Well let’s just jump straight into it this month—it’s time for my favourites and disappointments of October 2020!
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
What do you even say about a book like this? If you don’t know, this is the story of a 16 year-old girl who was charged with the murder of a baby when she was only 9. The question is; did she do it? And oh boy oh boy, was this a trip. Honestly, no one messes you up like Tiffany D. Jackson messes you up. Seriously, is there a support group for her readers because this is my second book of hers and both times I’ve just been destroyed afterwards. Truly, the last few chapters were so difficult to read because I was psychically shaking. There is just so much awful stuff that happens in here, but its filled with all these twists and turns that make it impossible to stop reading. I’m going to need a few days after this one.
Below Deck by Sophie Hardcastle
You: Ely, what kind of books are your favourites?
Me: The ones that make me sob so hard I make my cat very worried about my mental state.
Yes, here’s another one that made me cry a lot. Honestly, wasn’t expecting the tears on this one but here we are. On a happier note, this was incredibly compelling and addictive—even though it deals with a lot of tough topics, it’s sort of impossible to put down. I feel so much for the main character, Oli, I think she’s an easy character to feel sympathetic towards and her feelings of uncertainty and grief feel very real. Making the favourite section of these monthly posts don’t always mean a book will be a favourite for the year, but I think both this and Allegedly have earned that spot.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
I reread a bunch of my favourite books this months to celebrate the fact it was my 25th birthday, but I thought I’d just talk about Frankenstein today. I studied this for a University class back in 2015, but I hadn’t picked it up since despite saying I would. I’ve done a lot of reading about Frankenstein and Mary Shelley since then—it’s kind of a research obsession of mine. So I thought I had a pretty good memory of the book, but turns out there were whole sections that I just forgot about. If anything, I loved this even more than the first time—not only is it a wonderful book to read and research about, but I’d forgotten how rich it is and how beautiful Shelley’s writing is. It was definitely a good decision to reread this!
Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini
I finally had to admit defeat to this book this month. I’ve been reading it since August, and I have been enjoying it for the most part but I just struggle with Saini’s writing so much. I had this same problem with her first book, Inferior, where I just can’t follow along with what she’s saying. On a whole, it was really interesting and informative—I learnt a lot of new things that I probably wouldn’t have read about in the more sort of social science/cultural types of non fiction I read. But I think this is a book for people who at least have somewhat of a grasp on scientific ideas and writing. I’m a literature and art history student—I’ve never come across more than half of these words. I mean, ask me to talk about Baroque artists and I’m fine. Ask me what genome is? I’ve got nothing.
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Oop, there it is. I’ve previously really loved Austen’s works—before this month I’d read Persuasion, Northanger Abbey and P & P, and it was finally time to tackle another one this month. I straight up detested this one. I’d seen a few adaptations before and had just felt kind of meh about them, but reading this was just like pulling teeth. I hated everyone, and not in like a ‘ugh, Wickham and Mr Collins are so awful’ kind of way. I straight up thought they were some of the worst characters to ever be created. I’m sorry if you’re one of the people who likes this, but Mansfield Park is the worst Austen in my opinion.
And there it is. Which books did you love (or not!) this month?