Book update: August (2019)

Hey happy bookworms!

So August was the month of summer holidays & an exploration into netgalley for me!Summer meant I read a lot anyway but I also started a netgalley account so I’ve read some quite random books to pad out my bio (so if you’re wondering ‘El, this isn’t your typical thing?’ Then that’s why) A huge thank you to Adi for being my netgalley knight in shining armour, literally couldn’t have done it without you! 💕

This is going to be a long post so scroll to what interests you (or read the whole thing, in which case I’m flattered 😂)


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

72193After loving the books & movies as a child I was sacred that when I finally took on the task of reading this series on my own that I would not like them (for some reason? Who knows why 😂)
At first it was a little bit rocky – the book itself isn’t written that well (I’m sorry ok?! But it’s true!)
I shouldn’t have worried though, this book was a huge part of my childhood & I loved reading it again! The whole time I just felt this happy fuzzy feeling and I’m so glad I finally decided to start the series myself 🙂

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

41643790. sy475 I know Dumbledore is meant to be a really powerful wizard & all but he really needs a better judge of character because these defence against the dark arts teachers just need to stop.

And in this book we have DOBBY!! Who is the sweetest & most annoying house-elf ever. We also have Lucius Malfoy getting Shut Down (‘shut down’ is capitalised because it’s a trademark of Dumbledore’s)
And Hagrid’s creepy spiders (I feel for you Ron) Also the flying car & whomping willow which are both just iconic honestly.

The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown

39091679Can I just say how lovely this cover is? And it’s one of those where the keyhole is actually cut out & the girl in it is on the page below 👌

Ok, so this was an interesting book:
Firstly, I guessed who the crazy person was…ages ago. I feel like it was because the author actually left good clues though, like in most books the ending all comes together & it’s like it must be them because they always wear this red scarf! (But you weren’t actually told they wear a red scarf so how were you ever meant to guess that?) I think that it wasn’t obvious & that you had to use your brain but it just clicked for me (although I did think slightly more had happened *spoilers* that June had been dating Sydney’s dad & actually in the beginning when she was like ‘I was seeing your dad’ I actually thought that was what it meant & couldn’t realise why Sydney wasn’t FREAKING out about it 😂)

It also touched on a lot of dark stuff. So you definitely have to be able to deal with that & also make sure you look up the trigger warnings if you have triggers.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu 

47504133Ok, this is the start of my netgalley books…

This was SO ADORABLE!!
I realised recently that I haven’t really read a lot of lesbian books so this was great for that with not just the 2 main characters but also Nova’s 2 grandmas!
Everything was drawn really well (ALL THE MAGICAL CREATURES WERE THE BEST THINGS EVER) and the story flowed well – what more could you ask for? 😊

Expected publication date: 15th October

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

41186647. sy475 *ding ding* the round’s been won – El finally liked a mermaid book!
And what a ride, it reminded me of Heartless by Marissa Meyer, which is one of my favourite books – the ‘before they were famous’ tale 😂
I loved the story telling & the magic & the way the characters were written. Evie was so sweet, although a little stupid at the end & Nik was just adorable 🙂

I’ve heard a lot of people say that this was too slow & uneventful for them until the end but I kind of liked the steadiness of it?

There’s also a sequel of this coming out & I’m not sure how to feel? Like, I feel like it should just be left how it is.

The Phantom Forest by Liz Kerin

47492102. sy475 I actually wasn’t planning on reading this but I saw it in the ‘read now’ on netgalley and I knew a lot of people have really enjoyed it so I was like sure, why not?

And I’m really glad I did because I really enjoyed it! This was also the first ever book I read on kindle so that was definitely a new experience, it’s cool because you can just whip it out whenever & read but then there are so. many. pages!

The components were beautifully crafted with all the creatures and characters – all unique and incredible ideas, especially the sisters, who I loved!
I’m guessing there’s going to be a sequel? And I’d definitely read it when it comes out!
(Just checked & no plans to make a sequel, there could definitely be but I also kinda like this ending too?)

Expected publication date: Already out

A Crystal of Time by Soman Chainani



I read this with my mum & we found it really hard to find enough time for this so it’s taken me FOREVER.
Anyway, I can’t really give a rating because I read it so spaced out but it was good? I think? 😂

Shoebox Funeral: Tales From Wolf Creek by Elisabeth Voltz

43883434. sx318

Another netgalley…

Guys this was adorable! I love short stories & this collection made me laugh & tear up and it was just fully enjoyable!
Beth does such a good job at describing her childhood stories & Idil illustrates them beautiful (honestly all the drawings were so cute!)

Expected publication date: Already out

Tiny Little Brother by Leva Khal

46201152. sy475
This just wasn’t for me (after I waited so long for the Ebook to work too! But Netgalley support was super good about it (how many times have I said netgalley?))
Some of the prose didn’t flow right & the images just weren’t great, like I know they were meant to be that kind of style but it just wasn’t for me.
If you’re into poetry though, Leva Khal is an indie author so you might wanna check this out?

Expected publication date: Already out

Entangled by Cat Clarke


This cover is so early YA it’s laughable (there was also a twilight reference)

This one’s a hard one for me – I did really enjoy this but it definitely isn’t winning any prizes for best piece of literature.

