September was a month of surprises! Books I didn’t think I’d like, I loved. Books I had low expectation for, blew me away. And books I thought I’d love, I didn’t.
So here’s what I read:
1. With The Fire on High 5*: I’ll admit I didn’t have a lot of expectation going into this one but it is a truly entertaining, heartfelt contemporary with excellent depth. Along with a huge helping of great cooking and recipes. Full Review here.
2. Bringing Down the Duke 3*: This one I did have larger expectations for … and it just fell a little short for me. I never got a strong sense of our main character – she felt oddly out of time, which in a historical novel is quite a difficult thing to cover. The romance did more back and forth than enemies-lovers and overall I just wanted more from the suffragists.
3. The Dream Thieves: 4*
4. Blue Lily, Lily Blue: 4*
5. The Raven King 5*: The Raven Cycle is a masters class in character development. Maggie Stiefvater writes characters that come alive and dance before you so vividly … it’s exceptional. This series was touching, supernatural, and just perfect for a fall binge.
6. House of Salt and Sorrows 4.5*: I’ll admit, I expected the worst. I really loathe stories centred around ball gowns/balls/primping/making dresses … so a 12 Dancing Princesses retelling sounded ripe for disaster. Nope. While this is, of course, present, a deliciously spooky ghost story/murder mystery whodunit prevails. Such a fun read! Full review here.
7. Pumpkinheads 4*: If you want to feel all the fall feels in an adorable contemporary romance setting, on Halloween, in a pumpkin patch …. pick this up. Read it with chocolate. Feel better about life.
8. Sal & Gabi Break the Universe 4*: This is an explosive wild ride! A funny, powerful, heartfelt magical realism middle grade that grabs at hard topics — masculinity, feminism, sex, child abuse, grief, trauma — and sets the stage for great conversations. Full review here.
9. The Good Thieves 4* : A ragtag group of middle graders form the ultimate Oceans 11 style band of thieves to bring down some evil, powerful men in 1920s New York City. A fun, touching story told by a master of middle grade.