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I Read 11 Books in October | Monthly Wrap Up

Anyone else feel like October just flew by?! I can’t believe it. To those who participated in Blogtober, I hope it was a successful & fun month! I’m so happy I decided not to post daily this time around. Life has became too hectic for daily posting. On the other hand, I did manage to read 11 books this month! Like – how?! 10 physical books & one audiobook! And I also surpassed my yearly reading goal of 50 books! Before I begin this wrap up, I wanted to answer a frequently asked book related question – “how do I find the time to read so many books? I’m lucky to say I’m a relatively fast reader [ and the more i read – the faster i become ]. Also, I have revamped my routines to make reading more of a priority. My husband & I both have been reading pretty much every evening for the past 6 months. We find it relaxing & our way to unwind. Lately, we’ve been adding a bit of ambience by playing rain sounds with fall scenery on the TV. Highly recommend if you are trying to romanticize the autumn season. Regardless how many books you read a month, just picking up a book & finding something that helps you escape reality / expand your thoughts is something to be proud of. And I hope these wrap ups have sparked your interest in reading & inspired you to add a few to your TBR [ to be read ] lists. Let’s get into the wrap up…

Dark Age by Pierce Brown

I actually started this book at the end of September but completed it the first week of October. My husband actually recommended this series to me a few months back & I was pretty hesitant about it. Sci-fi / dystopian novels aren’t usually my thing. But he bated me by saying the series was like a combination of Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Star Wars & Lord of the Flies all wrapped up in one – & so I read the first book back in May. And next thing you know, in the span of a few months I read the entire trilogy as well as the two books of his latest installment [ which takes place 10 years after the first 3 books ]. Dark Age in particular is the darkest & most gruesome of Pierce Brown’s books [ hence the title] . But don’t let that deter you away. These books are filled with so much action, a little bit of slow burn romance & very fast paced. Another thing I appreciate with this entire series is the shock value. I usually see twists from a mile away. But PB writes in such a way that made me so surprised! Be sure to check out my bookstagram reel on this series! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

I told myself I wanted to read more Colleen Hoover books before I make a final cohesive rating of her as an author. And Reminders of Him has been on my bookshelf for months. And a lot of people considered this one their favorites. For me, I was very enticed by the plot – a mother released from prison who dreams of rekindling her relationship with her 5 year old daughter. It’s a small town “second chance romance” if the second chance is your deceased boyfriend’s best friend. There was a lot of potential with this one but the “twist” fell flat & the entire book although it had beautiful quotes, felt like a lifetime movie [ which isn’t my favorite ] . When it got to the ending, I was kind of expecting more of a dramatic & life altering conclusion. And for me, it was very predicable. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Of course, I had to read a spooky novel this month for Halloween. This was my first Riley Sager book [ & it certainly won’t be my last ]. This was the perfect haunted house / ghost story trope. And the premise was so interesting with the past & present POV’s. I was very much entertained the entire time & a little spooked out at parts [ not going to lie]. This tells the story of Maggie – who’s father [ who recently passed ] wrote a book about their experience in this victorian home. 25 years later, Maggie has returned to the home to find out the truth & whether her father’s book was all fiction or perhaps a bit more. This screams very much Amittyville Horror vibes if you’ve seen that movie. I can’t wait to read more of his books in the future. Be sure to check out my bookstagram for an even deeper inside look of this novel. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

So, last month I finally started the first book of the Throne of Glass series – & I of course had to continue this month with the second installment. Once I finished the ACOTAR [ A Court of Thorns & Roses] series over the summer, I was craving another one of SLM’s books. Once again, I was thoroughly entertained & was immersed back into the world of fantasy with this read. I think I got a better understanding of the main character, Celeana. And we are introduced to a few new characters while also adding a hint of romance. Check out my bookstagram for more details about this read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

This is where things went a little downhill. But you can’t always read an amazing book, right? I bought this book because a few booktubers recommended it & I thought it would be the perfect short [ under 300 pages] thriller I needed in between those thick fantasies. I almost DNFed [ did not finish ] this book because it was just simply- boring. I saw the twists from a mile away & I find the amnesia tropes to be so overdone within the thriller/ mystery genres. Be sure to check out my full unhinged review on my bookstagram. ⭐️⭐️

Love in The Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson

This is a perfect example of “don’t trust a book by a pretty cover.” What I thought was going to be a lighthearted spooky / true crime rom com ended up being a fairly deep story about a girl who returns to sell her deceased father’s home. She is a PhD student writing her dissertation on true crime / serial killers & quickly becomes convinced her neighbor is a serial killer himself. I found this story to be all over the place. Although it touched on many tough topics of grief, divorce, family dynamics, suicide, broken friendships & mental health – it also felt like a cringe spicy fan fiction. Phoebe & Sam’s romance was spicy but also very cringe. Some of the dialogue made me go 😬. And like most cheesy rom coms, the story was very predictable. Overall, I feel like some people would enjoy this for the lighthearted smut & see it as a good filler read – which is why I give it a solid 3 stars. Check out my bookstagram review.⭐️⭐️⭐️

