short at just over 300 pages, we really get a sense of their personality, desires and flaws.

Nina and Hector were well rounded and I did enjoy them, and I found their love story and progression to be in character. It also juxtaposes Hector’s relationship with Valerie. And while I very much disliked Valerie, she was the most interesting and most developed character in the book. She brought the drama!

I do perhaps think that The Beautiful Ones could have been longer to flesh out some part of the novel and explore more of Nina’s potential.


The Magpie Lord; KJ Charles

prompt: Quick Lit

rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn’t expect it to turn up angry.

Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude… and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.

Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn’t the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.

Goodreads

This is a re-read for me. I’m not sure when I last read this, but thanks to my awful memory, I barely remembered anything so it was like reading it for the first time.

I really like the humour in this book, Lucien is the kind of sarcastic and arrogant aristocrat that I love. He’s really loyal and we see that in his actions and friendships. And his bickering and gradual flirting with Stephen was fun to read.

I also forgot that this is partially horror and some parts genuinely made me uncomfortable. The mystery and magic is super interesting, but again it’s quite a short book, so things are pretty fast paced, when they could have been better developed with more pages.


The Big Four; Agatha Christie

prompt: Read on the Go

rating: ⭐⭐

A ruthless international cartel seeks world domination…

Framed in the doorway of Poirot’s bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man’s gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell.

Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life to uncover the truth about ‘Number Four’.

Waterstones

I’m actually so disappointed! The Big Four is the first Poirot book I’ve rated lowly.

I felt that so much happens in this book and each case is done with so quickly and while it all links to the overarching case of the The Big Four, it feels disjointed. I did quite like the twist and little subterfuge that Poirot does at the end and of course Hugh Fraser is wonderful to listen to and he brings the haughty self-assured, but incredibly dumb Hastings to life ♥

The other major downside of the book is the many instances where Chinese characters were spoken of in racist way.

the books that didn’t lol:

The Appeal; Janice Hallett

rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Dear Reader – enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death. Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What’s more, we believe far darker secrets have yet to be revealed.

Throughout the Fairway Players’ staging of All My Sons and the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick’s life-saving medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. Yet we believe they gave themselves away. In writing. The evidence is all here, between the lines, waiting to be discovered. Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth?

Waterstones

I saw the synopsis when I was feeling sorry for myself and going through the Waterstones website at work and instantly knew I needed to read it!

This is a fantastic debut!

The writing style is super fun and intriguing as it’s told in the mix media format of emails and messages. Two law students are given access to all the files and it was fun following along with their thought process, as well as working through it myself.

The Appeal is very well written and I had a wonderful time reading it! It definitely got me out of that slumpy feeling I felt myself getting into.


The Twyford Code; Janice Hallett

rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s time to solve the murder of the century…

Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children’s book, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. He took it to his remedial English teacher, Miss Isles, who became convinced it was the key to solving a puzzle. That a message in secret code ran through all Edith Twyford’s novels. Then Miss Isles disappeared on a class field trip, and Steven’s memory won’t allow him to remember what happened.

Now, out of prison after a long stretch, Steven decides to investigate the mystery that has haunted him for decades. Was Miss Isles murdered? Was she deluded? Or was she right about the code? And is it still in use today? Desperate to recover his memories and find out what really happened to Miss Isles, Steven revisits the people and places of his childhood. But it soon becomes clear that Edith Twyford wasn’t just a writer of forgotten children’s stories. The Twyford Code has great power, and he isn’t the only one trying to solve it…

Waterstones

After I finished the Appeal, I purchased and read another of Hallett’s books.

This one was mostly told in voice to text recordings, with some other correspondences dotted in that fleshed out the mystery more.

I found Steven to be unreliable from the get go, but he had such a charming and open way about him that I was blindsided in regards to the overall twist at the end.

These books are quite fast paced and there is a lot of information to take in. I found myself reading each book while walking to and from the bus stop as they were just so easy to read.

The twist for The Twyford Code shocked me and made me think more, it also had more of an emotional impact.

I highly recommend Hallett’s work and I’m excited for her new release in January.


SEPTEMBER TBR PROMPTS

For September, I am playing along with Beth from BooksNest’s TBR game “Fictionary”. You can see their video here

I have a couple of books that I want to read to fulfil the six prompts, but I do want to give myself some wiggle room for reading things that I just feel like reading.

People & Places – A Feminist Lead

Ella is given a blessing at birth by a very stupid fairy: She gets the gift of obedience! but the blessing turns into a horror for Ella who literally has to do what anyone and everyone tells her, from sweeping the floor to giving up a prrecious necklace! She has to battle with ogres and wicked stepsisters, make friends and loose them, and even deny she loves her Prince Char to save his life and his kingdom. The story overthrows the stereotypes of the original Cinderella when Ella breaks the curse – not the prince – saving not only herself, but Prince Char as well.

Waterstones

I Googled this one and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine came up a lot on the lists. I love the film with Anne Hathaway, so I’m excited to finally read the book it’s based on.

Difficult – A Book I Know Nothing About

Any Book

Difficult – Non-Fiction

All too often the focus of mainstream feminism is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. Meeting basic needs is a feminist issue. Food insecurity, the living wage and access to education are feminist issues. The fight against racism, ableism and transmisogyny are all feminist issues.

White feminists often fail to see how race, class, sexual orientation and disability intersect with gender. How can feminists stand in solidarity as a movement when there is a distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others?

Insightful, incendiary and ultimately hopeful, Hood Feminism is both an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux and also clear-eyed assessment of how to save it.

Waterstones

I’ve been trying to read a lot more non-fiction, so I’m happy this prompt came up as I’ve been meaning to pick up Hood Feminism: Notes From the Women White Feminists Forgot by Mikki Kendall.

Any Book

Title – Contains Royal Reference

One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal.

As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong. But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan . . . Dramatic and thrilling fantasy blends seamlessly with enthralling storytelling to create a fully realised and seductive world, brimful of magic and romance.

Waterstones

This prompt is a sign that I need to read The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. It was on my tbr last month and obviously I didn’t get to it in August. I will be disappointed in myself if I don’t read this book this month! 😂


Did you read some great things in August? Do you have any plans for September? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥

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