I am THE WORST at getting wrap ups written and published on time (or even at all) but 2019 is the year when I’m going to do it all properly! I hope… I love reading other people’s wrap ups and seeing what they’ve been reading and I love looking back on what I thought about books I read in the past, so I’m committing myself this year.
This month I have read 10 books, which feels like a good start to me, this has been one of my best reading months ever! I’ve set my goodreads goal to 75 because I am afraid of failure, but I’d really really like to read 100 books this year for the first time. I worked out that to make this happen, I need to read 8.3 books per month and I’ve definitely achieved that in January.
1. The Wicked King by Holly Black – 5 Stars
Oh lordy, this book was wonderful. It does start off pretty slow so I was a bit worried it wouldn’t live up to how much I adored The Cruel Prince, but I was wrong. It was full of even more politics, tension and betrayal than the first book! You can read my full review here.
2. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi – No Rating
I’ve made the choice to not rate this book, as I feel like it is impossible to put a number on someone else’s tragic experience and destroyed childhood. This book followed a young girl growing up during the Iran conflict in the 70s and 80s. I grew up in the aftermath of this crisis but never really understood it, so this was really eye opening for me but it was so easy to consume in graphic novel format. I wouldn’t have picked up a biography like this in a traditional format so it was a really great way of bringing an important story to a new audience. I would like to see more non fiction in this format!
3. Persuasion by Jane Austen – 5 Stars
This was my second Jane Austen novel and whilst I didn’t love it quite as much as Pride and Prejudice, I really enjoyed it. Anne was a completely different character to Elizabeth, and it seemed a more mature novel than P&P. I loved the Bath setting, it definitely made me miss Bath, I loved pin pointing and being able to picture exactly where things were happening – the Elliot’s Bath townhouse was on my walk home everyday! This is a really examination of the expectations of women and the ways a woman was treated in those days. The Elliot’s were witty caricatures of the sorts of people you might find in Georgian high society. It was hilarious and I loved it.
4. The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden – 5 Stars
This was a beautiful conclusion to the Winternight trilogy. I loved it and I am sad that its over! You can find my full review here.
5. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – 4 Stars
6. Seige and Storm by Leigh Bardugo – 4.5 Stars
7. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – 4.5 Stars
I’m summarising these as a trilogy because, honestly, I can’t remeber what happened in which one. This always happens when I read a whole series in succession. I really enjoyed these series! It was so rich and well developed. I really enjoyed the Russian inspired fantasy world, the plot was gripping and the characters made me feel things. I really liked Alina, LOVED Nikolai, felt super conflicted about the Darkling and found Mal to be quite drab. The ending was beautiful and I’m super excited to see what else Leigh Bardugo has done with this world!
8. A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – 5 Stars
This book was BEAUTIFUL! It gave me proper traditional fairytale vibes, but with really dark undertones. It was unique, but familiar. The characters were really where this book shone, Rhen, Grey and Harper were wonderfully nuanced characters and I can’t wait to see them again in the sequel. That being said, it totally functions as a standalone so you won’t be tying yourself in to long waits and cliffhangers. You can see my full review here.
9. The Mortal Instruments Graphic Novel Vol 1 by Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean – 4.5 Stars
There’s not much to say about this one, it’s the graphic novelisation of the first half of City of Bones. I really enjoyed this, I’m not a big graphic novel person but it was a quick and fun new way to consume one of my favourite stories. I’m not sure this would hold up very well if you haven’t read City of Bones, so I don’t think this would be a very good alternative if you’ve not read the series. That being said, it was beautiful art, a beautiful and true adaptation and I’m looking forward to collecting more. Again though, this was only the first 6 chapters and a year after this one ,vol 2 was released which I believe is the next 6 chapters. If they’re only releasing 6 chapters a year it could literally take 20 years to get the full adaptation of TMI, so I’m not sure how this is going to pan out.
10. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (reread) – 4.5 Stars
This one was really surprising to me! I read this for the first time when it came out at the start of 2018 and only rated it 3.5/3.75 stars. I think the problem for me was that I didn’t know it was a trilogy going into it so I found myself quite dissatisfied at the end. It felt a bit underwhelming. I knew this was my fault though so with The Vanishing Stair coming out in early February, I thought I’d give it another go with the trilogy in mind and I ended up really loving it. I felt completely enveloped in classic mystery vibes and fresh mountain air. The feel that I got from this book was one of the best parts, and when I looked at this book as a set up to a mystery where things are going to end up more complicated and unsolved at the end, then I really enjoyed it. One of my favourite things was the casual diversity of this series. Represented in this school are characters of different background, races, sexualities and gender identities. There’s this bit where Stevie refers to a character Vi as ‘she’ and is just simply corrected to ‘they’, apologises and moves on. That’s it. Love the casual diversity embedded in this mystery story. Can’t wait to dig into the sequel!
5 Star: 40%
4.5 Star: 40%
4 Star: 10%
No Rating: 10%
So there we go! Those were my books for this month! Let me know what you thought of these if you’ve read them, and what you read this month!