We’ve settled into a bit more of a routine, and in between job hunting (finally found one!) and school planning, I still had time for some entertainment. Here’s what caught my eye in August.
The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth. I read the ebook on my phone through my library app. I enjoyed continuing the story with Akos and Cyra from Carve the Mark, but I felt like this book dragged a little bit in terms of how much actually happened plot wise.
There was a point that I was very concerned that Cyra was going to end up like Tris in the Divergent series, but I was pleased with how the situation played out. It fit with the story, and it didn’t anger me. Ha!
One thing I was confused by was the epilogue. It seemed like it was tying everything up like this is it. Is this just supposed to be a two-book series? In theory, there’s still action that can happen in a third book, but the epilogue in this one kind of tells you who will make it out alive and how it will all work out. So how would you build that suspense into a third book? I haven’t been able to find anything out, because this one just came out I think in April? so it’s still new.
Us Against You by Fredrik Backmann. Library book. Because that’s how I actually get books read at this point. I recently found out that the Beartown books are going to end up being a trilogy, which is cool, because they’re all really good. I felt like Beartown ended and that could have been it, and been a satisfying ending, and then I felt the same way when Us Against You ended, so to get more of the story is just a bonus.
Backmann does such a good job of intentionally writing every sentence and every scene. And he has such good direct foreshadowing sentences that make you want to keep going to find out what happens next. Something like “They would have been great together, if they had been able to continue forever, but that was not how it happened.” Why not? What happened instead?
Or the fact that this book opens with a mention that by the end of it someone will be dead. And then you spend most of it wondering who that will be, and if this will be the scene that ends it. And then you get to the actual scene of the death, and it’s written so that about 8 characters are in peril one after the other and you feel dread, then relief, then dread, then relief, and then someone doesn’t make it. Or maybe that’s just me.
I still don’t care about hockey. But I really do enjoy pretty much everyone in Beartown.
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. I picked this one up from the library because I was listening to Anne Bogel on a podcast (not her own), and when asked if there was any book she could universally recommend that pretty much everyone would enjoy, she recommended this one. And it had been on my TBR already, so I figured it was a good time.
I enjoyed the characters in the book – they all felt realistically flawed but relatable, with plenty of heart, and I wanted them to do better and be better. And I especially loved this quotation:
“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Sometimes, it sure seems that’s what life intends. After all, it’s basically like a centrifuge that spins every few years casting proximate bodies in disparate directions. And when the spinning stops, almost before we can catch our breath, life crowds us with a calendar of new concerns. Even if we wanted to retrace our steps and rekindle our old acquaintances, how could we possibly find the time?”
Let’s just say that with my history of relocating, and my recent move, I can relate.
Making It (NBC). This has been a fun little summer series (and apparently it’s been renewed for next year too). It’s kind of like The Great British Baking Show, but with crafts, and it’s cool to see all the different mediums and methods the makers use.
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu). I read this book a few years ago, and like all Margaret Atwood books, it’s provocative. We ended up switching our cell phones to Sprint, and that came with free Hulu, so I decided to watch the show. The book content ends I think where Season 2 Episode 1 ends, if I’m remembering correctly, although there were definitely additions to the show before that.
Overall, I think the show is really well made and it’s kind of like an accident that you don’t want to look at but can’t stop peeking through your hands at anyways. The colors, the costumes, and everything visual is just superb. My one big caveat is the sex and rape scenes. There’s a lot. And I don’t think they all add to the show or are necessary. I get that you’re supposed to be uncomfortable with it, but it’s just too much, in my opinion.
Me Before You (Amazon Prime Video). I had wanted to watch the movie of this since I read the book, but I ended up spending the whole movie kind of dreading the ending. If not for that, it would be a really cute rom-com. I hope they make the sequel though, because that was my favorite book of the trilogy. But my random internet search shows that the main actress is on Game of Thrones, so she might be busy…
And finally, in tv news, I saw that The Passage is going to be a tv show. I’m kind of undecided on this one. On the one hand, I did want to eventually read the other two books in the trilogy, but they’re long, and I wanted the after story more than the story that was actually told. I’m not sure if the show is going to cover the whole trilogy (the trailer shows scenes from the first book, but that could just be all from the first episode). We’ll see.
But also, in the previews for The Passage I saw Henry Ian Cusick, who is on The 100, so I’m not sure if he’s doing both shows, or what that says for his character on The 100, who was pretty badly injured in the season finale. Which, side note, I had to check that that show didn’t get cancelled, because that season finale totally felt like a series finale. I’m interested to see where that goes too, although that will have to wait until at least midseason if not next year.
I expect that September will be a good reading month, if only because all of my library holds are coming in at the same time. #bookwormproblems
Did you read anything good in August?
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