August Wrap Up + Stacking The Shelves


So after I had a really great reading month in July (I finished 8 books… what?!?), I didn’t have as great a reading month in August. It kind of sucks, because I was hoping I’d built up some momentum. I did have a fair bit going on. I have family members who are ill (I feel like I say this a lot on this blog, but it’s true), I had family visit from interstate, and I’m battling my own mental health as well. So my reading slowed down a fair bit.

I did buy a bunch of books I am really excited to read, because August is also the month of my birthday. It’s been a long time since I bought four books in one bookstore visit. Gosh, I remember back when I was blogging in 2015 and I had trouble scraping together $40 for a book box. I have a much better disposable income now, even among the cost of living crisis, so spending double that in one bookstore visit was a nice luxury for me that I don’t often partake in. Part of that is because I have over 600 physical books I am yet to read on my bookshelves, and I just don’t really have the room for more books. Adding bookcases or moving house is not an option during the housing crisis.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews and hosted by Reading Reality.
It’s all about sharing the books we’ve picked up for the week, whether they are bought, borrowed, gifted, galleys, physical or virtual.
Share your shelves and remember to visit Reading Reality to find more great books!


Sing Me To Sleep by Gabi Burton

Saoirse Sorkova survives on secrets. As the last siren in her kingdom, she can sing any man to an early grave – but her very existence is illegal, and if her true identity were ever discovered, it would be her life on the line.

By day, Saoirse disguises herself as a fae, pretending to be the perfect soldier-in-training. By night, she satisfies her darker urges working as an assassin for dangerous mercenaries. And all the while, she keeps the biggest secret of all: that she is not always in control of her Siren powers, or her desire to kill.

Then a blackmailer threatens her sister, and Saoirse’s investigation takes her to the royal palace, and her most dangerous job yet: personal bodyguard to the Crown Prince.

Saoirse expects to despise Prince Hayes. But he is kind, thoughtful, and charming, and she finds herself increasingly drawn to him . . . until he tasks her with investigating a killer plaguing the kingdom. The problem: the killer is Saoirse.

Trapped by her deadly double life, Saoirse can’t leave the palace until she saves her sister . . . but who will save her from herself?

I had a very minor and not at all important in the scheme of things ordeal getting this book. I discovered it precisely two days before I knew I would be able to get to a bookshop, approximately one week after it was published, having never heard of it. And that blurb – aaah! Something about hidden identities, moonlighting as an assassin, and being a bodyguard to fucking royalty literally makes me weak in the knees. Add saving a sister, singing magic, and siren powers, and I HAD to have this book – but my favourite and most convenient bookshop said it wasn’t in stock! OK, so I planned to still visit the bookshop, since it’s still a great bookshop, but I also had another plan to head out the day after to a much less convenient but still popular bookshop to find it (I have to ration my going out because I’m in introvert). So I wandered into the first bookshop and had a browse, and what did I find? The VERY book the website had said was out of stock. I SNATCHED IT. Seriously. There was someone standing next to me and I LUNGED for it. I think the last time I was this excited for a book based just on its blurb was The Midnight Girls by Alicia Jasinska.

Flowerheart by Catherine Bakewell

Clara’s magic has always been wild. But it’s never been dangerous. Then a simple touch causes poisonous flowers to bloom in her father’s chest.

The only way to heal him is to cast an extremely difficult spell that requires perfect control. And the only person willing to help is her former best friend, Xavier, who’s grown from a sweet, shy child into someone distant and mysterious.

Xavier asks a terrible price in return, knowing Clara will give anything to save her father. As she struggles to reconcile the new Xavier with the boy she once loved, she discovers how many secrets he’s hiding. And as she hunts for the truth, she instead finds the root of a terrible darkness that’s taken hold in the queendom—a darkness only Clara’s magic is powerful enough to stop.

Hi I’m Nemo, and I love magical girls.

Powerless by Lauren Roberts

Only the extraordinary belong in the kingdom of Ilya . . . Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in the most epic and sizzling fantasy romance book of the year.

The Elites have possessed powers for decades, gifted to them by the Plague, while those born Ordinary are just that, banished from the kingdom of Ilya and shunned from society.

