Monthly Recap

August 2022

I finished 3 books this month despite the hustle and bustle of Back-to-School. I enjoyed all three, with my favorite being Book Lovers by Emily Henry. See full reviews below!

Hattie Ever After
by Kirby Lawson

After a reading slump in July, I decided to reread something easy on my bookshelf and picked up the Newbery Honor book, Hattie Big Sky. I’d bought the sequel, Hattie Ever After, way back in 2013 but had never gotten around to reading it. I wasn’t sure if I could picture Hattie in a big city like San Francisco after being so invested in her making it as a homesteader in Montana. However, Hattie’s quest to become a reporter when there were few women working in the industry was just as gripping as her prairie adventures. I have mixed feelings about the ending, so if you’ve read it and want to chat in the comments, let me know! Overall, highly recommend this as a work of middle grade historical fiction!
* 3.5 out of 5 Stars *

Book Lovers
by Emily Henry

This is my first book by Emily Henry and it was delightful! I loved how the author played with tropes within the romance genre. I loved all the characters: Nora, Charlie, and Libby especially. Nora and Libby had some witty dialogue that will trigger memories of Gilmore Girls for millennial readers. I literally giggled at some of their conversations. I especially loved the glimpses of the publishing world through these characters and wished we had gotten more of that world as well as more of New York City. While I predicted one key plot point, the book was well-paced, and I didn’t want it to end. Highly recommend if you enjoy contemporary romance!
* 5 out of 5 Stars *

Iron Widow
by Xiran Jay Zhao

This book was such a fresh and original story! I’d seen it listed on many best of 2021 lists and labeled as sci-fi which piqued my interest. The world is entirely fictional but heavily based on Chinese culture. As I’ve begun receiving acupuncture for nerve pain, the concepts of qi, yin, and yang were fun to see incorporated into a science fiction world. The characters were very likable and well-developed. The world-building was fascinating. I had a few issues with the ending feeling convenient, but there were some foreshadowed twists I liked as well. If I had to describe this book, I’d say it was a feminist sci-fi military “Transformers.” Some mature topics, “off-screen” sex, scenes of torture, and battle violence to be aware of when recommending to younger readers. This is a duology, and I’d probably borrow the second book from the library. Highly recommend if you like sci-fi and want a fresh, feminist story!
* 3.5 out of 5 Stars *

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