October was quite a month. Between my friend’s wedding in Italy, Pitch Wars announcements, querying, and a newfound appreciation of audiobooks, I squeezed in reading 8 books.
Finished in October
What I Learned: Trimming a Story
Read as an ARC received at ALA AC 2018. Came out October 2018. The sequel to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, though the same page count, felt much shorter. The story had more focus and fewer themes it wanted to cover. It was all about Felicity and her journey of finding herself. It was definitely the kind of book my 16-year-old shithead self would have needed.
What I Learned: Making It Happen
The fact that this book even came out is a triumph in and of itself. Schwab had deleted the draft in January 2018 (a book schedule to come out in September). Drafting, editing, revising, finishing magic aside, this book had very few flaws. Compelling characters, tight pacing, really awesome quotes, there was not a corner taken to get this book to happen and it is astounding to read the final product.
Read Cover-to-Cover in October
What I Learned: That Ending
Read as an ARC from ALA AC 2018. Came out October 2018. When I finished reading this book, I curled up into bed at 1:30am and cried myself to sleep. The way this trilogy ended felt so appropriated for the tensions introduced in book one. James did a phenomenal job introducing the magical rules and concepts which came together so wonderfully. Excuse me while I go lie down again.
What I Learned: Attention to Detail
Office book club read! This book was definitely published before 2000 and you can tell based mostly on how slowly the plot builds. There is so much detail in every scene and character introduction in ways that, I feel, books nowadays don’t do. It lent very well, however, to the mystery of the vampires in this spooky read.
What I Learned: Short and Spooky
This quick read introduces its main characters and the genre expectations. There are ghosts. There are flirts. There is a hook-up. Very efficient.
What I Learned: Deep Character Studies
Read as an eARC from NetGalley. Came out October 2018. This sea-faring adventure follows a group of siblings uncovering their parents’ secrets. Not a lot happens in terms of plot, but the way the characters meld together is absolutely beautiful.
What I Learned: Eclipsing More Interesting Characters with Bland Protagonists
Started an eARC from NetGalley. Came out in March 2018. This series has captured my attention with the level of choices it makes with its plot. In both books, the plot didn’t really start until about 70% of the way through the story. In the first book, Blood Rose Rebellion, our heroine was able to carry the plot with the love interests. But since the sequel has a series of villains, Eves put in much effort to make them interesting, at the expense of everyone around the POV narrators. If only the same agency were given to the protagonists.
What I Learned: Worldbuilding
Of the two in the duology, this book did a much better job zooming out and explaining Sal’s world. In the first book, Mask of Shadows, the readers got glimpses of it in off-hand observations and comments. Because elements of the royalty and society as a whole are a more pronounced antagonist, so it makes sense that the details were added in where relevant, without info-dumping.
November is National Novel Writing Month and Thanksgiving. Because of my aggressive consumption of audiobooks, there’s a good chance I’ll hit my Goodreads goal before month’s end.