My favourite blog posts of October 2018!

Seriously, guys. Where are the months going? I feel like time is absolutely racing. But I say the same thing at the end of every month haha. So without further ado, here are some blog posts I’ve loved recently!


Reviews

Kristin reviewed The Oyster Thief and featured a guest post from the book’s author! This book wasn’t really on my radar but after reading Kristin’s review, it’s definitely something I’m interested in.

Ali reviewed I Am Legend, which I read and enjoyed last October. I really liked the format of this review!

Danielle reviewed The Demonologist, a book that I don’t see around very much! I’ve been interested in the careers of Ed and Lorraine Warren for a long time, since before I even watched The Conjuring, and I’d love to try this book at some point.

Lily wrote a wonderful review of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This is one of my all-time favourite books and it’s always nice to find someone else who loves it as much as I do.

Jo gave a glowing review to The Other Side of Lost, which I’m really happy about because I have this one to review next month!

Ngoza reviewed my favourite book of the month (if not the year), Muse of Nightmares! I just love how much this lived up to everyone’s expectations.

Cait absolutely killed it with her posts this month but I particularly enjoyed her mini reviews. It also made me feel so much better for wanting to reread books!

Kelly reviewed Dracula and convinced me that I absolutely have to get round to reading this Gothic classic!

Zezee wrote an insightful review of The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells and made me consider some things that I hadn’t thought of when I read it.

Marta reviewed The Land of Stone Flowers which I hadn’t heard of before but which sounds awesome!

Beth reviewed Frankenstein, which I have to admit I’m a little obsessed with right now! Beth’s blog was one of my favourite discoveries in the blogging community this month.

Nicole wrote a helpful review of The Ice Twins. This book has been on my shelf for years and I’ve been considering donating it to charity as I’m not sure I’ll ever get round to it; this review might have convinced me!

 

Discussions

Ashleigh talked about how things have changed for her over the last year, and how she noticed these changes by watching her old booktube videos. I did some similar self-reflection recently looking back at old photographs so I really connected with what Ashleigh said.

Callum wrote a great book to film comparison about Frankenstein. Callum and I both love Gothic fiction so I found this post really interesting.

Marie co-hosted the Shattering Stigmas event, which was absolutely amazing and raised some really great discussions. I loved every single post and think all of the contributors were so brave for sharing their stories.

Drew wrote a fantastic post in response to the negativity towards book bloggers that happened over on Twitter recently. This one is definitely worth a read.

The Orangutan Librarian returned from travelling (yay!) and raised a great discussion post about the need for darkness in books.

 

Other fun posts

My bestie Mia wrote some tips on how to ‘cosify’ your bookstagram feed! Mia’s pictures are always gorgeous and these tips are really accessible.

Jenna created her own book tag, based on a love of words! I’m looking forward to doing this one.

Clara listed some great tips for coping with a bad day – I think we could all do with keeping these to hand!

Samantha wrote a list of tips for enjoying books on a budget. This is super relevant for me right now as I’ve just started studying again, so as well as my mortgage I’ve now got a diploma to pay for! I’ll definitely have to take some of this advice on board.

Ayunda recommended 10 books to try this Autumn! I love a good list of recommendations and this one was great.

Swetlana wrote an interesting post about annotating books. This is something I’ve always been curious about.

Melanie wrote some great recommendation posts this month; I particularly loved this list of her favourite ghostie books!

 

So those are some posts I’ve loved this October! I wish I could feature everyone – just know that I love you all 😉 

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‘Sawkill Girls’ spoiler-free review!

Hello friends! Well, it’s my last spooky review of the Halloween season! I’m hugely grateful to Harper360YA for sending me a copy of Sawkill Girls to review – I’d heard such great things about it and was really excited to read it!


What the book is about…

Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.


What I thought of it…

This was such a strange little story! But I found it so compelling and couldn’t stop thinking about it whenever I wasn’t reading.

The multiple perspectives were all great – though I didn’t necessarily like all three girls, I needed to know what was going on with them. The author really did a good job of showing the rawness of the girls’ grief and the struggles they were facing. And the character development was truly excellent for all of them.

I also liked the inclusion of a perspective from the island itself; I thought this was such a unique thing to include and it really added something extra to the story.

