What Happened to September?

The worst thing you can do to jinx yourself is to say “Look at all of my consistent content! I’ll definitely keep this going!” Because it never happens. You never keep it going. Life gets in the way, and September is a really good example of that.

So, what happened to September? Two things.

  1. I didn’t read anything

  2. I made a decision.

Let’s start with the first one, and this is going to be a bit of a story. At the end of August, the last book that I had read was To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. At the time of that post, I had given the book four stars. I’ve since lowered that rating to 3. I started the second book at the end of last month, and had planned on completing the full trilogy right at the beginning of September.

That didn’t happen.

The second book in the series, PS I Still Love You was hard for me to get through. This is tough to explain, but I’ll do my best.

I read Jenny Han’s first series, The Summer I Turned Pretty, back in 2015. It was fine. They were okay books, and I was in a car with my family driving through Texas, so I was mostly using them to pass the time. I would never go back and read them again, or take any grand message from them, but they were just okay.

My biggest problem with that series was that they felt mostly immature. The main character was focused on how other people perceived her. Personally, I didn’t align too well with that message, and I found it a bit draining through the series. The sentences felt choppy and didn’t seem to connect to each other well, and it felt like the author was telling me about the characters, not showing me who they were.

With all of the buzz surrounding the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before movie on Netflix, and after seeing a lot of rave reviews from people I know and people whose opinions I typically align with, I decided to give this next trilogy a try.

The first book was fine, but in the back of my mind, something felt off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but it seemed like my complaints from the last Jenny Han books I had read were rising to the surface. I finished the first book, and started the second, and those feelings doubled. I found myself not wanting to read, and putting off reading entirely, to the point that it’s now the 27th of September, and I have not read a single word.

So I tried to think about why this was, and I came to a conclusion. Contemporary YA with romance is not for me. I’ve been trying to force myself to read in this genre for so long and it just isn’t my style. I like characters with bite and substance, and I haven’t found any in this genre.

This is not me saying that this genre is terrible, or that anyone who reads it is immature, but I’ve just realized that it’s not for me anymore. So what do I like? I know that I like fantasy. I like character and plot driven stories. I do not like historical fiction, typically, unless it has some sort of magical element to it. I know that I like books which have politics and elemental magic, and that if they’re set in the desert I’m 100% on board.

September was a lesson in looking at my tastes and reevaluating them. I’m not in the typical YA demographic anymore. These books about high school romance aren’t targeted towards me, and it’s unrealistic for me to expect them to be.

I’ve decided to mark PS I Still Love you as my second DNF (did not finish) of the year, which is kind of sad for me. Maybe I’ll go back to it in the future, but I seriously doubt it.

Next month is going to be exciting. I have two vacations lined up, a bunch of books I want to get through, and I might possibly participate in a readathon, but I make no promises. I’m looking forward to getting out of this reading slump and back into some stories that I can really sink my teeth into.

-Siobhan

August Recap

Look at me! Two whole months in a row of consistent content! I think I finally hit a groove, it just took me seven months to get to this point. Scheduling posts in advance and posting them every Friday at noon has given me a nice schedule. I’m going to try and continue this trend for the rest of the year, and maybe even branch out into additional content as we round out 2018 and head into the new year. We’ll see!

For now, let’s talk about the things that I read in August!

I read 9 books this month, keeping myself ahead of schedule and bringing my total so far to 39 books for the year. This month I took part (unofficially) in Booktubathon to kick off my month. I read a full series (which I have a review for) a dramatic, heart wrenching contemporary, a fluffier contemporary, and a young adult thriller. 

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley – August 1st
★★★★☆

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – August 1st – 2nd
★★★★☆

Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness – August 2nd
★★★★☆

Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together – August 2nd
★★★★☆

Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe – August 2nd
★★★★☆

Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour – August 2nd
★★★★☆

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – August 10th – 12th
★★★★☆

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus – August 13th
★★★★☆

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – August 28th – 29th
★★★★☆

I also wanted to include a little bit of the books that I want to try and get to during September. Making TBRs always feels really restrictive to me, because I feel like I can’t branch out and read whatever I’m in the mood for. I’m putting a full disclaimer on this TBR that I may not get to any of these, but I’m hoping to. We’ll see, a lot of them are books I’ve been trying to get to all year.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

To be completely honest, if I get through The Way of Kings I’ll be super impressed with myself. I’m far enough ahead that even if that’s the only book that I read this month I’ll still be okay.

I have a review coming out for one of these books next week, any guesses for what it might be?

-Siobhan