January 2020 Wrap Up!

First wrap up of the year! A very exciting moment! I started off the year strong with 8 books read, and some great new books discovered. I did also end up DNFing a couple of books pretty far in, so I’ve read more pages than these books suggest! I’ve also received a TON of arcs this month. so I’ve got lots of exciting reading and bookish content coming in the next couple of months – 2020 is looking good so far! Here are the books I read this month!

and then

1. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – 4 Stars

“Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.

The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…”

So, in January I embarked on a mission to discover why everyone loves Agatha Christie, and discover it I did! This was exciting and gripping and just such a good time. I highly recommend picking up an Agatha Christie, and this one is a great place to start as it is a standalone (though you absolutely do not have to read the series’ in order). I wrote up my full thoughts on all 3 Christies in this wrap up, which you can find here.

roger ackroyd

2. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie – 4 Stars

“Poor Roger Ackroyd. He knew that the woman he loved had been harbouring a guilty secret – she poisoned her first husband. And yesterday she killed herself.

But guilty secrets rarely stay secret. Who had been blackmailing her before her death? Had it really driven her to suicide? And would it all be revealed in the letter that arrived in the evening post? Sadly Roger Ackroyd wasn’t going to live long enough to find out…”

After ‘And Then There Were None’ I was just ready to binge my way through some good mysteries, so I picked up another Agatha Christie! This one was so completely different from the other I’d read, yet again so shocking and twisty! This one definitely benefits from the less being said, the better, but again you can check out my thoughts in the post linked above!

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3. Daisy Jones and the Six – REREAD (Original rating: 4 Stars)

“For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split.

Nobody ever knew why. Until now.

They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn’t believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently.

The only thing they all know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked barefoot onstage at the Whisky, their lives were irrevocably changed.

Making music is never just about the music. And sometimes it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin.”

I decided to listen to the full cast audio for this one, as I’d read it before but had heard just how amazing the audio narration is. It was such a wonderful experience, and enriched the story even more. I do have a bit of a policy on not changing my rating after rereads, but listening to this audiobook was definitely a 5 star experience, even if I originally rated the story and writing as 4. You can read my review from my first read of this here.

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4. Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire – 4 Stars

“When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister–whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice–back to their home on the Moors.

But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.

Eleanor West’s “No Quests” rule is about to be broken.

Again.”

This is the 5th installment of the Wayward Children series, and I’ve been looking forward to this for a year! It was, as always, such fantastic whimsical fun – and we got to revisit some of my favourite characters from previous books! Full review here.

roomies

5. Roomies by Christine Lauren – 4 Stars

“Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?”

This was my first Christina Lauren, and I was just totally in the mood for something light and cheesy and fun. This totally fit the bill! It was cute and sexy, I had a great time reading it. I can’t wait to read more Christina Lauren titles in the future! Full review here.

orient express

6. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – 4.5 Stars

“This title finds the Orient Express stopped in its tracks. The luxurious train set of with a full passenger list but by the morning there was one fewer. An American lay dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. With tension mounting, detective Hercule Poirot comes up with two solutions to the crime.”

I think this has got to be my favourite Agatha Christie of the month! It was gripping, unpredictable and full of red herrings. Twisty and turny, with such a clever ending! Once again, if you want to know more of my thoughts check out the blog post linked above!

truly devious

7. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson – REREAD (Original rating: 4.5 Stars)

“Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.”

In preparation for the release of the third an final (!!!!) book in the Truly Devious series, I simply had to reread the first two. I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH AND CANNOT WAIT TO FIND OUT HOW IT ALL ENDS!!!!!! I could shout about this series forever and ever , but if you need further convincing, I wrote a blog post on all the reasons you should read Truly Devious!

the vanishing stair

8. The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – REREAD (Original rating: 5 Stars)

I’m not going to say anything about this, as I don’t want to spoil anyone for the first book. JUST READ THIS SERIES!!!

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