Sawkill Girls was actually very dark at times. There were some great creepy moments which made this a perfect October read, yet there was also some really gorgeous descriptive writing which I loved.

I also have to mention the rep, which was unbelievably awesome. We had all sorts of rep in here but what I particularly liked was the representation of asexuality which I feel we don’t see very often. Obviously, it is not my experience but I feel that it was sensitively done and I feel like this book will be so helpful to readers dealing with similar feelings.

And the feminism! It was practically dripping off the pages. I loved all the female positivity and the notion of girls helping each other up instead of knocking one another down! (I know, it’s practically unheard of.)

I very nearly gave this a 5-star rating but the pacing went a bit weird in the middle and it also felt very bleak at times. But I’d still recommend this one for a creepy and unusual read!

 

sawkill girls

What spooky books have you been reading this month? Have you ever read any books with a unique perspective? Leave me a comment below! x

The ‘Halloween Creatures’ Tag!

Hey everyone! Well, I genuinely can’t believe that October is nearly over. This has been such a crazy busy month and I feel like that’s hindered my Halloween spirit somewhat. But I decided to make the effort to get this post up before the month was over – I couldn’t let October pass without doing at least one themed tag! 😉

This tag was created by Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward!


Witch: A Magical Character/Book

language of thorns.jpg

This fairytale collection was EVERYTHING ❤

 

Werewolf: The Perfect Book to Read at Night

the night circus

Since all the magic of this book happens at nighttime, there’s no better time to read it! I actually stayed up most of the night to finish this one and I’m sorely in need of a reread.

 

Frankenstein: A Book That Truly Shocked You

thunderhead

It takes a lot for a book to shock me but the ending of this one was brutal! Also, I feel like this prompt should say ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ rather than just ‘Frankenstein’ but I’m not getting into that whole debate right now 😉

 

The Devil: A Dark, Evil Character

wolf

You can’t get much worse than Hitler!

 

Grim Reaper: A Character That Should Never Have Died

harry potter and the deathly hallows

There were so many innocent lives lost in this book. Still not over it.

 

Zombie: A Book That Made You ‘Hungry’ For More

a dance with dragons

Will we ever see The Winds of Winter?!

 

Gargoyle: A Character You Would Protect At All Costs

bone gap

Finn, my precious boy.

 

Vampire: A Book That Sucked the Life Out of You

the castle of otranto.jpg

It took me over a week to read this book that was just over 100 pages! Soul-destroying.

 

Ghost: A Book That Still Haunts You

eleven

Another book that I need to reread soon. It was beautiful and has never left me.

 

Demon: A Book That Really Scared You

the book of the unnamed midwife

I hope we never encounter a future like the one portrayed in this book.

 

Skeleton: A Character You Have a Bone to Pick With

the forgotten guide to happiness

Lana, girl. What were you thinking?!

 

Mummy: A Book You Would Preserve Throughout Time

book thief

Just like Liesel herself, I’d have to save this book from destruction. It’s a classic in the making.

 

Creepy Doll: A Cover Too Scary to Look At

I will draw your attention to Melanie’s post because she picked the best answer for this question! I have an eye phobia so I had to totally skim past her choice and I can’t even include it in my post! *shudders*

 

The Monster Mash: It’s fun to be with friends on Halloween! Tag your friends!

I’m not going to tag anyone individually because I love you all and consider everyone in this community a friend! But feel free to play along with this one, or link me up to your posts if you’ve already done this tag!

i love you rocky horror picture show.gif

 

What do you all think of my answers? Which books have shocked you? Which ones would you preserve throughout time? x

‘Muse of Nightmares’ spoiler-free review!

Hey everyone! I don’t usually write reviews for sequels but I’m pretty sure most people are at least a little interested in this one 😉 As my most anticipated release of 2018, Muse of Nightmares had some huge expectations to live up to – and wow, did it deliver! I mean, I was fairly sure before I even got it that it would probably make my favourites of 2018 list – and I can confirm that it most certainly will!

Before we continue, I absolutely promise that my review will feature no spoilers at all for either Muse of Nightmares or Strange the Dreamer, but the below synopsis is a little spoiler-y for the first book so please use caution and skip ahead to my thoughts if you want!

And if anyone is interested, you can read my (again, spoiler-free) review for the first book here 🙂


What the book was about…

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice–save the woman he loves, or everyone else?–while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.


