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August Wrap Up!

This month I’ve got through my most books yet … TEN books! It’s been a real struggle again this month to pick my favourite, so, there’s two! Things you save in a fire by Katherine Center AND The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister.

Choosing to love – despite all the ways that people let you down, and disappear, and break your heart. knowing everything we know about how hard life is and choosing to love anyway… that’s not weakness. that’s courage. Katherine Center, Things you save in a fire

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

This was probably my 3rd favourite read this month. This book really charmed me. It’s not a fast paced read or full of drama and twists. It’s something completely different. It has an original plot, with real depth to it making it such a fascinating read. The writing is so beautiful, with so much detail you feel you are really there. I was fully immersed into Count Rostov’s character and I fell in love. In fact, the book was full of rich characters throughout the decades that it covers. In 3 words: Captivating, Thought-provoking & Beautiful. 4/5 (posting link)

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Wowzer! WHAT.A.READ. Riley Sager has done it again with this psychological suspense thriller! A book full of secrets and lies taking the characters to breaking point – it was fairly fast paced, and was a real page turner that kept me up at night. Riley’s writing totally nailed it yet again; conjuring up a real creepy, moody atmosphere- made even creepier by my own surroundings being in a cabin, in the forest … by a lake! The ending wrapped up a bit too quickly for me, but I did LOVE the epic twist. Looking forward to getting my hands on Riley Sager’s Final Girls next!! 4/5. See my full review here.

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

 I’m not sure what drew me to this book, it’s not had a huge amount of hype on social media, but something about it just made me want to read it. I was not disappointed! What’s it about? EVERYTHING. It’s the coming of age story of Emmeline. A young girl living in a remote island with only her father. No other human-being surrounds them. Their cabin is lined with tiny drawers, each containing tiny vials of scents. They must not be opened, they must be protected. It’s the only life Emmeline has ever known, until one day it’s not. I can’t say any more without totally spoiling it. It’s like no other story. It’s magical, it’s thought- provoking, it’s sad, it’s about memories that make and define us. And it left me feeling somewhat heavy hearted. It’s a book I won’t forget for a long, long time. 4.5/5. Full blog posting here.

Things you save in a fire by Katherine Center

I read in 2 sittings, I just could not put this down! I loved everything about it, the characters – who couldn’t absolutely love Cassie, the Rookie and the rest of the crew! Katherine’s writing style was totally up my street, I really enjoyed the story being told from Cassie’s POV with plenty of Cassie’s humorous thoughts between the dialogues. There was a few moments were I actually gasped – wow, wow, WOW and other moments when I felt I was fighting back tears. It wasn’t just an amazing love story, it was way more than that, it was also a lesson on courage and forgiveness. 4.5/5. Read full thoughts here.

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

I read this as part of a buddy read with The Lady’s Crime. I was actually reluctant to pick it up – mainly because there had just been SO much hype around it and there’s been a couple of super hyped booked lately that I didn’t think were all that! But … I did thoroughly enjoy this – Tense, gripping and fast-paced would be an understatement! 4/5. Click here to read the buddy read discussion.

Something in the water by Catherine Steadman

This book literally had me gripped from the first sentence (see quote!). I found Catherine’s writing style fantastic as she told the story through Erin, who was both wry and amusing! It’s a great story of how one, unforeseen moment can determine so much in your life. The story also makes you really think too – how far will you go for the life you want and how much do you really know someone? I don’t want to say too much out of fear of spoiling it, but to summarise in 3 words: Addictive, Intense and Spine Tingling! Click here for the pros and cons! 4/5

Where’d you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

I found this book something totally different. I loved the unique story and structure. The book itself tells the story of Bernadette and her disappearance through mostly correspondence (email, fax, letters), articles and inner thoughts from the different character viewpoints. The characters are all quite quirky, some loveable, some not so much, but they are all pretty amusing. I am not going to go into any of their backstories, because I really enjoyed discovering them for myself throughout the book, BUT I will say, the story is vividly told as the ‘unravelling’ of Bernadette, who is a really awesome character. She’s misunderstood by many, loved by few, she’s eccentric, brilliant and totally flawed. The book was hilarious with at times, laugh out loud moments (reminded me of Desperate Housewives!), but also it was kind of sad, ultimately about self-acceptance. This was a truly heart-warming story. It’s definitely a must read and I am so excited to hear the screen adaptation has just come out with Cate Blanchette staring as Bernadette!! I will definitely be watching it! 4/5 click here for the blog posting.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

I wanted to love this book with all my heart, but the Nickel Boys fell short for me. The book is based around such an important premise and I was expecting a lot of emotional turmoil, super rich characters, but unfortunately it felt quite flat. It was a very short book, and could have definitely benefited from added character development, I wanted to get to know Elwood. I hope others have more luck with the writing style. 2/5 pros and cons listened on the blog posting here.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this one before rushing into writing the review, so here I am, a few days later, and this book is still playing on my mind!This book was SO good. It really put the THRILL into Thriller! The book is told via a letter to a lawyer begging for help by nanny, Rowen. 

The first half focused on ‘painting the scene’ and was a bit slower paced, but I did enjoy the gradual reveal of the story, piece by piece and the character development of not just Rowen, but the children she was looking after, as well as Jack, the ‘handy-man’. The latter half of the book was a lot more fast paced, and I mistakenly read this late at night – whilst staying in a room with its own attic closet – RIGHT. BY . MY. BED. Freaked out would be an understatement! It constantly had me questioning what was paranormal/Rowen’s sanity and what was real. If you’re looking for a spooky, suspenseful twisty thriller, then look no further, you MUST read The Turn of the Key. 4/5 Blog posting here.

Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen

In my top 4 favourites this month for sure. I loved this book! My full review will be up soon. Only finished it yesterday, desperate to get it into my August wrap up! 4/5 rating though.

And that’s a wrap on August! A huge thank you to NetGalley, publishers and authors for my review copies of some of these books – this in no way influenced my reviews. If any of you have read these books and want to discuss further … ping me a note 🙂

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