This month is the best I’ve had in a long while in regards to the number of books I read. I read a total of 10 books: 5 of which were for uni, 2 were ebooks, and 5 were simply for fun/to relax/to escape from studying for a while. Also, most of the books I read for uni I read and listened to the audiobook at the same time, which made getting through them faster and more efficiently so I highly recommend doing this if you are studying a book/books for school! I have a lot of books to review, so I’ll just get right to it.
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
I read this book for uni. This book is considered the first Gothic/Gothic Romance novel and I found it hilarious! It is very melodramatic and has a curse which causes supernatural events and it is full of chase scenes; actually, the whole book is pretty much a chase scene. Not the best book I’ve ever read but I really enjoy reading popular fiction of other time periods and I think this book is important to its canon.
A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe
I liked this one slightly better, but maybe that’s just because Jane Austen was a fan of Mrs Radcliffe’s novels! Again, this was a required read, but I really enjoyed reading it. Like Otranto there are lots of chase scenes and sublime landscapes and, of course, the happily ever after (after all the terror).
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
This is my book of the month! I absolutely adored this novel and hope that you will all read it at some point in your lives. It is about the wealthy upper-class New York society in the late nineteenth century, their peculiar rituals and customs as well as the place of women in this type of society. The book focalises the male character Newland Archer, but it really is a book about women. Plus, awkward love triangle! PLEASE read this amazing piece of classic literature; there is a reason it is so famous and that’s because it’s a wonderful book.
The Monk by Matthew Lewis
I was a bit nervous going into this book because of the content and because it was so controversial when it was published, but I didn’t mind it and I did not find it as confronting as I was expecting. Some of the things I liked most about this book are the setting—mostly in Madrid, but also there is a section in Germany—and the supernatural elements—the story of The Bleeding Nun and references to The Wandering Jew. But on a side note, I knew Jane Austen had also read this book and she even mentions it in Northanger Abbey. Be warned, though this is a pretty good book and I do recommend it, there is a lot of violence and a rape scene.
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
This was one of those books I was required to read and just could not get into it. I’m not sure why, but I may reread at another time where I am not being forced to complete it in a limited amount of time. I wasn’t really into the sea-story section of the book; I preferred the adventure story of the second half. I also found the timeline quite confusing because this book is not written chronologically and it is kind of a story about a story. I feel that this book is more to be studied and appreciated rather than simple read to be enjoyed.
Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman
Loved this. So much more than I was expecting. This was my third Gayle Forman book and definitely my favourite out of the books (4 now) that I have read. I loved exploring Paris and reading what it is like to start college in America—which is actually quite different from my experience of starting university in Australia. I adored the characters and could not get enough of them. I really missed Willem in the second half and I kind of felt like the structure of the narrative didn’t fit—i.e. how the split is right in the middle; I think I would have felt better if Paris was the first third, then college/summer the second third, and then the last section as the third third of the book. But overall, AMAZING! (and almost my book of the month, but The Age of Innocence is just that good)
Just One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman
I liked that lots of questions were answered in the sequel to Just One Day but I really wasn’t amazed by the male perspective—I enjoyed the male perspective in Where She Went so much more—but maybe that’s just because I usually read books narrated by/with a female protagonist. Also, I love that Gayle Forman’s duologies have the female and male perspectives for each book. I think my favourite part was when Willem goes to Mexico, but always love travelling to different countries in books. I felt extremely frustrated with all the near misses between Willem and Alison and that’s why this book just didn’t quite do it for me. Still, a good YA contemporary.
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
This book is so cute! And I loved Mrs Ellington and Emory; they were my absolute favourite characters. I think it is important to have a variety of characters in YA books and not just focus on the problems of the teenage protagonist. I loved the issues and how they are dealt with and how even with these, the book still managed to maintain that cute summer contemporary feel to it.
The Assassin’s Curse (The Assassin’s Curse #1) by Cassandra Rose Clarke
I don’t usually read ebooks (this is only the second that I’ve read) but once I started this book, I couldn’t stop! It was also really handy at the time I was reading it because I was having to carry around a lot of books for uni, so having this as an ebook on my phone really lightened my load. I felt that some parts of this book were quite slow, but I loved the concept, the world, and the characters. Still unsure if I will continue on with next book The Pirate’s Wish because I’d probably read it as an ebook but right now I want to hold physical copies of the books I’m reading.
Manga Classics: Emma by Stacey King
I got this from the publisher for review through Netgally, so this was the next “ebook” I read—except I had to read it on my laptop so the images were clear enough. I loved this! Jane Austen + Manga = AWESOME! If you want to know more about this book, check out my full review here.
September TBR (not including ebooks)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephany Tromly
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge