In the month of January, I read 16 books, 13 full-length novels, and three novellas. Some of my reviews are linked to Goodreads so this post isn’t a mile long.
A List of Cages by Robin Roe 📚📚📚📚📚-
Disclaimer: Robin Roe was extremely kind in sending me a final copy of her debut!
This book was my most anticipated January release. I have never been left speechless by a book before, and I say this in the best way possible. I had tears in my eyes when I was reading it. This book means so much to me as I have never been able to see myself represented in a book before. I also read this book in one sitting. It is told from two points of views, and it works so well due to how the stories of the two main characters fit together. First of all, I have never been able to connect to characters the way that I connected with both Adam and Julian. While Adam has ADHD and I have ADD, I could really relate to the struggles he went through in his life living with ADHD, and how his ADHD was treated. I truly loved Adam and almost all of the characters in this book. The characters had such an authenticity to them that isn’t always found in fiction. My heart just broke for Julian with everything that he went through, I have never experienced anything that Julian experienced in terms of the abuse that he suffered. There was one way that I was able to relate to Julian and that is his struggles with school work because of his various learning disabilities, while all of his teachers didn’t bother to even try to remotely help him and to understand why he struggled, I was fortunate to only have one teacher who didn’t bother. I also loved the small romance in this book and how it fit so perfectly with the plot. The brotherly relationship between Adam and Julian was so heartwarming, and reading a book from the point of views of males was so refreshing. This book is the most authentic work of fiction I have ever read. It is so beautifully written, it is an emotional roller coaster that will break you in the best way possible. I can not recommend this book enough, and I definitely think everyone needs to read it.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 📚📚📚📚📚- I really enjoyed this book and how Amir’s story and life come full circle. I loved how friendship was such a prominent theme in the book, and I loved learning more about life in Afghanistan while I was reading this book. Both the book and the story were really eye-opening. While “The Kite Runner” is fiction, it read like non-fiction and it made a really unique reading experience.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon 📚📚📚📚- There was only one thing that I didn’t really like about this book and that is the insta-love. Other than the insta-love, I really enjoyed this story and the characters, especially Natasha. Natasha had this awesome “I’m not giving up attitude.” I also loved how she was in her own little world everytime she put her headphones on. I also really loved how Daniel wanted to find his own path in life and not the life that his parents planned for him. I felt that the ending was rushed, but at the same time it was an ending that I didn’t see coming and was definitely surprised by it. Overall, this book was fun and enjoyable to read.
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco 📚📚📚
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit 📚📚📚📚📚-I read this book so long ago, and just re-read it today. There are a few things I learned from this book, immortality can be either a gift or a curse, it’s what you make of it. Another important lesson that I learned from this book and it is from one of my favorite passages is, “Life’s got to be lived, no matter how long or short…You got to take what comes. We just go along, like everyone else, one day at a time.” I guess when I was younger, I didn’t really quite understand this book. Now that I have re-read it, I understand it so much more, and I truly love this book.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness-Before I can give this a proper rating and proper review, I have to read the actual book, either ebook or physical book. This was my first time listening to an audiobook and I felt like I couldn’t retain the information as well as I would be able to if I read the actual book. One thing that I was able to pick up on, which I absolutely loved is how diverse the characters are. I can’t wait to read the actual book so I can give this book a proper rating and review.
Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin 📚📚📚
It Wasn’t Always Like This by Joy Preble 📚📚📚
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson 📚📚📚📚- My favorite thing about this book was the friendship aspect. Another thing that I loved was the character development with the main character Emily. I was really impressed by how much she grew, I think the list that her best friend left her is the primary reason for her growth. The romance was cute too, and it wasn’t insta-lovey.
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh 📚📚📚📚📚- There is nothing about this book that I didn’t like, I loved everything about it. I loved how there were stories within the story, they were a unique addition. I loved Shahrzad’s (Shazi’s) Aladdin retelling. Speaking of Shazi, I loved her and how if she was afraid she didn’t show it. I loved Khalid too, and in a way felt bad for him. I really loved how the relationship between Khalid and Shazi developed, it wasn’t rushed or insta-love, it took time. I loved how I could see that Shazi and Khalid really grew to love and care for each other. The romance was deep and beautiful and I really loved it. The side characters in this book are amazing too, I especially loved Jalal and how he was witty but in a charming way. At first, I was suspicious about Despina, but I really grew to like her, and I loved the friendship she and Shazi developed. One thing that I can’t get over is how beautiful this book is, and I can’t wait to see how the story ends.
