Books

September reading wrap up – It doesn’t get better than this | I read 33 books!

Yep, I could never think I can finish 33 books in one month… and I don’t think I will be able to break this personal record anytime soon haha!
This month I started some more series, but also continued with some, so that’s a progress hehe. Of course there was some graphic novels, audiobooks (that I listened while cleaning, cooking and working) and DNFs (did not finished) that sped up the reading process, so let’s see which books I finished this month!
1. All systems red (The Murderbot diaries #1) by Martha Wells ⭐⭐⭐⭐4/5

I thoroughly enjoyed this! I am very picky with Sci-fi, but this was truly entertaining. Murderbot is such a funny character, it is not your typical sci fi book! Also it is a very short book, you can finish it in a couple of hours.

2. Artificial Condition (The Murderbot diaries #2) by Martha Wells ⭐⭐⭐⭐3.5/5

I liked this second book too of the Murderbot Diaries, it was funny and intriguing. Although it started a bit slower in the beginning, I still liked it very much! I am looking forward to continue the series.

3. Good girl, Bad blood ( A good girl’s guide to murder #2) by Holly Jackson ⭐⭐⭐⭐4.5/5

Although I loved the first book more, because of the plot twists, surprises, and I did not know what to expect, I still liked this very much.
This time I listened to the audiobook, that had a whole cast, not only one narrator, and it was so cool where we could listen to the evidences, interviews and phone calls, etc. I really enjoyed it.

4. Get a life, Chloe Brown (The Brown sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert ⭐⭐⭐⭐4.5/5

This was so hilarious and cute!! I loved it, and I think it lives up to the hype. It was so vulnerable, and funny, and cute (and smutty). To be honest, i loved the first half of the book. Many times I laughed out loud, it was hilarious, I loved it so much!
And then came the smut scenes…it was weird, because the whole book is just sooo sweet and cute, and when the sex scenes came, it was like I read a totally different book with all those dirty talks..i think a lovely, romantic and not so smutty sex talk would fit so much better to this book.

I loved that our main character Chloe represents people with chronic illness, you cant find many books out there with that rep. It gave so much to this book, because her boyfriend treated her with so much respect, it was so lovely to read about.
Will definitely continue with this series! <3

5. The Harpy by Megan Hunter ⭐⭐⭐⭐3.8/5

This was so surprising and the writing was beautiful, I really enjoyed this.

6. One last stop by Casey McQuiston ⭐⭐⭐⭐3.5/5

This was a really enjoyable, cute and heartwarming read. I liked the concept of the time travel and how it carried out in the book, how the characters figured it out and solved the problem. The sapphic love is also very adorable, i had fun reading this.

7. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig ⭐⭐⭐⭐4.5/5

Not gonna lie, it was a bit heavy, but important read for me. It is about life and perspectives, and to enjoy every little moment of it. Because we are lucky to be alive, it is the only life we have and so we have to appreciate it. I knew this already, but Matt Haig wrote a beautiful story about it.

It felt like a self help book a little bit, but I did’t mind. But also, as much as I loved it, the depression was lurking all along the pages, so it was a bittersweet book.

8. The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He ⭐⭐⭐⭐3.8/5

I am full of mixed emotions with this book. I loved it, but also it disappointed me. I realllly wanted to give it 5 stars but it’s barely reaching the 4 star for me.

I loved Cee’s dialogues more than Kay’s, because hers were full of technological words and things that I did not always understand, so it was hard to follow the plot, and also sometimes it was boring. I cheered for Cee and I loved her so much, i felt for her and I loved her character and also Actinium’s, and the most action and realization happened when we read about Cee, so it was more exciting to follow.

At half of the book I thought, if this book will get a cool ending, I will give a 4.5 star… BUT THE OPEN ENDING KILLED ME MAN. I hateeee open endings!

So yeah, I enjoyed reading this, the writing is very beautiful honestly, but this just ruined it for me. It would be so much better with some kind of ending.

