It’s that time again where we recap the stuff we read the month before! October was another good reading month, despite having some spots where I read almost nothing lol. I also read or listened to a couple Halloween themed books. I did end up not wanting to go too scary this year for Halloween lol. But I’m glad with I did complete and I’m hoping this kind of streak up for the rest of the year!

Total Books Completed: 9

Library Items: 7

Audio Books: 4

ARCs: 1

DNFs: 3 (2 temporary DNFs)

 

50892004Read from September 21st-October 12th 2020

ARC via NetGalley

3.75 stars

I read this a lot longer than I had expected. I did take a long break from this book to read other things, but I did end up liking this book. We follow Lila Reyes, a Cuban American girl from Miami who begrudgingly goes to England after several things change her life. There, she tries to bring in Cuban cooking to English cooking and also meets a British boy Orion Maxwell. I did love all the food stuff, which always made me hungry. Plus I really admired the way how Lila grows and how she uses food and her heart to settle her emotions. Orion was also a nice boy who helped to bring out the best in Lila. However, some of their relationship was a little too slow burn for my preference. I also felt like the plot never completely grabbed me; I was easily distracted by other things, which took me longer to read it. But if you need a fun, food filled contemporary, check this out when it releases next week!

Double Book Review: A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow & The Companion

41758369. sx318 Listened from October 7-14th

2nd listen

Audible Audio Book

Narrated by Steve West

4 stars

Since I re-listened to Strange the Dreamer back in September, I was interested to come back to this sequel. It had been a couple years since I originally listened to this not long after it came out. My thought pretty much stay the same as they were last time. I do like the first book more; the plot in the first book feels much more balanced, keeps that sense of wonder and also has that great gut punch of an ending. But my feelings for this book are complicated. If you haven’t finished this book, some SPOILERS AHEAD:

SOME SPOILERS: While part of this story is about Kora and Nova, who are important to the story, I feel like either most of their story could be a prequel or this could’ve been a trilogy? I feel like the situation after Sarai’s death and also Minya’s games against Lazlo are completely forgotten by the time Kora and Nova’s story comes to a head. The second book feels like it’s a tackling a little too much and although I love Laini Taylor as a writer, I still think she cannot kill off characters which I personally don’t agree with. The ending is a bit too happily wrapped up when this book does deal with darker themes.

But despite not loving this as much as the first one, I still gave it 4 stars like I did the first time. I am really curious about what Taylor is going to write next. I still think Lazlo is the freaking best and the world of this duology is so amazing and so well written. I am glad that I visited this series again since it’s a favorite. Plus Steve West as the narrator of this series IS Lazlo to to me and he’s one of the best narrators in the business.

 

Read from October 9-16th

Library Book (now returned)

4 stars

This was my second scariest book that I read/listened to this month! This is a new release that came out a couple months ago. We follow Margot who is the sole survivor of tragic family accident. Then, a wealthy family adopts her and brings her to their isolated country estate to be a companion for their catatonic daughter. But as you can guess with a Gothic horror setting, things are not as they seem and things get crazy. I will admit that when I first started reading this, I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish it. Margot is a very cardboard main character at first. Since she’s gone through something traumatic, she’s a hollow version of herself and it did take me time to be okay with that. Her dialogue read very flat and bland compared to other people who talked to her. But I am glad that I continued. This ended up being a creepy and atmospheric read without being gory or really scary. I liked how the author made you so uncomfortable with this mansion and all the secrets within it that Margot discovers. I also cared for Agatha, the girl that Margot is a companion for and her situation. While there is a romance that definitely feels shoehorned in for drama, this was a good and fast paced read. I had a hard time putting it down in the last half. If you want a Gothic horror book that isn’t too scary, I recommend this one. (Review is linked above with A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow)

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Library audio book

Narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt

3.5 stars

I did just post my latest mini reviews post where I talk about this in a lot of detail so I’ll have that linked down below. But this is a new YA mystery/thriller that’s been getting a lot of attention. I will say this is perfectly narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt so if you’re into audio books, listen to this one. This follows Enchanted, an aspiring singer who catches of the much older singer Korey Fields. But when she wakes up, she sees his dead body and she doesn’t remember what happened. The book has “then” and “now” chapters that show the cycle of abuse that Enchanted suffers from Korey, as well as the consequences of his death. I do wish a minor plot line wasn’t in the book, since it was odd and distracting. I also wish that the ending was a little more concerete on a certain event but I won’t go more into that, since it’s a spoiler. I also think that Enchanted doesn’t act like a 17 year old and read younger instead. But this author put so much soul and heart into this book and this NEEDS to be taught in schools and this book should be a major discussion point of parents with their children. I will read more from this author as well!

