Sunday, February 7, 2016

January Wrap-Up!

Wow, I can't believe how much this month just flew by! It feels like the beginning of 2016 was just yesterday.

This month was pretty good in terms of reading - I made my way through 14 books, which I think is pretty impressive. If I did that every month of the year I'd read 168 books! Unlikely, but it's a motivating thought.

So here's a picture to give you an idea, though I'm going to run through these, of course! I'm going to link each title to either its profile over on Goodreads, or to my review of it here or there, if I did one.

1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: One of the better books that I read this month! This book reminded me of what it was like to have stories told to me as a child - lyrical and fascinating, and a bit haunting as well.
2. Holiday Homecoming by Jean C. Gordon: A sweet little Christian romance. Not my usual style, but it was a cute way to start off the year - I'm a sucker for romances of all types.
3. Fearless Love by Meg Benjamin: This one was another sweet, sexy romance - though not particularly Christian at all, haha. I liked this one because of how it balanced the romance against the backdrop of a community - easier said than done, and I've always been in favour of romances that manage to do this.
4. Tell The Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt: One of my first unfortunate surprises of the year. I expected to love this one but didn't, really, which was disappointing. I loved the idea of it, but the execution was lacking.
5. The Invasion Of The Tearling by Erika Johansen. This author has such an ability to weave fantasy with compelling characters, I love it. I love this series, it was one of my favourite finds last year and I can't wait until the third one comes out!
6. Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas: This book was SUCH a welcome surprise, seriously. I didn't really like the first book, if I'm honest - I know a lot of people disagree on this! I just found it kind of weak. This book exceeded my expectations, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
7. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro: This book was good, though not quite as mindblowing as I might have expected given the reputation of this author. I enjoyed it but with some space from when I finished reading it I find myself thinking that it hasn't impacted me as much as I would have thought.
8. An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: This book was amazing, probably one of my top two or three books this month other than The Invasion Of The Tearling and A Monster Calls. I've linked my review, but I highly, highly recommend this book!
9. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover: This book has the unique distinction of being the worst book I've read so far this year, and I wouldn't be surprised if it stays pretty far up on that list. I did it as a buddy read and honestly, it's infuriating because it had so much potential but it was just completely squandered.
10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: This was more compelling than I had expected, honestly. It's an insight into the life of a teenager, bullying and suicide, and well written considering the depth of the topics it took on.
11. A Thousand Splendi Suns by Khaled Hosseini: Not an easy read, but very powerful and moving. It's a book that you have to make time for (and should!) but a worthy read, I think.
12. Heart Conditions by Phoebe Fox: Part of a series, this is surprisingly refreshing and entertaining. I had the privilege of reading galleys for both this book and the first in the series and I'd recommend it for those who like a bit more depth and not just fluffy or smutty romance, if that makes sense.
13. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken: Another disappointment at the start of the year, though for this one it might have more to do with me than the book itself. Many seem to love it, that's for sure. The idea is compelling and interesting, it just didn't really work for me.
14. The Book Of Negroes by Lawrence Hill: I'm still absorbing this one. Again, not an easy read. It is so very difficult to absorb at times the cruelty that people are capable of. Books like this are so important as a reminder of our history and what we need to learn from it.

So there we have it! Not a bad list, pretty varied imo - I'm proud of myself for not just having a list of pure YA or romance, to be honest. :) Here's hoping February will be a good month as well!

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