Wrap Up: September 2016

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Where did the time even go?  How is it even October already? This year has definitely flown by and so has the month of September. I had lots of reading plans in September. I got my wisdom teeth removed earlier this week and I thought I’d have a lot of reading time during my recovery. Turns out, it doesn’t really work that way and I spent most of my time just sleeping. But even though I haven’t made the most of my time off, I still managed to read quite a lot of books this month. Here’s my reading summary and full reviews are linked.

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Reading summary header

1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – J.K. Rowling  4 stars

This was a really interesting guidebook to the different magical creatures in the Harry Potter world. It wasn’t the most entertaining book but it was super informative and made me feel like I was back in the world.

2. Empire of Storms – Sarah J. Maas  45 stars

I was super impressed by this fifth installment of the Throne of Glass series. It wasn’t as good as Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows in my opinion but it was a nice continuation to the series. The plot is really starting to come together and I’m really excited about the finale!

3. The Realm of Possibility – David Levithan  4 stars

I’ve had this book for a while and had never picked it up. I went to a few David Levithan events in recent weeks and hearing him talk about his work made me want to pick up some more of his books that I still have yet to read. This book is written in verse and was a really nice easy read about love and everything that comes with it.

4. Trial by Fire – Josephine Angelini  3 stars

This is the first book in the Worldwalker trilogy and I was a bit underwhelmed by it. I didn’t connect with any of the characters and I thought the plot was a bit clumsy and confused. This book just wasn’t for me.

5. PS. I Like You – Kasie West  4 stars

I love Kasie West because all of her books are so cute and fluffy. PS. I Like You was no exception. It was so full of sugary cuteness that I sped through it in one sitting. The book is about a girl who exchanges letters with a boy who sits at the same desk as her at school, and I just absolutely adored it.

6. It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover  35 stars

I’ve heard countless good things about this latest Colleen Hoover novel. Unfortunately I didn’t really connect with the story emotionally. I found it to be a bit dull and the characters also came across as a bit boring to me. I did like the issues that the book explored but I didn’t think the book was amazing by any means. (Trigger warning for domestic violence and abuse).

7. The Thousandth Floor – Katharine McGee  45 stars

I was completely unprepared for how much I loved this novel! It’s the first book in a new trilogy and I loved it so much that I couldn’t stop raving about it for days. It’s a futuristic Gossip Girl-like story set in a world where Manhattan is literally inside a 1000-storey tower. I loved the technology and the world of this book and also really liked the characters and their stories.

8. The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You – Lily Anderson  45 stars

This was another adorable contemporary story. It’s a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing and is set at a high school for geniuses. I loved the entire cast of characters in this book and I thought the main characters, Beatrice and Benedict, were absolutely fantastic and relatable. There are lots of nerdy references in the book and I highly enjoyed the plot.

9. Twenty Boy Summer – Sarah Ockler  35 stars

I love Sarah Ockler’s writing and stories and I also really enjoyed Twenty Boy Summer. However, I think you could really tell that this was her debut novel because it wasn’t as polished as her other novels. Despite that, I still really enjoyed it and I liked that it explored the theme of grief in an interesting and relatable way.

10. Between the Lives – Jessica Shirvington  45 stars

Jessica Shirvington hasn’t disappointed me yet. I loved her Disruption duology and this was just as good. The story follows our main character, Sabine, who lives two separate lives. Every 24 hours, she Shifts into her other life and lives that day over again. I loved the concept of this book and I loved Sabine as a character. I thought the plot of the story was spectacular and I can’t wait to read some more of Jessica Shirvington’s work.

11. Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland  3 stars

This was a highly anticipated contemporary release for me and I was left extremely underwhelmed. Pretty much nothing happens for a good 80% of the book and I was just extremely bored. There are also some Manic Pixie Dream Girl elements and it took a lot of willpower for me to continue the novel. I considered DNFing at 100 pages and, in hindsight, I probably should have.

12. The Hating Game – Sally Thorne  5 stars

The Hating Game was a book that I didn’t know I needed. It’s one of the most adorable office romances that I’ve read and every single page of this book gave me intense contemporary romance feels. The main character, Lucy, is absolutely wonderful and I could read 100 more books about her.

13. Heartless – Marissa Meyer  35 stars

I’ve been highly anticipating this novel since Winter came out earlier this year. I loved The Lunar Chronicles and I really love Marissa Meyer’s writing. But I thought Heartless was just… okay. It took me a while to get through the book because I wasn’t really excited by the plot or the characters. I also thought that the romance lacked spark and I just wasn’t feeling it.

14. Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo  5 stars

Oh man… this is probably my favourite novel that I’ve read so far this year. There was literally nothing that I didn’t like about this sequel and it’s definitely on par with Six of Crows. The characters were perfect, the plot was perfect and the writing and pace were perfect. I’ve already read this book twice and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be rereading it again soon.

15. Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur  5 stars

I very rarely read poetry but I really, really enjoyed this collection from Rupi Kaur. There were a lot of free verse poems and that made the experience a little bit easier for me. What I really loved about it was that it was feminist and empowering and I think it’s an important read for all women.

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I only did two Top Ten Tuesday posts in September but I loved both of the topics!

Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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Publisher: Piatkus
Release date: August 9, 2016
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Pages: 363
Goodreads || Book Depository

NEMESIS (n)

1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She prides herself on being loved by everyone at work – except for imposing, impeccably attired Joshua Templeman.

Trapped in a shared office, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game, The Mirror Game, The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything – especially when a huge promotion is on offer.

If Lucy wins, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she questioning herself? Maybe she doesn’t hate him. And just maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game . . .

MY THOUGHTS

5 stars

I have no words for how incredibly adorable and sweet this book was. It was exactly the kind of story that I needed to read after having a rough time these past few days. It definitely brightened up my day, put a huge smile on my face and melted my heart.

The Hating Game is an office romance with two of the most endearing characters. Ever since Lucy and Joshua’s respective publishing houses merged, they have shared an office working as executive assistants for the two co-CEOs. And they absolutely hate each other. They love engaging in different ‘games’ and trying to beat out the other person. When the position of chief operating officer is up for grabs, Lucy is determined not to let Joshua beat her. If she loses, she’ll resign and she makes Joshua promise the same thing. But in the days leading up to the interview and promotion decision, she finds that she doesn’t really hate Joshua as much as she thought she did. And he doesn’t seem to hate her as much as she thought either.

One of my favourite romance tropes in fiction is the hate-to-love trope and The Hating Game executes it perfectly. I could feel the tension between the two characters throughout the book, including a whole heap of unresolved sexual tension (HAHAHA). Their banter was fantastic and the way that they tried to one-up each other was absolutely perfect. The way that their romance unfolded was very realistic to me and I really enjoyed the way that it was developed very gradually. I thought the slow-burning romance suited the characters and the story brilliantly and added to the ‘will they or won’t they?’ aspect of the book. It kept me interested and I devoured this novel!

Lucy was a fantastic narrator. I loved her voice so much and I could never be tired of reading about her. She’s such a relatable character and I found myself connecting to her from the very first page. She’s quirky, she’s fun and she’s bite-sized, which makes for some wonderful banter between her and Josh about her height. Josh was also an amazing character. He was grumpy and broody and exactly the kind of guy I like to read about. Even though he was a bit prickly, he was also sensitive and romantic and I swooned hard, guys. I swooned hard.

This is a feel-good book that I can see myself rereading over and over when I need a pick-me-up. It’s a fantastic debut novel and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by Sally Thorne.