Hi everyone! I’ve been meaning to write this post all day but I’ve been procrastinating it for absolutely no reason at all! But better late than never! This wrap up is going to be slightly differently formatted because I took part in #sapphicseptember – a readathon hosted by Landice @ManicFemme to encourage people to pick up sapphic books in September (although it’s not like I needed any more excuses to do so!).
But first up, stats! I somehow managed to read a ridiculous 22 books in September, including DNFs – I don’t know how I managed it either! Nineteen of them were sapphic and only one of them had no LGBT rep, but only eight were written by authors of colour. I read a grand total of 5579 pages and read 8 physical books and 14 ebooks. My most read genre was contemporary/romance, followed by literary fiction and fantasy coming in joint second.
I’m going to start off with the books I read for Sapphic September. My goal was to complete all the squares (except for the group read as Iron Heart isn’t released in the UK until October) and, if possible, with no double ups (although they were allowed). If I had time, I was going to go back and read another book for the prompts fulfilled by DNFs, but unfortunately a reading slump struck halfway through the month and I didn’t manage to.
I’m going to do my best to tell you what prompt each book matches up with and give a brief summary of my thoughts!
Myth or Fairytale Retelling: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn – this is an Arthurian legend retelling with a black, bi main character, a really intriguing magic system and a whole host of LGBT side characters and characters of colour. I did a mini review over here, but ultimately I just couldn’t get into the ARC version so I DNF-ed, but thankfully the finished copy has gone through quite a few edits since then so I did purchase a paperback copy to give it another shot!
Indie or Small Press Author: The Holiday Detour by Jane Kolven – this was sadly another DNF. It’s a sweet, Christmassy f/nb rom-com that I was very excited for but I ended up disliking the main character and her blatant disrespect of the nonbinary love interest’s pronouns – I did a full review here!
Adult if you usually read YA and vice-versa: Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole – I loved this f/f modern royalty second chance romance novella and wish it had been longer! I did a mini review of it here and I gave it four stars!
Backlist Title: Bingo Love by Tee Franklin – This is an adorable sapphic graphic novel that follows two girls who have a chance encounter at bingo, fall in love and are separated but never forget about each other. I absolutely adored this one, I gave it five stars (and it made me cry!).
Enemies/Rivals to Lovers: I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch – perhaps my least favourite trope! This book was only just okay in my opinion, but that was a me problem not a problem with the book. If you love art school rivalry and Alice in Wonderland in space, you can check out my review here to find out more!
Let a Friend Choose Your Read: Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake – okay, so, this one I kinda cheated on. I did a poll on Twitter asking my mutuals to pick one of four books, and this one wasn’t the winner, but it did come second (I think). The book that won was a fantasy and I just wasn’t in the mood for it, but I’m glad I picked up this one because I really enjoyed it! I’ll have a review up for it next week but, spoiler alert, I gave it four stars!
Contemporary Romance: You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson – as this was my most read genre, there were so many that could have fallen into this category, but right at the start of the month I read the adorable You Should See Me in a Crown and loved it! I gave it four stars (I love cute prom scenes!) and did a review here!
Format You Read The Least: La fille dans l’écran by Manon Desveaux & Lou Lubie – This one I did take a couple of liberties with. The real format I read least of is audiobooks, but until I find my library card I have no way to access them! So, since I read very few graphic novels, and very few books in my second languages, I picked this one up! I thought the art was absolutely beautiful and it was a very sweet romance! I did my best writing a review in French here!
New or New to You Author: Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke – just like almost all of sapphic book Twitter, I read Scapegracers this month! This sapphic witch coven stole my heart and I desperately need the sequel ASAP! I did a mini review over here where I try and coherently capture my thoughts on this five star read!
Has Been on Your TBR Too Long: The Truth about Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown – I did a whole review of this one that I’m quite proud of, but in essence, this is a new favourite that I’m never going to stop recommending that you read! It has a really lovely, slow burn sapphic romance and the most beautiful, poetic writing!
By a Sapphic Literary Icon: Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera – again, I was going to try and read another book for this one but I ran out of time. In my opinion this is an iconic sapphic book, so I’m going with it! I gave this one five stars and just posted a review on it yesterday!
Quick Read: Novella or Graphic Novel: Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman – again, as if I needed another excuse to read more novellas and graphic novels! This is an adorable novella following two Jewish wlw but unfortunately it wasn’t amazing for me! I did a mini review here if you want to know more of my thoughts!
Historical Fiction/Romance: Islands of Mercy by Rose Tremain – sadly this was another DNF. It sounded so promising but I didn’t like the writing style or how it discussed the topic of miscarriages. I love sapphic historical fiction but this one was a disappointment.
Opposites Attract: Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride by SJ Whitby – I loved this one! I’ve been a huge X-Men fan for years, and when I found out this was X-Men but gayer I bought it (and read it) right away! I did a full review here, but I gave it five stars and will be picking up the sequel in October!
Sci-fi/Fantasy with a Romantic Subplot: Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart – this is an amazing Asian-inspired fantasy with five POVs, two of which are the daughter of nobility and a revolutionary who are in a sapphic relationship. It’s no surprise that I adored this one and I’m also (not-so) patiently awaiting the sequel!
But that’s not all I read! For the sake of keeping this post brief, I’m going to try and keep this bit short too, by talking about the rest of my reads in the order that I read them in!
Right at the start of the month I read two super short novellas by Margaux Fox – Play with Me and Falling for Her. They’re two sapphic novellas, one about a police detective who’s tired of her job hunting down a mafia boss, and the other about rugby lesbians! I gave both four stars and included slightly more in-depth reviews in my mini sapphic novella reviews post!
A little bit later I picked up Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. This was a relatively new purchase for me, but after seeing so many glowing reviews I was dying to read it and picked it up on a whim. This was a five star read for me – it tackled performative allyship and white guilt so perfectly and I was so invested in the characters. It’s definitely a must read!
I also picked up This Spell Can’t Last by Isabel Sterling, after working out how to change my Kindle to an American address. This is the novella that details that New York trip that takes place before These Witches Don’t Burn. I absolutely adore this duology so I knew I needed to pick up the novella, especially since I’m missing the characters so much! This was a fun read and I definitely recommend picking it up in between the first and the second book in the duology!
Then I picked up my ARC of A Burning by Megha Majumdar, and this one blew me away! I’m not the biggest literary fiction reader but I got so invested in the characters and the storyline that I just couldn’t put it down! It’s set in India and follows three POVs, one of which is Jivan, a muslim girl who is wrongfully accused of carrying out a terrorist attack on a train. I did a full review here that I’m really proud of and I’d love it if you could check it out!
Finally, I picked up the novella Knock Me Down by Skye Kilaen. After reading Skye’s first novella, I haven’t shut up about it (read it!!), and I joined the ARC list for her new series, which starts with Get It Right. I was lucky enough to also receive a copy of the prequel novella (Knock Me Down) from the author too (thank you so much!!) and loved it! But who’s surprised there! It has the cutest tiny cinnamon roll pan guy who loves wearing cowboy hats/tall, hot, muscly ice queen dynamic and I’m in love with them!! Pleeeease check out Skye Kilaen’s writing if you haven’t already, I know you’ll love it!
Phew! I think that’s everything! Well done if you made it this far! I’d love to know what you thought of any of these books and what your favourite book of the month was? As always, stay safe!