JJ Reads

Memo Pad: August Wrap up

I MOVED. Okay so I mentioned that briefly in the last post but it’s been a wild ride. We left the UK behind on the 21st of August and the last three weeks have been BUSY. So much paperwork and hoops to jump through to try to get everything sorted. We are only about half way through it all but more things are getting sorted every week. It’s also why this post is over a week late but that’s nothing new lately!

Here is us landing on our new home…. Okay so I could have worded that better.

It used to be that when anything exhausting happened I would read a lot to recover but I seem to have lost that ability to concentrate on books which means I really haven’t read much this month. 5 books, but even that is only because one of them was a short story and one was a novella which were pretty much all I could concentrate on. I’m still not in the reading mood and I’m starting to worry I won’t make my reading goal of 100 books this year (I won’t ever get close to doing it again so this is my only chance!).

But I have been able to concentrate on writerly things (no I have no idea why something that sounds like it should take more brain power takes less for me. Maybe another autistic thing?). I did another edit round on my YA Scifi and sent it off for some more feedback. I also plotted out a possible sequel for if I ever need it. And by plotted I mean a scene by scene chapter plan of the whole book (I can’t help it, I need to know everything). I also came up with a new-ish story idea that is partially plotted in a more vague way.

But back to the books of August. My mini reviews post had most of them but here is a quick summary and then my review for my favourite book of the month….

Mini Reviews Summary

Links go to goodreads

See All the Stars by Kit Frick ***** (review copy)Twisty dual timeline YA contemporary, toxic female friendships and super flawed characters

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody *****Fantastical carnival setting with interesting illusion magic and diverse characters

A Ruin of Shadows by L.D Lewis *****Military fantasy short story about an assassin hunted by the unit she trained 

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor *****Adult scifi novella about a girl leaving her community for the first time and surviving space  

Favourite Book of the Month:

The Return of the Incredible Exploding Man by Dave Hutchinson***** (Review copy)

This is a really intriguing speculative fiction book that I completely loved and, despite what the title makes it sound like, it’s a standalone novel not a sequel. The pace is very different to what I normally read, it’s slower with not much of any action BUT the characters and mystery carry the book perfectly. 

Alex Dolan is a science journalist down on his luck when he’s approached by a billionaire with a supercollider to write a book about the issue- riddled project but he can’t shake the feeling that something very strange is going on.

I loved Alex, he’s a journalist so can’t help but stick his neck into things and question what’s really going on. He’s also not phased by authority or status quo and so is brilliantly sharp witted with people who expect him to just go along with it. I loved his personality but I also loved the supporting characters. The grumpy older next door neighbour who becomes his friend. The various members of town who may or may not be involved or hiding things from him – I don’t want to be more specific, you’ll have to find out if you read it.

The book has this pervasive feeling of not-quite-right that I love about books set in small town communities – like the whole town is in on something – but it mixes it up with science fiction instead of small town secrets. Something isn’t working at the supercollider and strange occurrences with someone seeming to appear and disappear surrounded by static electricity keep happening in town. I loved the mystery unfolding and while the end was different (like most things about this book) it suited the story perfectly. A brilliant read.

Favourite Quote of the Month:

Villiam makes the story sound like a fairy tale, when truly it’s a horror story in real people’s lives – Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody


How is everyone else doing with their reading goals? Are you on track and have you read any brilliant books lately? And if you are writing tell me how your writing is going too! What’s everybody been up to in August?

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