What I thought of it…

This was an absolute joy to read. This is the kind of book that reminds me why I love reading so much. It completely transported me; I lost all sense of time while reading and just soaked up every gorgeous word.

Laini’s writing is the most stunning I’ve ever come across. There were sentences in this book that took my breath away; how anyone can create something so beautiful from combinations of the same 26 letters we all use astounds me. I could see everything playing out so vividly in my head – I would say I want them to make these books into movies but they would never be able to capture the exquisiteness of it all.

The character development in this book is absolutely phenomenal and if I thought I loved these characters in Strange the Dreamer, I have now adopted every one of them as family. They have my whole heart. I felt every emotion for them. I loved the way Laini explained their motivations and made even the ‘villains’ seem so human and relatable. That destructive hatred and need for vengeance has never been so understandable as it is here.

Muse of Nightmares was so satisfying in how it explained everything and answered the questions raised by the first book. The twists and turns made for an exhilarating ride. I also really love that, even though things were nicely tied up, it wasn’t too neat and the ending was left a little open. I’d love to see Laini write more books set in this world.

Oh, and the little Daughter of Smoke and Bone Easter egg was a delight. I loved it.

This was honestly one of the best books I’ve read in my life and that is not an exaggeration. I need more books set in this crazy wonderful world. Laini Taylor has topped my favourite authors list and I will buy anything she writes from now on, without even reading the blurb.

 

muse of nightmares

Ok, please tell me you’ve read this one! I need you all to flail with me in the comments section! x

‘Small Spaces’ spoiler-free review!

“Wherever you go in this big, gorgeous, hideous world, there is a ghost story waiting for you.”

~ Katherine Arden, Small Spaces ~

Guys, I have a new favourite. When I heard that Katherine Arden, bestselling author of the fabulous The Bear and the Nightingale was making her middle grade debut, I was immediately interested. I have to admit that some of the themes mentioned in the blurb concerned me a little (ie. the idea of grief/loss) but I continued to hear great things and knew that I wanted to try this book for myself even if it broke me. And I’m so glad I picked it up because I absolutely adored it.

Before I tell you why, here’s the blurb for you to read for yourselves…

 

What the book is about…

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister spectre who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins…

 

What I thought of it…

Guys. This was seriously fantastic. It might be aimed at younger readers but it is so intelligently crafted and might just be my new favourite middle grade.

Ollie is a wonderful protagonist, with a really well-developed personality. From the very first paragraph and the line “you don’t waste October sunshine”, I felt a connection with her. She went on to prove herself as my spirit animal with her love of books and reading. But I also connected with her on a deeper level, due to the loss she has suffered and the grief she is going through. My heart ached for her.

The other characters were also fabulous. I loved Ollie’s dad, who is this awesome crafty guy that bakes way more food than they can ever eat and teaches Ollie to make things and tells bad jokes and just GENUINELY CARES. They live in this funky house called The Egg where all the rooms are painted bright colours and I just want that to be my life, ok?

Then we get Coco. While I loved Ollie’s story arc, I think the author really excelled herself with Coco’s. It broke my heart to see everything that was thrown at her in the beginning but I loved seeing her come into her own and shine.

As for the story, I have already mentioned that it is a fantastic, realistic portrayal of childhood grief with a superb resolution. But it was also genuinely creepy! I know this is a middle grade but I actually felt freaked out by some scenes! I will never look at a scarecrow the same way again. There is a sense of tension that pervades every page; Arden builds this tension masterfully and it never feels forced or clichéd.

Overall, I just really loved this. The characters, the plot, the way it was written were all outstanding and I would definitely recommend fitting this in before October ends if you can!

 

small spaces katherine arden

Has anyone else read this one? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave me a comment below and let’s chat 🙂 x

The ‘High School Stereotypes’ Book Tag!

Hello lovely people 🙂 This felt like an appropriate tag for today because I’m going back to school! Well university hehe. Tomorrow, I will be starting my diploma and embarking on the final step of my journey to becoming a certified counsellor! I’m excited 😀

This tag was created by the lovely Kelly @ Another Book in the Wall. I’m sure you’re all following her already but if not, go check out her gorgeous blog!


The Mean Girl – A book you can’t help but rant about

the surface breaks

The Surface Breaks. This book frustrated me from beginning to end.

