Hey guys! So like I said before I ended up taking a break from blogging in August. I finally am getting back into the swing of things. I recently posted my July Wrap-up. So I also wanted to do a August Wrap-up as well. I feel August was a decent month. I planned to read a couple more books but I took a weekend trip so that got in the way. Anyway let’s dive in to my August reads!
The Death of Mrs. Westaway By Ruth Ware
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Suspense, Adult
Pages: 362 pages
Publication Date: May 29th 2018
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Plot: On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.
Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.
My Thoughts: So I was really looking forward to this book. I read The Lying Game last year by Ruth Ware and was very disappointed. This book ended up being okay for me as well. I really liked the atmosphere but that’s it. I felt like it was a really slow story. It took me a while to get into it. I felt like a lot didn’t happen at the beginning of the book. I usually like fast paced thrillers. Ones that grab me right from the start. This one didn’t do it for me. Plus I thought the characters were okay. Nobody really jumped out to me.
Truly Devious By Maureen Johnson
Genre: Mystery, Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 416 pages
Publication Date: January 16 2018
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Plot: Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”
Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.
True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.
My Thoughts: So I have been looking forward to this for a while. I had been putting it off for a little while though cause I was worried I might not like it. However I ended up enjoying it a lot. I have been in the mood lately for boarding school mystery and this one delivered. I enjoyed everything about it. I felt like it was very action packed. I also enjoyed all of Maureen’s thriller/mystery references. You can tell how big of a fan she is. It really added to the story. Plus the ending had me freaking out. I honestly can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next. I am happy that the story is a series and wasn’t rushed into just one book. I can’t wait to discover more about the past and present.
Speak: The Graphic Novel By Laurie Halse Anderson, and Emily Carroll
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Comic
Pages: 374 pages
Publication Date: Feburary 6th
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Plot: “Speak up for yourself-we want to know what you have to say.”
From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless–an outcast–because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. Through her work on an art project, she is finally able to face what really happened that night: She was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her.
My Thoughts: So I read the original Speak a while ago. I remember really enjoying it a lot. It’s an intense book. This is the same story but more modern. It talks about things that are relevant in our society today. Overall was nice catching up on the story in a different format because it’s been so long.
It’s Always the Husband By Michele Campbell
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 336 pages
Publication Date: May 16th 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Plot: Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump.
How did things come to this?
As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?
My Thoughts: I have to say I was looking forward to this book. I mean the title had me so excited. Most mystery books the husband is the one behind it so I was like this should be an interesting take. However I feel I was into the book mainly for the drama. I didn’t really care much about the mystery. I think part of the reason is someone’s review spoiled who the victim in the beginning was. So I was interested in all the drama between the 3 friends. I do have to say by the end of the book I ended up hating all 3 of them. I felt at the beginning there was the one friend I disliked right away and then over time I started to dislike the other 2. Overall it was alright but not anything special or shocking.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances By Ruth Emmie Lang
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Fiction
Pages: 346 pages
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Plot: Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.
That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.
There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.
In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.
My Thoughts: Wow. I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. I ended up loving the story so much. I find myself finding it hard to describe this book but I thought it was beautiful. I loved Weylyn so much. He is such a precious character. I feel everyone should read and learn about him. I loved all the other characters who knew Weylyn. It was interesting to learn how they knew him and the impact he had on them. I highly recommend you guys checking this out.
The Girl Before By J.P. Delaney
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Suspense,
Pages: 341 pages
Publication Date: January 24 2017
Publisher: Ballantine Books
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
Plot: Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.
The request seems odd, even intrusive – and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant – and it does.
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street, she is instantly drawn to the space – and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror as the girl before.
My Thoughts: I ended up listening to this on audiobook and at the start I was pretty confused. It took me a couple chapters to grasp which story went with each character. I overall felt the story was just okay. I also think part of the reason was the ending was similar to a previous thriller I had read so I kinda was like really this again. I have to say I wasn’t shocked by this ending either. I do plan to check out J.P.’s other book. I feel like it will be a quick read.
Last Breath By Karin Slaughter
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Novella
Pages: 176 pages
Publication Date: July 11th 2017
Publisher: Withness Impulse
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Plot: Protecting someone always comes at a cost.
At the age of thirteen, Charlie Quinn’s childhood came to an abrupt and devastating end. Two men, with a grudge against her lawyer father, broke into her home – and after that shocking night, Charlie’s world was never the same.
Now a lawyer herself, Charlie has made it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past, and is powerless to say no.
But honour-student Flora is in far deeper trouble than Charlie could ever have anticipated. Soon she must ask herself: How far should she go to protect her client? And can she truly believe everything she is being told?
My Thoughts: So I read this because I thought I was going to have time to read The Good Daughter after. I started it but didn’t really get far in it. I did end up enjoying this story. I was sad to hear it was just a novella. I would have like to have more story with these characters. I am hoping to restart The Good Daughter soon. I have heard really good things about it.
Have you guys read any of these books? If so what did you think? What books did you guys end up reading August? I would love to hear from you!