A real big book update (September, October & November)

Hey Happy Bookworms!

Ahhh! It feels so good to be writing again! I’m still not sure where exactly I’m going with this but I decided to just dip my toes back in with a book update for the last couple months!
I’m finally getting back into reading again after mocks (yay!) so I want to wrap up the pitiful attempt I’ve been making so I can put it behind me & move on 😂

Guys they’re actually short reviews this time (*cough* apart from Sorcery of Thorns *cough*) are you proud of meee?

*All reviews will be spoiler free because otherwise what am I here for? (unless otherwise stated)
*🧸 children’s 🍿 YA 💼 Adult
*🌠 means that I got an e-copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Skip to what interests you & enjoy! 💕

🧸 Small Spaces by Katherine Arden


By far the best book I’ve read the last couple months! I loved it & maybe it was more circumstantial (I read this on Halloween) but boy was it perfect 🎃
Such a good mix of fun but scary! The only thing was sometimes Ollie was a little unlikable but since it’s a short novel it didn’t really have that much of an impact 🤷‍♀️
Definitely cute & quirky (but like really scary in places too 😅)

🧸 Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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Then I had a little foray into audiobooks…

I really really enjoyed this! It was the perfect audiobook as it was narrated by the author, easy to understand & if you zoned out for a bit it didn’t really matter. Just atmospheric but not scary & a lot of fun 🙂

Loved the rats. Honestly iconic. “we have eyes” ME TOO 👏👏 honestly go off.

I listened to 3 more audiobooks: one in a textiles daze were I absorbed approximately 0% of it & 2 I had to DNF because we just did not vibe. 🤷‍♀️

💼 Endless Night by Agatha Christie

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I really do love Agatha Christie’s writing so although it didn’t get ‘exciting’ until book 3 it was still an enjoyable experience.
This was probably a little too clever for me – I fully appreciate the scale & smarts of it now I’ve finished but unlike a lot of fans I wasn’t trying to pick apart the clues throughout the book which if you actually want to engage with the first 2 thirds of the book, you need to do.

Probably a story I should have read later into my Christie exploration & not so early on.
I’ll probably read it again in a couple years, after a couple more of her stories & enjoy it more as I’ll be able to pick up the nuances as I go. Really it’s a good idea to read her books twice: once to experience the twists & turns and once to be able to marvel with hindsight.

🧸 Caddy Ever After by Hilary McKay


This was when I was in need of a bit of a comfort read!
I love these books so much – this one…was a little weird but we’ll roll with it 😂 Definitely a bit more grown up than I remembered, well I hardly remembered anything at all so…
Kinda sad about the Caddy content in this tho since she’s my fave & an absolutely legend & Rose is also my least favourite? Whoops….

But still the best ☺️

🍿🌠 Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

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To be fair: I did read about 1/3 of this book, then got swamped by schoolwork & didn’t read the rest until 2ish months later.

I desperately wanted to like this as more fantasy standalones is MY DREAM but this just felt like a bit of a cliched mess to me.

The world building wasn’t great (but we can maybe attribute this to my reading time jump) There are a couple standout descriptions like when Elisabeth goes into the vault but on the whole the writing style didn’t capture me and I just didn’t really feel like I knew where we were.

I also found the magic system boring, I didn’t really get it – was there that much to get? And I know as it’s not a series, the author had less chance to go in depth & create a sprawling rule book & it’s extra hard because our main character isn’t the magical one but it just seemed like very convenient magic. No clear rules so of course Nathaniel can do whatever he likes, whenever you need it.
I was also slightly confused about the social hierarchy & where exactly sorcerers fit into that. Also they just chucked a prince in there and I was like what is this power systemmm

Then the characters.
Our love interest Nathaniel just felt very artificial, he had a bunch of these charming one-liners weaved in and yes, they were funny & swoon-worthy but extremely weirdly placed.
Just the kind of thing that you can tell has been put in there with a very calculated response. He felt like a clear clone taken from the YA fantasy love interest mould.

Which wouldn’t necessarily have been a bad thing if not for Elisabeth oooo Elisabeth. She read way too young & naive, a strange contrast to Nathaniel, she was also incredibly pretentious…can you tell I didn’t like her…she just didn’t have a whole lotta substance and she read yOu’Re nOt liKE oThEr giRls SO MUCH
A portion of this book was given to having a feminism stance. Basically just a chapter & it was so forced I can’t-

Silas on the other hand, was a very interesting character. I loved how he was written to be selfish, as was his nature (as a demon) UNTIL the end where he was given a soppy ‘love rises above all’ spin *sighs*
I mean, I did like his & Nathaniel’s relationship (it was so sweet 🥺) but I’d have rathered his true nature left as a question.

Overall, I’m sure a lot of people will like this but to me the characters were just trying to be too ~ quirky ~ and it meant I just didn’t vibe with the story.

💼 The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling

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Errr not really my thing?

Sebastian was just not romantic to me at all & some parts of the book rubbed me the wrong way – I know the book had a non sexist perspective but Piers was just slimy to the extreme & it made me a lil’ uncomfortable in places when I was not expecting it from this kinda cutesy book. Some of it passed as funny but some of it was just horrifying.
Posy wasn’t my fave either I just couldn’t quite figure her out or really relate to her although her & Sam were the cutest & I loved their sibling relationship ☺️

Of course I liked the bookshop plot line but it took a while to really get going & I have no clue how Posy trapped herself into the bloody dagger for so long but that’s just one of those ‘necessary’ romance clichés to advance the story I guess.
And then of course Posy’s little bookish side plot, absolutely not my thing, it was very melodramatic & let’s just say at least the chapters were short, although I did love the USB stick mixup A*

💼🌠 Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan

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Hmmm this was definitely an interesting book & I’ll probably have to think on it a bit more but I think the main thing was that so much happened but nothing really happened.
I know that’s meant to be the beauty of a book like this but the writing style just didn’t snag my attention. I also wasn’t really into Sam or Elizabeth – I saw myself vaguely in each of them but overall I made no real connection.