 

The Bro – your favourite sidekick

Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Vira from Summer of Salt. Both fabulous ladies.

 

The Dumb Jock – A book whose cover is better than its story

a jigsaw of fire and stars

Sadly, I didn’t love A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars as much as I wanted to.

 

The Loner – A standalone you love

 

There are so many more I could have picked. I love a standalone!

 

The Overachiever – A series that should have ended after book one

twilight

Sorry, Twilight fans. The first book was bad enough but then it just got more angsty and weird with each new instalment!

 

The Class Clown – A book that makes you laugh

sweet pea

Sweet Pea was hilarious!

 

The Outcast – A unique fictional world you’d want to visit

Do answers other than Hogwarts and Middle Earth even count?!

 

The Nerd – An author with the best writing

Laini, my queen.

 

The Prom Queen – An over-hyped book

the catcher in the rye

I just don’t understand the love for it?

 

The Drama Kids – A protagonist who is melodramatic

wuthering heights

You can’t get more melodramatic than Cathy!

 

The Teacher’s Pet – Favourite animal sidekick

knife of never letting go

MANCHEE.

 

The Hipsters – A book you love that isn’t in your comfort zone

paradise lost

You can’t get much further out of the comfort zone than epic poetry but there’s just something about Paradise Lost that I love. Dore’s stunning illustrations also help.

 

And there you have it! Do we have any favourites in common? I’d love to discuss these books with you! Leave me a comment below 🙂 x

Mini reviews: Halloween edition! City of Ghosts, The Witches, & The Halloween Tree

Hi friends! I have some mini reviews for you today, of the Halloween variety!

 

City of Ghosts

This was an enjoyably spooky middle-grade from Victoria Schwab. I did have some issues with it but I feel it’s important to remember the target age of this book and make allowances for that – we can’t expect the same kind of development we would get from an adult read.

I’ll get my issues out of the way so I can end on a positive. I did feel like there was a lot of spoon-feeding here; while it was nice that the author explained what British words meant for her American readers, as a Brit myself I already knew all of these things. I found it a little frustrating that I kept being pulled out of the story to be told the difference between ‘fries’ and ‘chips’ or that a ‘torch’ is the same thing as a ‘flashlight’. I did also find that the Harry Potter references, while cool at first, got a little bit waring.

However! I did have fun with this. It’s an incredibly fast-paced read and Schwab created some nice creepy vibes. I loved the incorporation of the city’s history/folklore – this book really is a love letter to Edinburgh. And I really liked Cassidy’s parents; they brought to mind Ed and Lorraine Warren, and I hope we get to see more of them in future books.

Overall, if you can cut it a little slack and forgive it its flaws, this makes for a fun little seasonal read. 3.5 stars.

city of ghosts

 

The Witches

I never read this particular Roald Dahl book as a child (because the concept terrified me and friends confirmed they were scared by it). But it’s fantastic. The little boy narrating the story is a joy, as is his feisty grandmamma. I loved them both. They have such a great outlook on life (I really enjoyed the messages in this book!)

There are some genuinely horrific descriptions in this book and it’s no wonder that children everywhere are scared of Dahl’s vision of witches. Even reading it as an adult, I was a bit freaked out!

I really liked that the story moved between Norway and Bournemouth, and I just found the whole thing to be a brilliant, fun journey. 5 stars!

the witches.jpg

 

The Halloween Tree

This was a really fun story! I loved the small-town, coming-of-age vibes (it reminded me of something like Stand By Me).

The story was a fun journey through the origins of Halloween in different countries, making it informative as well as enjoyable! There were also some great creepy moments. I only wish we could have spent longer in each location as it felt slightly rushed at times – I wanted more! I would have loved a full-length novel based on this concept.

All in all though, another successful experience with Bradbury. 4 stars.

the halloween tree.jpg

 

Have you read any of these? What seasonal books are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments! x

‘The Black Prince’ spoiler-free review!

Hey everyone! Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Black Prince which was kindly sent to me by Anne Cater/Random Things Tours (thank you!)

 

Before I tell you what I thought of the book, check out the synopsis!

