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Hello Hello! How are you today?

I’m trying to get back into the swing of blogging after my bout of COVID and trying to get myself organised for my new job starting tomorrow – very exciting – but it’s already been a tiring and long week, lol.

So today I’m back with my monthly wrap-up for October. I didn’t get to as many books as I would have liked because COVID knocked me for six and the stress of our animals being sick as well just halted my reading vibes. I still think I did okay, so without further ado, here are all the books I read in October!

FAVOURITE BOOK OF THE MONTH

Lost in Time by A. G. Riddle (5 stars)

This was the first book I finished in October, and it really surprised me. It’s about time travel and crime, and grief and family – I had a feeling I was going to enjoy it, but I had no idea just how hooked I would be. I read it relatively quickly with everything going on and it was such a pleasure to read it and to travel through time through these pages. I adored the ending; it was such a great book, and I will definitely try to read other books by this author now. You can read my full review of Lost in Time here!

MY OCTOBER READS

Lark Ascending by Silas House (4.5 stars)

I read this book for a recent Algonquin Books blog tour and I also went into this book kind of blind, not knowing what to expect or whether I would like it. It also really surprised me. It was a very unusual book for me but I enjoyed every minute of it and felt so drawn to the story and to the characters. I thought it was a very wholesome and comforting story despite the horrors it described, but it was also just a beautiful reading experience. Here is my full review of Lark Ascending.

Where David Threw Stones by Elyse Hoffman (5 stars)

I also read this book for a blog tour, this time one organised by Dave from @The_WriteReads. Last year, I missed the tour for Elyse’s previous book, The Book of Uriel, and I’m so glad I found the time to read this book because I loved it. It is WWII historical fiction with a unique and clever fantasy element which really brings the whole story together. I loved the characters, the messages in this story and the writing style which was truly wonderful. You can find my full review for Where David Threw Stones here!

Les Longueurs by Claire Castillon (5 stars)

This was a book I got from my library and let me tell you, this was HARD to read. It is about a young girl who has been under the influence of a paedophile who happens to be one of her mother’s best friends. This has been going on since she was 8 years old, and at 15 years old, she is starting to wonder if it is normal and okay, or if she should tell someone about it. Because it is YA, it is written more in allegory and the author uses a lot of literary devices to make the text less oppressive and “in your face”. It conveys the atrocity of what is happening in a slightly softer way, but it hits just as hard. I gave it 5 stars even though it is a really hard and terrible book to read, I didn’t enjoy the experience per se, but it is raising awareness about paedophilia, rape and negative adult influence on children, and the writing style is really good.

The Very First Damn Thing (#0.5 The Chronicles of St Mary’s) by Jodi Taylor (4 stars)

I’m currently reading The Chronicles of St Mary’s series that was recommended to me by Fiona from Fi’s Bibliofiles and in October I read the first short story in preparation of launching into the series fully! I’m so glad I also decided to read the novellas because this one made me smile so much. We get to see how St Mary’s was formed and the decisions that were made and how some people were chosen to be part of the “institution” (that’s all I can say without spoilers lol). I just loved it and it made it all so much more real to me, so a great short story for sure!

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (3 stars)

I buddy-read this book with Candyce from The Book Dutchesses. This was also a surprise for me, but a bit less of a positive one. I have had this book on my TBR for at least a year and kept meaning to pick it up, especially when this author kept publishing new books, and I’m kind of disappointed by this reading experience. It was gory, quite disgusting at times, not particularly scary but a bit gloomy and atmospheric, but above all, I found the ending far-fetched and rushed. I will say I felt quite meeh about this one, so I’m not sure if I should read other books by this author or not…

The Frost Fair (#1 The Miraculous Sweetmakers) by Natasha Hastings (5 stars)

I read this book for the blog tour organised by Dave from @The_WriteReads and it was the most perfect wintery book to read as my COVID symptoms were appearing and making me feel terrible. It was such a quick read, and I would have loved for it to have been longer, but it is the first book in a series I know I’m going to love, so I can’t wait for the next one. It is about family, grief, and friendship, and it has those historical fiction and fantasy elements. I just loved it, and you can read my mini-review here!

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus (3.5 stars)

I read this book as a catch-up before reading this author’s last book with Stephen from Stephen Writes. I’ve enjoyed most of Karen M. McManus’s books and I really like the YA mysteries set in schools, so I was hoping to love this one, but it just fell a little bit short. This might be because my COVID symptoms made me feel like death, or it was just not 100% what I was expecting. It was still really enjoyable, but the ending felt rushed and a little too easy!

A Symphony of Echoes (#2 The Chronicles of St Mary’s) by Jodi Taylor (4 stars)

In October, I continued my journey into the adventures of St Mary’s and absolutely loved it. In this book, we got to travel to Whitechapel during the murders of Jack the Ripper and to the court of Mary Stuart Queen of Scots, among others. If you know me, you’ll know I love history, so this is the most amazing series for me, and I can’t believe it took me so long to read it. I recommended it to my fiancé (who before the start of this year never ever read) and he has overtaken me and is nearly on the 5th book, so I have a lot of catching up to do!

When a Child is Born (#2.5 The Chronicles of St Mary’s) by Jodi Taylor (4 stars)

I also continued with the short stories from The Chronicles of St Mary’s series at the end of the month and while this was a much shorter one, it wasn’t any less enjoyable. This was a bit of a twisty one because we only found out the relevance of the event at the end of the novella, but I loved the focus on women and how history is not always or should not always be about the MEN. It was GREAT!

Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus (4 stars)

As I mentioned previously, I read this last Karen M. McManus book this month with Stephen from Stephen Writes. I loved the premise, and I enjoyed it a lot more than You’ll Be The Death of Me, but still found the ending a bit far-fetched, confusing and rushed. I’m a bit disappointed because her first 2/3 books had amazing endings which just brought everything together, so I hope this trend will come back with her next book. I loved the main character’s development through this book, the setting and the true crime element but wished the ending would have been a bit better.

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett (4.5 stars)

I read The Appeal by this author in September with Candyce from The Book Dutchesses and this month, we decided to read her second book, and Hannah from Han Loves to Read decided to join us. I loved this one from the very first pages, it was such a fun and intriguing book and I just didn’t know where it was going. I loved the twistiness, the surprises, the story behind the main character’s life, and the actual cracking of the Twyford Code. It was a really clever book that just hooked me from the first page, and I had such a great time reading it. Janice Hallett has definitely become an auto-buy author for me and I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

OCTOBER READING STATS

Number of books: 12

Number of pages: 3,581 pages  

Star ratings:

3 stars: 1 book

3.5 stars: 1 book

4 stars: 4 books

4.5 stars: 2 books

5 stars: 4 books

Average rating: 4.29⭐

Genres: 2 Science-fiction time travel, 1 Science-fiction dystopia, 1 WWII historical fantasy, 1 French YA contemporary, 2 Science-fiction time travel novellas, 1 historical fiction horror, 1 MG historical fantasy, 2 YA mysteries and 1 mystery/thriller.

Physical Book left on Ellie’s TBR Game: 581 (I did a bit of damage this month, oops, but there are less books on the TBR than last month, so still a win).


That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

See you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

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