September Monthly Wrap Up!

I still can’t believe that September is already over! This year is going by way too quickly and I’m wondering if the rest of 2019 is going to speed by in the exact same way? September was a pretty mediocre reading month for me. I think I started off pretty strong but once I tucked into Priory of the Orange Tree, my reads slowed down considerably. I still managed to read 15 books though, so it wasn’t all bad! I am now sitting at 156/90 reads (this number still shocks me; being part of the book community has really increased my reading this year)!


⁍ Pumpkinheads (review)
⁍ Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) (review)
⁍ Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) (review)
⁍ The Hating Game (review coming)


⁍ Two Weeks Notice (review)


⁍ The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) (review)
⁍ The Priory of the Orange Tree (review coming)


⁍ A Different Time (TheWriteReads Blog Tour Review)
⁍ Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve
Done Better (review)
⁍ The Ingredients of Us (review)
⁍ The Perfect Moment (review coming)
⁍ On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (Wingfeather Saga #1) (review coming)


⁍ Fake Date (Dating #2) (review)
⁍ The Stopover (The Miles High Club #1) (review)


⁍ The Love Solution (review)

My favorites out of all of these were Nevernight and Godsgrave. After finishing Nevernight (my mind was totally blown) at the start of the month, I just couldn’t resist reading the sequel as soon as possible. Kristoff is a man who does not hold back on screwing with your feelings. After the ending of Godsgrave, I’m so excited but equally terrified of finishing this series. But I know I won’t be able to resist Darkdawn so it’s gonna be happening this October!

I was planning to read a lot more sequels for Sequel September but also a few more standalone’s for Standalone September (focusing on hyped standalone’s) but both of these endeavors ended up failing pretty badly. I think I can only count one book towards the former and two books towards the latter. I think I’m going to give challenges a break for now? I’m obviously not very good at them 😂

Last time I listed a full recap of all the posts that I did for the month, but since I now have a more organized menu bar, you can find all my weekly memes, challenges, tags and thoughts in the drop down menus! I still have to fix some things up, but I think I’ve done the sorting right and hopefully all my posts will continue to be updated each time I make them! For now, I’ve still listed the other reviews that I did this month (the reviews for this months’ reads are above in the recap), just so it’s easier for you to read them, in case you missed out! I’m still trying to tweak how I do my wrap up posts–I’m sure you’ll notice that from the start they’re all quite different–but I think I’m happy with this? I don’t want to make it too long and boring for people to read! Any tips or comments? Please let me know!

Reviews

eARC Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Review: Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson
Review: One Day in December by Josie Silver
Review: Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab
Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Review: The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
Review: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

I hope you all had a great reading month in September and I hope that October continues to be awesome for all of us! What was your favorite read this month? Come let me know in the comments & let’s chat!

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff – #BookReview

Goodreads: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything. But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult. The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

CW: Gore, Murder, Abuse

HOLY MOTHER. THIS BOOK! I don’t even know what to do with myself right now? My feelings are so… betrayed? Confused? What? I don’t know. I’m just feeling all of it and I’m going to try writing a coherent review but sorry in advance if it’s all just a load of blabber! I read Nevernight on my Kindle while following along with the audiobook. It made my experience 100% better and I’d highly recommend it.

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Audiobook

My first impression was that I didn’t think I’d like this narrator, especially when he voiced Mia. I always find it awkward when males do female voices and vice versa? However, that changed very quickly the more he played out the roles. I LOVED IT! I thought this narrator was a wonderful voice actor and his impressions/accents really stole the show for me. There were times I found myself a little annoyed with his reading because he pauses as he enunciates every two or three words (I really don’t know how to explain it), but after a while I didn’t notice it as much. At the times I read without the audio, I actually found myself reading the way he would lol as I’ll no doubt mention a few more times in this review, the audiobook was what initially really pulled me through this book. There’s a lot to take in but somehow the audio helped me bridge the missing pieces that allowed me to get sucked into the story. I’d give this performance 5★s!

