Book Update: August (Wow I actually read books I liked look at that)

Hey Happy Bookworms!

Today was my first 2 hours of school & basically just admin in our tutors but my timetable looks good so we’ll see next week when we actually get to lessons 🤷‍♀️

This month my new vetting books scheme SLAPPED. I read some really good books & ticked my first bottom of goodreads off!

The whole mini review thing went out the window ages ago so just skip through to what interests you 💞

*All reviews will be spoiler free because otherwise it’s not really helpful to anyone (unless otherwise stated)
*🧸 children’s 🍿 YA 💼 Adult
*🌠 means that I got an e-copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review

🍿 With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

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Love love love love love love LOVE

Can we please take a minute to appreciate short chapters because *bows down* THEY ARE THE BEST THING EVER

I read this on my holiday & can I just say it was the most perfect read ever – short chapters & a fun story with a centre around food 🥰 It dealt with some heavier topics but quite quickly so don’t worry; this book’s not gonna get you down, it’s gonna lift you up (I’m sorry am I a motivational speaker).

I have so much respect for Emoni & she’s one of my fave YA characters now. The way she’s so patient & doesn’t explode with her feelings or blow things out of proportion but deals with them in a responsible way 👌 & she’s so self sacrificing for the people that matter it’s beautiful ALSO BABYGIRL *dies* The “Good job, Mommy.” Killed me 😭

“I want her to know her entire life her mommy may not have had a powerful job or made millions, but that her moms did everything so that she could be an accumulation of the best dreams.”

💼 The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

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There is just a certain nuance to the handmaid’s tale that this story, as it progressed, slowly lost.

I think it was the merging of Daisy’s story with the other two that was the main issue for me.
It started off great, Agnes & Aunt Lydia kept the atmosphere & writing style of the handmaid’s tale & I could tolerate & even sometimes enjoy Daisy as she was kept separate from them. but then the whole story became completely sensationalised as this moved away from a thoughtful exploration into dystopian states & became an…action book?

Daisy is quite a polarizing character & I definitely fell on the hate side of that. I found her inability to shut up extremely annoying & the portrayal of, I guess an average teen, a little offensive?

Overall: be proud of me I had to keep rechecking all their names for this review because they all changed them about 50 times

🍿 I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn


I think I’ve died & gone to heaven

THIS was the Disney show I needed growing up

I mean was it perfect? No. Do I care?? NO.

My tiny textiles student heart is GLOWING right now I’m so happy 😪
This book is sugar & spice & everything nice and it’s just the cutest thing ever I mean: pug cafe WHAT MORE IS THERE TO SAY??

Can I also just nerd out about the graphic design on this book – the cover is just 👌 BUT THE LETTERING *chef’s kisses* all the chapter headings SO GOOD & even better in dark mode.
And. The. Map. Best map ever, hands down. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t really care for maps in general.

Food + clothes + sweetest story. I am definitely in my happy place 🥰

🍿 Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell


Mainly: I didn’t find this scary I actually found it quite funny & hey, maybe that is more of a reflection on me than anything else but you can’t describe your main character as a sugar mice kinda gal & expect me not to laugh her out of town.

Now if this were a psychological book on Piper then *chef’s kisses* would’ve been great but the dolls massively cheapened it. The human psyche is way more scary than penny dolls.

Also the little incesty moment at the end – loved that! (I didn’t, I’m joking, It actually made me drop my phone and physically recoil) ewwwwwwwwww

The whole set up is irrelevant now though?? Like why did Jay die & why did the kitchen girl burn herself? Were they just freak accidents? Because if Rebecca isn’t a vengeful spirit then it wasn’t her… 🤷‍♀️

💼 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


I must admit that this was a bit of a struggle to get through & if I had not previously known the story quite well it would have been made even more difficult. The beginning went right over my head and although it picked up a bit way through, I didn’t really enjoy it until the very end. And yes there were some quite funny moments in here, mostly relating to her dad but they were quite far between.

I don’t find Darcy & Lizzy romantic at all I mean they hate each other for most of it then Lizzy just changes her mind & falls madly in love with him – I know it was a different time but I’m reading it in my time & it just doesn’t work for me.

I also know Jane Austen is commended for her well written female characters but apart from Lizzy herself, Jane, Darcy’s sister, maybe Lizzy’s aunt they’re all exceedingly stereotyped.

What can be said? Jane Austen is very quotable but not so very readable 🤷‍♀️

💼🌠 Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

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This was such an incredible book – it was hilarious (I laughed out loud so much I think my mum probably thought I’d gone mad) & heartbreaking (cue me sobbing in a corner)

It’s the first strongly feminist book I’ve actually liked. Mainly because it shows a balance of everything, it had the strongest friendships but also showed when they went wrong, it had the ups & downs of both married life & single life, etc…

I loved the set up of the book, just how the timeline was phrased because we saw a true journey of the two key events in the book: Nina’s relationship with Max & her father’s Dementia.