Confess by Colleen Hoover

I warned you this was going to be a CoHo month – & so I decided to listen to the audiobook for this one. And once again, like Reminders of Him – this one felt the same. I will say, I find the premise of painting a person’s confessions so interesting. And the fact CoHo shared true confessions from fellow readers bumped up the rating for me. In general, I felt the romance between Auburn & Owen was good [ a mysterious artist with a bit of spice ]. I just felt like the twists weren’t that surprising & I’m personally not the hugest fan of the insta love trope. I want a romance that is a little more believable than that, you know? I also watched the tv series which made it slightly better but also kind of cringe. Have you read this one? ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Circe by Madeline Miller

I was excited to read Circe because I absolutely adored her other greek mythology novel, The Song of Achilles that I read back in May. I felt this book was perfect for spooky season because of her magical witchy tendencies. While some aspects of the story was rather dry, I think Madeline Miller writes these retellings so beautifully where you can feel all the emotions. For a literary fiction, I think her’s are worth reading because you learn something but also get the taste of a meaningful story. From her relationship with her sister, to finding love – I thought this was another well done read & I give it a solid four stars. If I were to compare the two though, I still think Song of Achilles is her best novel. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

This was probably my favorite book of the Throne of Glass series so far! This is the 3rd installment of the series. The story is finally growing more & more. And I absolutely loved the multiple POV’s & getting a glimpse of more characters. This was such a wild ride – especially towards the last few chapters. Rowan, ( one of the newest characters) is chef’s kiss. I knew this character was going to be in the books [ thanks to booktok spoilers] but people are so right to be obsessed with this character. And introducing more of the witch clans made it the perfect read for spooky season. It felt very much like Game of Thrones in some parts with witches riding on wyverns [ dragons] & I became enthralled with the world – per usual. SJM seriously knows how to write a fantasy story. Here’s my bookstragram take on the book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️👏🏻

Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas

I finally finished this novella since I DNFed it last month. The thing about this book was determining when was the right time to read this & fully appreciate the story since it’s a prequel / novella. You can read it before Throne of Glass , after Crown of Midnight or after Heir of Fire. So many decisions! I decided to choose the romantic reading order [ after Heir of Fire] , I pretty much knew what was going to happen. But I’m happy that I can move onto the rest of the series knowing Caleana’s backstory. Overall, this story – especially the ending, was heartbreaking. IYKYK. I may re – read this once I’m finished with the entire series just to see if I appreciate it even more. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover

Let me just say, this was a highly anticipated read this month [ for a lot of us it seems ] . And although CoHo sheds light on domestic violence & the struggles of leaving a situation / relationship such as this one – this book made me so angry & frustrated. Yes, I love Atlas & Lily. A childhood friends to lovers / second chance romance is my cup of tea. But so many aspects of the story just pissed me off. And you would think if a book made me this emotionally charged, I would give it a higher rating. No. Lily deserves all the happiness in the world & to live the life she wishes. She should be with whoever she wants. No man ( especially a man who is violent towards her) should have a say. Period. Along with this, I just felt like the book was choppy & the ending seemed rushed. A lot of people pin this as a drawn out epilogue – & I fully agree. CoHo never really intended to make a second installment after It Ends With Us & so this was merely for the fans [ as she states in the thank you in the beginning of the book ]. I was discussing this book with a few bookstagrammers & I totally agree the twist with Atlas was very profound – especially the part where they state the title “it starts with us” IYKYK. Check out this bookstagram reel of me receiving the book on release day! Also, I did a mini review on there here. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s hard to say if I’ll read this many books or more in the future – but we shall see! Reading has became my favorite activity & I just love immersing myself into the community. I’ve created a Good Reads account where you can keep up with my reading challenge & what I’m reading in real time. And again, if you aren’t already – be sure to follow me on my Bookstagram. I’ve been loving connecting with other book lovers on there, making fun reels & sharing reviews. I hope you’ve been enjoying my book content on the blog. I still plan to share tons of decluttering posts & intentional living discussions especially with the holiday season approaching. In the comments, let me know what your favorite books were this month!

-B

books, Uncategorized

The Fall Bucket List Book Tag

I want to thank HerDigitalCoffee for tagging me in this fall inspired book tag! What a wonderful way to embrace the autumn season & discuss my favorite hobby. Be sure to check out her Fall Bucket List Book Tag if you haven’t already.

Rules:
  1. Link back to the original creator in your post
  2. Feel free to use any of these graphics in your post, or create your own.
  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and let them know you’ve tagged them

Before The Coffee Gets Cold is a short fable about a chair in a coffee shop that allows you to travel back in time. I have this on my fall TBR & can’t wait to read it. Whenever I think about fall, I picture coffee shops, warm beverages & chilly weather.

I’ve seen Love in The Time of Serial Killers all over booktok & Instagram because the cover is just iconic for spooky season. I haven’t yet read this one but have this on my October TBR, so I’ll let you all know my verdict in my October Reading Wrap Up.

