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 DISCUSSION: THE SPECTACULAR NOW BY TIM THARP

During the month of September myself, Maria, Marissa and Mackenzie decided to make an online book club. We chose the book The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp and we had our discussion through the kik app. We mostly just chirped out random things here and there but I decided to put our discussion together into a post.

CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD!

Click here to find it on Goodreads
17620971Title: The Spectacular Now
Author: Tim Tharp
Published: 2008 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
304 pages

“To hell with tomorrow. To hell with all problems and barriers. Nothing matters now but the Spectacular Now.”

First question. What did you think before going into the book? Before you even read page one what were your thoughts?
Mackenzie: I had kinda high expectations because I had seen the trailer for the movie and I thought it would be something I was really going to like.
Mallory: I completely thought I was going into a cheesy love story.
Maria: Before reading the book I didn’t have any idea what the story was about. And when I read the first few pages about the day time drinking and such, I was really surprised! But after reading it, it wasn’t really what I had expected.
Marissa: I cheated a little bit because I had watched the movie prior to reading it, but I was very excited with high expectations for it.

So what did you think of the ending?
Mackenzie: It wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I wanted more to happen. It stopped at the weirdest place and it never answered any questions.
Mallory: I was so upset with that ending I literally wanted to throw my book at the wall.
Maria: I thought it would end differently. I was really waiting for that happy ending.
Marissa: The ending was so abrupt, I had to read it like twice.

What did you think of Sutter?
Mackenzie: I didn’t like him as a character, I wasn’t a big fan of his attitude and the drinking thing. I feel like none of his problems got solved either, he had no growth as a character which was disappointing. I did enjoying reading from his point of view and how it was so different from anything I’ve read but I just thought he didn’t learn anything through out the story,
Mallory: It was refreshing to have a character that is full of flaws. And the whole time I was pissed that it wasn’t a love story ending when I think the concept was more so that no one is perfect and we are probably all going to make mistakes and end up doing the wrong thing most of the time. And I loved his care free drinking attitude. He would definitely be an interesting person to hang out with.
Maria: I found his personality, as much as it was out there and dick-ish (I can’t think of any other way to put it) really made the story entertaining. His careless, bad attitude kind of drew me in. I thought he was really funny too. But I know where Mackenzie is coming from because it is hard to read and connect with a character when you are against the way he acts. He really disappointed me in the end because I felt like he had so much potential. As much as he made the story entertaining, he also made it very very frustrating because he could have learned but just didn’t. I wouldn’t mind having a drink with him.
Marissa: I liked him because he was a real character with flaws and attitude. I really liked that he always had a witty comeback. But there are some parts that made me cringe about him, like with any character. But overall, I agree with Maria and the bad boy attitude drawing me in. And I agree with Mallory, I loved his 7up and whiskey, the only thing you could count on him for.

What did you think of Sutter and Aimee’s relationship?
Mackenzie: I hated how he changed Aimee and lead her on, it was so frustrating! She was such a nice person and I didn’t want her to get hurt.
Mallory: I really just wanted things between them to work out. I think they made a great couple because they were so opposite. 
Maria: The entire time I felt like he was using Aimee and that I didn’t like.
Marissa: I was hoping he would end up going with her in the end.

What did you think of Aimee?
Mackenzie: I didn’t connect with Aimee but I felt bad for her. I did like that she reads. She just agreed with what everyone told her. She wasn’t very independent or spoke for herself. And she was peer pressured a lot.
Mallory: I felt sad for Aimee. She is definitely the type you could see getting cheated on and that made me really sad.
Maria: I had a harder time connecting with Aimee for some reason, I ended up liking his ex girlfriend better. It isn’t that I didn’t like her and I wanted to connect with her more, but she kind of annoyed me and I can’t pinpoint why. I felt bad with her but he just had more chemistry with his ex.
Marissa: I felt bad for Aimee since Sutter was all over the place with “oh I’m not gonna date her” and then turns around and takes her to prom and everything. And she was none the wiser so she just went along with it and really, truly loved him.

What did you think of Sutter hanging out with his ex while he was “with” Aimee?
Mackenzie: I didn’t like it but I did like his relationship with the ex he kept seeing at parties where they talked like Italian mobsters.
Mallory: Well I would not be letting my boyfriend hang out with his ex. I didn’t like that he was seeing her behind Aimee’s back. But I did love the parts with Cassidy and I loved that she was fat. You never really get a fat character in books.
Maria: I have two different opinions for that one. In a way I thought that it was good for them to develop trust. But in a way I was so mad because I couldn’t imagine being in Aimee’s shoes. I wouldn’t like it. Plus the girls are so different. I liked Cassidy a lot and she was fun to read about for sure. And I liked how she was so sure of herself, compared to reading about Aimee. I liked that she wasn’t a stick and she had confidence. I was happy that Sutter had a friend like her and that she supported his relationship with Aimee, but it would have been better if they hadn’t dated in the past and they wouldn’t have to hide their relationship from Aimee.
Marissa: I felt so bad for Aimee but I really admired Cassidy’s wisdom that she brought to the book. She was insightful and a break from Sutter’s attitude. I liked that she was fat as well.

What did you think of Sutter finding his dad?
Mackenzie: I expected more but they had no contact for so long that it wasn’t really a big shock that it didn’t work out.
Mallory: I kind of expected hi, to be just the way he was and I knew it wasn’t going to turn out well at all. It was a big deal for a few pages and then it was done.
Maria: I had a bad feeling about it. I wasn’t expecting it to work out either but I was hoping Sutter would learn something from it. It could have easily been left out of the story.
Marissa: I did not like the dad part. It didn’t add much to the story for me and I would have rather a relationship between his mom or his sister. It just annoyed me more than anything.

Did you like the way it was written?
Mackenzie: I really loved the way it was written. I just with I connected more to the characters.
Mallory: I loved the way it was written and found myself loling quite a bit. Everything feeling realistic was a major plus for me.
Maria: I liked that humour was thrown in there and found myself laughing out loud at times. I also liked that it was very realistic. The author clearly tried speaking to teenagers. Drinking is bad and it pretty much painted a picture of what its like to lose control and the consequences that it would bring.
Marissa: I like that the author made them seem like I was listening in on two real people having a conversation and not just characters written on paper. And there were a few really nice quotes that I found myself highlighting so thats always nice.

What did you rate in on Goodreads?
Mackenzie: ★★★★
Mallory: ★★★★
Maria: ★★★
Marissa: ★★★★

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