So, where did October go? This month has absolutely flown by, and apparently I managed to do some reading…
Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella
I was still on a bit of a Romance kick and since this has been sitting unread for a while it seemed like the perfect time to pick it up. Can You Keep a Secret follow Emma who, on a particularly turbulent flight, stills every one of her secrets to the handsome man sitting next to her. A man who she didn’t think she would ever see again, and who ended up being her boss. This was a super light, and fluffy, contemporary romance, with an extremely funny, and likeable MC. Emma ended up reminding me a lot of Bridget Jones, particularly the sort of humour, but there wasn’t as much depth as I would have liked. All in all, a fun read, but not a must-read.
Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab
Okay, let’s take a deep breath before I start to gush about how much I love Schwab and her villains. If you follow Victoria of social media, you may be aware that she scrapped the initial draft and started from scratch. An inspiration if ever I did hear one. The plot, the pacing, the characters, everything is just spot on, and all of a sudden we’ve gone form a lovely self contained novel to a carefully controlled sprawling world populated with these intensely realistic characters, who just so happen to have superpowers. The whole thing just made me insanely happy (despite the broken heart) and I do not regret getting two copies one little bit. Please do yourself a favour and read these books, even if it’s not your usual cup of tea, just give it a try, I promise you won’t regret it!
I’d Die For You and Other Lost Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Like the world and his wife, I studied The Great Gatsby at A-Level, and my friends and I fell in love with it. I’ve since read other Fitzgerald, but nothing really came close to Gatsby, and then I picked this book up. A collection of previously unpublished, or uncollected, short satires, it reminded me of why I used to love Fitzgerald, and why I still have a soft spot for him. As with all short story collections, there were some that I loved more than others, but on the whole I really enjoyed seeing a different side to Fitzgerald, and the editor’s introductions were great.
Batman Zero Year, Pt.2 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
When I read Pt.1 I was really torn whether I preferred this to Miller’s Year One, but this clinched it for me.. Zero Year is superior to Year One. Admittedly I’m still not the biggest fan of the colouring, it’s a little lurid, with a lot of magenta, but I can get past it. With Gotham subject to the doctoral rule of a criminal mastermind, with a penchant for riddles *hint *hint*, it’s down to Batman to suit up and save the day. The narrative kept you engaged, there was a great character arc for Bruce, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I almost shed a tear at one point. Give me more Snyder and Capullo!
The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass
On a whim I began reading this one evening mostly because, even though I really didn’t like the previous book, I knew it would be a quick read, and I’m all about a quick read at the moment. It’s been four years since I last read a Cass book and, at least for this series, it doesn’t hold up. It feels vapid, with half an attempt to have a plot other than romance that ultimately falls flat. Now, I’m not going to say that I didn’t enjoy myself, because I did, and a times a did laugh, but there was an unavoidable superficiality to it that I just couldn’t get away from. I’m glad to be able to say that I’ve finally finished the series, and won’t be reading the spin-off.
The Unbecoming fo Mara Dyer (#1) by Michelle Hodkin
This is one of those books that I wish I’d read when I was younger because I know I would have rated it higher, and fallen so in love. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy reading it now. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer follows its eponymous MC as she starts a new school in the wake of an accident that hilled her friends, and boyfriend, once which she cannot remember. The characterisation in the YA Urban fantasy book was fantastic, but the plot let it down at points, particularly toward the final few chapters. It also lacked a sense of atmosphere, given everything that was happening, but I fell head over hells for Noah, and definitely want to read on. It was very close to being a four star read!
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca is a pretty well known book, and people have recommended it to me time and time again. Finally, I took their advice, and they did not lead me astray because I absolutely loved it. We follow a young girl, who is never named, who marries a wealthy gentlemen, and returns to his estate, only this estate seems to be obsessed with his first wife, Rebecca. The writing was fantastic, so atmospheric, and the tension just builds and builds in a way I haven’t seen since The Great Gatsby. This is on my syllabus for next term, so I can’t wait to study it in more depth, and until then I should have a spoiler free review up.
Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas
I’m as shocked as you are that I managed to finish this before the end of the month, given how much I have going on at the moment. Final books are always bittersweet and this was no exception. The best thing about this book was that it felt nowhere near its 900 pages, because with all the POVs, and prices moving across the board those pages flew by. All the loose endings were tied up, and I feel like I can say goodbye to Aelin and co. With this and ACOWAR I think it’s clear what sort of writer SJM is, and while it wasn’t my favourite of the series, it was a damn good book, and it makes me even more excited for the Edinburgh event which I’m going to.
Varney, the Vampyre by James Malcolm Rymer
If you’ve been here for a while then you may remember that this was one of my dissertation texts, only problem was that it’s over 1,000 pages, and I was pressed for time. On 31st of October 2018, I can announce that I have finally finished! Varney is a penny dreadful from the mid 19th century and is absolutely terrible, but in the best way. The plot is pretty much what you’d expect for a vampire novel from this period, complete with at least three interrupted weddings, the murder of a monk, and buckets of dramatic irony. You have to have a lot of patience to get through it, but I can’t not recommend it.
I also read The Professor by Charlotte Brontë, for one of my classes, which I gave 🌟🌟🌟, and most of Tennysons Idylls of the King, which I would give 🌟🌟🌟🌟, but as it was required reading, I don’t really feel the need to go into them.
What did you read this month? Did we read any of the same books? What was your favourite?
Thanks for reading!