It’s time today for my monthly favourite and disappointments post! I made it through 17 books this month, but here are the ones that stood out the most…
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
This was my first Brit Bennett, and oh my god, I get the hype now. This one came as the July book from WellRead—I was very excited about it but thought I wouldn’t pick it up for a few months. But then I listened to Brit Bennett event at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival last month and I was instantly sold. She was such an incredible speaker and that really convinced me to pick this up sooner rather than later. I absolutely loved it. One of my favourite books of the year so far. I cannot wait to pick up her first book, The Mothers, though it is one I’m probably not going to end up getting until Christmas. Ah, the eternal dilemma of the bookworm—do I break my book buying ban for this one book or not?
11 Scandals to Start To Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean
I had a little bit of a complicated relationship with the last Sarah MacLean series I read, but I absolutely adored this one. I read both book two and this one (book three) in September, but I loved Juliana so much that I had to include this one as my favourite. This is such a fun series, but it’s also serious enough that it works. Like I said, I love the protagonists Juliana who has been a side character in the previous two books—I loved getting to see her story, as well as seeing her brother’s and all the other character’s too without feeling like we were missing parts of Juliana’s story. All up, I really loved this and I’m hoping to spoil myself with some more Sarah MacLean’s for my birthday.
The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant
I’ll be doing a full-length review of this one in a few days, so I won’t go into too much detail here. But the short version is that I went into this with absolutely no expectations. In fact, I guess I kind of expected to read a few pages and decide to return it to the library. But instead, I was instantly sucked into the story and ended up really enjoying it. I’ve barely been reading any YA this year and I think that might of helped with my enjoyment of this one—it was just nice to slip back into the usual kind of tropes you see in YA fantasy and just get swept up in the story.
Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
I am so sad about this one! I went into this expecting it to be a five-star read, an absolute favourite of the year. I bought this one in Copenhagen at the start of the year and was saving it for the right time. It was such a disappointment for me! I think the world-building was incredible. Honestly, it was one of the most interesting worlds I’ve seen in fantasy for a while. I liked the characters, they were fun. But the pacing was so off that it kind of ruined the reading experience as a whole. I wanted to love it so much, but absolutely nothing happened for so long that I had completely lost interest in it by the time things did get interesting. At a different time, maybe the slow pacing would’ve worked for me, but it just didn’t this time.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
I’m kind of hesitant about putting this one under ‘disappointments’, because I did give it four stars. But in all honesty, I was kind of disappointed with it. I had expected to completely love it, give it five stars, have it become a new favourite—the whole shebang. I still loved the writing and the story—it’s beautiful, interesting and has all the right elements. Where it fell flat for me was the characters. I didn’t really like any of them, nor did I hate them, I just felt indifferent and unimpressed by them. And as much as I loved the story, that wasn’t enough to make me love this in the way I hoped I would.
What were your favourites and disappointments of September?