Wednesday, 1 November 2017

A Wrap Up: October 2017

Hi, and thanks for stopping by!

This is my monthly TBR - this time it's all the books I read during the month of October!! I'm back to uni and reading about 5 or 6 heavy essays of literary theory a week (often on top of novels, letters and other things) so my reading-for-fun has become really important down-time once again for me!! I hope you enjoy reading - let me know in the comments section if you've read any of these books and what you thought of them!! Let's get started.

e.k. johnston’s a thousand nights
 2.5 stars


This book was really different to what I expected, based on its blurb – I thought the main part of the story would be made up of cultural/”mythical” stories, but actually they were barely touched on. The writing style itself was absolutely beautiful, but in places I felt I was getting lost in that lyrical stuff and the plot was lacking because of it, it seemed. Pretty disappointed by this one.

Victoria Aveyard’s glass sword
4 stars


Yet again, I really enjoyed this book (I say yet again, because I loved Red Queen, despite all the bad reviews I’ve read). I think the first book was slightly better than this one, just because in places this felt a little messy and complicated, particularly because of all the jumping (sometimes literally!) from place to place. But, regardless, I still really enjoyed it – I have such a connection to this set of characters, for some reason, and I can’t wait to read the third book.

Holly smale’s all that glitters
3.5 stars


This was every bit as fun as I expected, having read the previous three books in the Geek Girl series. It was interesting to see so much less of the modelling side of Harriet’s life and more of her experiences at school/home in England. Nick was lacking here, too, which I couldn’t quite decide how I felt about. I definitely missed having Wilbur as an active character, and I also think there could’ve been more of Harriet’s hilarious parents, too.

Anna godbersen’s bright young things
  3 stars

This book had all the glamour and fun of the 1920’s, which I love as a time period to read about, but it was pretty frivolous and a tad superficial – which is fine, I love a bit of that in fiction. It really isn’t comparable to the melancholy of The Great Gatsby, but fun nonetheless. I’d love some recommendations for books set in this time period (I’ve already read, and enjoyed, Rules of Civility).

Melissa de la cruz’s masquerade
 2.5 stars


I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first one; I think because most of the world-building was done then, whereas this book was mainly name-dropping designer labels and bitchiness! A shame, because the last 20/30 pages or so were a lot better, and the final page left a great cliff-hanger. I will probably read the next one if I find it somewhere for a bargain price, but otherwise, I’m not too bothered.

Alex bell’s frozen charlotte
3.5 stars

This definitely achieved its aim in seriously creeping me out!! I preferred the first half of the story (this isn’t unusual for me in this sort of book, because I often find the build-up of suspense much more impactful than the bigger “twists” – I’m the same with horror films). Actually, towards the end, things started to get ever so slightly silly, in my opinion. Overall, I did really enjoy this, though – the epilogue gave me goose-bumps! I’d definitely pick up the sequel if/when I see it.

Lucy clarke’s a single breath
4 stars

After reading The Blue and giving it 5 stars, I was really looking forward to A Single Breath and Lucy Clarke didn’t let me down. Lucy does such a great job at writing thrillers that don’t resort to horror tactics/clich├ęs – the simplicity of her writing is really genius. The second half of the book was slightly slower in my opinion, until the two extra twists. Overall, really great, and I can’t wait to read the rest of her books, which are waiting on my bookshelf!

Julie heaberlin’s black eyed susans
3.5 stars

This thriller actually really surprised me - it wasn't as dark as I had expected it to be, and it had such a focus on human nature, with some great and really in-depth characterisation. This was a really pleasant surprise actually, as a lot of adult fiction thrillers seem to just chuck a few stock characters in amongst some cliche tropes and leave it at that. Wasn't overly keen on the eventual revelation, it felt a little coincidental to me. I'd definitely be interested in reading more from this author in the future.

Holly Bourne's It Only Happens in the Movies
5 stars

I haven't read any Holly Bourne since the beginning of the year, and I didn't realise how much I had missed her writing until I read this. I literally sat down and read it in one single sitting and loved every single page of it. Audrey was another genius female protagonist from Holly Bourne and Harry was a really, really interesting love interest - very charming, very flawed. The ending was so perfectly written, given the theme of the novel. I ADORED THIS. You absolutely must read it.    


Katlyn duncan’s six little secrets
3 stars

This book is about six teenagers who are all in detention together when they start receiving  anonymous messages, threatening to reveal their darkest secrets if they don't complete embarrassing/dangerous tasks. This book gave me One of Us is Lying vibes (although nobody dies, it's much shorter and set all in the detention room) and 13 Reasons Why vibes, too (because each person gets picked off one by one). I felt it was a little anti-climactic in terms of revealing the culprit, but the twist with Zoe's storyline was much better.

Holly bourne’s soulmates
3.5 stars

I also decided, having just read It Only Happens in the Movies, to get around to Holly Bourne's first book - it's the only one I hadn't read, and I wanted to get to it before the end of 2017. It was probably my least favourite of all of Holly's work, but I still really enjoyed it. It was a really cool, unique concept - I think you'd really enjoy it if you're a big fan of contemporary with some magical/fantasy elements. 