 

What the book is about…

‘I’m working on a novel intended to express the feel of England in Edward III’s time… The fourteenth century of my novel will be mainly evoked in terms of smell and visceral feelings, and it will carry an undertone of general disgust rather than hey-nonny nostalgia’ – Anthony Burgess, Paris Review, 1973

The Black Prince is a brutal historical tale of chivalry, religious belief, obsession, siege and bloody warfare.

From disorientating depictions of medieval battles to court intrigues and betrayals, the
campaigns of Edward, the Black Prince, are brought to vivid life by an author in complete control of the novel as a way of making us look at history with fresh eyes, all while staying true to the linguistic pyrotechnics and narrative verve of Burgess’s best work.

 

What I thought of it…

Anthony Burgess said that he wanted to create a visceral reading experience. I would say that he and Adam Roberts absolutely succeeded. There was definitely no sugar-coating in this book! I do have to say that the battle scenes felt like a little much at times. I understand that wars are gruesome and I am by no means squeamish but some of the graphic detail here was too much even for me. So yes, very visceral. However, if you like your historical fiction on the gory side, this is definitely a book for you!

Despite all the blood and guts, there was actually some really lovely writing in parts. I haven’t read A Clockwork Orange but I’m aware that Anthony Burgess had a very distinctive writing style and I would say that Adam Roberts definitely stayed true to it in this extension of Burgess’ original script, while also adding his own stamp.

The style is a little difficult to get used to at first, feeling quite disjointed with its many sections. I can only surmise that this is due to the amalgamation of the two different authorial styles? However, I did quickly come to enjoy it and found it fascinating to see a period in history through the multiple perspectives used. The inclusion of newspaper headlines, songs and prophecy-style sections made for a nice framing technique; it was interesting to see things through the eyes of royals, soldiers and common people alike.

This book provided a great way to learn more about a period in history of which my prior knowledge was non-existent. I would actually enjoy reading about other historical events in this style; the book felt almost like non-fiction but nowhere near as dry. The Black Prince is a very informative read (if a little too cerebral for me at times) and I’m sure it will satisfy those interested in royal history.

the black prince.jpg

 

Thank you again to the publishers for sending me a copy of this book! Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour 🙂

Black Prince Blog Tour poster

5 reasons to read Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’

Hey lovelies! I’m back with another instalment of my ‘5 reasons to read’ series, this time with the seasonally appropriate Frankenstein! I have read this book multiple times; it is one of my favourite classics and its Gothic nature makes it a perfect Autumn read.

[If anyone is interested, the lovely Johann is actually hosting a Frankenstein readalong this month – maybe my 5 reasons can convince you to join in!]

 

It gave rise to science fiction as we know it

Many people argue that this is the first true science fiction novel. And I am more than happy for it to hold that title. Mary Shelley incorporated the real life development of electricity into her story and lent a factual edge to her nightmare concept. The idea of reanimating a corpse is terrifyingly plausible and makes Frankenstein truly haunting. And if you call yourself any kind of sci-fi fan, then this one is a must-read.

 

It has aged incredibly well

Mary Shelley was so ahead of her time and managed to write a compelling story that also commented on social changes that were occurring. Yet even though we have moved on a lot from those times, the themes Shelley presented still resonate today. The idea of ‘outsiders’, people who look different from ourselves or who cannot speak English, is unfortunately still an issue in many places in contemporary society, and, sadly, it is all too possible to see links between the monster’s experience and that of immigrants today.

 

It presents us with morally grey characters

Nobody in this book is purely good or evil. I love that. Victor Frankenstein, the supposedly good son and brother studying at a prestigious university makes some seriously questionable moral decisions. And the monster himself is the perfect vessel for exploring the nature/nurture debate. I, personally, believe he is not ‘born’ inherently evil; his actions result from the treatment he receives from others. Not that I am condoning his behaviour, obviously, but it makes me genuinely sad that he is treated so abhorrently based on his outward appearance. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that these complex characters are the type that I love reading about.

 

The writing is incredible

Many classics can feel very dry and difficult to get through but Frankenstein is not one of them, in my opinion. I love the flow of Mary Shelley’s writing and I have so many wonderful quotes flagged. And the fact that she wrote it when she was just a teenager fills me with awe.

