Wrap Up

2019 September Wrap Up, ft. Flailing Over Books + Crying Over Uni

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.

LIFE

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?

THE HIGHS

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 LOWS

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

πŸ’œ Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense shared her favorite books by Latinx authors from the past year.

πŸ’œ Leelyn @ Sometimes Leelyn Reads asked the question – “does racebending count?”

πŸ’œ Rain @ The Withering asked: should we be reading challenging or entertaining books?

πŸ’œ Roberta @ Offbeat YA discussed how she handles writing negative reviews.

πŸ’œ 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.

πŸ’œ Sam @ We Live and Breath Books talked about not being a fangirl and shared why it’s difficult to review sequels.

πŸ’œ Tanya @ Girl Plus Books did the Why I’m Weird Tag.

Let’s chat!

How was your September? Did you do anything fun during September? What was your favorite book of the month? What about your least favorite?

25 thoughts on “2019 September Wrap Up, ft. Flailing Over Books + Crying Over Uni

  1. Awww, I didn’t expect a shout-out! As usual, half the credit should go to Heidi, who comes up with almost all the prompts for these posts! (I did write a handful, but not that one). Also, Sam’s discussions? She’s the queen of those, LOL. I keep telling her.

    OK, let’s get to your wrap-up. First off, I’m proud of you for doing things out of your comfort zone. I have to be worked up to the max or incredibly driven to do that, and this has ruined my life in more than a way…but I digress. I’m sure it will turn out to be an incredible experience by the end, and even if it fell a little short of it…you’ve got it, girl! πŸ‘

    That’s a shame so many books ended up being disappointing for you. But I guess it comes with the territory of reading so many thrillers (since most of them are), because it’s hard to get your expectations met when it comes to that genre. Thrillers/mysteries are probably the most difficult genre to write – it takes a skilled author to keep up the tension for so long. I hope you find some better ones soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really-really bad at leaving my comfort zone and with handling change, and I had a REALLY hard time on my first week here – the new place and new people were A LOT to take in all at once. Thankfully, I’ve found some friendly people, so that’s nice. πŸ™‚

      Yeah, I agree! It’s easy enough to make a thriller’s blurb sound unique and appealing, but if the inside of it is not up to par… that sucks, and it happens all too often. 😦

      Like

  2. I’m so with you in monthly wrap ups. They are very time consuming to make. I may have β€œconveniently” forgotten to make one for September. Glad you had a good September, but sorry switching universities has been tough! I’m sure you’ll get used to it soon enough πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. YAY!! for hitting 100 books – that’s so amazing, and I know you do it each year, but I’m building up to it (fingers crossed for this year!)
    Also, I’m sorry that Bringing Down the Duke didn’t work for you. That’s a real shame. Hopefully this month’s books are all amazing!! (I’m pretty sure that’s the dream…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Hope you can reach 100, I’m rooting for you to hit your goal! πŸ™‚ I really wanted to love Bringing Down the Duke, so I’m still very sad about that. 😦 I wish – the first two books I’ve read in October were a tad disappointing, so we’re off to a bad start, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. AWWWWWW!! you mentioned meeee!?!?!? I AM SOOO FUCKING HAPPPYYYY! yayyyyyyyyy!! THANJ YOU SOO MUCH FOR THE SHOUT OUT!! 😍😍❀️❀️❀️❀️πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ₯³

    That’s GREAT that you decided to bring back wrap ups! To be honest, even I was thinking about letting wrap ups go BUT THEY ARE JUST SOO MUCH FUN! + when you actually see all of your month’s efforts condensed, GIVES YOU SUCH A SENSE OF PRIDEE!?!? AM I RIGHT!? AM I RIGHT? OF COURSE I AM RIGHTT! 🀣🀣😍😍❀️❀️❀️

    AND MAN, i understand how difficult those first few weeks or even months at a new university are! soooo intimidating! BUT HEY! YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A BLAST TOOOO! 😍😍And Masters!!! SOOO PROUDD!! πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ˜

    And I agree about setting a goal that’s actually achievable! This one time, i set myself a goal of 300 books! i knowww!! 300 FUCKING BOOKS! 🀣🀣🀣 And I FAILED ROYALLY AT THAT! Figures! 🀣🀣🀣

    Hungry hearts sounds absolutely AMAZING! And well, LOOKS DELICIOUS TOO! 🀣🀣🀣

    I don’t listen to podcasts much! But by their names, these sounds super interesting. Maybe a I will give them a go!?