The Moth and the Flame by Renee Ahdieh📚📚📚📚
The Crown and the Arrow by Renne Ahdieh📚📚📚
The Mirror and the Maze by Renee Ahdieh📚📚📚📚
A Whole New World by Liz Braswell 📚📚📚
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 📚📚📚- Disclaimer: I am fully aware that members of the LGBTQIA+ community were hurt by this book, and their feelings are 100% valid.
Disclaimer 2: I have yet to finish reading the Iliad and the Odyssey, however, I know enough about the story that I was able to read this book.
It was clear to me that Madeline Miller did thorough research about ancient Greek culture and the Trojan War (The 10 Year War) itself. I really appreciate when authors take the time to research the culture and history they are writing about. The relationship between Achilles and Patroclus was written beautifully, and their relationship was historically and culturally accurate as homosexuality was normal in ancient Greece. I really wanted more out of the relationship with Achilles and Patroclus, and I felt the battle between Achilles and Hector fell flat. Other than those minor things, I enjoyed this book.
The Color of Water by James McBride 📚📚📚📚📚- I first read this book the summer before my freshman year of high school and I wanted to read it again. This book is two stories in one and told in alternating chapters. I really loved this book. I also love how McBride wanted to know more about who he is and when I was reading this book I felt that he struggled with his identity a little bit. The story of his mother is heartbreaking due to some of the things that she went through growing up. Everything that Mrs. McBride went through in her life makes her such a strong woman and amazing mother. I really appreciate this book.
It’s so impressive how much you read in January! I’m lucky if I can read 3-4 novels. I’ve had the pleasure to read a few of the books in your wrap-up and I also rate them similar. I think you’ll really enjoy The Rose and the Dagger since you rated 5 for The Wrath and the Dawn. Happy reading!
Sounds like you had a good reading month. I loved The Rest of Us Just Live Here. I hope you enjoy it when you get your hands on a physical or digital (non-audio) copy.
Great reading month Ash. Glad you had so many good reads.
Wow, sixteen books! That’s a LOT. I have the Wrath and the Dawn on my shelf waiting for me, glad to here that you liked it. I wasn’t aware that the Song of Achilles hurt members of LGBT community. It’s been on my TBR for a LONG time. Need to read up on it.
If you’ve read The Iliad and know how The Iliad ends, The Song of Achilles ends the same way. A lot of people in the LGBTQIA+ community feels that it follows a certain trope.
Wow, Ashley, sixteen books is amazing! Since You’ve Been Gone is sitting on my shelf, but I think I might wait for summer to pick it up. I love The Wrath and the Dawn. Ahdieh is such a wonderful writer. I hope you get a chance to read the sequel soon!
Thank you! And I feel like Matson’s books are more summery reads. I’m hoping the ebook copy of The Rose and the Dagger I have on hold at the library comes in soon too!
I have the same problem with audiobooks at times. I usually listen to them while doing other things, which is mostly fine, but some books take full concentration which is hard (for me at least) to do via listening. Happy to see you have enjoyed a wonderful month!
Sadly, I really didn’t like The kite runner when I read it last year, I kinda hated Amir and how he treated his friend and I don’t really feel like he grew as a character in the aftermath. This book made me cry, but it also made me angry. It’s just not a book that is for me.
13 books. that’s awesome! I loved Tucked Everlasting, I think I read it in fourth grade or something and we watched the movie! I’m glad to here that you like the Wrath and the Dawn because it’s on my TBR for this year! Are you going to read the rest of the series/novellas?
I read all the novellas and I have the ebook for the sequel on hold from the library!
I’m glad you enjoyed The Song Of Achilles. Beth really liked it and I have been thinking about reading it even though it’s not really my typical genre.
Looks like you had a good month!