The Writing

This is where I took some points off because I have to be honest, I was reading back and forth at the start, trying to make sense of what was happening, making sure that I wasn’t missing anything and that what was happening really didn’t make sense. I was frustrated to say the least and if it wasn’t for the audio I might have given this is up and claimed it wasn’t for me. The writing is surprisingly dense. It’s riddled with metaphors, similes, it’s a little (okay, it’s a lottle) dramatic and sometimes OTT. Fair warning friends, there are also TONS of footnotes (and not the short kind). I found them pretty annoying at the start but as the story progressed, I found I really enjoyed the mini-(hi)stories that came with each footnote. That said, I loved how (Kristoff’s) humor was so effortlessly weaved into the story. I think he might be an ‘acquired’ taste as not everyone will be into his quirky(?) and bold writing style, but I came to love it.

The Plot

The plot was incredibly fast paced and I felt like it didn’t let up until the end. As already mentioned, there was a lot of a whole new world to take in at the start. But wow, the world building of the Itreyan republic is incredible. The histories of the various regions, the politics, the religions, the societal structures, the legends and myths… I know a lot of other books have these but I feel like I haven’t read any lately that’s on the same level as this. I loved all of it! Not a spoiler, but this book starts with sex and murder and it’s a pretty good indication of what’s to come. There’s a lot of blood and gore, not surprising considering it’s a story about a school of assassins, and while I’m usually not that great with the stuff, I didn’t find it overwhelming. There’s also sex of the smut variety, which was really surprising! Although I had heard talk over on Twitter and Instagram about it. It wasn’t distasteful though and the chemistry between the characters made it fire! But again, a warning for those who don’t like these elements in a story. The ending is something that I’m still processing. You best believe I was screaming incredulously at the book and there may have even been a few tears (I’m emo, don’t hate). I’m still shook. I can’t believe it. I honestly don’t know where to hate or love Kristoff for what he did. Just… WHY?!?!

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The Characters

MY NUMERO UNO MISTAKE WAS GETTING ATTACHED TO CHARACTERS. I’m getting the feeling Kristoff is a lot more like Martin than I could’ve ever suspected. I think I’ve also figured out who was responsible for all the painful deaths in the Illuminae Files series because the character deaths in this book gave me the same sort of heart hurt! URGHGRGRR… I want to say NEVER AGAIN but… yeah, I know myself better than that!

Mia had a horrifying past that made my heart ache for all that she’d been through. Her character was incredibly complex! I didn’t think I’d grow to love her so much but I did and I rooted so hard for her! She’s smart and cunning, fierce and a killer intent on avenging her familia, but she’s also got heart. While some may find her weak for it, I thought it was a strength that set her apart. Her character development was well done and I can’t wait to see how else she grows in the coming books, especially with what happened at the end of this one. DAMN YOU, KRISTOFF!!!

Tric. Oh, Don Tric. Be still my heart! I don’t even have the words for how much I loved Tric’s character. Like Mia and many others in the school, he had such a painful and heartbreaking past that led him to being an assassin. He may be a side character next to Mia, but he was so well developed that it didn’t feel like it. His banter with Mia had me giggling so many times, and their chemistry was OOF! I just wanted to fling myself onto him and never let go! He was such a great character, I’m crying.

Mister Kindly – the not-cat that was ever present in Mia’s shadow. His reactions often had me barking with laughter (I just can’t get enough of the humor in this book)! He’s the ultimate companion and pet. I loved his steadfast support for Mia, even if it was for his own gain too!

I guess you can say the rest of the characters were minor-ish but they still played considerable roles in the story. Ashlynn, one of Mia’s closest friends in the school had a great attitude, made me lol plenty and I loved her devil may care attitude. Lotti was another one of Mia’s friends and she grew on me quickly! I loved her deadpan reactions and her smarts! Jessamine was enemy #1 and has a similar history to Mia, but she blamed Mia for what she went through. She was a great villain that I continued to strongly dislike until the end. There were lots of other side characters that also really grew on me, like Naev, Hush and I’d even go so far as to say Adonai and Marielle. Unsurprisingly, everyone was tricksy AF and just when you think they’ve got a heart… Well, you can cancel that thought!

