Thursday, 1 October 2020

September 2020 Reading Wrap Up

 

I haven't done a wrap up in nearly a year but September has been the month that I got back into blogging and I'm pleased to say that I managed to read 14 books this month! I'm honestly so happy with how much I read considering I've spent half of the time this year going in and out of a slump so I'm glad I'm back on track now. September was a mixed bag, there weren't any books that I thought were really bad but there were also only one or two books that really blew me away. I feel like October is going to be so much better though as there's so many amazing reads on my TBR that I can't wait to get to. You can read my October TBR blog post here.

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No Exit by Taylor Adams 

I kicked off my September TBR with a book I've wanted to read for quite some time. I've heard so many of my favourite bloggers and booktubers talk about this book since it's release and it was available to read on Kindle Unlimited so I knew I needed to get to it. I can understand why this has such good ratings as well, it's so cleverly done and Taylor Adams does an excellent job of building tension. 
 
I loved Darby's character, I was rooting for her throughout this book. I though the twists were all perfectly timed and some of them I really didn't see coming at all! I think the reason I only gave this four stars was because there were some holes in the logic at times and occasionally a character would do something incredibly stupid that only happened to create drama but in retrospect didn't make much sense. You can read my full review of No Exit here.  
 

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini  

I had owned this book for the longest time and I'm really trying to get to some of those books that I'm not overly excited for but I still have on my shelf. This book is a paranormal/mythological romance that is a Romeo & Juliet type story about two descendents of Greek gods. I thought the story started off quite strong, I was really intrigued about how the romance was going to develop as Helen and Lucas are cursed to despise each other but unfortunately this only lasted for the first 80 or so pages and this is a 514 page book. I didn't like how quickly their hate for each other was discarded because then the plot just became boring to me.

The more I read the more I found myself disliking the characters and the romance. I thought Lucas was bland and to be honest I just didn't feel the chemistry between the two main characters. I did like the Greek mythology aspect but I don't think I'm going to continue with this series.

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

Unfortunately, this was my lowest rated read of the month and it's more unfortunate that this was a Netgalley ARC from last year. I actually started it when I first received it as well but even then I couldn't really get into it. I was determined to finally finish it though but I just didn't care very much for the writing or the characters. 
 
This is a contemporary romance which follows Tessa, who is temporarily blinded in a car accident, and Weston, who is a double leg amputee, as Weston tries to teach Tessa that there's more to life than having vision. I did like the fact that we were following the romance between two disabled main characters and I also really liked how each section of the book was about discovering a new sense e.g. smell and touch. However, I thought the writing needed a lot of editing and I didn't really care for either of the characters. This wasn't a bad book but just not the book for me. You can read my full review of 100 Days of Sunlight here.    

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Yes, I have only just gotten round to reading possibly one of the most hyped books of the past decade. I was a little worried that this was a bit too hyped but I honestly really enjoyed it. I just really liked reading about these two despicable human beings who have such a complex relationship. Everything
that occured in this book was so toxic but I just couldn't stop reading. I can understand why some people wouldn't like this book and would find it frustrating but I was so invested in this relationship and genuinely gasped out loud a few times. I can't wait to read Sharp Objects now.
 
I'll start off by saying true crime fans should know what they're getting in for with this book. This book focuses on chronicling the lives of Jack the Ripper's victims from their birth up until the nights of the murders. If you're looking for a book about the murderer and those kinds of grisly details, I'd suggest looking elsewhere. This is a really engaging read though and Rubenhold does a terrific job of making each section so detailed with plenty of context for that time period but also still so readable. It is devastating to read about these womens lives, how unfairly they were treated and how had their lives been even slightly different they wouldn't have ended up on the streets of Whitechapel on that particular night. You can read my mini review of The Five here.

Sister Noon by Karen Joy Fowler

Karen Joy Fowler has such beautiful prose and I think that's what kept me reading this novel even after I wasn't particularly interested in the plot. This book is set in 1890's San Francisco and follows an unmarried woman working for an orphanage and her encounter with a mysterious figure in society. I was excited for a bit of historical fiction but more often then not I was just confused about where this story was going and a lot of moments were just very odd. I think this was just a case of liking the style but not the substance. I do own another of Fowlers book so I'll definitely give it a go at some point. 
 

