November 2019 Wrap-Up

OOPS. This is 10 (!!) days late. Life, especially around this time of year, just gets so hectic! Between work, Thanksgiving travel, & getting everything done, I’m just settling in now to reflect on my November reads.

  • Wanderers by Chuck Wendig: This absolute brick of a novel was a well-written, end-of-the-world novel that was reminiscent of our current political climate taken to the extreme. 4.5/5 stars. (More in-depth review here).
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. It was gorgeously written but I’m not entirely sure I understood what I read. I definitely felt this way with her first novel, The Night Circus, the first time I read it too, and I’ve now read & re-read it about 6 times — and it’s one of my favorite books. The Starless Sea will definitely be getting re-read at some point in 2020, but my initial rating is 4/5.
  • Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things: This book is sort of cute. It will be popular in the romance section of high school libraries. But if you’re looking for a thoughtful romance about class & privilege, you won’t find it here. Edie is…a fine main character. Her cousins and aunt are the worst. The girls at her school suck. I found myself doing a lot of skimming & scanning as I read because I wasn’t super thrilled with anything happening. *Shrug* And because I am a Masshole, this is nothing like the REAL Mansfield, MA. I have family that lives there that we visit often. If you’re going to use a real town name, at least research it a little bit. The author made her version of Mansfield more like somewhere in the Hamptons or Martha’s Vineyard, and this just isn’t it. DNF.
  • There, There by Tommy Orange: This book was an absolutely stunning read, and an important one. Tommy Orange is one hell of a writer, and you can feel the pain and the weight of the injustices against Native Americans in his prose. Each character had a heart-wrenching story. The prologue took my breath away. The ending was a bit confusing and I wasn’t a fan of the last 30 pages. Otherwise, Orange is a brilliant talent of #ownvoices fiction and I cannot wait to read what he writes next. 4/5 stars.
  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman: This has been a popular book on my library shelves and I was so excited to finally get into it myself! This was an easy-to-understand dystopian world where no one dies, unless they are murdered by a professional scythe. It’s a fascinating moral question: who lives & who dies, and who gets to choose that? It’s fast-paced and a gripping start to a trilogy. 5/5 stars
  • The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James: This was a weird and crazy YA sci-fi thriller. A little too long, but the action REALLY ramps up in the final act. A fun, quick read. 3.5/5 stars.
  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehesi Coates: This book was an important look at slavery from the perspective of a slave. It was written in the vernacular of the day, however, making it harder to follow than I thought it would be. 3.5/5 stars
  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes: This was a wonderful story about Depression-era librarians who went house to house on horseback with books. It was a great tale of friendship, and touched on issues of race, poverty, domestic violence, and loss. I really enjoyed this one! It was also my November Book of the Month pick 🙂 4.5/5 stars
  • Bunny by Mona Awad: This book was a wacky mix of Mean Girls and The Secret History. Strange but fun read. 3.5/5 stars.

What was the best book you read in November?

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