I loved how this book dealt with a whole range of subjects but did it so well It’s such a great commentary on friends, work, relationships & family (I highlighted so many quotes the whole thing is basically yellow 😂)

Also her freaking neighbour I loved that, it was such a weird unexpected element 😂
BUT I ACTUALLY GUESSED IT you have no clue how proud I was of that one & slightly worried about myself

💼🌠 The Search Party by Simon Lelic


This book is the biggest case of pathetic fallacy I have ever seen in my life.

This book is… messy I’m not gonna lie. That’s partly down to the genre & the nature of the tale sure but things really don’t click into place until literally the last couple pages. So yeah I guess you could call this ‘twisty’ although none of the twists really left that big of an impact on me – more I kinda guessed them but didn’t really know exactly how they’d pan out.

Plus this book reads really weird – half YA teenager drama & half serious Adult detective case. And at first I didn’t really notice it because I read both so my brain didn’t register the tone difference but as the story progressed & Fleet’s marriage problems manifested it was pretty striking. There’s even a person shift between the teens reports being in 1st person, whereas Fleet’s in 3rd.

All that aside though I did enjoy this, it was definitely very creepy & atmospheric. And if you read this I really urge you to pay close attention to the imagery in this because (and maybe this is just me geeking out) but there are some of the cleverest metaphors in here & it’s really fascinating to just think on them a bit.

I liked how the teens were represented I felt like they were a good, genuine amount of imperfect although I wish we’d get rid of this ‘golden girl’ cliché, where the person is simply the best of the best, most likeable, most smart, etc etc…
because as a british teen (and this is quite a picky gripe) Sadie getting all 9s is a little much, I feel like this was clearly an adult trying to get to grips with the new system (I know it’s hard) & just giving her the top grades possible because it’s a lot easier & cleaner than going into specifics.
But for those of you who don’t know, a 9 is equivalent to an A** and only the top 5% in the country get a 9 & literally 1% of the country get all 9s. She wasn’t just ‘good at school’ she’d basically be a genius.

💼 The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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Beginning of this book: solid 4 star read
Middle: 5 star I’m having so much fun omg
Thereafter (AKA the decline): Why. Are. They. Both. So. Bad. At. Communicatingggg??

So yes I know it’s a cliche but I’m kinda over cliches – can we not? It just gets a little insufferable when their internal dialogues turn into pages & pages of ‘she/he can’t possibly love me back’ moping

Then it being in 3rd person & swapping between their perspectives but not really because it’s still in 3rd person just kinda confused me. Maybe that’s just me but I found myself puzzling over who was meant to be the focal point of the chapter I was on.

Aside from all that – the rep! I loved reading about Stella and how things affected her & it was amazing seeing how tender Michael was with her.

Overall – loved the beginning & middle, super fast paced & fun but the ending *sighs* kinda annoying

But as a textiles student; where can I get a Michael? Sign me uppppp

🍿 Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

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“forgetting is dangerous. Forgetting is how the monsters come back.”

This book was such a surprise for me as I went into it not really sure what to expect and right off the back that prologue gave me CHILLS.

Our setting is a utopia where everything we’ve strived for has finally been realised – all of the “monsters” have gone, equality has been reached. Except now society wears a new blindfold, they refuse to believe evil could come back.

I loved the fantastical element of pet & I loved the message of the book; that we’re never going to reach a perfect place, that we always have to challenge what we believe & grow. But as a short story it had it’s pros & cons. I couldn’t fully get invested in it & I was just lacking that excitement bubbling under the surface to really want to read read read it. However, at 200ish pages it makes it much more accessible for non-readers to pick up or just packs a punch as a quick read.

“Do not be afraid, she said.

A gold mouth smiled, and smoke dripped out”

Read any of these? Planning to? Opinions? What did you think? TELL ME ALL

26 thoughts on “Book Update: August (Wow I actually read books I liked look at that)

  1. Charlotte says:

    I do love books with long chapters as well as short ones but I do agree that the short ones really worked well for With The Fire On High. Oh and the sense of character that came across through the writing style and voice was wonderful. I need to read the rest of the authors books sometime tbh but keep putting it off due to the verse format. I also need to read Pride & Prejudice still (and any classic really as they make me wary yet they get so much praise that I’m curious too) but I did finally see an adaptation of it this year and I do agree that the dad in it was quite funny. In the version that I watched I was kind of constantly hoping someone would shove the mother out of a window though 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Short chapters just give me a sense of accomplishment lmao like I feel like I’ve read more 😅
      Classics for me…they’re a real hit or miss for me since for a lot of them nothing really happens which is one thing to watch in a movie for 2 hours but another when you have to spend 5 hours trying to trudge through the book. I appreciate it was revolutionary for the time period but there’s some great modern literature out there that gets overlooked because people want to seem smart.
      I 100% think the mother getting shoved out the window should be edited into the original, would really spice it up ✨

