August 2019 – A Month in Review

Month in Review

Sheesh! I really let this month get away from me. I blinked and August was over. Oh well, on to the fall! Summer Reading at the library wrapped up around the 16th so it’s been fall planning ever since.

I surprise myself when I go to prepare these posts. It feels like I’ve hardly read anything all month and then I somehow end up with 5-6 books. I think it helps that I have been reading a lot more graphic novels but I don’t know. Anyway, here yah go.

General Updates:

Books Read this Month: 6

Book Reviews:

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Books I Really Enjoyed

graphic-novel-iconchildrens book This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews

This magic realism graphic novel was quite the fun and interesting adventure story. It is packed with scientific and astronomy facts, but done so in a cohesive way. It didn’t feel info dump-y at all, actually I felt it helped the story line. A group of boys make a pact to follow the lanterns down the river after the annual festival. One boy shows up uninvited but tags along regardless of the teasing done by the others. Slowly, members of the group drop off for one reason or another until only two are left, one of them being the kid left behind. These two (not) friends encounter all kinds of magic and mayhem together; from a talking bear with a giant basket, to a mad witch-y scientist and more, it seems these boys are tied together despite how the night started out. The color palette and artwork are stunning, which adds a whimsical feel to the story.

adult book Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

So sue me. I actually enjoyed one of his books! To be fair, I liked the last one as well, it was just a bit dry and boring at times. This one though. It was a page turner for me. I was invested. I needed to know what was going to happen. I read it in like two days, and for someone in such a slumpy mood, that was amazing. This follows a 20-something girl, Jules, who is down on her luck. She is sleeping on her best friend’s couch, and has about $50 to her name. She comes across an ad on Craig’s list that turns out to be an apartment sitting gig in a big fancy building in Manhattan. There are a bunch of other details that are important but I found that knowing next to nothing about this book really helped in my enjoyment of it. I had no presumptions going in, so I wasn’t disappointed. Anyways, things are a little off about this apartment building. Not only is it creepy, but seems too good to be true. There are a lot of rules to follow, which on the outside seem understandable, but what secrets are they protecting?

graphic-novel-iconchildrens book New Kid by Jerry Craft

This was actually really good! Young artist transfers to a new school despite his desire to attend an art school. This new school is very well known for their academics and prestige, which on paper sounds great however, Jordan finds that he is one of very few kids of color within it’s walls. There are many cringe-y moments that just slap you into reality and make you realize just how hurtful our actions and our words can be. A lot of this story made me uncomfortable but that was the point. It  showed another side to this coin. You don’t have to have a shooting or conflict similar to that to show diversity or the daily struggles of a person of color. Sometimes it is as simple as getting your name wrong, or assuming things about another person based on stereotype. It was a worthwhile read, and like I said, a different version of that narrative that we are so familiar with at this point.


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Meh Books

childrens book Sincerely Harriet by Sarah W. Searle

This is a graphic novel about a lonely young girl who has moved away during the summer. Her parents work a lot so she is often alone in their apartment, when she isn’t visiting with the landlady Pearl downstairs. Harriet has a tendency to make things up, something you deal with throughout the story, which makes her an unreliable character at times. Her summer of reading and learning about her landlady’s (once) sick son Nicholas helps to set Harriet up for a new school year in a new place. It does have some interesting representations, but talking about it might spoil some of the “mystery” that Harriet inevitably procures due to her “storytelling.”

YA-ICON I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal

This was one I really wanted to like. It’s a new release with a dual perspective. Two teenage girls who couldn’t be more different encounter a series of terrible events which pushes them together and has them holding on to each other, literally as if their lives depended on it. Campbell is a new student, recently moved from Connecticut to Georgia because her mom took a job in Venezuela and left her behind with a mostly absent father. Lena is an outgoing, fashion-forward teen who knows exactly what she wants. She doesn’t care that her friends and family are voicing their negative opinions about her dating a locally infamous older man because she believes that she could be the one to tie him down. It had all the makings of an urban classic contemporary like The Hate U Give, but fell just short for me. The events were tough, and parts did leave me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen. However, getting to the end felt like hitting a wall unexpectedly. I’d give it a try if you are into tough subject matter contemporaries like Dear Martin and Tyler Johnson Was Here, but don’t go in expecting a blockbuster.

graphic-novel-iconchildrens book The Breakaways by Cathy G. Johnson

Meh. I felt like this was all over the place. The characters were pretty great, a lot of diversity and what have you, but we really weren’t given a whole lot so they all end up feeling like half baked ideas. I understood the cutaways to Faith’s imaginary (drawn) world but a lot of the time they felt unnecessary and really pulled away from reality. It was a bit jarring at times to be on the soccer field and then abruptly in a fantastical world, delivering a message? I don’t know, the plot was a bit of a mess. The Breakaways is a graphic novel about a middle schooler who was tricked into joining the soccer team by the popular, older girl. What we find out is that there are A, B, and C teams and that Faith (our main character) has signed up to play with the C team, which is not very good at all. Nobody on the C team seems interested in actually playing, so why are they there? All the side characters have their own stuff going on, and it just felt like a jumbled mess. Maybe it was over my head?

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childrens book adult book   You can find a key for the icons here.   graphic-novel-icon YA-ICON

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Community Highlights:

Fiction No Chaser: What I Learned in a Year of Book Blogging

Beware the Reader: The Art of Blogging in the Rain. How to Go On When the Sky is Dark

Book Princess Reviews: Are Blogs Better with a Co-Blogger

How to Live Like a Contemp YA Protag (for a day)

Hammock of Books: Reading is my Hobby But Not my Profession // FEELING FAKE, BEING TORN BETWEEN TWO COMMUNITIES, AND OTHER INSECURITIES 

Drizzle & Hurricane Books: Why I Don’t Listen to Audiobooks

Perfectly Tolerable: Cuz Unread Book Gonna Give It To Ya (The Best Book Song Parodies)

Confessions of a YA Reader: Most Anticipated September 2019 Book Releases

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Book of the Month Club:

I ended up skipping this month

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Books Hauled/Pre-Ordered:

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I bought a couple books from someone on Depop. I have already read (and LOVED) the Wayward Children books, and always wanted to own them, but they were just too expensive for my to justify buying them. That is until I bought them used from a fellow reader. She also had a hardcover of the Silvera book, which I have been meaning to read.

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Stories Watched:

Friday Movie Night Movies: Wonder Woman

Movies seen in theaters:

Rewatch: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows parts 1 & 2, Thor Ragnorok, Wonder Woman

New to Me: Terminator 2, The Sun is Also a Star

Best: say it with me HARRY POTTER
Worst: I actually didn’t mind any of these. The worst out of them? Prob Terminator

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How was your month of reading?

9 thoughts on “August 2019 – A Month in Review

  1. Seems like you had a pretty decent reading month! I’m totally checking out This Was Our Pact right now. I’ve been looking for cool new graphic novels, and this one sounds super cool. I didn’t like Final Girls by Riley that much, but I might have to check this one out. You made it seem quite intriguing. Thank you so much for including our posts, Sam!! Great post, and hope you have an amazing September! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the shout out!! I had so much fun making that post 😀 If you have a Barnes and Noble near you they are doing a YA Book Club discussion of I’m Not Dying With You Tonight on September 12th at all their stores. It could be a lot of fun (I am going to do next month’s book) and since you have already read it you wouldn’t have to do any extra reading 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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