Hey guys! I can’t believe we are already at September! Time is flying by, my lovely readers! And so are these pages! I got a lot of reading done this month despite the circumstances surrounding the beginning of school, and I’m pretty happy with what I was able to get done. I’m not completely caught up with my reader goals, but hopefully I can keep up this momentum to get there! Let’s take a look at what I read this month! (MAJOR Spoiler Warnings!)
American Royals by Katharine McGee
Genre: Alternative History
Synopsis: What if America had a royal family?
When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.
As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling.
Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her.
And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.
Y’all, I was not expecting to like this as much as I did, but I just couldn’t put it down! I’m so glad I finally go around to reading it! It gave me serious The Selection (by Kiera Cass) vibes, which I think is what really pulled me in. Let me tell you, the drama is REAL with this book! There was literally six or so different relationships going on in this, and they range from love triangles to love squares. It’s just utter chaos, which I guess I should expect from American royalty!
The characters were great, but I honestly couldn’t ever pick a favorite for some reason. I feel like they could be a little flat at times, which was unfortunate. However, I really liked the development that some of them got, and the story between Beatrice and Conner is just sooo good!
What I found really surprising about this book was the emotional depth of it, the plotline between the king and Beatrice hit hard, and I won’t lie…it had me crying sometimes! Not to mention how much I agonized for these people to just choose what and who they wanted already! I mean, I know Beatrice didn’t really have a choice in the matter, but I just wanted her to be with Conner soooo bad!!!
I can’t wait to get into book two, Majesty!
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Final Fantasy: Type-0 by Hiroki Chiba
Synopsis: The cadets of Akademeia’s Class Zero are legends, with strength and magic unrivaled, and crimson capes symbolizing the great Vermilion Bird of the Dominion. But will their elite training be enough to keep them alive when a war breaks out and the Class Zero cadets find themselves at the front and center of a bloody political battlefield?!
This is going to be a short one, because I have pretty much non-existent thoughts about this. For a Final Fantasy story, it wasn’t at all memorable, and I couldn’t tell you a thing that happened in it. It was incredibly boring, which I found odd since it’s based on a game that overwhelmed me within a few minutes of the story. I believe I read this in less than an hour, and I promise I was paying deep attention to it. It just wasn’t all that worthy of that attention I guess!
There wasn’t really any incentive to grow attachments to any of the characters, and to be honest, I don’t remember most of their names. I believe that those who played the actual game might find more to love about it, but since the game also failed to keep me interested, I doubt the rest of this manga series succeeds in that.
Rating: 2/5 Stars
Mary Jones and Her Bible by Mary Emily Ropes
Synopsis: Heartwarming, real life story of Mary Jones, a young girl living in rural Wales in the late 1700s. Mary was a popular girl who loved her parents, worked hard and was keen to learn but most of all she longed to have a bible of her own. But Mary knew that bibles were hard to come by and if she was fortunate enough to find one, it would be expensive so her dearest wish looked as if it would be an impossible dream! An inspiring story of a young girl’s commitment to God and love for His word.
I read this in a day (the same day I read the Type-0 manga), and once again I was not that impressed. I think that it’s just very hard for me to like Lamplighter books. There might be two or three that are still in my good graces. Although this was based on a true story, I couldn’t get myself to, you know, actually like it. I have to admit that the beginning was all well and good, but I think the book went off on too many tangents. I think the book would have been much more likable if it had been written BY the actually girl it was about, but of course, maybe that wasn’t possible.
I know it’s a true story, but I found the way the characters were presented as distasteful. I get that in the days the Lamplighter books were written is was more popular for characters to be “perfect”. Nowadays, it’s obvious popular for the characters to be flawed and human now, so I guess that’s what my biggest problem was. Of course, again, this is a true story, so maybe these people really did act like that? Who’s to say?
The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Synopsis: As a dense yellow fog swirls through the streets of London, a deep melancholy has descended on Sherlock Holmes, who sits in a cocaine-induced haze at 221B Baker Street. His mood is only lifted by a visit from a beautiful but distressed young woman – Mary Morstan, whose father vanished ten years before. Four years later she began to receive an exquisite gift every year: a large, lustrous pearl. Now she has had an intriguing invitation to meet her unknown benefactor and urges Holmes and Watson to accompany her. And in the ensuing investigation – which involves a wronged woman, a stolen hoard of Indian treasure, a wooden-legged ruffian, a helpful dog and a love affair – even the jaded Holmes is moved to exclaim, ‘Isn’t it gorgeous!’
Again, I don’t have a lot of thoughts on this one, and I really couldn’t tell you much about what happens here. I love a good Sherlock Holmes, but this one was just…weird. All of the stories are weird to an extent, but, for some reason, this just didn’t feel like Sherlock Holmes. Clearly the great detective was having a bad time. He solved everything quickly and easily, but he just seemed off the entire time. Not to mention his…erm…addictions that are highlighted right when we jump into the story.
This is by no means my least favorite thing I read this month, but it’s really not near the top of my favorites list either. It’s just kinda there, really. I feel like so much random stuff went on, and the romantic plotline between Mary and Watson made zero sense, I’m sorry to say. It was just a very strange story, and I can’t rightly explain why.
