Alexis’ August Wrap Up

A kindle sits on top of a paperback copy of Raybearer on a desk. A lit white pumpkin candle sits behind it, next to a cup of pens and office supplies and a pink water bottle.


Well, I read seven books in August! This has definitely been a good reading year for me; I actually surpassed my Goodreads goal of reading 50 books this year in August, too.

I re-read two books this month: A Court of Mist and Fury and Raybearer. Both were still 5-star reads, and I’m happy that I bought copies of both of them to add to my personal library.

I read one 4-star book: The Crown of Gilded Bones. While I haven’t given star ratings to the other books in the Blood and Ash series, I enjoyed the additional worldbuilding and Poppy’s character arc, and it definitely felt like a 4-star read.

I read two 3-star books: Realm Breaker, Tweet Cute, and Last Summer at the Golden Hotel.

Realm Breaker is a high fantasy read. I found the prologue to be confusing, and I had a hard time getting into the beginning of the story. While I loved some of the characters, there were a lot of POVs, the world and worldbuilding felt kind of generic, and I just wasn’t blown away when I finished reading it.

I actually read Tweet Cute on my Kindle while traveling. It’s a YA rom-com, which definitely isn’t my usual genre. This was a fun read, with a LOT of cheese puns. It bounces back and forth between the POVs of Pepper and Jack. I enjoyed reading about Pepper’s love of baking, and I enjoyed reading about an app that Jack created called Weazel. However, the main plotline of this book is a Twitter feud, and I found that it got a little annoying and boring for me. But if you like fluffy reads and drama, then I think you might enjoy it.

I also read Last Summer at the Golden Hotel while traveling. It mentioned Dirty Dancing, one of my favorite movies, so I had to pick it up! Turns out the only similarity is the setting. This book is wholly about family drama. Two different families own the Golden Hotel, and we get to see from a ton of different POVs (which usually isn’t my thing; it keeps me from connecting to the characters, and this was no different). While this book was definitely interesting, I think it dragged on a little too long, and had some melodramatic parts. It also focused a lot on the difference between generations, which I also wasn’t a huge fan of. (Maybe I need to stick to my favorite genre from now on!)

And finally, I read one 2-star book: Ariadne. I already wrote a review on it, so you can check that out here!

Review: From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

A Kindle copy of From Blood and Ash rests on a cream-colored blanket next to a white mug with a matcha latte.


Okay, so this book is hot garbage. But it’s enjoyable hot garbage. 

Think a refashioned Twilight; throw in some werewolves and two types of vampire type things. Although, this book honestly has way more plot and worldbuilding than Twilight ever did. 

The first half was a little slow as it set up the world, Poppy’s character, and Poppy’s role in the world. The writing is honestly not great, though it did improve as the story went on (and as I managed to turn off my critical reading brain). But there were just some strange sentence structures and a lot of “telling” over “showing” in the first half, especially.

Plus, there were typos. I don’t know if it was just in the e-book version, but on page 305, for example we have: “Of course, you do.” Why is there a comma after of course?? Later on, we have: “He was an Atlantian, His people…” There were others, too, but I tried not to keep track of them all. After all, that’s not the author’s fault.

There were a lot of plot twists that were obvious from nearly the very beginning of this story, and Armentrout throws in very heavy-handed foreshadowing that doesn’t help. The romance is very Twilight-y in that there’s a power imbalance, and Hawke’s character is morally grey (and at times creepy, hello Edward).

Okay, then why did I say this was an enjoyable read? Because the dialogue is dynamic and snappy. There’s a lot of well-written tension. And once you get past the not-so-subtle foreshadowing, I found the world and the world’s history interesting. Plus, reading about flawed, morally grey characters always intrigues me, and it kept the pages turning. Despite Poppy having some pretty dumb moments, I enjoyed her POV and found her an interesting character, and I was glad that her character knew how to fight. 

My enjoyment while reading this book? Nearly 5 stars! But the writing comes in at about a 2. I’m not sure I want to rate this one overall, but I guess that would fall in at about a 3.5. You can bet I still want to read the series, though! Too bad I have to wait about 7 weeks to read the next book from my library.

Anyway, if you can turn off your critical reader brain and you’re looking for a Twilight meets A Court of Thorns and Roses kind of read, then you might like this.