What I Read || January 2020

“4 books ahead of schedule” – Goodreads~

We’re already 31 days into the new year!

My aim was to read 10 books this month and I succeeded! ♥

I completed 3 books for the Backlist Book-a-Thon and will star* the ones that count for it ^^


The Girl In Red; Christina Henry

⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is a gritty retelling with a diverse cast, I mean our protagonist is a mixed race, bisexual amputee who wields an axe!

The writing is great, if a little repetitive at times. And the pacing was great until the end. The end feels so abrupt and disappointing considering the long journey we’ve been on with Red.

I would have also really liked to know more about the disease and government research.

Howl’s Moving Castle Volume 1-4; Hayao Miyazaki

I adore the Studio Ghibli adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ novel and when I feel down I love reading the graphic novel of the film. This adaptation is whimsical, beautiful and heartwarming ♥

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for each volume!


Blue Bloods Series; Melissa de la Cruz:

Lost in Time; ⭐⭐⭐

This book was, as expected, easy to read and fast paced. It was interesting to see Allegra and Charles’ history concerning Ben. I would have liked less filler with these though (as we know that Schuyler is born so do we truly need all the drama?)

The nephilim story feels rushed and I would have loved more unpacking of this. The plot would have been better utilised with well written characters… instead we follow Schyler who is kind of boring and annoying which was fine when it was just rich vampire teens at school but now we have intense drama and the literal devil and I’m not too bothered if the main characters died or not…

Wolf Pact; ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is a novella about Bliss taking on the mission of returning the Hellhounds to the Blue Bloods side. I read this book in one sitting and I really enjoyed it! It was interesting learning about hellhounds and more about the underworld.

Bliss is probably my favourite character in this series and I loved following her in her own book. I really loved the pack members and I care more about these characters who I met for for 271 pages, than Schyuler who I’ve spent 8 books with!

Gates of Paradise; ⭐⭐⭐

This could have been so great. I even saw glimpses of that greatness near the end…

The buildup in this book meandered and Schyler remained so boring. I still don’t understand her parentage… It was completely thrown in left field and not explained! And she didn’t really do much in the long run. It was Kingsley, Mimi, Jack and Bliss who did everything. The really amazing parts were rushed and so fell flat. A god damn battle lasted 9 pages! And then the ending just left me feeling slightly icky.

At least Jack gained some more personality so that’s a win for him 😂
I’m not mad I read these books, they were easy to read and aren’t the worst, I’m just mad about the lost potential.


Elantris; Brandon Sanderson*

⭐⭐⭐⭐

elantris

Is it possible to rate Sanderson any lower?

I loved the characters, the world building, the politics and magic intertwined within everything.

Our main female character, although she does spend most of her time with men, empowers the other women of the court she finds herself thrown in due to her marriage. It’s interesting to see how Serene mostly uses her intellect, while Raoden mostly uses his heart. We could understand through their singular narratives how they came to their mutual agreement of marriage. I loved them so much ♥

I also enjoyed the demi-god aspect of the old Elantrian’s. I would absolutely love Sanderson to write more in this world!


Finding Audrey; Sophie Kinsella

⭐⭐

This wasn’t a bad book, it was just too simple. And honestly that’s fine. As a 24yr old woman I’m not the target audience.

finding audrey coverHowever, despite this book being easy to read, fluffy and somewhat cookie cutter, parts made me uncomfortable. The whole love will solve my problems is overdone and while it is cute it’s not a priority or a cure for mental health. The thought of being in a relationship scares the hell out of me because of my anxiety. We’re all different but a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a partner, they aren’t essential for getting better. Plus the relationship is so quick!

I also didn’t like some of the language used, or some things that Linus said. I think he gets a free pass with Audrey even when some of the things he says made me uncomfortable and annoyed. But he is a teenager who doesn’t understand, I just wish he got checked a few more times.

And when medication is involved I get very vocal. Meds are a great tool for someone with mental health. And when Audrey stopped them I almost screamed. And then I was tense knowing she would relapse because I’ve been there. Take your meds kids!

I do think this is an entertaining little book and the video scripts are innovative and cool. There were also some good quotes in here, but I just think that Sophie Kinsella should stick to the market that she dominates “funny romances”.


The Supernaturalist; Eoin Colfer*

⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was wonderful! Sci fi isn’t really my go to, and I wasn’t expecting this children’s book to really go deep, but my I was blown away by The Supernaturalist.

The characters are charming and I immediately loved them all. I also liked how we were somewhat thrown into this world, but it still felt understandable and easy to navigate. Cosmo is a teenage orphan who finds himself thrown from one dangerous situation to the next. He was a sweet kid and I wanted him to succeed in everything he did. I also loved the rag tag team he is saved by and thus saves as well.

The writing style is witty and fast paced! I would love to delve back into this world more but I think this is a standalone.

The Book of Joan; Lidia Yuknavitch*

⭐⭐⭐

This was an interesting and complex look at humanity, nature and desires. There was a lot of science that just went over my head which made important parts of the narrative a little confusing to me. However, I was still able to get the gist of most of it. The characters were interesting, but some were a little underdeveloped. This makes sense because it’s only 267 pages.

The writing was rather lyrical and at points it felt like reading a poem.


At the beginning of January, one of my reading goals is to read 100 pages a day. I decided to do this as a points system and with the Hogwarts Houses. From the chart you’ll see I didn’t do too well 😅 but Ravenclaw still came out on top!

meta-chart

  • Gryffindor: 0-33 pages
  • Hufflepuff: 34-66 pages
  • Slytherin: 67-99 pages
  • Ravenclaw: 100+ pages

I plan to do this every month and at the end of the year, we’ll see which House comes out on top!

As a Ravenclaw, I’m hoping I can challenge myself well enough to make sure they win!


What did you read in January?

Thanks for reading! I hope you’re having a lovely day~

3 thoughts on “What I Read || January 2020

  1. How did I not know Howl’s Moving Castle was an adapted novel? I LOVED the adaptation and can’t wait to get my hands on the original novels ❤ I'm also keen to give Brandon Sanderson a try 🙂 Great wrap up post Hayleigh! Jen

    Like

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