I decided to choose the Halloween classic – It by Stephen King because although this is a story about a killer clown – it always showcases the friendship of a group of kids in the 80’s. [ very Stranger Things esque ]. A warning to the wise is that this book is long! [ 1,000 pages ]

This is a Kindle Unlimited find that sounds perfect for Halloween / fall season. It’s a suspenseful mystery with hints of culinary wonder – a cute town [ in winter ] with shops of spice & pumpkins galore.

A talented “chef” of magic spells [ because I couldn’t think of a book with an actual chef. LOL I’ve heard great things about this mystical trilogy & actually watched the tv show in August. It tells the story about a professor with witchy powers & tries to find the meaning of The Book of Life.

I’m choosing Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney because it’s a 5 star thriller read in my opinion. I rarely give thrillers 5 stars, so I jumped for joy because I didn’t see the twists & turns at all. To the point where I wanted to re-read the book once I understood the truth.

Flourish With Rose

The Comfy Reader

Books With Bunny

All Things Gee

Heidi And Her Books

Beauty of Cafe

Of Glasgow Girl

-B

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books, Uncategorized

Reading WrapUp: What I Read in September

I started the month in a bit of a reading slump & was jumping from book to book – which I rarely do. I don’t know what it was exactly. I think I can be such a mood reader at times, where I just have to get a taste of a few books before really getting into one. Luckily, there were still a few that really stood out & I was able to read more than I was projecting.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I finally started the TOG series this month & I’m so glad to be reading something else by SJM. This series is rather intimedating to start because the discussion of the reading order can be very confusing. After much deliberation, I decided to start with Throne of Glass instead of starting with the prequel / novella – Assassin’s Blade [ which we will get into later ]. Overall, I think it was a good start into this nine book series. I can already tell I’m going to love the main character, Caleana. The only thing I didn’t care for was how the main character was portrayed. In this story, you are told about how she overcomes being a slave for a few years. She is depicted as rather weak & pitiful [ especially in the beginning ]. But I feel like as the character development progress & the story thickens, I will be so sucked into this story.

Exodus by Kate Stewart

Last month, I read the first book of the Ravenhood series – Flock & found it to be confusing & cryptic. It gives off Fifty Shades of Grey but with more guys & fast cars. The saving grace was the amount of romance & spice which was still evident in the second installment. It took me some time to really get into this book for whatever reason. I think I’ve been so engrossed with fantasy, that I just found this smutty romance to fall flat. It honestly took me until 200 pages in – to be interested. And although, I can finally say I understand the infamous quote, “we love rainy days, don’t we baby?” – it just left me sad. I doubt I will read the final book of this series because overall, I found the plot to be downright ridiculous. I feel like the only reason why people rave about this series is for the smut. This was a big example of, “ booktok made me read it.”

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

If you’ve been catching up with my reading wrap ups for a few months now, you know the Red Rising series has put me in a choke hold. I absolutely love this series & decided to jump into the next installment after the trilogy. Iron Gold takes place 10 years later as Darrow continues to lead the Solar Republic. Without giving too much away, I’d say I really enjoyed the multiple POV’s throughout this book. The first three books took the point of view of just Darrow & having multiple characters and storylines come together really kept me on my toes. I feel like I’m watching a movie when reading these books & highly recommend them to everyone if you are wanting a page turner with tons of twists and turns.

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

I was craving another thriller as we are getting closer to spooky season & I highly recommend with one as I give it a solid 5 stars! It takes a lot for me to give a thriller five stars because I tend to pick up on the twists early. But the way Feeney ends each chapter in a cliff hanger, I was hooked the entire time. Whenever I thought I was figuring out the twist, I kept getting stumped. I definitely want to check out more books by Alice Feeney including her newest release, Daisy Darker.

Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas

I don’t usually include books I don’t finish – but I got half way through this novella & decided to pick up on it later. If you are unfamiliar with the Throne of Glass series, Assassins Blade is a prequel of short stories about the main character Caleana. Although this information is good to know at some point, I felt like after reading Throne of Glass – I’d much rather continue with the main story [ or at least Crown of Midnight ]. I even read from some people on Reddit, that they didn’t even read this novella at all. So, since it was putting me in a reading slump, I decided to put it to the side & return to it later. It’s always a good reminder that DNFing a book is normal & sometimes we have to listen to our mood. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, so if you aren’t feeling a book, you are more than welcome to put it down.

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

I decided to close the month out by listening to Hopeless on audiobook. So, far I’ve read six CoHo books & am striving to get through most of them. This one is about a teenager named Sky who lives a rather secluded lifestyle away from technology & has been homeschooled her entire life. She also has a best friend named Six who teaches her the perks of lust vs. love. It’s her senior year, & she really wants to experience public school. She meets a guy named Dean Holder who has a rather mysterious past. This book went from a cringy insta love trope to very dark & sad. My one pet peeve with CoHo books is how over the top the plots can be. And overall, this is another depressing read from her. This is the first book of the Hopeless series. ( Hopeless, Finding Hope, Finding Cinderella, All Your Perfects & Finding Perfect).

In October, I plan to read quite a few thrillers & possibly more of the Throne of Glass series as well as the latest book from the Red Rising series. Let me know in the comments what you are looking forward to read this season. I’m always looking for more to add to my endless TBR.

-B

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