What I Read in November

November has been absolutely mad, and scarcely had time for anything. Between a full-time job, prepping for Life in the UK test (I passed), taking part in NaNoWriMo – even if I had to drop out, I wrote quite a lot this month – it’s been an extremely busy month!

I managed to read It seems that somehow all my favourite books from this month are fantasy. I normally try to make my Top 5 Books list as varied as possible as I enjoy many genres and I have been lucky to read so many fantastic books this year, but it is true

My Top 5 Books in November

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

My rating: 5/5
Genre: Fantasy
Links: Books Depository & Amazon

Perhaps I’m cheating a little bit at saying that Northern Lights is one of my top 5 books this month, as it’s a re-read, but seeing that this book has brought me back to childhood and gave me all the feelings, I must include it here! I remember reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials ages ago when as a young girl I got my hands on the translation of this amazing trilogy. It’s such a pleasure to revisit this world once again, this time as an adult.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gang

My rating: 5/5
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Links: Book Depository & Amazon
(Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my e-copy)

These Violent Delights has been an absolute joy to read. Set in Shanghai, in the 1920s, it’s a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, and while initially, I was sceptical about the concept, I absolutely loved. I must get around to posting my full review here because that book deserves high praises. I have been kindly gifted e-copy via NetGalley, but I’m aiming to buy a physical copy soon – it was so good! It’s another book, where the atmosphere of the place played a major role in me devouring this story so quickly. But I also enjoyed, the underlying tension and the politics of Shanghai at the time, adding to the atmosphere and highlighting the problems both main characters face. When I started These Violent Delights, I didn’t realise it isn’t standalone, so the ending took me by surprise – I’m really looking forward to the next instalment. 

The Girl of Ink & Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

My rating: 5/5
Genre: YA Fantasy
Links: Book Depository & Amazon

The Girl of Ink & Stars has been one of my favourite YA reads this year. It follows Isabella, a daughter of a cartographer. Clever and resourceful, she volunteers to lead a search for her friend when she disappears, under the disguise of a boy. I have never read anything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave previously, but after this book, I’m hoping to read more. I really enjoyed the author’s style, and I feel like I will be re-reading The Girl of Ink & Stars at some point in the future.

Paris By Starlight by Robert Dinsdale

My rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Fantasy
Links: Book Depository & Amazon
Full review: here
(Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my e-copy)

Set in Paris, Paris By Starlight has an amazing atmosphere. I’ve been to Paris twice, and it’s the city I like coming back to, so while we cannot travel anywhere this year, it’s been lovely to get lost into this book. Robert Dinsdale’s book is a story of many people, their lives entangled and affected by the magic of old ways. The main narrative follows Isabelle and Levon, two young people from different places, each looking for something else, and yet, really, both looking to belong somewhere. I loved how slow at moments the book was and allowed you to take in the whole atmosphere of the story. I also thought it was great to see the exploration of immigration in a sense, through this quite extraordinary story – it was painful at moments, but important.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

My rating: 4/5
Genre: Fantasy
Links: Book Depository & Amazon

I must admit to having quite a bit mixed feeling about The Bone Season series so far. I have finally started it this month (I know, I’m late to the party), and I was initially quite disappointed. This series has been hyped so much to me by so many different people that I think I set to read it with too high expectations. I still absolutely love the world Samantha Shannon created, but it took me a long time to start carrying about the main characters. Now, three books in (and having the fourth one waiting for me at NetGalley), I’m invested in the story, but it may not be a series I will be re-reading. 

What are you planning to read in December?

Take care,
Alicja

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