Growth can be found even in stillness. Never has that saying rung so true because let me tell you, I’ve learnt a LOT over the course of the month.
But before I launch into my month of self-discovery, I need to address the elephant in the room, mainly my spontaneous and completely unplanned hiatus. I definitely took a step back from Reading by Starlight during September and I want to thank you all for being so patient while I recharged my batteries. I’ve missed you all so much and I can’t wait to start replying to your comments and catch up on all your posts.
And now, with that out of the way, let’s get into my September Wrap-Up!
September was yet another roller coaster of emotions. I think all us Melburnians were anxiously awaiting the government’s announcements regarding stage four lock down. And when those announcements finally came, not everyone was happy. Instead of going back to work, lock down was extended and so I spent yet another month at home. At this stage, it doesn’t look like I’ll be going back to work until October 19th. WHO HOO!
Anyway, with the curfew still in place [and under some seriously heavy restrictions] the most I could do was go for a walk around my estate. Well, I wasn’t about to let that stop me. While at home, we had family game nights [I bankrupted my brother twice during Monopoly… In the same game], Disney marathons and cooked some amazing quarantine cuisine.
Then there’s the fact that I discovered my best self – apparently perpetual quarantine will do that to you? I feel that hitting pause really helped me to narrow down my life. I wasn’t worrying about the future but rather staying grounded, living in the moment. Appreciating the beauty in simplicity. Let’s say I’ve gained a newfound perspective and it suits me.
Also, I actually made time to FINALLY start the novel I’ve always dreamed of writing. [I’d pitch is as a poignant, summer contemporary with a focus on anxiety and found family]. I spent a lot of time really honing my plot and within a couple of weeks, I had the entire novel outlined from start to finish. Keeping the momentum going, I launched straight into my first draft. At this stage, I’ve designed some mood boards, compiled a playlist and drafted the first four chapters. My goal is to hit at least 10K words before I go back to work – baby steps.
And in other news, Octavia [@Mermaid Reads] and I had yet another amazing buddy read [there’s no getting rid of me now]. Our buddy reads have saved 2020 for me – the discussions are honestly legendary. We read Blood and Honey then The Other Side of the Sky back to back. We especially loved The Other Side of the Sky which just blew us away [and scattered the pieces].
Cress by Marissa Meyer | ★★★★½ | AHHHHHH! This Book was so good on SO many levels! I mean, the reunions! The ships! The climax! That KISS! By far, my favorite installment of the series. Cresswell is my new favorite thing.
Fairest by Marissa Meyer |★★★★½ | Fairest had no damn right to be this good. I mean, it’s a novella. About Queen Levana. The freaking VILLIAN. And yet, I cried so hard??? Basically, Fairest offers a peak behind the curtain into Levana’s murky character and Selene’s traumatic past.
Winter by Marissa Meyer |★★★★☆| Winter actually gave me carpal tunnel – dang was it heavy! And LONG! [I had to read with the book propped on my knees]. Was it a breathtaking conclusion to an epic series? Yes. Yes it was. Also, I’m 100% TRASH for Cresswell.
Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer |★★★★½| This graphic novel served as the closer [and character arch] I never knew I needed. The gang’s all here with major appearances of the entire Rampion crew as well as an introduction to some new characters. And FYI, Kinney is my new favorite Lunar boy.
Wires and Nerve: Gone Rouge by Marissa Meyer |★★★★★| Iko has always been a favorite of mine and I loved her growth over the course of this duology. Wires and Nerve is about prejudice, humanity and loyalty – a beautiful epilogue to an amazing series. [Also, I’ve come to the realization that every series requires an epilogue in the form of a graphic novel].
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer |★★★★☆| A collection of prequel novellas, Stars Above provided the welcomed backstory for our favorite characters. While I loved the novellas [especially The Little Android], the real MVP was the gorgeous epilogue. I bawled like a baby. This is the wholesome shit I need during quarantine.
Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles |★★★★☆| Holy shit – what did I just read? A mix between Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge, Where Dreams Descend is dark and seductive fantasy about love, magic and betrayal. And after that showstopping cliff hanger, I’m going to need an ARC of book two immediately [can someone please make this happen???].
Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin |★★★½☆| Here’s the tea – Blood and Honey suffers from second book syndrome. There’s no way to sugar-coat it. The complexity of the plot dwindled down to Gathering Allies™. Despite interesting new characters and a changing dynamic, Serpent and Dove was definitely the stronger book.
The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner |★★★★½| AHHHH – I’m in complete and utter awe of this book. The Other Side of the Sky is such a vivid and immersive reading experience – a seamless blend of science fiction and fantasy. I mean, the romantic tension, the lush world, THE BINDLE CAT! I need book two stat!
So what’s up next?
…This is Halloween, this is Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! HALLOWEEN!
Considering how much fun I had last year with my October Bucket List, I decided to keep the tradition alive. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the spooky season and make the most of my final weeks in lock down. [Urgh, there’s already stirrings from work]. I’ll be spending the month sipping Pumpkin Spice Lattes, slurping pumpkin soup and basically just wishing I was American. [Honestly, why isn’t Halloween a thing in Australia???].
In terms of reading, I’ve created a spooky TBR. The Phantom of the Opera, House of Salt and Sorrows, Pumpkinheads and The Bone Houses are just some of the books I’ll be tackling. I also plan on toppling some tomes and FINALLY reading Strange the Dreamer. Suffice to say, I’m nervous.
As always, I wish you all the spookiest of Halloweens. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some moody reviews and themed posts which are headed your way. Until next month, stay safe!