Read in October

Yup, this reading round-up is a little late again this month but hey, I lead a very busy life and we had some big personal life stuff to deal with right in the middle of October which meant I didn’t do that much reading anyways but oh well…

I do admit that because I’ve not been reading as much recently I’m feeling a little worried about making my target for this year – although I have in theory reached it because I hit my original target in July and then decided to increase it… silly me. It’s been a busy time around these parts with some last minute trips to different parts of the country, my work hours increasing with Black Friday and Christmas and then we’ve only gone and decided to adopt a cat this month. Yep, it’s been pretty mental.

To make matters even worse the first book I got into this month was not only quite a long one, but the end to a series I’ve struggled to get into since day one and I’ve been only reading it to really give the series a chance but I just couldn’t concentrate on it. Luckily the other two books were short and interesting reads so I zoomed through them and I started to feel like I had my reading mojo back – just in time for the warm cosy nights of winter.

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Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Oh I really don’t know where to even start with giving my review of this book because even though there were some highlights of this novel, the whole series just kinda annoyed me. You know when you start getting into a book and all you can think about is how it has all the ingredients for something that you should like and you just don’t? Yup, that’s me with the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.

In this book, the last in the series, we follow Karou as she works her way out of being slap bang in the middle of an inter-species and an inter-dimensional war between angels and monsters. There are perhaps many more people who can give this series a better explanation than I but I got so wrapped up in how difficult it was for me to follow that I’m finding it quite difficult to do it justice. I actually had to Google what happened in the previous two books because it had been that long since I’d read them and I was still confused. I dunno, maybe I just lost the thread somewhere along the way and never picked it up again.

Grievances aside this book was much better than the previous two for readability, I remember getting pretty annoyed that during the second book the chapters were so short and jumped around the timelines and settings so much that I put it down for two months before finishing. I could actually follow this one without getting lost and that’s still during the two weeks it took me to finish. Overall it was a good end to a series but I still had to force myself to finish it for the sake of shelf space.

When I turned the last page I nearly cried in relied because I’d finally finished the series – I just wish I’d enjoyed it more.

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Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

A very long time ago now one of my old work colleagues was banging on about the first book and I didn’t see the fuss until this year when I was searching for some horror to read and I ended up buying Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and then completed the saga with the other two after watching the film at the cinema. Seeing Tim Burton’s adaption helped bring the characters back to life for me so I set about reading Hollow City with renewed vigour and I loved it. My mind is refreshed with the world and I can really see my favourite characters properly now, which is rare after seeing a cinema adapted because they usually get it all wrong instead.

The book is a break from the surroundings of the first because now Jacob and the gang are on the run from the nasties whilst trying to help Miss Peregrine who has been permanently transformed into bird form through injury so the children are left without their mentor and very little help to get to safety. I haven’t quite figured out where the moral of the story is because there’s a lot of history of the peculiar children’s origins that we haven’t been told yet and I want to know why the adults are running around catching the children for their own gain.

There was a decent twist near the end that leads into the third book of which I’m reading now but the adventure is kinda exhausting to read because these guys can’t seem to catch a break and rest up from all the running and swerving of dangers. I’ll get back to you on how the trilogy pans out but it’s looking good so far, and a perfect horror read for this time of year too with Halloween not being that long ago.

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The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink

Be prepared to feel really down in the dumps about this true story. I saw this book everywhere in the summer about Cathy who’s brother is involved in a tragic road accident as a teenager and how herself and her family deal with his care until they decide together to discontinue the treatment that is prolonging his life. This is a real heartbreaker and even though it didn’t make me cry like it might some readers, it really made me feel for it’s author who I felt has been floating in a bubble of depression and guilt for all her life because of her brother’s accident.

Cathy and her brother were very close and you can tell that he was the light of her life until he was injured. Her whole life onwards from the night he was knocked over is focused around her brother because even though he has a very bad brain injury herself and her parents do truly believe that one day he is going to recover and be the normal young man he once was – but sadly this really isn’t the case. Matty’s injuries were far too severe for a complete recovery and they come to the conclusion to stop his care because he is generally living an uncomfortable and painful life to let him pass away peacefully instead, but this is years after raising him and caring for him.

Even though Cathy is encouraged by parents who are loving and supportive of their surviving child there is still a massive hole in Cathy’s life punched through by her sibling because even though he’s still alive, it is very much like he’s dead already but his condition prolongs their grieving process for the longest time. It’s only when Matty does die that she seems to embrace her life without the feeling of responsibility for her brother who’s shell is surviving but soul is no longer there.

Read this if you want a real-life account of a tragedy or if you remember the reports yourself and want to understand how the family coped after such an awful accident.

Have you read any of the books in the round-up? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments.