I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that I just can’t read as many books as I have done in the previous two years.
Last year specifically, I read 100 books in 12 months. This year, I’ll be lucky if I make it to 70 books.
But life is different, things are different and I’m working hard on other things (namely my YouTube channel that takes up a lot of my time).
But things are still ticking along and I’m averaging around 5-6 books each month, which really isn’t that bad.
Here are the ratings and reviews of the six books that I read in the month of October.
If you want to see every book I’ve ever read and keep up to date with what I’m reading at any time, you can follow my Goodreads account here.
Family of Liars by E. Lockhart
The prequel to We Were Liars takes readers back to the story of another summer, another generation, and the secrets that will haunt them for decades to come.
A windswept private island off the coast of Massachusetts. A hungry ocean, churning with secrets and sorrow. A fiery, addicted heiress. An irresistible, unpredictable boy. A summer of unforgivable betrayal and terrible mistakes.
Welcome back to the Sinclair family. They were always liars.
My rating: ★★★★
We have a prequel and a sequel in this month’s reading. Family of Liars is the prequel to We Were Liars, a book that I read back in 2022. As I expected, I struggled to remember what had happened in We Were Liars that would prelude with Family of Liars. It was enjoyable, but from what I remember, We Were Liars was a lot better. Might be good to read the original book before delving into this one.
My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey
It was supposed to be a relaxing vacation in sweet, sunny Cape Cod—just me and my beloved brother—but discovering a corpse in our rental house really throws a wrench into our tanning schedule. Now a rude, crude bounty hunter has arrived on the back of his motorcycle to catch the killer and refuses to believe I can be helpful, despite countless hours of true crime podcast listening. Not to mention a fulfilling teaching career of wrangling second graders.
I’m just here to do a job, not babysit an amateur sleuth. Although… it is becoming less and less of a hardship to have her around. Sure, she’s stubborn, distracting and can’t stay out of harm’s way. She’s also brave and beautiful and reminds me of the home I left behind three years ago. In other words, the painful hunger and protectiveness she is waking up in me is a threat to my peace of mind. Before I sink any deeper into this dangerous attraction, I need to solve this murder and get back on the road.
My rating: ★★★
I highly enjoyed It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey that I read in September, so when I saw another of her books in my local library, I snapped it up. This one didn’t strike a chord with me as much. I will say that it seems Tessa Bailey likes to write about burly, moody men as her main love interests but this one just didn’t seem that realistic. It seemed that the love interest was obsessed with the main character from the first moment and stuck around ever since. Love bombing to its finest and a little too intense for my liking.
The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell
Early one morning on the shore of the Thames, DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene of a gruesome discovery. When Owusu sends the evidence for examination, he learns the bones are connected to a cold case that left three people dead on the kitchen floor in a Chelsea mansion thirty years ago. Rachel Rimmer has also received a shock—news that her husband, Michael, has been found dead in the cellar of his house in France. All signs point to an intruder, and the French police need her to come urgently to answer questions about Michael and his past that she very much doesn’t want to answer. After fleeing London thirty years ago in the wake of a horrific tragedy, Lucy Lamb is finally coming home. While she settles in with her children and is just about to purchase their first-ever house, her brother takes off to find the boy from their shared past whose memory haunts their present. As they all race to discover answers to these convoluted mysteries, they will come to find that they’re connected in ways they could have never imagined.
My rating: ★★★
The sequel to Lisa Jewell’s The Family Upstairs, I enjoyed but struggled with this one. Since it had been so long since I read The Family Upstairs, it was hard to remember who everyone was and how they were connected. Plus the alternating timeline throughout the book was hard to keep track of with the different months and years in each chapter. However, it was a nice form of closure to the story, but I will say that not that much actually happened and I felt the plot could have been better.
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead. When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it. Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlour’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is. Romance is most certainly dead… but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.
My rating: ★★★
The Dead Romantics was giving Just Like Heaven – the romcom with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. Our main character Florence, can see dead people. But the weirdest part was that she was starting to fall in love with one particular ghost that was following her around. It was quite obvious how this was going to end, but it was an enjoyable love story all the same. Just not my usual type of trope.
Everyone is Watching by Megan Bradbury
Everyone is Watching is a novel about the men and women who have defined New York. Through the lives and perspectives of these great creators, artists and thinkers, and through other iconic works of art that capture its essence, New York itself solidifies. Complex, rich, sordid, tantalizing, it is constantly changing and evolving. Both intimate and epic in its sweep, Everyone is Watching is a love letter to New York and its people – past, present and future.
My rating: ★★★★
I did the thing that seasoned readers aren’t meant to do and picked this book up purely because of its cover. I mean, if I see a book with the Empire State on the cover in my local library, then I’m going to pick it up. I didn’t have very high hopes with only 300 reviews on Goodreads, but this book pleasantly surprised me. Although it was a work of fiction, it was loosely based on real people and real occurrences in New York. I learnt things about the city and how it came to be the mega metropolis that it is today. Plus there were many pages that transported me back to my time in the city and I could walk the exact streets and even rooms (it described a Tenements Museum tour that I had actually taken) through the pages. Now where do I find other books like this?
Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren
Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire. But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirty-something professionals—so why can’t they act like it?
My rating: ★★★
Although I enjoy Christina Lauren books, I wouldn’t say that I love them. Comparing Dating You Hating You to other romance books I’ve read recently, this one comes up quite mediocre. However, I know Christina Lauren has a very wide catalogue of books, so I’m happily making my way through them one at a time. This enemies to lovers trope was effective, and I enjoyed the Hollywood element, but sometimes it did come across as a little childish and unrealistic.