So, typically October is my moment to shine. Brilliant. Gorgeous. All things spooky and fall, and I absolutely flourish. That was not the case this year. It was a rough month and I started out strong and trying to push through it but at the end I just sort of gave up on everything. I was trying to think of polite, mature ways of saying this but I’m just gonna come out and say it – OCTOBER SUCKED.
That being said, when I was putting things together for this post, I was surprised by how much I did end up getting done.
I was SHOCKED when I saw that I’d ended up reading 10 books (okay, like 8 books and 2 novellas) last month because it felt like after the first week, I didn’t read ANYTHING. I had to put pressure on myself to read even some of my most anticipated releases of the year and even then, not all of those were read. I felt kinda bad about not reading all month. BUT I guess I surprised even myself.
Now, were most of these audiobooks? Yes. Does that still count as reading? Again, YES! Did I read a single ARC I needed to? Nope. Am I living with the anxiety from that? ABSOLUTELY. Expect a ton of reviews in upcoming weeks.
That being said, here’s a look at what I read last month:
Champion by Marie Lu
The final part of my Legend reread in preparation for Rebel. Can confirm that it hurts almost as much on a reread. And, like my first time reading through the trilogy, most of it happened as audiobooks at work. I’d like to thank Marie Lu for keeping me functioning at work.
Life After Legend II by Marie Lu
This was like 5 pages long and I felt a bit guilty counting it on my list but I’m already done with my Goodreads challenge so it feels less like a cheat and more like an archival move. It also wasn’t nearly as good as the first Life After Legend installment in my opinion, but it’s really hard to top the feels that Life After Legend hit you with.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Did I reread this instead of actually picking up the last book in the trilogy like I’ve needed to since its release in March? YES. But I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading this book. One day I’m going to have to write up a little blurb of why people should read it that I keep on hand so I can hand it to people instead of just yelling at my friends to read it. It’s been on sale twice in the last month or so and I keep just telling people to trust me and read it. I’m reading book two again right now. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up reading the last book before 2020 rolls around. We’ll see. ALSO using this time to say that my slump has hit hard and I still haven’t read The Never Tilting World yet. I tried and my brain just needed a simpler story. The guilt is IMMENSE.
SLAY by Brittney Morris
I. Loved. This. Book. I feel like I’m not seeing it around much on other people’s blogs which makes me sad. And while, yes, absolutely the focus of the book was racism and I’m glad the conversation is happening, I really want someone to talk about how much an absolute badass the main character, Kiera, is. She created an entire VR game and manages it and still goes to school? The game is also a total knock out and the battle system is fantastic. This isn’t the last you’ve heard from me about this book!
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
Confession: I read this two and a half times in the last month or so. I’ve only put it down once. This book has become my go-to comfort book. I love it. It makes me happy. When I read it, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I am home. I’m also keeping up with its Webtoon now that it’s out! SO EXCITED! I love this YA-to-Webtoon trend and it couldn’t have happened to a better series. This book just has the potential to be visually stunning.
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
So, my big idea for the month was comfort reads. I had a whole ton of middle grade books checked out from the library and this is the ONLY one out of over a dozen that I actually got around to. It still holds up well. I have book two waiting for me on audiobook when I head back to work. This book has a lot of happy memories for me.
The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh
Plot-wise, I think this is a little less exciting than The Wrath and the Dawn but it also has some of my favorite scenes from the duology. It contains some of my favorite tropes and I’m so here for it. Someone please stop me from buying every single cover variation for this series. I own a single bookshelf and my bank account says I have bills to pay but I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH.
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
What’s this? Another reread in October? IT WAS A ROUGH MONTH. AND IF IT MAKES ME HAPPY, IT MAKES ME HAPPY. This book is gay af and makes me happy. This is an instance of every single aspect of a book aligning perfectly with my interests and being executed flawlessly. I’ll probably reread it again before the year is up. Fight me.
Rebel by Marie Lu
We already know that if Marie Lu writes it, I’ll read it. That’s been established very clearly over the last few years. After my Legend reread last month, I was totally ready for this! It ended up reading more like a companion book than a sequel to me given that it did entirely abandon the established POVs from the other books but it still really enjoyed it! This is also definitely my favorite cover of the series. The colors are so vibrant and I love the butterfly. It felt very representative of the metamorphosis we’ve seen in both June and Day’s characters.
The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
One of my most anticipated releases of 2019 finally arrived! Aaaaaaaaaaand I struggled to read it. Not because I wasn’t enjoying it but because this was the start of a reading slump so vicious that I’m still not out of the fog. I will say, I enjoyed reading a physical copy far more than I did listening to the audiobook thanks to … questionable narration choices? There’s a ‘mysterious’ character’s POV that the narrator read so slowly that even triple audio speed couldn’t save it.
So, I started out going strong for Blogtober and it was a ton of fun! I really liked posting more frequently and pushing myself felt good. The prompts certainly helped a lot and added to the fun but eventually I just needed to walk away from everything. Life was just too much last month and adding blogging pressure was stressing me out way too much. That being said, last month was the best month I’ve had on this blog, traffic and post-wise, and it felt good. Thank you all so much for taking the time to stop by and read. It means a lot to me!
Blogtober made me realize a lot of things. Namely, I’d really like to get back in the swing of things and get posting more often again. I genuinely like writing about books and posting frequently was a lot of fun. I usually overthink every single thing I write and delete it all. Last month was more of a let it be type process and it was nice.
I also realized that I really like making lists. Like, a lot.
There will probably be a lot more lists coming up. I had a lot of post ideas that I didn’t get to post last month so hopefully that’ll help me get my feet back on the ground.
And Real Life
So, outside of the blog. Those who paid attention to last month’s wrap post know that October started out hard for me. I had to put my dog, Ducky, down on the the first. I’m still not okay. I don’t think I will be for a long while. But that sort of set the mood for the whole month. Ducky was a big part of keeping my mental health in check and without him things spiraled.
I was also getting ready for surgery that I’ve known I needed since July and boy was I feeling the wait. I felt sick and could barely eat without feeling absolutely awful almost all of October. As a general rule, I don’t do well with anything medical related. It sends my anxiety through the roof. I was in and out of doctor/surgeon offices all month and it was … a lot. Both emotionally and on my wallet.
To end this on a positive note, I did manage to find a new companion at the end of the month. The local shelter ended up getting in a tiny, nervous little stray that wasn’t doing well in a shelter environment and he and I hit it off so on the 31st, he came home with me. His name was Trader Joe because he was found in a Trader Joe’s parking lot, however, given that he’s now a little Halloween baby, I’ve changed his name to Jack because he’s my little pumpkin king. Also, Trader Joe is a dumb name. We’re still figuring out his needs and how to communicate with each other but he’s most definitely an excellent snuggler.
So, that’s it! That’s my October. I failed Blogtober and did more reading than I thought I did, while entering the biggest reading slump ever that I’m still fighting to get over. Lost a dog, gained a dog. Struggled with my health, mentally and physically – but hey, the only way to go from here is up! And if nothing else, I’m super pumped for October 2020!
How was your October? What fun fall things did you do? Any October reads that will stick with you a long time? Let me know below!