September: My Reading Month!

What I’ve Read!

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher

Book #8 of The Dresden Files

Rating: 3 out of 5.

So, here’s the thing. My partner decided to pick up this series and has since made it a competition. It’s been over a decade since I’ve touched this series, so I knew I had to re-read everything. Over the past few months, I’ve sporadically picked up the series and swiftly moved on to other books to prevent burnout.

However, our competition has gone off the rails. My partner is nearly at the end and is gloating, and I, the supreme house bookworm, refuse to be bested! I’ve been devouring this series. It turns out that equal parts nostalgia and being competitive are incredibly good motivators!

This book, unfortunately, was not my favorite. When you have a series that goes on as long as The Dresden Files, it’s almost inevitable that there are going to be some that aren’t as strong. Proven Guilty felt like far too much action with not-so-excellent pacing.

Christmas in Sweetheart Springs by Monique Brasher, Brooke Burton, and Kimberly Hanson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was an incredibly cute anthology! I was beyond happy to be on the ARC team and can’t wait to see where the authors go with their stories from here! You can check out my review if you want to see my full thoughts!

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

Book #1 of The Sandsea Trilogy

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I finally got around to reading this big mama-jama. It had everything I could have asked for in a fantasy novel. I fell madly, truly, and deeply in love with this book. I can’t wait to write a full, proper review! Keep your eyes peeled for my fawning in superfan. Because it’s happening.

Sharp Horns on the Moon by Carole Crowe

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I was gifted this book by my person. They said that it was that book—the one that made them fall in love with reading. I was nervous to pick it up solely because I was worried I wouldn’t like it. But, I loved this book. I loved it so much more than I could have imagined. It’s creepy, a bit sad, mysterious, and atmospheric, all wrapped up in a little over 100 pages! I am so looking forward to writing a review for this one!

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My person has me on a Sarah Addison Allen kick lately. It started with The Sugar Queen and has since moved on to this. I haven’t read much magical realism in the past few years, and Allen’s writing makes me wistful for the days when that was almost exclusively what I read. I am enamored with Allen’s writing style and ability to weave stories together. Any author who can master multiple POV has my respect. I now have every intention of picking up as many books by this author as I can. Fortunately enough, my partner seems keen to help fund my endeavor!

White Knight by Jim Butcher

Book #8 of The Dresden Files

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The one thing that I have always loved about The Dresden Files is Butcher’s ability to keep track of his world’s history. Not just that, but the actual phonebook of characters he has. Every character, every mystery, every story is memorable. I still struggle with the excessively drawn-out action sequences but the pacing for this book was far better.

I have been struggling to find the right place to put this disclaimer. Here seems like a good place, but it applies to the series as a whole. I also struggle with the hyper-sexualization of every woman Dresden encounters. Don’t get me wrong, Butcher paints a vivid portrait of how much of a chauvinist Dresden is. Chauvinism that the main character often justifies as chivalry mind you. It has shades of Stephen King’s “she breasted boobily over the breast-shaped mountains” despite the women being strong enough to carry the story on their own. It’s a case of “chauvinist character, but not-chauvinistic author” which makes me feel… strange. I will also say that this series would not pass sensitivity readers. There are some racially insensitive/typecasting tropes/narrative throughout the book. I’m hoping, as I read on, that these themes become less present.

Small Favor by Jim Butcher

Book #10 of The Dresden Files

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I feel like you’re going to keep hearing the same things from me! I truly did enjoy the storytelling in Small Favor. I love the fallen angel plotline (though, the book it’s introduced to us is my least favorite in the series), so I was particularly engaged with this book! However, the rolling action sequences can make things feel incredibly dense. As much as I hate to say it, it sometimes feels… well, a little boring. It was around this time that I started to suspect the early stages of burn-out were getting to me…

Written In The Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

Book #1 of Written In The Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Love, love, love, love, love. I loved this book. I loved everything about it. I can’t wait to write a full review so I can squeak in overly sentimental! If you love slowburns, fake relationship tropes, and lesfic, this is the book for you!

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

Book #11 of The Dresden Files

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I absolutely adored Turn Coat. It was a breath of fresh air after the others. The story was allowed to breathe. We experienced better pacing in this story. Which, again, as it bears repeating, was such a treat. There was a great deal of personal growth in this story, more than in the others. Which was nice, given that the formula that Butcher writes by was leaving Harry’s personal development feeling a bit stale. I’m hoping that the rest of the books continue with the upward trajectory!

Changes by Jim Butcher

Book #12 of the Dresden Files

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This story absolutely gutted me. We see a resolution to a long-term plotline that gave Harry (and us, the readers) closure. But, holy heck, did it hurt. A lot. And the ending is the worst cliffhanger you could image.

What I’ll Be Reviewing!

  • The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah
  • Sharp Horns on the Moon by Carole Crowe
  • The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleure

What I Would Like To Read Next Month

The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

But most importantly, some spooky reads!

I’m going to try and keep myself open during the month of October to read some spooky mood-reads. I’ve felt a bit structured the past few months, so I imagine a small reprieve is needed!

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