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. 😱
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. 😂 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. 🙈
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. 🙈 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.)
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. 😪
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
💜 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.
💜 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.
💜 I shared a couple of hyped books on my tbr I haven’t yet read, and explained my reasoning.
💜 I participated in the first round of Kal’s Bookish Reader’s Choice Awards, and shared some of my nominees in this post.
💜 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.
💜 I wrote a fun post about things I wish I didn’t have to see in books anymore, titled Dear Author, Pls Stop.
💜 Ruzi came back to the blog, and shared all that has happened to her in the past few months, including getting married.
💜 Knowing that y’all might need some short books to complete your reading challenges, I recommended 27 short books and novellas I adore.
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.)