Books, Real Life

September Wrap-Up: Third quarter slump

I am exhausted.

Between medication issues, difficult assignments, and work pressure, I hit a low point last month.

As such, I’m in a reading slump.

Behold my DNF-heavy reading stats.

Reading Stats

In September, I completed 15 books and DNFed 10 books for a total of 25 books.

Turns out I DNFed 7 books in August. School has been weighing me down for a while, it seems.

Still, 10 books. My brain has reached capacity.

Of the books I read in September,

  • 68% were fiction
  • 20% were nonfiction
  • 12% were graphic novels
  • 68% were physical books
  • 28% were audiobooks
  • 4% were e-books
  • 16% were Young Adult
  • 80% were Adult
  • 4% were Children’s
  • 92% were new books
  • 8% were rereads

For the second month in a row, I mostly read queer books.

September 2021 Genre Breakdown pie chart

I also read a lot of romance.



My top reading moods were emotional, adventurous, lighthearted, and funny.

Reading Moods pie chart



Oh hey, I also read some pretty terrible books, which is why my average rating for September is only 3.78.

Star ratings bar chart

You’ll notice that I gave two books less than three stars.

I’m hesitant to dunk on one of them.

For the other, I have no such compunctions.

Oh, and that single 5-star review?

I found my new favorite book.

Notable Books

I maintain that literary fiction is overwritten genre fiction.

I’m tired of seeing poorly plotted thrillers named literary masterworks because they contain symbolism.

Speaking of which, I did NOT like The Maidens by Alex Michaelides.

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. Image from Goodreads.

The reveal in this book was unhinged and nonsensical.

I thought I knew where the plot was going. Boy, was I INCORRECT.

Somehow, the actual ending was worse than my imagining.

This book was so mediocre that I’m baffled by the praise.

I was led to believe there would be cult activity and there SURE WAS NOT.

I am TIRED of authors including abuse dynamics they CLEARLY DON’T UNDERSTAND in their work to give it “depth.”

While I’m on my anti-literary fiction rant, I want to complain about The Lost Apothecary, a book I DNFed after four chapters.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. Image from Amazon.


Based on the plot synopsis, I also assumed the book was a thriller.

Not so! It’s actually historical women’s fiction!

Every time I try to read this genre, it turns inspirational on me and I want to vomit! I refuse to continue!

As for books I actually liked?

I felt left out when I saw everyone on TikTok gushing about A Court of Thorns and Roses.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Image from Amazon.

I tried reading the first book in 2015 and I DID NOT LIKE IT. FOMO hit hard, though, so I decided to revisit the series.

I had VERY MIXED feelings about the first book. It hits the same notes that Twilight does for me. The plot is wild and the worldbuilding is shaky. Even so, I had a great time.

Then I read the sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury, and lost my mind.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. Image from Amazon.

The first ten chapters are WILD and the rest of the book is even WILDER.

I was incoherent from chapter 45 to the end of the book.

I forgot reading could be this fun.

Feysand is great, but I’m REALLY invested in Nessian. I can’t wait to read A Court of Silver Flames.

Anyway, I’m going to read the rest of Sarah J. Maas’s books, INCLUDING House of Earth and Blood. It’s happening.

I read two weepers last month: Hola Papi! and A Psalm for the Wild-Built.

About a chapter into both books, I realized they were going to break me.

That’s probably why it took me several weeks to finish them.

From these books, I learned that survival is both acceptable and sacred. I learned that it’s okay to change my mind and that the unknown isn’t so bad.

I needed to hear this more than I knew.

Along with these books, I also finally read The Queer Bible, a book of essays on queer icons by queer icons.

The Queer Bible: Essays edited by Jack Guinness

While some of the essays didn’t quite do it for me (looking at you, David Furnish), others moved me.

Graham Norton’s essay on Armistead Maupin and Elton John’s piece on Divine were especially emotional.

Okay, NOW we can talk about my new favorite book.

Can you say “contemporary enemies-to-lovers fake dating romance that used to be AU Reylo fanfiction?”


Just like The Last Jedi, The Love Hypothesis gave me all the tropes my heart desired.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Opposites attract! Slow burn! Cheeky Star Wars references! An emphasis on friendship and self-love! Aching vulnerability!

My favorite romances make me hopeful about love, and The Love Hypothesis gave me SO MUCH HOPE.

It also inspired me to try my hand at AU Reylo fic. I haven’t WRITTEN anything, but I DID join AO3, so…watch out!

The Love Hypothesis made up for a month full of DNFs and medication withdrawal.

I cannot recommend it enough.


My energy is slowly returning (great), I have dark academia books to read (even better), and I’m ALMOST FINISHED WITH MY COPYEDITING COURSE.

I am ready for pumpkin bread and rainy reading days.

Hope you all had a good month. Stay warm and safe.

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