Quick Lit: August 2018

Yes, you read that post title correctly. This is a collection of thoughts on books that I read last August. Y'all, I can't believe that I'm FIVE MONTHS BEHIND on book reviews. I have a reading journal where I jot down thoughts on what I've read and post reviews for some books on Instagram, which is the only reason I'm able to even attempt to review what I've read the past few months. I almost just called it a day and started fresh in January, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I've read too many great books and love that this blog documents my reading life. 

And so, this begins my attempt to get all caught up! I read 24 book in August, and I'm talking about 22 of them in today's post. The other two will appear in my September Quick Lit. As always, check out the Quick Lit linkup  that's hosted by Modern Mrs. Darcy for more reviews and recommendations.

FORCE OF NATURE BY JANE HARPER | I started the month with this mystery and So Enjoyed It! The rising tension, remote setting, and unreliable characters created the perfect sense of mystery. I had to know what happened on that fateful hike when one person didn't return, and the reveal didn’t disappoint. I hadn't read the first book, The Dry, at the time but did so a few days later. I’m hoping for more books with Federal Agent Aaron Falk in the future! 

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LULULEMONS BY LAUREN WEISBERGER | Did I buy this book because of the cover? Maybe a little bit. I didn't read the first two Devil Wears Prada books before diving in, but I never felt like I was missing out because of it. I enjoyed all three main characters, loved how the book poked fun at the super rich, and was rooting for the female friendships that developed as the story progressed. I So Enjoyed It.

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: GRAPHIC NOVEL BY MARIAH MARSDEN | This was such a great adaptation of one of my favorite books ever! The artwork by Brenna Thummler was so lovely – and detailed, which I really appreciated. I haven't read many graphic novels, but I was pleased with how this one conveyed the heart and main themes of Anne Shirley's story. The full-length book is obviously better, but I still So Loved It.

TELL ME MORE BY KELLY CORRIGAN | I binged Corrigan's backlist in 2017, so I knew I had to check out her 2018 release. These essays are organized by phrases – the 12 hardest things Corrigan is learning to say. They range from "No" to "I Was Wrong," and a few favorites made it worth the read for me. I don't always like Corrigan herself (and some essays fell flat for me), but I always seem to find something to connect to in her writing. I So Liked It.

THE HELP BY KATHYRN STOCKETT | I re-read this one via audiobook, which was a wonderful listening experience. I adored all the narrators for this book, and they made this re-read something to remember. Even though I knew the story and where it was headed, I found myself so invested and emotional while revisiting it. I'm So Obsessed With It, though I've read other perspectives on it that have helped me be more conscious of its flaws. 

THE DRY BY JANE HARPER | I was immediately hooked by this story, which introduces Detective Aaron Falk who I met in Force of Nature. I didn't think the writing or characterization were particularly noteworthy, but I did find the Australian outback setting added a lot to the story and the mystery kept me guessing until the end. I So Enjoyed It and would definitely suggest reading the books in order since it helps you understand the detective better.

LOVE AND RUIN BY PAULA MCLAIN | I wanted to love this one so bad, and I'm so bummed that I didn't. The heroine was fascinating, and I loved learning more about her as the book went on. The setting and historical detail were nicely done, but I just had no emotional investment in anything or anyone. I didn't believe in the relationships and slogged my way through to the end. I was So Okay With It and, unsurprisingly, still hate Hemingway. 

CATWOMAN BY SARAH J. MAAS | I would never have picked up this book if it didn't have Sarah J. Maas' name on it because I just don't care about superhero stories, so you should probably take my opinion on it with a grain of salt. I thought the story was compelling, enjoyed Maas' writing, and was rooting for the characters. I'm happy that I So Enjoyed It, but it definitely wasn't a favorite or super memorable for me. But a fun read nonetheless!

