Saturday, September 30

September Recap, Where I Share Songs, Shows and All the Books I've Read This Month


Original photo by James Pritchett.

Hello all of you beautiful unicorns! As you can see from the title, today I am here with a kind of post I have not done in a looong time - a monthly recap!! I know, I know, not very exciting, BUT I've tried & failed to be into these type of posts years ago, so trying it now - and being super-excited about it, too! - IS a big deal for me. 

I've been inspired by various amazing monthly wrap ups I've seen around the blogosphere, and I can't wait to show my own, a teeny-tiny bit messy version with y'all. I'll talk about books, music, movies, tv shows, and share ALL our posts from the last month + bookish news and a couple of truly-truly amazing posts by some cool bloggers. Ugh, SOUNDS TOO MUCH, I KNOW. But I truly put my all into making this post logical, clean and well-organized, so let's take a look at all that, shall we? 


READ.


   


2-4.5 of BROTHERS SINISTER: These are 1000% some of the best historical fiction romances I've ever read. Courtney Milan is a fantastic author who always brings all the feels, includes diverse characters AND her books are incredibly feminist, and yep, that includes her historical titles, especially the Brothers Sinister series. My ratings of the books wary between 4 and 5 stars. 

   

MORTAL HEART: A great conclusion to a super-intriguing, historical fantasy trilogy that is based on real-life events of Brittany. Still, this was my least favorite of the series, and I needed to somehow showcase that with my rating. Can't wait for the new books, though! ★★★★

THE HEARTS WE SOLD: I had such a hard time gathering my thoughts about this one, because it was enjoyable enough and I loved the concept of people selling their body parts for a wish to demons, buuuut I was never truly into the story or the characters. See, I would have rather read about just the demons, they were 1000x more interesting than the humans. ★★★

WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER: I enjoyed this tremendously, but I think I went in with too big expectations, because it did end up being a tad bit disappointing. *cries* That said, female empowerment + captivating plot + epic fight scenes = YOU SHOULD DEF READ IT!! ★★★★

THE DUCHESS DEAL: Totally awesome Tessa Dare novel - though, not my favorite by her - with lovely romance, humor and EPIC FEMALE FRIENDSHIP, which I hope to see more of in the sequel. ★★★★


   

MINE TILL MIDNIGHT: Do you know those books that are STELLAR in some ways, and horrible in others? So they give you the worst time deciding how to rate them. THAT was MTM for me. As per usual, Kleypas writes awesome family dynamics, but the romance was not at all to my liking. ★★★


THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE: This was... underwhelming, to say the least. I'm not really a fan of slasher movies to begin with, but I still expected to like this, because it sounded hella exciting. Alas, it wasn't. On the contrary, the whole of it, including the characters, the mystery and the romance, was boring as fuck. ★★★

TEN: I love retellings of classic novels, so when I've been excited to read Ten, a retelling of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, for quite some time. Sure, the idea is very ambitious, but I definitely thought it could be fantastic. Unfortunately, it let me down in various ways - badly made characters, boring mystery, and the kind of portrayal of mental illness that didn't sit well with me. This was a mess. ★★

DATING SARAH COOPER: Oh yes, this finally broke my horrible luck with books! It was recommended to me by Clare from Dual Reads, and I'll be soon reviewing it a different way as a sort of collab with her, so do look out for that. Anyhow, DSC was fun, sort of like a rom-com, cute and just such a feel good book. It also had #OwnVoices F/F rep, so that was super-amazing, as well. READ THIS, you won't regret it. ★★★★★


  

GONE WITHOUT A TRACE: It can be so hard sometimes to find a good psychological thriller, but this is actually one of the better ones. It wasn't perfect, no, but it was thrillingly dark, exciting and definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, despite the slow-ish pacing. I have very mixed feelings about the plot twist, though. Like, I'd put THE biggest trigger warning on it, but, at the same time, that'd spoil the fuck out of the novel? IDEK, man. Will probably not review this. ★★★★

HATHAWAYS #2-4: Yes, I am, indeed grouping these three together, because a) I am lazy right now, and b) I bet 99% of you are here for the YA books, and not the historical fiction romances. IN ANY CASE, this series is pretty decent, but not really spectacular, and I have SERIOUS issues with the romance in most books, to be honest. I feel like since this series Lisa Kleypas has developed SO MUCH, and certainly for the better. That said, I do like these books, I rated the second one three stars, whilst the third and fourth were both truly-truly lovely, so they received four stars. 


