Books,  Reading

September Reads: 2019

Happy October! πŸ˜€

You guys. This was such a great month for reading. I just can’t. I’m so happy. ^_^ But I’ll stop gabbing because I finished 11 books this month and have stuff to say! πŸ˜€

41: The Poison Diaries
Author: Jane, The Duchess of Northumberland
Genre: Horror
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed: No
This was kind of like a handwritten journal with drawings. It’s a fictional account of a boy who can communicate with plants, and the ones in the poison garden try to convince him to kill his evil overseer with their help. They tell him stories of how they’ve killed people, and it’s weird but interesting, and it had fact pages and drawings of a few highly deadly plants that I found fascinating.

42: The Duchess of Northumberland’s Little Book of Poisons, Potions and Aphrodisiacs
Author: Jane, The Duchess of Northumberland
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed: Yes
I picked this up because it’s pretty and will make a fun book to display. I thought it might also help with some logistical stuff for a plot bunny I have, and it did, which is the only reason I rated it so high. It was fun to try and read this. 90% of the book is made up of remedies written in Olde English, which is a pain to read, but it’s also kind of funny. The title should probably be “Little Book of Weird Medieval Remedies” but there are a few more modern entries and ONE aphrodisiac recipe that sounded disgusting as crap. My favorite entry is “Of Terrible Dreames and Feare in the Sleep” that starts with “Oftentimes yt appeareth that the chylde is a frayed in his sleepe…” πŸ˜€

43: My Magical Life
Author: Zach King
Genre: Magic/Chapter Book
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed: No
This was a lot of fun to read. The author was really popular on Vine back in the day, and now he posts his “magical” clips to Instagram and Youtube. The pictures in the story come to life with an app, and you can interact with them some. It’s about a boy from a magical family. They call themselves “magicians” instead of wizards, and Zach, the main character, hasn’t found his magical object yet, so he’s on a journey to do just that, and he, of course, gets into trouble along the way. The story had your typical school bully, and being a chapter book, it’s more simplistic than middle grade, but it’s cute and adventurous.

44: Pillow Thoughts III: Mending the Mind
Author: Courtney Peppernell
Genre: Poetry
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed: No
I like Courtney’s poetry. It’s not trying to do anything. It’s there, and people can do what they want with it, if that makes sense. It’s lightweight, heartwarming kind of poetry, but somehow I still like it. There’s something peaceful about it.

45: Snow, Glass, Apples
Author: Neil Gaiman, Illustrator: Colleen Doran
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Graphic Novel, Retelling
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed: No
I. Freaking. LOVED. THIS. The artwork was dark and creepy. The story was engrossing and haunting. This is mostly narrative from the evil queen’s POV, but with a twist where Snow White is a creepy little monster. I loved it. So much. I couldn’t stop reading. It’s so disturbing. I want 100 more graphic novels just like this one. While I would have lived for this as a thirteen year old, I can’t say it’s appropriate for children. Some of the art is a little naked, and the story in general is very dark. It’s very brothers Grimm, and one of my most favorite reads this year. (insert enthusiastic slow clapping here)

46: The Poison Diaries: Nightshade
Author: Maryrose Wood with The Duchess of Northumberland
Genre: YA Historical/Paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed: No
There was a third installment to this series that was cancelled by the publisher, so things didn’t really wrap up, though I knew that going in. In this book, the MCs are on a journey through Europe, trying to reconnect, and standing in between them is some super weird demon-thing that rose up out of a poison garden. In my mind, the blanks are easy enough to fill in, which left me feeling like I got a conclusion, if that makes sense, so to me, the series is over. There’s a third installment by the duchess, co-written with some guy, but I personally don’t see it as part of this series, because the tone and plot and even the backstory are completely different from the other books, so I won’t be reading that. Maybe the real ending is lovely, but we don’t get that story, so I’m stuck with this crazy nonsense duology. However, I did really like it, strange ending and all. I don’t know why I like these books so much. This book doesn’t suffer from the slow pacing of the first one, but it’s a hell of a lot weirder, and a lot of things are passed over in an almost confusing way, maybe because it’s YA and the content was getting kind of dubious. Honestly, this feels like an entirely different book next to the first one, but I would read the real third book if it existed, because this is just interesting to me for some reason. And it’s just that kind of story where I can get some strange, non-ending and just not be upset about it.

