Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2019

Good morning!! I hope you had a great weekend. It is already the second week of November, and I’m just posting my wrap-up for October, but I guess it’s better late than never!

October was a pretty good month, especially reading wise. I was lacking in the blogging department, but I managed to read a lot more, and I did write some posts, so I guess it was still somewhat a success.

Let’s take a deeper look!

Books:

Covers are from Goodreads

Guys. I read THIRTEEN books. In ONE month. *goes off to squeal proudly and excitedly* I feel like I deserve a medal for this accomplishment. This was the first month that I had a TBR, and I’ve actually read most of the books on it, except for a few. I’m definitely going to have another TBR for November. I’m now only 6 books behind on my GR challenge, and I have 20 books to read to reach my goal of 100 by the end of December, so wish me luck guys!

The titles lead to my unofficial reviews on Goodreads (a few include a good deal of crying and excitement and there is also a rant…)

BooksAuthorRatingBook Type
Palace of SpiesSarah Zettel ★★★☆☆ E-book
Dangerous DeceptionsSarah Zettel ★★★☆☆ E-book
Three Days MissingKimberly Belle ★★★★☆ E-book
Girls Like UsGail Giles ★★★★★E-book
The Victim of the SystemSteve Hadden ★★☆☆☆E-book (for review)
Before We Were StrangersBrenda Novak ★★★☆☆ E-book
The Wrath and the DawnRenée Ahdieh ★★★★☆ E-book
The Rose and the DaggerRenée Ahdieh ★★★★★E-book
Escaping From HoudiniKerri Maniscalco1.5 starsE-book
Throne of GlassSarah J. Maas ★★★☆☆ E-book
VengefulV. E. Schwab ★★★★★Hardcover
The Lovely and the LostJennifer Lynn Barnes ★★★☆☆Hardcover
Assassin’s MasqueSarah Zettel ★★★☆☆Hardcover

I also wrote a few official reviews (linked below), but I’m still behind on so many.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee // Rating: ★★★★★ One sentence summary: An interesting historical fiction novel with amazing characters and diverse topics.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman // Rating: ★★★★★ One sentence summary: A heartbreaking, yet funny book with beautiful characters.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim // Rating: ★★★★☆ One sentence summary: A great fantasy with awesome characters, and a few flaws.

The Victim of the System by Steve Hadden // Rating: ★★☆☆☆ One sentence summary: This was a meh thriller with disappointing characters, and some unbelievable twists.

Total Number of Books Read This Month: 13
Total reviews: 4

Tags:

I took part in Bookending Autumn 2019, and wrote three posts. Technically, I only did one tag, but who cares about technicalities?

Garden of Evil (Prompt by Jamsu @ Jamsu Dreams)

Study Group (Prompt by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads)

Spicy Pumpkin Latte Book Tag (Prompt by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads)

Let’s Talk Bookish:

October 4: Star Ratings – Are they fair or necessary?

October 11: Sexual Content in YA – Is there too much sexual content in YA books? (suggested by Ruqs @ Many Things Bookish)

October 18: What are some tropes/characters that you think are poorly or under represented in books?

October 25: Are TBR’s necessary to be considered a book blogger, or reader? (suggested by Heran @ Be Frisky)

Great Posts From Around the Blog-O-Sphere:

Caitlin discusses Why Reading Is So Unpopular and honestly, all her points are pretty accurate, but I still love reading anyways.

Christina is back and I’m so excited!! Check out her amazing review of The Toll!

Line wrote an amazing post about Underrepresented Tropes and Characters in Books.

Marie talks about what How to Make it as a Book Blogger.

Anything Else?

I hit 200 followers!! I’m planning on doing a Q&A soon, so if you’d like to ask me a question, head over here to ask! I also had over 1,000 views which is another accomplishment that I’m really proud of, especially since my posting was pretty irregular. So thank you guys so much for that!!

IRL, it’s so cold. Like really really ice-on-the-grass-and-roofs kind of cold. Which is something because this is Georgia that we are talking about. I’m semi-loving it, semi-hating it because now it’s not burning hot, but it’s also a little too cold for comfort.

Anyways, school is kind of stressful, but it’s not as bad as testing season, so I’m pretty happy about that. I’m feeling really good about the number of books that I read, and I really hope to do just as good this month, and also get back to properly blogging and maybe get rid of my backlogged reviews.

That’s A Wrap!

That’s it! In the end, I read 13 books, did 4 reviews, 3 “tags”, and 4 discussion posts. 5 of the 13 books were either 4 or 5 stars, which I’m pretty happy about, especially since most of the others were 3 stars, and only 2 of them were below that.