No one knows this better than Paedyn Gray, an Ordinary posing as a Psychic to blend in with the Elites. When she unsuspectingly saves one of Ilya’s princes, Kai Azer, she’s thrown into the Purging Trials, a brutal competition showcasing the Elites’ powers.

If the Trials and the opponents within them don’t kill her, the prince she’s fighting feelings for will if he discovers what Paedyn is . . . completely Ordinary.

I did not know this author is apparently big on Tiktok (I am actively cutting back my phone usage so I don’t spend much time on it). I don’t know who this author is, but I do have a strong preference for (traditionally published) YA fantasy, and this blurb sounded very interesting. Again, it contains things I love: magic, romance, disguises, royalty.

Court of the Undying Seasons by AM Strickland

Sarah J. Maas meets A Deadly Education in A.M. Strickland’s lush, queer YA dark fantasy novel.

In becoming a vampire, I’m less than a girl. And more.
Or maybe I’m becoming what I always have been, deep inside.
A blade.

When nineteen-year-old Fin volunteers to take her secret love’s place in their village’s Finding, she is terrified. Those who are chosen at the Finding are whisked away to Castle Courtsheart, a vampire school where human students either succeed and become vampires, fail and spend the rest of their lives as human thralls…or they don’t survive long enough to become either.

Fin is determined to forge a different path: learn how to kill the undead and get revenge for her mother, who was taken by the vampires years ago. But Courtsheart is as captivating as it is deadly, and Fin is quickly swept up in her new world and its inhabitants – particularly Gavron, her handsome and hostile vampire maker, whose blood is nothing short of intoxicating. As Fin begins to discover new aspects of her own identity and test her newfound powers, she stumbles across a string of murders that may be connected to a larger ritual – one with potentially lethal consequences for vampires and humans alike. Fin must uncover the truth and find the killer before she loses her life…or betrays her own heart.

Court of the Undying Seasons is a deliciously dark romantic novel and a pitch perfect modern take on classic vampire tropes.

I’ll be honest, the blurb of this book did not super appeal to me. I do enjoy the occasional vampire novel (or series) but I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly into them, I don’t want to read a novel just because it’s about a vampire: in fact, I’m often the opposite. However, the blurb kind of hinted by omission that this was a queer book, or at least had queer rep in it, and that is what perked me up, so to speak. I checked Goodreads (standing in the middle of the store) and saw that the author did say the world is queernormative and the main character is a pansexual demigirl and the book has rep for bisexuals, pansexuals, lesbians, and aro/aces which is really what sealed the deal for me.

Then I checked out her other two books and oh my gosh yes, I am so interested in reading those as well!

Threads That Bind by Kika Hatzopoulou

In a world where the children of the gods inherit their powers, a descendant of the Greek Fates must solve a series of impossible murders to save her sisters, her soulmate, and her city.

Descendants of the Fates are always born in threes: one to weave, one to draw, and one to cut the threads that connect people to the things they love and to life itself. The Ora sisters are no exception. Io, the youngest, uses her Fate-born abilities as a private investigator in the half-sunken city of Alante.

But her latest job leads her to a horrific discovery: somebody is abducting women, maiming their life-threads, and setting the resulting wraiths loose in the city to kill. To find the culprit, she must work alongside Edei Rhuna, the right hand of the infamous Mob Queen—and the boy with whom she shares a rare fate-thread linking them as soul mates before they’ve even met.

But the investigation turns personal when Io’s estranged oldest sister turns up on the arm of her best suspect. Amid unveiled secrets from her past and her growing feelings for Edei, Io must follow clues through the city’s darkest corners and unearth a conspiracy that involves some of the city’s most powerful players—before destruction comes to her own doorstep.

I love the idea of a Fate descendant meeting her soul mate!

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies.

Regardless, Alessandra, tired of being overlooked, has a plan to gain power: woo the Shadow King, marry him, then kill him and take his kingdom for herself. But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king.

As he dodges assassination attempts, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen – all while struggling not to lose her heart.

After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

Hey Nemo, don’t you already have a copy of The Shadows Between us? Wasn’t there some big deal about you buying the limited edition Fairyloot purple cover version when you were dying in hospital in 2020?

Why yes, thanks for asking. The Fairyloot version a display book, so I needed a reading copy. There’s nothing wrong with owning more than one copy of your favourite book.


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About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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