47: The Red
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre: Erotic Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed: No
This book was ridiculous. I thought this might be paranormal romance, so I thought I’d stretch my tastes just a tad, but nope. This is erotica with some weird kinky fantasy sex, and like, I don’t know. It was interesting. I didn’t hate it. It had a plot, kind of. It’s about this woman who owns a struggling art galley, and one night, some guy shows up at midnight and is all like, “heeey, I’ll give you mooney to have some weird artsy fartsy sex with me once a month or less for a year.” And she was all like, “suuure, you’re hot or whatever and I could really use the bills cause of bills and such.” And that’s the whole book. Them banging with some weird convos had whilst they’re banging, and I’m just like -__- “why tho?” But it was entertaining.

48: Black Lilies: Chasing Echoes Book Two
Author: Jodi Perkins
Genre: YA Contemporary Time Travel Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed: Yes
So fun. I literally paced while I read the end of this because I couldn’t keep still. I was so worried about everyone! But like in a super fun way. The series is about four sisters with different abilities based on the seasons. Book one centers around Taz and her autumn powers. The characters in that get stuck in a shrinking time loop! This picks up where that one left off, and time this Aviva, with her spring powers, travels back to the 19th century. There’s a mystery to solve and lives are in danger in a very anxiety-inducing way! Which was fun. I love going on an adventure in a book and experiencing things you never could, and would never want to, experience in real life. It’s a rollercoaster for the mind. ^_^

49: Destiny’s Dark Light (ARC)
Author: Sara Dobie Bauer
Genre: Paranormal/Contemporary Fantasy/Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed: Yes
Love me some witches, man. ^_^ Did not want to put this down. I gave myself two weeks to read it since it doesn’t come out until October 15th, but I finished it a week early, cause I couldn’t stop thinking about it and wanting to read it. There’s a pending battle between light witches and dark witches, and one of the main characters, Cyan (great name) is the prophesied leader of the light witches, so the characters are trying to figure out who her dark equal is and shut them down before the world is cast in darkness. I’m rarely surprised in books because I spend a lot of time trying to figure things out, because it’s fun for me, but there were multiple layers to the mystery, and I had a great time.

50: Steve Jobs (audiobook)
Author: Walter Isaacson
Genre: Biography
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed: No
I’ve read a couple of autobiographies, but I’m not sure I’ve ever read a biography, at least not one this intense and detailed. Steve Jobs was an interesting person who led an interesting life and did amazing things, even if he was somewhat crazy while doing them. The audiobook is 25 hours long, so it monopolized a lot of my music time, but it was so good. The book is thick and had been sitting on my shelf for years, so I picked up the audiobook as non-fiction is proving to be somewhat easier for me to digest that way. Two thumbs in the air.

51: Harley Quinn: Mad Love
Author: Paul Dini & Pat Cadigan
Genre: Comic Book Novelization
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed: No
I obviously don’t know how to categorize this. Lol! It reads like a novelized comic book, meaning that while it’s fun, and different, it’s also slightly cartoonish and ridiculous. There are times when it felt real, but there were just as many or more times when it didn’t. There is definitely a way to tell comic stories without them coming off as cartoonish, but it probably needs to be written by someone who doesn’t write comic books for a living. I feel like fantasy can be realistic in its unrealism. There’s a way to make people believe, while they’re reading, that this can really happen, and I don’t feel like this story could happen outside of a comic book or cartoon kid’s show. But I did like it, and it had a good ending.

I’m in progress on two other books that were on my September TBR, so I didn’t give up on anything. I just moved things around. They’re not necessarily on my October TBR, which this month is more like a list of “we’ll sees.” My goal is to read three books, to stay on goal, and I’m sure I can do that if nothing else. I only need 9 more books to meet my goal for the year, so I’m feeling pretty good. ^_^


  • Tonja Drecker

    Ooo…a couple books are going on my mountain of TBRs. I see a poison theme in there this time πŸ˜‰ Sounds like you had a great month!

  • Michelle Athy

    At one point, I had my TBR down below 60 and then I added things and read things and it’s over 60 again. Le sigh. I’m actually finished with my 20 books, but I’m going to see how many I’ve read by the end of the year.

  • Jodi Perkins (@Perkjo)

    I’m laughing that four of your books this month involved poison, Krystal! Did you do that on purpose? What a great tangent to get stuck on. Snow, Glass, Apples looks AMAZING. I love the cover, I love the title, I love everything that I can see about it without actually opening it. Oh and of course #48 looks awesome. πŸ˜€ Super thrilling to see my book on your monthly reads. <3<3<3

    • Krystal Jane

      I did do it on purpose. Lol! ^_^ Snow, Glass, Apples IS amazing! I picked it up as soon as it came out. It was so good for my twisted little heart. <3 And #48 is so awesome! 100% recommend. πŸ˜€

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