Here’s what I read in September!
So I had big dreams for September. I wanted to participate in readathons, get ahead on ARCs, participate in all the buddy reads/book clubs…
And most of that didn’t happen 😅
I still read a decent amount, but my big plans went by the wayside. And as much as love to participate in all the bookish-things, I really need to do a better job of not stretching myself too thin – but that’s another post.
Here’s what I WAS able to read this month!
Books Read: 12
1. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron ⭐⭐⭐.5
I read this for the Faes and Gays Book Club and I’m really glad I did! This originally wasn’t on my TBR because I’ve kinda given up on retellings. But this one was really good. I absolutely flew through this YA fantasy and really loved the themes and plot. It was action packed and extremely readable. I loved that it had a sapphic romance and amazing commentary on gender, race, and power. I did think some things developed a little too quickly and conveniently, but it was overall a really fun read.
2. One by One by Ruth Ware ⭐⭐⭐
Probably one of my biggest disappointments of the year… I had such high hopes for this book after The Death of Mrs. Westaway and Turn of the Key. But this was honestly so boring. This is a classic whodunit style mystery following a group of people trapped in a French chalet after an avalanche. I’ve read and enjoyed this premise before so I thought this was be something I loved – sadly no. I didn’t enjoy the characters and pacing was painfully slow and repetitive. But the real kicker was the utterly lackluster and disappointing reveal. I’m not one to guess reveals, but I saw this one coming from a mile away. I’m sad.
3. Tools of Engagement (Hot and Hammered #3) by Tessa Bailey ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Another series down! This was the last book in the Hot and Hammered trilogy and it was a solid read. This book had my favorite hero of the series and I really related to Bethany in a lot of ways. I still think book 1 is my favorite of the series but this was a solid conclusion and I’m happy with the way everything wrapped up.
4. The Roommate by Rosie Danan ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Okay so I loved this book – but can we acknowledge how godawful this cover is? Ugh.. I still haven’t bought a physical copy because honestly I don’t want this cover on my shelves 🙈
This was a great romance though! It had amazing commentary on sex work and a really healthy, amazing take on sexuality in general. I loved these characters and their chemistry was top notch. I highly, highly recommend checking this one out if you’re into steamy romances!
One of my new favorite books. This YA fantasy is based on Arthurian legends and was one of the best fantasies I’ve read in a long while. It had amazing themes, diverse and well-developed characters, and an complex world and magic system. I honestly loved everything about this – so check out my full review for my (slightly) more eloquent thoughts.
6. Fortuna Sworn (Fortuna Sworn #1) by K.J. Sutton ⭐⭐⭐.5
I finally started this hyped, self-published fantasy romance series! I read so many reviews that talked about how steamy and sexy this was and I feel like read a different book… This first book was definitely a lot of setup. I enjoyed the world and plot and trials that the MC had to go through. And while I’m intrigued by the characters I don’t have a ton of intense feelings or attachments to anything yet. So far I feel pretty ‘meh’ but I’m hoping things develop in the following books!
7. Coraline by Neil Gaiman ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I read this middle grade for the Adventures Through Wonderland readathon (which I failed miserably). I’ve seen the movie dozens of times, but I couldn’t remember ever ever reading the original story. This was a super creepy, MG horror that I highly recommend. And get this illustrated edition if you can!
This is the sequel to Bringing Down the Duke and it didn’t quite live up to that first book for me. I understand why this series is so popular, and there is definitely a lot to appreciate in this series. But I kinda think it’s a little overhyped… don’t hate me! 🙈 This sequel was fun – I’m always down for an enemies to lovers romance – but I hated the characters a little. And there were certain plot lines that I wasn’t a fan of. I go into more detail in my review so definitely check that out.
9. The Wreckage of Us by Brittainy Cherry ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
Brittainy C Cherry never ceases to pack an emotional punch. This was a really heavy but beautiful small town romance. And it’s proof that I actually can like a book about music/musicians! This deals with so many dark topics (content/trigger warnings are in my review!) but overall this story has a really hopeful message. I swooned, I cried, it was damn journey.
10. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Another favorite!! I cannot remember the last time I happy cried this hard. By the end of this book, I was all up in my feelings. This is a YA fantasy following a trans boy trying to find his place in his traditional Latinx family. When he accidentally summons the ghost of a boy from school, Yadriel is sent down a dark and dangerous path. I loved the friendships, the family dynamics, the commentary of gender and tradition, the magic, the romance. Yadriel and Julian are my everything.
11. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
Another book that packed a powerful punch. This is a light sci-fi/fantasy story with LOADS of trigger warnings. Matt Haig has been very open about his struggles with his own mental health, and he really went there with this book. So if suicide, anxiety, self-harm, etc are things you need to steer clear from, don’t touch this with a 10 foot pole.
But if it’s subject matter you can handle, I highly recommend giving this a read. Despite it’s really dark themes, this book is all about hope and life. This story is based on the idea that every decision you make throughout life creates an alternate timeline. And what if some people were given the opportunity to visit or live those alternate lives. I have so many thoughts about this book (obviously) and I really loved it. So hopefully I can get my review up soon and go into all the things I want to discuss!
12. Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas ⭐⭐⭐
What a… weird little book. I settled on a 3 star rating for now mostly because I don’t really know how I feel. I felt this same way after finishing Bunny by Mona Awad. Both of these books have a very similar feel, so if you like one, definitely check out the other.
I actually loved Elisabeth Thomas’ writing and the entire vibe of this book. I was never bored, although I did see the “twist” coming. I actually read this really fast and enjoyed my time reading it. But I don’t understand… And I think a lot of this story went way over my head.
I’m really excited to discuss this in Kayla’s (Books & Lala) live show. I know sooo many people hated this but I’m interested to hear what people (more intellectual than I) took away from this bizarre story.
How did your September reading go? What was your favorite book of the month?