reading challenge

Reading Challenge Update: September & October 2019

What up, y’all? Sooooo, I’ve been all over the place the last two months and totally had no time to do any Reading Challenge updates until now. I’m not too bothered by it, though. I’ve been to some work events, seen some awesome concerts, spent time with great friends at NYCC, moved to a house with some of my best friends, and gotten completely obsessed with Death Stranding. It’s been a good time, but now it’s time to get back to some books.

Let’s give a look at what books I read in September and October!

The Five-Star Favs

final fantasy vii
Finished: 9/8/19| Rating: ★★★★★

Challenges met:

The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story by Kazushige Nojima probably isn’t a LitRPG book in the strictest sense of the word, but it is a book based on the classic JRPG Final Fantasy VII, focusing on the Turks, a mob-like, fictional organization, and a slew of original characters. And Kadaj, let’s not forget that. I’m still stunned by how amazingly written and in-character this translated book was. [Review]

nyxia uprising
Finished: 9/16/19 | Rating: ★★★★★

Challenges met:

You can tell I’m running out of categories to match books to when I’m willing to stretch it this far, but weirdly enough, Nyxia Uprising by Scott Reintgen involves quite a bit of travel through a hostile alien world, with our human characters longing to go back home to Earth and experience the different countries and cities where their friends are from. [Review]

fruits basket
Finished: 9/18/19 | Rating: ★★★★★

Challenges met:

  • A book that will make you cry – Pingel Sisters 2019 Reading Challenge
  • A book you’ve read before – @MommyMannegren’s 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge 2019

I thought I was done with including Fruits Basket in these challenges, but Natsuki Takaya made me cry with Volume 16 and her introduction of Tohru’s father. Amazing how quickly you can love and lose someone, no? Even though I’ve read this before, it’s been so long that I had completely forgotten about it, which is probably why it hit me so hard.

The Great

saving fable
Finished: 9/20/19 | Rating: ★★★★☆

Challenges met:

  • A children’s book – @MommyMannegren’s 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge 2019

I clearly don’t read a lot of Children’s/Middle Grade books, but I had to make an exception for Scott Reintgen and Saving Fable. This story is very cute and a worthy contributor to adding diversity in young people’s literature while talking about the magic of stories and storytelling. I hope a lot of kids fall in love with this charming tale. [Review]

The Good

the princess saves herself in this one
Finished: 10/15/19 | Rating: ★★★☆☆

Challenges met:

  • Popular book you’ve never read – Pingel Sisters 2019 Reading Challenge
  • Book picked out by someone else – @MommyMannegren’s 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge 2019

Amanda Lovelace’s The Princess Saves Herself in This One seems to be a staple of modern feminist poetry, and after reading it, I can see why she took off—even if I ultimately liked her follow-ups much better. That just shows she gets better and better, and isn’t that what you want in and for a creator? I was handed this book to read by my roommate Victoria, who was given it by her friend Frenchie, and I just love the spirit of sharing between women that happened with this. [Review]

Finished: 10/28/19 | Rating: ★★★☆☆

Challenges met:

  • A sports related novel – @MommyMannegren’s 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge 2019

Oh, yeah, I am stretching, but listen. Dragonriding can be a sport, especially if you center it around a tournament to determine who the leading dragonriders are. Well, that’s exactly what Rosaria Munda’s Fireborne did, along with the sports of politics, government, and war. [Review]

Books With Already-Covered Categories

It didn’t seem right not to include these books, even though I have no new Reading Challenge categories to award to them.

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi is incredible, featuring a Black trans girl who is utterly safe in the narrative (finally) while she and a monster hunt the real monster in their seemingly idyllic world. Despite its short length, there’s so much to chew on with this book, and the imagery Emezi creates is at once gorgeous and grotesque. I could not recommend it more! [Review]

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire is much like her other Wayward Children books: fanciful yet full of warning. In this case, we follow Lundy and learn her backstory at last. As well-written as this book was, I found that I ultimately didn’t care much for a character I haven’t seen since book one, and McGuire’s idea of the Goblin Market just didn’t capture my attention in the way I wanted. But that’s all personal—fans of this series will undoubtably adore this one.

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford is that rare genre book that takes place in a fictional world but doesn’t have many magical elements or fictional creatures at all. That made it practically impossible to attribute a Reading Challenge to it since so many of my bases are already covered. The first half of the book carries so much strength but peters out once Nor leaves her oceanic home. Very middle of the road for me. [Review]

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith was another so-so experience. I didn’t love it or hate it despite the story containing angels, demons, vikings, inter-realm politics, and stories that come to life—literally. It’s my own lackluster reception that determined my review, though there were definitely characters I gravitated to over others (Hero ♥). [Review]

Thus concludes my September and October reading! What will November have in store? (Probably not much because mmmmm Death Stranding.)

How are your reading challenges coming along, especially as we enter the home stretch of the year? Have you noticed a difference in your reading habits? Do you think you selected the right challenges to match your taste, or did you branch out more?

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