November Wrap Up and December TBR
November Wrap Up
Well, November is gone! I knew that I wasn’t going to have the best reading month with NaNoWriMo happening and Kingdom of Ash coming out, but I read more than I had expected to. And on top of that, I really enjoyed each book that I read!
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
When I was making my October TBR, I thought that City of Ghosts would make a good, spooky Halloween read. Sadly, I didn’t quite finish this book in October, but I did complete it within the first week of November.
City of Ghosts follows Cassidy Blake whose parents are a well-known ghost-hunting team, The Inspectres. They don’t actually see ghosts, but Cassidy does and her best friend, Jacob, is also a ghost. Cassidy travels to Edinburgh with her parents where she is surrounded by ghosts, not all of which are friendly. In Scotland, she meets a girl named Lara who’s just like her—an In-betweener who can cross the Veil. Lara explains that their mission is to hunt ghosts and send them beyond the Veil. Cassidy is then drawn into a battle that spans across worlds of the living and the dead to save herself.
The atmosphere of this book was a little bit spooky! Not in a scary Steven King kind of way, but in a way that you can feel that we’re dealing with something paranormal. Edinburgh was the perfect backdrop to introduce us to Cassidy’s world as someone who can interact with ghosts, as it’s well-known for having many haunted places. Victoria Schwab’s writing brings the city to life in a way that worked well in helping the reader visualize the city.
One thing that irks me is people who call this book too juvenile. It’s meant to be middle grade, so it’s not going to be exactly like her YA or adult books. What makes a great middle-grade novel is that it’s able to capture the interest of the reader, while not talking down to the protagonist and making them as self-sufficient as possible for a younger character. Victoria Schwab did a great job of that.
While I wasn’t entirely blown away by the story, I did still capture my interest, and I’m excited to see where Cassidy goes next. Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Justyce McAllister is the top student in his class and set for Ivy League success, but none of that matters to the police officer who puts him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighbourhood, he continues to face judgement and ridicule from his former peers and new classmates. After being unrightfully arrested, Justyce turns to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr for answers. So he starts a journal writing letters to Dr. King to look for them.
I think that readers who enjoyed The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas will also love Dear Martin. That said, it’s definitely not a case of reading one or the other—both are important stories, and I believe that every human should read both. This book is impactful, heart-wrenching and I was destroyed by it. I don’t want to say too much about this book because I want you to read it and experience it for yourself, but Justyce’s struggle to be more like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to try to approach a situation was compelling and added an interesting element to the story.
I want to add a trigger warning for racism and police brutality, so please consider this before picking up this book if this something that may impact your mental health. As a white woman reading this book, I recognize that I’m incredibly privileged and that I will never truly understand these issues that impact Black individuals today. There is a significant amount of value in the work that authors like Nic Stone are putting out, and I believe that this book should be required reading in all schools and life. Stop what you’re doing and read this now!
Of course, I gave Dear Martin 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
What If It’s Us was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it pretty much lived up to every expectation I had. While both of these authors write some of my all-time favourite contemporaries, their books tend to leave different impacts on readers (Becky’s books are more like a rom-com, and Adam’s will kill your emotions). That said, I think their styles blended nicely and this book was super well-executed.
What If It's Us is a dual-perspective novel that follows Arthur and Ben. Arthur is a hopeless romantic who is only in New York for the summer and believes that Broadway romances can happen in real life. Being fresh off a breakup, Ben, on the other hand, is a little more cynical and thinks the universe needs to screw off. When they meet-cute at the post office and have a series of failed dates, they're left to wonder if this is meant to be.
I adored the romance between Ben and Arthur, and there were so many moments that had me go aww! There were also really great friendship and family dynamics, and the way that the different characters played off each other was an entertaining read.
The only thing that I wish there was more of were consequences for Arthur’s actions. When Ben has made a mistake, there seemed to be a larger blow up than when Arthur had gotten jealous or not trusted Ben. Arthur is a theatre kid, and I absolutely love that about him, but I would have liked to see him have a bit of a wake up from his tendency to be theatrical with his reactions.
Regardless, I still adored this book and devoured it so quickly. I already want more! So of course, I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
I started Kingdom of Ash towards the end of the November but ended finishing it within the first couple days of December. This book is the seventh and final book in Sarah J Maas’ Throne of Glass series. I’ll go over more of my thoughts in my December Wrap Up, but it’s crazy to think this epic saga has come to an end. And trust me, it was a ride!
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Queen of Air and Darkness is FINALLY here! I had been anticipating this release ever since I turned that last page of Lord of Shadows and was completely devastated by the ending.
Of course, I went to the bookstore on December 4th to pick up my copy and started reading it right away. I actually just finished this book a couple of nights ago and plan on writing a full spoiler-filled review. We still have a long time before The Last Hours, Red Scrolls of Magic and The Wicked Powers series will be released, but I already want the next Shadowhunters book now.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
There’s not much time left in December, and I still have a lot to do for my Master’s application, so I wanted to pick up something that was shorter and that I knew I would enjoy. And what better choice than Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! Isn’t this edition gorgeous? Harry Potter is the ultimate cozy read, and I think it will be the perfect read to close out the year.
That’s all for my November Wrap Up and December TBR! What’s your favourite book that you read this month? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time, have a lovely rest of your day and read something awesome!