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September Mid Month Wrap Up

In today’s post, I will be wrapping up my week in reading from the 1st to the 5th. All synopses are taken from Goodreads. I will be mentioning all the books I read this week and stating which challenges they fit for the three month-long readathons I am participating in. If you missed my TBR and would like to check it out, it will be linked below!

On day one, I attempted to do a 24-hour readathon by myself to set my month off on the right foot. I think it went okay but I wanted to do better. The first book I finished was March Book Two by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell (5 stars). This was my Bookopoly challenge for POC rep. I knew before reading that it would be a 5-star read and I can’t believe I waited this long to continue this series. I hope to read March Book Three this month as well and finish the series off.

Synopsis of March Book One: March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall. Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1950s comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.” Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

The second book I finished on day one was Dracula by Bram Stoker(3 stars). This one was my pick for Monsterathon for let a friend pick your book and the Bookopoly challenge for a standalone. I started this book on the last day of August so I could finish it on the first day of the month. I can honestly say I enjoyed Dracula more than I thought I would. There were times where the book was really interesting and the plot was moving and also times where I was waiting for something to happen. However, I enjoyed seeing one of the origin stories of vampires and how much they have changed over time.

Synopsis: It is a quintessential tale of suspense and horror, boasting one of the most terrifying characters ever born in literature: Count Dracula, a tragic, night-dwelling specter who feeds upon the blood of the living, and whose diabolical passions prey upon the innocent, the helpless, and the beautiful. But Dracula also stands as a bleak allegorical saga of an eternally cursed being whose nocturnal atrocities reflect the dark underside of the supremely moralistic age in which it was originally written — and the corrupt desires that continue to plague the modern human condition. Pocket Books Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader. This edition of Dracula was prepared by Joseph Valente, Professor of English at the University of Illinois and the author of Dracula’s Crypt: Bram Stoker, Irishness, and the Question of Blood, who provides insight into the racial connotations of this enduring masterpiece.

Also, on day one, I started Small Spaces by Katherine Arden (2 stars), and I finished it the next morning. This one was for the Adventure’s Through Wonderland challenge to pick a strange and mysterious book and the Bookopoly Challenge for 1st in a series. I don’t know what it was about this book but I just did not connect with it. I found myself struggling to get through it despite how small it is and I almost didn’t finish it.

Synopsis: After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So, when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.” And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

On the 2nd, I started Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant/Seanan Mcguire(4 stars) and I finished it on the 5th. This book was not on my TBR but it will fit the Monsterathon challenge for mythical creatures. I have posted my non-spoiler review for this one if you would like to know more of my thoughts and it will be linked below. Overall, I liked it a lot but I was disappointed by the ending.

Synopsis: Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

On the 5th, I read Drama by Raina Telgemeier(3 stars). This one fits the Bookopoly challenge for LGBT rep and is also a middle grade book for the Adventures Through Wonderland readathon. I have been wanting to read Drama for years. It has been on the top 10 most banned books list for LGBT content for many years in a row. I read this quite quickly, as it is a graphic novel, and I felt quite so-so about it. I didn’t think there was much of a plot. The main character wasn’t very interesting either. I wish it were told in a different character’s perspective.

Synopsis: Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

Stats Week One:

– 5 books

– 1576 pages

– 1 5 star

– 1 4 star

– 2 3 star

– 1 2 star

Comment down below and let me know if you read any of these books and what you thought about them!

September TBR: Bookopoly Chooses My Monster-Filled Adventure Through Wonderland-

Into the Drowning Deep Review:

My Original Post:

Hello readers and welcome or welcome back to my blog! September is flying by but I am staying busy. In this post, I will be wrapping up my reading for September week 2 from the 6th to the 12th. I did not do as much reading this week but I still did pretty well!

On the 6th, I started Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas (3 stars) and finished it the next morning. This one fit the Monsterathon challenge for a BIPOC author I haven’t tried. It was a quick read. I just didn’t enjoy it much. I feel like the story had interesting bits. It would bring little things up and then the thing brought up would never come back or just wouldn’t matter in general. For instance, there was experimentation and the ideas weren’t formed enough, in my opinion. The MC had a mysterious past and I don’t think it really mattered to the overall story. There was a very slow pacing and the wait didn’t pay off. I just wanted more information about things and I wanted it to be creepier. I did review this on Goodreads and my Goodreads is linked at the top of the page.

Synopsis: Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises its graduates a future of sublime power and prestige, and that they can become anything or anyone they desire. Among this year’s incoming class is Ines, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties, pills, cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline—only to discover an environment of sanctioned revelry. The school’s enigmatic director, Viktória, encourages the students to explore, to expand their minds, to find themselves and their place within the formidable black iron gates of Catherine. For Ines, Catherine is the closest thing to a home she’s ever had, and her serious, timid roommate, Baby, soon becomes an unlikely friend. Yet the House’s strange protocols make this refuge, with its worn velvet and weathered leather, feel increasingly like a gilded prison. And when Baby’s obsessive desire for acceptance ends in tragedy, Ines begins to suspect that the school—in all its shabby splendor, hallowed history, advanced theories, and controlled decadence—might be hiding a dangerous agenda that is connected to a secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most promising and mysterious curriculum.

On the 7th, I started and finished One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London (5-stars) in one sitting. One to Watch fits my 6th prompt for Bookoplathon to read a book set in the present. If you want to see my full thoughts on One to Watch, I will link my review below. It is mostly about representation.

Synopsis: Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men–and herself–for a chance to live happily ever after.

My review:

On the 8th, I started Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi (4 stars) and finished it on the 12th. Ignite Me was my chance card for Bookoplathon this month. This one was a reread for me. I originally read this book when it was a trilogy and have been making my way back through the trilogy so I can read the second trilogy that was added around four years later. Honestly, I don’t love flowery writing but I do tolerate it for these books. I think Mafi can sometimes spell everything out too much but I do love this story.

Synopsis of book 1 (Shatter Me): Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

That is my whole reading week for September week 2. I managed to tick off one book for Monsterathon and two for Bookoplathon. I have completed 6/11 Bookoplathon challenges so far. I am going to post week 3’s wrap up next Monday as the royal readathon runs Sunday to Sunday. If you would like to see my TBR for the royal readathon, I will link it below. Comment below and let me know what you have read this week!

Weekly total:

-3 books

– 421 pages

-1 3 star

-1 4 star

-1 5 star

Monthly total:

-8 books

-2749 pages

-1 2 star

-3 3 stars

-2 4 stars

-2 5 stars

Royal Readathon TBR:

My Original Post:

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