September 26, 2012

RTW: Best Book of September

Road Trip Wednesday is a 'Blog Carnival' where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic. 

This week's topic:
What was the best book you read in September?

Guys? This month has been an epic reading fail, I'm ashamed to say. I'm taking stock of what the heck I did for the entire month of September, and I have no really good answers. I had an eight-book lead on my Goodreads Reading Challenge that has probably been whittled down to two at this point. Because I've only read a whopping 2.5 books this month. O.o 
 
Shame: I has it.

So what did I read during the month of September? And of this piddly total, which was my favourite?

1) Something Strange and Deadly - Susan Dennard

Big confession: I did not love this book. I didn't dislike it, but it didn't wow me. After reading everyone's glowing recommendations, I was prepared to jump in and not be able to put it down. Sadly, putting it down was far easier than I'd hoped. What drew me to the story was the Steampunk element, but what pulled me out of it was the zombie thing. Turns out I'm just not into them (This Is Not a Test was also not a fave). I recently read the first two books in Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series, and she weaves Victorian era setting details into her stories seamlessly. SSaD's details felt too intentional for me, if that makes sense. Verdict: It wasn't my cup of tea, but it will definitely be someone's (many people's) 'drink of choice'.


2)  Lock and Key - Sarah Dessen

This was my first foray into Sarah Dessen territory, and I have to say, I'll be hopping on this train with gusto. There's a reason Dessen has so many fans, and I should have listened to their ravings sooner. Right from the first page I was drawn in by the writing and by MC Ruby's (that totally just made me think of MC Hammer) story. Ruby is dealing with tough issues, but I never felt that this bogged down the book in any way. It had all the right stuff (now I'm thinking about NKOTB), and henceforth I'll be adding Sarah Dessen's books to my TBR list by the truckload.

3)  The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

So I'm only halfway through this one, but I think it's safe to say that it will end up being my favourite September read. This is another one of those books that everyone raved about, but for whatever reason (genre, prohibitive price...) I ignored their ravings. Turns out I need to start listening when everybody everywhere is into a book. The atmosphere, the writing, the setting details, the colour palette (that sounds weird, but it's true), the atmosphere, the atmosphere. Oh, and did I mention the atmosphere? So, so rich and magical. I'm not done, but the verdict is already in: Love it.


How about you? What was your favourite read this month?


31 comments:

  1. I haven´t read this Sarah Dessen´s book but I´m definitely adding it to my list...I love her writing! :D
    When it comes to SSD, for me it was a slow beginning and then I was hooked but I think sometimes, it just doesn´t work (it´s like a relationship in a way :D) --> my relationship with SSD was a slow friendship, yours was more a "huh, hmm nice but no need to call me again" :D
    Anyways...I haven´t read THE NIGHT CIRCUS yet but I need to add it to my TBR :D

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    1. I like reading a variety of books, so it's nice to find another author whose stuff I like (Sarah Dessen). Even within contemporary there are so many different types! As for SSaD, I think I might give it away in Rock the Drop next year or do a giveaway on my blog or something. I don't think I'll read more in the series, so someone else might as well enjoy it. :)

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  2. Haven't heard of Lock and Key before. Gonna add to my TBR list.
    SSD doesn't catch my attention enough, you know. I wanted to read because the author is super nice, but I don't think I'll like it. *shrugs* I'll only know if I try, right?
    Same goes for The Night Circus. Been hearing awesome things about it, but not sure it's my kinda story.
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I always feel terrible when I don't love a book by an author I think is pretty cool. I really wanted to like SSaD, but we just weren't a good pairing.

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  3. I've been wanting to read Something Strange and Deadly. But maybe I just love zombies :) As far as Lock and Key goes, I just don't read much contemporary. But I may have to check it out.

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    1. I wasn't much of a contemporary fan until about a year ago, and even now I'll read one only every few books. I much prefer sci-fi and fantasy usually. But if you like zombies, you might like this one. :)

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  4. I think I'd like to read Lock and Key. Contemporary has grown on me over the past few months in surprising ways.

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    1. It has grown on me too, so it's always nice to find a new (to me) author. Especially one who already has so many books out! :)

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  5. It's funny I really DISLIKE Lock and Key. I'm partial to Dessen's older work - SOMEONE LIKE YOU, DREAMLAND, THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER, KEEPING THE MOON, THAT SUMMER - that by the time I got to JUst Listen and Lock and Key I felt "meh" I still read her books but I'm not in love with them as I once was. I think her older stuff is more raw, real and less fluffy. *shrug* Def pick up DREAMLAND.

    I have yet to read NIGHT CIRCUS but everyone keeps talking about it......even my aunt!!!! Guess I gotta pick that one up, huh? :-)

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    1. I'll definitely have to get to DREAMLAND and other Dessen books. I had no basis of comparison between LOCK AND KEY and her other works, so I just enjoyed it for what it was. Thanks for the recommendations! :)

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  6. I'd like to read all of those. I read GONE GIRL this month, and if psychopaths are ever your thing, then you will love it. But this was a slow reading month for me, at least in terms of fiction.
    Love the new picture in the sidebar, BTW!

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    1. You are not the first person to mention GONE GIRL today, and I made sure to add it to my Goodreads TBR list. I really should make sure I'm branching out and reading other stuff than what I usually migrate to. If you and Katy both recommend something then I think I need to listen. :)

      Thanks for your compliment of my profile pic too. :)

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  7. I've read two or three Dessen books and got super into each one while I was reading it--but I could not tell you which ones they were if you offered me a million bucks. I know I'd enjoy her others if I went back for them, but I can barely keep up with all the other books people are talking about! I feel like I got a good understanding of what she does well, though. (Actually, if I wind up pursuing the contemporary project I abandoned a few years ago, I will definitely go back for more Sarah Dessen.)

