This year, I am determined to blog more. So therefore, I am bringing back my monthly wrap ups. I used to love doing these but I began to include certain categories every month which started freaking me out because whenever I would have a month where I didn’t read a book or watch a movie, it would irritate me because I would have an empty section. But I’ve decided to bring them back but with less structure. Every month, I will wrap up the books that I’ve read and probably the movies that I watch too. If I ever have anything else to add, then I will too. It’s going to be whatever I want it to be and I’m okay with that. But anyway, let’s look at what I got up to in January this year.
Books I Read:
Odd One Out by Nic Stone
This was my first read of the year and I was slightly disappointed. I enjoyed the blurb of this book when I received it for review a few months ago so I was looking forward to picking it up. However, as soon as I read the first chapter, I didn’t really like it. I wasn’t a fan of Coop, the main guy, as I found him to be quite an irritating narrator. The writing style in his POV also really angered me as well. It got better when we changed POVs and I started enjoying it a lot more. I thought that the ending was quite rushed and I wasn’t really a fan of how it all came together at the end but it isn’t a bad book. – 3 out of 5 stars.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
I read Adam Silvera’s debut late last year and I was slightly underwhelmed but I wanted to give another one of his books a try and I’m so happy that I did. They Both Die at the End was a heart wrenching story and I finally understand all of the hype. The characters all felt very real and the end broke me, even though I knew that it was coming. I’m really happy that I gave his books another shot because this was so much better than More Happy than Not in my opinion. – 5 out of 5 stars.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
This is a book that I never really intended on reading. I had tried to read two Holly Black books before and I couldn’t really get into them so I had just given up on ever reading her books. However, I thought that as I am meeting her in February for her UK tour with Cassandra Clare, I would attempt to read one of her books. The Cruel Prince seemed like it would be the book of hers that I would most enjoy and I was right. I was addicted to this book. It’s been a while since I read a new fantasy series like this and this book reminded me of why I love these books. I loved the characters and the setting, despite never enjoying a full Fae book. I am still shocked about how much I adored this book. – 5 out of 5 stars.
History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
This month was definitely the month that I discovered my love for Adam Silvera’s books. History Is All You Left Me was another heartbreaking YA contemporary story that stayed with me long after I finished the book. As someone who has never experienced proper grief, I still loved reading about it. It made me so emotional and I feel like this book can help a lot of people who have gone through something similar. – 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The Lost Sisters by Holly Black
This a novella in the Cruel Prince world that I read to bridge the one day gap that I had between finishing The Cruel Prince and the release of the Wicked King. It was okay. It was nothing special and I’m still not a fan of Taryn as a character. – 3 out of 5 stars.
The Wicked King by Holly Black
The one day that I had to wait for this book killed me and I don’t know how people waited longer than that. It was well worth the wait. I think I might have even loved this book more than I loved the first book which is shocking. This sequel was more focused on politics which I’ve realised that I absolutely love as a plot point. It’s just so fascinating to read about and this book had me gripped from the beginning. I read this whole book in one day and I still can’t get over the ending. I can’t believe that I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next. – 5 out of 5 stars.
Izzy and Tristan by Shannon Dunlap
I received this book unsolicited for review at the end of last year but it seemed interesting so I thought I would give it a go. I was incredibly disappointed. This book just felt off from the start. The voices didn’t feel authentic and the romance felt incredibly forced. All of the black characters felt like stereotypes and race wasn’t really mentioned until the last 20 pages or so. It felt like the author was trying to write a romance but felt the pressure to have it deal with social issues. The climax was incredibly rushed and I’m very disappointed with this read. The only thing that was good about it was the fact that I found it addictive and I wanted to keep reading but other than that, it was a pretty lacklustre book. – 2 out of 5 stars.
Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard
This is the companion novel to Beautiful Broken Things which I read at the end of 2015 and loved. I realised quickly when I started this book that I didn’t remember much of Beautiful Broken Things but that didn’t really matter. What I’ve always loved most about Sara Barnard’s books is how realistic they feel. UKYA contemporary just always feels so real to me because I can relate a lot more to it than I can relate to US contemporary. Sara’s books always seem like the most realistic YA contemporary books that I’ve read. I love the focus on friendship and on how friendship can affect you as much as a relationship can. As someone who has never been in a relationship and therefore has never had to deal with romantic drama, it was so refreshing to read about how much a friendship can mean to you and how they can be toxic and make you feel just as insecure as others do. This book really focuses on how friends can save you because not everyone has their traditional families to rely on. I loved all of the characters and I would love to see them again in another book. This book also made me really want to visit Brighton which I’ve never been to before. – 4 out of 5 stars.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Yes, this was the month where I finally dived into the Grishaverse. When the Netflix news dropped, I knew that it was finally time for me to dive in. I enjoyed this first book. It wasn’t my favourite fantasy book but the world and characters had potential. I knew that I would enjoy this series more as it went on. I was intrigued by all of the main characters (even though a lot of people seem to hate them). My only issue with this book is an issue that I have with a lot of fantasy books – I’m always so confused at the beginning. Especially as this one had so many new words and it was all very confusing. I’m still not sure if I fully got the hang of it by the end of this first book. – 4 out of 5 stars.
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
I then obviously had to read the sequel because I love to binge-read entire series in one go. I really loved this sequel. I definitely preferred it over book 2. Mal and Alina still both irritate me sometimes (especially Mal) but the introduction of Nikolai really helped. I love his character. I feel like I have a soft spot for princes in fantasy worlds because they’re just always so great. I was obsessed with this sequel so much thatI read it all in a day and automatically picked up the third one as soon as I finished it. – 5 out of 5 stars.