I'LL BE YOUR BLUE SKY BY MARISA DE LOS SANTOS | de los Santos writes so lyrically, which I immediately loved. It was so nice to return to these characters — and to meet brand new ones, too. And, like with her previous books, I delighted in the literary references throughout. The story itself required me to suspend some disbelief (so many coincidences occur), and I preferred the historical timeline to the contemporary one, but I still So Enjoyed It overall.

THE DUCHESS DEAL BY TESSA DARE | This was my first book by Tessa Dare, and I So Liked It but didn't love it like I'd hoped. It felt so modern, even though it was supposed to be historical. I think some of it is due to Dare's sense of humor and just her style of writing, which isn't my favorite. It was too sexy for me (lots of skimming past stuff), and some of the plot felt so over-the-top and implausible. But it did make me curious enough to try more from Dare.

LIFE ON THE LEASH BY VICTORIA SCHADE* | If you really love dogs, you might enjoy this one more than I did. I wasn't expecting quite so much dog training in it, which I found boring. I found the heroine so annoying – why did this American girl just randomly speak French? She might love dogs, but she's rude to people. And don't even get me started on the romance. Cheating one minute, a rushed resolution the next. I was So Over It.

GHOSTED BY ROSIE WALSH | Seven perfect days together, and then ghosted. But why? I had to suspend my disbelief on the instalove that's central to the plot, which is probably my biggest issue with this book. I just didn't believe the heroine's level of obsession after one week! However, I got hooked at the halfway point and couldn't put it down. The story went in a direction I didn't suspect and was surprisingly emotional, so I'd say I So Enjoyed It

ALL WE EVER WANTED BY EMILY GIFFIN | What to say about this one? It wasn’t awful, and I didn’t hate it. But... it felt like it was trying too hard to do too much, and the ending left me so angry and dissatisfied. I kept thinking of Beartown by Fredrik Backman while reading (because the subject matter is similar), and this one is so shallow in comparison. I couldn't stand the characters and was So Over It. Giffin just isn't an author for me anymore. 

THE SIMPLE WILD BY K.A. TUCKER | I wasn't prepared to love this book as much as I did! Tucker’s descriptions of Alaska made me long to visit. The romance had some hate-to-love vibes (my favorite!) with banter and situations that made me laugh out loud. But it was the story of the heroine trying to reconnect with her estranged father that really got to me. It was so emotional! I'm So Obsessed With It and look forward to exploring Tucker's backlist.

HELLO STRANGER BY LISA KLEYPAS | After reading Devil in Spring, I was excited to pick up this book. What's not to love about a heroine who is a female physician and a hero with an undercover accent?! I was so invested in both characters, totally swooned over their romance, and was on the edge of my seat when things seemed to go wrong. Their banter was great, and I So Loved It. And now I'm dying for West's book because he practically stole the show.
And finally, though I don't have a photo, I read The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn. I read the first book in the series back in March and had issues with it. I decided to finish the series anyway and So Liked It overall. The first and third were my least favorites, and the second and fourth were my favorites. The series was a mixed bag that was fun but ultimately forgettable for me overall, and I don't see myself re-reading any of them.

* I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review.

What have you been reading lately?


  1. All of these summery photos are making me crave warmer weather (which is unfortunate because we're expected to get a snowstorm in NYC this weekend lol!). I'm really looking forward to reading The Simple Wild- I have family in Alaska and we visited last year for their wedding so I can't wait to read book set there!

  2. I felt the exact same way about The Simple Wild! I knew I was going to enjoy the book, but I didn't realize I was going to love it as much as I did!

  3. I love these mini reviews! And all these pictures.

    I'm glad the Kleypas book was good. I'm about to start the third Ravenelles book (as soon as the library audiobook hold comes in) and am super excited for it.

    Also, The Simple Wild looks EXCELLENT.

  4. I still need to read The Simple Wild! I've honestly heard nothing but praise for it, and that's all from people whose bookish tastes definitely align with mine. And I'm glad you ended up finishing the Bridgerton series even if you didn't end up loving all the books!


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