Books of the Month: October 2021

I somehow read nine books this month and it’s mostly because seven of them were smut, fast paced reads, but that may be the most books I’ve ever read in a single month? I also fully embraced ‘no bones’ days and curled up with a book too many days in a row to count, these overcast LA days are definitely playing in my favor. This post took forever to write because, NINE books, so buckle up, folks. Here’s what I read in October:

Fruit of the Drunken Tree is a story about two girls, Chula and Petrona, living in 1980’s Colombia where Pablo Escobar reigns and the streets are very unsafe. Chula is an upper-middle-class young girl, and Petrona is her family’s teen maid. It’s historical fiction told through their perspectives and while it was interesting, it was very slow paced and I almost gave up several times. Read at your own risk.

The Heart Principle was so heartbreakingly good. I think it may be my favorite of the trilogy? Anna was thrust into fame after videos of her playing the violin went viral. Burned out and sick of living her life for others, she meets Quan (Michael’s cousin) and decides to try living a more carefree life. When her father becomes ill and she has to move home to help take care of him, her mental health only suffers further. This book was much heavier than the others in the series, tackling mental health, caregiver burnout, and suicidal ideation. My heart broke for Anna and her need to please those around her (same). Definitely read this series if you haven’t already, Kiss Quotient was one of my favs!

Verity was a RIDE. I definitely didn’t see the twists within the book and honestly, I’m still not sure what the truth actually was now that I’ve finished? Down on her luck, Lowen is asked to ghostwrite a series for Verity, an author who, due to medical reasons, cannot finish writing her thriller series. She goes to Verity’s home to shift through notes when she finds an unpublished book that details Verity’s true nature (these portions of the book were MESSED up, major caution). As Lowen and Verity’s husband, Jeremy, get closer, and Lowen read more of Verity’s unpublished book, Lowen isn’t so sure Verity is what she seems. Very fast-paced, very wild book!

Love Hypothesis was pure Adam Driver smut and I am here for it. Olive is a third-year Ph.D. candidate at Standford when she panics and kisses the first man she sees in the science lab, attempting to convince her best friend she’s happily in a relationship. The man she kisses is a professor named Adam (they didn’t even try?) who eventually agrees to fake date her and of course, over several weeks, they fall in love and live happily ever after. I read in about 5 hours so definitely a fast read.

Bringing Down the Duke was everything I wanted Bridgerton to be. Historical fiction, romance, and feminists for the win! I was traveling and read this in about a day; Sebastian and Annabelle gave me strong Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth vibes, strongly following the enemies to lovers trope that is very much overdone, but I will keep reading as many of these books until I die. Annabelle just wants to go to school to be educated, away from her past. After a tense meeting with Sebastian, she ends up sick and has to stay at his manor leading up to the holidays, and of course they fall in love. The sub-story is about the women’s suffrage movement in the UK at the time, so I felt like I learned something as well?

A Rogue of One’s Own surprised me. The male ‘sort-of villain’ from Bringing Down the Duke ended up being the love interest in this book; I was initially annoyed because I didn’t like his character but she really turned him around and by the end, I was cheering for Tristian and Lucie. I did prefer Bringing Down the Duke better, but this was a solid sequel, continuing the story of the women’s suffrage movement at the time.

Rules of Civility was alright. I gave me Gatsby or City of Girls vibes, but the overall story was a bit slow and the characters were a bit flat, at least the main characters we followed through the whole book. I would have rather read a whole book about Eve’s adventures in LA, or even Kate’s coworkers at Conde Nast, Alley or Mason Tate? It was also apparent the author was male, I’m unsure why he chose to write from the female perspective but he didn’t nail it? Skip if you can (though I’ve heard Gentleman in Moscow is really good?)!

The Ex Hex was cute, very Hallmark-esque, and aligned perfectly with the calendar as October comes to an end. Vivi accidentally might have cursed her ex, Rhys, when she was 19, heartbroken and drunk; now that he’s back in town 9 years later, weird things are magically happening in their town. Vivi and Rhys must race to break the curse, all while ignoring the “magic” lingering between them. HAH that was cheesy but it’s a cheesy book, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

It Happened One Summer…whew this was a sexy book (not quite The Roommate, but a close second). Piper is an LA socialite who lands herself into some trouble after a public breakup; her stepfather sends her away to a small fishing town in Washington as punishment. It’s all very Alexis Rose from Schitt’s Creek and I am here for it!!! The only thing I wasn’t here for was the way Brendan possessively spoke to Piper (and her body) during intercourse. Possessive ‘you’re MINE’ talk is not my personal kink but if that’s your thing then read this! I personally cannot wait for the next book in the series about Hannah and Fox!

