Well, I called it, and I’ve been MIA for a month and a half, so I now (belatedly…sorry) bring to you my monthly October Wrap-Up! (See my September Wrap-Up here)
In spite of my HUGE certification exam that I’ve been studying for non-stop (I passed, by the way, yay!), I had a FANTASTIC reading month.
Seriously, I don’t remember the last time I read thirteen books in one month. I will be doing this wrap-up a little differently, and I’ll put my drop rating in my mini-review, so I can differentiate between my Readathon, book club books, and randomly picked books!
So without further ado, here is my October Wrap-Up!
Hocus Pocus Readathon Wrap-Up
1. Read a book with a witchy main character: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
I honestly read this book before I read Fangirl (obviously, because you’ll see that in my November wrap-up that is forthcoming), and I loved every second of it! Simon and Bas were adorable, and I loved the banter and the magic system and every single aspect of it was just so awesome. I was so excited for the second book, but…well, you’ll see how I feel later. A solid five drops for me on the first book!
2. Read a book with a female protagonist: Renegades by Marissa Meyer
I shouldn’t be surprised at how much I adored this. It’s Superheroes, and I’m comic-obsessed. And yet, still I hesitated, just like I did before reading the Lunar Chronicles. I don’t know why I keep doubting Marissa Meyer, because the woman is a genius and I’ve loved everything I read by her. This was no different. The Renegades were so cool, and Nova was a great, but misguided protagonist, and OH MY GOD THE SUPERPOWERS THOUGH. Sketch’s power was so freaking awesome and I’m 100% in love with Adrian. This was a definite four-drop read for me.
3. Read a book that is spell-bindingly atmospheric….Yeah, I failed at this, but I didn’t fail at the Readathon! I got extra points from the Team Strength to make up for it, I swear!
4. Read a book that frightens you: Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose
Karen Rose is an automatic buy for me. I’ve read everything she’s ever written and that won’t stop any time soon. She hits the hard subjects, and her books fulfill the dark and twisty reading needs in me. Is the number of serial killers she writes about a tad unrealistic? Perhaps, but it doesn’t stop me from loving every character she’s ever written and rooting for every love story’s happy ending. I’ve been reading her romantic suspense books for years and I’m going to keep doing so as long as she puts them out. Four drops again!
5. Read a book with a powerful villain: Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
All my feelings from the first book continued into this one. I mean, I was still frustrated with the whole double-spy thing Nova had going and WOOO BOY that plot twist was a shocker but I still loved it. The third book just came out and I can NOT wait to get my hands on it. Supernova is going to be AWESOME. I can’t wait to see how everything resolves, because I need to know what happens to my little baby Adrian. This book gave me all the feels, and I’m giving it four drops.
6. Read the group book: Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel
I mean…it’s Hocus Pocus. In book form. You’ve got to love it in every incarnation, so that’s how I feel about the first half. The second half, the “All-New Sequel”? LOVED IT. I was frustrated with Poppy making the choices she did, but the story wouldn’t have happened otherwise, so I couldn’t hate it. I mean, it was super predictable, but it was FUN, you know? And Poppy figuring out her feelings for her friend throughout was adorable and LGBTQ+ inclusive and I loved it. Four drops.
Other Books Wrap-Up
1. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Continuing on with my read-through of the Throne of Glass series, we moved on with the second book. I still wasn’t obsessed with it (more to come on that later, I did come to love the series and now I love it all), but this book was definitely better than the first one, which I originally DNF’d and then picked up later solely because I heard they got better. So…in comparison to that, I’d give this a solid four stars! I got to like Celaena a lot better, and I fell in love with her and Chaol (eye roll on that now, but it was cute at the time) and WOAH the plot twist at the end. I somehow managed to remain spoiler-free on that, but I guess I’m clueless because I definitely should have at least guessed.
