August Reading Wrap-Up

When August began, I had a huge goal. I was going to read FOUR books for the month! Sure, I needed to plan for a major life event, but I didn’t care! I WOULD get to those books!

Well…it’s the end of August…and I didn’t get to my goal. I only read half of the books I wanted this month. They’re as follows:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Rating: 4/5 Stars

I adore Historical Fiction novels, and I heard rave reviews about the Outlander series from many of my friends. It’s a huge read (over 800 pages), but I wanted to take it on.

Outlander is set in Scotland, between the 1940s and 18th century. It follows the story of Claire Randall, a woman who finds herself trapped between two different time periods, and swept away by two starkly different men!

There’s so many steamy moments in this story, combined with the rich historical content between the Scottish clans and British ‘lobsterbacks’ as they entwine themselves in war. I may read the next installment in this series in the near future, but I thoroughly enjoyed this first installment in the series!

Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

I read ‘Color Me In‘ as part of a partnership with Random House, Netgalley, and Sazon Book Tours. That’s right, I took part part in my very first Blog Tour! I will always be grateful for this opportunity, and to review such a wonderful book.

Color Me In‘ by Natasha Diaz tells the story of Neveah Levitz, a teenager from an interracial family going through divorce. She and her mother move to Harlem, her mother’s childhood home, and Neveah is struggles with her identity as she navigates the issues of race and class through her community.

I enjoyed ‘Color Me In‘ since this is spoken in a voice that all readers need to absorb. There are many in Neveah’s position who struggle to find her sense of self, after living a seemingly flawless life. She learns to seek outward in order to find herself within.

So that’s it!

I hope to read more books next month, especially with the arrivals of two stories that I’m eagerly anticipating!

Professional Reader

August 12: Reading Blog

I finally finished ‘Outlander’ the other day. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the story! I loved the historical descriptions of Scotland, especially when it was set in the 1700’s. There were lots of steamy scenes in the book, but I thought it was tastefully written. Will I read the next book in the series? Not right away lol, but I’m curious to find out what happens to Claire in the series.

I moved on to Crown of Feathers, by Nicki Pau Preto. It’s a Fantasy YA novel, and the main character has to masquerade as a boy in order to fulfill her quest. There’s a bond with a sister that’s fractured, so I’m interested in seeing what happens as I get further involved in the story.

I’m also reading ‘Color Me In’ this week, as part of my first blog tour! I’m taking part in Sazon Book Tours, and my day is sometime next week. I can’t wait to see what this story is all about!

Reading Blog: Readathon Progress

I’m in the midst of wedding planning, but I managed to make some time for my stories. As much as I’m excited about my wedding (10 days away!), I need a break from planning for a little while.

This week I finished the audiobook of Again, but Better. I liked how the story was a light read, certainly easier to move through than Outlander. It was a fun tale about finding (and re-inventing) oneself. I read a portion of it in the evenings, when I had available time.

I’m almost done with Outlander! While it’s a long book, it’s enjoyable to read. The history of the Scottish Highlands on the brink of war is quite rich. Claire’s quest in returning to her own time period has notable obstacles in her journey, causing her to re-evaluate her wants and desires in life. It’s also a very steamy read!

My Disneyathon/August TBR

Next month I’m trying my hand at the Disneyathon (Disney Reasathon) throughout the month of August. I don’t need to read Disney-related stories (but I am tempted in reading the Descendants stories!), but this readathon is divided into teams. I signed up for Team Mulan; I already own one of the group books, and I love Princess Mulan!

The following are the prompts for Team Mulan:

Read a book with at least 500 words

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I picked up Outlander a couple months ago, so I can’t wait to finally begin reading it! It’s well over 500 pages (almost 800!), and I haven’t watched the program (surprisingly), so it should be fun!

Synopsis:
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Read a book that features a ‘squad’

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

The moment I heard about Emily Duncan’s debut novel, I wanted to buy it right away! It has a dark premise that I appreciate in stories. Very excited to finally read this book!

Synopsis:

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.
A prince in danger must decide who to trust.
A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.


Read a book with a strong female lead

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Prieto

I also received Crown of Feathers through OwlCrate. They put out great fantasy books! This is Nicki Pau Prieto’s debut novel.

Synopsis:
I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

Read a YA Romance

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Again, but Better is Christine Riccio’s debut novel. She is a well known Book Tube personality who took the plunge in writing her first book!

Synopsis:
Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?
Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.
Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.


Group Book

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Team Mulan has the option of reading either Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim or Circe by Madeleine Miller. Since I already have a copy of Spin the Dawn (thanks to OwlCrate), this will be my group book of choice!

Synopsis:
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.