Hi guys! How are y’all? September was a really great reading month for me, I somehow managed to read 17(!!!) books. I think that’s pretty wild. There must be something in that Autumn air 🍂🍂🍂
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
After I Do is the story of a couple who are trying to save their marriage by spending a year apart. I love the way Taylor Jenkins Reid writes characters and relationships. Whether it’s romances, friendships or families, their interactions ring true and their connections feel authentic. I always fly through her books because I become so invested in the character’s lives and this one was no exception.
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
In this contemporary romance a woman comes back to LA to stay with her best friend. On her first night out she has the choice of going home with her friend, or staying out with her ex-boyfriend. As she makes her decision, the narrative splits and we get to see both possibility unfold. I absolutely loved this narrative choice. It’s such an interesting way to tell a story and it made me think about the story and stories in general, in a brand new way. It’d be still be a great read without the split narrative though. Both stories were completely satisfying and would’ve made excellent novels on their own.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an epistolary novel about a community of people who formed a literary society during the German occupation and tan author who wants to write about them. It’s got the most charming, eclectic cast of characters you’ll ever meet. As much as I love anti-heroes and unlikable characters, it’s nice sometimes to read about some quirky, lovely, genuinely kind people you would want to be friends with.
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I’m not gonna lie, I’m total trash for this series. I’m not really a mystery reader, so I’m 100% here for the characters and I got what I came for. I love Robin and Strike so much and reading their interactions makes my shipper soul glow with joy. So basically I’m totally biased and you shouldn’t trust my opinion on this book further than you can throw it (which probably isn’t very far, it’s massive), but I did read the 648 pages long beast in like, 48 hours. So at least it’s a page turner.
Favorite quote: “They look pretty enough when they sit upon a rock, twanging their harps and combing their hair, and sing, and beckon to you to come and hold the looking-glass; but when they sink into their native element, depend on it, those mermaids are about no good, and we had best not examine the fiendish marine cannibals, revelling and feasting on their wretched pickled victims.”
Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was my first Franced Hardinge read and what a wild ride. It follows a girl, her homicidal goose and the conman they break out of jail on an epic adventure, filled with danger, scheming and political conspiracy. I love the complexity of the plot and world-building, and of course, the fact that every single character is a morally grey mess. Even the goose. Well, especially the goose.
Mirage by Somaiya Daud ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This book’s been one of my most anticipated releases since I first head about it a year and half ago. So I’ve had plenty of time to build some very high expectations. But that’s okay – cause it delivered. It’s the perfect mix of science fiction and fantasy, about a girl who’s kidnapped and forced to become a cruel princess’s body double. My favorite things about it were the world-building which is inspired by Moroccan culture and history, and the increasingly complex interactions between the MC and the princess.
The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I listened to the audibook version of this, narrated by David Tenant, and it was delightful. I was hooked by the first few sentences about the dark, creepy woods and my attention never waned. I loved all the strange, magical characters and the fast-paced, very engaging plot. I definitely recommend trying the audio though, cause the narration was fantastic.
Just One Day by Gayle Forman ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The premise of this book reminds me of my favorite movie series, the Before trilogy. A boy and a girl, a train, a foreign city, just one day… So of course, my expectations were high and though I enjoyed it a lot, they weren’t quite met. My biggest hurdle was the main character, who starts out too bland to function. As she grows and becomes a more active participant in her own story, my enjoyment grew with her and by the end, I really like her. I loved reading about her travels and all the friendships she made along the way.
Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Renee Carlino’s one of those authors who’s aesthetic just speaks to me. I think we must share a love for 90’s fashion, indie rock, tattooed boys, impulsive romantic gestures, messy hair and messier relationships. If you do too – this book’s for you. If you prefer your romances easy, breezy and mess-free, it’s probably not.
Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was my second Paige Toon novel and she’s definitley an author I want to read more of. The main character’s ambitious, smart, brave and kind. Both love interest are charming, attractive men – with no possessive alpha-make tendencies. And best of all? There’s loving, supportive female friendships galore! And no one’s trying to loose weight or catch themselves a husband! Who knew chick lit had turned into such a feminist utopia???
Favorite character: I think I have to go with Captain Dobbin, the kind of honorable man™ that only seems to exist in Victorian novels. But it could’ve very well been the goose.
Wasted Words by Staci Hart ⭐⭐⭐
I read this one for two reasons:
1. It’s a contemporary retelling of my favorite classic, Emma.
2. It set in a bookstore/Bar in NYC.
I really liked the main characters and the friends to lovers romance was very cute, even though this slow burn needed a bit of gasoline. And the male MC needed some flaws. His ex straight up told him to his face that she was breaking up with him because he’s too nice.
With a Twist by Staci Hart ⭐⭐⭐
This is another friends to lovers romance by Staci Hart, set in the same world as Wasted Words and featuring some of the same characters. (Chronologically With a Twist comes first) The main characters in this one are Lily, a ballerina at the New York Ballet, and West an English lit TA. This was a very sweet, light read. I enjoyed it a little more than Wasted Words, mostly cause it’s better paced.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Vanity Fair’s the first classic I’ve read in a long time. Cause if you’re trying to get back into classics, you might as well start with the biggest tome on your shelf. My favorite thing about this book was, of course, it’s fabulous anti-heroine, the clever, little schemer, Becky Sharpe. I could’ve done without some of the excessive description and moralizing, but overall I enjoyed this a lot and I’m happy to have read it.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory ⭐⭐⭐
The Wedding Date is a romantic comedy that opens with a meet-cute in an elevator. The first meeting results in Alyssa agreeing to be Drew’s date to his ex’s wedding and their relationship grows from there. I really liked this book, but it didn’t blow me away. I think the writing style was a bit to minimalist for my taste, and I’m not a big fan of main characters who cannot communicate. I loved the chemistry between the leads though, and Drew’s friendship with Carlos. Give me more male friendship in books, please and thank you.
Favorite ship: Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacot. I have never shipped a ship as hard as I ship these two. It might be time to resort to fan faction.
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie ⭐⭐⭐
I read this cause it’s at the top of every list of contemporary romance and seemed like the place to start. But something about it just didn’t click with me. The symbolism and metaphors were too heavy-handed and I constantly felt the author’s presence. I loved the characters though. Especially the smart, independent heroine and the genuinely kind and lovely love interest.
Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes ⭐⭐
This is a novel about addiction and it follows a very unreliable and unlikable narrator on her journey through rehab. My problem wasn’t that I didn’t like the main character, I usually like unlikable, difficult women. But there was some very unnecessary, problematic content, which I didn’t like. Most predominantly there are offensive remarks and negative stereotypes about LGBTQ+ people, fat people and Cuban Americans.
Running into Love by Aurora Rose Reynolds ⭐⭐
I found this pretty forgettable to be honest. It starts off well with a funny meet-cute, good banter and awkward situations. But the whole possessive alpha male nonsense put me off it faster than you can say: mine.
Let’s talk! Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? What’s the best thing you read in September?