And we’re also back to the age old question – does guessing what’s going on in a mystery book ruin it?
This wasn’t your typical ‘who donnit?’ either, the mystery was real-life but does that make it better or worse?
I really don’t know, anyway, I’m guessing this was one of her first books, especially because it was giving me so many early 2000s vibes! *update: is actually her first book* So I can’t judge it too much.
It was pretty funny & did actually make me cry at the end…

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

23573418. sy475

Buddy read with one of the best people in the world (AKA Gabby)

So, this book was gonna be a 3 for me, alright, infuriatingly secretive & just too quirky
BUT. then this book just hit me. You know when you feel sad & you listen to sad music to just feel, well I did it in book form.
This book actually made me cry… And I don’t normally cry-cry in books, just tear up.

So yeah – I can’t really advise you on this book since it was such a personal experience for me but hope you like it if you read it & I hope it means something/touched you 🙂


I also read some extracts & it just got me more excited for ‘I’m not dying with you tonight’ & ‘dear Haiti, love Alaine’ and I also discovered ‘scars like wings’

Ughhh…guys I just got back from Wales & it’s lateeeee so I’m sorry for any typos or anything.

Your opinions please! Which ones are on your TBR? Which ones have you read? What did you think?

And finally, thank you to Lais for being the sweetest person ever with this post! 💕


16 thoughts on “Book update: August (2019)

  1. Amber says:

    Hey El ❤️
    Yess you have finally read HP!! Whoop I’m so proud of you, Like you’ve not finished it but at least you have started it 🙂 I would look forward to reading The Truth About Keeping Secrets soon 😛 Also I’m yet to read School For Good And Evil Quests For Glory but I have a copy it’s just quite far down on my TBR 😮
    Also I’ve read Entangled! It was sad and confusing sometimes, it took me a while to grasp it XD
    You should read Torn by Cat Clarke, it’s not a sequel or anything but it is so. freakin. good. Please read it 🙂
    Amber xx
    ps. Amazing post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Whoop whoop! I know but I’m finding it hard to start the next one just because it’s so big 😅

      I really want to! I’ve read a couple of Cat Clarke’s books so torn is definitely on my list but I’ll move it further up now you’ve mention it!


  2. Sophie @ Me and Ink says:

    Yay you are reading Harry Potter I only read it for the first time two years ago so I felt pretty late with it but the book captured so much of the magic that I just loved it. When I was reading it I really felt at Hogwarts if you know what I mean so it is really special. But I am with Ron in the second one too– I hate spiders so much!!!
    Mooncakes looks super cute and I have only heard good things about it so I would love to try it out!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!
    I’m glad you found a mermaid book that you like and I adore the cover for this one and I’m glad you enjoyed it– I might check it out now, I don’t normally go for mermaid book but this one is on my TBR now.
    Entangled certainly looks early YA– I love how you can look at a book covers and associate them with a time!! It makes me think will all the current book cover look old at old point!! haha!!
    Anyway great reading update and I hope September is a good reading month for you!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      I know what you mean! Especially since I’m in high school & I’m nearly at the point where my age’ll match up with the characters!
      Mooncakes is super adorable & incredibly illustrated so it’s definitely worth picking it up if it sounds like your thing (I honestly love reading graphic novels so much as they’re short & easy to read!)
      I’m so glad I introduced you to the sea Witch! I loved it but make sure you don’t expect it to be super action packed or anything since loads of ppl didn’t like it for that reason?
      I know! You can tell different time/writing styles too so I’m super interested how YA books will read in the future!
      Hope September’s great for you too 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie @ Me and Ink says:

        Yes it is cool when you are a similar age to the characters!!
        Aww.. I can’t wait to read it. I have never read a graphic novel but I really want to so it sounds a great one to try out!!
        Oh ok thank you!! I will read it when I am not in the most for lots of action! 😊
        So true!! It is really cool and interesting to see!!
        Thank you 💛

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Aditi says:

    HARRY POTTER MY FRIEND YOU’VE CONVERTED! and aw thank you, I’ve always wanted to be a knight! 😉 it was mah childhood dreammmm 💕
    Girl ikkk Dumbledore is weird and spiders are oddd 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clo @ Book Dragons says:

    Entangled definitely gives off early 2000’s vibes hehe, but I’m glad you still enjoyed it. I actually started I’ll Give You The Sun years ago but ended up putting it back down cause at the time I just wasn’t loving it. The back and forth between past and present wasn’t jelling with me xD Hope you have a wonderful September even though school starts up again xD

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Yeah, sometimes it’s just fun to read those books that aren’t too complicated & wordy.
      Opposite of which was I’ll give you the sun – it is pretty infuriating because you can’t really piece anything together until the end of the book & I always got that thing where you finish one POV & want to keep reading but then the next chapter is so longggg when all you wanna do is continue the first!
      Ugh, don’t remind me…but thank you & you too! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      True, because if it’s from Evie’s POV then it’s gonna be pretty boring isn’t it? Like oh I’m in my cave, still in my cave, ooo- nah, still cave. But if it’s from the new mermaid’s POV then it’s just the original?
      Probably won’t pick it up unless someone says it was really good & explains what exactly the plot is 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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