 

RIP VAN WINKLE: This was... weird?? I mean, I get what happened, and we discussed it in class, buuuut it was still really weird. Also, I'm like, 99% sure Rip is lying, which is NOT a theory I've really seen around, BUT LISTEN!! He is very imaginative, right? Like, the kids liked him before, and then he became this sort of story-teller. SO, it is plausible that he convinced everyone, including himself, that all the supernatural stuff was real.  ★★

BLOG.

(OKAY, so this is, as I said, my first "real" recap, so I'm still experimenting with what makes sense for this type of post, what I enjoy doing etc. For now, I'll share a little quote from each review, including Ruzi's reviews, and then just showcase the non-review posts, because from the titles you can 1000% guess what they are about.)

Click on the covers for the review/post.


REVIEWS:

  

TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY

"Tash Heart Tolstoy was an incredible book that deserves a lot more buzz than it's received so far. It's one of the few books with an asexual heroine and, even though, I believe it's not an #OwnVoices novel, it's received praise from asexual reviewers for its accurate representation of asexuality."

YANKEE GIRL


"One wouldn't find it difficult to get lost in this realistic, powerful read, and would ideally walk away with lots of food for thought. The book makes one think about racism, prejudice, privilege, entitlement and more, and while it may not be the easiest read, it sure is a very relevant book to this time and day, and you'd be doing yourself a favor by picking it up as soon as possible." (Ruzaika's review!)

THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO


"Besides these things {that I didn't liked} (and these are minor things!!), The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was perfect. It was humorous, fast-paced and so very real, with a teen girl narrator who sounded like a real teen. Highly recommended for those who are looking for a unique and fun urban fantasy novel." 


AN EXTRAORDINARY UNION: 


"This book, y'all, this book was amazing. It was my first book by Alyssa Cole, but it certainly won't be my last, because she's an incredibly talented writer, skilled at making her readers feel what her characters are feeling."

HOLD ME:

"All I can say is that Courtney Milan has done it again! 5 stars AND one of my all time favorite books of ever. She's one hell of a writer, and I'm SO READY to read all her books in chronological order."


WANT:



"That said, Want is a freaking important book to read, especially today when some people choose to ignore the damage we are causing the environment every single day. It is a book that will start important discussions, that raises questions that need to be asked without ever sounding preachy."




OTHER POSTS:

 
  
   


INSTAGRAM.

follow us here: 
@theregalcritiques




MUSIC.

Where I share A FEW favorites I've been totally into this past month, without commentary, because then we'd be here for days.








SHOWS.



Whilst watching its second season, I ended up giving up on Peaky Blinders. I have a lot of love for the story itself, but some of the characters were starting to get on my nerves. For example, I hate that police guy so viciously that I legit feel like throwing up whenever he appears. He's disgusting and awful and I've had enough of him in the first season... can't believe they brought him back for S2. Smh.



After years of planning to, I finally started Bates Motel - I've only managed to watch eight episodes so far, but I just love everything about this show. Fingers crossed it won't go downhill later on.



I had to watch the first two episodes of North & South for an essay I had to write for university, aaand... I GOT HOOKED. I couldn't watch all four episodes together, because #life, but I watched them closely after each other, because I NEEDED to know what happened next. Rating: 8/10 stars.




American Horror Story has started, and I'm too scared to start it!? I do keep up to date with various countries' real life politics, at least as much as I can, yet, I am not sure I'm ready to revisit the 2016 US elections. That said, Sarah Paulson has one of the lead roles, so I am 1000% going to watch it, but will probably wait a bit more. IDK. Let me know if you're watching this season.


MOVIES.




THE BEGUILED: The fact that this one didn't live up to my expectations actually BREAKS my heart, because I'd been waiting for this for MONTHS. Alas, it was a let down. My biggest problem was that the trailer told us SO MUCH about the story, basically all the major plot points were either shown outright or at least strongly hinted at. Meh, hate when they do this. 6/10


IT: Okay, but this was AMAZING omg. I have to admit that I haven't read the book, and I don't think I ever will, because it is intimidatingly enormous, please don't murder me. BUT!! I did go to watch it with a HUGE Stephen King fan, and even she was satisfied, so yay. 9/10

BLOGOSPHERE.
Admittedly, this is the least developed part of the whole post, because I haven't actively been noting down all these, and only went looking for those I remember I loved. But next month I promise I'll flood you with amazing bookish recommendations.



- Amy created a brand new blog! It is called A Thousand Worlds, and it looks awesome + I'm super-happy to have her back in the blogging-world.


