Each month I take a look back at what I’ve read and post my summaries and a link to the full review below. If you’re looking for a new book then there’s no better place to look than these lists. September featured one five-star read and one four-star.
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Also this month there was one of my most conflicting ratings in Verity. If you scroll down and click to read the full review, you may get a better understanding of why. If you’ve read the book yourself, you’ll definitely know why.
Other than that, there have been some great reads this month and I’ve got so many more great reads coming up throughout October that I’m looking forward to picking up.
Anyway, let’s get into the six books I read throughout September.
Revelation by C.J. Sansom
Revelation by C.J. Sansom final rating – 4/5
Revelation may well be my favourite Shardlake story by C.J. Sansom so far. It’s a story that’s far more personal than before, feels a lot darker than before and continues Sansom’s incredible ability to immerse you in the 1500s including religious changes at the time, political dramas and conspiracies and the class divides that have been documented throughout history books. If you’re a historical fiction fan, the Shardlake series should be at the top of your list.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet final rating – 4/5
I knew exactly what The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett was trying to do, I just simply wasn’t that into it. I get the message and its intentions, I appreciate the mature characters and I can sit back and say I’m glad I read it. However, it just wasn’t a book that blew me away like many people said it would. It’s a book I wanted to like more than I did but the lack of an exciting plot, the briefness of it and the lack of any real sense of start, middle and end left me feeling like I wanted just a bit more.
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch final rating – 4/5
Rivers of London has the potential for so much. It has a mature and interesting main character and the opportunity to really drop us deep into this new world we find out about. Unfortunately, it hasn’t quite yet in this first book and this, coupled with some uncomfortable references to women made me waver between a three and a four. I genuinely think I’ll like the sequels if they just include higher stakes, introduce more of the world to us, expand upon the lore and get rid of the awkward sexualisation of every woman.
Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin
Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin final rating – 4/5
I could easily have given Fire and Blood five stars. However, for me personally, it just wasn’t exactly my sort of book and so it didn’t really flow very well for me. The book is written almost purely in the form of narration and little speech so it was often hard to immerse myself at times. However, phenomenal writing, an incredible ability to write so many different gripping stories and a varying and vast selection of characters make this quite the feat by Martin. If you’re a fan of fantasy, I definitely wouldn’t give this a miss quickly.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell final rating – 5/5
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is a 1,000-page epic. It’s a book many people will recommend once they’ve read it and it’s a book I’ll 100% recommend too. Yes, it features the concept of magic but you shouldn’t write this book off if you’re not into fantasy. It is more historical fiction than anything with the magic being used more as an occupation than some fantastical centre of the book’s focus. If you’ve got a couple of weeks to read a book, pick up Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, you won’t be disappointed.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
Verity by Colleen Hoover final summary – 4/5
Verity by Colleen Hoover was sold to me as one of the best books people had read – “amazing” and “mind-blowing” were some of the terms used on social media when I asked if anyone had read it. I have to say – it’s so hard to review as for the first 95% it was tense but incredibly easy to guess, however, the final 5% completely changes everything you’ve read in the book and I don’t know whether it was a great book as a result or an easy way for Hoover to make a fairly average novel suddenly flip on its head and mean something entirely different.
For some, Verity will blow your minds, for others, it may frustrate you. I sit firmly in the middle. I loved it but I will forever remain confused as to how much I loved it.
It looks like September was the month of four-star ratings. By far and away, four-star ratings are the most popular rating on my blog. This will often be because I don’t believe a book is quite good enough to receive my highest rating but then another may not be poor enough to receive a three-star either. Three-star ratings are reserved for those books where I got to the end and was left incredibly unimpressed.
My favourite book from the month as definitely Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell though Verity may well be one of the highest four-star ratings I’ve given. If you read the full review, you’ll see why I was so conflicted as to what to give it.