Wrap Up

2019 November, aka the Month of Mediocre Books and Hey, I Met Leigh Bardugo!

Hello friends! The closer we get to the end of the year, the more quickly time seems to fly by. I feel like the month has just started, and yet, when I’m penning these lines, we’re already more than halfway through November… which means that the end of the semester is fast approaching, and I’m starting to panic over my exams. 😱

LIFE

All considered, I had a pretty so-so month. My 23rd birthday was on the 21st, and is it just me, or do birthdays feel more and more dull as you get older? I don’t drink and I rarely go out to bars/parties, so my birthdays have always been quiet, but they used to feel meaningful? Now I’m just like, eh, another year has gone by. πŸ˜‚ I much prefer Christmas or Easter where everyone is celebrating, getting and giving presents, and it all feels very magical. On that note, who else is is counting down the days to Christmas?

Towards the beginning of the month we had to attend a lecture at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and while the lecture itself wasn’t good – I’m not being mean, even our prof who sent us there said “he is a wonderful scholar, but uh, apparently not a good presenter” – I’m still glad I got to go. Not only because the building itself is rather nice, but also because I got to go shopping with a new uni friend afterwards. I actually didn’t buy anything for myself, but we found the kind of coat she was looking for, and honestly, I love helping my friends find the perfect item.

I also went to my first ever book signing this month, and I’m actually comfortable to air out my frustration about it here, haha. I think the organizers did a good job – especially considering that it was a free event – and meeting Leigh Bardugo in real life was a treat. I said like, five words to her, but she was lovely. πŸ™ˆ

My main problem, and again, no hate to the author, was where she signed the book. As we were standing in line the organizers told us that Leigh may be required by her publisher or agent to sign at a certain place – the title page – but they allowed us to put the post it note with our names onto the dedication page. That was an important thing, because I brought my special edition copies of Six of Crows and Crooked Kindom, both of which have a title page basically filled with black graphics. When I got to the front of the line my copies were open on the dedication page, but Leigh promptly turned the page to the title page and signed there.I’m not pleased. πŸ™ˆ Again, no hate to her or anyone else, but I left the bookshop a bit sad after that.

On top of that, I’m kind of in the middle of an identity crisis, and I’m lowkey thinking of leaving uni to start anew at another course. I’m just not sure what kind of job I’ll be able to get with my current studies, and I’ve been worried, worried, WORRIED about this since I realized how badly my friends – the ones I completed my English Studies BA with – struggle to find a job. Just writing these lines I’m *freaking out* so, uh, I’m not best pleased with my self from a few years ago who expected something glorious to come out of studying English for years. (I know, joke’s 1000% on moi.)

BOOKS

November wasn’t exactly what I’d call a good reading month – I read ten books, which is quite bad for me, and I was disappointed in quite a few titles. I’m not even going to divide the titles based on best and worst, because I was left incredibly conflicted by two novels in particular – both four star reads, but neither deserving to be called “the best.” Also, as per usual, I’m not including books I have nothing to say about, or ones that were very mediocre.


THE QUEEN OF NOTHING: After being conflicted by The Wicked King, I was reluctant to continue the series, and yet, as the release date got closer, I found myself eager to know what happens next. Am I sad I read The Queen of Nothing? No, I’m glad I gave it a chance, because it’s a good, four-star book. But did I love it? Nah.

My main problem is that I still think there’s a long way between the toxic relationship to (toxic) lovers and enemies to lovers tropes, and I feel like Cardan and Jude are 1000% the first. Which would be fine, because god knows they had shit childhoods, but I felt like it was excused away rather than addressed? I’m disappointed, but not surprised after The Wicked King. πŸ˜ͺ


THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB was one of my most awaited releases of 2019 ever since I had first heard about it, and man, it ranks that it disappointed me! Again, it’s not a bad book, I rated it four stars, but it just doesn’t bring the epic, unique romance I expected it to.

