Thursday, October 1, 2020

September 2020 Book Review

I had been a little behind on my goal to get to 100 books this year, but this month I was able to catch-up and be right on track because I read 9 books. This brings my total for the year to 75, and we are 3/4 of the way through 2020. Yay!

A Court of Thorn and Roses series by Sarah. J. Maas - Y'all. This is not going to be up many people's alley, but I LOVED this series, and I am so excited that there are more books to come! I need everyone to suspend reality for a minute and get ready for some serious fantasy words here. This series follows a human girl, Feyre, who ends up living in a portion of the world {I think they're on Earth but none of the countries described are our countries} run by fairies {divided from the human world by a wall} who have magical powers. I feel like there's too much to say to make the plot make sense, but I LOVE these books and LOVED the world created here. I was obsessed with the building storylines, thought the character development was great, and I can't wait for more! The next book follows a secondary character, and I'm really intrigued and here for it. These are rated R. A little note that the 4th book I read {A Court of Frost and Starlight} is a short novella, and it wasn't as good - not much happened, but I enjoyed being back in this world, so I wasn't complaining. But it's like I gave 4 or 5 starts to the first 3 and gave that one 3 stars.

Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds - Trent and I read this book together, and we both learned a lot! This is a non-history history book {says the authors} but it walks through the past of America and how racism started, grew, morphed, and how many names we know {Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass} have a more complicated story than a traditional history book has taught us and numerous names in history that Trent and I didn't know and the part they played in our racist history. It was very fascinating, but I feel like I need to read it again and do some additional research on a lot of the people mentioned. Trent seemed to really enjoy it too, and we had some good discussion from it too!

Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson - My company's local office started a book club!!!!!!! This was the selection for the first meeting, which was last week, and I was really excited because it was WW2 historical fiction, and y'all know how I feel about this genre! The story is about a Jewish Holocaust survivor, Ben, who in 2004 accuses a prominent Chicagoan of being a Nazi who changed his identity to avoid prosecution at the end of WW2 - and used to be his best friend. He hires a lawyer, Catherine, to help sue the Nazi. It jumps timelines as Ben tells the story of his youth in the past and Catherine prepares a lawsuit in the present. I really enjoyed both storylines but felt the dialogue in the present was at time very disjointed. One of the other people in book club commented that it is a male author writing dialogue from a female POV, and that made sense to me - it was like he didn't know how to write as a woman. But that wasn't so off-putting that I couldn't enjoy the book overall. There are further books with Catherine in the story, and I'd like to check them out.

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth - I had a reserve on this book for 9 months, so I was really excited when it became available! This story is an alternating storyline with different POVs and different timelines. At the very beginning of the book, we find out that Lucy's mother-in-law, Diana, has died and it appears to be a suicide. We go back-and-forth from Lucy in the present to both Lucy and Diana in the past as we learn about the relationship between the 2 and how that plays into the present. I feel like this was a slow burn - I was pretty quickly into the story but little-by-little I found myself really vested in the outcome and really sad at the misunderstandings that led to the present. By the end I was very wrapped up in the story, I didn't expect the ending, and I was sad it was over!

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen - I got this book as a birthday present, and it was delightful. Anna wrote chapters covering all sorts of womanhood - work, motherhood, friendship, marriage - and I loved it all! The writing was beautiful and the sentiment really spoke to me, so happy I got this as a gift because I wouldn't have bought it myself and it was really, really enjoyable!

Majesty by Katharine McGee - This is the follow-up to American Royals which I read last November. As a reminder, this is about the American monarchy in the present day as if George Washington had become the King of America. Majesty picks up right where American Royals left off, and it was a great read. I loved all the little pieces of history the author creates - like California {called Orange} and Texas being their own monarchies and joining America, and all the different Aristocratic families. The first maybe 20% I felt like every character was really mopey as a leftover from where the cliffhanger was in American Royals. But the story really picked up after that, and I flew through it. Not a deep thinker or anything, but I liked it!

Trent and I just finished Stamped this week, so we haven't picked a new book to read. He also finished the last book in The Maze Runner series, so he needs a new book to read to himself too. It's hard finding stuff that is age appropriate for him that also keeps his interest!

Drew and I started Tuck Everlasting a couple of weeks ago, and it's an interesting read - it isn't very exciting {and we're about halfway through}, but she is enjoying it I think? She wants to watch the movie when we finish the book, which I watched years ago {over a week while pumping in a bathroom stall at a client}.

She is also continuing her silent reading with Magic Treehouse books. We checked some new ones out from the library last week. It finally seems like it's getting easier for her to read to herself without getting tired, but she is definitely not as interested in reading as Trent was. I really hope I can foster a love of reading in her!!!

And my favorite book of the month was the A Court of Thorn and Roses series, it CONSUMED my time and mind this month! If I had to pick a favorite book, it would be the 2nd book, A Court of Mist and Fury. I know this series won't be for everyone, but I LOVED it!

I have a lot of great books coming available this month from my library holds, can't wait to see how they all turn out! Happy reading!


Kathryn Bagley said...

I might give the fairy series a try! Once we were brothers sounds interesting!

Natasha said...

I didn't realize Majesty was out already. Hopefully by the time I get it, I'll still remember what American Royals was about :)

Emily said...

I felt the same way about The-Mother-in-Law. I also did not expect the ending (which is always a pleasant surprise for me). Added "plenty of candles" to my library list.