September 2018 Wrap Up

SeptemberWrapUpFriends, September was my best reading month yet! Like, I read so many freaking books, 23 books to be precise, and I don’t even know how I did it! Well, actually a lot of it was because of Contemporary-a-thon! But I also read so many quality books this month! And maybe the best book I’ve read all year! 🧡🍂

But on to what I read in September…
(Like always, you can click the links in each of the titles if you would like to read a more in-depth review of each book and see the individual trigger and content warnings.)

The Antidote by Shelley Sackier – ★★

“Keep your secret close, for your enemies are all around you…”

This wasn’t a bad book, nor was it offensive by any means, it was just way too over the top. I felt like I was reading a magical soap opera. And the twists and turns felt so forced and so unrewarding.

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare – ★

“Why is it, little Shadowhunter, that your angels are so cold and without mercy? Why do they break that which will not obey them?”

I hope this is the only book I’ll give one star to in the Shadowhunter world. Nothing happened except problematic ass shit. Easily the worst Cassie Clare book I’ve read.

The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner – ★★★★★

“Sometimes you know when you don’t belong, but you don’t know how to leave.”

This is one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read in my entire life. It was also able to evoke such a visceral reading experience from me. I never wanted to put this book down! And I knew that this was going to be heavy on the Russian folklore, but I had no idea that this was also a reimagining of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. And I swear, I don’t remember consuming any fruit while reading this, yet I am still completely under this book’s spell. And I for sure also recommend this to people who also love The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and Uprooted by Naomi Novik!

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1) by Julie Kagawa – ★★★★★

“…The tiniest pebble, when dropped into a pond, will leave ripples that will grow and spread in ways we cannot comprehend.”

Julie Kagawa gave me the (ownvoices) Japanese fantasy I’ve been searching my entire life for. I fell so deeply in love with this story, with Julie’s beautiful prose, with these characters, and with all the important messages that were so seamlessly woven in. This will for sure be on my best of 2018 list come December, and the next book for sure is now one of my most anticipated releases for 2019.

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★★

“You are a Shadowhunter. You serve a greater cause. Your life is not yours to throw away.”

This is the highest four star rating. Like, I almost want to give this book five stars because I enjoyed the last 25% so damn much. This is easily my favorite Cassie Clare book yet, and I truly had such a wonderful time reading.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden – ★★★★★

“You might get to know characters in books, Ollie thought, but getting to know a human was an entirely different thing.”

Small Spaces is Katherine Arden’s debut middle grade novel and I loved it so very much friends. Many of you know that The Bear and the Nightingale is one of my favorite books of all-time, and even though these stories are nothing like one another, the beautiful writing, amazing characters, and important themes shine through. I went into this expecting a fun and spooky read (which it was), but what I also got was such a beautiful love letter to grief, depression, and trying to live in a world that has taken away someone who you feel you cannot live without.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers – ★★★★★

“The truth is, Rosemary, that you are capable of anything. Good or bad. You always have been, and you always will be. Given the right push, you, too, could do horrible things. That darkness exists within all of us.”

This is the kind of book that makes you remember why you fell in love with reading. This is the kind of book that feels so powerful you can’t believe it exists. This is the kind of book that sets your very soul on fire and makes you want to do better. This is the kind of book that instills a hope so great that you feel like you could make a difference. This is the kind of book that you won’t be the same after finishing.

Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire #1) by Grace Draven – ★★★★

“I will conquer all of the Empire to bring you back.”

Friends, I was completely enthralled and captivated by this from page one. I never wanted to put this down, I fell so in love with the romance in this book, and this is one of my new favorite fantasy romances of all time. And I immediately added Radiance to my TBR!

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle – ★★

“I love you, but it doesn’t mean anything if you’re not happy.”

I wanted to love this so much. And at first, this really did feel like watching a lucid dream play out, and I felt so enthralled and captivated! But as time went on, I just cared less and less about the dinner, about the past, and about this book.

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★★

“But Heaven will not help you; you know that as well as I. That is why men summon demons and not angels, is it not?”

I actually thought this book had good twists and turns, too. I was impressed so many times while reading, and I truly never wanted to put this 500+ page book down, which says something all on its own. Also, a vast majority is told through Simon’s perspective which is all I truly want anyways.

Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore – ★★★★★

“There will always be two daughters. But we will always take one back. The swans would take not just one of the woman’s daughters, but one of her daughter’s daughters, and one of her daughters, and one of hers. There would always be one daughter taken, and one left watching the sky in winter, wondering if a far-off flick of white was a coming snow or her lost sister.”

I’ve been working on this review for a week, and it is just not perfect yet. Yet, it needs to be perfect, because this book was perfect. But I promise, this review will be up the first week of October. And I hope you all pick up this one come October 9th. Seriously, such a masterpiece.

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake – ★★★★★

“Even girls made of stars are captives, bound at the wrists and traded like property. Even girls made of stars aren’t asked, aren’t believed, aren’t considered worth the effort unless they can offer something in return. Even girls made of stars buy into those lies sometimes.”

