New month, another mediocre reading month. I’m so disappointed in my reading month this month I kind of want to cry. This month was filled with three stars and the highest I gave any book this month was a four star which is disappointing? I’m feeling sad since I haven’t given any new book 5 stars since May (Always Never Yours).
I actually really wanted to read lots of contemporary and my favorite things since it was my birthday month, but it just ended up not happening. Instead, I followed the hype and I ended up reading a lot of spooky/mysterious books, which was an experience since thriller is not my absolute go-to genre. Here’s to a better reading month in November (even though I won’t have time to do anything since I’ll be studying).
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara ★★★ (FridayFrightAThon)
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this book is that it was definitely not for me. While learning about the Golden State Killer was interesting, the cases and the victims began to blur together, though I do appreciate McNamara’s efforts to pay respect to all the victims that have been affected by this horrible time. However, it really began to lose my interest mid-way through. But again, to be fair, I really don’t read crime non-fiction at all. And honestly, it deeply saddens me when I remember that McNamara was so close to catching the GSK before her unfortunate passing two years ago.
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee ★★★.5
Though I definitely prefer Gentlemen’s Guide, this was still a really solid novel on its own! The girl gang in this is absolutely iconic and I love how Mackenzi Lee turned gender tropes onto its head. The diversity is excellent and Lee is a really solid writer. But I do think my expectations were a tad too high for me to enjoy this one more than I could’ve.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware ★★★★ (FridayFrightAThon)
This was so atmospheric and had a perfect setting. Though I found it a bit slow at first, it eventually got to the point that I finished the novel in one sitting during my homework break. The characters were very well written and developed, and I genuinely cared about the family. But the ending was just too confusing and took me so long to get.
If We Were Villains by M.L Rio ★★★.5
This is one of the few books that I don’t know how to feel about it. I really loved the atmosphere and the clever structure of the book. Being a Shakespeare fan, I loved how Shakespeare was woven in throughout the novel. The plot was really good and the book was very addictive, but I really … didn’t care about the characters, and that took away from my experience of reading it.
Toil and Trouble edited by Jess Sharpe and Jessica Spotswood ★★★.5
So I actually followed the hype and read spooky books this month? Who would’ve thought? But again, this was a perfect Halloween read and a great Spookathon buddy read. The theme of feminism and gender empowerment is fantastic, though I think the order could’ve been fixed, since the best stories were all at the end.
Wildcard by Marie Lu ★★★
While the writing was super digestible and this made for a quick read, the story and plot were extremely lacking. I did enjoy my time reading it, but upon reflection after reading it, I found it quite boring. This was really mediocre and a let down from the first book for sure, but I didn’t hate it.
All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor ★★★
This book gave me all the reasons why I shouldn’t read it, but I did anyway. This book, to me, essentially screams wasted potential. The multi-media format was really interesting and immersive though I felt like it could’ve been better. This could’ve been so good and so many cool things could’ve been done, but the writing wasn’t my favorite. The characters were extremely bland. And the plot twist was not … great, both in terms of thrills and sensitivity.
- May @ My 1st Chapter shares her tips on reading more in less time
- Mel @ Mel To The Any shares her Kingdom of Ash Review (tbh I don’t care about the Throne of Glass series but I really loved reading this review)
- Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads compiled a fantastic list of awesome books with Asian protagonists (which include backlist, new and upcoming releases!)
- May @ Forever and Everly roasts Sarah J Maas stans to celebrate the release of Kingdom of Ash
- Sim @ Flipping Thru The Pages talks about blog graphics and its importance to your blog
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books writes a beautiful letter celebrating her 25thbirthday
- Elizabeth @ Red Gal Musings lists different types of blog posts for when you have no idea what to do
- Jenny @ Jenny In Neverland writes about how to stay organized as a blogger
- Marija @ Inside My Library Mind talks about and shares her thoughts on how to make your blog pretty
- I wrote a letter to myself musing about the experience of turning 16
- I wrapped up my September reads
- I laid out my ridiculous October TBR and readathon plans
- I continue cleansing out my TBR
- I discuss and rant about Asian representation in Sarah J. Maas books
- I do the A-Z Book Tag (a month after being tagged)
- I present my 1st library haul (on the blog)
None of the books I got in September and October (if you remember, I decided to combine my September and October Book Haul because I got 1 book in September). Surprisingly, I didn’t buy one book in this book haul myself. October was my birthday month and I got some books that I’ve been really highly anticipated from my friends (who I love with all of my cold heart and soul). Thank you so much to them (obviously I won’t be revealing their identities for privacy reasons, but anyway).
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken – cr
Wildcard by Marie Lu –★★★.5
Technically, I also have a library haul, which you can see here. I’m so very excited for every one of these books here.
I just want to mention that November 6th is basically YA Own Voices Asian Fantasy release day, and I want to take a moment to celebrate that. I’m so excited and ecstatic that a day like this is finally happening. You should order these books and support Asian authors if you are able to!
P.S: There is a giveaway currently running (yes, it’s international) for 5 hardcover copies of Asian Fantasies, all of which are coming out on November 6th. These books include Empress of All Seasons, Girls of Paper and Fire, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix, Umbertouched by Livia Blackburne, and Toxic by Lydia Kang.
You’re welcome. I’m kidding.
6th: Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean
Look, this concept sounds absolutely amazing, and it just sounds so cool. Also, Japanese mythology. The cover isn’t my favorite, but whatever.
6th: Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
After the way that Renegades left off (not cool), I absolutely can’t wait to dive into this one. Though I’ve heard it’s a more slow going book, I’m still really excited to see how Nova and Adrian’s story continues.
6th: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
This is one of my most anticipated releases ever. I’ve seen so many glowing reviews from my Goodreads friends and reviewers I genuinely trust, and it’s a queer, Asian fantasy. It’s a Malaysian-inspired fantasy. I’ve never read any Malaysian-inspired/books set in Malaysia before, and the author is Malaysian-Chinese. Count me in.
6th: Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao
Admittedly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book in the series but I am interested enough to see how the series concludes? I’m a little salty about the cover change since I have the hardcover of FOTL but we shall deal with it. Also, my Goodreads pre-review of this book is me 24/7 tbh (shameless self-plug).
13th: Four Three Two One by Courtney C. Stevens
I’ve heard really good things about this one from Goodreads and it sounds like an interesting look into teenage trauma? I don’t know what’s drawing me into this one, but there’s clearly something. I’m actually going to be reading Stevens’ work Dress Codes for Small Towns for this month and if I love that, I’ll be even more excited for this one!
November is going to be a bit of an unpredictable month. I’ll be participating in some readathons earlier in the month, but this month is going to be focused on me getting my assessments in and studying for my IGCSE mocks. I may or may not take a quick hiatus in November, depending on how bad studies are.
How was your reading month? Any recommendations you have for me? What blog posts should I check out? What are you looking forward to reading in November?