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  • Writer's pictureEllie

January 2021 Wrap Up

This is my first ever wrap up! When I started the blog I planned to do one every month. However, this was before I realized I don’t like writing reviews. But for some reason I just really want to talk to you about the books I read in January. I’m not sure if doing monthly wrap ups will become a regular thing but this month I will share a wrap up. Sorry this is going up so late! If you want to stay up to date with my reading make sure to follow me on Goodreads or Storygraph! (Storygraph is a new reading platform like Goodreads. I plan to write a post about it sometime in the future so you can find more information about it).

In the month of January I read 9 books! I will be ordering these from my least favorite to favorite. I will say up front that I didn’t have any 5 stars but I did have a 4.5. For a more in depth synopsis, just click on the book titles and it will bring you to that book’s Goodreads page.

Heartstopper Vol 2 by Alice Oseman

I read this book despite not really liking it because these are so fast to read and it was available at my library. I will say I liked this one more than the first one, but unfortunately I am not 100% in love with this series like I feel everyone is.

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

This book sounded so cool! It is a blend of sci-fi and fantasy. Basically two worlds collide: one a technologically advanced one and the other a magical one. However, the plot was not very interesting and I feel like it was too long. I quickly lost interest. Also, you follow two perspectives, one character from each world, and even from the first times I read from each perspective, I already had a strong preference for which I liked more. This made me less interested in the other perspective and less engaged overall. Overall, I was disappointed by this one and I will not be continuing with the series.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I did not read adult books when this was really popular so I finally got around to reading it in January. I am sad to say I didn’t really care for this one. I also honestly cannot recall a single plot point or thing that happened in the book less than a month later. For me, it wasn’t very memorable. I think it’s just not my type of thriller. I will still check out Paula Hawkins's other book Into the Water and her new one coming out in August called A Slow Fire Burning.

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Malloy

This one was just average. Nothing I didn’t like and nothing I found particularly stunning. I will say I am very proud I bought and read this book in the same month which is a big accomplishment for me. I still do really like books like this: books about mothers and motherhood. I just didn’t find this one particularly wow.

Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber

If you read any of my posts in January you probably know that this is one of my new favorite authors. This one thus far has been my least favorite out of the ones I have read. The main point is that I didn’t really like the characters in it and I didn’t feel chemistry between the characters like I did in the other ones. Also, there is a really grouchy character in this book who I didn’t really understand why she was so mean. Her motives and actions were a little unclear for me. This book wasn’t bad, I just didn’t have the same love for it as I have for some of her other books. This book actually takes place in the same setting as another one of Macomber’s books, which I will be talking about later in this wrap up.

The Push by Ashley Audrain

I have a full review on the blog! I just had too many thoughts not to make one. Click here to read!

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks (illustrator)

This is a graphic novel that has literally the most fall vibes I think is possible to cram into a book. I did reread it this month because of a book club challenge prompt; otherwise I would not have read this book again. However, I did find I enjoyed it much more the second time! I think that was because I understood what the story was about so I knew what I was getting into. This is a story about two friends who are having their last Halloween night at the pumpkin patch they work at together. They spend the night running around the patch through corn mazes and eating lots of delicious fall foods to find this girl one of them likes. It’s not a very complex or multidimensional book but there is good diverse representation.

The Captive Kingdon by Jennifer A. Nielsen

This is a fourth book in the Ascendence series. This is a middle grade/YA fantasy series with so much action and life or death situations. This is one of the only fantasy things I read and I love these books. These books follow Sage, who has many enemies who are not afraid to track him down and kill him. Sage is so quick, witty, smart and is able to creatively get out of like every situation. I love his character because he is unafraid to be in any situation. He is not someone who will run away from danger, but rather towards it. It is hard to write these high action books in a way that gives them justice so I just incline you to pick up one of them. Even if you aren’t a fantasy lover I still think these are great because the fantasy isn’t magic at all. Instead it’s just that it takes place somewhere that isn’t Earth. Readers should just know going in that there are some pretty gory battle and torture scenes. Nothing horrible (since this a middle grade/YA book) but just something to be aware of. This is why I say middle grade/YA since I have seen it marketed both ways. I still wouldn’t give these books to someone under 12.

A Walk Along the Beach by Debbie Macomber

Finally, my favorite book I read this month! This is a emotional and cozy romance book with a strong sister relationship. The story is about Harper and Willa. Harper has leukemia and is trying to live life to fullest. This worries Willa who is almost like a mother to Harper since their mom died when they were kids. Despite the fact that this is a romance, it is much more emotional. There are some really emotional scenes, but in typical Debbie Macomber fashion, a sweet and heartwarming romance. Overall a really wonderful book that I highly recommend for readers of both romance and contemporary/emotional reads.

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