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

Weekly Wrap-Up: 8/7 – 8/13

Here we are again. Another weekly wrap-up. Can you tell that I’m disappointed in myself about last week? Lol.

Ugh, I don’t know what happened during the second half of the last week. Actually, no, I do – food poisoning and the like sucks. It wasn’t exactly good poisoning (maybe), but my stomach definitely didn’t agree with a couple of things I ate. At all.

(Also, I’m not sure if I can have coffee anymore. 😭😭)

Anyway, I’m not gonna waste anymore time. Let’s wrap up the past week.

Tuesday 8/8: Yumi and the Nightmare Painter Review

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Last Tuesday, I finally posted my review of Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson. It’s a Japanese manga and Final Fantasy inspired fantasy. I really enjoyed it. I gave it ★★★★★.

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter Review

Wednesday 8/9: WWW Wednesday / Can’t-Wait Wednesday

On Wednesday, I double posted for the first time in a long time. First, I participated in one of my staples: WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Then, I posted for another thing I’ve been participating in every once in a while – Can’t-Wait Wednesday. Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings.

WWW Wednesday 8/9

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: “Thornhedge”

Books I Read Last Week

Goals for 7/14 – 7/20

My goals for this week are to just be better than I was last week. My blogging output was just so bad! Ugh! But yeah, I just want to be better.

For this week, I want to post reviews for the books I finished last week. I also want to participate in my favorite weekly features/memes, as per usual. Also, it’s getting to the halfway point of the month, which is around the time I participate in my other monthly post, so I’d like to do that too.

But that’s kind of all I’ve got planned. Wish me luck!🤞🍀

And of course, as always, I hope you have a wonderful day/night. Thank you so much for reading.

See ya ~Mar

WWW Wednesday: 8/9

Um… So, I kinda skipped this post last week again. I still posted, but it was something different! Anyway, I think that I’m finally coming out of this stupid reading slump that’s been dogging my heels since mid-May. Finally.

So yeah, here I am participating in another WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


The Thing I’m Currently Reading

Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

CURRENT STATUS: 45%

CURRENT FEELS: 🥰 (really enjoying it so far – depending on how the rest of the book is, I might have to read more Olivie Blake)

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Vampiric estate agents, death’s godson and a demonic personal trainer all abound in this smart, freewheeling dark fantasy from the author of the bestselling The Atlas Six.

When Viola Marek hires Fox D’Mora to deal with her ghost-infested mansion, she expects a competent medium. But unbeknownst to Viola, Fox is a fraud – despite being the godson of Death.As the mystery unfolds, Viola and Fox are drawn into a quest that neither wants nor expects. And they’ll need the help of a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel and a love-stricken reaper. And it transpires that the difference between a mysterious lost love and a dead body isn’t nearly as distinct as you’d hope.


The Thing I Most Recently Finished Reading

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

#1 New York Times Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings us a gripping story set in the Cosmere universe told by Hoid, where two people from incredibly different worlds must compromise and work together to save their worlds from ruin.

Yumi comes from a land of gardens, meditation, and spirits, while Painter lives in a world of darkness, technology, and nightmares. When their lives suddenly become intertwined in strange ways, can they put aside their differences and work together to uncover the mysteries of their situation and save each other’s communities from certain disaster?


The Thing I’m Gonna Read Next

My Happy Marriage by Akumi Agitogi

My Happy Marriage by Akumi Agitogi

(I haven’t read a light novel in years, so I’m kind of excited about this. The anime for this started airing this summer, and it’s so, so good so far. 5/5. I’ve cried every episode. I just had to continue it because I’m impatient, lol.)

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

IS THIS MARRIAGE A BLESSING? OR A CURSE?

​Born talentless to a noble family famous for their supernatural abilities, Miyo Saimori is forced into an existence of servitude by her abusive stepmother. When Miyo finally comes of marriageable age, though, her hopes of being whisked away to a better life crumble after she discovers her fiancé’s identity: Kiyoka Kudou, a commander apparently so cold and cruel that his previous would-be brides all fled within three days of their engagements. With no home to return to, Miyo resigns herself to her fate—and soon finds that her pale and beautiful husband-to-be is anything but the monster she expected. As they slowly open their hearts to each other, both realize the other may be their chance at finding true love and happiness.


What books are you guys currently reading? Have you read any of the ones on my list this week? What did you think of them, if you had? How do you feel about the book(s) you’re reading now?