 

It’s so much better than any of its movie adaptations

I am one of those bookworms who will almost never enjoy an adaptation as much as the book itself. It’s impossible to get all the detail of a book into a movie or even a tv series and, in this way, subtle nuances are lost. I believe the phrase “the book is better” can never be more applicable than it is here. There have been countless adaptations of Frankenstein and they always seem to be so dodgy and melodramatic, never capturing the intelligence or beauty of Shelley’s novel. Do yourself a favour and just read the book instead.

 

5 reasons to read mary shelleys frankenstein

I know Frankenstein is quite a divisive book so I want to chat with you about it! Do you love it or loathe it? Do you see the creature as inherently evil? Leave me a comment and let’s discuss! x

September Wrap-Up! (In which I alternate between historical fiction and terrifying visions of the future)

I cannot actually believe it is October. Where has this year gone?

I read 13 books in September (unlucky for some) and really enjoyed all of them which is such a rare experience for me! Seriously, I did not rate anything under 3.5 stars this month (and that was only one book, everything else was a solid 4 or higher!)

 

Review books/Books I was sent

 

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech

I was delighted to take part in the blog tour for this book at the start of the month. I went into it blind and was really pleasantly surprised. My full spoiler-free review of this poignant story can be found here.

 

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

With a 4.5 star rating, I would say this was my favourite read of the month. Reminscent of Station Eleven, it paints a haunting picture of a future where people lose their shadows and subsequently their memories. I definitely recommend it. Check out my full thoughts here!

 

Her Hidden Life by V. S. Alexander

This was a fascinating historical fiction about a woman who tasted Hitler’s food for poisons! I found the narrative voice very compelling, even (or maybe especially) when the story took a darker turn. Here is my full, spoiler-free review.

 

Books from my TBR

 

City of Ghosts by V. E. Schwab

I loved Schwab’s Monsters of Verity duology but this is my first time trying her middle-grade stuff. I did have some issues with it but, overall, it was an entertaining read with some nice Scottish history/legend thrown in.

 

And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

This upside-down retelling of Moby Dick was a strange little read but one which raised some really interesting moral questions. And the artwork was absolutely stunning.

 

The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor

I won this book earlier in the year from the lovely Tina and I finally got round to reading it! I really enjoyed it; I found the characters endearing and loved the way past and present tied together.

 

The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron

This was my book club’s pick for the month, a historical fiction set in 1920s America in the world of the Ringling Brothers’ circus. I love circus books and this one was no exception. You can find my full thoughts here.

 

 

The Witches by Roald Dahl

Of course I had to celebrate Roald Dahl day! I never read The Witches as a child but I decided to grab it this month for a fun and quick read. And I believe I was totally justified in avoiding it as a kid because it would have terrified me!

 

Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

I’m finally getting back to reading Pratchett! And this reminded me how much I enjoy his writing. This one was a satire of old Hollywood and all the movie references really made me giggle.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Yes, I finally did it. After this sat on my TBR for years, I finally committed to seeing what all the hype was about. I can’t call it a new favourite because it really did make me uncomfortable but it made me think a lot and I’m glad to have read it.

 

Eclairs for Tea and other stories by Julie Blake

I’m friends with Julia on Instagram and have been meaning to read one of her books for a while now. I decided to start with this collection of short stories to get a feel for her writing and I wasn’t disappointed! There is something for everyone in this collection. Look out for my review coming soon!

 

Rereads

 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

I reread this book for the September BookBum theme – ‘Back to School’. It was great to go back with a less critical eye and I was pleased to discover that I still loved the book. For five reasons why you should read it (if you haven’t already), click here.

 

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

During a bout of insomnia, I decided to pick up this old favourite. I’ve been wary of rereading it, in case I didn’t love it as much the second time around, but I needn’t have worried. This dark and twisted reimagining of classic fairytales is a wonderful read.

 

 

Stats

Total pages: 4231

Average pages per day: 141

Longest book: The Book of M (496 pages)

Shortest book: And The Ocean Was Our Sky (160 pages)

Favourite read of the month: The Book of M

Biggest disappointment of the month: I wasn’t really disappointed by anything this month!

Male authors: 5

Female authors: 8

Books read towards Pop Sugar Reading Challenge: 4

 

september 2018 reading wrapup paperbackpiano.jpg

And there we have it, another month gone! I hope you all had a fantastic reading month and that you all have some spooky reads planned for this month! Tell me your favourite book of September or something you can’t wait to read in October? x