What I Read… August 2016

Last time I mentioned that I was going to switch it up. This is a trial run so if you see something you like or dislike versus my old format, please let me know!


This month I finished 3 books. Pictures are linked to their GoodRead’s page. Here’s the grading curve:

Book Rating

Ok, Let’s do it.

Death Wears a Mask by Ashley Weaver || ★★★★/5 Death_Wears_A_Mask
Summary: Milo & Amory Ames find themselves back in the midst of marital strife and cheeky murder. Together they must make a decision about their future as well as help to solve the case of missing jewels and a masked murderer. | Why I Read It: I read Weaver’s first book & just knew I needed to read #2. | What I Thought: I really love Amory and her crime solving intuition. I felt like she was a little less helpless and damsel-in-distress-y in this book and I appreciated that. I also found myself liking Milo more. The murder had me guessing all the way up until the end, though there were some loose ends with certain characters that left me unsatisfied. It was light and quick, but a smart, fun murder mystery!
You Should Read It Because… it has likable characters, it keeps you guessing, & it has a touch of British humor. Bonus points if you’re a fan of the 1920s/1930s era.


Harry Potter & The Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne || ★★/5
Harry_Potter_and_the_Cursed_childSummary: This story picks up 19 years after The Battle of Hogwarts. We’re reunited with Harry and friends and we meet Albus, HP’s middle child, then embark on a new adventure to save the wizarding world. | Why I Read It: Um. Duh. #Potterhead | What I Thought: I tend to think of the HP books and movies as two separate things. I guess I’ll have to think of the play as a third “thing” because I just couldn’t get on board. All of Harry’s 4th-year-angst was channeled through his son this time. I felt like this was JK’s chance to explain time travel, highlight Harry’s adult flaws, and prove all the Ron/Hermione haters wrong. The story felt forced. I’m so sad to say that… I did love Scorpius Malfoy, though. He was perfection.
You Should Read It Because… you’re obsessed with Harry Potter. Anyone else wouldn’t understand the plot. Then again, I could’ve lived without the continuation of the story- so do whatever you want.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan || ★★★★/5 the royal we
Summary: A story detailing roughly 8 years of royal love and loss between passionate Bex and regal Nick, as well as their loyal friends and quirky families. | Why I Read It: I think everyone has this one their to-read list… I love the real royal couple and this book met a requirement with Erin’s reading challenge. | What I Thought: I mentally had three stars assigned to this book until the last hundred pages- it seriously sucked me in. It’s a very long read, but it never lost my interest. The length of the book gave me time to get to know and befriend every character. Even when they messed up royally (pun intended) I loved them and hoped for the best. There were twists that I didn’t expect and betrayals that I couldn’t have predicted. It was long, but it was worth it.
You Should Read It Because… you’re actually a hopeless romantic who secret googles pictures of Kate Middleton and the perfect royal children. Or because you’re looking for a light-yet-fulfilling end-of-summer read.

. . .

And now an update on Erin’s Reading Challenge:

| 5 points | Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages: Cress by Marissa Meyer
| 10 points | Read a book that starts with the letter “R”: The Royal We by Heather Cocks
| 10 points | Read a book with five words in the title: The Lady of The River by Philippa Gregory
| 15 points | Read a book that has a (mostly) blue cover: The Selection by Kiera Cass
| 20 points | Read a book with twins as characters: The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
| 20 points | Read a book from this list of books made into movies: Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
| 25 points | Read a book set in a country you have always wanted to visit: Death Wears a Mask by Ashley Weaver (England)
| 30 points | Read a historical fiction book: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
| 30 points | Read a music related book: Wicked by Gregory Maguire
| 35 points | Read a book originally published over 100 years ago: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 

So I’m at 120 out of 200 points. This is the best I’ve ever done- I’m a little more proud of myself than I should be… ha.

What books did you read this month? What’d you think of HP and the Cursed Child?

Linking up with Carolann & Michelle/Cat/Alison for Reading Lately.