I met most of my goals for October, so hopefully for November, I’ll read at least 10 books, do 4 reviews, 3 or 4 tags, and 3 more discussions.

Chat with me

And that’s it for this wrap-up! How was October for you? Did you get as much reading as you wanted done? Have you read any of the books that I did? Did you take part in BE Autumn? Is it freezing where you are? What’s you #1 most anticipated release for this month? Let’s chat in the comments below!

The Victim of the System by Steve Hadden – Review

Welcome back friends! I hope you are having a great day! Today, I’m going to be reviewing The Victim of the System by Steve Hadden. This was an okay thriller, but I didn’t really like the characters, and I found some the twists unbelievable. I was given a free copy of this book by Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.

Book: The Victim of the System

Author: Steve Hadden

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Summary: Twenty-two years ago, Ike Rossi’s life was shattered when his parents were murdered. He surrendered his football scholarship and returned home to find their killer and raise his sister. Now, the crime of a local ten-year-old genius, Jack Cole, threatens to unearth old wounds.

When Ike meets Jack inside the Pittsburgh courthouse, he doesn’t see a murderer but instead a boy who’s been victimized by a system that’s left them both without justice. Despite knowing the case will resurrect the painful demons of his parents’ unsolved murders, Ike agrees to clear Jack’s name. The court of public opinion and the district attorney have an airtight case. Worse, taking Jack’s side thrusts Ike into the crosshairs of the most powerful family in Pittsburgh, the Falzones.

Now, with only days before the trial, Ike confronts the Falzones’ crumbling empire to find the shocking evidence that could save Jack. At the same time, he races to decipher a series of cryptic clues from Jack’s dead father that could hold the key to his son’s freedom. But each step closer to the truth draws them further into danger, and as three fractured families collide, Ike is forced to choose between saving Jack—and saving himself.

This was a disappointing book. I liked the thriller aspect and the mystery of what Nick Falzone was trying to hide, and how the pacing picked up towards the end. However, I felt that some of the characters were unrealistic, the really minor romance aspect was predictable, and some of the twists at the end were really unbelievable.

Ike Rossi is a former, yet still famous, quarterback who is currently a private investigator. He also has a secret career as a formidable boxer. I was a bit skeptical of Ike and never really warmed to him. I liked his sister and Mac a little bit, but as the story continued, they became less involved in the story. I felt like the fact that Ike is famous, and apparently one of the best PIs (so much so that he frightens the Falzones), and also a tough unbeatable boxer was unnecessary. It seemed kind of convenient for him to be this super hero guy who never backs down and always does what is right. When he meets Jack, he has an internal battle because he wants to help him, but already has a prior contract. But he ends up doing the right and honorable thing and helps Jack out.

Jack was okay, I didn’t really care about him, and I was a little annoyed by the fact that he is “special” and very smart. His aunt, Lauren, really annoyed me. She is demanding, rude, and I absolutely loathed her when she yelled at Ike for refusing to take the job, and when he left later on. She had no right to do so, especially when he had a prior commitment, and it annoyed me that her self-centered (or well, it’s more for Jack) attitude, and little speech about “real commitment” was one of the reasons why Ike took the case. I really hated her character. The tiny romance aspect between Ike and Lauren did not help matters at all. It could have been eliminated, and the story would have been fine.

The Falzones were interesting, and I kind of liked Shannon. The dynamics between the two halves of the family and the increasing tension added to the suspense and intrigue.

The ending was okay, however, some of the twists thrown in did not make sense at all and they weren’t fully explained. The ending was going really great until those twists happened.

In the end, this was a meh thriller with disappointing characters, and some unbelievable twists.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

You can read a much more positive review here before deciding! Have you read The Victim of the System? What did you think? What was the last thriller that you read? Chat with me in the comments below!

Study Group | Bookending Autumn 2019

Good morning and welcome back! I am very excited to be taking part in BE Autumn this year, and I think today’s topic is awesome!! But first, if you want to take part and learn more, head right over to Sam @ Fictionally Sam to see the rules and the rest of October’s topics!!

You can also follow them @bookend_events for more updates!

Today’s prompt, brought to us by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads, is:

Study Group: Fall is back to school and you need to organize a study group. Pick eight characters and discuss which subjects they bring their expertise to.

I’m currently still in school, so I’m excited to use my courses for this year, though I’m going to change a few, and find characters who were born to study whatever course. And maybe they can come do my class work for me??

