October Book Wrap Up 2019

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Monthly reading review – October 2019

This October I have read:

Buick Rivera by Miljenko Jergović ★

The Royal Companion (The Companion, #1) by Tanya Bird ★★★

The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1)  by Brenda Pandos ★★★

Black Butler Vol. 1 (Black Butler, #1) by Yana Toboso ★★★★

Stray (Shifters #1) by Rachel Vincent  ★★★★

Suddenly by Candace Camp ★★★

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #1)
by Rick Riordan, Robert Venditti ★★★

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #2)
by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan ★★★★

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1. How many books you’ve read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

Due to the trip I recently made I lost a whole week of reading time so I’m a little grumpy to have gone back to single digits by reading 9 books in October.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in October? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

I’m very much into the Grishaverse with Shadow and Bone book by Leigh Bardugo. I’m slowly savoring the characters and the story. I’m hoping to have enough time to rad the whole trilogy soon!

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

The only book I was really not happy about this October was a book club assignment – Buick Rivera by Miljenko Jergović. The plot was completely lost on me and the characters did not help. The book actually started really good but somewhere along the way all sense of the plot was gone.

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4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

I made a list of fifteen books I wish to read by the end of the year and so far I’ve rad three books and started on another two from the list which is cool. You can check out my list HERE. Also I made progress with my TBR Jar Draw reading challenge by reading two picks in one month! You can check both in my posts HERE and HERE.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

This October I’ve actually started a few new book series! From all the first books of the series I’ve started I will be continuing almost all of them. The two exceptions are Kindle editions that I am not ready to invest in to buy the sequels so I can read them further: The Royal Companion (The Companion, #1) by Tanya Bird and The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1)  by Brenda Pandos. I guess I was not that impressed with them to really want to spend money to continue reading them.

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6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

Aside from being lost in Grishaverse trilogy I am quite enjoying going back to Rick Riordan’s world of half bloods and Percy Jackson series by reading the graphic novel editions. At first I was not that thrilled with the artwork but the story is still amazing. Sadly I have only first three graphic novels and I don’t know when will I get the other two :/

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Book Reviews in October:

Suddenly by Candace Camp ★★★ – CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW

Stray (Shifters #1) by Rachel Vincent  ★★★★ – CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW

Currently reading:

Rogue (Shifters #2) by Rachel Vincent

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #3) by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan

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Suddenly – Book Review

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Suddenly

by Candace Camp

★★★

Expectation

I picked up this book for my TBR Jar Draw in October. This book surprised me. It surprised me to get it back form someone I supposedly borrowed it to – I never remembered owning it in the first place. In my curiosity I did something I don’t normally do – check out reviews of others. The reviews I ended up reading were quite harsh on the main female character. I did not have high expectation from this book because of it.

Summary

My copy of the book is what some would call – well loved. Edition is old enough to drink alcohol in most of the countries of the world and then there is the unmistakable yellow color on the pages of the book.

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I could not help but notice some differences in writing style of a historical romance book from the nineties in comparison to the some books that were written in the last decade. It is very subtle, but there is a general pattern to the female heroins in historical romance fiction then and now. I love it when romance authors like to add some historical facts and interesting details to their work. Romance is still in the center of the story but the characters tend to flare into quirky a lot more in newer books than they did just ten years ago.

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I was surprised to find that I disagreed with the harsh reviews and opinions about the main female character – Charity. I had to cringe on the cheesy name. The main male character – Simon Dure was only slightly developed and as the rest of the characters did not have much substance to him. I might have been too used to some more complicated plot twists and deeper characters. This book caught me off guard with more simple approach. Even with that said I cannot claim the book was boring or simple. The tropes it follows were more common decade and a half ago but they were well executed.

Charity is blond, too good to be true, fair, only slightly naive, and very much competent to fend of physical attacks. She is also completely virginal and unaware of her own beauty. Simon is a thirty year old widower with short temper and rumors of have murdered his own first wife. Their steamy scenes were a bit exaggerated for my tastes but were interesting enough.

Neither one of the two characters is developed enough to have earned their flaws and character motivation. In this sense the book seemed a bit underdeveloped. As for the plot – that is something completely different. There are enough twists and turns in the plot to have made it interesting form me to the very end.

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Conclusion

I might have had a different opinion of this book had I not been prepared for the worst. The cover was cheesy and while I wondered about the elements on it and how they fit in the book I was glad it was not just another cover with a woman and a man in some strange pose. I liked this book better than I expected. I liked that the plot was more than two characters meeting and falling in love until they get married. I might even think it made me look at the genre in a different perspective. All in all I’m glad I have read this book.

TBR Jar Draw October update

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In September I decided to continue my ongoing TBR Jar Draw challenge. Istarted it out years ago when I wanted to concentrate more on reading the books I already own and dial down the number of unread books I had on my TBR list.

You can check out my first post on it HERE.

Last month I drawn three titles from the jar:

1 #  Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Television Show by Glenn Yeffeth (Editor)

2 # The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1)  by Brenda Pandos

3 # Lucky (Lucky Santangelo #2) by Jackie Collins

From them I choose to read The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1) by Brenda Pandos and other two titles go back in the jar!

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The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1)

by Brenda Pandos

★★★

I had to look up when I got this book and while I knew it has been a few years; to see it was more than 5 years it was a bit surprising. This book was one of the first Kindle freebies I got and the cover was never really that appealing for me to start reading I guess. The book was slow and the first half of it seemed almost boring watching the main character going trough her daily life. The second half of the book starts introducing the supernatural elements at a faster pace. This difference between first half and the second made the book seem even more slow and boring and might make some readers give up…
Second part of the book gives a good insight into backstory of the supernatural elements and those are well made. I’m a bit ambivalent towards the main characters since they are very much erratic in their YA decisions.

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My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

1 # A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin

I tried reading it when the TV show was just starting but had trouble concentrating in my reading since the TV show went faster than my reading. I pushed it back on the shelf to read after the hype of the TV show settles down. I have a hardcover edition in Croatian with a TV show jacket. I don’t think enough time has passed for me to give it another try…

2 # Suddenly by Candace Camp

I’m not sure I know how I got this book. One of my cousins returned it to me one day and said I lend it to them a while back. I have no memory of this. Book is well loved all worn and yellow. I might want to read it just so I can pass it on to someone else to read and make room for something else on my shelf.

3 # Bloodsuckers: The Vampire Archives (Vampire Archives #1)  by Otto Penzler

I remember snatching this book from a bookstore shelf along with two others. They make a trilogy of collection of short stories with a vampire theme. Among many unknown authors there are some well known and popular I never knew wrote short stories with vampires. I still like reading short stories and it might be time to take on these collections.

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I like seeing progress with my TBR Jar Draw challenge no mater how slow. It gives me hope that I might get closer to reading all the books I have on my shelves.