However, it did manage to hold my attention, so I can give it that. Though it did become boring at times, I never actually felt like putting it down, and I finished it quickly. That’s always a plus for me!
Final Fantasy 7 The Kids Are Alright: A Turk’s Side Story by Kazushige Nojima
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Synopsis: A lot has changed the in two years since the Lifestream erupted, and a new city, Edge, has been born from the wreckage. There, a young man and woman run a private detective agency, but then they run into the infamous Turks of the Shinra Electric Power Company…
This one is actually a reread, which is both a good thing and a bad thing at least. On the good side, I got to read a book I really loved for a second time, but the bad side is that I didn’t read anything new. But oh well! I first read The Kids Are Alright back in 2019, and oh my gosh did I love this book! It is basically perfection, and I know not everyone feels that way about this book, but it’s a masterpiece in my eyes.
The thing I loved most about this book are obviously the characters. We get to see some familiar faces from the original Final Fantasy 7 game, but the story is told from the point-of-view of Evan Townshend. And if he isn’t a picture of a flawed protagonist, I don’t know what it. Reading it again I remembered just how much of a liar and a coward he is. But the funny thing is his flaws make him all the more lovable, if not a little frustrating at times. His interactions between the other characters, especially Kyrie, was just wonderful.
The icing on the cake for this book, in my opinion, is the complete nonsense of it. There were so many scenes that were so random, but they made this story feel real. This book is like going on an adventure through Midgar and Nibleheim and I am SO here for that. Nojima is an incredible author who can pull you into a story like no one I’ve ever seen before.
If you’re a fan of the video game, I highly recommend this!
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Dune by Frank Herbert
Genre: Science Fiction
Synopsis: Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…
When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.
I finally did it, guys! It took me a while, but I finally finished Dune! I have no idea why it took me so long to read this, because once I got into it it got hard to put it down. I didn’t really expect to love it as much as I did, so I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, it wasn’t as confusing as I thought it would be!
I have great respect for Frank Herbert. He poured everything he had into researching for his books and writing them. His son, Brian Herbert, wrote the Afterwards and tells the story of how Dune was written, and it was truly fascinating!
I see a lot of people say that they couldn’t finish Dune because it was too confusing or too boring. I can definitely see how it can be. Even for me, science fiction is hit or miss, and there were times I found myself bored with Dune. However, it was overall a thrill to read. I really enjoyed the plot, as it was clear that it was carefully crafted and written.
The characters could, at times, feel flat, though I don’t think it took away from the story. In fact, it is the characters that I love most about this book!
After reading this, I’m a little more nervous about the movie that’ll be coming out soon. I really want it to be good! Hopefully it can live up to Herbert’s masterpiece!
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
Synopsis: The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler—the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years—has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.
As Kelsier’s protégé and slayer of the Lord Ruler she is now venerated by a budding new religion, a distinction that makes her intensely uncomfortable. Even more worrying, the mists have begun behaving strangely since the Lord Ruler died, and seem to harbor a strange vaporous entity that haunts her.
Stopping assassins may keep Vin’s Mistborn skills sharp, but it’s the least of her problems. Luthadel, the largest city of the former empire, doesn’t run itself, and Vin and the other members of Kelsier’s crew, who lead the revolution, must learn a whole new set of practical and political skills to help. It certainly won’t get easier with three armies – one of them composed of ferocious giants – now vying to conquer the city, and no sign of the Lord Ruler’s hidden cache of atium, the rarest and most powerful allomantic metal.
As the siege of Luthadel tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.
I just finished this book (or audio book, in my case), so my thoughts on it are still fresh. Let’s begin with saying I AM RUINED. The character deaths, the betrayals, the surprises — it takes you for a wild ride, and it can be hard to hold on sometimes! If you read this, you know what kind of stuff I’m referring to, haha! It makes you think one thing is going to happen, and then it turns around and something completely unexpected will happen.
Like whatever the heck that ending was. I will say that I am thoroughly excited for the third and final book now that the characters have a new…er…advantage on their side. It was entirely unexpected, but certainly not unwanted, at least in my opinion.
Though I did enjoy this book, I can’t say it’s better than the first one. The first one will always be special to me, haha! Surprisingly, I only had one problem with book two, and that is the character of Zane. I feel like he was very much a plot device, and I still don’t really know how to feel about him and his fate. It felt like he had so much more potential. If you’ve read this, you know what I’m talking about.
Other than that, I was really surprised at the genius of this book. If you have not read this series yet, please do yourself a giant favor and pick it up!
That’s all of them, unfortunately. I was super close to getting ten books read this month, but I grew too tired to care. It’s kinda pitiful, considering that I’m only in the second week of the fall semester… ANYway, we can overlook that little detail, because I finally accomplished reading Dune, right?! I think I’m going to end up changing my reading goal, because reading is getting to be work instead of fun, and that’s exactly the thing I DIDN’T want to happen, so I’m going to have to do some sacrificing here. But hey, I already ditched my other new year’s goals, so what’s stopping me?
I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what you read this month in the comments below! As always, God bless y’all and have a wonderful week!
Synopses taken from Goodreads