Angie langley’s Jennifer brown’s journey
3 stars

I was so forunate to receive this book from the lovely author herself, so thank you so much Angie! This was an adult contemporary and read like a rom-com, essentially - it was so much fun and I was constantly smiling throughout. It gave me major Bridget Jones vibes, which Angie told me was exactly what she was going for - so a complete success!! For me, my favourite books are always a little darker/grittier, so that's really what stopped me from giving a slightly higher rating.

Lynn weingarten’s bad girls with perfect faces
4 stars

I received an arc of this book through the publishers on NetGalley, so thank you so much to Egmont Publishing. I previously read Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls and thought it was really dark and messed up but very strong and lyrical, and also gave it four stars. This was similar. Definitely not light-hearted contemporary, but very suspenseful. The explanation of what had really been happening throughout was incredibly smart and unexpected - I loved it.

Robyn harding’s the party
3.5 stars

This book specifically has a recommendation on the front that it is perfect for "fans of Big Little Lies" and I can see why they've done that (other than obviously to try and get some Liane Moriarty readers!) because it's a similar short of domestic mystery, with flashbacks and different perspectives, set in an affluent yet deeply troubled community. I did really enjoy this story, but it was a lot darker and far less funny than Liane Moriarty, and it wasn't quite the same standard overall, in my opinion.

Melissa de la cruz’s someone to love
2 stars

Once again I received this through NetGalley, so thanks to HQ. Unfortunately, I really didn't get along with this story at all. The one main plus was the representation of mental health - an interesting depiction of bulimia. Liv herself as a protagonist was a little bland to me, but Zack as a love interest was the real issue; he had ZERO charisma, yet he's presented to be this dreamboat. Then he starts slut shaming and pushing Liv into sex and that's just a huge no from me. Overall, a disappointment.

Katharine mcgee’s the dazzling heights
2.5 stars

While I didn't have any real issues with this book, I just really believe that The Thousandth Floor would have been better off as a standalone novel, because this book was incredibly similar to the first - it almost felt like it was written for the sake of it, unfortunately! I appreciate that Calliope was introduced to be somebody new, but she was just a very 2D character to me who was super easy to hate! 

Adam silvera’s they both die at the end
4.5 stars

I love Adam Silvera's writing so much - it's emotive, funny and incredibly natural. The concept at the heart of this novel is really unique and well explained - not vague but not overcomplicated, either. The last 50 pages or so were incredibly moving. Adam Silvera is definitely an auto-read author for me, I love his work and can't wait to read more of it.

Joanne m. harris’s a pocketful of crows
3 stars
This book was incredibly lyrical – really stunning to read, and clearly so much love and work went into writing this. The story sort of felt like something out of mythology or folklore to me, which I think (hope!) was the intention. It vaguely reminded me of Heartless in places, in regards to how a broken heart can change someone so drastically. Thank you so much to Orion Books for sending me this book – I’m super grateful!!

Jodi picoult’s salem falls
4.5 stars
This book was so cleverly written, a complete work of art. I cannot even imagine how much work, research, planning etc. goes into Jodi Picoult's writing process, because this was just so incredibly complex and detailed. The court room chapters were my favourite. That twist on the very last paragraph of the very last page gave me chills - I did have my suspicions regarding it earlier on in the book, but it still had the desired effect on me regardless. I also loved Jordan's character, he really made me smile.

m.a. bennett’s s.t.a.g.s.
3.5 stars

This book was a great creepy read for Halloween month. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to, but because I DESPISE animal hunting in all of its forms, the stag scene in particular was really unpleasant for me to read and I skimmed it as much as I could. This book was pretty frightening, actually - the terrifying potential of privilege that goes unmeasured.
    

Liv constantine’s the last mrs parrish
2.5 stars

Once again, I received this from the publishers, through NetGalley, so thank you to them for their generosity!! This thriller took a really dark turn at around halfway through, and it all got a bit too much for me - I started to lose enjoyment, which is after all, the point of reading! I did like the twist that was revealed in Daphne's perspective, but overall, not a major success for me.


Jodi picoult’s nineteen minutes
4 stars

Wow, Jodi Picoult's books are so, so impactful. They have all been so topical and sensitively handled and well researched (those that I have read thus far). And every time I finish one, it makes me so eager to start another of her wonderful stories. This book was incredibly difficult - school shootings are one of the most tragic events possible, yet the bullying detailed in this book is also completely heartbreaking and very harrowing to read. Real torn sympathies. Great twist at the end.


That's it then!! Is it just me or did that feel like WAY more books than usual?!?! Hopefully November is just as successful of a month. The best book of October has to be Holly Bourne's It Only Happens in the Movies, but a special shout out is also due to Jodi Picoult. 

Thanks for reading!! What was your favourite book of this Halloween month? And your least favourite? Let me know in the comments section down below!

Till next time

Katie










4 comments:

  1. Schoolwork sucks, but it looks like you got a lot of reading done. Have a great November!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Uni work - even worse!! Thank you, you too! X

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  2. Wow, looks like you got a TON read in October. Some good, some not-so-good. BTW, when I read Masquerade years ago, the premise was so cool, but I felt like the book was a let down. Lots of world building, very little action or excitement. :)

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    1. I did, somehow!! Yeah, I completely agree with you - it's a shame, because it does have great potential I think! Thanks so much for commenting x

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