September Wrap-Up

If you follow my bookstagram, you’ve likely seen my monthly wrap-ups. I never posted them on here, but I’ve decided to start adding them to my blog as well.

September wasn’t the best reading month, but it was considerably better than most months since quarantine started. I’ve been strictly reading books for book tours, so I’m sure that helped quite a bit.

Throwing it All Away by Nina Owen – ★★★★★

Synopsis: Depression and suicide are at record numbers in our country. Throwing It All Away gives an uninhibited look at one family’s journey through depression, drug use, and suicidal ideation. It is written by a mother who lost her 20-year-old son to suicide.

The book talks about the son’s struggle to get well, his death, the mother’s indescribable grief and guilt, and the metaphysical spiritual experiences she underwent after his death.

Suicide rips through a family and a community, leaving destruction in its wake. This book shows that suicide is not always planned; it can be impulsive and, with the right help, can be averted.

Copy Boy by Shelley Blanton-Stroud – ★★★★☆

Synopsis: Jane’s a very brave boy. And a very difficult girl. She’ll become a remarkable woman, an icon of her century, but that’s a long way off.

Not my fault, she thinks, dropping a bloody crowbar in the irrigation ditch after Daddy. She steals Momma’s Ford and escapes to Depression-era San Francisco, where she fakes her way into work as a newspaper copy boy.

Everything’s looking up. She’s climbing the ladder at the paper, winning validation, skill, and connections with the artists and thinkers of her day. But then Daddy reappears on the paper’s front page, his arm around a girl who’s just been beaten into a coma one block from Jane’s newspaper―hit in the head with a crowbar.

Jane’s got to find Daddy before he finds her, and before everyone else finds her out. She’s got to protect her invented identity. This is what she thinks she wants. It’s definitely what her dead brother wants.

The Sisters of Straygarden Place by Hayley Chewins – ★★★☆☆

Synopsis: A riveting middle-grade fantasy about sibling bonds, enchanted houses, and encroaching wildness, lyrically told in eerily beautiful prose

The grass grew taller than the house itself, surrounding it on all sides. It stuffed the keyholes and scraped against the roof. It shook the walls and made paintings shiver.

Seven years ago, the Ballastian sisters’ parents left them in the magical Straygarden Place, a house surrounded by tall silver grass and floating trees. They left behind a warning saying never to leave the house or go into the grass. “Wait for us,” the note read. “Sleep darkly.” Ever since then, the house itself has taken care of Winnow, Mayhap, and Pavonine–feeding them, clothing them, even keeping them company–while the girls have waited and grown up and played a guessing game: Think of an animal, think of a place. Think of a person, think of a face. Until one day, when the eldest, fourteen-year-old Winnow, does the unthinkable and goes outside into the grass, and everything twelve-year-old Mayhap thought she knew about her home, her family, and even herself starts to unravel. With luscious, vivid prose, poet and author Hayley Chewins transports readers to a house where beloved little dogs crawl into their owners’ minds to sleep, sick girls turn silver, and anything can be stolen–even laughter and silence.

Up From Adams Street by Larry Crane – ★★★☆☆

Synopsis: A boy comes of age in a whistle-stop town in Illinois. The favorite, of whom much is expected, naïve to a fault, decked out in high school football gear, all 120 pounds of him, perched on the roof of a freight car hurtling toward a bridge over the Mississippi, and into jail for a night. He falls for a girl, becomes the inevitable star-crossed lover, and discovers that the life he wants to live is the life he’s living. Isn’t it?

Beyond What Separates Us by R.A. Morris – ★★★★☆

Synopsis: Four strangers from distant parts of the world struggle to survive on a planet torn apart by war, greed and disease. Living under drastically different circumstances, they are each presented with an opportunity to choose what type of world they want to live in.

Beyond What Separates Us follows these four strangers as they attempt to overcome hardships and reach their full potential. This is a story about the best and worst aspects of humanity clashing to determine not only the fate of our species but all other life on Earth.

Beautiful by A.K. Leigh/Leigh Hatchmann – ★★★★☆

Synopsis: You think you know their story . . .
Bella-Rosa Amato
My life is the envy of women everywhere. I live in a gorgeous mansion, wear expensive clothes, go to A-list parties, and attend a prestigious college.
It is a life of beauty and glamor . . . and all of it is a lie.
Behind closed doors, I am bullied by my cold and powerful father. With no money of my own, I have no choice but to obey him . . .
Until I am attacked, and a half man-half beast intervenes. Kit takes me to his home to heal, where I am immersed in his secret world. As we bond over unexpected experiences and shared interests, my gratitude changes into something that feels as old as time.

I was created for the darkness and, for a while, it controlled me. But I escaped that life and made a new home for myself.
Before Bella crossed my path, I didn’t think happiness was possible. But she not only accepts my differences, she offers friendship.
Her gentle and compassionate heart opens me up to those parts within me.
With her, I don’t feel like the beast I have always been labeled.
But the closer we get, the more I wonder if I am truly as human as she believes, and whether the mistakes of the beast can ever be forgiven . . .

When an old enemy resurfaces, Bella and Kit will need to stand firm in their love, face the brutalities of the past, and trust in the beauty that comes from within to make it out alive.

BEAUTIFUL is a sweet and dark, modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The themes of beauty, strength, redemption, and love shine through in an unforgettable tale that will make you question everything you think you know about beauty . . . and the beast.

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