I wish I could put this book into everyone in the entire world’s hands. This book is so powerful, so heartbreaking, so important, and just so beautifully crafted.

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young – ★★

“I never believed in fate until you”

Fight or Flight is an enemies to lovers romance starring two people who met during a layover in an airport under the worst of circumstances. I’ve read a few books by Samantha Young and I’ve enjoyed every one, but this one had a few aspects that really did have me side-eyeing.

A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred #1) by Joanna Shupe – ★★

“The plan was simple. If her father wanted her to find a husband, she’d find the most outrageous man in New York, a fiancé noteworthy and unsuitable enough to land in the papers.”

Friends, I am not sure if this is because I just don’t read that much historical romance, or that I just couldn’t connect with these characters or story, but this just did not work for me. Honestly, I think I’m going to try a Tessa Dare book, and if that doesn’t work for me then I’m just going to swear off historical romances for a while. This was just so boring. Nothing happened what so ever. And I’ll admit, I picked this up because I was craving romance, so maybe the fact that the romance didn’t even start until 70% into the book made me really not enjoy it.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia – ★★★★

“You found me in a constellation.”

Friends, I loved this story. And if the ending was a little different, this would have been such an easy five star read. I love books centered on creators on the internet. While reading this, I was constantly reminded of one my favorite books of all time, Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. Which, I’m not really sure if here is any higher praise than to be compared to that book.

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory – ★★★★

“Deciding to spend your life together shouldn’t be a surprise”

I loved The Wedding Date earlier this year, and when I found out that this was going to star one of the side characters I knew I couldn’t resist putting in an ARC request. This was a joy to read, from the first page to the last. Both of Jasmine’s books have been so intelligently, beautifully, and masterfully crafted.

The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere #2) by Meg Elison – ★★★★

“On the map, all the roads led to Estiel…”

I haven’t finalized my review for this one, either! (Mostly because my internet keeps going out and the Lord is testing me!) But I loved this powerful and heart wrenching dystopian! I just didn’t love it as much at the first book, which was my favorite book of 2016! And the ending was a little rushed for my tastes! But I can’t wait to see what is to come!

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★★★

“I can tell you that the end of a life is the sum of the love that was lived in it…”

Friends, you were all right; not only was the ending of this trilogy not predictable, but it was also perfection. I actually think the epilogue in this book is now my favorite of all time. All time. Out of any book I’ve ever read. Like, that is some praise, friends. This book made me so happy, and so sad, all at the same time. But I think the ending was perfect, absolutely perfect. This is also the first Cassandra Clare book that I’ve given five stars.

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold – ★★

“For Emory to take his father’s place as king, he must do as his father had done, and his father before him. He must conquer a dragon and rescue a damsel, and take that maiden as his bride.”

I get what this book was trying to do, I really do, and I appreciate it, but I just don’t personally think it was well done. This is a play on the “damsel in the tower, guarded by a dragon, and a brave knight comes to save her” but I don’t even feel like that was very powerfully done either. This just reads really boring, really forced, and really overly graphic. And a few of my friends have five starred and really loved this one, and I obviously don’t want my personal feelings to invalidate anyone, especially those I love and especially abuse survivors.

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno – ★★★★★

“On the island of By-the-Sea you could always smell two things: salt and magic.”

I just finished this last night, with tears streaming down my face! I loved this more than words, and it is the perfect mixture of Girl Made of Stars and The Wicked Deep! And I promise to have a review up soon!

And here are the three graphic works that I read this month…
(Like always, you can click the links in each of the titles if you would like to read a more in-depth review of each book and see the individual trigger and content warnings.)

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill – ★★★★★

“Memories don’t just live inside you, Minette. They live in all the people and objects you share your life with.”

Friends, this was the literally cutest and most heartwarming book I’ve read all year. Also, the art in this book is probably my favorite art style of all time. I recommend this with my entire heart and soul.

Giant Days, Vol. 1 by John Allison & Lissa Treiman – ★★★

“Why are… boys… like this?”

This was a really fun, slice of life, college graphic-novel. And I think I liked it a little more because I always get nostalgic this time of year for college and dorm life. But this graphic novel follows three girls, who share a dorm, and are best friends.

Check, Please!: #Hockey (Check, Please!, #1-2) by Ngozi Ukazu – ★★★★

“Never fall for a straight boy.”

You all, this was the cutest. No, scratch that; Bitty is the cutest! And this graphic novel was nothing short of a joy to read! Hockey games, behind the scenes practices, a slow-burn attraction, an adorable romance, the most heartwarming main character ever. I mean, what else could you really ask for? Ngozi Ukazu has given us such a bright light of pure sunshine! And this is basically a published version of a very popular webcomic!