I enjoyed the concept and the male characters, but I felt like the female characters – Thea and her sister – were, for lack of better word, badly written. Thea came off as very cold when, if I sit down and think of her background and how Gavin ignored her for a month (!), she should have felt rightful in acting the way she had. An enjoyable book for sure, but one that could have been so much better, in my opinion.


RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA: Even though Reconstructing Amelia received four stars from me, it’s without doubt one of my top reads of November. It packed so many punches and kept me on the edge of my seat even though some of the things, including the answer to how Amelia died, were somewhat easy to guess. Either way, this was a wild ride I enjoyed from start to finish, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery-thriller.


THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR is easily one of the biggest disappointments of November. I can confidently say that this is not a bad book, but the writing style really did not suit me, so I ultimately put it down without finishing it. If you enjoy poetic writing I highly recommend it, though, because it’s an F/F enemies to lovers sci-fi that’s been getting some excellent feedback.


THE LOST MAN is a book I went into with big expectations, and yet, I wasn’t 1000% sure what it would be about. (I forget blurbs super-fast, and can only recall the very basics, e.g. the genre of a book, by the time I get to the book. If I’m sure I want to read a book – because I do remember what I thought of it – I won’t reread the blurb, and will instead go into it clueless. Basically, I like the be surprised and I’m a weirdo.)

At its core, The Lost Man is a mystery novel – Nathan, the main character, is trying to understand how and why his brother died – but it’s also a story of a family, particularly of the three brothers, and how and why they and their relationship changed throughout the years. It’s a great, slower read perfect for the fall-winter period (it actually takes place during Christmas) and my one and only five star read of November.


IF WE WERE VILLAINS is another good one, although I expected a tad more from it than what I got. The main cast is super-intriguing and well-crafted, and I cared for each and every one of them by the end of the novel. The plot, though, could have been a tad more exciting – the mystery was easy to figure out and, despite multiple characters claiming otherwise, it was pretty straightforward and easy to grasp. That said, I did really enjoy this, and would recommend it, especially to Shakespeare fans.

ON WORDY AND WHIMSICAL

πŸ’œ I complained about being disappointed by books in my October Wrap Up, but in retrospect it was a lot more positive than this one, so it may be worth checking out just to cleanse your eyes after that mess of a read pile.

πŸ’œ I posted one of my favorite posts I’ve EVER done, titled “Have YA Prices Gotten Out of Hand?” I included opinions from five different readers/bloggers in it to make it as accurate as possible, and I hope you’ll check it out.

πŸ’œ I shared a couple of hyped books on my tbr I haven’t yet read, and explained my reasoning.

πŸ’œ I participated in the first round of Kal’s Bookish Reader’s Choice Awards, and shared some of my nominees in this post.

πŸ’œ I reviewed The Fifth Season and Sorcery of Thorns in this post; the first is an excellent high fantasy y’all should read, the second… not so much.

πŸ’œ I wrote a fun post about things I wish I didn’t have to see in books anymore, titled Dear Author, Pls Stop.

πŸ’œ Ruzi came back to the blog, and shared all that has happened to her in the past few months, including getting married.

πŸ’œ Knowing that y’all might need some short books to complete your reading challenges, I recommended 27 short books and novellas I adore.

LET’S CHAT!

How was your October? Have you ever been to a book signing – if so, how was it? I’d love to see your favorite November posts – your own or someone else’s – so share away, if you feel like it! (I was a bad blogger this month and didn’t save the posts I loved by y’all, which is why they aren’t in the post.)

32 thoughts on “2019 November, aka the Month of Mediocre Books and Hey, I Met Leigh Bardugo!

  1. That’s great that you met Leigh! I have only been to one book signing before. It was for Sabaa Tahir and a few other authors. I felt really awkward because I was really only there for Sabaa, but I didn’t want to be rude or anything to the other authors. It was pretty obvious that I completely fangirled over her in comparison to the others lol. I do hope to go to more in the future though!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have already discussed the signing on Twitter, but again…bummer ☹. And I still don’t get why authors are required to sign books where the publishers think fit. It’s petty.