28 thoughts on “What I Read… August 2016

  1. Confuzzled Bev August 31, 2016 / 3:11 am

    Death Wears a Mask sounds good.

    Wow, I’m impressed with your progress on Erin’s challenge. I’ve read 3 books total! So bad!


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:25 pm

      Death Wears a Mask is Weaver’s second book. They’re light and fluffy murder mysteries. I find them really enjoyable 🙂
      Girl, three books is GREAT. One time I read one. One in four months. THAT’S so so bad. Haha!


  2. Elyse August 31, 2016 / 6:46 am

    I can read some very dark books so sometimes I need to add a lighthearted book that doesn’t involve murder so much so I’ve added The Royal We to my TBR mountain!


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:27 pm

      In high school I used to read dark books all the time. Now I lean toward historical fiction. Regardless, none of those books really fall into that category! Haha! The Royal We is cute. Long, but cute.


  3. Jess August 31, 2016 / 9:32 am

    I haven’t read the new Harry Potter book, yet. I’m such a Potter fan and slacking. I definitely have The Royal We on my list, sounds really good.


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:29 pm

      The Royal We is definitely cute. A little heavier than I thought it’d be!

      As a Potter fan, I’m glad I read it. As a fan of the series, I’m irritated that that’s how JK allowed things to transpire. Oh well. It’s a good story- just not typical JK writing (which makes sense since it’s not totally her).


  4. Rebecca Jo August 31, 2016 / 10:33 am

    Youre so cute with your 1 star “Please dont read’ – so polite.
    OHH – it hurts my heart you didnt like HP new book… But I’m with you – LOVE Scorpius!!! He needs his own book!


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:31 pm

      Hahaha. It’s more like a desperate plea 😉

      Ahhhh. It breaks my Potter-loving Ravenclaw heart to rag on The Cursed Child. I guess after years of HP radio silence it just wasn’t what I was expecting. That said, I’m glad I read it and own it. And my love for Draco’s son is so, so strong! Lol


  5. Nadine August 31, 2016 / 11:54 am

    I didn’t have any desire to read Royal We until a few of the people that I like a lot of the same books started saying they read and enjoyed it and now you too. So its is on my list. Even though I care nothing about the royal family. Like…at all. And ummm I have a feeling I am going to be disappointed in HP from what everyone says but I still plan to read it. I guess it will just take space on my shelf after.


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:34 pm

      I’m a book collector when it comes to my favorites/favorite series. Even if I’d have given it a negative 5 I’d still buy the HP play. Hahaha.
      When I started The Royal We I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m actually going to finish this one.’ But then it kept getting better and better. It really does keep your interest all the way through 🙂


  6. shelldbell August 31, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    I loved The Royal We. It was the lighthearted escapist novel I needed at the time. And I got LAMBASTED on my blog for declaring my love. At least someone else liked it too!


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:37 pm

      Awww! Book shaming a real thing- I’m sorry you were subjected to such harshness!
      I really, honestly thought I’d hate it. I was sure after 50 pages that I’d never finish it. It was one of those books that settles into your brain, though. Even when I was busy I’d pick it up and sneak in 10 pages here or 25 pages there. Then I devoured the last 150 pages in one sitting. Haha. (That’s rare for me!)


  7. Olya @ The Siberian American August 31, 2016 / 3:15 pm

    I don’t think I’ve seen anyone who has actually liked the HP play. What a bummer. The Royal We was such a fun read! 🙂


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:39 pm

      Rebecca Jo (Knit by God’s Hand) enjoyed HP! But I agree- I’ve seen very few people praise it. I know it’s a play and part of the HP allure is the writing style, so I can understand how everyone’s so disappointed. I’m still glad I read it 🙂 It’s a quick read since it’s a script.


