Thankfully my reading improved this month. After a few consecutive months of reading four books at a time, I was starting to lose my groove.
But with some great books in August, I feel like I’m finally out of my reading slump.
I picked up some TikTok-famous books this month, which I have to say were excellent and I’m going to have to go back to TikTok for some new book-buying inspiration.
Here are the reviews and ratings of the six books I read in August.
A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole
One kiss lasts a moment. But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime. One boy. One girl. A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade. A bond that neither time nor distance can break. A bond that will last forever. Or so they believe.
When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation? Rune’s heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.
My rating: ★★★
Ok, everyone is obsessed with this book online and if you search the title you’ll see fansites and more with images mocking up the characters and videos that have been made for the book. The cheese and corniness dripping from the book was too much for me and some of the lines had me cringing so hard, but I will admit I did shed a tear at one point. I got through it and thought it was ok and a little emotional, but way too intense for people so young.
Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield
Miri thinks she has got her wife back, when Leah finally returns after a deep-sea mission that ended in catastrophe. It soon becomes clear, though, that Leah is not the same. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded on the ocean floor, Leah has brought part of it back with her, onto dry land and into their home.
Moving through something that only resembles normal life, Miri comes to realize that the life that they had before might be gone. Though Leah is still there, Miri can feel the woman she loves slipping from her grasp.
My rating: ★★★★
This was a strange book to read especially after the recent fatal submarine incident. I loved the different points of view between the two female lead characters and found myself racing through Miri’s chapters to find out what was happening on the submarine in Leah’s chapters. However, the ending and parts of the book nearing the end were quite weird to say the least which is why it dropped a star.
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
Kiara and her brother, Marcus, are scraping by in an East Oakland apartment complex optimistically called the Regal-Hi. Both have dropped out of high school, their family fractured by death and prison. But while Marcus clings to his dream of rap stardom, Kiara hunts for work to pay their rent–which has more than doubled–and to keep the nine-year-old boy next door, abandoned by his mother, safe and fed.
One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into the job Kiara never imagined wanting but now desperately needs: nightcrawling. Her world breaks open even further when her name surfaces in an investigation that exposes her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department.
My rating: ★★★★
I had expected to love this book given a lot of the reviews online, but it didn’t hit the five star mark for me. Longlisted for this year’s Booker Prize, this is Mottley’s debut novel about a young girl trying to survive in Oakland, California. I found some of the characters to be quite confusing at times and felt the end really sped up to get to the crux of the story. However, I loved Kiara’s relationship with her neighbour Trevor and there were a lot of beautiful passages throughout the book which made it a four star read.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author’s girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio, it tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigolds in the Breedloves’ garden do not bloom. Pecola’s life does change—in painful, devastating ways.
My rating: ★★★★★
This is my third book of Toni Morrison’s that I’ve read and I think it’s my favourite so far. I previously read Beloved and God Help the Child, but The Bluest Eye was hard to read in parts at the life of young Pecola. Morrison shows that life can be cruel and unkind because of the circumstances you are born into and that bad things happen beyond your control – especially in the case of a child. Hard to read, but very much worth the read too.
The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride
Upon her arrival in London, an 18-year-old Irish girl begins anew as a drama student, with all the hopes of any young actress searching for the fame she’s always dreamed of. She struggles to fit in—she’s young and unexotic, a naive new girl—but soon she forges friendships and finds a place for herself in the big city.
Then she meets an attractive older man. He’s an established actor, 20 years older, and the inevitable clamorous relationship that ensues is one that will change her forever.
My rating: ★★★★★
Having read Eimear McFadden’s debut A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing last year, I understood the style of her writing a lot quicker this time around. Eimear writes in a very stylistic type of way that is often hard to follow, but really does make the book that much better. It comes across as poetry in a way. Be warned, there are no speech marks and a lot of the sentences are broken or not written in good English. But this story. It felt on par to A Little Life only a much shorter version. A lot of trigger warnings to look out for in this book, but so beautiful.
The Housemaid by Freida McFadden
Every day I clean the Winchesters’ beautiful house top to bottom. I collect their daughter from school. And I cook a delicious meal for the whole family before heading up to eat alone in my tiny room on the top floor. I try to ignore how Nina makes a mess just to watch me clean it up. How she tells strange lies about her own daughter. And how her husband Andrew seems more broken every day. But as I look into Andrew’s handsome brown eyes, so full of pain, it’s hard not to imagine what it would be like to live Nina’s life. The walk-in closet, the fancy car, the perfect husband. I only try on one of Nina’s pristine white dresses once. Just to see what it’s like. But she soon finds out… and by the time I realize my attic bedroom door only locks from the outside, it’s far too late.
My rating: ★★★★★
I read this book in 48 hours. I couldn’t put it down. If I wasn’t working, I probably would have read the whole thing in one sitting. I’ve seen this book everywhere recently and now I see why. I bought this for £2.50 in a This Works store and I’m going to run back to the store to see if they also have the second book in this series. Or anything else Freida McFadden has written. I haven’t read a psychological thriller like this since The Silent Patient. Obsessed.