Monthly Wrap-Up: August Reading 2023

August Reading 2023

Wow, this is kind of late. I’m pretty sure I’ve never posted a monthly wrap-up five days into a new month. Yet. Well, until now, lol.

August was so much better than July, in terms of reading books. Not as productive on the blog post front, but that’s mostly because I took a much needed break. Regardless, I’m pretty satisfied with everything I got done last month.

But yeah, without further ado, let’s get into my states for The StoryGraph for my August Reading 2023!

August 2023 Reading

I read 5 books and 1431 pages

😐 MOODS: Adventurous was the biggest slice of pie, as it always is. There are so many more Moods than in July, so it’s a very colorful pie graph this time around. The second biggest slice here is Emotional, which isn’t a surprise, as it usually tends to be. There are several other Moods though: Mysterious, Hopeful, Funny, and Dark.

👢 PACE: Unlike last month, I read two different kinds of paced books: fast and medium.

🔢 PAGE NUMBER: Everything I read was either between 300 and 499 pages (the majority), or it sad under 300 pages.

📖 FICTION/NONFICTION: It was once again all fiction this month.

🎭 GENRES: Fantasy, as usual, was the biggest part of the graph this time. There were several more Genres on the bar graph compared to July, though. Historical was surprisingly second place, followed by LGBTQIA+ and Romance.

📄 FORMAT: This little StoryGraph pie chart is incorrect. For the first time in like three months! Only one of the books I read was a physical print copy.

⭐ RATING: My median star rating for last month was 3.9. It was cuz I rated five different books five different star increments.

📉 PAGES READ DAILY: I read a lot during the first couple of weeks, but dipped down in the middle until near the end of August. I read a bunch the last couple of days, however.

The Books I Read in August

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

★★★★★ • my review

Ghost Reaper Girl by Akissa Saike


Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

★★★✫☆ • my review

My Happy Marriage: Volume #1 by Akumi Agitogi

★★★✬☆ • my review

Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher

★★★☆☆ • my review

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab


Wrapping Up the Wrap-Up

So, August was a huge improvement from July, concerning books and reviews. I think I’m finally out of my reading slump – this time for sure. And I don’t know why, but for whatever reason it feels like some sort of weight (stress?) has been lifted off my shoulders because of it.

I’m hoping to post better/more often than I did in August, just cuz I’m not planning on taking any impromptu vacations again in the near future. I’m also hoping I’ll keep up this reading and reviewing streak. But we’ll just have to see what happens together.

And so, the August 2023 Reading Wrap-Up comes to a close. As per usual, thank you all so much for reading and have a wonderful day/night! What books did you guys read in August? What did you think of them? What genres did you read?

See ya ~Mar

“I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jeanette McCurdy | Book Review

Why do we romanticize the dead? Why can’t we be honest about them? Especially moms. They’re the most romanticized of anyone.

I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy

LENGTH: 304 pages

GENRES: Memoir, Nonfiction

PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster

RELEASE DATE: 9 August 2022


A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.

Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.

In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships.

These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants. Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.

My Review

[Mom] wanted this. And I wanted her to have it. I wanted her to be happy. But now that I have it, I realize that she’s happy and I’m not. Her happiness came at the cost of mine. I feel robbed and exploited.

I’m Glad My Mom Died was something that I wanted to read for awhile, since I first heard about it last September. And it didn’t disappoint. Jeanette McCurdy is a very gifted writer, and made me feel so many emotions during my read.

And yes, I realize that it is now May. AKA: Mom Month. And no, I forgot it was the month that has Mother’s Day, until I was already a bit of the way into the novel. So, at that point I didn’t really feel like stopping for a month.

But maybe it was appropriate to read it during May. I’m not sure. Either way, it’s definitely a good book, but maybe wait until after Mother’s Day unless you want to cry.

Loving someone is vulnerable. It’s sensitive. It’s tender. And I get lost in them. If I love someone, I start to disappear. It’s so much easier to just do googly eyes and fond memories and inside jokes for a few months, run the second things start to get real, then repeat the cycle with someone new.

This book was hard to get through at times, even though I enjoyed it. The thing was, McCurdy wrote in such a way that I was able to feel the emotions the novel was putting out so raw and viscerally. And sometimes it was just… rough, to read.

Though I never had any problems with it, I’m Glad My Mom Died is full of potential triggering material. So if reading about EDs, death, abuse, gaslighting and manipulation, controlling behavior, and alcoholism and addiction is upsetting to you, maybe keep away for your health.

I’m honestly not sure what more to say. I’ve never reviewed a memoir (let alone nonfiction) before, but I’m now finding that it’s a bit difficult to do. Because with memoirs, it isn’t just a story that someone used their imagination to create and then put on paper. This is someone’s life, and all the highs and lows that come with it. And it was a very moving and emotional journey.

I will mention that it made me look back on my early teen days differently now. iCarly is forever going to hit differently.

I feel like the world is divided into two types of people: people who know loss and people who don’t.

So yeah, I highly recommend this book, but only for those who think they can handle the material. It’s very well written, and the way that McCurdy tells her story feels very natural.

Like I said though, it is a bit rough to read at points, so I think that I’ll be taking a break where nonfiction books and memoirs are concerned. I don’t know when I’ll next read one of these books, honestly, as nonfiction isn’t usually my cup of tea.

Anyway, thank you so much for reading, and have a beautiful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

First Line Friday #1

I was looking for a fun Friday post to do, and after discovering First Lines Fridays, I knew it was the one. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words (I don’t know why I posted the link, it’s defunct… 😳😣), but I saw it over at One Book More.

What if instead of judging a book by the cover, author or most everything else, we judged it by it’s content? It’s first lines?

If you want to join in, all you gotta do is:

  • Take a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open it to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Here’s the first line…

Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours. It was a prison that came with endlessly breathtaking views – vast blue oceans and swirling clouds and sunrises that set half the world on fire.

Can you guess what book it is?

(Here’s some pictures of books to stare at while you think.)

And the book is… Cress by Marissa Meyer!

(Did you get it right?)

Title & Author: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles (Book #3)

Length: 552 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Fiction

Release Date: February 4, 2014


In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

I’ve been trying to finish this book for years. Like, the first time I tried to read it, there was a personal life issue that came up, and the second time (last year) life just kinda got in the way (in a different way than the first time).

This time I’m 66% of the way through it, and I’m determined to finish it. It’s one of the three books I’ve marked as Currently Reading (the other two being A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab and Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik) on Goodreads and The StoryGraph. Let’s hope that I can finally finish it, cuz I really want to finish The Lunar Chronicles and see how the series ends.

What book are you currently reading, or looking to read next? What are your favorite first lines, and from which book? Thanks for reading and have an amazing day/night!

~ Mar ~