  8. Mattie August 31, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    The reviews I’ve seen of The Cursed Child are ALL OVER THE PLACE. Like…I read someone’s review and it wasn’t a very shining review…basically said they loved the Malfoy kid and that’s it and…gave it 4 or 5 stars. Then others (like you) who had basically the same review gave 2 or 1 star. I’m like…what?! So I’m super confused. I started reading HP 1 last night (not sure how it’s been like 15 years since I read it and I’m having deja vu feeling like I JUST read it…) and hopefully I’ll actually get through 5 this time (then 6 & 7) and then I’ll just have to read it for myself!


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:42 pm

      Ahhhhhh. I’m seriously so happy you’re giving HP another go (and hopefully making it all the way through)! Books 3, 5, and 7 are my JAM!
      I really wanted to love The Cursed Child, but I assumed I wouldn’t. I’m very hesitant to step back into the halls of Hogwarts and the streets of Diagon Alley. It’s sacred ground and the play just missed the mark for me =/


  9. Karlie Vida August 31, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    I’ve heard mix reviews about the new Harry Potter book. Mostly, though, I heard disappointing things, although most people did like Scorpius. I’m debating on whether to give it a read.


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      As a HP fanatic I felt like I was obliged to read it. I’m glad I did before too many reviews come out. I can see how reading everyone’s (negative) thoughts could put a damper on reading it..


  10. Carolann August 31, 2016 / 10:07 pm

    I like your format for book reviews! “Why I read it,” “you should read it because…”
    Very interesting!

    I bought myself a copy of The Cursed Child, but I haven’t read it yet and I don’t plan to for a while. The lackluster reviews are disappointing me. I feel like plays are supposed to be seen first, so I am going to keep this book on the back burner for now. Maybe one day it will come to New York and I will get to go home to visit my family and then see it. Hoping for no spoilers which I know will be hard!


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:47 pm

      Thanks for commenting on the format, Carolann!
      I tried to avoid all spoilers in my review. I actually didn’t plan to buy it or read it right away, but then I found it on sale in a book store that I happened to walk by and I decided fate was telling me I needed to get it and read it. Haha


  11. lifeasunusuals September 1, 2016 / 8:49 am

    I haven’t read HP yet, but I’m swapping a book of mine with a friend later in the year and getting her second copy, so I have to wait until November to read it. I’m curious, after reading all the different reviews/watch the videos with peoples’ thoughts, as to whether I’ll enjoy it or not.

    I do have an idea of the story though, since I looked up spoilers before deciding to swap with my friend… oops.


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:50 pm

      I think reviewers look at it in two separate ways- some review it as a play (and generally feel good about it) and some review it as a continuations of the Harry Potter story (and generally feel pretty crummy about it). At least from what I’ve read. Either way, glad I read it.


  12. simplyalexandra12 September 1, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    Bummer you didn’t like HP. I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Because I haven’t had lots of time for reading. 😦 I have heard tons of good things about The Royal We… need to get a copy!! Hadn’t heard about the first one… but after you review I’m off to goodreads! 🙂 XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:51 pm

      I think you’d like The Royal We 🙂

      I believe Ashley Weaver is releasing a third Amory Ames mystery this year so I’m looking forward to that!


  13. StephTheBookworm September 1, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    I’ve been wanting to read The Royal We for awhile now. I need to get on that.

    Sorry to hear you didn’t like HP. I honestly haven’t been in any kind of hurry to read it. I just don’t like the idea that it’s in a play format and not written by J.K. Rowling. I’m thinking I won’t really be a huge fan either!


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:53 pm

      I think the play format and the non-J.K. Rowling style writing is what disappointed me most. Honestly, the book felt like it was trying too hard. I don’t know if that makes sense, but that’s how I felt about it…. The story is clever. I just wasn’t all about THIS being the one and only look at HP’s life after waiting so long for it.


  14. Amanda September 2, 2016 / 9:31 am

    I didn’t like The Royal We, but I know tons of people who did! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Death Wears a Mask looks interesting!


    • Louise September 3, 2016 / 1:48 pm

      At first I didn’t think I’d finish The Royal We because the beginning was slow and the book was long and it’s not my typical cup of tea (pun intended…). But it eventually hooked me and I gave it 4 stars for doing so. Ha!


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