September 2022 Book Reviews

cleo & frankenstein nightcrawling and tomorrow

 

 

This post contains my September 2022 book reviews.

 

September was a great month reading-wise, not in quantity, but in quality. I read four books and two audiobooks. One of them was very short, but an amazing audiobook and I squeezed it in on the last day of September.

 

Without any further ado, let’s see which are the books I read in September of 2022.

 

Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors

 

cleopatra and frankenstein

 

Cleopatra and Frankenstein

OMG!!  I loved this book! Can that be my review? 

Well, that pretty much sums up how I feel about this book. I loved every single word from the first to the last. It captured me from the first page, and I couldn’t put it down. It is one of these books that I would probably re-read several times in my life, that’s how much I enjoyed it. 

If you loved Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney or Writers and Lovers by Lily King, you will probably love Cleopatra and Frankenstein. 

A solid five-star rating from me, and  I’m not generally generous with them. If I manage to read ten five-star books in a year, that means that it was a very good reading year indeed. 

 

Synopsis

Twenty-four-year-old Cleo, a British painter living in New York on a student visa, meets Frank just a few short months before her visa expires. The two meet on New Year’s Eve and click instantly, despite their twenty-year age difference. Frank is a successful self-made publicist that seems to have his life under control. The two fall in love, and before she’s due to head back to England, Frank proposes to her, offering her a chance to stay in New York and work on her painting.  

The author paints a portrait of their lives and of those closest to them with raw honesty and a keen eye for details. As they settle into married life, their impulsive marriage comes to a head when their unresolved issues surface. 

 

Thoughts

The author is clever, and her writing is absolutely sublime. She has a way with words that you can totally relate to. At times the book had me laughing out loud, while at others I was sobbing. A great, solid debut from an author to keep an eye on. 

The way she paints each character with new strokes will give you goosebumps. They are so real and flawed, you feel as if you know them and they can become part of your life. Their issues are relatable and at times frustrating, but that’s just how real people are.

A very strong debut novel that will be on many of my upcoming posts I’m working on.

This is only the first novel in a fruitful writing career, I can tell. If you haven’t heard of Coco Mellors yet, this is your chance to get acquainted with her. 

 

Nightcrawling By Leila Mottley

 

nightcrawling

 

Nightcrawling

For such a young writer, this book is very serious and touches on some very real issues faced by people of color in the US today. The storyline was very hard to read without bawling your eyes out at times. She actually started drafting this book when she was seventeen and published it this year. I love Mottley’s writing style, but the only reason I didn’t rate this book a five-star is that I felt the ending was a bit rushed.  

 

Synopsis

Kiara and her brother Markus are trying to survive in East Oakland after losing both parents. Their father died when they were pretty young, and their mother started using drugs, which consequently ended her up in prison. Kiara is desperate to make ends meet and turns to sell her body in order to pay their rent. She’s also trying very hard to keep their nine-year-old neighbor from being taken away by social services. Unforeseen circumstances and a string of bad luck make Marcus end up in jail, and Kiara amidst a police investigation.

 

Thoughts 

While the writing is above expectations for a young person, the storyline is heartbreaking. Unfortunately, this is the reality many people of color face every day in the US. Poverty, neglect, police brutality, and racism, are all issues tackled in this book. And coming from such a young person is even more heart-wrenching. I don’t think I cried this hard since reading A Little Life. 

Although the book was inspired by a true story, I find the author could have expanded on the ending a little, which I thought was lacking something.

Overall, a very good book that I strongly recommend. I will definitely read whatever the writer will publish next. 

 

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

 

tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

 

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Another great novel, this one is about game creators. Who thought I would enjoy it as much, seeing that I never gamed in my life! This is another five-star read for me, and you can totally enjoy it even if, like me, you’re not into video games. 

 

Synopsis

Sadie Green and Sam Masur meet in a hospital when they’re not even teenagers yet. Sam was in for one of his numerous operations on his foot, while Sadie was visiting her sister Alice. They meet in the game room and start playing a video game together. Unknowingly, they create a bond that lasts them last a lifetime. They become very close and have periods throughout the years when they don’t speak to each other, but their lives are always intertwined. 

