I can’t believe that it’s the end of August already. With the end of the year looming, the reading goals I set in January are starting to seem a bit…ambitious. While I have made a sizeable dent in my Goodreads reading challenge I’ve still got a long ways to go. Check out my thoughts on some of the YA books I’ve been reading this month.


kissing in america book coverThis book caught me off guard. I went into it thinking it would be a light, fluffy, romantic read and it is anything but. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it but it was unexpected. It tells the story of 16-year-old Eva who loves to read romance novels. Ever since her father died in a tragic accident, romance novels have become a way for her to escape from real life. Eva sets off on a road trip to California to see Will, a boy who she thinks is the perfect romance novel boyfriend. The road trip becomes a catalyst for Eva’s self-discovery as she grapples with her father’s death and her troubled relationship with her mother. I loved hearing about the different romance novels that Eva was reading, especially her personal favourite, an adventure romance starring cowboys Ewing and Destry. This is a thoughtful coming of age story about overcoming grief and the complexity of family relationships (romance addicts you’ve been warned).


Emmy & Oliver

Emmy & OliverAt age 6, Emmy and Oliver were best friends and neighbours. However, their lives were irrevocably changed when Oliver was kidnapped by his father. Cut to 10 years later, after years of searching and wondering, Oliver returns home. While Emmy is keen to return to their easy friendship, the Oliver who has returned is not the same Oliver she once knew. Oliver’s kidnapping had a deep and lasting impact on not only his immediate family and friends but on the whole community. The book obviously deals with a lot of heavy issues, but it does so in a realistic and thoughtful way. Despite the sombre subject matter, it has the perfect amount of romance and I loved the sweet slow build up of Emmy and Oliver’s relationship. I devoured this book in a couple of days, and it is shaping up to be one of the best books I’ve read this year.


A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

A Court of Thorns and Roses Book CoverA Court of Thorns and Roses is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a fairie twist. Set in an alternative universe, Feyre is an impoverished young girl who hunts and steals to keep food on the table for her crippled father and sisters. When she accidentally kills a member of the fairy court, Feyre is taken prisoner by the High Lord of the Spring Court. Maas does an excellent job of creating a richly detailed world where fairies and humans coexist. The book has plenty of action, a badass heroine, hot guys galore, a steamy romance and lots of twists. I was a bit conflicted about including this book in my YA wrap up as it borders on the New Adult territory. I say that because there are a couple of scenes that are really not for younger eyes (if you know what I mean). I personally can’t wait to see what happens in book two.



Red Queen (Red Queen #1)

Red Queen Book CoverMy tastes tend to be pretty mainstream. If a book has a lot of buzz and the bookosphere’s going crazy over it, chances are I will love it too. Which is why I was super excited to start reading Red Queen. It kept appearing on my Goodreads and there was a lot of hype surrounding it in the book blogging community. Yet for some reason I couldn’t get into this book. I tried. I really did.  Maybe I should have pushed through and stuck with it for longer. But after getting 10 chapters in I hit a road block. I didn’t care about the characters (or like them) and I had no desire to keep reading. And because life’s too short I ended up putting this one in the “Did Not Finish” pile.




What have you enjoyed reading this month? Have you read any of the books above?


14 thoughts on “August YA Reading Wrap Up

    1. I think it was just a case of it being over hyped and a lot people getting their hopes up only to be let down. You should definitely read Emmy & Oliver!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂


  1. Thanks for sharing, Sarah! Haven’t read any of these but I might add the first two to my list…

    I just finished reading ‘Only ever yours’ by Louise O’Neill. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a couple of days, but that being said it was not really an enjoyable read.

    It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where ‘girls’ (‘eves’) are designed for the sole purpose of pleasing men. It’s kind of horrific and disturbing, but is definitely worth reading. It’s a little worrying that actual young adults and pre-teens might take it at face value when they read it instead of reading it as a feminist satire, though. If you read it you’ll know what I mean!

    I’ve also begun reading ‘The Convent’ by Maureen McCarthy. It’s a multi-generational story spanning the last hundred years that follows four different women and their ties to the Abbotsford Convent in Collingwood. I love Maureen McCarthy’s books and this one is pretty good so far, but I’m only few chapters in.

    I also just bought a couple of other YA books : Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (about a fat girl who enters a beauty pageant) and In the Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker (about a girl whose twin sister took a gun to school and went on shooting spree). Can’t wait to get stuck in!


    1. They all sound fantastic! You’ve got a lot of great books lined up.

      I actually read my first Maureen McCarthy book recently (Queen Kat, Carmel & St Jude Get a Life) and I really enjoyed it. I can’t believe it took me this long to read one of her books.

      I’m looking forward to reading Dumplin’ too. We’ll have to compare notes once I get to it 🙂


  2. Oh, so sad to hear that you didn’t enjoy Red Queen Sarah, I think it’s one of those books you either love it or loathe it, it’s definitely not without it’s issues though. I read Emmy & Oliver recently too and really enjoyed it, I was surprised how gentle and drama free it was. ACOTAR. Woah, sexy sexy times. While I still prefer her Throne of Glass series, it really was a magical read. Here’s to September being another awesome month of books, and getting closer to that Goodreads challenge ❤


  3. Awk, I thought I was the only one who struggled with Red Queen! It felt like a reply of every other YA book ever. >_> Which really bugged me. I mean, I know nothing is COMPLETELY original, but I literally felt like I’d read that book before. Deja vu, much!?! SO YEAH. I did finish it though and the ending is WAY better than the beginning. I LOVED EMMY AND OLIVER!! SO CUTE!! Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!


    1. So true. It just felt really unoriginal, but also like it was trying hard to be different (if that makes any sense lol). Emmy & Oliver has been such a standout read for this year.


  4. I haven’t read Kissing in America or Emmy & Oliver, but I’ve heard some great things about both books! ACOTAR, oh ACOTAR. This book gave me the worst book hangover ALL YEAR. I couldn’t read/get into another book for weeks! I think Red Queen was definitely overhyped, and I HATED the first half with a passion because it felt really cliche. But I went into the second half with no expectations at all, and ended up enjoying it! I hope you soldier on with the book 🙂


    1. Now that a couple people have said that the second half of Red Queen is a lot better, I’m kind of curious to try again. But it was just such a struggle to read those first few chapters!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂


  5. Aww, man, I’m DYING to read Emmy & Oliver! I’ve heard such good things about it and it’s been on my radar since forever.

    Wasn’t ACOTAR amazing?!! Especially the last quarter of it! So much action and it was just everything.

    Sorry about Red Queen! I’ll admit the beginning was really poor but the ending – at least almost to the very end – is better. 100% better.


    1. You need to get on to Emmy & Oliver! ACOTAR really was everything. I’m actually more excited about reading the sequel than I am about reading the next Throne of Glass book.


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