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charlotte says:

        Ooh true 😂 I hate stopping mid chapter too so long ones can be awkward. I’ve read a book once with a 40 page long chapter.
        Ah that’s so true. I don’t understand why some modern books don’t get the love that they deserve. Ooh yay I’m glad I’m not the only one 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruby Rae Reads says:

    YAYAYAY for reading books you loved. I need that energy, please. And ah very excited about With The Fire On High and am ~hoping~ I like The Kiss Quotient hehe. Oh and Pet, MUST read that one. Lmao love that you read Pride & Prejudice. I haven’t yet (yes I am terrible) but, oh no am worried that I also dislike Lizzie and Darcy because its why I don’t love the film.

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Omg yes but cut to me reading NOTHING this month 🤭 sorry for the late reply, been swamped so I know you’ve read half these books already 😂 but yeah, P&P really didn’t live up to the hype, I liked the 1995 version bc it had some swoon moments but still felt iffy about them as a couple 🤷‍♀️
      Hope you’re doing well and YES READ PET! 💞💞

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Clo @ Cuppa Clo says:

    Ah I read With The Fire On High a few months back and I really loved it! Such a good story and I really enjoyed Elizabeth Acevedo’s Poet X, still gotta read Clap When You Land though hehe. Ah I really want to read I Love You So Much Mochi! It looks so cute and fluffy and I need it also I agree with you on the cover, it’s such a pretty cover ❤ Huge mood with The Kiss Quotient though like the communication or lack of it near the end of the book wasn't fun but I still really enjoyed the book even if the lack of communication frustrated me. Hope you have a wonderful Sept El!

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Yessss! I still need to check her other books out but I’m suffering from a *book overload* since school came back and I have zero hours to read.
      I love you so mochi is the cutest – you’re gonna love it! 💞
      Same! It was fun reading it in the moment but looking back it just really bugs me – deciding if I maybe want to read the sequels, not sure 🤔
      YOU TOO 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clo @ Cuppa Clo says:

        Mood on book overload, I’m just hoping I can read one book this month since last month I didn’t finish any books 😦 Eeek I can’t wait! Lmao I mean I think I probably will give the sequels a try since they follow different characters from the first book sooo I’ll give them a chance haha

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Elizabeth @ An Attic Full Of Paper says:

    It looks like you’ve read a huge variety of books this month! I have to admit that I am a fan of Pride and Prejudice but I can understand why you wouldn’t be 🙂 Just curious, did you prefer The Handmaid’s Tale to The Testaments?

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Some people just get classics I alas am not one of them – glad you enjoyed it though!
      Ah I loved the handmaid’s tale it was a 5 star read for me while the testaments was like a 3, maybe even leaning to a 2? Have you read either? 💞

      Liked by 1 person

      • Elizabeth @ An Attic Full Of Paper says:

        I’m actually studying The Handmaid’s Tale at school right now so I’ve dissected it and analysed it for ages! I think that compared to The Testaments it’s definitely got a deeper meaning . For the plot, I personally preferred The Testaments 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • El says:

          The testaments was a lot more YA-y so I can see why people, especially younger readers, liked it more but I guess it just comes down to I wasn’t expecting that, you know? Maybe if someone had prepped me by saying it was more action then I would have enjoyed it more 🤷‍♀️
          Hope you’re enjoying the rest of your school books! 💞

          Liked by 1 person

  5. xoxlucy says:

    It sounds like you really enjoyed With the Fire on High so, I’m going to give that a go👍
    Not like Pride and Prejudice, what?! ( gasps)If you don’t mind I want to address some of my points on what you said about it but, no worries about not liking it. I understand it’s not for everyone and I’m totally biased because it’s the book that really connected my grandmother and me when I was younger.
    For period books and dramas, it is kind of important to have the mindset of that time( even though it can be difficult because of how much has changed now). When Jane Austen wrote her books, I think the women were a reflection of her time period and her more radical characters (like Lizzy) where supposed to be modeled after her. Lizzy is witty and a feminist of her time while most of the other women aren’t because that’s how Jane Austen felt about women in her time, I believe. Elizabeth is a bit ostracized for her “ extreme beliefs” and Jane Austen was looked down at for writing which was something in that time that should be left only for men. Sorry about my P and P rant( can you tell how much I love it?😂) and I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy. Maybe try watching one of the movie adaptions to get a different opinion.( totally not trying to force you to like it). Okay maybe I am just a teensy bit😂

    Lovely post and thanks for sharing you book commentary. Reading is life and I always love these bookish posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Ahhh I’m so glad you liked them too! Yes it’s so strange how reading books you actually want to makes you like them more?? Oh man I definitely had a problem before 😂
      Thank you 🥰 hope reading’s going well for you too!

      Liked by 1 person

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