Today I wanted to share all the books I read in January and my thoughts on them in 50 words or less.
I’m also continuing my system of symbols to denote the diversity of books (which I introduced in my December Wrap-Up) with ⭐️ to represent BAME characters/authors, 🏳️🌈 for LGBT+ authors/characters and 💙 for disabled/mental health representation.
All The Books I Read in January:
1. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan 🏳️🌈 💙 ⭐️
I just loved this book. Check out my full thoughts in a longer review. Four and a half stars.
2. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard 💙 ⭐️
Steffie, Rhys and September were all just amazing characters. This is a casually diverse, heart-warming and adorable YA contemporary from a force to be reckoned with. I am just in awe of her ability to create such memorable and vibrant characters, which makes me even more excited for Fierce Fragile Hearts, which I now have a copy of. Four stars.
3. Jinxed by Amy McCulloch ⭐️
I loved the characters of Jinx and Lacey and the whole concept of the Baku. Great set up and a promising start to a series I will be continuing. Everything about this book was intriguing and it made for a fun read after some intense books. Four stars.
4. Fierce Fairytales & Other Stories To Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill 💙 ⭐️
This book of fierce, feminist poems cover a range of topics and was moving and empowering. The illustrations are just brilliant as well, which is always a bonus. I am slowly but surely starting to read more poetry and it’s always eye-opening and interesting. Four stars.
5. The Curses by Laure Eve 🏳️🌈 💙
A gripping, eerie and dark magic story that was perfectly atmospheric. I loved Summer’s perspective and really enjoyed the gorgeous, descriptive, rich writing style. Every character felt flawed and three-dimensional. It was just great to be back with the Graces again. Four stars.
6. The Closest Thing To Flying by Gill Lewis 💙 ⭐️
I loved the fiesty and brave protagonists, who were trying to fight injustice and find their place in the world and the blend of past and present narratives really worked for me. Overall, the book was enjoyable, but it felt a little bit juvenile for me. Three and a half stars.
7. This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada
This was so gripping. I really liked the premise of gene-hacking, which I thought was executed brilliantly. The plot twists were shocking, so I won’t go into more detail about the plot. I loved the characters and the whole world Suvada had built around them. Four stars.
8. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo 🏳️🌈 ⭐️
This was an action-packed finale for the trilogy, which has made me even more excited to read King of Scars! Bardugo still allowed room for character growth and it was fascinating to see the development of her character work when you compare them to the Dregs. Very enjoyable. Four stars.
9. Doctor Who: The Good Doctor by Juno Dawson ⭐️
This was my first ever Doctor Who novel and I felt like it captured the essence of Jodie Whittaker’s take on the character. I loved the discussion around the unintended consequences of our actions and how it felt like a classic Who episode. Four stars.
10. Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black In America (anthology)⭐️ 🏳️🌈 💙
Anthologies are always hard to review, as each individual story affects you in a different way. For me, I found every story engaging, rich and detailed, but I did like some stories more than others. In particular, I loved Out of the Silence by Kekla Magoon with its complex narrator and second person narration. Four stars.
11. This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher ⭐️ 🏳️🌈 💙
This was so gripping that I read it in one sitting. It had great twists, turns and unreliable narrators. Now I want to check out more stuff from this author. Trust me, you want to read this without knowing anything. Four stars.
12. Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu 💙
I loved this very character-driven story, especially Rachel’s growth and development. This exploration of self-acceptance moved me quite a lot. A understated but amazing book that packs a punch from a brilliant YA author. I can’t wait to read whatever Mathieu does next. Four stars.
13. Feminism Is…
An informative, accessible and interesting book about feminism aimed at teens, but it wasn’t particularly stand-out or memorable for me. It was enjoyable though. Three stars.
14. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen 💙
I managed to guess the first twist, but the revelations that followed were shocking. I wanted to know a lot more about a prominent secondary character and didn’t feel like I got a satisfying answer to that. Unnecessary final twist, bit forgettable and overly hyped. Two and a half stars.
15. Paper Avalanche by Lisa Williamson 💙
This was a complex and emotional book that was ultimately uplifting and optimistic. In particular, I loved the character of Ro, who was so relatable and brilliantly developed throughout the story. Four stars.
16. Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes 💙
I flew through this harrowing, dark and raw character-driven story. Honestly, I just couldn’t put it down. Moving, powerful and memorable. Four stars.
17. Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus 🏳️🌈 💙
Utterly superb. This is a pacy, atmospheric mystery with brilliant twists and turns. Addictive reading; I binged it in one session. Full thoughts to come soon. Four and a half stars.
18. Enchantée by Gita Trelease ⭐️ 🏳️🌈 💙
This book just gets better with every reading, full thoughts to come on the release date (21st February). Four and a half stars.
19. Anger Is A Gift by Mark Oshiro ⭐️ 🏳️🌈 💙
Raw, emotional and utterly devastating. Another book that I need to do a full review of soon. Five stars.
20. Evermore by Sara Holland 🏳️🌈 (very brief glimpse of a possible f/f/ romance) 💙
Enjoyable sequel to Everless, but overall, I’ve found this duology to be slightly predictable. I like the romance, the sibling relationship and the overall premise of the series. I just wanted to see more of the world and the whole time as a currency concept. Three and a half stars.
Top Five Books of the Month: