Everything I Read in August 2021.

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I read less than usual this month (four books), but I really enjoyed three out of the four. There are reading-heavy months and TV/movie-heavy months and this was definitely more of a TV and movie kind of month! The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was probably my favorite thing I read. So many of you had suggested it, I’m not sure why I kept putting it off! It’s definitely a meatier book: long, and complexly written… not a “read in a day” beach read or thriller. But it’s one of those books you keep thinking about weeks and months later. I passed it along to my mom when I was done and she felt the same way. I also really enjoyed  The Magic of Found Objects (Maddie Dawson’s latest!) which is our Bad on Paper September book club pick!

Anyway, I always really love your recs!!! In the comments, tell me what you’re reading / send any and all recommendations – I love getting them. I’m especially interested in reading thrillers by authors of color.

IF YOU’RE NEW HERE AND ARE LOOKING FOR A BOOK, DON’T FORGET THAT YOU CAN ALWAYS CHECK OUT MY BEAUTIFUL BOOK CLUB PAGE.

Every month I update it with everything I read – it includes every book I’ve read in the past seven years. The best part is that you can filter + search by genre. Now you can also filter by GRADE to find exactly what you’re looking for or just peruse my top picks. If you’re feeling like you need even more book recs, check out last month’s list

the invisible life of addie larue by v.e. schwab book review grace atwoodThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

This came highly recommended by so many of you (especially after reading The Midnight Library) and wow, I see why… it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while. It’s so creative and such an interesting premise. It’s been on nearly every “best of” books list, too. I will tell you that it is long (444 pages), and I struggled with the writing at times, but it feels a bit like a fairy tale for grownups in the best possible way. Spanning over 300 years, it is the story of Adeline LaRue. 23 and about to be married off to a man she does not love, she makes a deal with the devil… not knowing what she is doing. In exchange, she’s free – and will live forever. But no one will ever remember her. And so she spends three hundred years being very alone. Can’t get a job, form relationships or ever marry, can’t even rent an apartment. But with that freedom, her life becomes such an amazing adventure, spanning centuries and continents! It was getting pretty sad (and lonely) until one day Addie is in a bookstore and plot twist: a young man remembers her. I won’t say anymore but it’s a wonderful story and I loved the ending so much – it made me cry! Order on Bookshop.org or Amazon!

The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements and Onjuli Datta

I wanted to love this one but only wound up being medium on it! I had seen so much hype about it on Instagram, the premise was so good (a faux Hollywood romance turned real between an A-list hollywood actress and a hotel heir), it had been blurbed by Taylor Jenkins Reid (my favorite), and it was written by a lesbian couple (cool!). But the writing just didn’t grab me and I never felt very connected to the characters. Parts felt tedious to read and a lot of it just just felt… flat? I think it could be that it was a little bit awkward because (I think) the authors’ primary language is German. Regardless, it was a fun read and it had a good twist that I didn’t see coming. I love anything about the ins and outs / behind the scenes of Hollywood, and I read it within a few days. But was only medium on it if I’m being totally honest. I will tell you I am in the minority here. I have been seeing really great things about it all over Bookstagram. So I could be wrong. Order on Bookshop.org or Amazon.

The Magic of Found Objects, by Maddie Dawson

This book is so sweet. Sweet in a good way. I love how Maddie Dawson writes… her books are all so magical. (her other book, Matchmaking For Beginners, is still one of my all-time favorite books.) Phronsie and Judd have been best friends forever, bonding over their (many) bad dates in New York (relatable!!!). One day, Judd hatches a plan… they should get married! They are above all of that love stuff… and since they have the foundation of friendship, they’ll be able to spend the rest of their lives together, raise children, and so on and so forth. Phronsie’s father and stepmother couldn’t be more delighted. The wedding is moving forward. Meanwhile, her capricious and free-spirited semi-estranged birth mother keeps telling Phronsie to STOP, that the universe is sending her signs not to do it. When Phronsie meets someone who she could (maybe?) really love, she has to make a decision. Does she move forward with a life that will give her stability and babies and certainty… or should she give that up and hold out for true love?! I really enjoyed this book and am excited that we’re going to have it as our September book club pick! Order on Bookshop.org or Amazon.

The Other Me, by Sarah Zachrich Jeng

This one took me about 80 pages to get into but once I got into it, I was hooked and couldn’t put it down (I stayed up until 1am finishing it!!!). It’s perfect for fans of Sliding Doors. Kelly is a struggling Chicago artist, but overall, she likes her life. She is free-spirited and happy, with a close knit group of friends. On the night of her 29th birthday, she is at an art gallery. She opens a door and suddenly she’s in her Michigan hometown with twelve years of all new memories (plus, her old memories… confusing!). She is married to Eric, a sweet and handsome guy that she barely knew in high school. Her whole family is there for her birthday dinner and everything is… very different. In this life, he’s her high school sweetheart. She still lives in her hometown, never went to art school and is instead a graphic designer who can barely paint (and seems a little bit bored, to be honest!). At first, Eric seems pretty perfect but as time goes on, she begins to think he might be behind this sudden switch. I liked this book because this sort of plot hasn’t been done before – it felt very fresh and because of that, it kept me on my toes.  It’s also a great exploration of “what if!?!” Order on Bookshop.org or Amazon.

Photography by Allie Provost.

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