- I looove cover-posts, so, of course, I adored Shannon's (It Starts at Midnight) post on some truly unfortunate covers of popular books.

- Clare (Dual Reads) shared some of the book endings that she's not over, and boy, do I agree with MANY of her picks.

On that note, Ann and Clare have an on-going weekly meme on their blog, called "Monday Highlights" where you can link in your favorite post from the past week, and then go bloghop to other awesome posts. Do visit them on Mondays and add your link to the linky!

- Tasya (The Literary Huntress) listed 7 books that everyone liked but her. Yikes, how I hate that feeling.


NEWS.

About this section - I am working on how to handle it! I haven't yet found a bookish site that shares tons of info, so I mainly relied on Twitter for this. I'd be forever grateful if any of you could tell me some sites/accounts to follow for bookish news, though! :)

- Becky Albertalli has shared her love for the Simon vs. movie in a twitter thread, which made me all the more excited to see it. MARCH CAN'T COME FAST ENOUGH, Y'ALL.

- Libba Bray, author of Beauty Queens (aka one of my favorite books ever), wrote a brilliant essay about the way women's stories are treated in Hollywood after hearing about the Lord of the Flies all female remake. (Why the fuck do we need that, again?)

- Angie Thomas shared a pic of the actors playing Starr and her family, AND THEY LOOK PERFECT TOGETHER AND AH, JUST SEE FOR YOURSELF HERE.

- The title and release date of the final Red Queen novel has been revealed! It's called WAR STORM and it is going to be released in May. Watch Victoria Aveyard talk about why she chose the title here

- The cover of Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson has been revealed and it is PRETTY. 

- V. E. Schwab's Shades of Magic series will be published in Russia with a different publisher (AST) after the previous publisher (Rosman) deleted the "gay scenes" from the novel. See the full story here.

- The cover of Legendary, Caraval's sequel HAS BEEN SHARED, and it is sooo pretty. You can see it here. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT IS ABOUT EXACTLY. 


QUESTIONS.


What have you been reading this September? Fave/least fave? Literally share anything and everything you enjoyed/loved or loathed this month AND any life updates you want to share. I LOVE CHATTING WITH EVERYONE. :) 

10 comments:

  1. I admire your monthly wrap up. You can tell how much time you put into this. (I only do weekly wrap ups, too lazy for the monthly). I loved Genie Lo. Definitely one of top September reads. I am so put off my TV lately, because if I get involved in a show, they go and cancel it without giving me closure. I am hesitant to try any new shows other than sitcoms because of it. BUT I am happy This is Us is back. Love that show with all my heart.

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    1. Thank you! Ah, Genie Lo was fantastic, I'm really excited for its sequel. THAT PISSES ME OFF SO MUCH, AS WELL!! I hate how even with successful shows they milk the cow until they can and then fail to give me closure when it fails spectacularly after the xth season. I like American Horror Story a lot, because that's an anthology, so it wouldn't matter if they suddenly cancelled it.

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  2. I am so, so happy you loved Dating Sarah Cooper!! Also super excited for you to start doing monthly recaps cause I absolutely love them! <3

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    1. IT WAS SO GOOD OMG, thank you so much for "making me" read it. ;) Thank you!! <33

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  3. Nice post, thanks for sharing all those news :) I'm glad you liked IT, but I think you wouldn't be disappointed if you read the book either. I remember I loved it a lot!
    Have a great October :)

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    1. Thank you! I'll try to get even more for next time. :) I might read IT, but I think I'll try other books by Stephen King first, e.g. I can't believe I still haven't read The Shining. You too! :)

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  4. I liked Gone without a Trace too, and I just finished There's Someone and I have mixed feelings. Mortal Hearts looks great, I never did finish that series.

    No clowns for me :)

    I do like the cover of Legendary.

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    1. Ugh, There's Someone was SUCH A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT for me. :| OOh, you should finish Mortal Hearts, esp now that the author is writing, I think, two more books.

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  5. Thanks so much for the shout-out! I am super glad to be back, too. I'm really surprised about how little I've heard about Wonder Woman: Warbringer. I'm definitely interested in it and will probably be giving it a read eventually. (Probably sometime after I FINALLY see the movie, but maybe not.) I've just recently gotten listening to Taylor Swift's new song and I have to say, it's not really my usual type, but I kind of love it.

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    1. You're welcome! :D Same, esp because it made it onto the NYT bestseller list. It is worth reading, though, it has AMAZING female friendship. I'll have a review going up in the beginning of November probably for it. :)

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