American Literature

Audrey Rose Wadsworth

In Hunting Prince Dracula, Audrey Rose’s love of books is super evident, and I feel like she would be thrilled to read and analyze all sorts of texts.

Also, considering the fact that we’re reading books from around her time period in class, I’m sure it’d be much easier for her to relate or understand these books, compared to my 21st century born self.

Algebra

Jack Cole

In reality, I’m actually taking Geometry, which I’m liking, but I struggled a bit with Algebra, so I’m swapping them. Quadratic functions, parabolas, all of that stuff was not really that much fun for me, but I liked solving for x or drawing normal graphs. Geometry, so far, seems kind of easier.

Jack is a child genius, and I’m sure he would love studying Algebra, or any math course in general. There were a series of equations in the book that he instantly solved and I think that that is proof enough that he will be an awesome Algebra student.

Science

Victor Vale

My actual course is Physical Science. I don’t like science much, and I’m pretty surprised to find that I’m liking the atoms/periodic table aspect, which is more Chemistry than Physical Science, but that’s what we’re learning 🤷‍♀️

Victor Vale is a genius when it comes to Science and biology (in a way). I loved reading about EO’s and how their powers worked and the experiments were fun and terrifying at the same time. Since he’s still alive to tell the tale, I think it is safe to assume that Victor would be perfect for my science class.

Spanish

Margaret (Peggy) Fitzroy

Yo estudio español en la escuela y es muy divertido aprender un nuevo idioma. Translation: “I study Spanish in school and it is very fun to learn a new language.” I won’t lie, I used Google Translate for the last part of the sentence. What can I say? I’m still learning.

As a spy in the royal court, Peggy speaks Latin, German, French, and English, so she obviously would be the perfect pupil for my Spanish class. And maybe she’d be so kind to teach me German and French…

Culinary Arts

Emoni Santiago

I actually don’t have a culinary arts class, but if my school offered it, I sure would take it! Also, I don’t think I have a character who would be awesome at Business and Technology, which is my usual class.

Emoni loves to cook. She has a gift when it comes to being in the kitchen and all the cooking and food that happens in this book is mouth-watering. She also takes Culinary Arts in her high school anyway so she’s obviously very perfectly suitable for this class.

Intro to Crimes and Heists

Kaz Brekker

Okay. Yes. I know. There is no way that my school is teaching about crime and heists, but a girl can wish. I usually have World History, but I can’t think of any character who’s good at history. And so, I chose a course I’d love to take!!

Of course Kaz is the master of heists and crime and I couldn’t pick a more perfect student. However, he’d probably end up teaching the class since he knows a whole lot more than the teacher…

These are only 6 characters, and I actually only have 6 courses in real life, so I’m not sure what other courses/who else to put to make it 8.

That’s it for this post! Which characters would you want to do your classes for you? What’s a course that you wish you could take? Do/did you like your classes in school? Chat with me in the comments below!

WWW Wednesday #33

Hey friends! I hope you are having a fantastic day! It is time for my weekly reading update, WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Let’s get started!

All covers are from Goodreads

What I Just Finished:

I READ FIVE BOOKS!!!!! IN ONE WEEK!!! *runs off to squeal excitedly*

Palace of Spies and Dangerous Deceptions were good. It’s an easy spy mystery, and I liked the historical aspect. However, I didn’t really like Peggy, we barely know much about Matthew, and it felt rather meh. But it’s fun, fairly simple, and I still want to read the last book in the series.

Three Days Missing was very good, very suspenseful, and I was super nervous and couldn’t put the book down. I really could not. I finished it the same day I started because it was that addictive. Sadly, the moment the bad guy was introduced, I knew it right away and it turns out I was right.

I was given a copy of The Victim of the System by Reedsy for review, and it was good. I liked the plot, however, I didn’t really connect to the characters or to Ike. My review will be up on the 24th.

Girls Like Us is more like a novella, and I immensely enjoyed reading it. Quincy’s growth was amazing, and I loved Biddy. She was really sweet, and so generous and such a great friend. Honestly, I want to read more about them. The chapters were short, and I loved how it alternated between the two girls POVs. I really loved this one.

What I’m Currently Reading:

I’m just about to start both of these, so hopefully I’ll like them!

What I Plan To Read Next:

Next up, I’m probably gonna read A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena.

That’s it for this Wednesday. What are you reading? Have you read any of the books above? What did you think? Let’s chat in the comments below! (Be sure to link to your WWW’s so that I can check them out!)