Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2020

Hi everyone! Welcome to my September monthly wrap-up post. I am sure these will evolve over time, but for now I’ll include Book Coven book club, fave books you can buy now, books to look out for and books I want to read soon. September has been an average month of reading. There have been some greats and some misses. I also had a nasty cold for about a week which sucked a lot!

Book Club

Every month the mods of the Book Coven get us to suggest books that make up the book club bracket. We then vote all the way through to a final, and that’s the book we read together over the course of 3 weeks. Then the amazing Paragraphs and Pages asks us some super insightful questions and off we go.

This month we read The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant. This is an action packed story with no less than 3 love interests! Even better, the main character Nina does not care. She’s determined to get her sister back – and punish her enemies for all of their wrongs. The book is described as Les Mis x The Jungle Book, but I can’t comment on how accurate that is having never seen Les Mis. If you’re looking for a dark, action packed YA story then this will be the book for you. You can see my review here.

Next month we will be reading two books because we couldn’t decide between them! Looking forward to reading A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik and re-reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab.

Favourites

On to my favourite books this month that you can pick up in stores right now. There were a few standouts this month – one of them being A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. It is set in the UK – with the central character Pip completing her final year of A-levels and along with it the EPQ (an extended project that usually forms part of a gifted and talented scheme). Pip is a really determined, bookish character that definitely knows how to stand up for what she thinks is right. This is an excellent YA thriller / murder mystery and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. You can see my review here.

I also finished Robin LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin series by reading the additional duology Courting Darkness and Igniting Darkness. I’m not sure I enjoyed them as much as the original trilogy but they were no doubt 5 star-worthy reads in my mind. This is a story about female assassins who have all had rough childhoods but get their revenge. Robin LaFevers writes such powerful protagonists – you can find my reviews here and here. I read them as part of the #ConquerAChonker challenge and I’m so glad I finished them!

To wrap up this section – another favourite was my read of an eARC of Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. This is honestly such a wonderful YA book that is out in the world right now! It has magic, demons and has a lot of King Arthur mythology. It should be right at the top of your to be read because it has amazing messages and an absolutely wild ending. You can read my review here, but my friend Janel summed up how I felt about it even better over on their blog here.

Books to Look Out For

I had the pleasure of reading many amazing eARCs from NetGalley this month. I’ve already mentioned Legendborn but there have been many more.

One of the best eARCs I read was Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly. It’s released in the UK on 20th October – and it’s absolutely brilliant! Jennifer Donnelly is the queen of feminist fairy-tale retellings. First she wrote Stepsister set in the world of Cinderella, and this time it’s the world of Snow White that she explores. Here is my review, hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Another book I enjoyed was Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco. This one releases on October 22nd, and is a super story rooted in a more traditional approach to witchcraft. It is set around a restaurant in Sicily – the food descriptions are divine and this is sure to make you hungry. I wish the romance was a bit more prominent in the story, but I am sure it will come through even more in the next book in the series!

For a short book, The Deep Blue Between by Ayesha Harruna Attah sure does pack in a lot. This one follows two sisters, Hassana and Husseina, who are separated when their home village is raided. The two pursue separate paths in Brazil and on The Gold Coast – but will they ever be re-united? Loved how this book captured the complicated relationship between sisters, it’s a really emotional story that releases October 15th.

Next month?

October is going to be a wild month of reading for me! Book Coven has made a Disney inspired bingo full of awesome prompts – but I’m probably going to skip and do some non-prompt based reading for the time being.

You can see the books of my fall to be read on my Top Ten Tuesday post. October is my Leigh Bardugo month so catch my re-reading Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, King of Scars and Ninth House, along with The Lives of Saints which is also releasing in October!

New purchases include The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, and Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. Can’t wait to read these either!

That’s all from me, hope you enjoyed this book and also had a great month of reading. Looking forward to seeing what everybody has been up to. Have you read any of the books mentioned in this post? What did you think?

