TBRs and Wrap ups

November 2019 Wrap Up // A cake, a car, and characters I loved

November was pretty busy for me so I only read two out of the five planned books on my TBR. But, I did set it as a ‘loose’ TBR, and I read a couple of other books instead. I’m still reading the third book of the original five, and the fourth and fifth I’m hoping to get to soon.

Books cover

44824667. sx318 Don’t Date Rosa Santos // 4 stars //  I was hoping for a fun, wholesome YA romance with this book and I got so, so much more. Don’t Date Rosa Santos deals with themes of identity, diaspora, family tensions, absent parents, college decisions, and cultural heritage. Rosa is charismatic, smart, and level-headed, and I loved listening to her narrate the trials and tribulations of her life on audio. (The audiobook narrator is great.)

There’s soft romance, town festivals, brujeria, and a matriarchal family with the strongest of bonds. There’s also incredible sadness woven into this book and Rosa’s feelings of grief spoke to me in a way I wasn’t expecting. Basically, this book exceeded all my expectations and I’m so glad I picked it up.

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Daisy Jones and the Six // 4 stars // I borrowed this off my aunt back in June, and then two days before I was supposed to meet up with her realised I hadn’t read it. I had no excuse so I picked it up and finished it in two days.

I really enjoyed the interview format and I liked the fact that every character was an unreliable narrator. The characters themselves, I didn’t really warm to (apart from Camilla), but I think that’s the whole point. They’re all selfish and wrapped up in their own fame, and the book slowly uncovers how this affects everyone around them.

The world-building offered an intense, corrosive, and guttural view of the 70s rock music scene. The treatment of women really struck me because all three of the female main characters were decisive, strong-willed, and powerful, but they were also all hindered by society’s view of the women at the time, even though they were constantly striving to stay outside of the boxes people tried to put them in. Overall, I really enjoyed this, but I low-key can’t believe I ended up reading it before Evelyn Hugo.

43466612. sy475 Goddess of the Hunt // 3 stars // This is a poetry collection about the goddess Artemis as she grows into her role as a warrior and protector.

It’s written from her own perspective and the perspective of other goddesses and explores her feelings of asexuality and aromanticism. I really liked the concept of the collection, but I found the poems to be a little hit-or-miss. Some are powerful and lyrical, but others don’t hold the same wow factor.

Regardless of this, I did really enjoy how central asexuality was to the collection and Artemis is one of the more well-known gods, but she still doesn’t get a lot of air-time compared to Zeus, Athena, Poseidon and others. So it was great to read a whole book about her.

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The Sky Weaver // 5 stars // WHAT A WAY TO END THE SERIES.

I loved this so much. It’s f/f, it’s action-packed, it’s filled with dragons and otherworldly magic, and all my favourite characters are back to save the day. (I love Safire and Asha so much.)

It was an adventure from start to finish and I had a stupidly huge grin on my face (in the middle of a cafe) as I turned the last page. Props to Kristen Ciccarelli for writing one of the best companion trilogies I’ve ever read.

Check out my full review here.

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Courting Darkness // 3.5 stars // I started this months ago, and for some reason I put it down and left it for a while. I picked it back up on audiobook a few weeks ago and I don’t remember why I put it down because it’s really good.

I love the blend of fantasy and historical fiction and I enjoyed the dual perspectives of Genevieve and Sybella, who are both initiates of the Convent of Saint Mortan (which basically makes them assassins). Their fight scenes (with solders/other men, not with each other) were golden.

The only thing that stopped me from giving this book a higher rating is that I sensed I was meant to know a lot of the characters and world-building nuances from the previous trilogy. But I haven’t read them, so a lot of these subtleties were lost on me. This isn’t really a fault of the book, more my own fault for not reading Grave Mercy, but it still detracted from my enjoyment of the story in the beginning.

This month's posts.jpg

In November, I posted about books I’ve recently taken off my TBR because it was time for a spring clean (in winter).

I also posted two reviews?! (I know, right.) I reviewed The Sky Weaver for the Gollancz blog tour and I finally reviewed The Princess and the Fangirl.

For Top Ten Tuesday one week, I also looked at the ways my reading life has changed, which was fun to explore.

Life Updates

A milestone?

The reason November was busy for me is because I was practising for my driving test, which I passed!

I can’t describe how happy and relieved I was when the examiner handed me that slim piece of paper that tells you you’re fully qualified. It was such a good feeling, especially because I didn’t fully believe I’d pass first time and then I did???

So then the hunt for a car began. I quickly decided on the make and model I wanted (a Ford Feista, same as what I’d learned in) and it was just a case of finding one with low mileage that wasn’t too expensive.

After about two weeks, my Dad found one that looked promising, so we went one Sunday and test drove it. Everything about it was ideal, but I’m not one to rush into a big decision, so I slept on it. The next day, I realised how much I’d liked it and how disappointed I’d have been if someone else bought it.

So I bought the car.

It’s been just over a week and I still can’t believe I own a car. Every time I say the words ‘my car’ they almost don’t feel real. Even though it’s just been a week, having a car has completely changed my life.

I have more freedom to come and my commute has literally halved (I leave the house an hour later and still get to work to start at the same time, and I get home 50 minutes early in the evening). It’s so refreshing to be able to rely on myself more.

Events/Occasions

My sister’s birthday was also in November and I went to visit her with my parents. We took all her birthday presents and my Mum baked the most delicious vegan birthday cake for her.

It was two chocolate sponges, sandwiched by salted caramel icing and topped with dark chocolate icing. Friends, I ascended.

My Mum and I also went to Leeds to meet up with family for a day trip. It rained for most of the day, but my aunts and Grandma took me into Waterstones and literally said ‘pick what you’d like for Christmas’. It was heavenly.

What did you read in November? Did you get up to anything exciting?

Until next time,KateNEW

4 thoughts on “November 2019 Wrap Up // A cake, a car, and characters I loved

  1. Congrats on passing your driver’s exam!! I remember how relieved I was when I did, but I still don’t have a car haha I haven’t even been behind a wheel for 3 years or so, but yay for you!!!

  2. Congrats on passing your test – and having your own car! I passed about ten years ago (eep!) and still drive my parents car! It sounds like you’ve had a really positive month. I’m also feeling behind on where I want to be with reading but hoping to catch up with myself this month if I can!

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