October Wrap-up!

Hey y’all!! It was a slow reading month for me. I still managed to read about 14ish books (I’ll explain the -ish at the end).  That’s by no means a bad reading month, but for me the slump was real about mid-month.  Enough chit-chat, let’s get into what I read in the month of October.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – I did a full review of this book in my Will I Continue? series and it is linked here.  I loved this book and plan on continuing and completing the All Souls Trilogy this month for Read-a-thin (my TBR is linked here).

The Leavers by Lisa Ko – This was a very solid debut from the author and I enjoyed hearing about the immigrant experience in America and I learned a lot about the immigration camp through this book.  I did a full review of this book which I will link here.

Everything I Never Told YouEverything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – I listened to this on audio and I really enjoyed this book.  The family drama and the feeling of not knowing your place really resonated with me. If this was Celeste Ng’s first novel, I can’t wait to pick up Little Fires Everywhere and see how much she has matured in her second book.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – This was a fun and kinda creepy read.  I think since the gore was looked at in a more scientific way, I did not mind it so much.  I did a full review of this book for my Will I Continue? series and the review can be found here. I will, eventually, pick up the next book, Hunting Prince Dracula.

Chemistry by Weike Wang – This is a tiny stream of consciousness novel that I read in one day.  This was another solid debut and I would be interested to see what else she writes.  This story follows an unnamed narrator as she navigates between what she wants and making her immigrant parents proud.  It discusses social expectations, how to overcome family drama, and how to come into ones own. It wasn’t my favorite but I would recommend it to the right reader.

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older – This is another that I listened to on audio.  This is the first in the Shadowshaper series, a new urban fantasy series.  In this book we follow Sierra Santiago who realizes that her grandfather, who everyone thought was crazy, was a part of a secret society of Shadowshapers.  She runs into a boy from the neighborhood after they are attacked by a zombie like creature and the adventure takes off from there.  I loved that this urban fantasy is lead by people of color because we almost never see this. Older is able to intertwine their culture into the story and additional address issues that people of color often face without ever being preachy.  This was not my favorite fantasy but I see the potential for greatness enough to continue on with the series.

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor – This is book one in the Akata Witch series.  We follow an albino girl named Sunny as she finds out that she is a Leopard Person.  She meets a couple of friends and they are go on a big adventure as Sunny figures out her powers, what she needs to use them, and being comfortable in her skin.  I enjoyed this book and it’s insights into African, Igbo, culture.  I loved the character development and the plot line of the serial killer was great.  What I didn’t like was that a good portion of this book was setup. Not so much in an “info-dumpy” way but the world was very fleshed out while other things I was more focused on fell to the wayside.  I understand that this is one of Okorafor’s first novels, so I would be interested to see how much she has improved in the sequal Akata Warrior and in her novella series Binti.

Beauty QueensBeauty Queens by Libba Bray – This book has made me a Libba Bray fan for life! I listened to this on audio.  Libba Bray narrates this book and she did an absolutely fantastic job with this book.  The story follows a group of teenage beauty queens whose plane crashes and they are stranded on a deserted island.  They must learn to live without all the luxuries that they are used to so they can survive.  The thing that solidified this as one of my favorite books of the year is Bray’s ability to do satire and social commentary in such a clever way.  Everyone was a caricature without getting too silly.  This is, of course, a female Lord of the Flies and it is awesome. I felt so empowered after reading this book.

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power by Mariko Tamaki – This is a middle grade novelization of the Lumberjanes comic book series.  This was, actually, unexpectedly good.  I did a full review on Goodreads.  What I will say is that you should at least read a couple volumes of the graphic novel series before jumping into this book.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling – I did it! I finally finished this monster of a book and I loved every second of it! There was so much more in this book that the movie cut and can I just say that book Ginny Weasley is waaaayyyy better than movie Ginny Weasley.  Anyway, every time I picked up this book I would need to block off a good couple of hours because it was impossible to put down.  I cannot wait to FINALLY finish this series.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green – First off let me say, I hate myself for not reading my Book of the Month emails carefully because I could of gotten this book for free, but that’s neither here nor there.  I ended up listening to this on audiobook and this was my first experience with John Green.  I was a little underwhelmed honestly.  I did enjoy the book and the lyrical prose that were in there.  I also enjoyed the explanation of spiraling thoughts and OCD, especially for someone who does not experience these things.  These were all excellently done and I liked that.  But what I couldn’t get over was my strong dislike for the best friend. I found her annoying and kinda rude and I don’t think this was intentional.  I just don’t know.  I will go and read some of his backlist and see if maybe it was just the book.  After I finished this, I felt I may be too old for his writing.

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Nueval – This book was awesome!  Robots, aliens, scientist, political intrigue, love, romance, not romance, etc.  I don’t even know how to describe this book.  This book is told in interviews with an unnamed person and a crew who are assembling a robot from foreign origins.  There is so much that happens in a relatively short book and the epilogue has me wanting to immediately pick up the next book in the series.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – This is a popular poetry collection. While I enjoyed some of the poems, this wasn’t my favorite.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher – I listened to this on audio and it was really good.  It focuses a lot on what it was like to film Star Wars and Carrie Fisher’s affair with Harrison Ford.  It’s kind of a love letter to Star Wars fans.  I would recommend this autobiography.

I DNF’d World War Z, I just couldn’t with this book (which is where the -ish comes in).  I already unhauled this book.

This is my October Wrap-up! What did you read in October?  What was your favorite? Let’s chat in the comments.

Much Love,

Tasha

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