Hello friends and fellow book lovers! It honestly felt like January was never going to end and we’re finally on the last day. Either way, I have to say that January was a pretty good month for me. The Jonas Brothers released a new song, I did a lot of productive article writing and honestly, things have been starting off relatively well for the new decade.
You’re not here to hear about that, though. Instead, you’re here to see all of the books I read in January. In January, I participated in Smutathon which had its own wrap-up so you can check that out. With that being said, I’ll including the other books I read that weren’t a part of smutathon so let’s get into it.
1. Wild Beauty
If you saw my TBR post, then you know that Ellyn picked my TBR this month. For the most part, I enjoyed all of the books she picked. The first one I finished was Wild Beauty which is a magical realism story and that’s all I want to say. I feel like people gave too much away in their descriptions so I don’t want to give away more.
Regardless, I really enjoyed the writing, the characters and how comforting this story felt. It’s like I could feel flowers all around me while I was reading. What kept it from getting a full 5 stars was that it was a bit of a slow start and took a while for me to actually get into the story. 4/5 stars.
2. The Lightning Thief
I wrote a review of this one so you can check it out if you want my full thoughts!
3. Dirty Letters
In my bullet journal, I have a list of 20 books I want to read in 2020 and this book was on it so I picked it up on a whim. This book follows a guy and a girl who meet as pen pals in elementary school and then reconnect years later. There is a big twist when it comes to who the guy is and personally, I didn’t really enjoy it. I thought this book was good but not great as the conflict felt somewhat forced and I think the authors could have fleshed out their relationship a bit more. Either way, it was a fun read so 4/5 stars.
4. Along For the Ride
This is another book that’s on my 20 books to read in 2020 list. This is an enemies-to-lovers romance between a girl and her brother-in-law’s best friend. Some of the book takes place during a road trip and honestly, I wish the entire book would have followed that. It was SO much more interesting and I hated seeing how these two juggled their real lives with trying to be together.
For some reason, the road trip aspect was much more exciting. Either way, it was still a pretty good romance so I can’t complain much. This also only has 100 ratings on Goodreads so it needs more love. 4/5 stars.
Wrapping up Ellyn’s picks for me, I read Caraval and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I feel like everyone knows what this book is but it follows a girl and her sister who are invited to Caraval which is basically a huge game and the plot gets wilder from there. This book had so many twists and turns that I had no idea what to expect. Either way, I still really enjoyed it. I really don’t know how to explain my feelings on this book besides that it intrigued me and I want more. 4/5 stars.
6. His Royal Highness
This book checks off another from my 20 books to read in 2020 list. I’ve heard really good things about R.S. Grey but haven’t read anything by her until now. This book is a friends-to-lovers yet somewhat of a second chance romance? Either way, it follows a girl who works as a character at a Disneyland type park and the relationship she has with a higher-up in the company she knew previously.
I really enjoyed the timeline for Whitney and Derek’s relationship as well as the flashbacks we got to when they originally met. While it took a while for the two to get together, I absolutely loved their relationship. As much as I liked this book, it wasn’t a new favorite and I didn’t think the epilogue was really necessary as the book would have been good without it. Either way, it was a fun read and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. 4/5 stars.
7. A Girl Like Her
I put a hold on this book a while ago and it finally came off. This is a romance between two neighbors, Ruth who is the town pariah and Evan, who works for Ruth’s ex-boyfriend. They basically strike up a friendship when Evan agrees to cook for Ruth if she’ll let him borrow her comic books. It goes on from there, but honestly, this book was just magical. I loved all the different relationships, the diversity and most of all, how the book told a complex story about Ruth’s situation and what happened.
I’m also on a mission to read Talia Hibbert’s backlist this year so this is just the start as I’m sure you’ll see the rest of her books pop up elsewhere. Either way, this book was just a fucking delight and it was my first 5-star read of the year. 5/5 stars.
8. Damaged Goods
The next book I read was a novella or 1.5 in the Ravenswood series. This one follows Laura who is the ex-wife of Daniel from the first book. This is a story about her having a second-chance romance with her childhood sweetheart along with her dealing with the trauma of being abused. Overall, I thought this novella was super sweet while still talking about hard-hitting topics. This also features a pregnant main character which is incredibly rare in romance but I really loved this. 5/5 stars.
9. The Princess Trap
Right after I finished reading Damaged Goods, The Princess Trap came off hold and I couldn’t wait to read it. I dove into it and finished it in two sittings. I’ll just leave what Talia Hibbert tweeted as the description of this book: “Plus-size Black British heroine, royal, bisexual, Scandinavian hero, fake engagement.” So basically if any of that interests you, then you need to give this one a read.
Considering that I read three Talia Hibbert books in a row, I never got sick of them and honestly, I have a ton more on hold at the library. The only thing I disliked was the love interest’s brother but I know why he was there and the role he played. Either way, this book was another delight and honestly, I can’t wait to read the rest of her backlist!
Those are the 9 books I read that weren’t part of Smutathon. If I count my smutathon reads though, I finished this month by reading 18 books. I’m hoping that I have similar numbers with the Contemporary-A-Thon going on next month. Plus I’m going to continue to make my way through Talia Hibbert’s backlist aka the entirety of my library holds 😛
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