Yeah, that is a lot, I know! And, again, I totally have Contemporary-a-thon to thank for it. This was easily the best reading month in volume that I’ve ever had. But I for sure expect October, November, and December to slow down so that I can spend more time with loved ones! But I hope you all are having a wonderful end to September, and I wish you all the love, health, and happiness this October! Oh, and I always wish you all the good books, too! Happy reading! 🎃🧡

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61 thoughts on “September 2018 Wrap Up

    1. I don’t know how I did it, love. But… I think I missed a little bit of sleep! Hehe! Yeah… TID was really good at the end. But I totally still three starred, four starred, THEN five starred! So, don’t hold me accountable for your feelings on the first one! Hahah! I love you! Happy October and happy reading, love! 💛xx

      Liked by 1 person

  1. SO MANY GOOD ONES! Ahh I’m still so happy you ended up loving Clockwork Princess😭❤️ Also your review for Fallen Angels will always be one of my faves; that was brilliant.
    I’m glad you had such a great month of reading, Melanie!! Hope you read even more good books in October💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, thank you, Brianna! I still don’t think I’m ever going to be over Clockwork Princess! Seriously! And… thank you for your kind words about FA… I am pretending that book doesn’t exists currently! Hahah! But I hope you’re having happy reading and I Hope you have the most amazing October ever! 💛xx

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  2. Watching you read TID (wow that sounds so creepy) has made me want to reread them even though I haven’t touched them since they were released. I’m not sure my heart can handle all that a second time, but my goodness you make it seem worth it! 💛💛💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha! I love this comment, Dee! I loved them so much! I’m so thankful I picked them up! Have you read TDA? I am reading City of Heavenly Fire right now… and I’m already in love with these characters! Ahhhh! I’m in deep! 💛xx

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  3. As always, you astound me not only with the quantity of books read, but the quality 💓You had such a FAB reading month & I’m sure your Blanca & Roja review will do the read justice 🖤 #Contemporaryathon was so much fun & getting to buddy read with you during that week made it even more a good time! Wishing you a FANTASTIC October Mellie Mel! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, thank you, Lilly love! You are the dang sweetest! And I always love buddy reading every and anything with you! You are BIG reason I read this much this month, so thank YOU! And I hope you have an amazing October filled with nothing but wonderful books! 💛xx

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  4. Wow you read so many books this month Melanie!! Good on you — I’m glad you’re finishing The Moral Instruments series, and yeah I agree with you on City of Fallen Angels — that book kinda did nothing haha. Happy reading! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, thank you so much, love! I am in the middle of City of Heavenly Fire right now… and I am IN LOVE! Like… I am taking it slow because I never want it to end! Ahhhhh! So thankful I picked this series up! Happy October and happy reading, love! 🎃💛xx

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  5. OH MY GOD WHAT EVEN IS THIS WHAT IS HAPPENING YOU’RE AMAZING. this is so! many! books! you’re a goddess! and so many five stars!!

    i’m especially excited you loved Summer of Salt b/c Everything All at Once by the same author was one of my favorite contemporaries in a whileeeee & i totally need to pick that one up. yay trusted sources! ❤

    i hope your october is just as excellent as your september 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *immediately buys Everything All at Once because Emma is my queen* Yeah.. September was wild! I don’t even want to think about how the book gods blessed me! Also, we need to buddy read something before the year is up! A classic, a contemporary, a magazine, ANYTHING! Happy October and happy reading, love! 🎃💛xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, this warms my heart so much, Kelly! I can’t wait for the rest of the world to fall in love with it! And thank you for your kind words, always! We need to buddy read something together before the year is up! Happy October and happy reading, love! 🎃💛xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, thank you, bb! I feel like reading nonstop for Contemporaryathon really was the damn reason this month! After October… I’m going to be chill for November and December! Because… I need more sleep! Also, thank you for reading my probably favorite book of the year with me! I love you! 💛xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. your ABILITY TO READ AND WRITE SO MANY FANTASTIC BOOKS AND REVIEWS??? HOW DO YOU DO IT MEL???

    i think youre secretly some queen with too many powers, this is unfair.

    but LOOK AT HOW MANY 5 STARS!! im so happy you had such a great reading month! and i hope october is just as great for you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I use the motivation that I finally get to read another book with this beautiful human named May, who I’m lucky enough to call my find. Oh, and I don’t sleep enough! Haha! I LOVE YOU and I can’t wait to read with you in a few days, bb! Happy October and happy reading, love! 🎃💛xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YOU ARE A CHARMER OMG STOP THIS

        hahhaha, sleep always gets the short end of the stick. im literally so buzzed to finally be able to buddy read with you again!! ❤ i hope you have a great month ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly? I feel like I just read more and more each year…. and I don’t feel like I do anything differently? Maybe staying up later to finish things? I don’t know! But eight is honestly the perfect number that I shoot for, love. Happy October and happy reading, love! 🎃💛xx

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      1. Well I turned 30 in September … so that doesn’t feel too kind. Working out extra hard in the gym to keep my body in some sort of shape. Was tempted to do a gym/fitness post. But me without my shirt on isn’t what the blogging world needs 😂 x

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