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October 2020 Wrap Up

Hello readers and welcome or welcome back to my blog! Today I am going over the short list of books I read in October. I did manage to read one really big book in October but slumped my way through most of the rest of it. This post will be super short and sweet so, let’s begin!

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green (3 stars)

I was sadly disappointed by this one. I really loved An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and was SO excited to read the sequel. I do have a spoilery review on my Goodreads, if you have already read the book and would like to see it. I don’t think the multiple POVs were not distinct enough from one another. I think multiple POVs need to be done a certain way and he did not do it. I think Green described emotions very well, but not visual aspects. I had a hard time imagining what anything looked like. Lastly, I think they foreshadowed the ending too much, and that ruined it for me.

Synopsis (of book 1): The Carls just appeared. Roaming through New York City at three AM, twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship—like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor—April and her best friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world—from Beijing to Buenos Aires—and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight. Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (4 stars)

I started this book early in September with an audiobook. I didn’t think I was really grasping the story with the audio even though I had made it around 35% through before I DNF’d it. I had a hard time keeping up with all the characters. This book is told in 14 different POVs through the book, and most of those POVs don’t interlap. I still wanted to read the book so, I went ahead and purchased a copy. I got it late in September and restarted it, managing 360 pages in September. I finished it half way through October. I don’t mind a slow story, but I think the ending kind of sucked. I do love the world and most of the characters so, I will be continuing.

Synopsis: Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them. One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable. Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity. Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war. The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Black Flamingo by Dean Atta (5 stars)

When I heard this was an LGBT story that was not focused on a romance, I had to pick it up. I managed to listen to the audiobook in one sitting as this one was quite short. Black Flamingo is told in verse and is centered around a gay Greek-Jamaican teen living in England. I think it was a really great story that touched on many hard-hitting topics while managing to stay mostly light hearted.

Synopsis: A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.

Even if We Break by Marieke Nijkamp (DNF)

I am so sad to say I DNF’d this book. I was really looking forward to it and I thought I would love it. The average rating on Goodreads is 3.16, which I didn’t notice until after. I do appreciate the diversity of the characters in the story. There is trans, nonbinary, and disability rep in the book. The author is also disabled and nonbinary. However, I think it is hard to keep them all the POVs apart from one another. It switches from each perspective and I am always asking myself which person I am reading from. The genders, disabilities, or hardships in their lives are not personality traits, and they were the only distinctions between them. They all had one thing in common, and that was they were sad. Don’t get me wrong, I love sad books. They were all being torn apart by their own hardships, and I get that. However, the friendship dynamics didn’t really exist. I will check out more by this author in the future, but this book was not for me.

Synopsis: FIVE friends go to a cabin. FOUR of them are hiding secrets. THREE years of history bind them. TWO are doomed from the start. ONE person wants to end this. NO ONE IS SAFE. Are you ready to play?

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam (5 stars)

I am so happy this was the last book I read in October. It was so amazing and heartbreaking. This book was devastating. It had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. This book deserves so much more hype than it has been getting, and I am so happy I gave Zoboi another try. I can’t wait to read more of her books in the future. I am starting to really love these YA books told in verse, and I want to pick up more.

Synopsis: Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. “Boys just being boys” turns out to be true only when those boys are white. Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal’s bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it? With spellbinding lyricism, award-winning author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam tell a moving and deeply profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth, in a system designed to strip him of both.

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