Normally I don’t write wrap-up posts for reading challenges, but I thought it would be nice to sum up what I read during #ARCAugust.
You can read my sign-up post with more detail about the challenge here, but the gist of it is that you try and read as many ARCs as possible in one month!
Initially, my goal was 30 ARCs, which was very ambitious for the start of school. I ended up lowering my goal to 20 and then later 15, which I luckily managed to reach before the month was over.
With the extension Octavia gave for #ARCAugust, I managed to squeeze in 3 more ARCs after my final 15!
So yay! Goal: completed.
And this year, they added a component where you could also try and finish a bingo board, which I luckily managed to complete! Below is my completed board, and I talk a little more about some of the awesome books I read.
I managed to finish all but one of my August release ARCs (the one I didn’t finish is a sequel with a first book I haven’t finished reading).
I read both backlist ARCs and current ones and very far frontlist ones to get a good variety! I tend to own a lot more SFF ARCs, so my board leans more heavily toward those books.
Here’s a few brief descriptions about each book! I put a flower (🌸) next to the name if I would recommend it! (Which is most of these.)
🌸 Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Mansicalco: I’ve been really anticipating this book for a while after I binge read book 1 and book 2 at once, but I was sort of let-down by it. It was still great and a solid 4 stars for me (I definitely did not guess the murderer), but the series is starting to feel a bit repetitive.
See All the Stars by Kit Frick: I wasn’t too much of a fan of this one. It honestly just felt a bit dull and predictable and I overall didn’t care about the characters or the mystery after all the exposition. You can read my full review here!
🌸 Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill: This was ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE! I totally love this middle grade comic, and even though the printing on the ARC wasn’t great (I expect much better quality on the final, so do not worry), I thought the plot was adorable and it was full of f/f relationships and adorable sea creatures. Definitely recommend.
🌸 The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie: Even though I felt like there were a couple technical flaws with this, I WAS TOTALLY HOOKED. Like, this was probably the most entertaining book I read the entire month. I binge read it in one sitting and was totally enamored by the plot and characters and the cliffhanger ending. So so so much fun. You can read my review here!
🌸 Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black: Even though Escaping from Houdini was somewhat disappointing when compared to it’s amazing predecessors, Girl at the Grave totally made up for the subpar historical Gothic murder mystery! It’s absolutely perfect for fans of Stalking Jack the Ripper, yet unique in its own murder and storytelling style. You can read my review here!
🌸 Seafire by Natalie C. Parker: Looking for a badass girl pirate crew? Then look no further! Seafire is the fantasy adventure you’re looking for! If you want action and aventure…and then more action and adventure on top of that, you want to check this out! You can read my review here!
🌸 Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller: I’ve been putting off finishing this series, and although I didn’t fall as in love with this book as I was with the first book, I did think it was a pretty satisfying conclusion. Plus, it was one of the only ARCs I’ve DNF’d, so finally finishing it to complete that square was satisfying.
🌸 Fresh Ink by Lamar Giles: This is the only anthology I’ve ever finished, and I have to say I really loved the diverse reads! I enjoyed some stories better than others, but overall my rating averaged a 4.04, which is very solid. Even though I felt like certain identities weren’t included (fat rep, more disability rep, etc.) I did like the mixture of formats (it has a comic strip in there too!). You can read my review here!
🌸 Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes: Even though this was a pretty fun read, I did find it to be a tad predictable. And that the entire cause for the blackmail and mystery was because of teens doing dumb things. But I still found it intriguing and it had its merits. You can read my review here!
🌸 Damsel by Elana K. Arnold: (HUGE trigger warning for rape & a bunch of other things.) But despite how dark and gruesome this book was, it was also extraordinarily poetic and meaningful. Arnold does what she does with a purpose, and although it’s terrible and repulsive, I find there’s a reason behind it.
🌸 Mirage by Somaiya Daud: I was a bit peeved at how much this felt like fantasy instead of science fiction, but I also really loved how lush this novel was and all the amazing culture interwoven in. I love all the representation and this Moroccan fantasy is one you don’t want to miss! You can read my review here!
That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger: In general, I’m not a huge fan of school shooting novels, and I ended up not really connecting with any of the characters. Although the format was interesting and Keplinger didn’t make any grievous errors, I still sort of felt like she was capitalizing off of what other people have to go through. You can read my review here!
🌸 Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer: This book is dark and monstrous but extremely refreshing in its unique concept. Although literally every person in this book is kind of a terrible person (just varying shades), I still loved reading about them and this black market for monster parts. You can read my review here!
🌸 The Disasters by M.K. England: This is the farthest frontlist book on the list (out in December) but since I’m on the street team, I thought I would give it a shot! I really enjoyed this light science-fiction novel, and it satisfied my yearning for space and pilots and saving a planet (or three). Definitely recommend for a light space opera read!
🌸 Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore: This is the farthest backlist book on the list, and for some reason I’ve been putting off on reading it (which is insanity because this book was great?). It was lush and poetic and full of flowers without feeling like purple prose. I definitely loved the hint of magic interwoven in this story & definitely recommend it!
The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis: (TW: rape) I know so many people enjoyed this book, but it ended up just not being for me. Although I thought the message was good, some of the execution (the balance between the mystery and coming of age) felt a bit rushed and I wasn’t really into the romance. You can read my review here!
🌸 Sadie by Courtney Summers: (TW: rape and pedophilia) I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but it was just so gripping. I loved the podcast format and I love how Summers managed to build Sadie’s character and really expose who she was and her motivations as the novel wore on. It was intense and engaging and a fantastic read overall.
Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll: I’ve heard people talk about how this was such a cute read, but it did fall kind of flat for me. Although the character ARCs were great, it just felt like some of the teen stuff was off. Besides the inaccurate texting slang that barely anyone uses, just some of the details were off (like saying a Krispy Kreme donut is baked. THEY’RE FRIED.). Hopefully some of this will be corrected in the final, but it just felt too shallow (also v. white) for me to be really invested in.
How did your #ARCAugust go? Did you participate?
(Also, if you haven’t already, check to see Octavia has you down as a bingo claimer if you claimed bingo: let her know in the tweet here!)