9. The Poppy War #1 by R. F. Kuang ⭐⭐⭐ 3/5

This book started so strong for me… I was invested in the story, in our main character, and it was so interesting and exciting. But from around 40-50% I get bored and confused, with the story. I wonder if it’s because I listened to the audiobook and did not read it physically? The narrator had very annoying voice, and it was hard to make a difference between characters, so maybe that’s why I got confused many times. But also, this take sooo long to finish. I am not sure I wan’t to continue with this series. I appreciate it for what it is, I liked the world building, the story telling, some characters, but I am very picky nowadays with Fantasy books, so I’m just gonna pass the next books.

10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children #1 by Ransom Riggs ⭐⭐ 2/5

I wanted to love this book sooo much. But to be honest, I don’t really get the hype around it. It was boring for me, the writing felt a little childish too, I think 12 year old kids would enjoy this more. Also it felt like the author built the world around the creepy photos and not the opposite, so I could not really enjoy the story.
DNF-ed it around 40%

11. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski ⭐⭐ 2/5

Nope nope nope. What the heck was that. This was not scary and frightening as it promised, but more like boring, confusing and monotone. I thought I will like it that its written in a very different and crazy style, but I had to realize that this is just not for me. I was just annoyed by it.
I really tried to get through it, but I just had to DNF it…

12. The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by N. K. Jemisin ⭐⭐ 2/5

I do not understand. Why everybody loves this book so much?? This was so boring for me, I was so close to DNF it. The world building (there was barely), the characters, ugh, I just did not like it. I was hoping the end will make me give at least 3 stars but nope. This is just not for me, I don’t think I will continue with this series.

13. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides ⭐⭐ 2.5/5

This was a HUGE disappointment. Prepare for my rent…
Compared to The Silent Patient, feels like it was not done properly and like a totally different author wrote it.
It was hurried, badly worked out book, and I did not really enjoy it unfortunately.
The first half of the book felt very flat and boring, and the end was hurried and not carved out, I had a feeling, the author just wanted to write another book fast.
It felt short, with very short chapters, which speeds up the pace of reading and it prevented me to really immerse in the story. Felt like I just skimmed through the plot points, like the author just wanted to get over with.
And it became clear also that he can’t write female characters, they were so stereotypical. The main character was very weird and cringe.

And let’s be honest, this did not felt like Dark Academia at all, unlike as it’s promised.
The plot had so much potential but it went south and the whole book was different from what I expected. None of the characters were likable, and I did not cheer for anybody. The main character weirdly thought she will play detective and that she can solve a murder mystery, that the idiot cops couldn’t, when actually there was nothing in it for her.

I did not like the plot twist, there was a lot of hinted information and signs in the book that it should have been discussed in the end, but the author ended it so fast, that there was basically no outcome and they did not draw much conclusion. So it felt like a chunk of the book was for nothing, because if the author did not even mention them at the end of the book, whats the point of the whole story? It just fell apart at the end, there were still many questions which were still not satisfyingly answered. I felt the story empty.

There are some positive aspect too tho. (I really don’t want to drag this book in the dirt, but it was just so disappointing, and it did not live up to the hype, but of course there was some enjoyable chunks of the book, and towards the end the plot became more exciting.)
I always like to read about mythology, so I enjoyed the Greek Mythology aspect and it was interesting how he woven it into the story.
Also there was a character from Silent Patient for a while which was cool. But altogether, this is not what I expected and I hope his next book will be as good as his first.

14. Red Rising #1 by Pierce Brown ⭐⭐⭐ 3/5

I really liked the first half of the book, but then somehow i was just dying of boredom in the second half. I was skipping through pages because i couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t understand the hype, and I don’t think I’ll continue with the series.

15. Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi ⭐⭐⭐ 3/5

This is a slow paced magical reading about time travel, with raw human feelings.
If you could go back in time to visit your loved ones and correct your mistakes, would you go? Even if maybe you can’t change anything? But you have to be careful… you only have time until the coffee gets cold…
It was an okay read, it was interesting.

16. And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1) by Kiersten White ⭐⭐⭐ 5/5

This book surprised me on another level!!! I adored it with my whole heart.

