Hello friends! After a bit of thinking, I’ve decided to bring back monthly wrap-ups. *throws confetti* This, indeed, might mean that I do this once and then never again, but I feel like doing it now, so hush.
Thing is, I’ve always struggled with the length of these motherfuckers – they take way too much energy to make, and I doubt you want a good thirty minute long read, so I’m doing my best to condense today’s post as much as possible. This means that I’m not including every single thing I want to; this time we’ll have four parts: life, books, music and blogosphere. Depending on what I feel like including, the content could change from month to month, we’ll see.
I started my Master’s studies towards the beginning of September, and I’ve been stressed and nervous a lot these past few weeks because of that. I’m unsure how uni education works in other countries, but within the EU the university system is built on the Bologna Process, which ensures a “three-cycle higher education system consisting of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral studies.” One of the key aspects of the Bologna Process is that it’s supposed to promote mobility – in and outside of your home country – and I decided to make use of that, and switched universities after wrapping up my bachelor’s.
It’s been… a process. The university I switched to is bigger than my old one, and it’s been intimidating meeting new people, new professors, and being in new buildings. I’m not good with change, which is precisely why I opted for choosing change this time. I spent three years at my old university, and while it was great – I have pretty awesome memories, and have met amazing people – I thought it’d be good to try another place.
September was also about catching up with friends, including friends I haven’t seen in a long time. We went to the cinema, to eat, to shop, and I had a lot of fun with each of them. Also! My mom and I went to the Budapest Zoo, and while our legs practically fell off by the end of the day we really enjoyed ourselves. My highlight was petting the alpacas, aka one of the cutest animals in the world.
WHAT I READ
During the month of September I read 15 books (only the best and worst are featured in this post, though!), and I’m pretty happy with that number, especially because I finally hit the magical 100 books on my goodreads challenge towards the beginning of the month.
Fun fact: I always set 100 as my goal, because I know that’s a number I can realistically hit. What do you mean that’s not how you do this “challenge yourself” thing!? Don’t judge till you tried my method, mate! It takes off the pressure, and it’s wonderful to know you’ll get a percentage above 100 – who doesn’t want that?
ONLY ASHES REMAIN: You all better stop sleeping on this magnificent series, because you’re making a huge mistake. Only Ashes Remain brought the dark, gritty fantasy I’ve come to expect from Rebecca Schaeffer. I’m just so here for an author who promises to bring dark, disturbing characters and does exactly that.
THE FIFTH SEASON: This is one of those high fantasy novels that’s bloody confusing at first and is very dense, but when it clicks you’ll be flying through it. I loved every moment of this book – confusing beginning included – and will have a review of it soon on the blog.
JADE WAR: This is what pure magnificence looks like, friends. Fonda Lee has created an engrossing, beautiful series and filled it with characters who will 1000% steal your heart. I love the family dynamics and how, given that the main characters are a part of clans, everything is incredibly morally gray. I will have a post detailing exactly why I love The Green Bone Saga.
WORK FOR IT: I’ve talked about how Talia Hibbert has stolen my heart with her novels, so I expected to love Work for It, and I so did. It was emotional and beautiful and I freaking adored these characters – both as individuals and as a couple.
HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME: While it has one of the most unfortunate covers I’ve ever seen, Have a Little Faith in Me is an excellent book, and one of the highlights of 2019 for me. The novel discusses consent, sex and sex education in the most respectful way, and has an adorable fake relationship as well as top notch friendships. Highly recommended.
SOMETIMES I LIE was one of the most hyped psychological thrillers of the past few years, so it’s safe to say that my expectations were high. Truth to be told, not all of them were met – most importantly, I couldn’t for the life of me connect to the characters – yet I’m very pleased with this book. It took me on a journey that was full of shocking twists, and I found myself unable to put it down; I had uni the next day, yet I stayed up super-late to finish it.
HUNGRY HEARTS: I expected a lot from this little book, but even so, it well exceeded my expectations. There was so much heart, so much soul, and indeed, so much food in Hungry Hearts that I genuinely cannot rate it anything less than five shining stars. Beautiful.
THE TURN OF THE KEY: To be fair, this is a strictly mediocre book, I read much worse during September, but it certainly was a low point given that it was one of my most awaited releases of the year. It sounded perfect – a live-in-nanny has been accused of killing a child in her care, and is now telling her story, claiming she didn’t do it. The concept of a smart house “doing” all kinds of weird, sinister things felt very fresh and fun, but it turned out to be painfully boring and predictable, and I just couldn’t get into it.
THE WAY TO GAME THE WALK OF SHAME: From the ‘hero’ who absolutely failed to respect women to the “she’s not like other girls” trope this was a treat… not. I’m just, I can’t. I wanted to like this, and I did at first, but when he wasn’t improving I got angry. Should have DNF-ed. I have review of it here.
BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE was easily one of my most awaited releases of the second half of 2019, so I’m devastated it didn’t work for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book, but I simply couldn’t give it more than three stars given my disappointment. I think the biggest problem was that the characters could have been more fleshed out, in my opinion, and don’t even get me started on the romance.
THE SILENT COMPANIONS was a disappointment through and through – the creepy scenes were underwhelming, the characters got on my nerves, and I was so bored I opted for DNF-ing it. I skimmed ahead to read the ending, and I just… WHY? Predictability at its worst.
THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10: Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking – if I was disappointed in The Turn of the Key, why did I pick up another Ruth Ware novel? Easy: I went to the library, and this was the best I could find – alongside Ware’s debut, which I have HOPE for still! – and I got them both. I’m shaking my head at myself, yeah. Anyhow, I’ve read lots of bad thrillers, but The Woman in Cabin 10 is easily one of the most predictable books I’ve ever read, and to top it off, it has an utterly unlikable cast.
WHAT I LISTENED TO
I’ve been trying to get into podcasts, and I found some great ones recently. Smart Podcast Trashy Books, BookThingo, Journeys of Romance, and The Rose Quinn Podcast are all bookish podcast thats I’ve really enjoyed. The first three concentrate on romance, while the last one is more YA centered. Do give them a listen! I found them on spotify, but they should be available wherever you listen to podcasts.
As for music, I’m still incredibly into Lover by the one and only Taylor Swift. Admittedly, there are a few songs I’m not terribly fond of – The Archer, for one – but I still think it’s a masterpiece, and she was magnificent in the BBC Live Lounge. Camila Cabello released two new songs, Shameless and Liar, and they are bloody fantastic, even though Liar’s video is… weird, to say the least.
IN THE BLOGOSPHERE
💜 Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense shared her favorite books by Latinx authors from the past year.
💜 Leelyn @ Sometimes Leelyn Reads asked the question – “does racebending count?”
💜 Rain @ The Withering asked: should we be reading challenging or entertaining books?
💜 Roberta @ Offbeat YA discussed how she handles writing negative reviews.
💜 Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight reviewed Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartle, and it’s only fair I link her review here, because it was the very thing that convinced me to buy and read this amazing book.
💜 Sam @ We Live and Breath Books talked about not being a fangirl and shared why it’s difficult to review sequels.
💜 Tanya @ Girl Plus Books did the Why I’m Weird Tag.
How was your September? Did you do anything fun during September? What was your favorite book of the month? What about your least favorite?