Six for Sunday (Devious Main Characters)

Hi everyone! This week I’m participating in Six for Sunday for the first time, a meme hosted by Steph at A Little But a Lot. This month, the focus is on book characters, and this week’s topic is:  Devious Main Characters.

1) I just finished The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant and Nina, the protagonist, is definitely devious. She’s always throwing a spanner in the works for the reader! You can find my review of this amazing debut novel here.

2) How can I make a post about devious characters without mentioning the notorious Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows? Kaz is a master schemer which means the plot of this duology is awesome.

3) Alessandra from The Shadows Between Us is full of ambition. She’s definitely the kind of girl that will stop at nothing to get what she wants, including killing The Shadow King by making him fall in love with her. Her task will definitely take all of her devious skills if she’s going to succeed!

3) Time for a contemporary devious character. Pip from A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is honestly a good bean – but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a devious streak! Interviewing people of interest in a murder case that everyone thinks is already solved definitely takes some nerves of steel. You can read my review here.

5) Oh Nehza, you broke my heart. The Poppy War trilogy has plenty of devious characters including the protagonist Rin. But Nehza is one of a kind in terms of being a character that you can’t trust and don’t know whether you’re supposed to love them or hate them. You can read my review of the eARC of The Burning God, the final instalment in the series, here.

6) Finally, back to the contemporary genre – Evelyn Hugo from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I actually named a cactus after Evelyn – I definitely put her in the devious character category, especially as she has kept some huge secrets!

In my choices, devious doesn’t exactly equal bad. I love characters that are full of surprises with more than a few tricks up their sleeves. What do you think of my choices? Have you read any? Let me know in the comments and link your Six for Sunday posts!

Book Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

I’m not one for a thriller normally but this was a fantastic book. It has a really amazing nerd-hero protagonist, a mystery that has so many layers, a cast of interesting and suspicious characters and a cute friendship. It does include a variety of triggers, some of which are spoilers so I’d definitely look at some reviews. I’m going to avoid spoilers in this review because it’s a really great mystery!

Star rating: 5 stars

My favourite thing in this book has to be Pip. She is the biggest nerd – always studying, already has a plan for a future (wow this 17 year old has her life sorted more than I do, love that). I imagine her to be the kind of girl that frowns upon studyblrs as a waste of time. For her EPQ Pip is investigating the murder of Andie Bell, a girl who went missing 5 years ago. She was allegedly murdered by Sal Singh, who then commited suicide. But Pip isn’t convinced at all. (EPQ is a weird project thing that A-level students do in the UK to make university applications stronger – I quit mine after about a month, but then proving an alleged murderer innocent is much more interesting than mathematics in sport).

Even though Pip is this giant nerd who makes awkward puns, she also stands up for people – including Sal’s younger brother Ravi. I really liked their growing friendship as they start putting the pieces of Sal’s and Andie’s lives together. I also liked that Pip had such a good friend in Cara.

The book is told in a variety of ways – normal prose, transcripts from interviews and Pip’s project log that reads like a journal. The format really makes it a fast read, keeping it interesting the whole way through. The actual ending manages to be plausible and wild at the same time.

Overall, this is a great book and I’ll definitely be reading Holly Jackson’s Good Girl, Bad Blood soon!

WWW Wednesday (23rd September 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. A lot of my friends really enjoyed this book so I’m excited to see where it goes!

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished reading Love, Simon and Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. I really loved Leah on the Offbeat – Leah is such a great snarky bisexual teenager. I really related to her perfectionism and lack of confidence – and loved that she stood up for her friends. Didn’t enjoy Love, Simon quite as much (maybe it’s just the teenage boy protagonist thing haha).

What do you think you’ll read next?

A tricky one! I think I’m going to read These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong next. I got approved for the eARC this week and everyone who has read it seems to think it’s really amazing. Hopefully it lives up to the hype – I’m super excited to review it. Romeo and Juliet in 1920s Shanghai sounds awesome!

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.