August 2021 Reading Wrap Up | 25 Books from Various Readathons


I know it’s not a good idea to join too many readathons in one month, especially some of them took only the first 14 days of the month. This is what happened to me on August. I joined 4 readathons as I mentioned on my August 2021 Reading Plans, with 3 additional prompts from my tarot deck. On the first 2 weeks, I have finished some books and 2 readathons. But then I got sick on third week, so I lost my reading mood.

Here the short reviews and thoughts about every book I finished reading during the month of August


1. My Cat Called Red by Jane Lightbourne

The first ARC I finished this month. This is about a grumpy boy who deals with family loss and he met his grandfather where he told him a story about the red cat that came to their house. It’s a cat adventure story that tells about friendship, courage and love. A nice short story which you can finish in one sitting.

2. AfterMath by Emily Barth Isler

I listened the audiobook version narrated by the author herself. One word to describe this book : BRILLIANT. This book follows Lucy who just moved to a new place after her brother death. Everyone in her new school suffered from the tragedy happened several years ago involved shooting and gun, death and wounds. Told in the first person point of view, we can know Lucy’s thoughts, fears, insecurities, as well as her love for Math. Every character in this book is written beautifully and in realistic way. This book shows the importance of communication between family member and taking medication or therapy for mental health issues. I love the narrator’s voice and how she brought the story to my head. It’s a heavy topic for middle grade age range, yet I feel this is not something unrealistic. This can be happening anywhere to anyone. I can deeply relate to everyone especially Lucy yet I didn’t expect her to do something here to avoid her own pain. I simply trust the author. It can be an eye-opening book that is told from the perspective of a 12-year-old Lucy. I believe this story can be a good read for young adults and adults to understand trauma better and for a reference in a discussion about mental health and family matter. I listened the ARC provided by Netgalley, however I’m going to buy the paperback once it’s released, as this book has been in my September 2021 Anticipated Book Releases.

3. Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

The first chapter was confusing with so many new names mentioned there, you have to take notes of which names is who before continuing the story unless you have good memory of Japanese names. This book shows what it needs and someone has to sacrifice to obtain something they want that is considered as impossible. Consists of some touching one chapter-length stories revolved around Funiculi Funicula’s customers and the staff. One book that dug my emotions up when it came to a story of the siblings and mother-daughter. I love the vibe of the café and the people inside, all the characters are well built along with the backstory which made them going to the café.

4. Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

Told in dual point of views which I actually am not really into. I like Grey and Isha, and can understand Jaya with all the weird things she does. Jaya is smart and has the confident and courage despite the situation her family is currently in. Typical plot that happened inside a romance book. I didn’t see anything surprising from the revelation and the solution. I wish it has some explanations about the curses and the missing ruby (not only those they acquired from the jewelry guy) and what really happened with the gem (is it really curse or only the mind doing its business to people who believes it).

5. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

I love the writing that builds the entire environment in the book and keeps the reader sticking in. The first half is interesting, however the second half I started to not care about anything happening in the story since some are repetitive and there some trigger warnings especially about pain, menstrual pain, illness and self-harm.

6. Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

I can deeply relate to the grumpy Ari. A realistic character with all his rage and kindness in one body. Communication and sharing thoughts with people we cared about (or close to) is important or else we can be forever in misunderstanding and living in our own assumptions.  I love the family, the jokes and the openness Dante offered.

7. A World without Princes by Soman Chainani

I like the first book better than the second. In this book, we can’t see the consistency of Agatha’s character and what she had to decide. What I didn’t like here is the miscommunication thing that stirred the difficult situation (it’s personal thing, so if you’re okay with miscommunication and lies and deception to add into the chaos, ignore this). The revelation is always unexpected and I always can sympathize Sophie for her life in the village.

8 – 17. Kitchen Princess Vol 1 – 10 by Natsumi Ando & Miyuki Kobayashi

I finished 10 volumes of one of my favorite manga during 8th grade. This story is about Najika in her new luxurious school, in order to find her “prince” she met back in her childhood. She comes from an orphanage in Hokkaido and is very good at cooking. I love the drawing style and the delicious sweet fashionable chapter title. Every chapter has delicious foods or refreshing drinks. I love the sweet vibe from this manga and how food can connect people and recall memories. I love the friendship, love and support shown in this story. It has family loss, grief, trauma, and eating disorder, but it’s wrapped in a such warm and reassuring atmosphere. Also! There are the recipe pages in the end of each book.