First, I went in this book blind, and I had no idea there’s gonna be so much history, even about my country, Hungary! It is very rare when it get even mentioned in a book, and I thoroughly enjoyed to read about the history of Hungary, Transylvania and the surrounding countries. About the richness of the religions, she wrote beautiful about everything and I got sucked into this world until the last page.
I liked that the author filled the missed pieces of the history, formed and changed some things, so the history is not perfectly accurate, after all it is a fiction book.
Second, I loved loved loved the rich characters and their conflicts and feelings. They developed beautifully until the end of the book. I loved the world, the history, and although there’s no magic or dragons, or any fantasy elements what people expected, it is more like a historical fiction/fantasy book, it is soooo interesting, exciting and enjoyable!
I really could not put it down.
One of my favorite book this year. Can’t wait to read the second book in the trilogy!

17. Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas ⭐⭐ 2/5

I started the audiobook, but I had to give it up at around 30%. I was very looking to reading this, and unfortunately this was very disappointing… There is no plot, it is boring, feels like nothing happens. It is not scary or crazy or creepy enough. It had a little dark academia vibe, but it felt like it have not enough scary things going on to continue, and it is gonna be a slow burn story, so I just had to DNF it.

18. From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5

I am very picky with the YA Fantasy genre these days, and surprisingly, I really liked this book! Although I felt that it was too long and the first half of the book was really slow, I did enjoyed it nonetheless.

19. The Shadow Between Us #1 by Tricia Levenseller ⭐⭐⭐ 3/5

This was an okay read, nothing special, it did not left a big mark in my head. I barely even remember what happened, I was not attached to the characters and I did not really care about the story, so I won’t continue with the series.

20. Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #1) by Tamsyn Muir ⭐⭐ 2/5

I was really excited about this book, and it was a dissappointment.
Confusing. Hard to follow. This just did not work for me. The concept would be good but the writing style is very not my cup of tea. I really wanted to love this.
DNF at 20%.

21. Dune by Frank Herbert ⭐⭐ 2/5

Okay, so don’t judge me… 😀
I really really tried to get through this one. I just couldn’t. I don’t really like sci-fi books, it is rare when I like some of them.

This had a very rich and complex world building, with many characters. The audiobook was pretty good, they had a whole cast, so it helped to differentiate the characters voices, but I am always struggling with books that have a lot of characters, it is hard to follow the story.

I appreciate this book for what it is and I can see why people love it, but unfortunately this was just boring to me, too long, and it was hard to concentrate on what was going on.
I DNF-ed it around 30%.

I watched the movie though, and I reallllly loved it. So I think, I will try to read it in physical format next year, because it will be easier to imagine the story and the locations now that I’ve saw the movie, and I can add faces to the characters too.

22. Tokyo Ever After #1 by Emiko Jean ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5

This was a really fun and cute romance book! A little bit of a combination of Princess Diaries and Crazy Rich Asians, so it was a really nice read!

23. A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.5/5

Wow wow wow. This was amazing.
Haynes’ writing is so beautiful and heart wrenching, she just sucks you into her world, it is so poetic and amazing, you get to feel all the things these women felt. Betrayal, humiliation, hope, oppression, vengeance, abuse, mistreat…

The author’s way of writing this book is such a unique method, telling all the stories and experiences from the goddesses’ eyes and it all comes together so beautifully to the end.
I can see how much effort, study and research went into this book, and she formed it in her own way so magically!
I really enjoyed this book and I am struggling if I should give 4.5 or 5 stars. I loved it so much but I just cannot give it 5 stars, because there was some parts that I was not interested in, and as much as I enjoyed the nice details in the stories, some times I found it unnecessary.
But I still loved this book very much and it grew close to my heart.

24. Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains #1) by Katee Robert ⭐⭐⭐ 2.5/5

This was…meh. It is a series of Disney Villains retelling, in this we follow Jafar and Jasmine who fall in love with each other. And Aladdin was a rude, evil bastard in this… 😀
Also if you like very spicy, sexy, kinky books, read this. But it was just too much for me, I couldn’t really enjoy it, it was too kinky with a lot of “baby girl” and “yes daddy”, basically there was no plot (the story started going from the second half), and it was just all sex. I like steamy books, but in this, nothing much happened. The end surprised me tho and i liked that.

