Monday 31 October 2016

October Wrap-Up.

Once again, I managed a good five of my seven planned reads. It's a little disappointing because I know I could have managed more if I'd not spent so much time getting round to a couple of them. Still, I'm pleased that I got this many and actually, I had a really good month for reading!

  1. 'China Dolls' by Lisa See. A leftover read from September, I'm pretty glad I stuck with this one. On the surface, the plot is not overly exciting but into this book Lisa has dedicated vast amounts of research and world-building. It really paid off. The main characters were interesting (though not necessarily likeable, and a little bit petty) and I really liked delving into this small area of American History, which is not normally the kind of Historical Fiction I like. 3.5/5 Stars.
  2. 'As I Descended' by Robin Talley. I heard a lot about Robin Talley's 'Lies We Tell Ourselves' though never read it, so when 'As I Descended' came to my attention, a YA Contemporary Horror retelling of Macbeth, I knew I had to read it. It was a pretty good read too, with plenty of scares and both obvious and subtle allusions to the play that it is originally based upon (my favourite Shakespeare Tragedy). I loved the supernatural, loved deciphering the deeper meanings, but sadly felt not even vaguely connected to the characters I was reading about. A diverse cast list scored it bonus points! 3.5/5 Stars.
  3. 'If I Fall, If I Die' by Michael Christie. The cover caught my eye for this read on Netgalley and though it wasn't strictly a Halloween read, it focused on the one topic that is perfect for this month: Fear. The characters were really well-written and I really liked Christie's writing style too. I was deeply engrossed from start to finish. The only real flaw was the latter half of the book, in which the plot seemed to take a turn into the slightly ridiculous. Nevertheless, a fantastic book. 4/5 Stars.
  4. 'The Graces' by Laure Eve. Ever since YALC I've been excited about this book. I was so excited when Illumicrate sent me an ARC, and Halloween month was the perfect time to read it! I don't read many books about witches, but when I do I normally enjoy them. This was an outstanding example which completely blew away my expectations. Eve writes really well, and her focus on the characters and use of an unreliable narrator made for a book that didn't turn out to be what I thought it would at all. 4.5/5 Stars.
  5. 'A Monster Calls' by Patrick Ness. This is hands down my favourite book of the month. It's been on my TBR for such a long time, and I've been dying to read another book by Patrick Ness because I loved 'More Than This' so much. I loved this even more! Emotionally charged, haunting in it's writing and a simple yet dark and heart-wrenching plot that was a great way to pay tribute to the late Siobhan Dowd's original idea for the book. 5/5 Stars.

This month I have read three books for Pretty Deadly Review's Backlist Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to thirty eight. This month's reads were:

- 'China Dolls' by Lisa See
- 'If I Fall, If I Die' by Michael Christie
- 'A Monster Calls' by Patrick Ness

This month I have read two books for Falling For YA's Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge bringing my yearly total so far to fifteen. This month's read was:

- 'As I Descended' by Robin Talley
- 'If I Fall, If I Die' by Michael Christie

This month I have gained zero points for Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads' Prequel & Sequel Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to sixty.

This month I have read two books for [un]Conventional Reviews' New Releases Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to fourteen. The books I read were:

- 'As I Descended' by Robin Talley
- 'The Graces' by Laure Eve
This month I have read one book for Daily Prophecy's Retelling Challenge, bringing my yearly total to ten. The books I read were:

- 'As I Descended' by Robin Talley

I also updated my Bookish Bingo card!

Stand Alone: Fearless; Tim Lott.
Back List: If I Fall, If I Die; Michael Christie.
Sea Creatures: Dark Tide; Jennifer Donnelly.
Revenge: The Gospel Of Loki; Joanne M. Harris.
Horror Or Paranormal: A Monster Calls; Patrick Ness.
Freebie: The Star-Touched Queen; Roshani Chokshi.
American History: China Dolls; Lisa See.
Friendship: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child; J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany.
Black Cover: The Graces; Laure Eve.
Fall Release: As I Descended; Robin Talley.

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