Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Monthly Reads ~ September 2023

I hope you all are enjoying all the book reviews, since it's just another hobby of mine, it's not going anywhere! I loved doing the Monthly Wrap-up last year to share mini reviews on all the books I've read each month! 

It could be a big range from 2 to 10 books depending on how much I read, but I figure I can share a little synopsis and quick thoughts on each book. I will still be doing more in depth reviews on books that really capture me! 

Monthly Reads ~ September 2023
Bright Young Women was provided as an e-arc, I purchased or borrowed everything else

So, in September I read 9 books, with a mix of genres from Adult Memoir to YA Fantasy. I love most genres, and I really want to keep my reads diversified this year - I think I have been doing a great job of that so far! Also, I've been trying to read a mix of old and new books, so I'm working on that and did well with that this month! I read 3 physical books, 1 ebook and 5 audiobooks. 

Here's a quick look at all the books I read in the past month: 

Monthly Reads ~ September 2023

Twice In A Blue Moon by Christina Lauren ~ ☆☆☆ - 3 stars. This is an adult romance, second chance romance style - while I liked the overall story, I didn't like the storyline between our two main characters and honestly, this was just kind of a love story of a second chance romance with not so great male characters in the book. It was fine, but I like their newer books better!

Kiss The Girl by Zoraida Cordova ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is another adult romance, but this is the Meant to Be series - they are adult romance spins on Disney stories, but with a little twist. In this Little Mermaid retelling, we meet Ariel when she is on the last show of a big tour with her Siren Seven's show with her sister. They are ready to forge their own paths when she runs in to Eric and tries to reinvent herself a little. I loved the little snippets from the movie, but this is a great adult version of a retelling and I liked all the characters we meet on the way! It also has some South American representation and I liked the musical/tour spin on the story - it was a lot of fun!

The Circle by Katherena Vermette ~ ☆☆☆☆ ½ - 4.5 stars. This is an adult contemporary fiction focusing on the Metis experience in Canada - this is the third book in the series of The Break and The Strangers. While these can be read alone, I think they are more powerful and build on each other. This book takes place 6 years following the events of The Break and it's meant to read like a circle. Each chapter is a new perspective of someone who has been touched and affected in this story - while it can be overwhelming, I thought this added to the layers in the story and show just how much our decisions can affect those around us and how our stories are woven in to each other. It's powerful and compelling, but also difficult to read. And while their is trauma, there is family and love.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ~ ☆☆☆☆☆ - 5 stars. This is an adult fantasy and it's my all time favourite book - I've raved about it multiple times on my blog. This is the only book I re-read every single Fall and it is amazing. It's got a magical circus, duelling, love story and every weaved through it all. The writing is so descriptive and magical and the characters are complex and well done. Absolute love! 

Tidesong by Wendy Xu ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This a really cute middle grade/YA graphic novel focusing on self-acceptance and learning to voice your feelings, but with a lovely magical touch of witches and sea dragons! Really lovely!

Into the Bright Open: A Secret Garden Remix by Cherie Dimaline ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. I will read everything Cherie Dimaline writes, but I loved The Secret Garden so I was very excited for this remixed retelling. It is an update on the classics, set in Canada featuring indigenous characters and even a sapphic love interest. This does have our characters a little older and I enjoyed the storyline, but thought the love interest distracted from the family plot (but I enjoyed the self discovery piece in there!)

Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll ~ ☆ - 1 star DNF. This is a mystery thriller - I really gave this so many chances, but it was pretentious and the characters were really unlikeable. It was supposed to be about a serial killer and somewhat the girls trying to identify him but 45% in the plot has not moved forward at all. I couldn't finish.

Last Violent Call by Chloe Gong ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is a YA Fantasy book in the These Violent Delights series, meant to be read in between Foul Lady Fortune and Foul Heart Huntsman. We follow some of my favourite characters from These Violent Delights and it is two novellas. I liked the second one a little better, was exciting, but both were good! 

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is a big graphic novel memoir chronicling the author's two years she spent working in the Alberta oil sands after moving across the country to make money to pay off her student loans. This was an honest look at the lifestyle and the dynamic of life in an isolated, remote area. How she is treated as a women, but also the lifestyle of herself and her peers, good and bad.

September was a pretty good reading month - mostly 4 stars, so pretty solid. 

Here's a little refresh of my rating system:

5 Stars: Excellent/Fantastic/Amazing Read 
4.5 Stars: Really Great Read
4 Stars: Great Read 
3.5 Stars: Really Good Book
3 Stars: Good Book 
2.5 Stars: Eh, It was Okay Read
2 Stars: Finished it, but Didn't Enjoy It
1.5 Stars: Not Good at All
1 Star: DNF (Did Not Finish)

What was the best book you read this month?! If I'm not counting The Night Circus since it's a yearly re-read, then The Circle by Katherena Vermette would be up there! 

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