    I’m sorry to hear uni’s not working out for you anymore! I can relate though, because I haven’t done anything with my own degree in Foreign Languages and Literature. I used to dream of becoming a translator (not an interpreter), but I realised I didn’t really know how, so…I still think it’s an awesome course of studies (though I can honestly say I’ve learned more English from my Internet interactions and from books than at uni LOL), but you have to be committed to something and know how to get there, plus spend time abroad (which I never did), and your options are kind of limited (unless you want to become a teacher). Then again, everyone’s struggling with finding jobs these days, not only Foreign Languages and Literature graduates.Maybe it’s because you’ve been disappointed with your MA that you’re feeling so gloomy – but the course in itself is still valid, and the right path for you? Either way, a second language can only do you a world of good, whatever you decide. Good luck! πŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m disappointed about it as well. 😦

      Yeah, it’s not really that I don’t like the course. I mean, I don’t really, but I do believe it will get better, haha. It’s more what I said about my friends from my previous uni – those who decided not to go for an MA, and were content with a BA – have been really struggling to find a job. It’s disheartening to see it, because I can only assume that I’ll have similar problems. I’ve kind of realized that I’m “too old” to start a new course, because I could only finish it by the time I’m 27, which is ridiculously old to start working. Ugh. This is a mess, haha. Thanks!

      Like

  3. Seems like you had a busy month, Veronika! I’m glad you had to have fun with your friends and meet Leigh, although I’m sorry that the experiences had hiccups 😦

    I’m on my final semester of university so I totally get what you mean by an identity crisis. It’s not that my seniors don’t have job, it’s that our university and the study program I’m currently in are really new for my country that it’s hard for us to find a job that’s really in line with what we’re learning and what we want to do when we enroll at the course. It’s really scary, tbh. I hope you’ll figure it out soon ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not sure if everyone feels that way about Birthdays, but mine has been a non-event for decades. Wow! What a great author for your first book signing. I had no idea publishers dictated upon which spot an author could put their signature. I read Reconstructing Amelia years ago, and rated it 5-stars. I remember being really shook as the mother with a daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very belated happy birthday, Vera!! And I’m just a teenager, but I get that feeling. Like, my birthday is… just a regular day? Except maybe a night out, nothing special is gonna happen on it. And the fact that I expect only good things to happen on my birthday doesn’t help, haha. OMG, it’s so cool that you met Leigh Bardugo! She seems like an amazing person, but I am super sorry that your book was signed in the wrong place. That sucks.
    Ohh, I’m glad that I’m not the only one who didn’t fall head over heels in love with This Is How You Lose the Time War. Like, it was good? But kinda forgettable? I feel really bad because it has such great representation and a very interesting storyline, but it just wasn’t for me. Ah, I feel you on If We Were Villains. Though I did enjoy the book, the plot was a tad slow. I loved the atmosphere though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! πŸ™‚ Haha, same about expecting only good things on my birthday – this year I had to go to uni that day, and I was MAD about it. Ahh, she was great in real life.
      I think This Is How You Lose the Time Work is great… just not for me, haha. It deserves the hype for its unique concept and rep, but I just couldn’t get into it at all. The atmosphere of If We Were Villains was amazing! I love boarding school books, and this was next level with how they lived alone in a house together, but still on school grounds.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy belated birthday! Congrats about meeting Leigh Bardugo. That’s awesome! Wishing you lots of luck with whatever you decide to do with your life. It’s totally valid to start reevaluating what you want to do. I hope you pick up a lot of amazing reads this month to make up for the ones that disappointed you. Happy December!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oof, if you’re thinking birthdays are boring at 23 it’s all down hill then. I usually reward myself with a day off for my birthday so the not working part is always exciting for me. Hope you enjoyed your birthday even if you are beginning to find them getting a bit dull.

