#OwnedOctober was a success! Check out the tag on Bookstagram to see what people read!
If you missed it, for the month of October I challenged myself to read only books that I already owned. Here was my tentative TBR that I very much did not stick to.
I was surprised at how many people participated and loved seeing all the books people used for the prompts.
Since this is going up before the end of the month I don’t know exactly how many books I will actually read from my physical/electronic TBRs but I’m glad I enjoyed so many of the books because that means I have been spending money on books that I actually like.
For this post, I am just focusing on the books I read that met the prompts! But without further ado, here is what I actually read + some thoughts!
A SHORT BOOK – The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister #0.5) by Courtney Milan
I’ve read and loved the first three books in this series and this is the prequel to the main series that follows one of the male main characters parents. Also I think this is one is permanently free on amazon so check it out if you’re interested.
This was so good!! I shed a single tear at the end. It’s a novella so it’s quicker paced than I prefer, but it mostly worked here. I loved seeing Hugo and Serena’s love story and seeing the seeds of the Brothers Sinister series. This novella has me wondering if I should do a reread?? But also I haven’t finished the series in the first place lol so maybe that should happen first.
Honestly this series is so good and more people should be reading it because I can’t say enough good things about it. 5/5 stars.
TW: rape/sexual assault, traumatic childhood,
WAS A GIFT/REC FROM A FRIEND – Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club by Roselle Lim
My friend Asha (AshaReads on IG) passed this one along to me and it ended up being one of my book club picks for the month (I was in charge of picking, but I gave options and we all voted on this one).
Despite being first POV I felt like we didn’t get to know Sophie very well? We didn’t get much internal monologue that helped develop her as a person. There are also a ton of characters and with all the nicknames I could not tell anyone apart. It’s a quick read and the Snow White vibes were fun, but I think I liked her debut better.
Low key I think this would’ve been a better movie than it was book because all the side characters blended together and if it was a film at least I could visually tell them apart! 3/5 stars.
TW: suicide, strained/toxic relationship with parents, stroke/death of a loved one.
A BOOK YOU BOUGHT BECAUSE OF BOOKSTAGRAM (or any book social media) – Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho
Okay technically I won this in a bookstagram giveaway and didn’t purchase it because of bookstagram, but I acquired it because of bookstagram so it works.
Anyways. This is more of a collection of short stories than a novel with a through narrative, but I mostly enjoyed it. With literary fiction if I enjoy it enough I always consider if a win and I enjoyed this. This only has a 3.35 on Goodreads and I read through a lot of negative reviews because I was curious what people didn’t like and a lot was valid, but I think ultimately it boiled down to people not having their expectations met and this novel being a little weird and random. It didn’t really have a point or a solid resolution and rather shows a slice of life of these two women. Which isn’t that the point of literary fiction? (Unsure because I am unclear of the exact definition of lit fic still)
I also loved that it look place in Orange County/LA because that is where I am from and it was cool roughly knowing the areas that they visit/discuss.
I listened to this on audio and I was a great and quick listen. 4/5 stars.
PUBLISHED BEFORE 2020 – Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas
First of all, I am not sure Lisa Kleypas should have written a Romani hero since I don’t think she is Romani? A friend told me they were updating the content a bit to remove some of the g*psy slurs and making it less “rape-y” and I am not sure if my version was the updated one because there was still a fair amount of both. This historical did come out in 2007 and anything prior to 2010 isn’t considered modern and tends to have more consent issues.
But, when I was able to forget about that I really enjoyed this one! I’m going to try to do a full series review with the Hathaway Series since I own 3/5 books (lol).
I had a really fun time reading this one Cam was *fire emoji* the man has an earring and Lisa Kleypas loves a self made man so he isn’t a duke or anything. But, ugh love the chaos of the Hathaway family and how Cam wants to support Amelia so much that he is willing to have four in laws who are A LOT. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series and this reminded me of why Lisa Kleypas is so good.
TW: death of a loved one (fiancée, parents, both prior to novel), grief, suicide mentions, fire, injury
Free Space – The Austen Playbook (London Celebrities #4) by Lucy Parker
There is just something about a Lucy Parker novel that I love and it was so good to be reading one of her books again. This is the fourth in the series, but you can read this one without reading any of the prior novels. But, I mean, I recommend the prior ones!!
