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Recently Read: September

It's time for another reading wrap-up! I read two amazing books this month and a few meh ones, to one I just really didn't like. I'm excited to share my thoughts with you! I'm just going to review the book this month instead of summarizing each book, but I will link them if you want to read more about them.

reading wrap-up, September read, what I've read, reading, books, reading review, book review, book blogger, toronto blogger

reading wrap-up, September read, what I've read, reading, books, reading review, book review, book blogger, toronto blogger

reading wrap-up, September read, what I've read, reading, books, reading review, book review, book blogger, toronto blogger

reading wrap-up, September read, what I've read, reading, books, reading review, book review, book blogger, toronto blogger

In a Dark, Dark Wood: 4/5

This was the second Ruth Ware book I read, and although I didn't enjoy The Lying Game, I really liked this one. The story was told predominately from the past but would jump forward to her time in the hospital just after the tragedy. It was a closed circuit mystery so there were only a finite number of culprits, which in my opinion, made it more interesting to figure out who it was. I find sometimes when there are too many players involved, the ending is so out of the blue that it ruins the story. The book was fast paced through the middle, but after her brain injury and her inability to recall what happened, it really slowed down. But because of this turn of events, it was interesting to uncover the events along with the main character.

The story focused on the idea of how we second guess ourselves and how the brain can convince us that falsities are true, especially as a coping mechanism in times of trauma. It also focuses on how these ideas of truth and understanding are constantly in flex. Overall, it was a very engaging story but wasn't entirely unpredictable.

Copy Cat: 3/5
I really wasn't a fan of this book. While it had an interesting concept of being stalked and having your life replicated on social media, I found it dragged on far too long and was entirely unrealistic in parts (especially the last third of the book). It questions the idea of sanity in oneself and our ability to trust others in the face of seemingly indisputable evidence. It touches on our sense of security in the age of social media, in light of how much we share, who has access to it and the ease of accessibility of other peoples information. It also brought the ideas of mental illness, including anxiety, suicide, bipolar disorder into the story in a somewhat cliched way. I found the story was too drawn out and bizarre, and wouldn't recommend it.

Today Will be Different: 2/5
I enjoyed (most of) Where'd you go, Bernadette so when I found this book at my used bookstore, I was excited to try it. I found the writing style to be very odd, though, and the characters to be incredibly unlikable. The story was quite jumpy, between the past and present, and because of the main character's bizarre and eccentric thought process, it made the story hard to follow. The character is a lot of ways was similar to Bernadette, and I've heard that all of Maria Temple's stories are very similar. There wasn't anything that I liked about this book--I wasn't compelled to keep reading, I hated the abrupt storyline and the way things came out of the blue and wouldn't recommend this book at all.

How to Stop Time: 4.5/5
I read an article about uplifting literature, and it had this book listed beside Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, so naturally, I needed to order it. It was an interesting concept, with the main character being hundreds of years old, and it really explored the life lessons that he experienced. It dealt with ideas about choosing your own life, finding love and dealing with loss; in our ability to trust other people, find yourself and discover what you are passionate about. It talked about the enduring love between a mother and her child and between partners and centred around the idea of finding something in life that is worth living and fighting for.

The prose was beautiful in the book, and I found myself reading it well into the night (despite my 5:30 am wake up). That's not to say there weren't problems though. As with many time travel or historical fiction books, the main character seemed to befriend some of the most famous people in history, including Shakespeare and F. Scott Fitzgerald. But I didn't find that the new cliches deterred from the overall story. I think this is a beautifully written book, and I would highly recommend it if you are interested in a unique spin on a contemporary tale.

The Cottingley Secret: 5/5
One of my favourite movies growing up was Fairy Tale: A True Story, which was as the name suggests, is a true story. This book was published for the 100th year anniversary of the first fairy photograph being taken, and while it's not the same as the movie, it is based on the same real-life events and has a very similar theme. It switches perspectives between Frances's memoir of the events between 1917 and 1921, and present-day Ireland, where Olivia finds the story and puts the pieces together regarding her family connection to it.

I absolutely adored this book! There were beautiful prose, humorous elements, and tragedy that played off each other wonderfully. While the primary focus was on the photographic evidence of fairies, the lessons we learned extended far beyond that. It questioned what it means to believe in something, and how belief differs for everyone. It addresses how the idea or belief in something can be more powerful than the truth. And while we may not be able to control the situations we are placed in, we can control our response and write our own stories. It isn't a fantasy book, so don't let the concept of fairies fool you, but if you love contemporary and historical fiction, then this book is a must-read.

The Radleys: 3/5
I honestly don't think I've read a book about vampires since I read Twilight in grade 9, but as this book was the same author as How To Stop Time, I thought I would give it a try. I actually thought this was a YA book, but there were a few awkwardly described sex scenes that lead me to believe it wasn't. It was a silly book about a family of abstaining vampires who got tied up in the murder of a local boy. There were some funny parts, but it was mostly something to keep me distracted on my commute to work. I think if you want a super easy distraction type read, then this book will satisfy that, but there's nothing special about it.

What are you reading in the month of October? I've just started The Heart's Invisible Furies and am loving it so far!

xoxo K