Wednesday, September 30, 2020


Truly can't believe that September has already come and gone! Feels like yesterday was MARCH! The beginning of fall brings so many exciting things, despite the pandemic we are currently living through. Pumpkin spice, changing leaves, and NEW READS! 
Through September I read 8 books in total, which is pretty good for me! So many great books came out this month; and while I did read some amazing ones, I also had a few ones I was iffy on. But that's okay, you can't love everything!

Here is my September wrap-up!

ONE BY ONE by Ruth Ware (BOTM)
RATING: 5/5 STARS -- Mystery/Thriller

Let me just say after reading this book, I will 100% never go skiing or snowboarding any time soon. This book literally had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Ware's writing is so descriptive, you actually feel like you're in the novel experiencing what the characters are. This novel is about a group of tech employees from a well-known company who go on a company ski retreat. While it sounds like it would be a lavish getaway, it ended up being a deadly one as members started mysteriously disappearing one by one. Each chapter kept me on my toes and I never expected the ending! This was my first Ware novel and definitely won't be my last!

SUMMER DARLINGS by Brooke Lea Foster
RATING: 5/5 STARS -- Historical Fiction

Summer Darlings is hands down my top favorite book of 2020 without a doubt. I absolutely loved the setting and time period of this novel, as it was set during the 1960's in Martha's Vineyard. As a reader you grow to love the main character, Heddy, as she struggles to find herself. If you love a good coming-of-age story, this one is for you. Heddy is hired by an extremely wealthy family who she believes has it all, but she slowly finds out that privilege and wealth doesn't necessarily result in overall happiness. I loved following her summer journey on the island as she makes new connections and love interests, and most of all I loved the surprise twist in the ending!

ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Frederik Backman (BOTM)
RATING: 4/5 STARS -- Contemporary Fiction

This was the first Backman novel I've ever read, so I was unsure what to expect! At first I found it a little hard to get into, but maybe about a third of the way through I was intrigued. There were many more twists in the storyline than I originally expected, especially in the ending. Long story short, this book is initially about a bank robbery gone wrong and about a "room full of idiots". There ends up being so much more to the story than that, and the ending was impactful. It was definitely an interesting read and restored by faith in humanity a little!

RATING: 4.5/5 STARS -- Historical Fiction

I've been on a historical fiction kick lately, and this one did not disappoint. George's writing is absolutely beautiful and engaging. The way he intertwined each character's individual stories with one another was amazing. Set in 1920's Paris, it's the perfect reader's escape! I loved following each character's journey from start to finish. I was surprised and moved by the story's ending, and also saddened it was over. Definitely a great read for those who have a love for history and are familiar with historical figures like Hemingway and Proust.

FRIENDS AND STRANGERS by J. Courtney Sullivan (BOTM)
RATING 4/5 STARS-- Contemporary Fiction

Don't get me wrong, I loved this book, but it was definitely different than I expected -- in a good way! It had a slow start for me, but I grew to love the two main characters. I enjoyed how this novel covered the complexities of the two characters living completely different lives, yet they found their friendship to be so impacting towards one another. This novel covered a number of issues which readers can definitely relate to. This novel may not be for everyone, but I really enjoyed it and loved it's message.

RATING: 4/5 STARS -- Thriller

This thriller took me on a wild ride for sure! This is truly one of those thrillers that had me completely surprised at the ending. I remember thinking after each chapter how I had no idea where the storyline was going to take me. The ending was so unexpected, and Megan Miranda is an amazing writer! If you haven't read The Last House Guest, (A Reese's Bookclub Pick), you definitely should add it to your list! The Girl From Widow Hills is narrated by Arden Maynor, who became a national news story at the young age of six when a tragedy happened to her while sleepwalking. While she has tried to move on with her life and escape her past, danger has found her again. This story is riveting and had me so anxious to find out the ending!

RATING 3/5 Stars -- Thriller

Okay so this one was definitely... different. That's truly the only way I know how to describe it! When I read the synopsis of this book, I was immediately intrigued because it was summarized as almost a combo of Friday Night Lights meets Stephen King. I had seen quite a few negative reviews about this one, so I was pretty hesitant. I will say, Fram's writing is AMAZING. Every chapter was well written, and kept me on my toes with the amount of built-up suspense. 

When the small-town football team's star player goes missing and winds up murdered, his brother is out to find out who did this to him. As he goes on a mission to uncover what really happened, I was mind-blown by each twist and turn this book took. Some parts surprised me, especially the parts that touched on a bit of the "horror" genre. I didn't expect that. A lot of it honestly was a bit disturbing to read.There were a lot of aspects of this book that I could have done without; and didn't make a lot of sense to me in terms of relevance. I think Fram's writing is excellent and the suspense was there, but for me personally, it just wasn't quite my favorite and that's okay.

COBBLE HILL by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Rating 3/5 Stars -- Contemporary Fiction
Thank you to Atria Books for the gifted copy! (Out 11/10)

So I'll be honest, I had MAJORLY high expectations for this book since Ziegesar wrote the ever so popular Gossip Girl series. In my head, I kind of assumed it would have parallels and similarities in terms of her writing and the overall plot. This book actually turned out a lot different than I expected. The novel focused on a neighborhood of four different families who all happen to intersect paths. The characters were solely connected by their neighborhood, but I had a hard time really getting to know the characters in depth and being able to relate to them. I didn't necessarily love this one, but I did enjoy reading it. It's not Gossip Girl by any means, but it was interesting to say the least!

Three of these books were in my September Book of the Month box! If you haven't joined yet, I highly recommend you do! I was able to read multiple books this month before they were even published. Being a BOTM member has amazing perks! Sign up HERE to get your first box for $9.99!

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