Hi, and thanks for stopping by.
Somehow, by the magic of time, it's already the end of January 2017, and I'm here writing a wrap up of the books I read this month. I'm not sure how that's even humanly possible, but roll on February, I suppose! I read so many books this month, not sure why so more then usual, but a few I've given in depth reviews of my favourites (which won't be mentioned here), which you should check out if you haven't already! Excuse the lack of photos in this post, but it would really go on forever with those included, too. Enjoy, and let me know if you've read any of these/what you thought of them!
e. lockhart’s fly on the wall
I did really enjoy this book, but I wasn't entirely convinced by it, hence the 3 star rating. Of course I knew that the entire premise of the story was that our protagonist/narrator would turn into a fly and thus find out what was going on in the heads of guys she went to school with... but the whole fly thing was just so so odd to me. I was invested in plenty of the characters and their various storylines, I just wanted to experience them all in a different way.
NICOLA YOON’S EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING
(SPOILERS AHEAD) I adored the majority of this book, it lived up to every bit of hype I'd heard about it. For me, though, the ending completely spoilt it. I'm baffled as to why the author made the choice that in fact Maddie was not ill at all and her mum had engineered the entire thing. I thought the point of the story was falling in love in this kind of extraordinary way, but the ending completely turns it into any old YA love story... such a disappointment for me. Higher hopes for The Sun Is Also A Star however, because Nicola's writing style is gorgeous.
Robin talley’s lies we tell ourselves
This book was so beautifully written. The pain and shame as a reader is intense, the voices are thoroughly developed and entirely unique from one another. Really important explorations of family dynamics, friendships, love, homophobia, racism, sexism, but all done so equally well. I think I expected more to be made of the girls' romance than was, but that wasn't a bad thing, because the rare moments were extra specially written. Great ending, lovely book all in all. Highly recommend.
Holly bourne’s how hard can love be?
I was seriously worried to read this book, considering the first book in the trilogy (Am I Normal Yet) was one of the most wonderful books I have ever, ever read. But this wasn't a letdown in ANY WAY whatsoever. Amber's voice was laugh out loud funny, smart, feminist. Everything I loved about Evie and more, in different ways. The romance with Kyle was written hilariously, with no cliches. Her relationship with her mum was so interesting, and really sad at points. I did miss Evie and Lottie not being physically so present but their emails and Skype sessions again made me laugh aloud. Just the best books around, honestly.
Holly bourne’s what’s a girl gotta do?
Again, after reading two INCREDIBLE books by Holly, I was afraid for the third one, but again again, I had no reason to be. Lottie's story is by far the most ferociously feminist of the three which I just adored. I wish every single teenage girl (or boy, or woman, or man) had the guts that Lottie does to stand up for herself and what's right. The opening moment with the men in the van just resonated so strongly with me as a teenage girl. I also enjoyed the subtle romance moments throughout. Lottie is hilarious, as always. The moments of tension between her and Amber made me sad, but they were realistic, as no three friends would be 100% tranquil with one another all the time.
Holly bourne’s …and a happy new year?
This is essentially a novella to wrap up the Spinster Club stories, a year on from where What's A Girl Gotta Do? left us. I do slightly agree with some of the reviews I've read, that there was a lot more drama than we're used to with these girls, almost in places feeling a little forced. But as I said above, I do think it's important to look at this realistically - things aren't always perfect between friends. I was sad about Lottie's heartbreak, but the more it was developed, the more I agreed with the decision Holly made to end it. I wish this series wasn't over.
Leila sales’ tonight the streets are ours
I guess the only real issue I had with this book was that it takes a while to get going. I did think it was smart how Peter is eventually introduced, because it's so different to usual YA patterns. I also thought him being such a bloody let-down was SO smart, and that was probably my favourite element of the whole book. Family dynamics were really interesting here. Great twist, great epilogue. Loved Arden as a narrative voice. (And oh my goodness, WHAT a cover).
EMILY BARR’S THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS
This book was so incredibly clever, frightening, moving. I adored Flora, her narrative was gorgeously written and she was so loveable. The twists completely blind sighted me personally, which is always a good thing. I also LOVED the characters of Paige and Jacob, who were just amazing. Drake was a complete bloody idiot. Heartbreaking, but definitely something worth reading.
Aoife clifford’s all these perfect strangers
I don't know what exactly I was expecting from this read, but it wasn't really what I got. I found it quite slow in places, particularly at the beginning where there's just lots of hinting and NO detail. The revelations at the end were cool and I wasn't expecting them. The characters were diverse and interesting. I guess the word for this read is underwhelming.
Holly bourne’s the manifesto on how to be interesting
So let's just get this out of the way from the very beginning, this sure as hell isn't the Spinster Club trilogy, and it doesn't even come close, really. However, I did enjoy the story. It was pretty inventive, and absolutely savage at times. Explored really important teen issues. Some more character development was needed in places, and sometimes it was unclear whether or not we were supposed to be hating or sort of loving different characters.
SIOBHAN VIVIAN’S THE LIST
For me, the key issue with this book is I do not understand the point of it. So much moral, thought provoking stuff could've been done with it, but it just isn't. There's very little redemption, very little likability or connection with the girls in question, some of them are just down right annoying and stay that way until the very end. I felt no connection with the majority of the story, and some of the girls' storylines were just repeated in their older or younger counterparts.
Tommy wallach’s we all looked up
I think somewhere in the blurb this story is described as the teens learning to 'really live' which I just don't think is accurate. The beginning was full of great character development, and the ending was interesting, but for about 200 pages in the middle I just lost total interest to be honest. The only relationship I was interested/invested in was that of Anita and Andy. Also, Eliza's dead was really bloody cool. Overall, slightly disappointing really.
Harriet reuter hapgood’s the square root of summer
If I'd read the blurb better, I might not have actually picked this book up in Waterstones to be honest. I completely must've skipped over the mentioned of 'wormholes' and thought it was just a fun summer romance. Not so much. This was science-y and complicated as hell for me. Too much weird time travel stuff, which is cool and commendable for experimenting with, but I would've much preferred to have read Margot's memories as simple flashbacks. Cool characters though, especially Grey.
Claire hennessy’s nothing tastes as good
I really loved this book. Both Annabel and Julie were such interesting characters and even the former was loveable in a weird way. I absolutely think the strongest element of the story was the slow, subtle shift towards affection in Annabel's voice and this realisation she comes to that she was actually sick. It was so strong, so powerful. I loved it. Can't wait to read more from this author!
Melissa de la cruz’s the witches of east end
Throughout I felt as though a lot of the narration was overly formal and just a bit over-written and forced, to be honest. The three Beauchamp ladies were interesting and diverse, but I didn't feel too great of an emotional connection with any of them, really. It's not until the ending, when the twists and turns get revealed, that this book really gets interesting. The Epilogue was intriguing, assumably there's a sequel out there somewhere. I may just pick it up!
There you have it! My huge January wrap up! What did you read this month? What was your favourite? Hope you enjoyed!
Till next week