November Reading Wrap-up & ANNOUNCEMENT!

And just like that, another month has come and gone. I can’t quite believe that November is over and we are now entering our last month of 2020! I’m hoping that December will be the best month of the year, especially for this blog… stick around to the end of this post to see what I have planned for Read With Ro next month! But today, I am reflecting on all the books I managed to read in November. I finished a total of 7 books and started 3 more. I am so happy with my reading progress this month, especially because I am still doing full-time, online university and the month has been quite stressful with lots of assignments and deadlines. Let see what I read and what I thought of them…

  1. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is has become of my favourite books of the year, if not my absolute favourite book of this year! Set in Afghanistan, it follows a teenaged girl named Mariam through the rest of her life. We see her relationships unfold, how her decisions act out and most importantly we get an insight into Afghan and Islamic culture. This was particularly interesting for me as prior to this book, if definitely wasn’t an area of the world I had much education on. This book is so well done as it deals with very heartbreaking and harrowing issued but does so in such a delicate and gentle way which I think is phenomenal! I am now very excited to read the rest of Khaled Hosseini’s books, I predict that he will be one of my favourite authors.

2. Diary of a Confused Feminist by Kate Weston

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book! Judging by the cover, I thought it was going to be very immature and young adult but in fact this was such a funny and relatable read that covered lots of important topics that aren’t discussed enough in ya literature. It follows Kat as she makes a conscious effort to be a better feminist and she does this by recording her feminist and feminist thoughts in a diary. Kat is such a relatable protagonist which is why I will recommend this book to any young girl! This book also explores the issues such as period poverty in the UK and the stigma around mental health and getting help, both of which were fabulously done. I honestly didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did (I even shed a tear or two) so I would definitely recommend picking this one up of it has been sat on your shelves for ages!

3. One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is the sequel to One of Us is Lying and follows vaguely the same storyline, a gossip app designed to bring revenge and drama! Although I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book, it still was an enjoyable and easy book to read. It is very stereotypical for ya literature and can be very predictable at times but it supplies you with some fun and light mystery. If you have read the first book in the series, I would recommend continuing as although it has a large cast of new characters, we do follow some of the very loved characters from the first book!

4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I read this as part of Lucie’s Backlist TBR Buddy Read and I LOVED it! It follows Wade Watts who logs into the OASIS everyday, a virtual reality to escape the impoverished real world. When the creator of the OASIS dies and leaves his entire fortune to whoever can find the hidden easter egg in the virtual reality, it kicks off a worldwide hunt. This book is packed full of action, adventure, tension, 80s pop culture, humour and drama. I would have loved to have 50 more pages at the end of the book as it just ends so abruptly and suddenly! I will definitely be reading the sequel, Ready Player Two, once it comes out in paperback!

5. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I’m afraid to say that this was my most disappointing book of the month. After hearing so much hype from everyone who loved this book, I was convinced I was going to love it too. Unfortunately, this fell very flat for me. At no point was I thrilled or scared, I disliked almost all of the characters and the plot was very predictable. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this book as there are so many better thriller/mysteries out there. The best part about this book was that I buddy read it with the lovely Chloe and we had a blast!

6. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was super excited to read my first Acevedo book this month as I have been dying to read one of her books for the longest time! Although this book was really good and dealt with some very important topics, I definitely didn’t enjoy it as much as I know I would have if I read it as a pre-teen. This book follows Emoni, who is a teenage mother but has big dreams and aspirations about becoming a chef. It is all about her navigating her life and deciding what she wants to do with her future, whether she wants to aim high or wants to created more achievable goals. This book carries many important messages and so I would recommend this to young adult readers.

7. The Prison Doctor by Dr Amanda Brown

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have had this book sitting on my shelf for ages and I am so glad I picked it up. This is a memoir that recounts Dr Amanda Brown’s experience as a doctor in various different prisons. After only ever learning a very small amount on prisons when I was in school, I was very intrigued by this book. With being only around 300 pages long, it is able to include so much about the prison inmate treatment, drug misuse in prisons, the horrific mental health issue among inmates, the security of prisons and so much more. This was such an insightful and interesting book and I will definitely be reading her second book called The Prison Doctor: Women Inside.

As well as these books, I was able to start three more. The first of which being 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak. This was Molly’s book club pick of the month and I unfortunately have only gotten to page 130. Although I am enjoying this book and I think it is very good, I think it is a little heavy for me right now as it deals with some heartbreaking topics and also the language is very lyrical. However, I have seen so many amazing reviews for this book, so I am determined to finish it in December. Throughout November, I have been listening to Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay as my audiobook for the month. I am currently about 60% of the way through it and have some mixed thoughts and opinions but hopefully I will also finish this in December and give you my conclusive review. Over the last few days in November, I have started the sixth Harry Potter book as a source of escapism during these overwhelming times at university. Again, I am hoping to finish this book and the final book in the series in December.

Now its announcement time!!! As if I didn’t already have enough on my plate, I have decided to challenge myself with uploading a blog post every single day in December… Blogmas! I have a range of different topics I will be writing about, from my bookish opinions, christmassy content and getting to know more of me. I have encouraged some of my blogger friends to give this challenge a go too, so if you would like to join in, feel free to let me know so I can support you along the way. This is definitely going to be a hard challenge, considering I have essays and exams due in december as well as travelling home and spending time with my family. However, I really want to use this opportunity to improve my writing skills, grow this blog, talk about some important issues that are close to my heart, and to support and shout out all my wonderful friends who have made my first 6 months in the book community to special. I hope you will support my crazy big december blog challenge!

And that concludes my super long blog post! If you have read any of the books I have mentioned today or if you are planning on reading them, let me know and we can have a chat! I hope you are keeping well and safe. Happy Monday!

Ro x

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