I know I say this every month…but how the heck is it already August? I’m nowhere close to my reading goal for the year, which is unfortunate considering it’s halfway through, however I’m still excited for the arrival of a new month and NEW RELEASES! This month and September are absolutely packed with great stories hitting a shelf (and Amazon cart) near you. My TBR is growing at an exponential rate I for sure cannot keep up with. But you know what? With new releases this good, sometimes you just have to roll with it. So without further ado…let’s cut to the books!
The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes– August 22nd
I read Stephanie Oakes debut, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, to mixed feelings last year. On the one hand it was technically perfect, but on the other I just could not connect with it emotionally. It was definitely one of those cases though where I think more growth and experience from the author could remedy a lot of the problems I had. Not to mention that I am VERY intrigued by the synopsis. The Arsonist follows three perspectives, two present and one past, that all intersect. In the here and now we meet Molly, a girl with a troubled home life, and Pepper, a Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy. When a mysterious package leads Molly to Pepper, they’re tasked with solving the 1989 murder of German resistance fighter Ava. I love books with historical elements, and the fall of the Berlin Wall is the setting of some of my favorite reads. I hope it plays a large role here, and I see the complexity of that time come alive. Reviews thus far have been mixed, but fingers crossed this one delivers in the big way I hope it can.
The Art of Feeling by Laura Tims– August 15th
I’m probably setting myself up to hate yet another contemporary of this vein, but (insert shrugging). It’s being compared to the work of Jennifer Niven, whose books I’ve strongly disliked in the past, so honestly I don’t know what I’m expecting. I guess I’m just looking for that one romance featuring two tragic parties, that actually makes me sympathetic to their plight. Who knows? Maybe this one will be it for me. The Art of Feeling is all about, well, “feeling the feels”; from a girl who lives in constant pain, and a boy who feels nothing at all. Samantha wasn’t always like this, but has been devastated by the physical and emotional effects of a car accident that killed her mother. Eliot is a loner with a mysterious medical condition and self destructive tendencies. As the two grow closer and force the other to answer painful questions, the story will ask “Is it better to feel everything or nothing at all?” Hopefully I find the journey to this truth worthwhile, and can give this one two thumbs up.
A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor– August 15th
This book has been filling up my Instagram and Youtube feed all summer, making me super excited to pick it up in a few days. Advanced reviews have been sparse thus far, so it’s been difficult for me to know if all the hype is really warranted. It definitely gives off the vibe though of a book hard to capture in just a few words, with a lot of pieces moving behind the scenes. Basically it follows two sisters, Henri and Emma, who wash up on an island together??? It never explicitly says that in the synopsis, but eludes to them having to escape from somewhere alongside (presumably) super hot loner Alex. As Emma and Alex strike up a romance, secrets threaten to tear Henri and Emma apart. Of course, I’m not even sure if any of this is even actually happening…or if it’s just a metaphor for something. I’m not even sure I at this point, honestly. I just want this story in my life! Fingers crossed for a strong sister relationship, and a romance I can “ship” off this island 😉
Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic– August 15th
One of my favorite reviewers had less than positive things to say about Wicked Like a Wildfire, calling it painfully slow and boring. Maybe it’s foolish of me to give this one the benefit of the doubt, but I just want to like it so bad! It’s set in Montenegro, which is practically where dreams are made, and is all about two sisters who can manipulate beauty. It does have some pretty standard tropes of magical realism-esque books, such as a family secret and force threatening to pull them apart. Meanwhile they must discover the truth, lest the magic devour them. I could go on, but you know how it is. It’s something a little different I’ll either really enjoy or hate, but I want to take the chance. For this story to do something for me I’ll need a strong bond between Iris and Malina, as well as an actual sense of the danger present. Oh, and please keep the purple prose to a minimum. Thanks Lana Popovic! Hope I love your book 😉
The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian– August 8th
Abdi Nazemian is an Iranian-American author whose work strikes a very similar chord to Sara Farizan’s (whom I also needed to read, like, yesterday). If a Goodreads summary is anything to go by I expect this one to be a blending of self discovery, family, and culture- all three of which I can get behind. Protagonist Daria is a force to be reckoned with for sure, and has no time to contend with an identity crisis as her mother plans an elaborate sixteenth birthday party. She might have to though, when a secret about her past forces her to question the heritage so important to her. I’ve been killing it with my contemporary selection lately, and I really hope The Authentics can join the club. It would be a great addition to my Read Diverse compilation, and I’m very interested in learning more about Iranian culture. It really all hinges on whether I end up liking Daria as a MC. Shouldn’t be too hard if she bares much resemblance to animated television’s Daria.
League of American Traitors by Matthew Landis– August 8th
I haven’t read a book with a male protagonist in I don’t even know long, so League of American Traitors is a welcome addition to my TBR! It’s a historical fiction based thriller, which I love, and is being described as National Treasure meets Hamilton. I know that will definitely be a big seller for many readers, so hopefully it does historical YA proud. The story follows Jasper, the sole (and unwitting) descendent of Benedict Arnold. At the funeral of his father he’s told of a centuries long war fought between the heroes and traitors of the American Revolution- and how research conducted by his dad might be the only way to end it. A high stakes setting for sure, and one which I’m interested in seeing how original Matthew Landis can make it. I’ve read literally zero reviewers for this one, so I’m flying blind here. If you’ve already checked it out, let me know what you thought!
What books are you most excited for this August? Any on my TBR? Let me know in the comments!