    I liked SSaD, but (SPOILER ALERT) I was disappointed with the sudden and permanent turn in the romantic plot about 2/3 of the way through. I'm always a sucker for the boring nice guy over the adventurous wild guy, and this REALLY didn't go so well for the guy I liked. I may pick up the sequel, because I liked Eleanor and the historical setting, but I'll see what my TBR pile looks like when it comes out :)

    And THE NIGHT CIRCUS has vaguely been on my list for a while, along with a few other novels for adults...but I have so much YA to read!!! (I'm already thinking about setting up new and different parameters for my 2013 reading, because 2012 is just like a runaway train of ALL THE YA I CAN GET MY HANDS ON!!!)

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    1. I hear you on the too many books thing. My TBR stack just gets bigger and bigger and I wonder when I'm ever going to get to them all. I was pleasantly surprised by the Dessen book, so that made me happy.

      I was very shocked by what happened to the guy in SSaD! I did not expect that at all. After reading it, I couldn't really pinpoint what all I didn't connect with. There were certainly things that stood out, but it was mostly an overall sense of 'meh'. Given the amount of trilogies I'm already invested in, I figure I have to draw the line somewhere, you know? I only plan on continuing with series that I really enjoyed.

      I'm mostly a YA girl who very, very seldom reads adult. THE NIGHT CIRCUS almost feels like a YA novel at times, so I'm not sure that I would even classify it as adult in my mind. As Laurie Dennison said, it is totally cross-genre and cross-age-range. Every now and then it's just great to read something really different, and to immerse myself in something that has great atmosphere. :)

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  8. I liked SSaD, but I didn't love it. I actually really liked the zombie element, but I just couldn't put my finger on why I didn't connect with Elenor. But I loved The Night Circus so much. It's one of those cross-genre, cross-age-range modern classics.

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    1. I think that's what I would say about it too: I liked it, but didn't love it enough to continue on in the series. And like you, I can't quite pinpoint what I didn't connect with. It was just an overall feeling of 'meh', which is not something that works for me when I have a million other books to read, you know? :)

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  9. Sarah Dessen is magnificent! THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER is my absolute favorite and I haven't read her latest release because I wait for them to be on paperback before I buy them. But yeah, TOTALLY read as many of her books as possible. :)

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    1. I have heard good things about THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER, and having read a Sarah Dessen now I know that one will definitely be in my TBR pile now. :) In Canada, I think all of Dessen's books come out right away in trade paperback, but I could be wrong about that.

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  10. I did like Lock and Key. Sarah Dessen is the queen of subtle but powerful. THIS LULLABY is my favorite of hers.

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    1. I think subtle is exactly right. There are issues in the book, but they never feel like they completely take over the story. I'll have to make sure I read THIS LULLABY soon. :)

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  11. Don't worry, that "atmosphere" thing doesn't leave THE NIGHT CIRCUS. It'll be with you through to the end of the book, and possibly a while afterward! An absolutely exquisite piece of work. I don't think it was my book of the month the month that I read it, so whatever was my book of the month must have been something extraordinarily special. I just checked--it was NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman. 'nuff said. :)

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    1. I love a book with good atmosphere. I think some of my favourites have this same quality. The HARRY POTTER series comes to mind because it was especially strong that way. I love that THE NIGHT CIRCUS doesn't feel like it belongs to a particular genre or age range. As someone who reads primarily YA, it's nice to pick something up outside of the YA category and really enjoy it. :)

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  12. Love Sarah Dessen. None of her books have ever let me down. Will have to add Lock and Key to my collection. Just bought The Night Circus and might have to move it up the order to read after that review.
    =)

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    1. That's good to hear about Sarah Dessen's books. There are certainly plenty for me to add to my TBR list now, which is fantastic. :)

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  13. I need to read The Night Circus already - I've heard such great things, but I keep putting it off for whatever reason. I love Sarah Dessen, esp The Truth About Forever.

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  14. I love Sarah Dessen! THIS LULLABY is my favorite of hers, but I've never been disappointed by any of her books. THE NIGHT CIRCUS has been on my TBR list for ages... Perhaps next month I'll finally get to it!

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  15. I've seen Something Strange and Deadly around, and it seems like everyone has recommended it, but, like you, I'm not into the zombie thing. It's kind of a bummer when you're all hyped-up to read a book and it turns out to be so-so (or worse), isn't it?

    Right now I'm at the tail end of Rachel Harris's My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century and I really like it. I couldn't stop reading it the other night, and nearly fell asleep reading it because it got so late. I plan to finish it today while eating lunch.

    Happy reading!

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  16. Sarah Dessen is just amazing I love her books! THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER and ALONG FOR THE RIDE are my favourites. I also really loved THE NIGHT CIRCUS, I wish it would come to my town :)

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  17. Yay for Sarah Dessen! Read The Truth About Forever next. :) Haha, I love all of her books.

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  18. I still need to read Night Circus.

    I'm reading Sarah Dessen's WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE and enjoying it. The only other book of hers that I've read is ALONG FOR THE RIDE. Also great! I need to read the rest of her books, especially since contemporary YA is my favorite genre.

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  19. I keep hearing about Night Circus too! I must read it so I don't feel so left out. :(

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