2. House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Soooo…This book was okay. It’s a retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses fairytale and it got so much hype and I honestly was hoping for so much more? It started creepy and got creepier and turned wayyy dark and…yeah. Everyone was talking about their love for it and I wanted to love it more but I had to push myself through it. I didn’t hate it by any means, so three drops, but I didn’t really like any of the characters? It’s hard for me to describe why I didn’t click with this book but I guess the love story between Annaleigh and Cassius was cute so that saved it enough for three stars for me.
3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Wow, I wish I’d read this sooner. Laia is awesome, Elias is awesome, the world is dark and twisty and Roman-empire-y, and their story together was…Wow. The Commandant was awful and was such a great villain because she was so dark and sadistic. I felt awful reading about Elias’s…origin story? For lack of a better phrase. But yeah, I just bought the rest of the series on Book Outlet and I CANNOT WAIT till they get here so I can finish this because I am PUMPED. Five star read, for sure. I couldn’t put it down.
4. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
I liked the first one better. There, I said it. I mean, I know it probably couldn’t be all happily ever after, especially with Simon navigating his first relationship with a boy, but COME ON with that cliffhanger! The action was good and the banter was there and all my favorite characters were all together and yet…It was way too angsty for me. I mean, I get that they need to figure out the fallout from how the first book ended, but can’t we at least get a conclusion? IS THERE EVEN GOING TO BE A THIRD BOOK??? Come on, Rainbow Rowell, you’re killing me here. This was another four drop read because I still loved it but I DO NOT APPROVE of the ending.
5. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Alright, this is where I started to get invested in this series. I finally started to care more about Celaena in this, and I’ll just be over here permanently in love with Rowan for the rest of my life, it’s fine. I hopped fully onto the bandwagon for this series (starting actually in the 2nd half of this book) and I feel like the story is finally STARTING, you know? I’m here for it, and I now understand what everyone loves so much. (Spoiler alert, I am now on Tower of Dawn and am super unenthusiastic about an entire book with no Rowan, so we’ll have to see. More to come on that later). But yeah, I am finally giving five whole drops to a book in this series, go me for joining yet another fandom!!
6. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Okay, don’t hate me. I really didn’t love this, though. And I know a lot of people did and that just…confuses me. I finished it, and gave it three drops, but…I don’t even remember the characters’ names, I’m not gonna lie. The concept was…cool, I guess? I don’t know, I think I was just insanely irritated by the main character (SCARLETT! I looked it up, don’t judge me.). The most of what I can remember about that book is that she annoyed me. Her decisions, her mannerisms, her total uselessness….yeah. I will probably read the second book, but I don’t know that I’ll even push myself to finish it like I did this one.
The Page Turners Book Club
So I joined my favorite Booktuber’s (Chelsea Palmer) Facebook book club and it is so much fun! Everyone in it is great, and we essentially read one adult romance and one YA every month (usually backlisted but not always).
1. The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
This was our romance pick of the month and it was so good! It was so cute and fun, and was the whole “city girl tries to make it in the wilderness” trope and she falls in love with an Alaskan bush pilot and just…swoon. Jonah was so hot, and Calla was hilarious and together they were perfect. And also, there’s a sequel coming out soon and I can’t wait to meet them again in the next book. This tugged on your heartstrings as Calla reconnects with her father in Alaska, and it’s amazing. Five drop read, for sure.
2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Last but not least, we have the YA book of the month! This was so awesome. I kept wanted to read ahead but I stuck to our reading plan, and Cas was so cool. It reminded me of, like…Supernatural 2.0. He’s a ghost-hunter/hunter of supernatural things and he goes to places around the country with his mother to work these cases, and when he comes across a ghost named Anna, she kicks his ass. It. Was. Awesome. Definitely recommend, and this was a solid four drop read for me.
October was a solid month for me! Nothing less than a three drop read, and I loved a lot of what I found. It was busy, that’s for sure (and I can thank all my library holds for coming out at the same time for that) but I did it!
November was a little underwhelming in comparison, but that wrap-up will be forthcoming! Thanks for reading!
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