Aaaand breathe.

My thoughts are still reeling over that ending. I still can’t believe it! So much… SO MUCH THAT I CAN’T GIVE AWAY! If it isn’t obvious already, I loved Nevernight and as much as my chest actually aches with all the hurtful things, I think I might’ve found myself a new favorite series! I’m so glad that I’ve finally read a book by Kristoff (solo), especially since it’s given me insight into which parts he may have contributed to the Illuminae series, another favorite of mine. I can’t wait to continue this series!

Have you read Nevernight? What’d you think of it? Was your reaction as crazy as mine? LOL let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

Can someone tell me how it’s already the first of September? Like… How? 👀 So we’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

This Sunday, I wished I were in bed with two of my current reads: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff and The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black. I’m re-reading TCP because I remember jack-nada from when I read it last year. Elements of the plot are coming back to me and while I found Jude slightly annoying at the start, she’s really growing on me? I’m listening to Nevernight on Audible while following along to it on my Kindle and I’m honestly LOVING this book so much. It took a little while to grow on me, but it’s really grown on me (at 16%). This book is surprisingly hilarious (although maybe I shouldn’t be surprised because Kristoff) and it’s making it such a pleasure to read alongside the darker and more murder-y stuff!

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.
The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

What are you currently reading?

Did I already mention how baffled I am that it’s already September? I honestly don’t know where time flies to, especially on weekends! It’s like the more relaxed I am, the faster time goes? I had grand plans to bring my bookshelves/TBR carts to some semblance of order on Saturday but ended up spending all day under my doona, lost in a book. I realized at around 9pm that I had yet to eat or prepare any of my Saturday blog posts. Oops! So I sprang out of my cocoon, whipped up dinner while finishing up the audiobook for Naturally Tan, and then proceeded to write my blog posts while eating and watching Back-to-Back Chef with Carla Music on the Bon Apetit channel on YouTube. I was multitasking like a boss last night 😏 By the way, this cooking show is AWESOME (basically celebrities of all cooking abilities come on and cook with Carla with only vocal instructions from her and they can’t peek at each other’s stations)! It’s actually hilarious and I’d 100% recommend! I’ve also still been listening to Lover on repeat all week and I just can’t get myself to stop. I think my new favorite is Daylight because of how it ends on such a sweet, fresh and positive note! Contrary to what my last two posts may indicate, I’m not obsessed with Taylor Swift, but with her last two albums I’ve found that I have a great appreciation for her pop music, and Lover has certainly solidified that appreciation for me!

I think this week has been a pretty good one for reading! I managed to finish five books, including one audiobook that I’ve been listening to for a while, and I ended up having one 5★, one 4½★, one 4★, and two 3★ reads! It’s also been pretty freaking awesome on the blogging front this week! I actually didn’t realize how much I’ve posted this week and looking at the long list below, I think I’ve set myself up for failure if I want to do the same next week 😂 I also have to say sorry to everyone who has engaged with me and left comments on my blog this week. It’s been a pretty weird week in terms of my mental health and I’ve been wanting to retreat big time at the end of every work day, so even though I’ve been posting, I haven’t been engaging and I’m sorry about that! I just needed a bit more time off the laptop and the interwebs. That said, I’m hoping to catch up on more blogs and on comments in the coming week, so I’ll be getting back to you all soon 😊 On that note, here’s a recap of my posts from this week, in case you missed any:

August Monthly Wrap Up!
Review: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Top 5 Saturday: Road Trip!
Friday Favorites: Books Read in School
First Lines Friday: 30 August
Graphic Novel ARC Review: The Avant-Guards Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin, Noah Hayes
Wrapping Up: Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge & ARC August
The (Double) Liebster Award!
Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco
#WWWWednesday: 28 August
ARC Review: Pillow Thoughts III: Mending the Mind by Courtney Peppernell
#TopTenTuesday: Books I Want In My Physical Library
Review: Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
Goodreads Monday: 26 August

How has your week been? Hope everyone has/had a great weekend!
Let me know how you’re doing in the comments and let’s chat 🙂