It’s hard to think that during the first week of September, we were all worried about a hurricane. This month has completely flown by and now we’re already in October. I just wish it felt like it! This heat and humidity is miserable and I’m constantly hoping for cold weather. You would think that with a hurrication I would have gotten a bit of reading done, but that wasn’t necessarily the case. I stayed with my sister during the hurricane and I helped out with my adorable nephews. We had some quality Sissa bonding time, which I wouldn’t give up for the world. 

I did however manage to get seven books read, which is still not too shabby. Surprisingly this month I didn’t listen to as many audiobooks as I normally would. I only listened to one audiobook, which was a little on the small clocking in at five hours and five minutes long. I did read a lot of e-books though because I had a lot of time on the reference desk. 

On to the reviews!

If you know me, or have read any of my previous posts, then you know that one of my all time favorite authors is Sarah J. Maas. Even though I work at a library, I own every book she’s published – and will probably order any future books as well. For me, Sarah is an amazing author that weaves together a beautiful story full of action, adventure, romance, and fantasy. I admire her writing style and strive to be half as good as she is. With all of that being said, earlier this year I re-read her series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. And once I’d gotten through those books I started missing characters from her other series, Throne of Glass. Now usually I would start a re-read at the very beginning, but this time I decided to shake things up a bit. This time I started the re-read at Heir of Fire, which is book three. I chose to start my re-read here because well this is where Rowan comes in, and who doesn’t like a handsome fae warrior prince? I managed to get through Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, and Empire of Storms during this month. Which, if you’ve read this series then you know that’s quite a feat. Empire of Storms was the first books I ever read that was on bible paper. Yes, you read that right. The book was so big that, to keep it from being a massive tome, the publisher printed it on bible thin paper. These books and these characters are among my favorite and I absolutely love visiting their world.

With November and NaNoWriMo steadily approaching, I decided that I should probably get some prep books read before the month long writing process begins. This particular book was written by one of the founders of National Novel Writing Month and is meant to be a guide as you go through the month. It starts out with an introduction that gives you an overview of the event, as well as the history of how it came about. Then the author divides it into four different weeks and the process that needs to occur during those weeks. I didn’t read the book in the way that it was meant to – which is okay! I still learned a lot and found some of the tips to be helpful. Plus now I know I can refer to it during the grueling writing process for some inspiration or help!

Usually ghost stories aren’t my thing. While fall and Halloween are my favorite times of the year, I don’t really go looking for spooky things. However, Tunnel of Bones was the perfect book to read in preparation for the fall season. This is Victoria Schwab’s middle grade series that follows a young girl named Cassidy Blake as she navigates life, while being able to slip into the realm of the dead. Did I mention that her best friend is a ghost? The first book came out last year which was when I first picked it up. For a middle grade book, this could easily be read by anyone at any age and still enjoy it. There are no overly creepy scenes that would deter a younger audience and it’s intriguing enough to captivate an older audience. Tunnel of Bones is the second book in the series and it shines just as bright as the first novel. City of Ghosts, the first book, found Cassidy in Scotland while Tunnel of Bones found her in Paris. I really enjoyed the setting for this book and am ecstatic that Schwab included the city of the dead that lies below the streets of Paris. It was a lot of fun to follow Cassidy and Jacob on their adventure through the City of Light. I HIGHLY recommend this book!

I love picture books. Often times, especially if I’m having a rough day, I’ll wander over to the children’s section of the library and flip through the pictures books. There is something about the simplicity of the storytelling and the beautiful pictures that have a calming effect on me. This book in particular is one of them. The story is about a young girl named Rosalie, that is living during World War I. During the day she goes to school while her mother goes to work at an ammunition factory. Rosalie is very young and because of that she usually just sits in the back and the teacher doesn’t think she is learning anything. But unbeknownst to him, she is on a secret mission to learn how to read. Her drive to learn how to, is so that she can read her the letters that her father writes. I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone, so I will leave it at this: this was beautiful yet sad story that I think everyone should read.

I try to highlight one book that I read during a month, and this time it’s Lovely War by Julie Berry. I was excited to pick up this book because it deals with the greek gods. Now I will say that the description of it had me a little confused about the premise of the book. Most of the confusion probably comes from the two different timelines. So, here’s hoping I can explain this to you a little better. 

The book starts out with Aphrodite and Ares during World War II. They are meeting up for another tryst at a hotel when they are caught by Hephaestus – Aphrodite’s husband. Like literally caught in a special golden net that the god crafted. In an attempt to be free and have her husband understand her a little better, the goddess of love tells a story about to explain how love and war are closely linked. During her weaving of the tale, other gods come to explain parts that she cannot. Like Hades and Apollo, even Ares lends his voice. Throughout the book there are flashes of the gods in World War II in the hotel and then flashes of Aphrodite telling the story. Once you get into the story, it is pretty easy to follow along with the events that are taking place. This book was beautifully heart-breaking and made me cry for all the right reasons. It was simply wonderful, and I can’t wait to read other books that Berry has written.

Until next time!