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Hello Hello! I hope you are doing well and that your week is off to a great start!

Today I’m back with a wrap-up first, my first proper monthly one since I think June last year, yikes.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it before on the blog, but I had an operation to remove my 4 wisdom teeth at the start of September and it really knocked me for six. I’m actually still struggling to eat and still very fatigued, so it’s taking me a long time to recover. Despite that, I was able to read quite a good amount of books in September, which I’m very happy about because for the week after the surgery, I was very much a depressed zombie and couldn’t get into anything!

Let’s get into my September 2022 wrap-up post!

FAVOURITE BOOK OF THE MONTH

The Appeal by Janice Hallett (4.5 stars)

I buddy read this book with Candyce from The Book Dutchesses and I’m so glad we did because it had been on my shelves for a while and kept calling to me. For good reason! This is one of those kinds of books that are hard to explain because they make you feel uneasy and that catastrophe is about to happen, but you literally can’t stop reading it, despite the chaos. I didn’t expect who the murdered person would be, who the murderer would be (never saw that coming), and while we did start to predict the motive, it was still really great seeing it all revealed. I also loved the mixed media format of this book and it just made the whole reading experience so good. My mum also read this in about 3 days and loved it – so you know it’s good! I’ll try to get a review up soon!

MY SEPTEMBER READS

La trilogie de Fleurville by Jean-Pierre Kerloc’h (3 stars)

This was a small bound-up and illustrated adapted version of Les Malheurs de Sophie and two other very famous French children’s coming-of-age stories by La Comtesse de Segur. I had wanted to read her books for a while because they are referenced so much in France, but I didn’t fancy reading them all, so this abridged and adapted version was a great idea! It gave me a view of these stories, this world and these characters and it was okay but not incredible. I didn’t like the main character, Sophie, because she is basically a spoiled brat and I think the novel itself would be better, but I got what I needed from this book and will leave it at that.

A Question of Holmes (#4 Charlotte Holmes) by Brittany Cavallaro (4.5 stars)

This was another buddy read with Candyce from The Book Dutchesses and the final book in the Charlotte Holmes series we started ages ago. I’m so glad I finally got to read this whole series because I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved seeing the characters grow, evolve, get into and out of massive muddles, and grow closer. It wasn’t exactly the ending I had envisaged for these two main characters, but it is one I am happy with because I feel like it suits them. The plot was really fun and it was great seeing the crime-fighting duo evolve in another setting than their high school in America. Overall, a solid final book in a great YA mystery series!

La Carte des Confins (#1) by Marie Reppelin (3.5 stars)

This was another book from my library and one I had heard a lot of good things about. I mean, what’s not to like about YA fantasy with pirates, curses, romance and a quest for a hidden treasure? It was a great premise and I grew to love the characters and the writing, but there was still something a bit lacking. I don’t know if this is because it is the author’s debut or if it will take me a few tries to get back into French fantasy properly after years of not reading it, but it was just a bit meeeeh at times. I’ve got the second book on hold at the minute, so I’ll try to get to it as soon as I can to see if it gets better. It wasn’t bad, just not as amazing as I had hoped!

Les Louves by Flore Balthazar (4 stars)

This was an adult graphic novel about WWII, specifically about a young family living in a city in Belgium and the story of the resistance there through the figure of one very important woman. I think this was written and/or illustrated by a descendant of this family, so that makes it even more special! I really enjoyed thiis! I’m sort of still tentative when it comes to comics and graphic novels because sometimes it takes a while to get into the style and someart styles really pujt me off, but this was a solid story in both the writing and the art. I’m glad I picked it up at my library because it was a great little foray into history and WWII!

Le Jardin secret by Maud Begon (4 stars)

This is an adapted version of the novel The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett that I picked up at my library. My colleagues and I have recently noticed a trend of classics or well-known novels being adapted into graphic novels or cooomics, and this has been especailly prevalent in th cchildren’s section. I loved the story of The Secret Garden as a child, as well aas the film (70s version) and I just reentlly read the novel again for my thesis. So I did really enjoy this book, it’s a well-known story for me, but I liked the art style and it gave me a nice dose of nostalgia when I was feeling like shit.

La Dernière flamme (#1 Lightfall) by Tim Probert (4 stars)

Another children’s graphic novel… seemed like I was on a roll for this “genre” in September as there are more! I’m trying to get into this book format, and I’ve definitely discovered some great ones this year thanks to my position at the library. This is originally American, and translated into French, so that bugs me, but I wanted to test it. It was a really unique, cute, and enjoyable story, with a great art style and lots of hidden messages that I liked finding. It wasn’t the best story in the oorld, but I liked it a lot and read it fairly quickly!

Murder in Mesopotamia (#13 Hercule Poirot) by Agatha Christie (4 stars)

In September, I finally got back on the Hercule Poirot series “buddy read” train! And it was lovely. As you know, I love Hercule Poirot and these books make me feel so cosy. I love reading all the famous books by the Queen of Crime and this was a great instalment. I didn’t guess the murderer and I just let the story unfold. It was sad to only see Poirot come in towards the end, but the narrator here (Amy Leatheran, a nurse) was quite good once I got used to her. Really liked this one and am excited to read the next one very soon.

Une sorcière au collège (#1 Les sortilèges de Zora) by Judith Peignen and Ariaane Delrieu (3.5 stars)

This was more of a children’s/YA comic than a graphic novel because of how short it is and the fact that it’s a series. Apparently French and English/anglophone definitions of graphic novels VS comics are not the same (got told off when I started at the library, lol!). I remember enjoying this one when I read it but I actually now can’t remember much about it… I do know that I liked the style and thought it was a nice, quick, cute read with witches and magic, and that’s about it. I think I reserved the second book too so hopefully will remember more from that one!

La Nouvelle(s) (#1 Elles) by Kid Toussaint and Aveline Stokart (4 stars)

This is another YA comic and it was very unique because it centres on a young girl with 5 (or maybe 6) personalities, she obviously has dissociative identity disorder. In the last couple of years, disability and illness have been more of a focus *in French children’s and YA literature, especially comics, so I was really interested in reading this one. I LOVED the art style, it was so unique and I loved how the MC’s hair colour changed when her identity did, it was a great touch for the reader. I really enjoyed this book and I’m excited to start the 2nd one as soon as my hold comes in.

Les Fleurs de grand-frère by Gaëlle Geniller (3.5 stars)

This is defined as a comic on Goodreads, but I feel like it’s more of a graphic novel… I dunno, it’s confusing lol! Anyway, this is a bit of a different book, I mean there’s surely an important message about identity underneath it, but it didn’t really come through for me. It is about a young boy who one day wakes up to flowers growing on his head and the story is about him accepting them and himself. Now that I’m writing it, I do see the message, but while reading it, I just enjoyed the story and the art style. It was a good story and very nice art, but also a bit meeh (not the theme, I was just expecting more).

L’écorce des choses by Cécile Bidault (2.5 stars)

The final book on my September wrap-up and my last children’s graphic novel/comic. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I was expecting. There is very little writing/words and it is about a young deaf girl, so it makes sense that it’s mostly illustrations, but I just didn’t enjoy it that much, unfortunately. The art style was really nice and I suppose it flowed nicely, I just would have liked her thoughts I think. But anyway, it wasn’t terrible, just not what I wanted.

SEPTEMBER READING STATS

Number of books: 12 books

Number of pages: 2,471 pages

Star ratings:

2.5 stars: 1 book

3 stars: 1 book

3.5 stars: 3 books

4 stars: 5 books

4.5 stars: 2 books

Average rating: 3.75⭐

Genres: 1 French classic, 1 YA mystery, 1 YA French fantasy romance, 1 French adult graphic novel, 1 classics graphic novel (adaptation from a novel), 1 fantasy graphic novel, 1 classic mystery, 4 YA comics and 1 mystery.

Physical Book left on Ellie’s TBR Game: 594 (Yes, I’m back!!)


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

See you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

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