    Sorry to hear you’re book signing was a bit of a let down. Some of that may be a certain level of excitement you had for meeting her,maybe? But yeah, it would have been a little annoying that she didn’t sign where you would have liked. It sucks, but it’s still exciting you got to meet Leigh Bardugo so there’s that.

    That is quite a life crisis to be going through. I mean, I can offer no advice on that since I got a BA in History… and then got a job in a completely unrelated sector. I basically chose my degree in what interested me and only had minor regrets later. It would be a major thing to change your course so I guess all you can do is write a list (I’m a big fan of lists) and weigh up if it’s worth it. Whatever you decide I’ll totally cheer you on.

    And now on to the books. I know your feelings on The Queen of Nothimg and I get it. The romance was definitely toxic and there should have been more to discuss that. As much as I love the series (they were on my favourites list for November) I did feel like the third book rushed through a lot of things. I still feel like there are things which weren’t addressed and I want more answers! And the romance and relationship of Cardan and Jude was one of those things. And The Bromance Book Club was also a favourite of mine but you’re not the only blogger I’ve seen who took issue with the character of Thea and I forgot her sister annoyed me a little. I did struggle to connect with Thea at first but I feel like I warmed up to her a lot by the end.

    And now I’ve written an essay of a comment so I’ll stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “it’s all down hill then” – THANK YOU for making me feel better, haha. I usually stay at home from uni, but I couldn’t even do that this year, so I was already ANGRY.

      Oh yes, absolutely! She was lovely and it was great to meet her in real life and to go to a book signing. πŸ™‚

      Yeah, I think that will be the case for me as well, not being able to find a job that corresponds with what I’ve studied. I’ve thought a lot about it, and it’s unlikely I can even change my studies at this point. I’m “too old” to start over, haha. Thank you! πŸ˜€

      Honestly, regarding The Folk of the Air, I’ve been wondering if maybe we are getting another series in the future. I feel like SO MANY things were not explained that we might get one, for instance, that takes place underseas. Especially with the title, The Folk of the Air, it would make sense to get the opposite of that. I guess we’ll see, I may be very wrong, haha.

      I *love* long comments, so thanks for typing all this out! πŸ™‚

      Like

  8. Time does fly by at the end of the year it is insane!!!
    Aww.. I hope you had a great birthday ❀ but I do know what you mean about birthdays getting duller as you get older!! But yes I am counting down until Christmas πŸ˜‚

    It is so fun that you got to meet Leigh Bardugo!! It is a shame that she didn’t get to sign the page you want as I would find that frustrating too!! At least you got a cool memory!!

    Aw.. I struggle trying to decide what job I want so much and have an identity crisis all the time but I’m sending you lots of positive thoughts!! 😊

    I’m sorry the Bromance Club didn’t have everything you wanted!! I thought it sounded like a fun read though!!

    I hope you have a great December!!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! It’s like since the start of the fall time has been flying by faster and faster. Weird, haha.

      Absolutely, and she was lovely so the whole event was a good experience overall.

      Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only one – thank you, and I’m sending YOU positive thoughts. ❀❀

      The Bromance Book Club is a fun, unique read still… just not as good as I expected.

      Thanks, you too! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope that whatever you choose to do about university, you do what’s best for you. Definitely don’t stay in a degree you don’t enjoy. Also, I hope you had a lovely birthday. And yay for getting to meet Bardugo. But it’s a shame about the title page. I mean it makes sense to some degree but if the page is just BLACK a different one would be good. I am so sorry that you were disappointed by The Bromance Club! I am looking forward to that one. And I think as a Shakespeare nerd I will love We Were Villains so I am looking forward to it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy Late Birthday! πŸŽ‰ I’m definitely eagerly anticipating Christmas and have watched a few holiday movies already πŸŽ„ I’m sorry to hear that you had a mediocre reading month and have been struggling with your university course 😦 I feel you, as my course is also a bit less certain about future opportunities and it has been stressing me out for some while now πŸ˜… I hope you’ll find a way to solve your crisis though πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I’m planning on getting started on Christmas movies soon, and I’ve already read my first Christmas book. πŸ™‚ Ah, I’m kind of glad I’m not the only one who feels uncertain about her future, but I’m sad you’re going through that as well. Thank you! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s weird to me that an author would be required to sign on a black page! Perhaps the organizers should have provided Bardugo with silver Sharpies or something?

