Tuesday, 5 February 2019

January Wrap Up 2019

My reading wrap up for January 2019. I managed six books this month, which I am chuffed with. I have decided to write these up on my blog, as well as a wrap-up on my YouTube channel. Last year I really enjoyed doing more book reviews, and I hope to keep it up this year.

January 2019 wrap up

The first book I started one was one which I have wanted to read for about eighteen months, My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman. I absolutely love Fredrik Backman's writing style, and A Man Called Ove is one of my favourite ever books. I had high hopes for this book too.  It's the story of  Elsa, who is seven years old and stands out. She has a fantastic imagination, and her best friend is her grandmother. They have their own dream lands, where it's ok to be different. I loved the message throughout the book that you can stand out, and it's great to be yourself, but it fell a bit flat in comparison with Fredrik Backman's other books that I have previously read. You can buy the book here.

My grandmother sends her regards and apologises

The next book I read is The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods by Samuel J Halpin.  This is a children's book, aimed at ages 9+. In spite of this, it really scared me! I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to anything vaguely imaginative. This is the story of a sleepy town called Suds, which holds a worrying secret where children are turning grey and disappearing. Poppy lives with her grandmother, and meets Erasmus at school. The two of them are determined to unravel the area's secrets, even though it might mean heading into the dark, twisting woods. I really enjoyed this book, even though I was genuinely scared reading it. It's a magical fairy tale, which you can believe being true. You can buy the book here.

The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods

Turtles all the way Down by John Green was next up. Aza is sixteen and is a good student, but a slightly difficult friend. She has mental health problems and seems to be dealing with them poorly. When a billionaire goes missing, she and her friend Daisy set out to try and find him, whilst hoping to bag a share of the $100,000 reward! The billionaire's son is a childhood friend of hers, they spent a lot of time together when they were younger. Aza's struggle with her compulsive thoughts is compelling and thought-provoking. It's an incredibly powerful book about mental health, because it is written in a way which really makes you question what you think you know. I really found this book difficult to put down, and I willed Aza on throughout the story. You can buy the book here

Turtles All The Way Down

I followed this book up with The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin, which was the Bookish Mamas Book Club pick for January. I really loved the concept of this book, the idea that if you know the date you are going to die, how does that impact on how you live your life? Four brothers and sisters  visit a travelling psychic, who tells them the date they will die. What she tells them changes how they live their lives, and we see the story of each child as they grow up. I really enjoyed Simon's story, but after that the book started to drag a bit, which was a huge shame. Whilst I enjoyed reading it, I didn't feel that it lived up to the fantastic concept of the book. You can buy it here.

 To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han was a wonderful book. I hadn't anticipated finishing this in one day, but once I started I just didn't want to stop. Lara Jean is a teenager in America who writes love letters to all the boys she has ever loved. She has no intention of sending the letters, but writing them is her way of gaining closure on the boys. She keeps the letters safe in a hatbox that her, now deceased, mother gave her. One day, she cannot find them and it transpires that they have been sent out to the boys they were written about! This was such an easy and enjoyable read, and light compared with the last book I read. A wonderfully engaging contemporary Young Adult novel which made me feel happy as I finished it. Pick it up here.

To All the boys I've loved before

All The Rage by Courtney Summers has been on my TBR pile for nearly two years. I am so glad I got round to reading it. This is a gripping page-turner of a book which is incredibly difficult to read in parts. Romy Grey was raped by the sheriff's son and no-one believes her. She is bullied at school and realises that speaking up about what happened has cost her everything. She paints her nails and her lips as a form of armour against the rest of the world. Her job out of town helps her to have a semblance of normality in her life. When a girl goes missing after a party, Romy knows she has to try and find her. It's a harrowing story, and has a huge trigger warning for rape, the scenes of which a graphically depicted. The characters are what make the book enjoyable and worth reading. I would recommend reading it. You can buy it here.

For a more in-depth review, check out my wrap-up on my YouTube channel.


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