August was a good book month. For one thing, after four months I finally finished Wise Man’s Fear *pause for fanfare*, secondly, I finished ten books which for me is crazy. I also got back into my A-Z book challenge I started in January, after crossing over the annoyingly obscure X & Z I can actually see myself finishing that before the end of the year.
On The Other Side – Having followed Carrie on social media for several years I’m surprised it took me this long to pick up one of her novels, I knew nothing about it and I was weirdly pleasantly surprised that this was a story about death, well its about purgatory, we follow Evie Snow as she returns back to her family members to unburden herself of the secrets holding her back from getting to heaven. I was good with that, I pulled a face when there was a fifty-year-old bird flying about with still legible writing on his wings, I audibly groaned at the cringy references to Carrie’s YouTube (“I’m a hope-ful” – really?) but the moment Evie removed her heart and buried it in her back garden I nearly put it down. That being said I think that this was different and generally well written, 3 stars
X: A Short Story – This was a tactical read to cross off the letter ‘X’ from my A-Z reading challenge, 28 pages, free, starts with the letter X, I didn’t have massively high hopes for a 28 page free book but at that length I was happy to battle through even if it was terrible – which it wasn’t. I gave it 3 stars because it was a bit too vague for my liking but there is a full-length novel set in the same world which I’m now intrigued to read, which I imagine is the aim of this one.
The Wise Man’s Fear – At 996 pages this has definitely taught me that anything longer than 600 pages should be purchased in electronic format, I read a lot while I’m travelling or away from home and if I’m limited on packing a space a weighty physical book just isn’t going to make the cut over my Kindle which is why this has taken so long to get through. I started back in April and while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and will happily join all the other fans impatiently awaiting news of book three, I’m quite glad to have finished it. I’m starting to take issue with how young he is, I feel like that should be more of a thing that the main character is about 16. I also got a bit irritated at the last 80ish pages of this book, after everything that had happened his journey back to the university was about ¾ of a page and then it all seemed to go a bit fairytale happy ending, Kvothe is back and everyone thinks he’s awesome because of all the stories and all his money problems are solved because of the Maer and his fishery commission and him and Elodin have this new found ‘understanding’. Obviously, that is me being a bit picky and it outweighed enormously by the rest of the book, 4 stars.
The Handmaid’s Tale – I really wish I’d read this before watching the TV series, don’t get me wrong I loved the TV series but it set everything up in my head and the book builds the world in such a clever way that it pieces together bit by bit and I know that if I didn’t already know a lot about the plot/world I wouldn’t have been able to put it down and this would have been a firm 5 stars but I spoiled it for myself, I still read it within about 3 days but it was a self-inflicted 4 star read for me.
Everything, Everything – I didn’t plan on reading this, I didn’t really have time to read this will the library loans I had out but sometimes you look at your bookshelf and a book just calls to you (please say this doesn’t just happen to me) Luckily it didn’t impact my planned reads too much because I got ever so slightly hooked and completed it within 24 hours. Loved it, 5 stars.
First Love – This was interesting, it’s 170 pages that pack a real punch. I naively thought it would be a couple of hours light reading, no. Obviously, it’s still a short book but it’s such emotive writing that it was just too much to take in quickly, I think it left me with more questions than it answered, which normally I don’t mind but this made me slightly uneasy so 3 stars.
Z for Zachariah – This was another tactical read for my A-Z reading challenge, I saw this recommended in a couple of threads and since it was labelled as ‘teen’ and just over 250 pages. I enjoyed about 75% of it, and I thought the ending was quite abrupt and a bit of a letdown so 3 stars.
Into The Water – I’m not normally a thriller/mystery fan but I loved The Girl on the Train so I jumped straight onto the library waiting list for Paula Hawkin’s follow up. It took me longer to get into this but from about 80/90 pages in I was hooked, and unlike its predecessor, I had no idea where that was going to go and ended up reading the last bit about 3 times just to be sure I’d read it right, 4 stars.
Space Team – So a colleague has been on at me for months to read this for months and this month I got fed up of being asked if I’ve started it so I gave in and read it towards the end of August over the bank holiday weekend. I get it, it’s sarcastic, it’s set in space and there’s a lot of swearing without there being any actual swearing. Very different to anything I’ve ever read before so for that I appreciate the recommendation for introducing me to a book I’d of never read otherwise but meh, 3 stars.
How to Stop Time – I wasn’t sure what to make of this for the first 30/40 pages I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it but it picked up quite quickly after that. The film adaptation of this is already in the works with Benedict Cumberbatch starring as Tom which I already knew going into the book so that kind of fixed a specific character image in my mind, not necessarily a bad thing as I now I’ve read the book I’d say he’s a good choice for the role. Really enjoyed the book, will definitely be going to see the film when it’s released and will definitely be reading more Matt Haig. 4 stars