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  • Writer's picturehaleylynnthomas22

August-October Reading Wrap-up

1. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko (343 pages) (5 ⭐️)

This YA fantasy follows Tarisai who has been cursed by her mother to inflitrate the castle and compete to become one of the crown prince's eleven councilors so that she can then kill him. This is my number 1 fantasy of 2020 to date. The characters, story, and world building are all flawless.

Book Review: Coming Soon!

2. The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones (335 pages) (5 ⭐️)

This YA fantasy follows gravedigger Ryn and mapmaker Ellis as they travel into the mountains to destroy a curse which is returning the dead to life. This novel is unsettling but not outright terrifying and a perfect Halloween time read.

3. The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta (403 pages) (5 ⭐️)

This YA contemporary is written in verse is the coming of age story of a young mixed race gay man. The novel follows Michael as he discovers drag and finds his place in the world. If you enjoy either poetry or coming of age stories then this is a solid one.

4. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Swab (448 pages) (5 ⭐️)

This adult historical fantasy is about the long life of the titular protagonist who sold her soul in the 1700s for her freedom. This book shattered my heart and then slowly pieced it back together.

5. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas (447 pages) (5 ⭐️)

This YA contemporary takes place in the same neighborhood as Thomas' stellar debut The Hate U Give. It's about an aspiring rapper named Bri and tackles heavy topics like racism, gang violence, and poverty.

Book Review: A Guide to: The Books by Angie Thomas (Coming early 2021)

6. Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust (311 pages) (4.75 ⭐️)

This YA fantasy inspired by ancient Persia tells the tale of a princess named Soraya who is cursed with a poisonous touch. This fast paced fairytale-esque story will transplant you into a magical world and have you wondering who to trust. This is a quick, standalone and features a bisexual main character!

7. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett (417 pages) (4.75 ⭐️)

This YA contemporary follows astronomy lover Zorie and her former best friend/brief romantic partner Lennon as they reconnect while traveling through the wilderness together. This novel is perfect for someone who wants the experience of nature with the comfort of their bed.

8. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (425 pages) (4.75 ⭐️)

This YA contemporary follows mystery book lover Birdie and amateur magician Daniel. The two find themselves as coworkers after a disastrous first date. Grappling with their feelings for each other they decide to solve a real life mystery together. This novel was very charming and did a good job integrating both romance and mystery.

9. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (314 pages) (4.75⭐️)

This adult romance follows Stella, a successful woman who hires a male escort to teach her how to be in a relationship. Like Hoang's other book, The Bride Test, this is a sweet romance with wonderful representation.

10. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett (388 pages) (4.5 ⭐️)

This YA contemporary follows Bailey and Porter who meet while working summer jobs at a museum. The two fall for each other but with Bailey's tendency to avoid things and her search for her online friend Alex tear them apart? If not (wholly) original this was a (mostly) cute love story.

11. Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy (388 pages) (4.5 stars)

This YA historical fantasy follows Marit, an orphan living in 19th century Denmark. She possesses magic that has deadly consequences but must use it to protect her adoptive little sister Eve and uncover the truth about her father's death. This novel effortlessly mixes magic with mystery and history.

12. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett (291 pages) (4.25 ⭐️)

This YA contemporary follows aspiring medical illustrator Bex and graffiti artist Jack as they meet on a late night bus and fall in love. This novel juggled a lot and did so (mostly) effectively. Unfortunately, Jack's character was essentially just a trope.

13. The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth (355 pages) (4 ⭐️)

This YA contemporary romance is about a girl named Saoirse who has sworn off love. However, she finds herself attracted to Ruby, whose in town for the summer. The novel did a good job of balancing the serious with lighthearted fluff.

14. Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova (450 pages) (4 ⭐️)

This YA fantasy inspired by Inquisition era Spain follows the magical Renata who is capable of stealing people's memories. The novel had excellent world building and political intrigue but awkward pacing.

15. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (184 pages) (4 ⭐️)

This children's classic is about the friendship that develops between the pig Wilbur and the spider Charlotte as she and the other animals work to save Wilbur from the slaughter. The novel teaches about the values of friendship and helping others.

16. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (379 pages) (4 stars)

This adult romance sees Chloe trying to change her life and try things she's never done before after a near death experience. Assisting her is her artist neighbor Red. While it follows into some tropes, the romance is sweet and there's lot of representation.

Book Review:

17. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar (383 pages) (3.75 ⭐️)

This YA contemporary follows Nishat, a young Bangladeshi woman living in Ireland. She recently came out as lesbian to her traditional parents who were not supportive. Meanwhile, her childhood crush Flávia starts at her school and the two become rivals in their business class. This novel is an important read for its diversity and commentary on racism, homophobia and cultural appropriation.

Book Review:

18. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (526 pages) (3.75 ⭐️)

This adult fantasy novel follows con artist Nahri and prince Ali as they navigate the tense political climate of the legendary city of djinn known as Daevabad. This novel had a rich, engrossing world but I didn't connect with its characters.

19. Forged in Fire and Stars by Andrea Roberston (371 pages) (3.5 ⭐️)

This YA fantasy focuses on Ara. She's descendant from a line of legendary royal blacksmiths known as Loresmiths. She joins a princess and prince to reclaim the lost throne. This novel had a good cast of characters, but its overabundance of world building slowed down the plot.

20. The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo (121 pages) (3.5 ⭐️)

This is a novel of short stories depicting the lives of the saints in the GrishaVerse. While the stories were fun and easy to read they did feel a little too formulaic/repetitive.

21. The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae (402 pages) (3 ⭐️)

This YA fantasy is about Zahru who is chosen to be the human sacrifice in the Crossing, a race between three heirs to determine who will be the next ruler. This novel had a promising premise but too much repetition. The main character was bland but the other characters made up for her lack of personality.

22. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer (658 pages) (2 ⭐️)

This YA paranormal romance is Twilight from Edward's perspective. Twilight is the love story of human girl Bella Swan and immortal vampire Edward Cullen. I was a Twilight fan in the late 2000s and early 2010s and thus decided to read to it for the potential nostalgia though I definitely debated DNFing it several times.

23. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (454 pages) (2 ⭐️)

This adult romance follows American Bex who attends Oxford where she meets future king Prince Nicholas 'Nick.' The novel follows their romance. This novel reads like a Will and Kate fanfic and overstays its welcome.

24. The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez (372 pages) (1 ⭐️)

This adult romance novel follows Kristen and Josh who are the best man and maid of honor respectively in an upcoming wedding. The two find themselves drawn to each other. I found the romance to be extremely problematic.

Total Pages Read: 9,165

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