Thursday, February 1, 2018

January Reading Wrap Up

First wrap up of 2018!
I got off to a cracking start by finishing 18 books this month. I work in retail and hours have been hard to come by in the post Christmas slump so I've making the most of that because obviously not every month will be like this. I will say that whilst I have a couple of stories that I forgot almost as soon as I finished reading them I also read a couple that I know I'll still be recommending at the end of 2017.

Book one: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Rating: 3.75/5

So Goodreads has added this to my 2017 list but it was definitely after midnight when I finished it so I'm counting it as my first read of 2018.

Book two: Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
Rating: 5/5 (duh!)

It's been so long since I reread the whole HP series but I got the first three in illustrated version for Christmas so that's the perfect excuse.
Reading this made me realise just how much was left out of the film.

Book three: PS I Like You by Kasie West
Rating: 4/5

I think this is my first Kasie West and I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting.I really liked Lily and I love when you get a balance of social and home life in ya books. This is exactly the sort of book I'm looking for when I'm in the mood for a ya contemporary. 

Book four: By Your Side by Kasie West
Rating: 3/5

I love Dax. Wasn't too crazy about Autumn.
I wasn't really into the first half of this story, nor did I enjoy the weird love triangle situation that totally didn't need to be there. It still managed to be a three star read for me though. It was such an easy read and kept me interested in reading more Kasie West.

Book five: Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Rating: 4/5

I really liked the dual perspective of this story and surprisingly for me, I actually liked both characters. I was a fan of the 
One thing I would say which is a spoiler so skip to the next book if you haven't read it is what I don't understand why Elle wouldn't just keep stuff at Sage's house? If Sage is working on the costume and Elle's family are literally the worst then I'd personally just play it safe. 

Book six: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Gia is so annoying. I didn't like her almost immediately and so I don't think I gave the story a fair chance. It was a one sitting situation so I didn't lose too much time but I don't honestly know how I felt about it. Also, a massive problem I'm finding with ya contemporaries and I'm probably just coming at this from a 26 year old perspective but our main character usually has the worst 'best friends'. Why can't we ever have a group of friends that just love and support each other. You shouldn't have to fight to be your friend's favourite person.

Book seven: Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor 
Rating: 3.5/5

I finally came to the conclusion that I was probably never going to pick this up physically. Why do I always buy such massive hardcovers???
I'm a massive fan of Laini Taylor's writing style but unfortunately I think my expectations were too high for this. It took me a very long time to care about the chapters which weren't about Lazlo and whilst I did really enjoy the last 100 pages and I'm excited for the next book I can't truly rate this higher because it took too long for me to get there. 

Book eight: Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan 
Rating: 2.5/5

I finished this in one sitting. 
It was an easy read. I liked the premise of this but it all just felt fictional to me. I know that probably doesn't make much sense talking about a work of fiction. There is no way you could have (if I remember correctly) 16 unauthorised absent days in an English school without any kind of intervention. Apple's teacher turns up at her house to see where she's been and just accepts her claim that her mum is sick and goes away pretty happily without even seeing her mum for any further discussion. I went to your run of the mill primary school but that just wouldn't have cut it.
Maybe I'm being too critical because I'm reading this as an adult and clearly not the intended age group but this whole story felt extra and that took away from my enjoyment. 

Book nine: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Rating: 3.5/5

I rounded up to 4 on goodreads because I gave Clockwork Angel 3 on there and I liked this one more than that one. I read along with the audiobook and it took me a while to get into. 
For me this felt like it was a super long read where not a great deal actually happened. The biggest part of this book was the love triangle which annoyed me to no end. I don't think it helps that I really don't like Tessa as a character.

Book ten: The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Rating: 5/5

HOLY SHIT The twists in this book! Just when you think you've mapped out the plot BAM something happens and you're like 'wait, what?!' I loved this so much. Lily is a brilliant character and I really enjoyed reading about her.

Book eleven: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Rating: 5/5

This has always been my least favourite book and movie but upon a reread I definitely prefer the book. This movie is pretty true to the original story but I wish we'd had a Deathday party and I would have loved to see the Weasley kids de-gnoming their garden. 
The best thing about this book for me....DOBBY! Obviously.

Book twelve: Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
Rating: 5/5

I know I'm only on book three but this reread has reaffirmed that Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite.
I love Buckbeak.
I love Lupin. I've always liked him but I honestly don't think I ever appreciated what an incredible character he is enough. 
I love Sirius Black.....SO MUCH.
I love that Hermione literally used a timeturner to take more classes. Like it literally wasn't enough for her to be the top student in the standard number of classes, she was like 'why can't I be top of the rest as well?'

Book thirteen: The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

I never know whether stories that are this short should count but it's gone towards my goodreads goal and that's good enough for me. I don't think this was to my taste and I think I would have liked it more if I hadn't lost 90% of my English Lit critical thinking brain.

Book fourteen: The Long Walk by Richard Bachman (AKA Stephen King)
Rating: 3.75/5

My first King. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it.
This story is so intriguing that it's been on my tbr for a while and the mood to try a Stephen King finally took over me.
It's a weird plot. 100 boys literally walk until they're either the last guy standing or they're shot to death. Do we know why? Did I miss that part? 
I enjoyed it enough that I'll definitely be picking up some more Bachman/King. I just have to scout out which other stories I think I'll like. I think I'm thinking Under the Dome.

Book fifteen: How to be Mindful by Anna Barnes

This is a collection of pictures, quotes and chapters on how to be more mindful in everyday life. This is something I'm really trying to focus more on so I think this will be the first of many books I read on the subject this year. There are definitely pages that spoke to me but it was all very basic stuff. I guess that's the best place to start. I wouldn't mind ripping some pages out and having them on my wall.

Book sixteen: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Rating: 4.5/5

She's completely fine. Except she's not. Eleanor's personal journey was a joy to read. Her social skills make me look a socialite.
I really enjoyed this. I really enjoyed the journey we went on and the growth we actually get to see. I totally get why this has been winning things and would highly recommend it. 

Book seventeen: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Rating: 5/5

Bloody hell. I loved this so much more than I thought I was going to. I honestly never have the highest hopes for contemporaries so the fact that this was a five star read for me is amazing!! It was a one sitting deal and I would very much like another 300 pages.

Book eighteen: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Rating:  3.75/5

I think this is my favourite of the trilogy but I also think I may be the rare soul who prefers The Mortal Instruments. Jem deserved so much better!! I just don't understand why everyone is in love with Tessa.

I haven't rated some of the books yet because I feel like I just give everything I can't decide on a three and I'm really trying not to do that this year so I'm happy leaving them up in the air for now. A lot of times I change my ratings on reflection anyway. I think I'm going to dedicate February to trying to knock some things off my kindle because I have at least 50 ebooks that I haven't read.

How has your reading gone this month?
Nikki x

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