It’s my JANUARY BOOK REVIEW!!!
Okay, I’m really excited about today and also a little nervous because all of the books I read this month were reader recs…and I didn’t love a few of them (please don’t be mad). January is always a weird month for my book review because it’s actually like half of December and all of January (since I did my December Book Review before the holidays), so that means, more books than normal were read…a whopping SEVEN!
I’m kicking off 2020 with…
…The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes.
Okay, deep breaths.
Um, I typically like Jojo Moyes books. I don’t know that I ever LOVE them, but I like them. I liked this one too. I would venture to say that this was the number one suggested book by you ladies at the end of last year, and I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it. I thought the plot of the story was excellent, and I really enjoyed the characters, but the book was a bit…long. Now, I know that long books allow for a lot of character development, but I guess I didn’t feel that as much as I did…long. I liked this book when I was reading it, but didn’t get super excited to pick it back up (I always kind of had to make myself). So…am I the only one? Do you all hate me now? Maybe I should have reviewed these in reverse order as many of you have probably stopped reading. (Eeks!) For those of you who don’t know, this is historical fiction based on actual events that took place in the 1930s when some very brave women decided to start a mobile library to educate and arm the people of rural Kentucky with books. I mean, the plot is suburb! There is a little love, a little mystery, some suspense…good grief, the first paragraph will suck you right in, but it just seemed long there in the middle. I would love to know if I’m out here on an island all by myself with this one.
Next up, I read…
Now, I was a little apprehensive to read this one because it’s the sequel to my second favorite book of 2019 (a book I think EVERYONE should read!!) and was afraid it wouldn’t live up. But guess what? It was stunning. Powerful. A must read. Seriously, everyone read The Tattooist of Auschwitz and then read this one right after. Cilka is mentioned in the first book (referenced many times by the Tattooist), but this story is about her journey after Auschwitz when she was forced into a Russian labor camp. Now, the author spent quite a bit of time interviewing and getting to know the Tattooist but was never able to interview Cilka, so this book is loosely based on her life as told by people who knew her along with factual information that has been uncovered from her past at both the concentration and labor camps. Nevertheless, the story will leave you breathless. Seriously, there were moments when I was reading this and holding my breath with anticipation and nerves. I could not put this book down. I actually stayed up until 12:30 one night to finish it because I had to know how it all turned out. I really, really love both of these books so much.
My third book of the month needed to be LIGHT as the last two were heavy, so I went through your comments and did a little asking on Stories and settled on…
Okay, whew! Light and happy! I believe this is my third book to read by these authors (two women make up Christina Lauren), and I probably liked it the best. This is total easy to read chick-lit (my fave!). Where do I start? Okay, I will start with the fact that this should be turned into a movie. This reads very much like a romantic comedy that needs an adorable leading lady. This one was so cute and easy to read that I had it finished in 24 hours (thank you hysterectomy that allowed me to sit out all day in lieu of skiing…). This is about a teenage couple that fall in love while vacationing in London and then are separated over a decade and then reconnect when she just happens to be a famous movie star and he’s written the new movie she’s filming. (Hello?! Shouldn’t that be a movie right now?!) It’s that once in a blue moon type of love..or maybe twice 😉 . I mean, yes, it’s a little predictable and perhaps cheesy at times, but boy, I need that in my life from time to time. I will say too that this one is probably Rated R, so please understand that before you dive in.
Next up, I read The Flatshare which checked all of my boxes 🙂 . It’s a quirky little upbeat novel that takes place in London. It’s charming, it has that delicious British wit, it has a happy little ending and it was quick to read. See? Everything I love in one novel. I really thought the premise of this one was unique. It’s about two working adults in London who have opposite schedules…he works nights and weekends and she works long weekdays, so they split an apartment…and are never there at the same time. They get to know each other through notes left around the apartment and well, I thought it was adorable. For those of you who don’t love the sappy Hallmark-y type novels, then pick this one up. I thought this was meatier and not quite so predictable. I also think this one is more PG13. I loved it. This could be a movie too.
Okay, I’m not quite sure why I read this next one…
…Debbie Harry’s new memoir Face It. Um, I don’t know? I really like a memoir/autobiography and so this one came out, I didn’t know anything about Debbie Harry or the band Blondie, so I thought it would be very interesting and/or educational. Hmmm, it was a miss for me. I always take notes as I read books or when I’m finished so I can later go back and use them for my monthly book reviews and these were my notes: disjointed, rambled, kind of oddly written, not my favorite, brushed over major life events (she was raped more than once) and spent a lot of time on things that seemed trivial. Um, so…I just don’t think I was probably the right person to read this book. That being said, if you’re a big Blondie fan, it’s out and you might really find it fascinating. I found it…um, peculiar. BUT I do love to read memoirs, so if you have another suggestion for me, please comment and share!!!
Okaaaaaaaay…I’m a little concerned you guys are going to be mad at me about my thoughts on the next two books too…
…hmmm, Colleen Hoover an I might need to break up. (Ha!) This month, I read her latest book Regretting You. Now, Hoover and I have a real up and down relationship. In 2016, I named her book It Ends With Us my second favorite book of the year! That book is just fantastic. I thought it was relevant, gut-wrenching, powerful, beautifully written, raw…I could go on and on. Then last year, I read her book, Verity, which I named “the worst book I’ve ever read” and proceeded to use the word “stupid” for the first and only time in book review history to describe it (and I’ve reviewed over 300 books on my blog!). I hated that book. So, when this one came out, I was a little hesitant as I wanted to love it so much…but it was really just okay. It’s so much better than Verity (oh heavens yes!), but I thought it was not nearly as powerful as It Ends With Us. Once while reading it, I even went to Amazon to make sure it wasn’t a Young Adult book. This is a novel about a huge secret that is revealed to a family after two of the family members suddenly die and how they cope with it. It left me with so many questions. I felt like they would say something huge and powerful (and pertinent to the story) and then never elaborate on it at all. I had questions I had lots of and lots of questions that went unanswered, they were never readdressed. I just didn’t love it. Now, I loved it a billion times more than that other one (Ha!), but if this had been my first Hoover book to read, I don’t think I’d pick up another one. (Please don’t hate me all of you who told me to read this book!)
Speaking of hating me, I didn’t like my last book of the month either…
You guys all know that I didn’t love his other book, A Man Called Ove, either, so really, are we surprised? #probablynot
Um, well, I mean…I just didn’t love this one at all. In fact, it was my least favorite of the bunch this month. I thought it was very slow. Like very slow. I thought there were 3,648 characters yet not really a “main” character that you could root for. I thought this book was depressing and sad. I kept hoping for the ending to cheer me up, make me realize it was all worth it…but by the last page, I was just left feeling disappointed. Oh gosh, anyone else???? I will say that the one thing I did enjoy about the book was that it wrapped up at the end. I might not have loved it, but at least it did have an ending where the loose ends were tied up. For those of you who don’t know, this is a novel about a really small town that is built around its hockey team…and the people whose lives are wrapped up in it. I just thought it dragged along the whole time. (There is even a sequel to this book…which I cannot even wrap my brain around.) That being said, if you loved A Man Called Ove, I bet you like this one too 😉 .
Okay, seven books down this month! Whew! I really think part of my problem is that I read so many amazing books at the beginning of December that many of these just fell short of the bar that was set. If you missed my December Book Review, make sure you click HERE because I read three really fantastic books. You can also see my TOP THREE books of 2019 there as well along with a list of every book I read in 2019 🙂 .
Okay, now it’s your turn…what should I read next??? Please comment and share!! (And please don’t say the sequel to Beartown 😉 .)
Happy Book Day!! xo