January 2019 Wrap Up
Good day to you bookworms!
Here we are, already saying our goodbyes to the first month of the year!
January has been an odd month for me – as far as personal goals go I’m doing pretty well, there’s still room for improvement but I think that’s always a good thing.
I’m on a bit of a health kick at present and am exercising at least 3 times a week (Not including my usual 2-mile walk which I do every day regardless just about) I’ve been eating better and drinking more water and I have to say, it really does show. My skin and hair are so much nicer!
January got off to a rough start with me cutting out people who were dragging me down with negativity and then the loss of my eldest pug, Myrtle, but it gets easier and as the cliché goes – time is the greatest healer and nothing is permanent.
Anyway, enough of the claptrap, let’s get into the books that I read for the month of January!
This month I read a total of 9 books, with 1 2 stars read, 2 3 star reads, 2 4 star reads and 3 5 star reads. The 9th book is ongoing so doesn’t have a rating as of yet.
Every book I read this month is a different genre – I really wanted to mix things up instead of gravitating toward my usuals!
So here goes!
Vampire Academy – Book One – Rachael Mead.
YA Paranormal Fantasy
Read between 29/12/2018 and 02/01/2019
I’ve actually got the entire set of the Vampire Academy series – it was kindly passed onto me by my sister who is also a bookworm.
This novel follows Rose and Lissa, two different types of vamp who have a strange sort of connection – Rose wants to protect Lissa with her life and does a pretty good job of doing so.
– Why does Rose need to protect Lissa? Well, that’s because she’s vampire royalty and Rose is her bodyguard of sorts.
– There’s a forbidden love.
– Lots of vampire snogging which is very descriptive and a bit weird.
– There are bad vampires who are trying to kill the good vampires.
I went into this expecting nothing. I figured it would be your typical YA fantasy novel with all the usual tropes and I have to say, I was right.
I wasn’t disappointed – I just didn’t really care too much. I didn’t like the main protagonist, she was too negative and abrasive, she didn’t like animals, she had no clue what Harry Potter was and she had no intention of attempting to see anything past her own nose.
This was a fast-paced book, a book I would have loved a few years back, but reading it now, it was just kind of predictable.
All this said I did actually find it quite entertaining and the plot pacing is very well done – as is the world building and the information given on the different types of vamp and how their types dictate where they stand within the structure of vampiric society.
I gave this book 3/5 stars.
Revival – Stephen King
Horror / Sci Fi
Read Between 02.01.2019 and 08.01.2019
I went into my next Stephen King novel blind – I didn’t even bother to read the synopsis so I had no idea what to expect from this book.
Set over the course of multiple decades, we meet our protagonist as a young boy who meets his church pastor one fateful summer day. What occurs following this meeting is an intertwining of destiny which will prove to test for all involved.
I enjoyed this novel, it was kind of slow going but despite the fact that I started off reading about a young boy and then ended the novel reading about an old man, I never really felt myself disassociating from the character.
This book is creepy. It starts off relatively tame, nothing special, but the ending… like, the discovery wow. It creeped me out. I keep thinking about it. King really is a master of description and he certainly knows how to make images stay with you for a long time after the book is finished.
I gave this novel 4/5 stars.
Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas
Read between 08/01/2019 and 13/01/2019
This is one of those super hyped up books written by a super popular author who people just can’t seem to get enough of.
I read the ACOTAR series last year and figured I’d give this series a go in 2019.
Throne of Glass follows a young assassin who is serving time in a horrific mine of sorts as a form of punishment for her infamous deeds. Despite her age, she is the most feared and the most adept assassin of her time.
In order to shorten her imprisonment, she is given the opportunity to become the kings champion by winning a competition against others of a similar nature, if she can win then she can serve out a 4-year sentence for the king and then be set free. Of course, she accepts, however when the other competitors begin being murdered, she takes it upon herself to find out what’s happening before she becomes the murderer’s next victim.
I really, really enjoyed this novel, probably more than ACOTAR actually. The protagonist is sassy and strong, she is likeable despite her attitude and I actually loved the love triangle trope in this novel.
The action scenes are well written and exciting and it’s definitely a page-turner. I am certainly looking forward to the next book in the series.
Impossible Roommates – Clare James
Romance / Erotica / Smut
Unknown start date – Finished 16/01/2019
I’m a total noob when it comes to this genre and have no clue what the difference is between all the subgenres but whatever.
This has sex in it. Lots of it.
I made it a goal of mine to read more of these sorts of books this year and Impossible Roommates was my first.