    I don’t think anyone wants to admit it, but it is my experience that English BAs struggle to get jobs and the types of jobs they get usually are part-time and don’t pay well. English departments like to say that their majors are versatile, and not locked into a career, as you would be if you took a specific course like “hotel management.” But the problem is, they say English majors can go into any field, such as business, for example. But if English majors are competing for business jobs with business majors, I don’t think they’re going to win that competition.

    On other hand, it is also my experience that your degree means very little to most employers and that most people actually get a job because they know someone or because they went to a prestigious school with name recognition. So, if you are worried about changing your field of study so late, an alternative would be to start networking like crazy instead. Once you have some work experience on your resume, what you studied is pretty much irrelevant to most employers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t completely black, just filled with black drawings/graphics. And YES, a silver or gold pen would have really helped this.

      Yeah, I’ve also heard that experience and connections tend to be more important than a degree, and another thing I’m working is to brush off my Spanish and study another language. We’ll see what happens, haha, but I wish I could go back in time and choose a different course instead. I used to think it’s important to study something you enjoy, but it would have served me better to study something else.

      Like

      1. I think the advice to study what you love works insofar as a student is perhaps more likely to finish a program if they enjoy being in it. But I think there is a problem in that many academics see college as a time to expand horizons and learn new things–which worked well when everyone in college was from an affluent background. Now that college is open to everyone–and a college degree is expected from everyone–students see college as a way to get a job. They want a return on the money they invest. And, in the U.S. at least, most most students don’t seem to be recovering the money they put in and they are understandably upset.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy happy belated birthday! ❀ I get that feeling so much, as you grow older, somehow birthdays seem less special and… it makes me feel a little sad, too, ahha.
    I'm really happy you got to meet Leigh, this is amazing yay! Not so amazing that you didn't get the book signed where you wanted it to be though, but at least you got to meet one your favorite authors, that's awesome πŸ˜€
    I hope you'll have a beautiful December ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Marie! πŸ™‚ Exactly!! I used to be excitedly awaiting my birthdays as a kid, and now I just do not care, haha.
      Ahh, thanks, she was so great in real life, I loved meeting her. πŸ˜€
      Thank you!! I hope you’re having a great December as well! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy belated birthday, Veronika! I feel you on birthdays seeming less special as you get older – but I think you should celebrate you with reckless abandon!

    I am so sorry to hear that Leigh signed on the title pages, I would have been a little bummed as well.

    I can see why This Is How You Lose the Time War didn’t work for you. While I loved the book, that flowery as hell prose won’t be for everyone, and to be honest, if I hadn’t been in the right mood I might have disliked the book as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kal! True, true – celebrating ourselves is important. πŸ™‚

      Ahh, I wish I had done my research on This Is How You Lose the Time War. I heard f/f sci-fi and got so excited, I didn’t know just how flowery the writing would be. *cries* Anyhow, I’m happy you loved the book. πŸ™‚

      Like

  14. Hey! Sending you all of the hugs. I totally get what you mean about uni subjects and not knowing how they will help you get a job. I graduated uni with a degree in journalism / PR about 13 years ago, but I’ve never worked in either field. In fact, the job I have now is in a Communications area, but I do all of the finance and people management work. I guess what I’m saying is that your studies never have to directly relate to your skill set, so try not to overthink it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.