MALLORY’S SEPTEMBER WRAP UP + OCTOBER TBR

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I’m having a hard time believing it is my favorite time of year already. Where has this year gone? October is my absolute favorite, with the beautiful colors, the gorgeous weather, the yummy pumpkin treats and Halloween, what’s not to love?

September was probably my worst month of reading so far this year. I only ended up reading eight books when I usually try to get in the double digits. So here are the books I read in September.

1. Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★
Not my favorite of the series but I am still loving every minute of these books. I will be very sad for the series to end. I am waiting to finish this series to do a full series review.

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness ★★★★★
Absolutely adored this book. Do not be fooled by the plot, this one has some pretty heavy content in it. Full review to come this month.

3. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins ★★★★★
An absolute fabulous way to end out the series. I will forever love Stephanie Perkins and I hope she starts working on new books right away. Can’t get enough of her writing.

4. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica ★★★★
My book clubs choice for the month. I was very intrigued with this one and was blown away by the ending. A great thriller thrown in between the contemporary I was reading.

5. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp ★★★★
Not what I was expecting at all but still enjoyable. We did a group discussion on this one and you can find our thoughts here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/book-discussion-the-spectacular-now-by-tim-tharp/

6. Whispers at Moonrise by C.C. Hunter ★★★
One of my monthly reads with Maria. We are still making our way through this series and we will have a full review of this one to come.

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry ★★★★
Another one of my reads with Maria. We have already reviewed this one and you can find that right here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/book-review-the-giver-by-lois-lowry/

8. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman ★★★
Definitely not what I was expecting. As a dragon lover I had a hard time learning to love these dragons. But I have a full review of this one coming up next week and will let you know more of my thoughts then.

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I’ve got a lot on my plate for October. We have received quite a few books for review, Maria and I have a ton of books to read together and I have lots of Halloween and horror posts planned for this month. So I’m going to try and not let myself get overwhelmed with all that. So here are the books I plan to read in October.

1. The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer. Currently reading this one and am halfway through.
2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Reading with Maria.
3. The Merciless by Danielle Vega. Reading with Maria.
4. Chosen at Nightfall by C.C. Hunter. Reading with Maria.
5. Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. Reading with Maria, Marissa and Mackenzie.
6. Storm Siren by Mary Weber. Received from Netgalley and will be reviewing with Maria.
7. The Swallow by Charis Cotter. Received from Netgalley and will be reviewing with Maria.
8. When War Calls by Zy J. Rykoa. Making my way through this one and will be reviewing with Maria.
9. Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston. Received from Netgalley and will be reviewing with Maria.
10. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. My book clubs choice of the month.
11. Horns by Joe Hill. Was on my list last month but didn’t have time to get to it.

As you can see the two of us will have our hands full this month. But you can expect our blog to be very busy this month.

Hope you all have a great month of reading!

Mallory

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BOOK REVIEW: THE GIVER BY LOIS LOWRY

3636Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Published: 1993 by Ember
179 pages
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Jonas is an eleven year old boy who was brought up in a very interesting society where there was no such thing as war, where everything and everyone was equal. Sameness is the word that Jonas had used throughout the novel. On his twelfth birthday, Jonas would be assigned a job in the community. Jonas gets assigned a very special job, unlike any other. He would become the new Receiver of Memories. Without knowing exactly what this meant, Jonas meets with the Giver as instructed and learns the truth about how the world has become so perfect. No one else, except for the Giver, has any memory of the way things were before the Sameness. No memory of love, no memory of war, no memory of color… Jonas begins to receive these memories, some good and some painful, as he discovers the truth behind the Sameness.

Jonas was a great character to read about, always putting other people first. He was smart and very caring. I felt for Jonas as he learned the harsh truth behind the jobs done by his family and friends.

This is definitely a story that will make you think. As an education student, I can see why this is a very popular book to read in school. It had me questioning the world that we live in today, and I’m sure younger people would be able relate to Jonas more than I could. It would be interesting to hear different opinions from young readers. I think that Lois Lowry is a genius for coming up with this dystopian world and inspiring so many authors of today.

I rated The Giver 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Mallory’s thoughts:
Jonas lives in a perfectly controlled society. There is no fear, no war, no pain. Everyone has a job and everything runs smoothly. Each family consists of a dad, a mom and two children. At every age the children have ceremonies and the Ceremony of 12 is when the children finally receive the roles they will have in the community. Every child gets called up and presented with their role, except for Jonas. He is passed over. Jonas has been selected for a very special position. The Receiver. He is to meet with a man who he calls the Giver and receive all of his memories, and with those memories comes the truth.

