October 02, 2019

Blogtober | Wrap-Up: September 2019

I don't know where September went, I swear I blinked and then it was October. I feel like it wasn't as a productive month as I wanted, but upon reflection, I did a lot of Blogtober prep, read some chunky books and even met up with friends. For more, scroll on!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)
J.K. Rowling

My Thoughts:
I'm rating a Harry Potter two stars?! Listen. these books are far from perfect, so in my reread I felt like it warrented the rating I am giving it. For nostalgia purposes and the comfort it brings me, of course, I'd give it five full shiny stars. But, Gilderoy is
frustrating (even if it is his purpose) and Dobby well-wished intentions just leave me bashing my head against my headboard and, my God, the pacing! Also, this book is incredibly sad. Harry is bought up in an incredibly abusive household, to which he finds solace in the Wizarding World and Hogwarts, but by the start of this book, we have Harry back in an abusive household, isolated and deprived of his friends letters (DOBBY ANYONE?!) to then Harry being even more isolated in the one place he can be free and happy when people start to believe he is the heir of Slytherin. Chamber of Secrets has always been my least favorite, but this has really cemented that for me. Maybe my opinion will change? Probably not.

American Royals (American Royals #1)
Katherine McGee

My Thoughts:
Royal romances have really kicked off in the year of 2019, and I am saving them up because they're great to read during readathons. American Royals relies on the premise of: What if George Washington accepted a crown instead of Presidency? 
In my notes, I pinned down that the premise relies on my suspense of disbelief because I didn't feel like I could believe Washington would have ever taken the crown, in relation to the why America fought to become independent from Britain. 
The writing wasn't anything special, and very bland. The characters felt flat and more like trope caricatures. There's a cheating plot-line that I wasn't a huge fan of. And the 'scandalous' nature of the book felt trivial and not very exciting. This book just was not for me.

Because You Love to Hate Me
Edited by Ameriie

My Thoughts:
My actual rating for this book is closer to 3.75⭐ (anthologies are incredibly hard to rate) and have rounded it up for the sake of giving it a rating on Goodreads. The three that really stood out to me were Death Knell by V.E.Schwab; Marigold by Samantha Shannon and The Blessing of Little Wants by Sarah Enni. There were a couple more that I enjoyed, but the others just completely fell flat for me and didn't engage me in the discussion of YA Villainy and point-of-view, that I thought this book would bring to the table. 

Love From A-Z
S.K. Ali
My Thoughts:
I picked this up on a complete whim when I head Chelsea from ChelseaDolling Reads and Julie from Pages and Pens talk about this one. 
This book could have been five stars, but I didn't connect with the story. I think that's because it wasn't the type of story I wanted or needed at the point of reading it. So I may add this to the back burner for a reread when I'm craving a hard-hitting contemporary.
Love From A-Z deals with the loss of family, chronic illness and racism,  which I think is something you should be way about if you are sensitive about reading these topics.  
I thought this book had a fantastic representation of Islam and breaking down the prejudice around Muslims in a Western environment, even though the center setting is Doha. I really loved the characters and their flaws and how both Zeynab and Adam began to become the epicenter of support for their struggles. 

Twelve Kings (The Song of Shattered Sands #1)
Bradley Beaulieu

My Thoughts:
I've dragged this book around the UK more times than I should have, and yet it continued to sit on my TBR for three years. I wish I had read this book sooner. Twelve Kings has the problems a lot of first books in a long high fantasy series have. There's a lot of world-building, history and setting up of the plot, that is needed, but it did feel like it threw the pacing askew. Then again, it didn't help that I have been struggling to read books that are longer than 400 pages and require a greater amount of energy to read.
Despite that, the depth of mythology that Beaulieu has crafted is mesmerizing, and I think that now that it's been set up in a way that relies on a lot of hidden knowledge, which leads to exciting developments in book two, three and four. 
I am so glad that I do have the rest of the books in the series so that I can read them in quick succession very soon. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #2)
J.K. Rowling
My Thoughts:
For YEARS I always said that I didn't like the Prisoner of Azkaban. I don't know why? It's a bigger mystery to me than why people refuse to do anything about climate change.

A little confession, because of my past disklike of PoS, I have only read this book twice in all my Harry-Potter-loving-time. Usually, I would substitute in with the film and then move onto the Goblet of Fire. But on rereading, I found myself enjoying the smaller pieces of world-building and character development we get.  This book is perfect for Autumn, something that I am completely sure added to the coziness I felt when reading this one. 
North and South (BBC Miniseries, 2004)
Dir. Brian Percival
It might only be the end of September, and Halloween is still to come, but my brain is screaming for it to be Christmas. This can be seen by my ever-increasing obsession to watch every Victorian period drama I can get my hands on and the withdrawal that stems in my need to pick up some classic literature. When Sam (ThoughtsonTomes) tweeted about North and South, it jolted my passion for BBC miniseries adaptions, and I ended up spending four hours laying in my bed, feeling full from all the angst. 
Richard Armitage's Mr. John Thornton has nothing on Mr. Darcy. Even if we were to substitute Matthew Macfayden's interpretation of the character with Colin Firth's. 
If you want to experience the best period love interest, you can watch all four episodes on Netflix (both US and UK) and the BBC iPlayer.

Criminal: UK
Dir. Jim Field Smith
This is one of four countries (the other three are: Germany, Spain, and France) of a three-episode anthology series. Think Black Mirror, but with suspects and it takes place completely within an interrogation room. I found the visual storytelling to be stripped bare and back to the basics, but don't let that hold you back from tuning in. Like in the Great British Bake-Off, when contestants go back to basics, they're expected to produce perfection, and this is what Smith has pulled off.... its textbook. Then throw in a gripping who-done-it and you've got an amazing TV show. 
The UK cast was fantastic and includes some well known British faces such as: David Tennant, Hayley Atwell, and Katherine Kelly.
I am currently making my way through the German episodes, which I am enjoying just as much, but I would say that if you don't like dubbed voices, then you can change it back to German - which I found was a lot better.

This month has been another boring one. Lot's of job applications, lots of interviews, and (I cannot stress this enough) a lot of rejections. It's the nature of job hunting, but there is nothing that quite prepares you for that feeling. I'm not trying to take it personally, but the longer I am out of work, the more guilty I feel. I just want to work, I am not someone who likes to just be doing nothing, and when the income coming in is limited, so are the options. I have all this creative energy, and the motivation to do something, but nowhere to let off steam - so, I've been working on blogtober posts, much like this one!

Recently I went out with a long-time friend to go shopping for her back-to-University needs. We went to all my favourite haunts, including Paperchase, Tiger and The Works. Thankfully
The first page of my bullet journal
made with felt tips, fine liner and stamps.
we ran out of time to go into Waterstones, otherwise who knows what sort of trouble I would have got into. 

I ended up treating myself to a small bullet journal and a really cute bookmark! I've been wanting to experiment with bullet journaling, specifically in organizing my reading and blog posts, and thought I would buy a cheaper A6 version to try it out and see if it helps from the unorganized mess that is the notebook I am currently using. So far, I am really liking the creative freedom it's giving me, I think I might have to ask for a nice quality bullet
How adorable is this bookmark?! I'm a
sucker for anything cat related.
journal for Christmas. Please, give me your recommendations, if you also bullet journal.


  1. It's really hard to rate anthologies! I liked the one you've read!😊

  2. I love that sneak peek of your bullet journal :)
    I absolutely love period dramas, and autumn and winter feel like the perfect time for them.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/