    LOOOVEDD YOUR RECAP, HON!!! 😍😍❀️❀️❀️ Looks like you had a fantastic and productive September! AND I AM SURE OCTOBER IS GOING TO BE EVEN BETTER THAN THAT!! πŸ˜πŸ˜β€οΈβ€οΈπŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, I really-really love your blog!! πŸ™‚

      ABSOLUTELY – the pride is real when I can write everything down and see it all together. Also I just love going through all the books I’ve read and potentially changing my ratings if my opinion has changed a bit.

      Thank you!! ❀️❀️ I’ve found some really friendly people already, so that’s nice. πŸ™‚

      Lololol, 300 sounds like waaay too much, I’d have been in constant fear and stress of failing. 🀣

      You should definitely give a chance to Hungry Hearts, it’s probably the best anthology I’ve ever read.

      Thank you! I hope so, and I hope your October is also going to be amazing!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. AWWWW!!! THANK YOUU SOO MUCH, Veronika! You have NO idea how much your words mean to meee!!!! ❀

        I KNOW RIGHT??!!! Guess I was getting ahead of myself!!! xD xD

        i AMM GOING TO REA DIT ASAP!!! ❀ ❀

        Thank you soo much again and I am soo fucking sorry for such a late reply!!! ❀ ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The Bologna process sounds really interesting, but also intimidating. On one side, you can see new surroundings but on the other hand, adjusting can be hard. I hope you’ll have an amazing time though πŸ™‚

    September has been really busy for me so I hope October will be more relaxing ahaha. I’m still trying to find a thesis placement but at least I don’t have to worry about my internship report anymore! Your should try Potterless, it’s a podcast by someone who’s reading harry potter for the first time and it’s hilarious but also made me feel the magic. I love Lover too, it’s just something I never realized I missed from Taylor πŸ™‚

    I hope you’ll have an amazing October ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, yeah, but it’s not obligatory, I could have stayed at my old uni, so it’s all good. πŸ˜€ But I do like the idea behind it.

      Trying to find a thesis placement sounds stressful, but I’m glad your internship report is one less thing to worry about. πŸ˜€ Hope the thesis placement will be solved in October. Potterless sounds great, I’ll definitely give it a chance. πŸ™‚

      Thanks, hope your October will also be great! πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. “It takes off the pressure, and it’s wonderful to know you’ll get a percentage above 100 – who doesn’t want that?” SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS ME AT LAST. This is exactly why I choose a realistic number rather than challenging myself, though occasionally I’ll increase or decrease it a little as needed. Happy to hear you hit 100 books!

    The amount of energy needed to create wrap-ups take so much, and I personally hate doing them myself due to the energy needed. I’m really glad you’re bringing them back though! Don’t stress yourself out too much, though, and make sure you’re taking care of yourself. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FINALLY, SOMEONE ELSE!! There’re so many things to worry about, especially because of uni, and I never want reading to be one of those things.

      I really enjoyed making this, but thanks, I’ll definitely stop if they become too much. ❀ It helps to only concentrate on certain things, rather than try to cover EVERYTHING, including movies, shows etc. like I used to. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on starting your masters program! I can see how that would be super stressful. But alpacas! YAY! I haven’t heard of Only Ashes Remain but it sounds amazing! I’m definitely going to check that one out. I felt the same way about The Woman in Cabin 10 so it’s nice to see that I’m not the only person who didn’t love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – it’s been better since the beginning. πŸ™‚ The alpacas were SO PRECIOUS, omg. πŸ₯° Only Ashes Remain is a must- read if you enjoy dark fantasy, and it deserves so much more hype (I think the publisher really failed it with the cover + {lack of} marketing.) Yeah, I expected a lot more from The Woman in Cabin 10. 😦

      Like

  8. I think it’s wonderful that you challenged yourself and elected to do your masters at a different university. I believe it would expose you to so many new people, professors, campus culture, and that can be a very positive thing. Good for you! I laughed at your comment about the cover of Have a Little Faith in Me. Agreed, it is not amazing (like the book is), but I guess they at least make a reference to the image in the story. Thank you for sharing my posts. XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope the university switch up goes well and sometimes it is good to make yourself go with the change! It looks like I am good at change because I am always doing it, but that’s always me pushing myself to adapt to it because in truth, I am terrible at and dislike change… although it’s starting to get a bit more familiar at this point. And yay for spending time with friends and visiting the zoo! I am glad you liked Jade War and Have a Little Faith in Me because I am thinking about trying those ones!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been getting easier to adapt, and I definitely get wanting to challenge yourself – I hope I’ll get to the point where you’re at, where change feels more familiar, as you’ve put it. I hope you’ll adore Jade War and Have A Little Faith in Me – both are EXCELLENT in their own genre, and deserve a loooot more hype than they’ve received! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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