Recent Reads, September 2022

When I look at the number of books that I read in September, it’s a little bit misleading. It looks like I had a pretty good month for reading, but in reality, I read 3 of those books over a very chill Labor Day weekend! I’ve just been so exhausted that it’s been much easier to watch TV instead of reading. I know there are quite a few books coming out in the next few months that I’m excited for, though, so I think that will help me.

With that being said, here’s what I read in September.

Year of the Tiger by Alice Wong

Alice Wong is one of my disability activist heroes, so I was obviously incredibly excited to read her memoir. I really loved learning more about her, her life, and the truly amazing things that she’s done. The way she set up the memoir was really fun, too – it had a variety of formats. She included some more traditional essay chapters, some transcripts of interviews that she’d done in the past, and some illustrations and graphics. It made it more immersive to read, and also felt like it gave some real perspective into Alice as a person, and her personality. I’m so glad that she decided now was the right time to write a memoir.

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

This is the final book in The Inheritance Games trilogy, which is one of my favorite YA series in recent years – it’s kind of like a modern-day version of The Westing Game. I won’t lie, this book was probably my least favorite of the last three, but I was still excited to see how everything played out. Basically, the whole story centers around a high school girl, Avery, who finds out that she’s been named in the will of a millionaire who has just died. The inheritance comes wrapped up in a mystery, and Avery is racing to find out why she was named in the will and what her connection to the Hawthorne family is – all with a healthy dose of high school love triangle, too. The whole series is just so much fun that I am willing to forgive the story for not ending the way I wanted it to!

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

This is one of those books where I think you shouldn’t judge it by the description on the inside flap, because I loved it so much more than I thought I would! Florence is a ghostwriter for a super popular romance novelist, but is having a major case of writer’s block after going through a terrible breakup. In a bit of irony, not only is Florence a ghostwriter, but she can also see ghosts – something that she inherited from her father. When something happens that send her back to her hometown, she finds herself talking to a ghost (and becoming friends… or more) for the first time in years and confronting some “ghosts” in the form of high school tragic memories, too. If ghost romances aren’t your thing, don’t be dissuaded – there was a twist I wasn’t expecting, and it ended up being a very cute book! I know it came out over the summer, but it seems perfect for October reading.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

Another book that’s perfect to read in the fall! I read this on Hitha’s recommendation and think I finished it in a day – it’s so cozy and perfect, and I think you’ll enjoy it even if you’re not a fan of fantasy or magic. Mika is a witch who lives a very isolated life, spending most of her time hiding her magic because that’s what she’s told she has to do. But she also posts videos online of her doing magic, where she can get away with it since everyone thinks she’s pretending. Except… one person doesn’t think she’s pretending, and asks her to come teach magic to three young witch children who need to learn how to use – and control – their powers under a very tight timeline. She agrees, and slowly but surely learns what it’s like to have friends and people who care about you for the first time in a very long time. I’m not sure I’m doing the best job describing this book, but I highly recommend it!!

Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan

This story has all the trappings of a perfect rom-com – Nora is a screenwriter for those stereotypical Hallmark Channel movies and knows how to write the perfect meet cute and storyline for falling in love. In her real life, though, she’s recently been left by her husband and turned her disaster of a marriage into a very different kind of screenplay. The movie based on her life comes to her house to film for a weekend, something she doesn’t love but can’t pass up because of the paycheck that comes along with the few days of filming. One of the actors starring in the film is a legitimate heartthrob, and when filming ends, he stays… offering an extra $1,000 if he can spend a week there. You might be able to guess where this is headed! But what I love is that the story deftly sidestepped a lot of the typical romance book tropes while still turning out to be a really satisfying love story. I finished this one in about a day, too, and it’s great if you want a sweet, quick read.

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales

I got an ARC of this book through NetGalley – it comes out on November 29, 2022. If you’ve ever watched The Bachelor and wondered what it would be like if two of the contestants ended up falling for each other, this is the book for you! Maya and Sky are both exes of Jordy, who has risen to fame recently after his sister married a prince of a (fictional) European country. With his newfound fame, he’s decided to star in a new reality show called Second Chance Romance – he’ll bring a group of his exes together and the winner will get a second chance at romance with him. Maya holds a huge grudge against Jordy after he broke his heart by cheating on her with Sky, and only agrees to go on the show because she wants to get the chance to turn him down. Sky goes on the show open to rekindling her relationship with Jordy, believing Jordy’s version of things that Maya is the stereotypical “crazy ex-girlfriend” and he never cheated. Shortly after filming starts, though, Maya is able to prove Jordy did cheat, and Sky joins in on Maya’s plan to turn the public against Jordy. But when Maya and Sky start to spend a lot of time together plotting, they do find that sparks start to fly… just not with Jordy! This was so cute and fun.

Token Black Girl by Danielle Prescod

I got an ARC of this memoir through NetGalley, but it’s available now! I didn’t really know much about Danielle Prescod before reading this, but I saw so many people across Instagram sharing this book so I was intrigued enough to read it, and I’m so glad I did. Danielle grew up as one of the only Black girls in a wealthy, predominately white community, and spent much of her life adapting and hiding to fit this ideal. She went on to work in fashion, where she continued to do much of the same – try to hide herself and change to fit the mold of an overwhelmingly skinny, white industry. She became the “token black girl” everywhere she went, enduring microaggressions and racism for years. But when she decided she didn’t want to live like that anymore, she had to confront her own demons and realities. It’s a really honest look at herself and her life, and it’s really compelling to read.

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