The Best Books I Read in October 2021

I finished 17 books in October, putting me at 167 for the year so far. As long as I keep up this pace for the next two months, I’ll easily meet my goal of 200 book for the year.

Five of my reads this month were 5-star books and seven were 4-star so that’s a lot of high quality reading! Here’s a look at my favorites.

The Best Books I Read in October 2021

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

Literary fiction

This is a powerful work of magical realism about a mother of a toddler who believes she is turning into a dog. It offers a lot of thought provoking ideas about motherhood, and societal expectations. There were a lot of times when I wasn’t sure what the heck was going on and what was real, but that’s part of what made it so compelling. The writing is strong and emotional. I highly recommend this one for readers of literary fiction and magical realism.

The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton by Eleanor Ray

Literary fiction/mystery

This novel has serious Fredrik Backman vibes. It’s a beautiful story about loss and grief. It explores the different ways people respond and how they can eventually heal. Amy suffered a major loss eleven years ago and since then she’s had a hard time getting rid of things. Her house is overflowing with items she collects. I related to Amy a lot, especially in understanding how “stuff” can take control of us when we attach emotions to objects. There’s a mystery woven throughout the storyline, which I liked a lot. All of the characters were a pleasure to get to know. I highly recommend this novel for readers of literary fiction and mysteries.

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Contemporary romance

Second chance romance is one of my favorite tropes and it’s done beautifully here. Eva and Shane had a brief, intense relationship when they were 17 but haven’t communicated in fifteen years. Now they are both famous authors and their paths cross unexpectedly and it rocks both their worlds. The writing is emotional and flows well. There’s some haunting imagery about serious topics such as child abuse, drug use, chronic pain, self harm, and gang violence. It’s important and necessary to the story so it never feel gratuitous. There is also some fantastic humor throughout the book, which I don’t think is always easy to do along side such heavy content. The characters are all well developed and I just wanted to root for all of them to find happiness! I highly recommend this novel for readers of literary fiction as well as romance.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Contemporary romance

Enemies to lovers is hit or miss for me but it’s done to perfection here. A lot of times, the enemy relationship can feel forced. But Joshua is Lucy’s work nemesis so her hatred for him makes sense. Their picking at each other and pushing each other fits the situation, and it was fun to watch their feelings for each other shift with time. The chemistry and sexual tension between them is on point from start to finish. I loved Lucy and Josh as characters. They have wonderful backstories that explain a lot about them, so even when he was being jerk I could see where he was coming from. This is a funny, sexy, smart book and I highly recommend it!

Neon Gods by Katee Robert

Erotic romance

This book rocked my world. I finished the whole thing in less than 24 hours and was sad when it was over. This isn’t your typical romance novel with sex scenes. This is a sex-centric story and the scenes not related to sex are in the minority. If they aren’t having sex, they’re planning to, discussing it, just finished having it. Be warned, there’s a lot of sex. And it’s not sweet cuddly vanilla sex either. I don’t want to spoil anything so just keep in mind this is Hades we’re talking about. He has a reputation for depraved habits. However I will say the sex is written very well. Regardless of what acts are taking place, consent and safety are front and center for the characters. So besides all the kinky sex, there’s a great story. It’s a modern take on Hades and Persephone so all the major players are here. Robert did an incredible job building this world and I totally got lost in it. I loved the map of Olympus at the front, I referred to it several times while reading to keep a feel for the world the characters are in.  I highly recommend this one for readers of romance and erotica. 

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