Lifestyle

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! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

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. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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. ⭐️⭐️

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. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️👏🏻

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 other coho fans & I totally agree the twist with Atlas was very profound – especially the part where they state the title “it starts with us” IYKYK. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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. 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

Uncategorized

Monthly Reading Wrap Up: What I Read in May

May called for tons of traveling for both our wedding & honeymoon which in turn, allowed me to have tons of reading time [ because reading on planes & in airports just hits different]. This month especially, I branched out to new genres & even started a much hyped fantasy series. Let me know if you have read any of these listed & whether you liked them or not.

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while now, but when I saw they were making it into a motion picture, I figured I should read the book first. I love the setting of this book & the concept but I’ll be honest, it wasn’t a top tier read for me. I absolutely loved the dynamic between Kya & Tate as well as the story of her childhood & growing up. I think for me, the beginning was a very slow burn & didn’t get going until 100 pages in. But overall I give it a solid 3.5 stars & I feel like as a movie, it will be very good.

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

This was one of those reads where, if it hadn’t of been free on the book app, I don’t think I would have chosen to read it. But a lot of people rave about the off campus series & so I decided to see what the hype was all about. It definitely wasn’t one of those books with a lot of depth to it but it kept my attention in a “college drama & smut sort of way.” It’s tough to say if I’ll ever get around to read the entire series, but it was a great option if you are looking for a quick & easy read in between those more lengthy favorites.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

TJR is probably one of my favorite authors at the moment. Her writing & creativity is phenomenal & I honestly felt like I was reading about a REAL band in the 70’s. This is an easy read for it’s dialogue written style. It realistically tells the struggles of rock & roll, drug use, alcohol abuse & the tension that builds among bandmates. I also really enjoyed the stylistic twist at the end. I did find this novel to be sad a times & is filled with triggers [ so check the warnings]. But I truly believe TJR has a way of telling a story to really make the point of such struggles known to the world. I highly recommend it.

The UnHoneymooners by Christina Lauren

This was such a fun light read for my honeymoon travels. The story is based in Maui [ which is the main reason I decided to read it this month] & it’s an enemies to lovers trope of them being forced to go on a trip to Maui [ her sister’s honeymoon] after her sister & entire wedding guests get food poisoning besides her & her enemy, Ethan. I definitely recommend this one for a summer read & can’t wait to read more from this author, including her ever so popular book, “Love & Other Words”.

A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas Book #1

We are ending off the month with a strong one. I finally decided to start the ever so popular fantasy series ACOTR. When I say I can already tell I’m going to love a series after reading simply the first chapter, you KNOW it’s going to be good! Please, no spoilers. I haven’t felt this drawn to a story since highschool & the Twilight series. At first, I was hesitant to read this series because it seemed too YA for my taste. But it definetely fits closer to an adult audience than I realized. I felt like I was watching a movie, the story was so good! I’m sure they plan to make this series into a Netflix series of some kind in the future. Or rather, I seriously hope they do! I can’t wait to get to the second book & read the entire series.

What books should I add to my June TBR?

-B