The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot 

I don't read many books written in verse as they're just not one of my favourite ways to consume fiction but the synopsis for this one was intriguing and I just adore the cover. This novel follows Lottie, who at 12 years old is struggling with her mothers death and develops a scientific interest in taxidermy and the preservation of dead animals. It's really beautifully written and is an excellent examination of how children handle grief and interpret death. I will say that I found it a tad repetitive at times and and I wanted the Australian setting to have been amplified a bit more. You can find my mini review here
 

Tris's Book (Circle of Magic #2) by Tamora Pierce

I've been continuing to listen to the Circle of Magic series on audio and I'm trying to listen to one a month. Tris was my favourite character from the first book and I enjoyed getting to learn a bit more about her powers and her backstory. I will say I think my favourite character might be Briar now purely because I love how sarcastic and snarky he was in this one! I am really enjoying this series, I like getting the multiple perspectives in each book plus the full cast audio is fantastic and I'm interested to see where Daja's book goes next. My only qualm is with Scribd really as the last couple of seconds of each chapter kept getting cut off which was very frustrating!
 

Man is Wolf to Man by Janusz Bardach   

Man, was this a difficult read at times. My dad leant me this book as he thought it was something I might enjoy and I did but the events that occur in this book are truly horrific to read about. This book is a memoir by a Jewish Polish man as he recounts his time in a labour camp in Siberia during the second world war. It's unimaginable the horrors he had to endure during his imprisonment, there are some scene that were so difficult to read but overall it is an incredible testament to the strength and courage it took for him to survive what he did. 
 

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green 

Even though I've read the majority of his books, I wouldn't say I'm the biggest fan of John Green. I feel like even though he was so hyped around 2014, his books and his characters tend to be fairly average. I think he tries to make his male characters very quirky and sometimes it does feel quite forced but for some reason I think it worked with this one. I will admit that I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, it might just be because there were footnotes and I'm a sucker for footnotes. Some of the math was quite difficult for me to process and yeah, it was fairly predictable but something about it just had me thoroughly entertained.  
 

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg  

I'll say upfront that this doesn't have a rating purely because it didn't really feel right giving it one, as this isn't a book so much as a collection of speeches. I admire Greta Thunberg immensely, I think she's a fantastic person who is doing so much for environmentalism and using her voice for so much good. I listened to the audiobook which is absolutely the way to read this and just hearing her speak so passionately is so inspiring. Some of the speeches are a tad repetitive but I just can't understand the people bashing her and this book, at least she is out there trying to create change and make a difference. I urge everyone to give this book a read.
 
 
 

Kids Like Us by Hilary Reyl

This book was one of the first I ever requested on Netgalley back in 2017 and yes, I've only just gotten around to reading it! This book follows Martin, an autistic teenager living in France for the summer who experiences love for the first time. This was a bit of a mixed bag, I liked the rep and the writing was pretty good but the plot was just very slow. Martin analyzes the world around him by comparing it to things that happen in his favourite book and for some reason I just found this very jarring. I do think someone could really enjoy this book but unfortunately I thought it was just ok. You can read my mini review here.  
 

Dispel Illusion by Mark Lawrence      

I finally read the third and final book in the Impossible Times series! I read the first two books in early 2019 and to be honest I forgot about this series until I spotted the third book on kindle unlimited and I knew I needed to read it. I think my enjoyment of this series wavered due to the fact that it has been so long since I read the other two and I did find that I had forgotten a lot of what had previously happened. I did think it was a solid ending to the series and I loved how everything came full circle and we got to see the events of the first book told from a different perspective, it was a genius move by Mark Lawrence. I'll hopefully have a full review of this book up on Monday. In the meantime you can find my review of the first book One Word Kill here and my review for the second book Limited Wish here.      
 

Rebecca by Daphne De Maurier

The last book that I read in September was Rebecca by Daphne De Maurier and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this. Daphne De Maurier is a fantastic storyteller and she has managed to create such an atmospheric read that had me fully engaged with the characters and the setting. Her descriptions of Manderley are gorgeous and I truly felt like I was there personally watching all of these events unfold. I can definitely see myself re-reading this in the future which is a massive deal as I really don't re-read books a lot. Daphne De Maurier is definitely one of my favourite authors when it comes to gothic and atmospheric reads.
 
What did you read in September? Have you read any of these books? What were your opinions? Leave a comment below and happy reading!
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