18. Zodiac P. I Vol. 1 by Natsumi Ando

This is the first manga that made me learning about astrology. I always felt drawn to the star and space thing, but I haven’t had the chance to figure out what is the thing that made me curious about it. This manga just declared that one thing I was curious about is the constellations and astrology and mythology related to it. So, this manga is about a girl named Riri Hoshizawa who is an astrologer. She has a friend named Hiromi Oikawa. Together, the two works together to solve the mystery behind every criminal acts. If you are familiar with the drawing here, especially Oikawa, yes he does look like Daichi from Kitchen Princess because they have the same mangaka. I love the cute zodiac spirits summoned in every case and how it made me curious as an 8th grader. The crime cases weren’t like those you can find from a mystery thriller manga like Kindaichi or Meitantei Conan, it has simpler and (some are impossible to do) less thrilling mystery. This manga also runs on the most basic astrology which reads through sun signs and doesn’t have certain magic system like you can find in Cardcaptor Sakura. It’s simple and sweet and cheerful and nice.

19. Saving Fable by Scott Reintgen

Mind blowing book! It’s for middle grade but I do love the idea behind the story which took the idea as the main plot. It took place in the Imaginary, the place where all ideas exist for the authors to pick for a story. It has certain system and rules for a character to be chosen by the author, one is through a school which Indira has been dreaming. I don’t know which things I should mention here without spoiling the story. Haha. The revelation is unexpected. And I love how it shows the most common plot happened in every story about hero, and how Indira tries to not follow the path.

20. Night Shift Witch by Cate Lawley

21. Witching Moon by K. E Bonner

It sets in the 1940s, so the there are some difficult words embedded in every conversation. The first quarter of the book is interesting since it introduces the reader to the world, characters and the problem arises. But, once the adventure begins, the characters just ran into one problem to the other and met people whose existence didn’t influence the story, only to add more chapters. I expected some magic development and learning through the long journey, but it focuses more on to the problems and the pursuers and the torturing and the pain. It becomes faster when reaches some last chapters of the book, and I wasn’t really interested at how the people come together there.

22. The Magic Ocean Slide by Emma Beswetherick

It’s a reading recommendation for children which introduces the environment awareness and provides some simple steps we can start from home.

23. Bear Wants to Sing by Cary Fagan

A cute graphic book with wonderful monochrome drawing in browns. A short and sweet story that delivers the message in a flowing way.

24. People Who Love to Eat Are Always the Best People: And Other Wisdom by Julia Child

25. The Gatekeeper of Pericael by Hayley Reese Chow

I love the world building, the environment, the language and the magic system are easy to understand. The characters are lovable especially Ames. You might have so many questions in the first few chapters regarding the foreign terms and names and everything which makes the story goes on like this. It’s all perfectly answered as the journey begins. I didn’t expect the journey to this interesting, since I have read some other books with boring long journey. It shows the character development, friendship, compassion, courage and trust. We don’t have much information about the villain, yet it’s a wonderful world to re-visit again in the future.

Reading Overview

I finished all the prompts for Pixarathon, Enneagram Readathon and Merlin Readathon. Meaning some prompts from Disney Readathon and my own tarot draw hasn't been finished. The Bear Who Wants to Sing by Cary Fagan, People Who Love to Eat are Always The Best People by Julia Child, and The Gatekeeper of Pericael by Hayley Reese Chow are not part of any prompts. Books from the TBR I haven't read : The Reader by Traci Chee, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, The Song of The Stone by May Nicole, and Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Current Reads

Books I'm going to finish on September, as I mentioned in my September 2021 Reading Plans where I participate on Magical Readathon The Novice Path to Orilium Academy :

1. Charting Stars by Micheline Ryckman

2. The Crowns of Croswald by D.E Night

3. Zodiac P. I Vol. 2 by Natsumi Ando

So, that's all for my August reading wrap up. Did you find some good books on August? Tell me down below!

Reading graphics by lailiving / shainalite

Photo by Lizzie on Unsplash


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