Hey lovers! It’s been awhile, and I’m back to give you my September reading round-up, AND it’s October, which excites me because that means that NEXT MONTH I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo again. So many exciting things!!
I read quite a bit in September, and my reading list was varied – I’ve got romance, thrillers, women’s contemporary lit, and dystopian to share with you.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – 5/5 stars. This harrowing dystopian follows Offred, a woman forced into sexual slavery in a world where birthrates have dropped to warning levels. She is required each month to have sex with the man she’s assigned to – in the course of this book, he is the Commander, an anonymous military something-or-other high up in the Republic of Gilead. If Offred is not successful in becoming pregnant, she may be cast off to work in the Colonies, forced into hard labor or worse. This book was a chilling read – and so incredibly poignant, they turned it into a TV show, which won eight Emmys last month. If you haven’t read this, you definitely should.
- Yours to Bare by Jessica Hawkins – 4/5 stars. Yours to Bare is a sequel of sorts to Slip of the Tongue, but it isn’t necessary to read the first part to understand this lovely NA Romance. Finn Cohen is a struggling photographer living in NYC, unable to find the inspiration he needs to truly thrive. He is still not fully whole again after Sadie, and one day on a coffee run discovers someone’s journal left behind. He takes it home and reads it, unable to stop, and discovers in its pages where the mysterious owner will be. This is where he meets Halston Fox, a woman struggling with herself and her desires, unable to be herself in a stifling relationship and work environment. This book was a sexy and satisfying read, but I felt that it dragged a bit in the middle. Definitely worth a look.
- The Awakening of Ivy Leavold by Sierra Simone – 4/5 stars. This was essentially a short story a part of a larger series, a dark and sensual version of Jane Eyre. Ivy Leavold is an orphan, with no title or money to her name, who is off to live with her dead cousin’s widowed husband, Mr. Markham. Mr. Markham is a twisted, sexy man that Ivy is unable to stay away from, but the book hints that her cousin’s death may not have been an accident after all. I enjoyed this, it was extremely quick, a novella really, and it ends on a cliffhanger, practically forcing you into the second one. If you’re looking for a dark historical twist on Jane Eyre, definitely give this one a look.
- The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – 3/5 stars. Another thriller in the vein of The Girl on the Train, The Woman in Cabin 10 follows Lo Blacklock, a travel magazine journalist on a cruise ship for work, on its maiden voyage to Sweden. The book opens up with a rather frightening burglary in her flat while Lo is in bed with a hangover, stripping her of her dignity and sanity as she struggles to rationalize how she fits in the world afterward. This makes for a rather unreliable narrator after she wakes up in the night on the cruise and hears a woman screaming, sees blood on the window and swears she can hear a body being thrown overboard. What follows is a twisting tale of whodunit, with rather shifty characters and strange occurrences. I give this a 3/5 because multiple points in the book were highly unrealistic, but it was still an entertaining thriller.
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 5/5 stars. I absolutely adored this book, a fictional memoir of sorts, following the life of Evelyn Hugo, an extremely famous and reclusive movie star who got her start in the 50s, told by her to a journalist at a fashion magazine named Monique Grant. Monique was floored when her boss told her that Evelyn Hugo personally requested Monique to do an interview about an upcoming auction of Evelyn’s dresses. When Monique finally meets Evelyn in her apartment, Evelyn gives up all pretense of doing an interview about the auction – she wants Monique to write her life’s story, all her sins and accomplishments in one place. What follows is a twisting tale of Evelyn’s start in the business, her films, her lovers, her betrayals and failures. This one ripped my heart out, and I highly recommend it.
- Night Fever Complete Series by Jessica Hawkins – 5/5 stars. Dear god, these books were hot. Sooo, so hot. I devoured the series, mostly because they were novellas but also because I could not get enough. The series revolves around an extremely rich and successful business man in the LA area named Beau who is sexy, dark and closed off to the highest degree, and Lola, a waitress in a bar that’s seen better days, settled in with her long-term boyfriend, Johnny. Beau meets Lola by chance outside of her bar, and by the end of the evening, asks to buy her for a night. Yeah, you read that right. Check this one out, please.
And, that’s it! Hopefully you found some new titles for your TBR list…and of course, mine is as high as a mountain, as always!