Wednesday, 16 January 2019

A Wrap Up: January 2019 Part One

Hi, and thanks for stopping by.

In today's post, I'll be walking you through the first few books I've read in 2019. As ever, if you want to keep up with me reading and reviewing as I go, you can follow my reviews/add me as a friend on goodreads here.

Summer Days & Summer Nights – An Anthology
4 stars

Post-Christmas, I was feeling a little blue about the festivities ending and kind of sick of winter (I always immediately feel this way after the 25th!) so I decided to pick up this anthology for a reread. I don't usually mention rereads in wrap-ups but I wanted to especially shout out my favourite stories from here. I gave 5-stars to Leigh Bardugo's Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail, Nina LaCour's The End of Love, Stephanie Perkins's In Ninety Minutes, Turn North & Brnady Colbert's Good Luck and Farewell.

Shannon Dunlap’s Izzy & Tristan
3.5-4 stars

I have really mixed feelings about this one. I will definitely be watching out for Shannon Dunlap's future novels, because I did enjoy her writing style. The first third and last 20% were really engaging and I felt quite invested in the story and all of the characters but things got a little stagnant and hazy in the middle for my personal taste.

Ibi Zoboi’s Pride
4 stars

I am so glad to have discovered Ibi Zoboi's writing so early in the year! This is a YA contemporary set in Brooklyn, inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. This book was just compulsively readable and really, really funny which is one of my favourite elements in a book but probably one of the ones I actually find least. Characterisation was so vivid. And the romance was a perfect slow-burn, which I loved.

Cassandra Clare’s City of Ashes
3.5 stars

I so want to love these books, this whole world. I know for some people it's like their holy grail, life-altering series...but I just can't manage it. I enjoyed the first book more than this one for sure; I don't know if I left it too long between reads, but I just felt so disconnected. I have to hand it to Cassandra Clare though, she writes some seriously enthralling romantic pairings. The relationships are definitely the most interesting part, to me at least!


Kasie West’s Listen to your Heart
3.5 stars

I really loved the podcast element of this story - do American schools seriously offer such AMAZING class options as this?! Very envious if that's the case. I think the reason I wasn't as keen on this as I have been on some other Kasie West books is that, due to the nature of the relationship shared by the protagonist and her love interest, the romance moved incredibly slowly - they basically don't get together at all until the last few pages! 

Emily X.R. Pan’s The Astonishing Colour of After
5 STARS

This book is my first 5-star read of the year so hooray for that!! I heard so many incredible things about this story in 2018 and I avoided it I think because I wasn't sure that the magical realism elements really wouldn't be my taste but BOY did Emily X.R. Pan prove me wrong!! I have a full review of this book coming very soon though, so I'll say no more just yet.

Cecelia Ahern’s Perfect
4 STARS

This is probably one of my favourite dystopian series ever. I SO love that Cecelia Ahern chose to write it in a duology and not the quintessential dystopian trilogy, which it, like so many others that are split into three, only needed two books to tell its story. The last 100 pages or so in particular here were so, so powerful and emotive - I was really surprised, despite finding that in the first book too! I think I'd forgotten how special I found this storytelling to be. Couldn't justify giving it any higher than 4 stars though because the start was a little slow.

Christina Lauren’s Roomies
3.5 stars

I wanted to read this (and probably more of Christina Lauren's writing, too) because I read and absolutely fell in love with her YA novel Autoboygraphy in 2017. I still definitely found hints of what I loved about her writing in Roomies; the first 250 pages or so I read in one sitting and enjoyed so much. Sadly, after that, the relationship at the book's centre just became almost completely based around sex scenes and  pure drama until the last few pages. 

Jenn Bennett’s Serious Moonlight
5 STARS

In 2018, I read one 5-star book in January and didn't find another for months; I was kind of scared the same thing would happen in 2019, after reading The Astonishing Colour of After. But thank goodness - it didn't!! Now, as this was an arc, I'm not going to go into detail about the story until its release in the spring but let me just say that Jenn Bennett must be absolutely incapable of writing a bad book. I have ADORED everything she has ever written. I'll have a book review coming here on my blog when Serious Moonlight is officially released - I'll also be buying my own physical copy because I really want to support Jenn & because I like to reread her beautiful stories over and over again.

Cassandra Clare’s Lord of Shadows
3.5-4 STARS

I did enjoy my reading experience here; once again, so many beautifully written relationships (Jules & Emma in particular is written with so much longing and familiarity it's almost painful to read at times!!). I did question in my head though whether there's a few too many relationships either hinted at or started or developed in this book?! It seemed like there were about 11 being juggled at times. Also, I know a lot of things happen in these books and they never feel boring, but I'm not sure I can be convinced there was ANY need for this book to be SEVEN HUNDRED PAGES LONG!?!?!



So those are the books I've read so far in January! Let me know your favourite book of 2019 so far by leaving a comment down below!!

Till next time

 KATIE