I honestly thought this part was going to be really small until I started putting this post together. I read a TON at the beginning of the month but towards the middle of the month, I just got too busy to read or really do much of anything other than take care of things at home. It turns out, this was one of my best months this year with 17 books read! (omg?!)
The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
This book made me feel things. A lot. Rhiannon is a determined business woman who unapologetically goes for what she wants and Samson is sort of struggling to find direction after losing close family members after retiring from playing professional football. The climax for this book felt a little different in that the big conflict between the main characters wasn’t about some big betrayal. Right Swipe also touched on some sensitive topics and did it well – both a bit of the #metoo movement and CTE in football. Everything was also really well-researched. I really ended up enjoying this far more than I thought I would.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
This was enjoyable enough. It didn’t really have anything wrong with it and it was pretty cute – it just sort of felt like it didn’t really bring much new? The way they worked a long-distance relationship was sweet and it was nice to see an interracial couple but Drew’s character could be really frustrating at times. The friendships outside the main relationship were fantastic though and I was totally here for them.
Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean
So, I really wanted to like this one but it was SO repetitive. I feel a hefty part of the book could be summarized as a moth drawn to the flame analogy that was absolutely beat to death, the male love interest saying the main character’s full name (don’t turn this into a drinking game – you will end up in the hospital), and the male love interest being broody because he’s too ‘bad’ for Felicity. While Felicity was at times a fun character, I honestly wanted to cry from how much things were repeated. All the reviews I read said ‘it gets better towards the end!’ and my question for them is WHERE?!
Ruse by Cindy Pon
I feel like after how good Want was, this would have had a hard time matching its level. While Ruse was still FANTASTIC I did enjoy Want a little more. Still a fantastic read and I’d totally reread later.
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
I understand that pretty much everyone was yelling at me to read this but I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype for me. FORTUNATELY, it was absolutely amazing and I loved it. So much so, in fact, I felt compelled to write a review on the spot after listening to it almost twice. In the same day. It was gorgeous and made my heart sing.
Talon by Julie Kagawa
This had all the elements to be something I absolutely loved. I mean, it had dragonshifters for crying out loud! And I loved the Wicked Fox series by the same author. However, this book honestly bored me. I might pick up the next book out of curiosity but I’m not chomping at the bit to do so.
My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma
THIS BOOK WAS LOVELY. Wonderful. Amazing. It had all the elements for a beautiful, perfect romantic comedy. It hit all the classic tropes and it did them well. So while it was entirely predictable it was only so in the best way and was so satisfying. It has also really pushed me into checking out more Bollywood. The interest was there before but this got me into action. (Shout-out to Sahi for listening to me rant about how wonderful this book was once I was done❤️)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
A coworker has been trying to get me to read more Gaiman. When I told her I read one of his books and really enjoyed it, she asked which one. When I told her it was this one she said, “Of course you read the children’s book and liked it.” I feel like I should have that as some sort of testimonial in an about me section one day. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. A child raised by a graveyard is such a fun concept.
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Apparently this was the month for me to be grumpy at books because I had issues with this book as well. I like a good fantasy book set in medieval-ish times but romance aside, this book bored me. The magic system wasn’t really explained until the VERY END and the conflict between the kingdoms also was just sort of something you had no reason behind. It was a very drawn out murder mystery. The romance, however, was great (once it started) and while it wasn’t enough to redeem the book for me, I enjoyed it. I came for a f/f fantasy romance and was driven away by boredom.
Rise of the Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
We all know I love Descendants. Are you tired of hearing about it yet? While this book isn’t as good as the second one, it’s still enjoyable. Probably my least favorite of first three books in the series though. Sometimes you just gotta read about Disney villains or their kids to feel better.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
This book easily puts the comedy in romantic comedy. Everything was ridiculous and absolutely over the top but still fun. I could easily see it being made into a movie that I’d watch on a rainy day. The epilogue really wrapped things up nicely for me and I’m glad it was there.
Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole
When I say I love Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals books I don’t think anyone quite understands just how much I mean it. Every book I’m like this can’t be any better than (insert last book I read here) and yet she surprises me every time. This book was no exception.
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
This, Time War, and Bollywood were my easily my top three reads of the month. So much so, in fact, that I added them all to my wishlists for the holidays or to buy myself later (I’m on a book buying ban and trying really hard to stick to it). Magical books, an intriguing mystery, and a sorcerer with a demon butler? Did you just spin a wheel with things I Iike and somehow throw it together in a way that totally works? Because that’s what it feels like and I’m into it.
Legend, Prodigy, Life Before Legend, and Life After Legend by Marie Lu
Rather than give a rundown of these individually, I’m just grouping them all together. In preparation for the release of Rebel, I read the two novellas listed here and then decided I couldn’t stop and reread the actual books. The series is pretty solid as far as YA dystopias go and it was fun to return to it. For those familiar with the series, fear not – I did read Champion and the final novella. They just didn’t quite finish in time to make the September list. I will also add that Life After Legend made an absolute emotional mess of me.
Again, the beginning of the month started out strong! I was posting content regularly, I had tons of ideas and drafts – I thought I finally had this whole blogging groove figured out. And I did! Until I didn’t. Again, real life came in and kicked my tail. I did finally work up the confidence to get a Netgalley account and request some titles and to my surprise, I was approved for a few! Expect more reviews to come. I know this is one of my weaknesses but I’m working on it. I did manage to get a review out last month though and I’m really proud of myself for doing so. You can read it here.
Last month was also the best month my blog has ever had stat-wise and while I understand that stats aren’t the main focus of blogging, it did feel really nice to see improvement when prior months had been absolutely tanking. It’s amazing how actually writing things leads to greater traffic, huh? Almost like magic.
And Real Life
As I mentioned earlier in this post, September turned into one hell of a rough month. In the first week, my mother lost her job as her company restructured. I’ve been supporting her the best I can and honestly, things weren’t going too poorly. As the month progressed though, my dog’s health started declining. Rapidly. I was in and out of the vet’s office. All kinds of meds were in and out of the house to try and help him. Unfortunately, Ducky’s heart was failing him and there really wasn’t anything any of us could do except to make him as comfortable as possible. We even took him out for a cheeseburger and to nap at his favorite park on the last day of the month. On the morning of October 1st, I had to put down my little chicken nugget. I’m currently very much not okay but I’m trying to work through it. I’m single and live by myself and that dog was my absolute everything. This is my first time in 20 years not having a dog. I’m struggling. But I know that it’ll just take time to heal.