Anyway, thank you to everyone for reading, and I hope that you have a fantastic day/night!

See ya ~Mar

“Yumi and the Nightmare Painter” by Brandon Sanderson | Book Review

The star was particularly bright when the nightmare painter started his rounds.

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

My Review

Yes, she said, bowing her head again. Tell me what you need, and I will do whatever I can.

Please, it said. Free. Us.

All went black.

So, after reading A Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England, I decided that that would be it for Brandon Sanderson novels for awhile. Most of his books were set in the same universe – even if they’re on different planets and stuff – so I kind of felt intimidated by it all.

But then I saw the cover for Yumi and the Nightmare Painter and read the summary, and I absolutely had to read it. Even though it was set in the Cosmere universe, and I knew it would be filled with all kinds of references, and might even feature other characters that I didn’t know, I really wanted to read it.

And despite this, that there were a ton of references that I didn’t understand, and that there was at least a character or two from other books, I was still able to really enjoy it. Honestly, that’s probably because I don’t need the most context to enjoy a book, even when it’s a spinoff or something. I know, that’s really weird. But it’s something that I’m able to do for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because I’ve read so much fanfiction, and I’m used to jumping into a new fandom where I’ve never seen or read the original media, and then I have to figure out the original story on my own. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Anyway, I really, really enjoyed this book. I should probably just give up the ghost and start reading an actual Brando Sando series already.

The Characters

Once, she would have assumed that she couldn’t hide, no matter how good the disguise. She would have assumed that people would instantly know a yoki- hijo. But she had lived in Painter’s world. She’d been normal for a week and a half at this point.

I loved the characters in this book so much. They were so relatable in their own ways, despite the fact that they came from such different worlds to each other, and to our own.

Nikaro “Painter” is our male co-protagonist. He’s the embodiment of “deep” and an “angsty teen.” Or at least, that’s the front that he puts up – that’s what he wants himself to believe. But what he actually is, is a lonely, sensitive young man, who feels a little aimless. I loved his character development into someone who accepts who he is, and becoming a so-called “hero” in his own right. He was a great character to follow, and his dialogue with our leading lady was fantastic.

Said leading lady is Yumi, one of the yoki-hijo, a young woman that has the power to summon the spirits of her land and assist the people with them. She’s quiet and reserved, and she holds the entire world on her shoulders, and the stress that builds up because of this is what triggers the inciting incident. Her character development was also fantastic, and I loved watching her grow into an independent young woman.

Most of the other characters were very minor, but they were still pretty good, even if their impact on the story is smaller.

Our narrator, Hoid, has appeared in many a Brandon Sanderson novel. Admittedly, I did a little research after I read Yumi and the Nightmare Painter in order to find this out, though I suspected as much. I liked his narration, and the little bits of his personality throughout. His spren, Design, was also a highly enjoyable character, and I loved hee interactions with Yumi and Painter. Both Hoid and Design made me want to read the Stormlight Archive very, very badly, so despite its length, I’ll probably end up reading it soon.

Design nodded toward Yumi. “Why do you like her?”

“I don’t. We’re forced to work together.”

“Nikaro. Do you want to try that again, and make it sound persuasive or something? Because I’ve only had eyes for a few years, and even I can see straight through you.”

The romance between Painter and Yumi was very sweet. They were a very easy couple to root for from the beginning – they’re such cinnamon rolls! I also love how obvious they were about it, even though they tried not to be.

The other character relationships were also nice. I liked how Yumi bonded with Painter’s former friends. There’s a few nice female friendships here. I also liked Design and Hoid’s relationship, and how you can infer so much about it, even with their pretty much non-existent interactions throughout the novel.

The Setting

The hion lines were the colors of Kilahito. Needing no pole or wire to hold them aloft, they ran down every street, reflected in every window, lit every denizen. Wire-thin strings of both colors split off the main cords, running to each structure and powering modern life. They were the arteries and veins of the city.

The setting was so cool. I loved the contrast between Yumi’s bright and warm world, to Nikaro’s dark, cool one. The hion line lights that powered and lit everything up were also very interesting. I also really loved the contrast of cyan and magenta (it made a very pretty cover).

The matter of how Painter and Yumi’s worlds were tied together was something that I was guessing until it was revealed. Why, oh why, did I wait until this year to read a Brandon Sanderson book? Why? They’re just so good!

