August Novel Ideas: Quick Reviews and Other Bookish News

August Novel Ideas - 17 book reviews and other news!
Welcome to the August Novel Ideas 2017 edition. Novel Ideas is a roundup of mini-reviews for other books we read this month, as well as snippets of future posts and other bookish news. Note: This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase an item through a link, we get a small commission.


I had a wonderful reading month after last month’s disaster! In addition to Castle of Water which I totally adored, I had 2 other 5 star reads! Considering I had a few 2 stars last month, I’ll totally take it. That doesn’t even count the amazing stories I read for our upcoming Fall children’s book releases. August is going to be a tough month to beat, but I have high hopes for September. 

Fallen Heir by Erin Watt

O.M.G. I have been waiting for AGES to get to read Easton’s story. Jackie and I ADORE the Paper Princess Series – we have written about it numerous times. It is our favorite guilty pleasure series for good reason. These Royals totally ruin us. Since the beginning, Easton has been a favorite of mine so when I received an advanced reader copy of this book I freaked out and read in almost one sitting, staying up till 3 am in the process.

Easton meets Hartley, a new senior who isn’t like his snotty peers. For starters, she has no interest in him! But her lack of interest only eggs him on. I loved the insight into Easton’s mind on this one and boy does this kid have problems. As he spirals out of control, he drags Hartley along with him bringing her down too. I don’t want to give much away except to say that the cliffhanger was INSANE and had me in tears. Cracked Kingdom release date is in January and I can’t wait. I loved seeing more of the twins, could have used more of Ella and Reed but I did really enjoy what Hartley brings to the table. OOOH! And I totally forgot to mention – there is a new bitch in town and she might actually be crazier than Jordan…. YES!!!! 4 stars.

Still Life by Louise Penny

Louise Penny has been on my radar for awhile now – I won a copy of her 13th book last year but found myself intimated by starting her series. Cue TopShelfText and her effusive praise for the Inspector Gamache series. I bit the bullet and I fell in LOVE with the Inspector, the town of Three Pines and its residents. Louise Penny CAN WRITE. The mystery was great (and I didn’t solve it) but what got me the most was Penny’s writing style and reflections on the human psyche. 5 stars.

Books for Living by Will Schwalbe

This story is a non-fiction exploration of the various books that Will Schwalbe has read in his life and what they mean to him. Sound boring? It’s not – it is totally fascinating. I found myself getting a few book recommendations from among his favorites, but the best was learning what books resonate with him and those people he knew. A wonderful tale for any book lover looking to examine what causes our souls to connect with books. 3 stars.


Hum if You Don't Know the Words is the best book of the summer and we got to read it first! Click for our review of this must read!

Hum If You Don’t Know The Words by Bianca Marais

I can’t say much more about this than Jackie already has in her review. I treasured this book. My favorite part of blogging so far has been connecting with Bianca and getting to share her book with others. Please add this to your list if you haven’t already! 5 stars.


Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro

This story is a sweeping historical fiction tale about an Irish shop girl who gets caught up in the fast crowd of a Boston heiress in the 1920s. Written by the same author as the Perfume Collector which Jackie read recently, this story was captivating. I was fully immersed in the world of Maeve and her duplicitous life. The story was a tad predictable (I guessed the big secret pretty early in the story) but this was a novel more about the journey than the destination. Wonderful for any historical fiction fans! 3.5 stars.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I’m not usually one for memoirs but a friend told me that this one was amazing. I learned from my experience with Kevin Hart’s memoir a few months ago and this time I listened to book. Boy does the audio help!!! It was so nice to hear the lines and words delivered by the author herself. I laughed out loud more than once and cried a few times as well. Personal, but not overly private, I found the balance of humor and sincerity spot on. 3.5 Stars

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I had not read this work of Jane Austen’s before but I loved it!  Northanger Abbey would be anyone’s perfect first Austen. I found myself laughing out loud at times at Catherine’s over the top imagination. Henry Tilney was refreshing as far as Austen hero’s go. He was softer than the others and his feelings toward Catherine were far more obvious than say, Mr. Darcy. 4 Stars



Fallen Crest High by Tijan

This book is like the paper princess series on steroids! Drama, parties, hot boys and backstabbing friends – this book is everything a guilty pleasure should be. Jackie and I both fell hard for the Kade boys and their journey to accepting Samantha as their future-stepsister, friend, and romantic interest. I can’t wait to see where the series take us. 4 stars

Fallen Crest Family by Tijan

While not as good as the first book in the series, I appreciated the background information on Samantha and her mother in this one. It explained a lot about their relationship— brace yourself because her mom is a doozie of a character. I loved seeing Sam finding her footing with the Kades and hope to see more growth from her in the future. Smutty and Fun! 3 stars


Little Library: Fluff Reads


I started this month with a few ideas of what I would read but, I found myself veering from that path.  Has that ever happened to you? I had a few books in mind that I wanted to read but, life took some turns.  I use books like medicine and they give me exactly what I need.  And so, with that in mind, I switched up some of my reads.  I chose books that were lighter (for the most part) and moved quickly through the plot. 

