Thursday 3 December 2020

November 2020 Reading Wrap Up

I'll admit, I slipped a little in November unfortunately. I did read 11 books so it really isn't that bad but I'm just disappointed that I wasn't able to finish all of the books on my TBR. I did actually start I Am Malala but I just wasn't in the mood for it so I put it down and then time got away from me and I didn't manage to pick it back up again before the end of the month. I'm also in the middle of Clap When You Land at the time of writing this post so it will get finished but just not in November. I did have a few slumpy days in the middle of the month and so by the end I was rushing to squeeze everything in. There really does need to be more hours in the day! 



Horrid by Katrina Leno

I kicked off the month with my very first Owlcrate book that I received back in September and I was super pumped to read this as it's the reason I ordered myself an Owlcrate box in the first place. I love a good creepy, haunted house story and this was really good. Leno's writing is really solid and she's able to create a spooky but subtle atmosphere everytime Jane is in the house. It's not overly scary but there's something about it that keeps you on edge the whole time. I also really liked how grief and mental illness is handled in this book, it's realistic and really well done. I did have some problems with lack of character development in the secondary characters. Also, I had some mixed feeling about the ending as well. You can read my full review here.

Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

This is the same rating that I gave the first book so I'm still not in love with this series. It's a decent paranormal romance and there's really nothing overtly wrong with it but I'm just not gripped by the characters or the plot. I also felt like this book had so much filler in it, nothing really much happens at all up until the end. Even then, I felt like the events that occur in this book are far too similar to what happens in Shiver. We do get more perspectives this time to kind of break things up a bit and it was nice to get Isabelle and Cole's view of things and see their relationship developing. I'll be reading the final book, Forever, in December so we shall see what I think of how the series wraps up. 

Room by Emma Donoghue  

For some reason this book didn't leave much of a lasting impression. Up until I'd looked at my spreadsheet to see what I read in November, I'd forgotten I'd even read this book last month. I remember liking the plot as a whole but having mixed feelings about having the events seen through a 5 year olds eyes. Whilst I think it was the right decision to set it from Jack's POV, it was a struggle to understand his actions, the way he felt about everything and to understand his voice. It was very emotional though, the events that happen in this book are heartbreaking. Overall, it was good but just not one I'd ever go back to. 

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

This book was so unbelievably tense and scary in a way that I wasn't used to. I've never read a book like it, the fact that all my anxiety stemmed from these characters facing unknown entities whilst being blindfolded. Something about that just terrified me, I could not think of anything worse! I had to keep putting it down because I was getting so stressed about what could potentially happen to these characters. I'm also in awe of how strong a character Malorie was, she truly fought for her children and her attempts to get them to a safe space were incredible. I'm definitely interested in reading more from Malerman and I know that a sequel has just been released so I may pick that up at some point.  

The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley   

This was my least favourite book I read this month which is a shame because I was really interested in reading it and had been for a while. I was just so bored by everything about this book. NOTHING. HAPPENED. It mentions in the synopsis that a child's body is found which I thought was going to be what kicked everything off but no, that doesn't happen until the last quarter of the book. The characters bored me, the plot bored me and whilst the setting was dark and atmospheric, it wasn't particularly interesting. It picked up a little towards the end but it couldn't really save me from feeling very disappointed. I would like to try this author again cause another of his books, Starve Acre, sounds really interesting. 

The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill      

I really thought I was going to enjoy this one more then I did. I love myself a fairytale retelling but this one fell a little short of the mark for me. I think my main issue was with the main character, Gaia, I just found her incredibly annoying and naive. Everything she did I was inwardly screaming, what are you doing?? This sticks very close to the original rather than the Disney version, but it was probably a little too close for me. It felt like I was reading the original but just a little more fleshed out. I will say the ending was great, it definitely bumped it up for me. It was a great feminist twist and overall it did have a strong message about how women are treated and taken advantage of by men.

Shadowsea (The Cogheart Adventures #4) by Peter Bunzl      

It's the final book in the Cogheart Adventures and that makes me really sad but also this book was so much fun. I adore Lily, Robert and Malkin and getting to take one last adventure with them and boy, was it a good one. We travel to New York and the characters are swept up in a mystery surrounding a young boy being held against his will and some fishy goings on at an underwater base. Peter Bunzl's world is so magical and incredibly engaging for readers of all ages. It's fast paced and the twists never disappoint. I'm going to miss this series a lot but I'm looking forward to whatever Bunzl writes next. You can find my reviews of the first three books here.  
This was my only five star read this month and it deserves every one of those stars. This book has so much hype that I was worried that it wouldn't live up to expectations but this story just swept me away to the wintery depths of Russia. I completely loved Vasya and her wildness and her deep love for her family. The setting is stunning and perfectly encaptures everything beautiful and enchanting about winter. The relationship between Vasya and her brother Sasha was prominant and I loved their bond, I''m hoping we get to see more of her siblings in the next books. The mythology and folklore was my favourite aspect though, it's weaved so well into the story and really gives it that fairytale feel. I'm really excited to continue this series. 

Spin by Colleen Nelson

This was a netgalley ARC that I got last year and was mildly interested in. To be honest, my interest in YA contemporary has wavered over the last few months and so my expectations weren't particularly high. I was quite surprised though because this was quite good. It follows, Dizzy, a fifteen year old DJ prodigy who begins to try and build a relationship with her superstar mother who abandoned the family when she was a baby. I really liked that we got three different POV's in here; Dizzy, her older brother Lou and their dad Ray. I wasn't expecting it but I liked seeing their different views on their family dynamic and the unfolding events. Dizzy could be quite a difficult character to understand sometimes but I also think she was realistically written as well. Overall, it's a really solid contemporary that had strong themes of family, growing up with music playing a big part. My full review will be up soon.

Briar's Book (Circle of Magic #4) by Tamora Pierce

Another middle grade series finished this month, this time with the Circle of Magic series. I've been listening to these on audio on Scribd and they're really excellent audiobooks. It's got a full cast and the main narration is read by the author. Overall, I've really enjoyed this series. All the books have been solid four stars and these characters are easy to get attached to. I love the little found family that has formed over the course of the series and the last couple of chapters were pretty emotional. It was a little strange reading a book about a plague whilst in the middle of a pandemic but this was a great story to wrap it all up and I'm sure I'll continue on with the companion series which follows the main four when they're older.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen    

My final book of the month was this staple in literature. I own all of Jane Austen's work so  figured what better place to start then her most famous. I'm already very familiar with the story so I already knew I'd enjoy it. Classics do tend to be pretty dense and slow though and this one was no exception. I don't know why I thought I could smash this out in a couple of days! I loved the romance between Elizabeth and Darcy and Austen definitely has a way with words. I think I'd probably enjoy this more on a re-read though, I feel like I rushed parts of it and I think now that I'm more familiar with the writing, I'd find it a bit easier to get through. I'll be slowly working my way through the rest of her books now!


  1. Reading 11 books is impressive. I think I only read 7 last month. I hope you have a great December!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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