So, September wasn’t my best reading month in terms of quantity; work stress definitely got in the way of how much reading I got done. On the positive side, I enjoyed all the books that I read this month, including an elusive 5-star read! I haven’t had one of those in awhile, and 5-star reads are really rare for me, so that definitely helped to turn things around. This month, I ended up reading 4 new-to-me books and finished a re-read of Ilona Andrews’s Magic Breaks, while also starting a re-read of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows in preparation for (hopefully) reading Crooked Kingdom in October. Here’s the breakdown:
Number of books read: 5
#readmyowndamnbooks: 4 🙂
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge tasks completed: 0
So here’s what I read in September, ranked from most to least awesome:
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (5 stars) – it’s hard to review this without spoilers, but holy crap, guys. This trilogy is incredible. Book 2 of the Broken Earth trilogy is just as intense as The Fifth Season, and the stakes somehow keep getting higher while the story remains intensely personal. This is fantasy writing at its best, with incredibly complex worldbuilding and a focus on themes of survival and discrimination. Amazing. A definite five-star read.
The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante (4 stars) – although this was a solid 4-star read, I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed by it. Reading Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels has been an immersive experience and an intensely personal story of female friendship; I was expecting the final volume to blow me away. Instead, at times I had to make myself read it because the story just wasn’t grabbing me the way I wanted it to, and the ending, for me, was really lacking in resonance.
The Circle by Dave Eggers (3.5 stars) – This book is about a twentysomething who gets a job at the world’s biggest tech company, which is sort of a Google/Twitter/Facebook type hybrid with a sprawling campus, lots of ambitious young employees, and all sorts of crazy amenities including a built-in social life. As she gets more immersed in life at the company, which is called The Circle, all sorts of craziness starts to emerge from the company’s agenda. The first 2/3 of this book seemed like a solid 4-star read, and I was really enjoying the fast pace, near-future setting, and social commentary. Unfortunately, the last third felt too predictable and wasn’t as interesting.
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (3.25 stars) – My main issue with this book was its pacing. If you haven’t already heard (it’s super popular) it’s about a young woman with a seemingly perfect life–beautiful, great job at a fashion magazine, gorgeous fiance, nice NYC apartment–whose ambitions and life were shaped by trauma she faced in high school. The storyline bounces between present-day and her high school past throughout the book, but unfortunately this leaves long stretches of the book where nothing is really happening, and rather than building tension I found it frustrating. I also thought it was strange that the author seemed to want to work so hard to make the protagonist seem “unlikable;” personally, I didn’t find her unlikable at all, and I’m not sure why this was emphasized so much.
What did you guys read in September? Any standouts? Let me know in the comments!