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

All I can say is wow!!! This book kept me in suspense from the first page to the last. It is so smart and well written. I love reading a book that leads you down a path, so perfectly choreographed that it’s like a dance. No detail was overlooked, and I wasn’t left with any questions or inconsistencies. This family story is so twisted and multilayered, the final layers are not peeled away until the last pages of the book. This book is truly unputdownable- far and away the best psychological thriller I have ever read. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book.  4.5 stars

The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan

Flora has spent her life running away from the little Scottish town where she was born.  Unexpectedly, she has to leave London and return to her little town for work.  She resumes her life with her  her loud and obnoxious brothers and her father.  To make matters worse, she is completely in love with her pompous and rude boss.  This is a fun and quick read that is perfect for the beach or a rainy weekend. 3.5 stars

From Notting Hill with Love Actually by Ali McNamara

This book was exactly what I needed as a light fun read.  Scarlett lives her life like she is in a movie. When she has a chance to housesit in Notting Hill, she jumps at the chance.  Scarlett leaves behind her friends, family and fiancé to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.   As soon as she arrives in London, life becomes as crazy as any movie and Scarlett is left with choices that will change her life.  Light and fun, this book provides the perfect get away from reality.  3.5 stars

One of the best reads of 2017. I fell head over in heels in love with Castle of Water.

Castle of Water by Dane Huckelridge

This is a wonderful book about love and survival.  It is so much more than it appears on the surface.  Kirsten read it and insisted that I would love it- she was correct as always.  This is a beautifully written book. When Sophie and Barry find themselves on an Island as the sole survivors of a plane crash, they learn to depend on each other.  The book moves seamlessly from the past to the present, weaving and intricate tale. I love this book 4.5 stars

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Kirsten gave me this book awhile ago and I’m so glad I finally had a chance to read it.  This modern re-telling of Pride and Prejudice was fun and thoroughly entertaining.  Its definitely strange to hear the Bennet sisters talking about cross fit and pale diets; however, this is a classic story retold with humor and relevance.  3 stars


Fallen Heir by Erin Watt

We love the paper princess series and could not wait for this book to come out.  Kirsten read it before me so, I won’t reiterate too much.  This series is a bit of a guilty pleasure but the story wasn’t as good as the others in the series for me.  I love Easton but to me, he is the sidekick. 3.5 stars


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This is the classic story of a fantastic book read and the wrong time.  This book tells the story of Ifemelu and Obinze who are young and in love when they leave war-torn Nigeria.  Ifemelu comes to the United States and despite plans to follow her, Obinze cannot come to post 9/11 America.  This is a saga that takes place over a 15 year period when Ifemelu and Obinze are reunited in Nigeria.  It is intense and deeply emotional .  In truth, it was too much for me to handle this month.  I read this book with a very heavy heart as it seemed like tragedy after tragedy befell these two individuals.  However, with that said, this book is amazingly written and a true work of art.  4 stars

The Trust by R.H Balson

This book is available for pre-order now and will be released in a few weeks.  This was one of our upcoming new releases we couldn’t wait to read and it did not disappoint.  Liam Taggart returns to Northern Ireland after the death of his Uncle with whom he had not spoken in 16 years.  His Uncle Fergus has been shot and he has left Liam as the trustee to his will.  One of the stipulations of this secret trust is that none of the beneficiaries can receive anything until the killer has been found.  

Liam finds himself drawn back into a family that he had all but left behind. There is deep history with the family and the IRA and it seems that nobody is safe.  Was this a murder for money or for revenge?   As the investigation reopens old wounds, Liam is forced to confront family issues that he had locked away years before.  This book did not disappoint and is exactly what I hoped from Mr. Balson.  Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC of this book.

Listened to:

Fallen Crest High by Tijan

Kirsten reviewed this above and I share her sentiments! Think Paper Princess on Steroids!!!  This series is so much fun! I listened to Fallen Crest Family too. These books are fun and definitely not PG rated  3.5 stars


Black Widow by Daniel Silva 

I know so many people who loved this book and the one that followed and unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. I can summarize the first 10 hours of the book in 3 sentences which to me is a huge waste of words.  However, the ending of this book was pretty insane and is necessary for the book that follows. If you love Daniel Silva then this book is a must.  If not, and you want to read House of Spies, drop me an email and I can summarize everything for you in a few minutes. 2.5 stars

Beyond the Bookends

Outlander is coming! Enough said. Watch the trailer below.


The Game of Thrones season Finale was INSANE!!!! It is rumored that season 8 will only be 6 episodes and all I can say is WHAT?!?!?!?! How is that even possible?  It is also rumored that the final season may not air until 2019.  I don’t know how I am supposed to wait that long!!!! 

And finally, one of our all time favorite authors, Mrs. Bianca Marais, has started her second book!!!!! Woohoo.  2018 is looking to be a great year!