The Plot

The story of this book – or should I say stories – was so, so good. Sanderson said he was inspired by the manga Hikaru no Go, Final Fantasy X, and the anime Your Name, and it really shows. Before reading this book, I was aware that it was inspired by some Japanese media, and I’d already guessed that Your Name was one of them while reading, because of what happens after the inciting incident.

The B other plot wasn’t quite as interesting. I don’t care what Hoid says in his narration – this was Yumi and Nikaro’s story! And even though I’ve read this book cover to cover, I still consider it to be the primary plot.(Again, I don’t give a crap about what Hoid claims.)

This was a very character driven book as opposed to plot, however. There was quite a bit of plot, don’t get me wrong, but it was what one would call a slow-burn. That didn’t mean the book was boring – far from it, in fact. The characters were so entertaining, and narration so fun, that it made up for that entirely. Such a well-written novel.

Final Thoughts

Art doesn’t need to be good to be valuable. I’ve heard it said that art is the one truly useless creation-intended for no mechanical purpose. Valued only because of the perception of the people who view it. The thing is, everything is useless, intrinsically. Nothing has value unless we grant it that value. Any object can be worth whatever we decide it to be worth.

So yeah, do I recommend Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson? Hell yeah I do! It’s a wonderful story, with a sweet little romance, as well as lots of interesting commentary about art. (Particularly with the AI stuff going on now.)

This book was wonderful, and the art was so pretty. I love, love, loved the art so much! Aliya Chen is a fantastic artist, and the art also added to the slight anime vibe of the novel.

Anyway, thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed! And I hope that you have an awesome day/night!

What Brandon Sanderson books have you read? Have you read Yumi and the Nightmare Painter? What did you think of them if you have?

See ya ~Mar


MY LINKS:


Weekly Wrap-Up: 7/31 – 8/6

It’s Monday again, which means that it’s once again the beginning of another week. So it’s time to wrap up the last one!

I didn’t do everything that I’d wanted to, but I’m somehow okay with that. I think it’s because I did a lot of varied posts, and even started participating in a new one. I also finally finished another book, and a review for it will be making its way onto this blog very soon.

Enough of my talking. Let’s just dive right in!

Tuesday 8/1: July 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

Last Tuesday, I posted my monthly reading wrap-up for July 2023. The earliest I posted it in a month yet! (You don’t get any earlier than August 1st after all.) Yay!

I didn’t read or review – or even post – as much as I’d hoped to, but that’s in the past now and there’s nothing I can do about it. All I can hope is that I have a better August!

July 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

Wednesday 8/2: Can’t Wait Wednesday

On Wednesday, I participated in Can’t-Wait Wednesday for the first time in foreverCan’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings.

Can’t Wait Wednesday: “Masters of Death”

Friday 8/4: First Line Friday

Last Friday, I once again participated in First Line Fridays. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words.

First Line Friday 8/4

Saturday 8/5: August 2023 Spell the Month in Books

On Saturday, not only did I do a rare Saturday post, but I participated in Spell the Month in Books for the first time. Spell the Month in Books is a monthly post created and hosted by Jana @ Reviews from the Stacks.

Spell the Month in Books – August 2023

Books That I Read Last Week

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Goals for 8/7 – 8/13

So yeah, I didn’t get any reviews out last week like I’d wanted. But, like I mentioned earlier, I still finished another book, and I did a bunch of different posts this past week. So I’m gonna count that as a win this time!

This week, I’m going to definitely post a book review (in the very near future), and hopefully I’ll get around to reading another book and posting another review. I’m also going to do the usual posts I participate in (of course), and maybe another Popular Books post. We’ll see.

And of course, as always, thank you to everyone so much for taking the time to read my little bookish blog. It means the world. And I hope you have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

WWW Wednesday: 7/26

So, I skipped last week. I know, a rare occurrence for me, who participates in this post almost religiously, regardless of whether anything’s changed or not.

But last Wednesday, I was still making my way through the Deltora Quest books – for almost a third week in a row – and I wanted to do a different post last Wednesday… so I decided to drop it for the week.

But I’m back! And with some new books to read!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


The Thing I’m Currently Reading

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

CURRENT STATUS: 32%

CURRENT FEELS: 🤩 (loving it, even though I don’t understand any of the Cosmere references, and find the narrator a bit annoying)


The Thing I Just Finished Reading

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda


The Thing I Might Read Next

Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker

Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker


As always, thank you so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar