What I Read Last Month!

Since graduation, my time is spent a little differently than I’m used to. I don’t have homework to worry about, I don’t have tests to study for (except for the driving test), and no classes to attend, at least until next fall.

I got another job, but it’s part time and leaves me with huge holes in my schedule, which is exactly what I wanted.

I get to take trips, I get to spend time with my family and friends, and most importantly, I get to write.

Everyday and every second that I can, I’ve got my fingers on the keys or a pen in my hand, running away with words and their worlds.

But every great writer is an even better reader, so while I’ve been writing words of my own, I’ve been reading double of someone else’s.

During the break I took from the blog, I was able to get through a few, and I wanted to take the time to share them and my thoughts with you! I thought that maybe, this could be an occasional thing. Every two or four weeks, I could share what I’ve been reading, in between the moments in which I share some of what I’ve been writing.

That way, you all get an idea of what kind of books I read, and I can get an idea of what you all read (hopefully).

So without further ado, here are all of the books I read in August.

Circe by Madeline Miller

Now, I know I’ve already reviewed this one, but I adore it so much that I couldn’t help but sit down and write another!

So, as you all already know, Circe by Madeline Miller has become one of my all-time favorites, just as Madeline Miller, herself, has. That book was the first I had opened in months, and one of the most rewarding that I’ve ever read.

The fascination Miller is able to invoke in me about Circe’s day-to-day is astonishing. Miller wrote about Circe in her garden, and I wanted to know every detail about how she sowed each seed into the earth. Miller wrote about the iciness of Circe’s childhood “home”, and I’d never felt so cold and alone, myself. Each word was another step into Circe, and her world wrapped around me as if it were my own.

Rating and Reasoning:

I gave this book a 5/5, for the overall eloquence, detail, and dedication to humanization of these mythical figures.

Who would I recommend this for?

I would recommend it for any Percy Jackson fan that fell in love with Jane Austen, and is extra nerdy about both subject and intensity of their prose.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This book was another first for me, this time the first new Y/A fantasy I’ve picked up since The Hunger Games. The prospect of this was intimidating, because not only is this the second series by this well-praised author, but it had two maps, six points of view, and at least 4 different states/countries within the world itself. The Second I opened the book, I felt like I had forgotten how to read, because I had definitely forgotten how heavily a book relies on it’s first few chapters to do its worldbuilding.

Although this book was hefty, it was incredibly interesting, though not as immersive as I was expecting until the climax of the plot. That didn’t bother me too much, though, because of the amazing cast of characters Bardugo set free into her world. For me, the characters make a book, and this lot was definitely one I gushed over. I fell in love with Inej, Jesper, and Nina. I fell in like with Kaz and Wylan. I fell in confused dislike with Matthias.

Rating and Reasoning:

I’m giving this one a 4.5/5, mostly based on how how immersive the characters were, and the small gaps I felt within the world. Though maybe after reading the first few books, this will change! (I’m planning on getting to them soon, but I’ve banned myself from buying and other books until I’ve finished the ones I’ve had.)

Who would I recommend this for?

I would recommend this for those getting back into the swing of Y/A fantasy and fiction, who love pieces of a puzzle kept right under your nose until the very end.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

There is not enough that I can say about this book. The newfound self-awareness of the main character, the admirability of the love interest, the frenemies to friends to lovers progression we get to witness. The million moments of doubts, of reassurances, of healthy recognition and solvents to their problems. I could go on, and on, and on.

January and Augustus’ relationship is the very definition of slow-burn, and it was my most favorite version of the genre. I love perfect miscommunications; I love oblivious girl, lovestruck boy; and every page of this book is filled by both of those.

This book was something I just picked up because it came across my daily Instagram scroll, and the very first book I’ve ever read by Emily Henry. But, considering how much I adored this one, I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Rating and Reasoning:

For this one, I gave a 4.5/5. There were definitely some parts that were cringe-worthy, style-wise. But I fell in love with Augustus, with January, and with them when it comes to them, together as a couple.

Who would I recommend this for?

I’d recommend it for witty-banter lovers, and people who find men with academic brains and sub-par social skills to be wildly attractive.

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

So, I admit, I know what his was going in. The book was introduced to me as a smut-centered amazon romance, and I’m far to curious for my own good. I came for the smut and what seemed to be a decently good plot, and I stayed because I have a complex about quitting on the books I read.

Being that this book is seemingly beloved, I’m almost terrified to say- I hated it.

There are lots of things I didn’t like, the main thing being the chauvinistic main male character, and the typical mean-girl, head cheerleader main female character. Douglas had the chance to go against stereotypes, and instead dove straight into the depths of them, scouring the floor for each and every trope tool.

I also hate when teenagers are portrayed so explicitly, especially when those teenagers are written and played by adults, like in Riverdale and Euphoria. It makes me so incredibly uncomfortable and resentful.

Overall, the plot had promise, but it read like a testament to it’s time- 2016 fan fiction style. But not the good kind of fan fiction.

Rating and Reasoning:

This is my first ever 2/5. Usually, I never go below 3, because I know how much work goes into the book, how each word is a piece of the author’s heart. But this one made me so resentful, that I almost don’t care. I think maybe, I’m just way too much of a prude, and I like to read about healthy relationships.

Who would I recommend this for?

I would recommend this for anyone who is 18+, and definitely female, probably millennials. This book seems like y’all would like it. (Yes, that is an insult.)

That’s all for this month, guys!

I truly appreciate you taking the time to listen to my rants and critiques of the books I got through. Like I said earlier, I’m hoping to make this a constant thing, so I hope you liked it, and will keep going back for more!

I’ll see you on Wednesday, when I plan to discuss all of the movies I watched with a more “critical eye” (Which definitely did not happen successfully, I am not a reliable critic. My glasses become much too rose-colored)!

Until Then!

-Kate Santos

Sunday, September 5th, 2021

Closest thing to hometown, CA, USA

17 years old

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