This is known as one of the original dystopian stories that has influenced a lot of authors today. It is a very short novel but I am finding it very difficult to review this book as I still don’t seem to have my thoughts in order for this one.

I’m going to start out with the world building. Lowry does a great job of painting a picture of a futuristic world and it feels like you are thrown into it. It is a world where nothing goes wrong. Every aspect of the community and it’s inhabitants is controlled. Babies are given to families, you start taking pills once you start having ‘suggestive’ dreams, you may only ride bikes at a certain age and you are placed into a job that they see you fit for. This is how they live and do not question it until Jonas becomes the Receiver. He gets the memories of the time before everything was controlled and he also gets a look at the ugly and horrifying society they are living in.

I loved Jonas as the main character. He was very interesting to read about. For a twelve year old he was so brave and considerate. There are multiple times throughout the book where he puts others before himself. I’m sad that he won’t be in the sequel.

Lowry’s writing was fabulous. The ending leaves off on a cliffhanger that we know if not getting picked up in the second book since it’s about different characters. But it really lets you use your imagination to figure out what happened to the characters.

I will definitely be checking out the rest of this series.

And I cannot wait to check out the movie adaptation. You can watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxFJvlWqphM

4/5 star rating.

MALLORY’S AUGUST WRAP UP + SEPTEMBER TBR

Well August didn’t go quite as I planned it. I was on vacation for the last week and got absolutely no reading done. But I still managed to read 15 books in total.

Books I read in August:
1. Taken At Dusk by C.C. Hunter ★★★★
This was one of my monthly reads with Maria and hopefully we will have a full review up soon.
2. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare ★★★★
The fourth book in the Mortal Instruments series. Not quite as good as the third, but still a great read and continuation of the story.
3. The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer ★★★★★
One of my favourite reads of the month. I have done a full review and you can find it here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/book-review-the-wishing-spell-by-chris-colfer/
4. Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett ★★★★
Another great installation in the Discworld series, this time about witches instead of wizards. Really starting to adore Pratchett’s quirky and snarky writing style.
5. Club Dead by Charlaine Harris ★★★★
The third book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I was totally craving this since I have been watching True Blood lately and they are a little bit of a guilty pleasure of mine.
6. Blood Red Road by Moira Young ★★★★
Closer to a 3.5 for this one. I enjoyed it but I’m not too sure when I will continue on with the series.
7. Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★★
I was so totally in the mood for this one, out of the blue I just HAD to pick it up and I am so glad that I did. I’m very happy to be back in this series and I never want it to end.
8. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight ★★★
A great story line, fast paced and super intriguing but a solid build up to a let down of an ending. So many things could have been done better with this one.
9. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis ★★★★
Love the Chronicles of Narnia series, this one was much better than The Horse and His Boy. Can’t wait to continue on with the series.
10. Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson ★★★★
This was so so good, especially for a debut novel. It has your mind racing from chapter to chapter. It is very wonderfully written and I highly suggest picking this one up.
11. The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa ★★★★
I went into this one not remembering a single thing from the first book but I quite enjoyed it none the less. I will not wait as long to pick up the third book so I can actually remember what is happening.
12. Atonement by Ian McEwan ★★★
This may be one of those times that I enjoyed the movie a little more than the book. I found some parts to be very dull and I really dragged through. Other parts were beautifully written though and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
13. Allies of the Night by Darren Shan ★★★★★
As always, loved this book. This is the 8th book in the series and I am completely in love. I am dreading the end. Will do a full review once I have finished the series.
14. Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★★
I couldn’t resist picking this one up. I needed more Daemon in my life. Just as good as the rest.
15. The Lost World by Michael Crichton ★★★
This is the second book in the Jurassic Park series. I have a full review of this series coming soon.

Books I want to read in September:
1. Good Girl by Mary Kubica
2. Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
4. Whispers at Moonrise by C.C. Hunter
5. Horns by Joe Hill
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
8. Carrie by Stephen King
9. The Soulstice by Simon Holt
10. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
11. The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry
12. When War Calls by Zy Rykoa
13. The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer
14. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
15. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
16. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
17. The Dinner by Herman Koch
18. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
19. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Let me know how reading in August was for you and what you plan to read in September!

Mallory