I’m not sure what the point of the book was meant to be & I really just am not sure what to take away.

To be fair though, I read this too sporadically & at too hectic a time in my life to pass any real judgement but it just missed the mark for me I guess.

Thank you so much for reading! I’m really interested in what y’all are reading – I know I’ve missed a lot but what are some of your favourite books from the last couple months?
Read any of the ones above? Want to? Tell me ALL!

19 thoughts on “A real big book update (September, October & November)

  1. Charlotte says:

    Firstly I hope you’re well (: and I’m so sorry for not accepting your Goodreads request yet. I haven’t signed into there since way before I disappeared from my blog. So now I have all of my 2020 reviews to post on there sometime 🙈 but anyway I’m hoping to sign in tomorrow to get my 2021 reads so far updated so I’ll accept you then. (And if I’m mis-remembering who I got an email alert of a request from just ignore that random ramble)

    I’m so sorry that you didn’t like Sorcery Of Thorns, I still need to read it so I hope that I enjoy it more. I’m glad you enjoyed Small Spaces so much though. And that you had a better time with Coraline than me (idk if I read it too close to watching the movie?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Haha omg yeah I forgot about that – I got a random notification about your accept a couple weeks ago 😂 Goodreads words it in such a weird way ‘Charlotte is now your friend’ lol

      I think possibly I just need a break from YA adventure like that, think I might go for some darker adventure since I got a couple of adult ones for christmas. Hope you like it more than me! It’s all about timing I feel.
      Hmmm maybe, when I know plot twists it kinda ruins my enjoyment – I listened to the audiobook though & it really added to the vibe so if you ever wanted to give it another try (but maybe wait awhile!)

      Sorry for such a late reply (imma go spam you now!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charlotte says:

        Oh lol yeah I guess it does word things oddly.

        Ooh what ones did you get for Christmas? Thank you. And I’ll have to see if my library has the audio version sometime then, thanks for the tip.

        Don’t worry, sorry if I commented on too much. I’m trying to do it in stages but I sometimes lose track of how much I’ve already read if I’ve waited a week or so inbetween.

        Liked by 1 person

        • El says:

          Omg I literally cannot remember anything I got & they’re all in another room 🙈 But I haven’t had a chance to read any yet it’s honestly really depressing 😦
          Haha no! I think all bloggers love comment spamming it’s so sweet to see that someone cares that much ! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • Charlotte says:

            Aww I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope you’ve had a chance to read some of them by now. I haven’t read lately and it’s getting to me too. I had a particularly bad headache that wouldn’t go. Then I got side tracked trying to get my backlog of posts organized.
            Thank you 💓💓 also sorry for the super late replies.


  2. Sophie @ Me & Ink says:

    I’ve heard so much talk about Caroline but I have literally no idea what it is about 🤣 but I’m glad it was able to build an atmosphere because I love that!!
    Honestly I agree with all your comments on Sorcery of Thorns, as I look back on it I think I would probably rate it 3 stars now. Silas was my favourite bit as well, the rest did feel a bit ‘I’ve seen this before and not in the good way’ but I still enjoyed aspects of it!!
    I always love how many different genres you’ve read 😂💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Coraline is great! And I really recommend the audiobook since it’s pretty short, not very Christmassy though 😅 so maybe save it for next year!
      Yesss! I was really let down by it! 😦 I’m not sure whether to pick up an enchantment of ravens now or not (but the cover is so pretty 🥺)

      Haha honestly I really do just have my fingers in all the exciting honey/book pots 🍯

      Liked by 2 people

  3. ahaana @ Windows to Worlds says:

    welcome back, el!! i was so happy when your post came up in my reader!! i’m so happy you enjoyed coraline, it’s an amazing book!! but, i recently got a copy of sorcery of thorns (because it’s a fantasy standalone and i love those), and now i’m contemplating starting that, because a lot of people didn’t love it :/ i haven’t listened to the audiobook for coraline, because i do zone out while listening to people narrate, ad it’s just not the same experience, but i think i might give it a try!! it was so lovely to see your post!! ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Sorry for getting back to you so late! This slipped through my radar 😅
      Awww that means so much 🥺
      A lot of people really loved sorcery of thorns though & I think it might just be one of those books that us YA snobs don’t like 🙈 I’ve read so much at this point that they do kinda all blend together so idk if you haven’t read anything like it for awhile you might really enjoy it! I’m really interested to see what you think of it though 🤔

      Haha I’m the exact same especially because I can’t just sit still I have to do stuff while I listen & then I’ve reorganised my bookshelves & missed half the book! I really recommend it though since it’s not too long & just…fun really!
      Thanks for reading 💞💞

      Liked by 2 people

    • El says:

      I knowwwwww! I’m so sad 😦 have you read an enchantment of ravens? Because now I have a bit of trepidation about picking it up although I was really looking forward to it too 😬

      Liked by 1 person

      • beckythemothling says:

        I loooved Enchantment of Ravens, but then I also loved Sorcery of Thorns, so I’m not sure if you’ll like it or not. I will say that Enchantment of Ravens isn’t that plot-heavy, so I think some people didn’t like it for that reason? I like character-focused books, though, personally, so it was just right for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • El says:

          Characters 100% drive a book – I could quite enjoy a rubbish plot but great characters but I could never deal with boring characters no matter how good the plot is. So I’ll keep it as a contender; if it happens to fall my way then I’ll pick it up but I probably won’t go searching for it at least not until the pain of the loss of a stand-alone has dulled 😪

          Liked by 2 people

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