November Wrap-Up

Happy December everyone!

November was still a weird reading month for me, but I think I finally broke out of my reading slump! It really helped having a few extra days off for Thanksgiving so that I could just snuggle up on my couch with a blanket and some tea and read.

That being said, I would take my ratings with a grain of salt this month. I was a little erratic with my ratings since my reading habits were still a little off this month, but oh well!

For this last month of 2021 (how is that possible??) my goal is to squeeze in some more nonfiction since that was one of my reading goals for the year, as well as maybe some holiday reads. But we’ll see!

Without further ado, here is my wrap-up of all the books I read in November:

To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.

Stats and Overall Thoughts:

Books read: 8
Physical books: 4
Audiobooks: 4

Fiction: 6
Nonfiction: 2

Average monthly rating: 3.7
Top Book of November: Naturally Tan & Karamo

*To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.

4-star books:

Naturally Tan: A Memoir: France, Tan: 9781250208668: Books
  • Naturally Tan by Tan France (Memoir, Audiobook)
    • What a fun memoir! I read Jonathan Van Ness’s memoir earlier this year, and I’m planning on reading Karamo’s next! I love learning more about the Fab Five, and I can’t wait for the newest season of Queer Eye to come out in a few weeks! It was fun learning more about Tan’s childhood in Northern England, and it was powerful to learn about his experiences with racism and how it has affected his life. I also loved hearing more about the behind the scenes of Queer Eye and what the casting process was like. These chapters about his life are also interspersed with advice chapters sharing Tan’s thoughts on everything from fashion to relationships. While some of the advice chapters came off a little judgmental and I found myself wanting for even more details about his life, I still really enjoyed listening to this book (narrated wonderfully by Tan himself!), and I look forward to seeing what else he does in the future.
Camp Cacophony by Jessica Khoury
  • Camp Cacophony by Jessica Khoury (Fantasy, Middle Grade, Audiobook)
    • This audiobook is just over an hour long, but it’s so cute and fun! It’s a prequel to The Mystwick School of Musicraft, which I actually really enjoyed when I read it last year. I love how music is used to create magic, the production quality of the audiobook is great, and it has some nice themes about how you can only fail if you give up. It’s a quick and enjoyable listen that would be great for kids and families.
  • Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope by Karamo Brown (Memoir, Audiobook)
    • I think I’ve officially read all of the Queer Eye/Fab Five memoirs now! I felt similarly about this memoir as I did about Tan France’s. I really enjoyed it! I love Karamo on the show and I loved getting to know more about him and his life. It maybe felt a little corny or self-aggrandizing at times, but I didn’t really mind. He’s been through a lot and I liked hearing his positive takeaways and what he’s learned that he wants to share with others. Something else that Naturally Tan and Karamo had in common is that the structure/pacing was a little off with both. The narrative sometimes felt a little out of order, making it a little hard to understand the timelines of their lives and the events they were describing, but this really was a minor thing. Karamo’s narration of his own story was great, and I especially liked learning more about his family. I would definitely recommend this for fans of Queer Eye!

3.75-star books: Cemetery Boys: 9781250250469: Thomas, Aiden: Books
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (YA Fantasy, Hardcover)
    • I have so many thoughts about this one that I will share in a full review soon. I desperately wanted to love this one, but there were a few flaws that were hard for me to look past. What let the book down was the pacing, plot structure, and the writing style. I loved the Day of the Dead setting and all of the characters though! For a debut novel, I thought it showed a lot of potential! And I think Aiden Thomas has a lot to contribute to the young adult genre (and any other genre), so I look forward to seeing what else they come up with in the future. Review coming soon! Matched: 9780142419779: Ally Condie: Books
  • Matched by Ally Condie (YA Science Fiction, Paperback)
    • This book has some pretty scathing reviews on Goodreads, but I actually enjoyed this first installment! I thought it introduced some interesting dystopian elements, and the love triangle was a little corny but had the potential to be cute if developed well in future sequels. I also enjoyed the writing style and felt that it was nicely descriptive and even poetic. The pacing and plot structure were a little off (there wasn’t really a climax), but I was still entertained by it! Review coming soon!
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Fantasy, Audiobook)
    • This audiobook was wonderfully narrated by Jim Dale; he really managed to create a magical and mysterious mood for the reader while listening to this book. That being said, I’m not sure audio was the best format for this book. It was sometimes hard to follow and there were so many characters to keep track of. I know a lot of people love this book, but I really didn’t love it. I rated it as highly as I did only because the writing was beautiful and so descriptive. However, it seemed like there was more emphasis put on the setting rather than the actual plot. I don’t want to give too much away for those that still want to read it, but essentially I felt that the plot meandered and I was pretty disappointed by the ending. It just wasn’t for me.

3-star books: Crossed: 9780142421710: Ally Condie: Books
  • Crossed by Ally Condie (YA Science Fiction, Paperback)
    • This second book in the Matched series again had some nice writing, but it didn’t have much going for it other than. It was largely driven by the romance, and not much actually happened other than that. It did introduce some interesting secondary characters though! Review coming soon! Reached: 9780142425992: Ally Condie: Books
  • Reached by Ally Condie (YA Science Fiction, Paperback)
    • Again, I’ll get into more details in my full review, but not much happened in the third book either! I also felt that it just left too many questions unanswered and too many plot points ambiguous. Interestingly enough, this one actually deals with a pandemic, which was interesting to read about because of, well, obvious reasons. However, a lot of the plot points just felt convoluted, and the characters were really passive. I did enjoy the themes about the power of art and self-expression (specifically writing and poetry), but I just thought that the series never quite lived up to its potential. Review coming soon!

How did your reading go in November? Any stand-out books to recommend?

Let me know in the comments! And thanks for reading (my blog, but also just in general)!

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