This book centres around two protagonists who share a history as friends with benefits – they obviously have a connection however the guy is a total douche who sleeps around and pretty much gets angry over really stupid things. He kind of has the emotional IQ of a squashed slug, good job he’s cute then. (I’m joking, no amount of good looks makes it ok to be a douche.)
Anyway, despite my dislike of douchey guys being angry and hitting things, I kind of loved these characters. It was silly and fun, and the sex scenes were STEAMY.
I gave this 3/5 stars.
Fully Functioning Human (Almost) – Melanie Murphy
13/01/2019 – 18/01/2019
Ok, so I’ve spoken about this author / Youtuber a few times on my channel, Melanie is one of my favourite people to watch, she is beautiful, loyal, intelligent, a bit of a nerd… I just love her and when I saw her book had an audio version narrated by her with her gorgeous Irish accent I had to get it.
This book is full of tips and advice for everyday living, it covers eating disorders, sexuality, skin problems, bullying. So much stuff.
I loved it. I truly did.
I don’t think there’s anything particularly profound about this book, but honestly, it felt like hearing great advice from a best friend and I couldn’t get enough.
I gave it 5/5 stars.
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits – David Wong
13/01/2019 – 20/01/2019
Ughhh this book. I’m sorry to say, I really didn’t enjoy this, it was very hard going for me.
It centres around a young woman who finds out she’s the heir to a small fortune after her absent dad passes away and leaves her everything in his will.
The problem is, her dad was the most important businessman in a lawless city where pretty much anyone can do anything without any repercussions at all, so when she gets there, she suddenly finds a whole bunch of people want her dead.
It’s all a bit silly, and it’s meant to be, but it was just… a bit too silly for me and it’s all a bit distasteful and cringy – dick jokes, boobs, ass… making fun of fat people. I just, I wasn’t digging it. The villain was an absolute moron, which he was meant to be, but it was all completely over the top and the only thing I liked about it was the protagonist’s cat. I ended up giving this novel 2/5 stars.
Fruits Basket – Volume One – Natsuki Takaya
20/01/2019 – 20/01/2019
I’ve mentioned before that this year I want to read more graphic novels and manga – this was my first of this genre for 2019.
It centres around a teenage girl who finds herself without anywhere to live following a family tragedy, she pitches a tent on a piece of land in order to make her home without realising that the land she has chosen belongs to a well-known family.
The family offer her a temporary place to stay and it soon becomes apparent they are more than they seem – when a member of the family is touched by a person of the opposite sex, they turn into a sign of the Chinese zodiac.
I’m not going to lie – I struggled with this, not because of the story or anything which was beautiful, cute and poignant, but with the traditional manga structure. I am a complete noob and struggled to follow where the next section of the story began – it took me ages to work it out which did take away from the story somewhat.
This being said, this manga is so adorable and I loved it. I adored the characters, their back stories and the thought-provoking message this first volume gets across so well.
I ended up giving this manga 4/5 stars.
The Break – Marian Keyes
Read between 21/01/2019 – 24/01/2019
This is the last book I completed this month, although I’m writing this on the 28th of January and I hope to have finished my current read before the 31st.
Marian Keyes is one of those authors I always love, I love her wit, her characters and the messages she tries to get across in her novels.
The Break was another hit for me.
Amy and Hugh have been married for some time when Hugh’s father dies, this hits him incredibly hard and then not long after this catastrophic life event, a friend of similar age also passes away.
This sends Hugh over the edge, questioning his identity and the shortness of life so he decides to have a break to go travelling for 6 months and leaving Amy back home in Ireland to look after their 3 girls.
Sounds simple enough, however, this story is more complex and more thought-provoking than it would have you first believe.
We flit backwards and forwards a few times, finding out details about Amy which we weren’t expecting and she is such a wonderful and complex character, her attitude and behaviour are so well thought out and wonderful to read. I loved her. I loved this book.
If you like contemporary and are after a lovely, easy read then I would recommend The Break. I adored it and gave it 5/5 stars.
So, at present I am listening to The Secret on audiobook – this is a self help book of sorts centred around The Law of Attraction which encourages “thoughts become things, so focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want” So far, so good. It’s giving me a life of mood and I’m quite enjoying it.
As for a physical book, I’m reading Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and I’m not sure how I feel about it up to now, there’s a lot of talking and not much action but it’s alright, we’ll see what happens.
So that’s it for my January wrap up!
Let me know if you’ve read any of these novels and what you thought, do you agree with the things I’ve said or had a different opinion?
Until next time,