September 2021 Reading Wrap-Up| Monthly Wrap-Up

September was a pretty good month for me. Next month I’m back in university and committing more time to my studies so I made sure to spend more time with my family before I leave. As a result, I haven’t had as much time to read so this month’s wrap-up will be fairly short.

This just means next month I’ll be much more motivated to read more books and put out more content on the blog and on my other social media accounts (TikTok is definitely on the top of the list!)

Now, let’s recap the past month

Things that happened in September

Stark is adjusting to our home (or we’ve just adjusted to him in our home)

Stark has been noticeably more comfortable around us. He also responds to commands more quickly, whereas it was almost as if he takes a couple of seconds to decide whether or not it’s worth following our command. He’s also become quite the favorite wherever we go– people compliment him and stop by for pets (which he loves!). I feature Stark quite a bit on my instagram since so many of my friends on there demand regular updates, so follow me on there if you would like more pics *wink*

I’ll be a third year student

Uni has been extra stressful last academic year. It could be due to me not properly adjusting to online learning and lack of support, but it was a tough time. I honestly thought I was going to have to retake the year. Lucky for me, I ended up passing all my modules and is now picking my third year modules. So, so thankful. \

I’m looking into buying another new bookshelf

I currently have two 6-shelves bookcase that I’ve had for a while. Unfortunately, with all the books that I’ve been buying and receiving there is practically no room for any more books on the shelves. I’ve even resorted to pilling books on any flat surface in the bedroom and hoping my mum doesn’t notice another growing book pile.

You may be asking me: “Alyssa, why not just stop buying more books?”

Well, the answer to that would be: “Why stop buying more books when you can just buy another bookshelf.”

September Reading Stats

Fiction: 3

Young Adult: 2

Thriller/ Mystery: 2

Total: 3 books

Books I read in September

Don’t Look Back

by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Goodreads blurb:

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all – popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the truth about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory – someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

Snippet from review:

“As I mentioned, I really enjoyed the how gripping the main plot point was— we have a girl who has lost all of her memories of who she is/was— and as the story progress we, the readers, are discovering who are main character is. I love a well written amnesia trope book. Initially we aren’t given a backstory for Samantha, for good reason, because it gives us this feeling of uncertainty and distrust for all the other characters that interact with our main character. We cannot trust everything these characters say because Samantha’s memories are gone, and while our only source of information about the “old Samantha” is from these characters, there is the high possibility of everyone else being an unreliable narrator. This just adds an extra layer of doubt and suspicion which elevates this story. It was also interesting to note how all the other characters interacted with the “new” Samantha considering how different she is after the accident.

As someone who reads quite a bit of mystery and thriller, the mystery wasn’t completely unpredictable when you know which clues to pick up on. The clues were nicely sprinkled throughout the book and the author knew how much to reveal without giving too much away. However, the overall reveal was still satisfying because it made sense from the beginning and that’s all I ask for in a mystery novel— for things to make sense.”

Full Review: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Book Review

The Marvelous Mirza Girls

by Sheba Karim

The Marvelous Mirza Girls

Goodreads blurb:

To cure her post–senior year slump, made worse by the loss of her aunt Sonia, Noreen is ready to follow her mom on a gap year trip to New Delhi, hoping India can lessen her grief and bring her voice back.

In the world’s most polluted city, Noreen soon meets kind, handsome Kabir, who introduces her to the wonders of this magical, complicated place. With Kabir’s help—plus Bollywood celebrities, fourteenth-century ruins, karaoke parties, and Sufi saints—Noreen begins to rediscover her joyful voice.

But when a family scandal erupts, Noreen and Kabir must face complicated questions in their own relationship: What does it mean to truly stand by someone—and what are the boundaries of love?

Snippet from review:

‘The Marvelous Mirza Girls’ tells the story of the incredible bond between a mother and daughter as they embark on an adventure of grief, love and new beginnings. We are transported to India where Noreen meets the handsome Kabir, and we watch them fall in love with Delhi and each other. Sheba Karim has this fantastic ability to immerse readers into the depth of Indian culture using words and imagery alone. I have never been to India before, but it felt like I was right there with the characters, walking side by side as they explore Delhi.

One thing I really appreciated about this book is the weaving of relevant social issues. There was one quite memorable scene where a western tourist on a yoga excursion was overheard speaking on the phone about how “inspirational” India is. This tourist was then confronted by one of the characters who then proceed to tell her how “India does not need saving”. This scene in particular plays on the idea of the “white saviour complex” where white, western tourists provide help to non-white people in a self-serving manner. These people often believe they have a responsibility to “save” those less fortunate then them. It was a relevant scene that I was glad to see addressed in this book.

Full Review: The Marvelous Mirza Girl by Sheba Karim | Book Review

Mysterious Affair at Styles

by Agatha Christie

Mysterious affair at styles: By Agatha Christie (Agatha Christie Classics)

Agatha Christie’s debut novel was the first to feature Hercule Poirot, her famously eccentric Belgian detective.

A refugee of the Great War, Poirot is settling in England near Styles Court, the country estate of his wealthy benefactor, the elderly Emily Inglethorp. When Emily is poisoned and the authorities are baffled, Poirot puts his prodigious sleuthing skills to work. Suspects are plentiful, including the victim’s much younger husband, her resentful stepsons, her longtime hired companion, a young family friend working as a nurse, and a London specialist on poisons who just happens to be visiting the nearby village.

All of them have secrets they are desperate to keep, but none can outwit Poirot as he navigates the ingenious red herrings and plot twists that earned Agatha Christie her well-deserved reputation as the queen of mystery.

Snippet from review:

“There is something so comforting(?) about her writing style that I can’t put my finger on. Despite the main plot point being quite gruesome, it’s still does not take away from the bedtime-story-like quality of her writing. It’s straight to the point, no fillers and imaginative. This was a classic “whodunnit” mystery that everyone who is a fan of the genre, or someone who is looking to dip their toe in the genre might enjoy.”

Link to review: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie | Book Review

That’s it for my September Wrap-Up. A small selection, but still satisfying nevertheless.

How was your September Reading Month? Let me know in the comments below!

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