Great news everyone – we’ve made it through September! October always means to me that we are nearing the end – and in my opinion, the most exciting part – of the year. In Australia, October signals to me that summertime is on its way and that I have sunshine to look forward to soon.
This month we want to encourage you to help protect trans rights around the world. Here is a list of petitions you can sign to help with specific trans issues occurring right now in different countries and here is a link that lists places you can donate and find other resources too.
Now, we’ll talk about what we did, read and watched this month!
So, September was not a great time for me and I don’t really want to talk about why because I think I am starting to get past it. Still, as a result, I basically checked out of my life and spent the whole time distracting myself (when I wasn’t sleeping) with 20% watching TV shows and 80% playing Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links online (which I might have become slightly addicted to once again). In case you don’t know, it is a card game where you build a deck of “monsters”, traps and spells and compete against other players (either real people or computers, it’s up to you). There’s a lot more to the game now, but that’s the very basics. I used to love the physical card game as a kid, but I always struggled to find anyone who would play with me, so it’s really interesting to be able to play online now.
I’m afraid this all means I haven’t been blogging or reading as much as I would have usually and I’m sorry I haven’t read many of your posts over this time. Hopefully I will get back into the swing of things this month!
I feel like I didn’t do anything interesting during September, mostly for the following reasons; (1) uni started and I’ve been busy (this semester is going to be horrible.. it already is, lmao) and (2) there are hundreds of new COVID-19 cases in Hungary every day, so I’ve been staying home. If you’re wondering, no, there are essentially no restrictions besides having to wear a mask in certain places. Unbelievable. 😶 One thing that did happen and was nice was celebrating my mom’s birthday – we had cake and she loved the presents I got her, which made me extremely happy. 😊
With regards to uni, I do have some things to share! Firstly, I can’t remember if I told you this already, but all of my classes are online, which is such a relief as I typically commute to uni and the trains are always crowded. It’s good to avoid that in a pandemic. Secondly, I’m genuinely enjoying most of my classes. 🥳 That being said, the professors seem to have the misconception that students have more time and brain space right now than usual – perhaps, because of having online classes – so we have a massive workload for every class. I’m so tired, and uni started less than a month ago.
Finally, I’ve chosen a topic for my MA thesis, and I’m actually excited to start working on it. It took some time for me to get to a point where I thought of a topic I genuinely want to work on, but I’ve arrived there so yay! For those who are wondering, I’ll be writing about Australian YA literature, talking about stuff like classic Aus YA, diversity in Aus YA, and how YA can be used in education.
What We Read
As I said earlier, I didn’t do much reading this month. In fact, I only finished reading one book, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, so that’s all I am going to talk about. Unfortunately I didn’t fall in love with the book, but I did enjoy it. I really liked all the nuanced discussions that took place throughout the story, and I liked the main character quite a lot too. I didn’t feel like I got to know any of the characters outside of Felix and the pacing didn’t work well for me either. The main problem I had though was one of the plot points. I just don’t seem to ever like when one character (and the reader) knows a secret that is going to cause someone else pain and keeps it from them, but you know at some point the truth is going to come out. I recently read Words in Deep Blue which had this sort of plot point too – it causes me so much frustration! Still, Felix Ever After had refreshingly messy teenage relationships and I loved the way everything concluded, so I rated it 3.5 stars.
I was so bloody excited for all the new releases of September, so it pains me that I only got to two of them. The beginning of the month was a fine, but as the COVID-19 cases started rising in Hungary and the fall semester at uni began, I became more and more stressed which led to me not feeling up to reading. Usually, I’d reach for my comfort reads but a few months ago I discovered the wonderful world of fanfiction, so I’ve buried myself in The Magnus Archives fanfiction recently (as in, in the past for months, lmao.) In any case, I still managed to read 11 books, which is a fair number all things considered. My average rating for the month was 3.8 which is the fourth worst so far this year. I don’t have the time nor the inclination to share every book I read – sorry! – so I’m only giving you the best and the worst reads of September.
Friends, let me introduce you to Cemetery Boys, aka one of my favorite novels of September and the first YA novel written about a transgender character, by a transgender author that hit the NYT Bestseller list. 🥳 This book is so soft and so wonderful, you all. If you are looking for something to read during the Halloween season, look no farther, Cemetery Boys is the most wholesome spooky read you can find. ★★★★★
I know Halloween is far away and all, but I found myself wanting to read horror and so I picked up Into the Drowning Deep, and I really don’t regret that decision. (As someone who loves horror films, it is a crime that I don’t read more horror, so if you have any recommendations, hit me with them, please!) I’ll be posting a review for this during Spooky October, our Halloween event, so keep your eyes peeled open for that if you are interested. ★★★★
I’ve heard lots of great things about Fredrik Backman, so I finally caved in and picked up A Man Called Ove by him, and you all.. this book was fantastic. It’s a slower, quieter read, but that doesn’t take away from how powerful it is and how it punched me right in the feels. Ove is a grumpy old man who hides a pretty soft and caring person under his hard exterior, and I really grew to love him as the novel progressed. He actually reminded me of the old man from the movie Up, so if you liked that character, you’ll probably like Ove. ★★★★★
Take a deep breath, because we are diving into the disappointing reads section of my September. Ready? Okay, let’s go.
Not You #LoveStory was easily one of my most awaited releases of 2020, so the fact that I hated it makes me want to cry. Don’t take my word for this because the majority of its readers really loved this novel, but I simply could not stand its characters and I don’t think Hartl did a good job of adapting the #PlanBae debacle. On top of that, the ending killed me, it really, truly did. I love when characters are passionate about their hobby and Macy was so passionate about her youtube channel, so fuck that ending, seriously. ★★
Gone Girl is one of my all time favorite novels and I loved Dark Places too, so I thought I had nothing to worry about when picking up Sharp Objects. Boy, was I wrong. This book bore me to death.. and look, I love thriller and horror so I read a lot of stuff with darker subjects, but this? It was too much even for me. It made me feel so uncomfortable and disgusted at so many parts. ★★
What We Watched
My Yu-Gi-Oh! binge continued outside of the computer game and I ended up watching the entire first season this month. Unfortunately Netflix for some reason only has seasons one and three, so I stopped after the first. Two other shows I started in September areMerlin and Marlon. They’re both new to me, and I am enjoying them both for the most part. Sometimes Merlin himself makes some really irritating decisions and Marlon himself can be too annoying for me, lol. I also continued watching old seasons of Australian Survivor and the new season of The Block.
For movies, I rewatched two: Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams and The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Spy Kids is a longterm favourite of mine and it was fun to rewatch it with my sister. The Hitman’s Bodyguard was, to be honest, not as funny as I remembered it being but still enjoyable enough. The only new-to-me movie I watched this month was Bumblebee which surprised me by being, again, enjoyable enough. The character of Bumblebee was so cute – and I never thought I would be saying that about a robot.
Posts We Loved
- Amber @ Du Livre shared nine things she learnt in nine years of blogging.
- Bec @ Bec and Books shared four online tools to be more productive.
- Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea reacted to unpopular bookish opinions.
- Emily @ Paperback Princess pointed out the problematic aspects of The Selection by Kiera Cass
- Laura @ Daydreaming Dragons discussed the pros and cons of multiple POVs.
- Margaret @ Weird Zeal talked about the playlists she’s made based on books.
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books shared the winners of the 2020 Book Blogger Awards.
How was your month? Are you excited that it’s October now? What were your favourite reads in September? Let us know!