JJ Reads

Memo Pad: September Wrap Up

I’ve had another good reading month. 5 finished books, and the month started so well with three 5* books in a row although I did end up DNFing one at the end. Unfortunately I did get sucked into netgalley and requested a few more than I should have. After a couple of months of not really seeing anything I wanted to read there (the UK site, so there isn’t as many as the .com one) there seemed to be so many I wanted all at once. But I’ll mention that later.

In other non-reading news, I am passed the half way mark for writing #ExcitingSpaceWIP. I’ve made a few changes but I’m loving it and trying not to get carried away. So far I’ve stuck to only writing two chapters a week in an attempt not to get obsessed. (Although i did accidently write a 3.9k chapter in a day the other week and OUCH my hand hurt after that).

As far as my book buying ban is going…. Well, theoretically I did really well this month and haven’t bought any books. But seeing as the whole reason behind it was to get through books I already own then the fact I received 5 earcs/review copies means I didn’t actually do very well in bringing the number of books on my kindle down. But its still down by one so that’s progress, right?

To be fair it wasn’t fully my fault? One of the books I wanted to read was a sequel so I emailed the publisher to get the first book in the series too (Darkling and Undertow by Brooklyn Ray). One of the books was a Sci fi about thieves who steal things with magic. So I’m not responsible for requesting that (Stealing Life by Anthony Johnston). And then at the end of the month a request that I made months ago got approved and normally when they don’t get back to you for that long it’s a no (The bird king by G Willow Wilson). So really I can only be blamed for two…..

On to the numbers:

Unread Owned Books at Start of Month: 60

Books Bought: 0

Books Acquired: 5 (All arcs and review copies)

Books Read: 5 + 1 DNF

Unread Owned Books at End of Month: 59

It did go down by one, although if you look at my kindle shelf on goodreads it says I only have 58 books instead of 59 because one of the arcs isn’t on goodreads yet. In other number related things I’m pretty sure I’m going to beat my goodreads reading challenge by the end of next month. I set my target this year to read 52 books and I only have 3 books left to read to reach it (I don’t count DNFs towards that, just to be clear). So hopefully I’ll have that to celebrate for the next monthly wrap up. And hopefully i’ll make a bigger dent than 1 on my owned tbr!

But back to this month:

mp sep 2018



Darkling (Port Lewis Witches #1) by Brooklyn Ray *****

This novella reminded me of the feel of The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater but so much more witchy and atmospheric and magical and queer. It’s set in a seaside town in America and follows Ryder who is trans and struggling to keep his dark magic from his circle while falling for his best friend. The setting is so vivid and the writing is beautiful. It is a new adult romance and there is sexually explicit content so that’s something to keep in mind. But it never felt gratuitous to me. It was always centred on character and plot and never felt unnecessarily explicit. Sometimes novellas can feel rushed or shallow but this was exactly the right length. I cared about the characters, I loved the setting, I saw the world and understood the magic. In short I loved this novella and am so glad it’s the start of a series. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants queer witchy atmospheric books.

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A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J Maas *****

I actually wasn’t expecting to love this book this much. But I can’t deny that this is a masterfully plotted story. So many different threads are woven together so well and not just in this book but from across the series so far. I loved that we got to know more about the inner circle characters. We got to see them one on one with Feyre and they’re even more lovable than before. After the previous book I was worried we’d spend most of the book at the spring court with Tam instead of them but that got wrapped up quickly and all my favourite characters ended up together for the rest of the book. My only gripe is that the characters did conveniently forget a couple of rather important things in the name of plot. (And I skipped the sex scenes completely as they didn’t add anything to character or plot and the book was long enough already without them). I thought the first book in this series was pretty dire (Rhys and Lucien were the only saviours) but book 2 and 3 have been excellent.

I also have a problem where I get unreasonably attached to minor characters and, without giving anything away, I’ll just say that I’m pretty heartbroken about something I really shouldn’t be heartbroken about.


Undertow (Port Lewis Witches #2) by Brooklyn Ray *****

This is an excellent sequel. I loved the first novella in this series and I’m so glad that I loved this one just as much. The writing is just as beautiful and atmospheric. It’s just as dark and witchy. Just as engrossing. This time it switches POV to Liam who is a water elemental and Ryder’s boyfriend and circlemate. I’m loving this series so much and it looks like we’ll get a novella from each of the circlemates which I’m so excited for because I love every single character in this series. Every one of them is intriguing and mysterious and I can’t wait to read their stories. I want all of them. This is another novella which is the perfect length for the story even though I loved it and wish I had more to read! Each novella is a self contained character story but with hints at bigger things that tie through them to the next one. I’m left with questions about what happens next without feeling hard done by. It’s so good. Also did I mention how gorgeous these covers are? Because they are. I think they might be the most beautiful covers ever.


Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer *****

I’m six years behind the hype on this one but recently I’ve seen quite a few snippets and comments about the characters in this series that made me want to pick this up. It was an enjoyable quick read but, to be honest, there wasn’t anything I loved about it. It was a very clever interpretation of Cinderella, set in a future where Cinder is a cyborg and instead of a glass slipper that falls off when she runs it’s her cyborg foot. I did like the reimaging but I wanted to meet the friends that I’ve heard about. While I liked Cinder, none of the other interesting characters showed up in this book and it felt a bit flat. It is obvious they start showing up in the next (just by the names of the books themselves!) but nothing here really makes me want to read the sequel.


One of us is Lying by Karen M McManus *****

I found the first person narration very confusing at the start as we’re thrown into a room with all the characters thinking about each other and I kept forgetting who *I* was. But once the story got going it was much less confusing. So for anyone confused at the start I would definitely recommend sticking with it. This story is basically the breakfast club but if one of them died during the detention which is a really cool premise. I liked the characters, they did start out as stereotypes but I think it was on purpose and as the story progressed each of them developed well into deep and lovable characters as we learnt more about them. I enjoyed this book, especially the second half which was very good, but I didn’t love it as much as I was expecting. And I’m left with questions that weren’t answered which is a little annoying. It was an easy, quick and engrossing read but I guess the hype caught me on this one.



The Extinction Trials by S.M Wilson

So I was promised the Hunger Games with dinosaurs and it just didn’t match up to my expectations.

There was quite a lot of info dumping at the start but at the same time there wasn’t anything to set it apart from a generic dystopian. I stuck around for a while longer to get to the action but the characters and dialogue felt a bit wooden to me and I just wasn’t invested. I’m sure I could have kept reading and it would have been an enjoyable 3* but there’s too many books to read to stick with one I’m not invested in. I DNF’d @28%


Anyone else her irrationally attached to minor characters? I actually can’t pick a favourite read of the month, the two Port Lewis novellas were excellent but so was ACOWAR. What was your favourite read of the month?

Last week I posted about my Fall TBR and I can happily say that I’ve now knocked two of the ten off that list (Okay so I DNF’d one but still!). That TBR is already going better than I’d expected because I’m normally terrible at sticking to them!

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5 thoughts on “Memo Pad: September Wrap Up”

  1. I’ve been doing quite a lot of reading but sadly, I tend to download more than I can possibly catch up with. It doesn’t help that I had a couple of months of Kindle unlimited LOL
    My fave book of the month was a re-read. I listened to the book on Audible originally, then I saw the film. Now I’ve read it properly and I still love it – Ready Player One.
    Some of your reads look quite interesting so I’ve popped them onto my wishlist. Great reviews – thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I did. There were a lot of changes but it kept the overall plot and was true to the idea of the book. I loved the audio book. It was read by Wil Wheaton and he just brought it to life. He’s one of my favourite narrators and often accompanies me to work on the bus 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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