A Bunch of Mini Reviews #7

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Read from October 19th & 20th

Library graphic novels (now returned)

4 and 5 stars 

This graphic novel series is so cute, emotional and creative! I read both of these back to back since their both quick reads and a series that really captures my attention. We follow Amy, a girl from a deep space mining colony who comes to Earth with her parents. She is out of touch with the technology, but starts to make friends and meets a mysterious white haired boy named Oliver who I think is the “Space Boy.” Volume 4 starts exploring more of Oliver’s mystery and volume 5 really shows how friendship groups can change and even start to grow apart. I like that even though this is a lighter graphic novel series, this author shows how teenagers can make mistakes and grow apart from their friends or boyfriends/girlfriends. I still really recommend this series if you want a sci-fi series with a great coming of age story.

42286257. sx318 Listened on October 22nd & 23rd

2nd listen

Library audio book

Narrated by Rebecca Soler, Dan Bittner and a full cast

5 stars (rating changed from the original 3.5 stars)

I saw that this audio book was available from my library’s Overdrive app before Halloween. This is a YA mystery thriller that’s VERY dark and graphic and also perfect for the spooky season. I also wanted to see how time would affect my rating. I originally listened to this not longer after it came out, so a couple years ago. This time around, I COULD NOT PAUSE this audio book! While I remembered most of what happened, I was still engrossed. I was scared, angry and also disgusted by the dark subjects that this book doesn’t shy away from. I loved this even more than the first time around! I think I saw more of how Sadie suffered so much neglect and abuse that sadly made some of who she is. But I also saw her love for her sister Maddie and I cared for Sadie even more. I think I was DUMB for only giving this book 3.5 stars. This book is perfectly written, formatted and also the audio book is the best audio book I have ever listened too. I always recommend people to listen to it since the actors and sound effects pull you into the story immediately. So, I loved this book even more and I’m glad that I listened to it as a scary read for October.

49697844. sx318 sy475 Listened from October 24th-26th

Library audio book

Narrated by Reba Buhr

3 stars

Another Halloween read done! I really liked the first book in this middle grade series. This continues to follow Cassidy but her family is in France in this book. I will say that this book wasn’t as good as the first one. This was much slower and boring in places, especially when it came to the minor villain. To me, it took too long to get the villain dealt with and there weren’t as many haunted locations that would’ve been to see. I will still listen to the rest of the series but I was bummed that I didn’t love this one. (Review is linked in the bunch of mini reviews, linked above)

44025159. sx318 Read on October 31st

Library manga (now returned)

5 stars

This series is funny and pretty much perfect! It’s my current favorite comic/manga to read right now! I cannot get enough of these hilarious adventures of “The Immortal Dragon” turned house husband. Still cannot recommend this book enough 🙂 (Review is included in my bunch of mini reviews, linked above)

 

DNFs

52750504Audio book, DNF @ 35%

This was a library audio book that I wanted to give a genuine try. I will say that this book is more accessible than the author’s first novel, as far as being a bit easier to follow and both narrators are great! However, I don’t think that more obscure horror is my type of book to enjoy. I ended up reading the ending and it was much better than I expected, but it was still too slow to not keep me engaged. If you want to try this, you might like it more than me but it still didn’t work out.

51075440DNF @ 25%, temporary DNF

This was an ARC that I tried to finish before it came out. The idea of the world being this winter setting with the protagonist essentially being an ice road trucker and Winter being an actual character is really cool! But I don’t think that I’m not the only one whose had a really weird reading year. I want to try this again at a later date. This has a great idea and decent pacing but I just ended up not being in the mood for it at the time.

42872940DNF @ 19%, temporary DNF

This was a Kindle book I was really trying to get into for the spooky season. I bought it last October for heaven’s sake lol. I got close to getting through 100 pages before putting it down. The various formats are interesting but it wasn’t scary yet. It was slow moving in the beginning and that was enough for me to put it down. I have heard awesome things about this book and that it is really scary but hopefully next year!

 

Started, Didn’t Finish

53174067Completed 50% in October

I’m still currently reading this! I had the audio book and only managed to listen to half of it before it expired. I liked the narrator but didn’t love her voice that much so I didn’t finish it as fast as I could have. But this is my first Marie Lu book and so far it’s very interesting. I plan to finish it today or tomorrow and a review will hopefully be up soon 🙂

 

November TBR

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Ok, here we go lol! The main thing to really tackle in November are 3 e-ARCs that I HAVE to do this month! Those are Cast in Firelight, Love in English and Warmaidens. Since Warmaidens has a new publication date of December 15th, it’s getting down to the wire for me to read it. Then, since November has the new Stormlight book coming out, I will get it on Audible and I AM DYING to finally get to it. Then, I have library items like Magic, Dark and Strange, The Shadow Mission, The Bone Shard Daughters and The Midnight BargainA few of these library books are under 300 pages which is good. If I don’t finish some of them, they should hopefully renew and I can finish them in December. Then, I still haven’t gotten to Peace Talks yet. With two Dresden books out this year, I’m not caught up yet which needs to happen soon. I think as long as I complete the 3 ARCs, I’ll have made good progress on my ARC pile. Wish me luck!

 

What did you read in October? Did you read any of these? What are your November reading plans? I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate it when it comes this month!

 

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