September Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 8
September TBR Books Read: 3
Total Pages Read: 2,236
Total Hours Listened: 17 hours 15 minutes

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott – 4/5 – This was another slow-burning, character-driven book with tension that felt palpable. For me, the mark of a good thriller is something that has a few twists and turns that I can’t anticipate and this book managed to surprise me a number of times. I’m starting to really like the moody and atmospheric feel that Megan Abbott’s books seem to have and I’m looking forward to reading more from her in the future.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough – 4/5 – I’ll say straight up that this book had some supernatural elements to it, and if I did not know that was involved I think this would have been a disappointing read for me. Thankfully I knew something like that was potentially going to happen and I ended up really enjoying it. This book had a twist ending that I absolutely did not see coming, which was a lot of fun.

Into The Drowning Deep by Mira Grant – 3/5 – This was my audiobook for the month, and came highly recommended from a co-worker who has similar (spooky) taste to me. I enjoyed this, but not as much as I expected. I think this would translate well to film and be something that I would love to watch. This book had really great representation across the board which I think that will be appreciated by a lot of readers. As a side note, can we please put an end to non-Australian narrators attempting Australian accents? Thanks in advance.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – 4/5 – This book was so. much. fun. I had seen it hyped up around the internet a lot, so I am glad that it lived up to my expectations. I adored the main characters, the dialogue was believable (and funny), and the build-up of romantic tension was excellent. Basically, I could not put this book down, it was a real page-turner and I felt like I NEEDED to know what was going to happen. I highly recommend this if you’re in the mood for a fun romantic comedy.

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas – 3/5 – This book had so much promise. All of the cheerleaders in Sunnybrook have died? Things may not be as they seem? Sign me up! Unfortunately, this ended up being a middle of the road thriller for me and overall was just a bit… boring?

Beartown by Fredrick Backman – 5/5 – It took me a while to pick this up and get stuck into it, but when I did I ended up reading the whole thing over the course of a weekend. This was a great book. I went into it blind, all I really knew was that it involved hockey and was set in an isolated town. There were some great explorations on thought-provoking topics (TW: Rape), and had really well fleshed out characters who I felt helped to carry the heavier elements of the story. I was happy to see this book has been optioned for a TV series, I think it will translate really well to the screen.

September Book Haul

With Malice by Eileen Cook“When Jill wakes up in a hospital bed with her leg in a cast, the last six weeks of her life are a complete blank. All she has been told is that she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy and had to be jetted home to receive intensive care. Care that involves a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident… wasn’t just an accident. With no memory of what happened or what she did, can Jill prove her innocence? And can she really be sure that she isn’t the one to blame?”

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas“There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook. First there was the car accident–two girls dead after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know his reasons. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they’d lost. That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school… Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow, Monica is at the center of it all. There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.”

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter“Andrea Oliver knows everything about her mother Laura. She knows she’s always lived in the small town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Then one day, a trip to the mall explodes into a shocking act of violence and Andy suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Hours later, Laura is in hospital, her face splashed over the newspapers. But the danger has only just begun. Now, Andy must go on a desperate race to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past. Unless she can, there may be no future for either of them…”

Audio Book Haul – September

A Storm Of Swords by George R. R. Martin“Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world… But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others–a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords…”

Out Of Beat by Cassandra Giovanni – “Danny ‘Madman’ Maddox isn’t supposed to make Skylar Haze’s heart beat out of rhythm. At least not anymore. She hasn’t seen that boyish face, always covered in a five o’clock shadow, dimpled smile and teasing hazel eyes since the day he left to go on tour with her brother Joey’s band. Now with a major record label backing them the band is in need of a bit of help, and when Joey asks Skylar to be the band’s photographer, she can’t help but say yes. Of course, Joey doesn’t know about that forbidden kiss. The one Skylar hopes Danny’s forgotten. But can she? One smile and she finds herself slipping again. But he’s the drummer, and he’s beaten her heart before. And she won’t let it happen again.”

August Empties

Paula’s Choice Hydralight Moisture-Infusing Lotion – I’ve been through quite a lot of these hydralight lotions, and it’s safe to say they are my favourite from the Paula’s Choice range of day moisturisers. This is a great product to use year-round if you have normal skin. It does a great job of hydrating while being nice and lightweight, and I find that it sinks into the skin really easily. I’m still not a huge fan of the scent (a bit like what I imagine a sea cucumber would smell like), but at this point I think I’m just used to it.

Paula’s Choice Hydralight Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner – Similarly to the lotion, I’ve been through a large number of these toners, and they’re definitely one of my favourites. This is also a product that works well year-round if you have normal skin. As with most toners, I don’t notice a huge difference in my skin when using this, but my face always felt nicely refreshed and that’s good enough for me.

Glasshouse Candle in Montego Bay – It took me about six months to burn through this candle, I know this because I ordered a few when I first moved from Perth to Adelaide. This candle was in my office, and I would burn it in the afternoons while I worked or when I would sit in my reading chair on weekends. This remains one of my favourite fragrances from Glasshouse, the combination of coconut and lime is nice and bright and smells really refreshing.

Jergens Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Moisturiser – This has been kicking around in my cupboard for quite a while now, and it was nice to finally use it up. I love this as a body moisturiser, it feels rich and nourishing on the skin and the shea butter fragrance was lovely. Unfortunately Jergen are not cruelty-free, so I will not be repurchasing this and will be making a conscious effort to seek out a cruelty-free product instead.

Firebird Perfume Oil in Almond Milk – This is an old-school product for me — I’ve had this sitting in my perfume collection for YEARS because I didn’t want to finish it. Because I’ve been working from home this year I haven’t been wearing as much perfume, and when I did want to wear a fragrance I would reach for this because it was lovely and subtle. This has reignited my interest in these perfume oils, and I’m planning on browsing Etsy at some stage in the near future to see what is currently available.

[sample] Tatcha Violet-C Mask – My friend Caitlin had been raving about this mask for ages, so I picked up a sample when I was shopping at Mecca recently. I absolutely love this mask. So much so that I purchased a full-size version after using up this sample. I highly recommend checking this out if you’re in the market for a brightening mask that will help even out your skintone.

[sample] SK-II R.N.A Power – This was a sample that came with my recent Adore Beauty order, and I was excited to try my first ever SK-II product. I liked this as a day cream, but it was nothing groundbreaking for me and certainly nothing that I could justify the price tag for.

Latest Library Loans – September

Beartown by Fredrik Backman“In a large Swedish forest Beartown hides a dark secret… Cut-off from everywhere else it experiences the kind of isolation that tears people apart. And each year more and more of the town is swallowed by the forest. Then the town is offered a bright new future. But it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. Who will speak up? Could you stand by and stay silent? Or would you risk everything for justice? Which side would you be on?”

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang“t’s high time for Stella Lane to settle down and find a husband – or so her mother tells her. This is no easy task for a wealthy, successful woman like Stella, who also happens to have Asperger’s. Analyzing data is easy; handling the awkwardness of one-on-one dates is hard. To overcome her lack of dating experience, Stella decides to hire a male escort to teach her how to be a good girlfriend. Faced with mounting bills, Michael decides to use his good looks and charm to make extra cash on the side. He has a very firm no repeat customer policy, but he’s tempted to bend that rule when Stella approaches him with an unconventional proposal. The more time they spend together, the harder Michael falls for this disarming woman with a beautiful mind, and Stella discovers that love defies logic.”

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison“Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden. In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees… and a collection of precious “butterflies”–young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens. When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself. As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…”