In the latter half of 2019 I reignited my love for reading. Especially during the summer, I read a lot more books than I had in the past couple of years. However, I didn’t end the year as strong. So, in January I committed to reading/listening to more books and get into reading again. Thus, if you are interested in reading about what I read in January 2020, continue reading. Don’t worry, no spoilers!
Check out my last Month in Books for August 2019.
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
The first book I completed this year was Girls of Paper and Fire. I heard about this book a lot on Youtube and finally was able to listen to the audiobook. And I really enjoyed it. It’s classified as a YA book, which usually isn’t my thing. But this has some pretty dark themes that focuses on young girls who are essentially concubines for this king.
The romance is very strong in this book and I’m also not the biggest fan of romance. However, I still enjoyed it. The world was very interesting, I enjoyed the main character and the writing. Definitely will pick up the next book! I’d love to get physical copies of the books because look at the beautiful cover!
Rating: 4/5 stars
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
The next book I completed in January is Everything I Never Told You. It’s a book that documents this family’s live as they deal with the death (potential murder?) of one of the daughters. It shows how each member grieves and at the same time trying to uncover what happened.
This was a good book. I didn’t leave this book thinking much about the story or the characters and was a tad underwhelmed by the ending. However, I think Celeste Ng did a good job creating interesting main characters and I would pick up another book from her.
Rating: 3/5 stars
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
The next book I read in January 2020 was The Great Alone. Kristin Hannah is a very popular author and there are a couple more books from her I’d love to check out. This was one that was available from my library and thus my first taste of her work. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that impressed.
Her writing style was great, her description of the setting (Alaska) was wonderful and I really enjoyed a good portion of the book. However, it slowly but surely became very melodramatic and unrealistic to me and turned into a telenovela-esque story that made me feel less invested as time went on. I am thinking about doing a discussion that would include spoilers so I can say more of my thoughts on this one.
All that being said, I can’t wait to read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
In January I was really feeling mystery/thriller books. The premise of Sometimes I Lie sounded just like the kind of book I was in the mood to read. It followed a woman who was in a coma and she could hear everyone around her and she was trying to piece together what happened to her.
This one I really enjoyed. I will admit, I was a little confused towards the end because of all the twists. The ending was a little cheesy but all in all, this was a nice book and very entertaining, I was never bored!
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson
Growing up, I loved the Disney movie of Ella Enchanted. During one time in January, I was in the mood for a very easy read. Thus, this classic children’s book of a story I knew was the perfect option. Of course since I know the story I wasn’t taken aback by anything. There were some differences, the main one being the ages of the main characters.
Still, it was a cute book and made me want to watch the movie again!
Rating: 4/5 stars
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
Another book I consistently heard of on Youtube was The Immortalists. It follows siblings after they are told the exact day of their death. The synopsis of this books makes it feel a lot more fantastical than it is. The fantasy elements are very few and far between.
I found with this book I was less interested in each sibling. It follows the siblings in chronological order of when each dies. I hardly cared about the fourth sibling at all. Ultimately, I was just bored with this one and was trying to finish is quickly not because I was interested but because I was ready to move on to the next book.
Rating: 2/5 stars
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
After reading and enjoying Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn last year, I wanted to try another one of the author’s works. I’m glad to say this was another great read. Gillian did a great job writing unlikeable characters I still wanted to read about.
Now, if you’re looking for a thriller that will surprise you, this isn’t for you. The “who” in the “whodunnit” is quite obvious, but I still was engaged throughout.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
While reading this I had a couple of complaints. Such as the non-existent contractions in the dialogue, the seemingly unnecessary amount of side characters and the great focus on them and an even more unnecessary love triangle. And despite a 3.5/5 rating, I did really enjoy the book and was eager to read the next one.
Perhaps it’s because it reminds me of a WIP I’ve been brewing which centers around royalty and sisters (albeit a completely different premise) but I started the second book days after finishing this one. Besides the dialogue and contractions thing I pointed out, I liked the writing. It was descriptive without being too much. This book started slow but ended well.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The last book I read in January was The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This is a historical fiction book set in WWII and follows two sisters. The Nightingale has rave reviews all over Youtube, Instagram and Goodreads so I was quite excited about this one.
Unfortunately, I was let down. There wasn’t anything glaringly wrong, I just felt myself really bored through most of it and by the last third of the book I felt like skipping chapters more than reading them. Maybe I let the hype get to me with this one. After two not so great experiences with Kristin Hannah I realize perhaps her writing style doesn’t jive well with my preferences. But a lot of people love her work, especially this one. So it may be worth checking out.
Rating: 2/5 stars
Books Read: 9
Favorite Book: Three Dark Crowns (okay, although I rated Girls of Paper and Fire higher, I was more excited to get to the second book of the TDC series and thought about this story more than GPF).
Least Favorite Book: The Great Alone