October: Monthly Roundup

October 31, 2017

My town usually only gets a few days of autumn color before it snows or freezes and all the leaves wither brown, but this year the weather has held true, crisp and (mostly) clear. I’d like to say that the sweeping color and lovely skies are the reason for only fourteen books reviewed this month, but I haven’t gotten outside anywhere nearly as much as I’d like. It just hasn’t been a productive month overall.

But tomorrow…! Nanowrimo is upon us, and yet I have unreasonably high hopes for getting all sorts of things done. More, Oathbringer and Renegades are both coming out, the two new releases I’m most interested in for the rest of the year.

~ Favorites ~

My favorite book of the month… was a contemporary YA romance! Since when, right? At an even four stars, The Geography of You and Me isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s sweet, fluffy, and clean. My favorite recently published book was Apex, the third (and probably last) book of the Hunter series. It’s not very satisfying as an ending, but Joy is such a great main character.

In Middle-Grade books, I really liked The Wednesday Wars, a realistic/semi-historical highschool story. Recommend for anyone who: likes Shakespeare, is looking for a hopeful story, enjoys coming-of-age fiction. Moving over to the Adult section, Ready Player One was pretty good. It’s more content-heavy then I usually enjoy, with lots of swearing and a bit of sexual content, but the worldbuilding was excellent and the story on par. (Also, to be quite honest, I picked up my copy at a used book store, so I’ve been blacking stuff out with a permanent marker to make it a better reread for myself.) Only one short-story collection this month, The Serial Garden, which was pretty good middle-grade fantasy with a fun ‘realistic’ tone to it.

~ Least Favorites ~

My least favorite book of the month was The Invisible Library, an adult fantasy with an epic premise and total lack of fulfillment. Once and For All comes in a close second, another contemporary romance with an aggravating love interest and odd messages. Then there were a number of mediocre new books in series I’ve read: the worst being Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race, the best being The Creeping Shadow, and mostly solidly mediocre The Dire King.

 I see Blackbringer and Silksinger manage to escape all sections, good to bad and even mediocre. Hm. The two books have been classified in various places as both Middle-Grade and YA, so I suppose they straddle another line there – they’re theoretically the complete Faeries of Dreamdark series, but it doesn’t feel like a complete series at all. I think Laini Taylor’s publisher may actually have decided to drop the series because it wasn’t selling well at the time.

Bite-Sized Reviews is a new implementation that is probably going to stick around, maybe as a once-a-month feature.

 

~ In The Future ~

No specific books lined up for November so far; although I’ll definitely be reading too, I’ll be concentrating on writing. Here’s a couple of new features that may be coming out soon-ish, though: Author Reviews and Series Reviews. Author Reviews will be focused on the X-Ray side of things. Wherever I’ve read all of an author’s books, I’ll give you a general overview of their style, average content levels, maybe “Highest Content Anywhere”. That way if an author always writes at your preferred content levels, you can figure that out and feel free to check out all their books!

Series Reviews is a dual focus, because sometimes content levels (Especially in romance) go up over the series, so the first book may be no indicator for the rest – but it would also be nice to have some idea of how the writing quality goes too, yes? So, Series Reviews will give you both a spoiler-free review for the entire series, and content-levels across all books.

Have a happy Halloween, and I’ll see you in November!

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