25. The Kiss Quotient #1 by Helen Hoang ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.5/5

This was so cute and wholesome! I loved the characters, the plot and the Aspergers rep was so important. It had the perfect amount of steaminess. It really lived up to the hype, and i truly enjoyed it.

26. Conversations with friends by Sally Rooney ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 3.7/5

This was one of the biggest surprise for me this year. I don’t even know how to start this review…
THIS BOOK DESTROYED ME.

One things is sure, that Sally Rooney is very talented, and this was just her debut novel. She broke me so many times while I read this book.

//But I just have to mention a big reason why I took a star off, and it is because there was no quotation marks whatsoever. So you couldn’t tell apart if you were reading an inner monologue or a conversation. It was very annoying, many times you can’t tell who’s talking. It was very frustrating.//

So for me this was her first book. I thought I wasn’t gonna like it, that the hype is too high about her, and as much as it started boring for me, the book killed me by the end.
Around page 50 I started to get invested in the story and the characters, and from there it was a fricking roller coaster. It is messy and entangled, full of flaws and mistakes, and somehow, it works. I think that some readers who grew up are a bit more privileged and did not experienced poor choices in their lives, and not familiar with getting into bad and toxic relationships, with the thoughts that they don’t deserve the good things only the bad, they may won’t relate to these characters or may won’t fully understand the concept here.

I did not expect it, but there was a lot of triggers about self harm, suicidal thoughts, alcoholic father, etc. And it especially get to me when it turned out she had Endometriosis. I am a person with PCOS and chronic pain, and I felt so seen when she described her experience.
Altogether, it was a very clever book, so dark (that I did not expect), and I usually do not like to read about depressive, sad and toxic stories, I somehow really enjoyed this one.

27. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5

This is about friendships, toxic relationship, to put yourself first and to care about your loved ones, when they need you the most.
To stand up for yourself when you feel the other pressure you with their toxic behavior and manipulations, when you know, that this is not okay.
I think it have a very important message, and the art is unique but not my favorite.
It was a nice read.

28. The Tea Dragon Tapestry (Tea Dragon #3) by Kay O’Neill ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5

This is the third book in the Tea Dragon graphic novel series, and it was more sad than I anticipated but it was also cute. There’s not so much plot going on in these books, but the art is very cute and they worth a read.

29. Heartstopper #4 by Alice Oseman ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5/5

This is the fourth book in the Heartstopper graphic novel series, and I loved this so much, they are so cute as always! And I think Alice Oseman did a great job addressing the mental health topics in this book, (like Eating Disorder, OCD, self harm), and show it to the world that people who are struggling with mental health problems, they are not alone. They don’t have to deal with these alone, because their loved ones supports them, care for them and loves them. They don’t have to go through it alone. And that is a very important and powerful message.

30. The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium ⭐⭐⭐ 3/5

This is the second book in the series and I did like it less than the first volume. I think I will continue just to see where the story is going, but so far it’s meh…

31. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5/5

YES YES YES. This was so adorable and cute!!! I loved that not only the art style was pretty but the story was solid and well thought-out, with important topics but packaged in a fluffy and funny art, and it just warmed my heart. I really really loved it.

32. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki ⭐⭐⭐ 2.5 /5

There was just no plot going on whatsoever, and this one color art style is also not my thing. This could be so much bigger than it was, with a nice story, or ending or conclusion, but we got none of these.

33. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina vol #1: ⭐⭐⭐3 /5— vol #2:⭐⭐2 /5— vol #3:⭐⭐2 /5
(I counted these as one “book”, because the three smaller volume is like one bigger graphic novel.)

Yess, I finally started to read the original Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comics. This was darker than I anticipated and the drawings are very creepy. The characters does not look like in the Netflix series (only Sabrina), and I liked the show more, also it was more diverse than the comics. But still nice that I could start this comic series, although I am not sure I will finish it.