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
I had to finish off the whole trilogy and I loved this conclusion. I read this book in one day and finished it less than 24 hours after I finished Siege and Storm. I think this was a good conclusion but I felt the climax was slightly rushed. I have this issue a lot with fantasy conclusions and maybe it’s just because I read very quickly, especially in the last 20% of the book. Anyway, I love this world and as I said before, I love Nikolai and I can’t wait for his full book. – 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
It’s time for what everyone has been waiting for. Yes, this month I finally read the Six of Crows duology and I loved it so much. I enjoyed the Grisha trilogy but my oh my did Six of Crows blow my socks off. I mean what a cast of characters. I would die for Kaz and Inej in particular but I love all of the main 6 (except for Matthias). I don’t think I’ve ever read a heist book before but this was honestly amazing. I an already predict that it will be on my favourite books of 2019 blog post at the end of the year and I’m mad at myself for not reading it any sooner. – 5 out of 5 stars.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Holy shit. This book killed me and then revived me again and again. What a duology. I’m so sad that it’s over because it was so much fun. I love these characters will all of my heart and I can’t believe that I didn’t read it any sooner. I now fully understand the hype for this duology and I am so excited for the Netflix show (though I wish it wasn’t with Shadow and Bone because this is clearly the superior series). – 5 out of 5 stars.
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
This book really let me down. I found it quite boring and I didn’t really see the point to it. I skimmed the last 2 stories because I could not find the motivation to actually properly read ths book. I think it stems from the fact that I’m not a huge fairytale fan. Like I don’t hate them but they aren’t something I love. – 3 out of 5 stars.
Opposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds
I found this book interesting. I haven’t read many, if any, books about time travel so I was intrigued. I found it interesting to begin with but my interest started to disappear towards the end. I found the constant repetition of events quite boring and also I found that I couldn’t root for the protagonist, Jack, because I didn’t like him. As I didn’t like him, I found that I didn’t care about what happened to him. The saving graces of this book for me were Franny and Jillian because I really enjoyed the friendship aspect of it. Overall, this book had promise but failed to meet the mark for me. – 3 out of 5 stars.
This is a UKYA LGBTQIA+ anthology that I absolutely adored. I would go into it further, but I actually did a full review of it so go check that out. – 5 out of 5 stars.
Damage by Eve Ainsworth
This was such a good read. It’s been on my TBR for 2 years and I don’t know why I put it off because I loved both of her previous two YA novels, 7 Days and Crush. It was a hard hitting, intense, fast paced contemporary YA novel about self harm that was just so good. Her books are so incredibly short yet they pack a punch. If you haven’t read any of her books, I highly recommend picking them up. – 4 out of stars.
Tender by Eve Ainsworth
I’m so happy that I finally read this book and that it is off of my TBR. I read this book entirely in one sitting and loved it. I love how fast paced her books are even though they deal with intense topics. They’re such underrated, gripping YA contemporary novels that need to be appreciated more. – 4 out of 5 stars.
State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury
This was my first re-read of the year and boy was it a good one! This book came out last year and it was one of my favourites of the year(my review of it is actually my most viewed post so click here to go read that if you would like) so I thought that I should re-read it this year to prepare for the conclusion to the duology that is coming out on the 7th March. As I was reading this, I realised that I didn’t really remember what happened in it. As I went along, I remembered more things but overall my memory of this book is quite foggy but this is a common occurrence for me. I always struggle to remember exact things that happen in a book even a few weeks after I finish reading it. But this book was obviously amazing and I highly recommend it. – 5 out of 5 stars.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reed
I’ve decided that in 2019, I want to start listening to more audiobooks. I’ve started to really enjoy them, especially now that I’m going to the gym and listening to an audiobook really helps to motivate me whilst I’m at the gym. I started off my audiobook journey with Evelyn Hugo and I’m so happy I did. This book really is as good as everyone said it is. It was so addictive that I found myself staying at the gym longer, just so that I could listen to even more of this book. I was addicted to Evelyn’s story and it made me feel all of the emotions. I’m so glad that I finally read this book. – 5 out of 5 stars.
Movies I Watched:
This has been on Netflix since early December but I didn’t get a chance to watch it until a month after it came out. I really enjoyed this adaptation. I can’t really say much about the book compared to the movie as I read the book years ago and I can’t remember anything that happened at all. However, the movie was very enjoyable and I had a fun time watching it. I think it’s a very good film but it isn’t my favourite movie ever. It didn’t stick with me past the night where I watched it – except for the Dolly Parton songs that were stuck in my head for day! However, it was still a good movie viewing experience. – 3 out of 5 stars.
Next, on my birthday, I went out to watch Simmba, the latest Ranveer Singh film. I watched it about 3 weeks late but the screening was the busiest I’ve seen it for a Bollywood film. It was an enjoyable watch. It was problematic in parts and silly in other parts but I still had good fun watching it. Ranveer perfectly suited the masala kinda role that he was born to do. – 3 out of 5 stars.
As you can tell, I read a lot of books this month and saw hardly any movies! I’m so proud of myself for reading so much but I know that I won’t keep up this pace throughout the year but that’s fine with me. I’ve just been really loving and enjoying reading at the moment so I’m so excited that I’m in this great reading mood.