The book follows them from Venice Beach to Harvard, and back to California again, over a span of thirty years. As they grow up and become business partners, they have many ups and downs, but they are bonded for life. 

Thoughts

Another great novel that captures your soul, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, is a beautifully written book that is definitely out of my comfort zone. 

But I fell in love with the author’s writing, the characters, and even the storyline captivated me from the first chapter. 

It doesn’t go too much into gaming details, which was not really the point of the book. Yes, the main characters are game creators from the 1990s, but the story is about much more. It is about unconditional love, friendship, bonds created in childhood, family, and so on. 

You can tell that Zenin is a seasoned writer, and she is not shy about using different styles and has a dense vocabulary. Despite that, her writing is brilliant, and I beg you to try this book a try. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed. It truly lives up to the hype. 

 

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

 

every summer after

 

Every Summer After

I listened to this as an audiobook, and it was an ok book. Nothing blew me away, but I liked it. It’s a feel-good love story that makes you reminisce about your younger days.

 

Synopsis

Persephone Fraser and Sam Florek meet during their teenage years on Barry’s Bay, where Percy’s family owns a cottage. Sam, on the other hand, lives there with his mother and brother yearlong. They get thrown together by circumstances and fall in love, and they both see a future together. But something happens during the summer of their eighteenth year, and they end up going their separate ways for 12 years. Percy returns to Barry’s Bay for Sam’s mother’s funeral, and the connection they shared as teenagers is still alive. 

 

Thoughts

This book is feel-good, nostalgic, and well-developed. Told over the six years they spent together and the weekend they reconnected, the story is sweet yet heartbreaking. I liked most of the characters even though they seemed self-absorbed at times – like most teenagers are! The ending was a bit cringy, but I don’t expect anything different from a romance book. It was still a nice, end-of-summer book to get lost in. If you want a fun, light read, I definitely recommend it.  I’m not sure how to rate it yet, but I’m going back and forth between a three and a four-star. 

 

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

 

night stalker on gray blanket

 

The Night Stalker

In the second installment in the Erika Foster series, I liked The Night Stalker just as much as the first one, the Girl in the Ice. 

 

Synopsis

Erika Foster is called to the scene of the murder of a doctor. Suffocated in his bed, he has bound wrists and a bag tied over his head. A few days later, another male victim was found in the same manner. Once the investigation goes underway, Erika and her team realize they have a serial killer on their hands. How many more victims will the killer get to before they can be stopped?

 

Thoughts

In his usual manner, Robert Bryndza makes Erika the great badass detective she was in the first book. She’s stubborn and obstinate, but she won’t stop until she finds the killer. I love the way he keeps us on the edge of our seats until the end, and the twists and turns are not predictable or boring. If thrillers are your cup of tea, definitely consider this series. This book was a solid four-star for me.

 

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

we should all be feminists

 

We Should All Be Feminists

I ended the month with this quick audiobook by Nigerian author Adichie. Although I’ve heard of this book for a few years, I don’t know why I never picked it up before. It is a short audiobook, only about 45 minutes, but the author gets in all the important points she’s trying to make. 

As a Nigerian woman that is highly educated, she wonders why, even in today’s world,  women are still viewed as inferior to men. She thinks the problem is not only that we socialize girls to cater to men and their needs, but we need to start raising boys to stop depending on women for basic household chores. Women are just as capable as men of doing most jobs, yet they are rarely given credit for them. 

No matter what nationality you are, or how you were brought up, this book is eye-opening, and as far as I’m concerned, it should be required reading in schools. 

I loved the way she expressed herself, with both clarity and compassion. Although an older book, it is still very relevant today. Read it if you get a chance, you’ll know what I’m talking about. A definite five-star book.

 

Final Words

three most anticipated august library books

 

This sums up my September 2022 book reviews.

Reading great books always makes me very happy, and this month was no exception. Although I don’t go for quantity, I try to read books that bring me joy. I set books aside that don’t catch my attention, because there are many great books out there waiting for me to get to.

I hope you enjoyed this collection of books I’ve read, and if I manage to get even one of you to read any of them, I will be a happy camper. 

Until next time, keep reading my fellow bookworms.

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