September ’20 Wrap Up

Hey everyone, and welcome back to the blog! Things have been a bit hectic as of late, with family, job searching, and mental health difficulties. It wasn’t until I was speaking to a friend on the phone that I realised that I hadn’t shared with you all my September wrap up. I read a total of 11 books, and there’s not much more I can say. So without further ado, let’s begin, and fair warning, there may be spoilers.

The first two books I read this month were on Kindle, and they were S.T.A.G.S and D.O.G.S by M.A. Bennett, which are YA contemporary thrillers. These are books one and two in the S.T.A.G.S series, which is set in the world of a prestigious academy, and the secrets it holds. Manchester born Greer gets the chance to attend an incredible academy, but she soon realises she doesn’t fit in. And then she is invited to a weekend away to hunt, shoot and fish, and the invitation is from the most fabulous students… Now the first book in the series was a reread for me, but I still enjoyed it as much. I think the series is really interesting in the way it deals with old fashioned and modern tendencies, which can be quite reflective. The plot often dives in different directions, and the characters of the Medievals were so enthralling. Greer and her friends are feisty, and I definitely think it’s a series that is best left going into quite blind. I rated both books as 4 stars.

The next book I picked up was Batman: Terror by Doug Moench, which is a graphic novel. This is the ninth book chronologically in the DC Comics – The Legend of Batman series. In this installment, Doctor Hugo Strange recruits the Scarecrow in an attempt to break Batman’s will once and for all… This is a dark graphic novel, with its art and themes. I do find Strange as a character to be intimidating and scary, so this definitely set me on edge. This being said, I did enjoy it, and rated it 4 stars.

The next book I read was the hardback edition of Shagged, Married, Annoyed by Chris and Rosie Ramsey, which is an adult non-fiction comedy. This is the accompanying book to the podcast of the same name, which I’m a huge fan of. This follows the ups and downs of life as a couple, giving advice and sharing stories. This was hilarious, and soulful, and definitely brought me so much joy – it’s definitely something to read if you’re in need of a pick me up. I highly recommend this and the podcast. It’ll be no surprise to hear that I rated this 5 stars.

The next book I read was a library book which was a reread, and that was Red Rising by Pierce Brown, which is an adult science fiction. Miner Darrow’s life is turned upside down, with the death of his wife. When he learns that the planet he lives and works on is already inhabited by higher ranking castes, Darrow becomes part of a resistance group. Now is the time to be remade into a Gold, and to infiltrate their ranks… I stand by some of my earlier comments about this book – the writing is intelligent and powerful, able to bring about thoughts of resistance and vengeance. The scientific language isn’t too fearful, and I was able to understand it. The plot is action fuelled, however, I feel it does sag at times. There is often deus ex machina solutions, and I still ended up rating this 3 stars. I have decided though to continue the series!

The next book I read was Fleabag: The Special Edition by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, which is an adult drama script. This is essentially the first script that was written and performed for the comedy show, Fleabag. I’ve spoken a lot about my love for the show on this blog, so it’ll be no surprise that I loved this as well. It was funny, poignant, with many memorable moments which made it to the TV series. It’s a very short read, and is definitely worth picking up if you’re a fan! I rated this 5 stars.

The next book I read has been on my TBR for the longest time, and that is Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, which is an adult satirical thriller. When an unknown narrator meets Tyler Durden, he is drawn into a world of secret-after hours fight clubs… I found this a disappointing read. I felt it was bland, with unlikable characters. I saw the plot points coming a mile off – and this is from someone who hasn’t seen or is bothered about watching the film adaptation. Yes, the satire is clever, but I feel like this is where my enjoyment stops. There are repetitive moments and actions by characters, and all in all, I was left unimpressed. In the end, I rated this 2 stars.

The next two books I read were on Kindle, and they were Ace of Shades and King of Fools by Amanda Foody, which are YA fantasy. These are books one and two in The Shadow Game series, which follows Enne Salta as she enters the City of Sin to find her mother. In the city, she meets conman Levi Glaisyer, and their lives are entwined together for an uncertain future… This is a brilliant series that is powerful in its writing and character developments. Enne and Levi have flaws which are fleshed out, along with their burgeoning romance. The plot and world building feel real, with the LGBT and racial representation, and the condemned themes of violence and paedophilia. The villains were well written and intriguing, and the fantastical element grows stronger as the series progresses. I can’t wait to read the third and final book in the series, which I have preordered, and is sat waiting for me on my Kindle. I rated Ace of Shades as 5 stars, and King of Fools as 4 stars.

The next book I read was a reread, and that was Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, which is a YA fantasy. This is the first book in The Twilight Saga, which follows Bella Swan, as she moves to the murky town of Forks, where she learns of the existence of vampires… This was an ultimate throwback for me, and I forgot how much I enjoyed it when I was younger. There’s not a lot I can really say about the book that hasn’t already been said by fans worldwide. I enjoyed the romance between Bella and Edward, although I did want more from the villainous James. This book definitely helped to fuel by love of vampires as a young adult, and the book was there for me at a time when I needed comfort. I’m aware of the criticisms of the series, and I can definitely see and appreciate those comments as an adult. In the end, I rated this 4 stars.

The final book I read in September was The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, which is an adult horror, and can also be classed as non-fiction. This is a recounted story of the paranormal activity and terror that the Lutz family experienced when living in the house, 112 Ocean Avenue. This is a story that is well known what with film adaptations, and various horror podcasts episodes, so I knew most of what was happening. To be honest, I didn’t feel scared reading this. I feel it was repetitive at times, and I would definitely have wanted to get out of that house if those things were happening to me. I found the excerpts about the priest to be very interesting, as he experienced things as well. This was a fairly quick read, and is worth it if you’re a horror fan. I rated this 3 stars.

So that completes my wrap up! Let me know what book/books you have read in September – whether it’s paper/hardback, audio, eBook, graphic novels or manga. They all count! If you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know!

– ReadWriteZoe.

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