Griff and Freddy were just so much fun to read about. I love the grumpy/sunshine dynamic and it works so well here. Plus there is a fun side mystery plot and some familial drama in both of their family histories. All of the family plots in this one worked for me and my only complaint is I would’ve liked a bit more build up to the relationship or a tad more focus on their romance instead of the side plots. But I did enjoy those side plots so I’m not too mad about it. 4/5 stars.
Also, the next book is Freddy’s sister?? I’m hyped. A friend was nice enough to send me a copy of this one so I will read this soon.
CW: Harry Potter references, like a lot
YOU BOUGHT FOR THE COVER – I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston
I bought the lavender BN edition because I love purple so more of a special edition buy than a cover buy. I reviewed this on IG if you want to see the cute pic I took.
Casey McQuiston’s writing meshes perfectly with YA.
I adored parts of this novel, the unlikely friendships, the discussions of queerness, Chloe’s family, THE BLEACHERS MENTION, and how strong these characters feel emotions. I love messy YA characters and Chloe and Shara are messy!!
I thought the middle/end dragged a bit and the overall message could’ve been tightened, but overall I really loved this book and am so glad I finally read it.
As an adult reading YA I am very aware that this is not my space so I’m hesitant to “review” the books based on my enjoyment alone.
This is an end of high school book and I think it does that very well. Chloe is realizing that things in her religious town are not entirely what she thinks and I LOVE LOVE when unlikely friendships are made. Chloe’s friendship with Rory and Smith was my favorite part of this book.
I loved how Chloe doesn’t come out in this book (she is bisexual and proud), but we see her classmates that can’t or are not ready to come out and I thought McQuistion did such a good job in this space. I loved seeing characters realize that gender is not as binary as they thought. Or Chloe’s friends getting their own romances. It was all so high school, but in the best way, and queer obviously.
TW: homophobia, religious trauma
A NEW TO YOU AUTHOR – Love Times Infinity by Lane Clarke
To be honest this book was 100% on my radar because I saw that the love interest played basketball. And this YA boy was the sweetest! Loved him! But, this book is so much more than a basketball player love interest and discusses some serious topics, but is also funny and has a ton of pop culture references.
This has less than 300 ratings on Goodreads which is a shame because this is one of the best YA books I’ve read this year. I highly recommend for YA fans or those who want a book that talks about anxiety.
To be honest, I don’t love YA books that focus on college essays! Because yes they can matter and be a good symbol but like??? It’s not your whole life. So I wasn’t sure about this one, but in the end it won me over and it was so good.
I loved the pop culture references, the author and I must be close in age because I got almost all of them and I use a lot of those references too lol.
I put this book on my TBR because I heard the love interest was a basketball player and if you have been here for more than a second, you know that I’ve been looking for basketball books for a hot second. But, Derek De La Rosa was such a sweetheart. I feel weird gushing about YA love interests when I’m an adult, but was a guy.
I loved all the on page therapy and Miche’s relationship with her group members.
A GENRE YOU DON’T USUALLY READ – The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
I don’t read much middle grade and I don’t read much fantasy anymore! My friend gave me a copy of this one (lowkey I thought it was a gift; turns out it was a loan lol). But, my brain struggles with fantasy these days so I rarely pick it up anymore, but I wanted to finally give this a read and I’m glad I did. It was lovely, but honestly I had a hard time following the plot at times. The story is woven told in different POVs which is cool, but I was like ??? in some of the POVs. I listened to the audiobook which might have impacted my enjoyment/understanding.
YOU HAVE OWNED FOR A LONG TIME – Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
I have no idea how long I’ve owned this one, but it’s been a second. In my defense, I wanted to listen to the audiobook since that is how I prefer to read memoirs, but I none of my libraries had it (I believe it is an audible exclusive), so I eventually gave up. This prompt was actually a bit of a challenge since I have bought a lot of books recently or in the last year and I was trying to read something I’ve owned longer than a year. So this was the solution. I still wish I had listened to the audiobook, but his writing is easy to fall into. So I actually read it pretty quickly.
Overall, I enjoyed the stories, but this really focuses on his childhood and I would’ve liked an essay or two that focuses on how he got to where he is now because it is a big jump. Granted this is a bit on me since in the title is says childhood, but still. Trevor give us another book!!
TW: domestic violence, gun violence, racism, animal death/violence towards animals
Did you read any books you owned this month?
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