October (AKA Halloween month)

October was a much more successful reading AND writing month and this makes me happy to no end.

Eight books, 4 Speculative Fiction, 5 Sapphic – altogether not too shabby. As for writing I got the prep sorted out for NaNoWriMo and I am raring to go.

So here’s my wap up of book reviews for October

Purposefully Accidental by G Benson:
For such a big book, and Purposefully Accidental is a lot of words, I flew through this book easily devouring and loving the adventures of Wren and Madison.
Not only does it have some of my favourite tropes (enemies to lovers and fake relationship), G Benson has created complete worlds for both characters, populated with the most fantastic friends and hateable ‘bad guys’.
I laughed so much throughout this book. From Hathor and her complete felineness, to 9-year-old gay panic, to best friends who call characters out on their shit and half hearted denial. But then, THEN my heart spiderwebbed with fractals of pain and grief. Because there is a lot of grief that has been done so genuinely and delicately without taking away any of the wonderful humour and sexiness of this book.
Because yes, there is a whole lot of sexy tension and moments.
I want to say more, so much more but mostly I don’t want to spoil this amazing book and stop the world from reading it, because the world really should.
But, if you need more info then here’s a list of a few more things that have stuck with me and even now make me giggle
* Putting misogynist, bigots, and homophobes in their place
* A charming and down to earth celeb
* A car bonnet … oh yes, a car bonnet!!!!!
* A hilarious coming out
* Wonderful and amazing neurodiverse representation

Crush by S R Silcox:
I love everything about this book. The writing, the characters and, for me the familiar landscape and world. Tess is a country girl who goes to her Pop and Nan’s farm to help prep for the Crush festival instead of going to schoolies.
Maddie is visiting in a desperate need to escape the pressures of a life she hasn’t enjoyed for far too long.
The two meet, hit it off, and then both of their worlds shift.
Brilliant banter, and friendships, as well as wonderful family dynamics. I loved it!

For The Long Run by Cheyenne Blue:
This book has everything you could want. Elite athletes, a runner in a koala suit, unexpected housemates, presto puppy, hot hot hot hot hot scenes, beautiful writing and description, hot sex scenes, heart squeezing moments, laugh out loud times, the beauty of gay Melbourne Australia, oh and did I mention this book is HOT?!
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were amazingly real and dynamic and the entire romance developed in such real and natural ways, with the struggles and the surprises, and how both characters found ways to give the best they could to their life and their relationship without being swallowed by it whole. I want to cuddle this book for giving me all the feels.

The Seasonals by Pamela Jeffs:
You can’t go past Pamela Jeffs for atmospheric writing and beauty and The Seasonsals is no except.
A collection of 4 short stories all tied together spanning 10000 years. Creatures from another world, the cursed, and the forgetful all coming together to keep our world from being eaten. Heartbreak and beauty go hand in hand with dynamic characters and incredible world building and description.

Just My Type by Lucy Bexley and Bryce Oakley:
This was a fun lighthearted vampire romance. And I mean really what could wrong with a vampire and a hematoligist. They are perfectly matched to each other, Annie with her excitable humanity and sciencey stuff and Ero with zero pop culture knowledge, or general human living awareness at all, and a love for her inherent nature. The puns and references throughout the entire book kept me giggling.
It was easy to read and the pages seemed to fly past.
I enjoyed many of the descriptions and felt entirely called out by Annie’s immediate acceptance, only to be stunned later when she begins to really think about the consequences. Whoops.
I love June and Nines and Ero’s adorable awkwardness.
Oh …. And damn, sizzling!

Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir:
Oh my fucking god.
Tamsyn Muir does it again. I spent time simultaneously wondering wtf was happening while being entirely captivated by the writing, world building and characterisations.
I love Moira Quirk and her ability to truly envelope you in the experience and world with her narrating mastery.
As usual Muir had me laughing along with lines such as:
– who is this literal god damn infant? Can someone give her like a rusk or something and shut her up?
– no baby cakes, I didn’t fool you.
– I thought I told you to shut your stolen god damned mouth
And then simple lines and concepts that stay with you:
– That middle of the brain thought
I adore this series and cannot wait for the next instalment

Fire Witch by Rachael Boucker
This is a brilliant novellette night order series prequel. love the world building, the magic system, and Boucker’s way with words. A mix of laugh out loud moments with turn my head away from the gruesome descriptions.

A Whisper of Solace by Milena McKay
Wow. This was an epic read and I understand why people have been talking so much about it.
I loved the relationship between the MC and the therapist, the self-referential jokes and outright conversations about tropes. Neve is a masterpiece of a complicated and contradictory human being.
I struggled at the start with Neve’s ‘wallowing’ and hyper focus on her not-a-relationship with Audrey but am so glad I pushed through because once she moved through to allowing herself to also focus on her life and work again, wow I could not stop reading. Or listening, because Abby Crayden’s narration is a divine piece of art. My only other struggle was not understanding what was so amazing about Audrey that everyone gravitated toward her and loved her … and THEN, the self-referential moments where Audrey brings this to light. At least, that’s how it felt to me and damn was I all here for it.
I laughed out loud many times and found myself smiling that omg this is brilliant icyness without even realising it. Among the joy were also the most heartbreaking of moments.
Milena’s writing is delicious and provocative. And the sizzle, oh sizzle beyond sizzle.

Bring on November.

Be Safe
Be Brave
Be Kind

Neen x

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