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

Verity by Colleen Hoover

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

A Rogue of One’s One by Evie Dunmore

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

What did you read this month? Anything I should add to my list?


Sara Ann

Books of the Month: October 2020

Holy moley, it’s November! Clocking in at 50 books, I’m only 10 (TEN!) away from 60 and around 60 days to finish (lol 60 days til this year is OVER, whew). I’m pretty sure I can do this, thank you for all supporting me along the way. Feel free to send me book suggestions, I’m open to all genres! Here are the books I read this month:

Unmarriageable was a retelling of Pride & Prejudice set in Pakistan. I enjoyed it, mostly because I love P&P, but also it was interesting to learn about the Pakistani culture AND loved how Alys (Elizabeth Bennett) was a strong feminist and tried to teach her students to see their options beyond getting married and being a housewife. Would recommend if you’re into P&P!

Clap When You Land was another story by the same author as Poet X. I love how she tells the story through poetry; this one was about 2 girls with the same father who don’t know of the other’s existence; one lives in NYC and one lives in the DR. When their father dies, they learn of each other and their stories entwine. Very quick read!

Wild Game was… wild. Set in Cape Cod, a young girl is let in on her mother’s secret, she’s having an affair with her step-father’s best friend. This true story told over decades of time, discusses the effects of lying and secrets and how they impacted the girl for most of her life. It also touches on the mother and daughter’s relationship which was an essential theme for the girl in understanding herself and her mother.

Daisy Jones and the Six was really good, I think I mostly liked it because of the interview style format the book was set up in? Made it a quick read with interesting storylines. Another good one by Taylor Jenkins Reid about a band’s formation, rise in the music scene, and swift downfall.

Praying For Emily was a beautiful story of the first child to receive an experimental T cell treatment that cured her leukemia. It’s a story of both science and faith that helped Emily survive. The Whiteheads are actually distant family of mine here in Pennsylvania, and I followed Emily’s journey on her mom’s blog/Facebook back in 2012 when it was happening. It’s so amazing to read about her journey and a large collective group across the world was praying for her to survive. Get some tissues if you read this one.

Summer of ’69 was a good beach read (not that I read it on the beach, but rather in an airport). A story about an American family during the summer of ’69, with their son off to serve in the Vietnam war. Would recommend if you need a quick, good story.

Unmarriageable: A Novel by Soniah Kamal

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Praying for Emily: The Faith, Science, and Miracles that Saved Our Daughter by Emily Whitehead, Kari Whitehead, and Tom Whitehead

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

I’m currently reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab that I got for my October Book of the Month club pick. It’s really good so far, can’t wait to share more about it!


Sara Ann

P.s. Seriously, drop book recs in the comments…

Sincerely Seven: Week 40

Happy Sunday All! Hope everyone had a lovely week! My week was nice, work wasn’t bad, I finished a book and starting packing for my trip back East that’s coming up this week. I am sadly trying to pack 45 sweaters to wear over a 2 week period and alas, I don’t think I can fit them all in my carry on. LE SIGH, but you better believe I’m going to be watching YouTube videos for sweater packing for the rest of today. Here are 7 other things that got me through this week…

  1. My favorite thing to happen this week… #ProudBoys means LOVE not hate, delighted to see Gay Love taking over this hashtag on Twitter, makes my heart SMILE.
  2. If you know me, you know I am all about Harry Potter and also fall themed cocktails, so loved these Harry Potter cocktail recipes! I want to try the Golden Snitch and The Deathly Hallows.
  3. I spent the weekend watching The Duchess and Emily in Paris, would recommend both, especially The Duchess, which is hilarious. Emily in Paris was very apparently made by the same creator as Sex and the City, but Emily kind of came off as an obnoxious American in France IMO? That being said, I do like Lily Collins (can we talk about her cute new engagement ring?) and the show’s wardrobe is très magnifique!
  4. I love love love chocolate chip cookies, a virtue that was born from being raised on grocery store cookies. I found this ranking of grocery store cookies, I personally was obsessed with the Chip’s Ahoy, Chewy cookies as a child tbh. Not a big fan of Tate’s, but I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like (just kidding, oatmeal raisin cookies can just stop).
  5. Speaking of cookies, this week was biscuit week on GBBO and these Quarantine Florentines sound delicious. Perhaps when I’m not living that bi-coastal life, I’ll try to make these.
  6. Here’s a list of books coming out in October, and there are quite a few that sound really good (THIS is why my TBR pile never stops growing). I got The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab in my BOTM box, which again, would highly recommend for book lovers!
  7. Are you ready for a safe Halloween? As we learned this week, no one is invincible when it comes to COVID and we should all take this seriously, so make sure to wear your masks for spooky season! But seriously, buying the Wednesday Addams one ASAP.

Here’s to a great week ahead!


Sara Ann