Hi everyone! Can you guys believe October has passed already? Because I can’t. It feels like I’ve only just written my September Wrap Up, yet here I am, reflecting on this month’s reads. In October, I had a pretty constant reading cycle without slumps and was therefore able to exceed September’s reading amount of 6 books. So, I consider this quite a good reading month for me. Additionally, I made good on my vow to myself to read more diversely in October, because I mostly hang out in my fantasy corner and get incredibly lazy and far too comfortable. From the fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary genre, I read two of each. And so, I present to you my October Wrap Up in chronological order.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: It goes without saying that Crooked Kingdom was one of my most anticipated releases of 2016. I cannot say I was disappointed, as the book delivers a suspenseful and action-packed sequel like I hoped it would and I was, of course, delighted to be back in the Grisha world and reuinted with the Dregs. And the ships, people, THE SHIPS. Buuut I cannot ignore some of the issues I experienced with Crooked Kingdom. Situations were too easily resolved and little explanations were provided and, overall, the second book just didn’t perform as well as the first. I can still highly recommend this duology, though. 4 stars.
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: I’ve been on the fence about reading this one ever since it was published because I’m always scared the injustice and cruelty faced by homosexual teenagers will drive me mad with anger. This one didn’t. Albertalli cleverly wrapped a serious topic in a light and funny coating – with a high dose of dry humour, friendship, and romance. I blew through Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda in a couple of hours and giggled, laughed, and swooned on multiple occasions. And I did not find out who Blue was, which also kept the mystery aspect pretty interesting. Recommended! 4 stars.
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa: I had heard many good things about this paranormal series written by Kagawa, and though I enjoyed the book as a whole, it didn’t have enough substance for my taste. Therefore, I’d classify The Immortal Rules as a guilty pleasure read among my books. Kagawa operates with vampire clichés and young adult fiction tropes, introducing nothing new to the genre. Nevertheless, the plot picked up speed and suspense, and the storyline of the Katana-wielding Asian vampire kept me hooked until the very end, which saved the rating and my opinion of this book. 3 stars.
One by Sarah Crossan: This contemporary novel broke me. It has been a long time since my emotions were last so over the place as with this book. Written in verse, One tells the heartbreaking tale of an unusual sisterhood, family struggles, highschool experiences, and everything inbetween from the viewpoint of one of the conjoined twins. Crossan’s novel is authentic, touching, and as extraordinary as the medical condition itself. Keep tissues nearby. 4 stars.
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning: This was my biggest disappointment of October and perhaps even the previous months. Everyone and their grandmother had loved Darkfever, so I thought I would at least enjoy this one as a guilty pleasure read in the worst case. Well, it was way worse. If a sunny blonde cliché heroine is more interested in what colour nail polish she should paint her nails or how to best describe the sensual lips of an arrogant jerk than stabby-stabbing some creepy faeries, then I’m out the door. No regrets, except ever buying the book in the first place, which is actually a shame because I adore Celtic mythology, but this book just wasn’t a good enough wrapping for it. 2.5 stars.
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston: A Thousand Nights is a tale of love. Not the slow burn between a female main character and her love interest, but a love so deep like it can only run between siblings. This is a testimony to sisterhood, to the strength of women, and to the magic of belief. Though perhaps peculiar and not without its faults, this book is beautiful and enchanting, authentic in its world-building, and narrated with the voice of a strong heroine. I’m a reader to seek fast-paced reads, but this slow-going and meaningful Arabian fantasy won me over in a heartbeat. 4 stars.
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones: Wintersong is like a dark, haunting, yet sweet melody, inspired by Goethe’s German ballad Der Erlkönig. This debut excites with flawed, wicked characters, European folklore, a gloomy atmosphere, and magnificent writing. And still, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this imaginative urban fantasy, for the characterisation entails common tropes – and I’ve grown tired of them – and the twisted romance that was rather problematic for me, though the ending is somewhat redeeming. Yet I applaud to the author for making the ancient folklore of western Europe trendy again. 3 stars.
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas: I was warned by my friends that this book was going to make me fall in love with a prince – and I did. The Burning Sky was hard for me to get into, for the pace was slow and the heroine agitated me, but one third in, the book enclosed its firm grip around me and wouldn’t let me go. As a hopeless shipper of love-hate relationships and girls disguising as boys, this urban fantasy was the perfect read for me. This does not mean, however, that I was able to shut my eyes to its flaws. Thomas packed a punch into this fantastical magic system, and it did not work for me. It was chaos. Wands, elixirs, elemental magic, portals, mystical beasts. It was as though someone had blended Harry Potter with Avatar The Last Airbender, and exciting as this may sound, it was really just a bit much to digest. 3.5 stars.
What books did you read in October? Have you read any of the ones I have listed here? If yes, what did you think of them? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below, as I would love to hear from you 🙂