JJ Reads

Memo Pad: September Wrap-up

I can’t believe there’s only three months of the year left. I also can’t believe that I actually haven’t fallen behind on my reading goal yet!

But, first things first, I’ve updated this here blog a little. I was Ever The Crafter but I felt that after however many years – and the natural evolving of what I use this place for – a change would be good. So I have a new theme, new name and header. A new little home page ready for exciting reasons. It would be awesome if you could have a click around and let me know what you think!

Back to my reading goal though, and there has been plenty of almost reading slumps that have threatened it. (Including at the start of September). Normally I only set myself the target of 52 books a year and normally end up in the 60’s but I set it at 100 this year and…. I MIGHT make it. This, I’m sure, will be the one and only time though! I do feel like I’m putting larger heavier fantasy books on hold although to be fair I started two this month and just wasn’t in the mood to read them. So maybe a mixture of being a mood reader and feeling the pressure!

In other life related things, I finally got some new furniture after my move in August which means I’ve started to unpack! Finally! I’m so happy. It’s just a chest of drawers but I’m picky and there wasn’t many options. Also I can only leave the house so many times in a month (3 was TOO many and I feel SO ILL now but alas). It’s done. Phew.

Here it is and yes, the only thing I have unpacked so far is my music system because it’s the most important thing!

Writing wise I’ve done a final edit of my YA Sci-fi which is EXCITING (I think I aptly tagged this #ExcitingSpaceWIP). And I’m so happy that I got a bunch of writing done on my new WIP(#chronicallyWitchyWIP). I’m only draft zeroing but I’ve managed to get a third the way in already. The plan is to draft more this month while I’m waiting on other things. I’m looking forward to writing the villain in two chapters time!

Books time! And like always, here is a little summary of the books I’ve read and reviewed this month. All links go to goodreads.

Reviews Round-Up

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L Huang***** – F/F scifi little mermaid retelling. A  brilliantly written short story with a tragic ending.

The Devil You Know by K.J Parker***** Fantasy short story about a trickster philosopher making a deal with a devil who thinks he’s being played.

Release by Patrick Ness***** – YA contemporary set over the course of one day. Where gay teen Adam deals with A LOT.

Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield***** – Time-travel novella following two women – a future time travel agent and a highwayman in 1800s.

The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess***** – YA contemporary about a girl put in foster care after her dad kicks her out for something he did.

Favourite Book of the Month:

Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman *****

This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I’m so happy it lived up to ALL my expectations! I was worried that the first couple of chapters didn’t grab me but the rest of the book is AMAZING. It’s a twisty YA thriller about a gay teen who wakes up after a hook up in the bed of a dead guy and gets caught up in a cyber-terror plot due to mistaken identify.

I loved Aidan so much, he has such a lot to deal with and he is definitely not perfect. I was conflicted about part of his backstory (there is a relationship with an adult while he was underage) but I think it was treated well i.e that it was wrong. It showed Aidan struggling with coming to terms with it and how the things he’s gone through affect every relationship he has. I also LOVED how he had such SOFT friendships with his guy friends. No toxic masculinity here. There is a romance angle, and I loved the love interest, but it’s a minor part of the plot and it’s much more about Aidan learning to grow up and deal with his past.

The plot itself is complicated and twisty, I was completely hooked. It’s fast paced, I cared, I needed to know what happened next but at the same time the story never drops in depth. Not just in character but it heavily talks about homophobia and how it should be fought back against, the gay rights movement and stonewall. As well as the way private information is used and abused by both sides. I love how the book wove all these elements in. This thriller is a look at how tech can be used for and against us, a main character you care about and a fast paced twisty plot. Basically it’s just really awesome.

Trigger Warnings: Underage sex with an adult, drug use, mentions of a suicide.

Quote of the Month:

“We’re shutting down this mission. Putting our resources elsewhere, in 2016. Let’s try 2016 again.”

“But 2016 is completely fucked,” she says, trying to keep her voice even. “You know that, sir. We have to go back earlier.”

– Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield


So how was your month? What’s the best thing you have read lately? And let me know what you think of the redesign!

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