Well, first reading wrap up of 2018. Isn’t that horrendous? My New Year’s Resolution of trying to be more positive is obviously going really well.
Anyway, I managed to read 8 books in January, so let’s have a look at the stats!
This is the first time I’ve used charts to display by stats and I really like the way it looks! I prefer a more visual representation so this is perfect! As you can see, I primarily read library books this month, which is always great.
❀ The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
I’ve heard so much hype for this book so I decided to buy the ebook at the very beginning of the year – to keep me awake on New Year’s Eve night, actually – and I really did enjoy it. I think what makes this book are the mythological elements and the blend of original folklore into the story. I loved that aspect of the world-building and the addition of the gods. I just wasn’t too much of a fan of the writing style. I will be continuing with the series as I’ve heard it only gets better!
❀ The Drowned World by JG Ballard
Oh, this book could have been so good. Its one redeeming feature was the setting, which is a world almost completely submerged in water in a dystopic future. The exploration of the world and its changing climate really was interesting and the only reason I gave this two stars instead of one. The rest of the book, however, I hated. It was so blatantly sexist. Beatrice, the only female character, exists to be scared and sexually attractive, with just enough backbone for her to fit into the ‘little minx’ stereotype. At one point in the book, she tells the all-male cast to stop staring at her as she’s not a strip show. Unfortunately, that’s ultimately what she was, and not in the empowering way. You know when you’re reading about a female character and immediately know the writer is a cis man? Yup.
That put such a bad taste in my mouth that I couldn’t enjoy the rest of the book, which dragged.
❀ The Passage by Justin Cronin
This DNF is not the fault of the book at all. It’s such a chunk one – nearly 800 pages – and while I love reading big books, I just don’t have the time at the moment with college and my health being as chaotic as they are. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere as I was only able to grab twenty pages here and there and it wasn’t doing the book any justice. I will come back to this one someday as it does interest me. The Passage follows the beginning of a dystopic future with vampires and a young girl who is the only one who can stop it. It’s a literary fiction dystopian that was on my college recommendation list and it has some really great reviews.
❀ A List of Cages by Robin Roe
This book was exactly what I needed. I have chronic pain due to a joint condition and I was having a particularly bad day when I picked A List of Cages up. I wasn’t able to move from the couch and was feeling so down that I didn’t want to do anything. My dad pushed my Kindle into my hand and told me to stop staring at the ceiling, so I was scrolling through my library and picked this one because I wanted an easy contemporary with minimal world-building to keep my mind off the real world. It certainly did that. I’ll go into more in my review but this book made me cry, smile, laugh, and forget about my pain. A new favourite.
❀ Children of Men by PD James
I’m not too sure how to feel about this book. While I’m glad that this story – which features a dystopic society in which everyone has become infertile – was handled by an author that wasn’t a cis man, I still feel like it could be potentially triggering to anyone who faces these issues. The protagonist isn’t a likeable one, and he has some questionable perspectives on the situation. It was enjoyable to read but from a critical standpoint, I haven’t quite made my mind up on it yet.
❀ Everless by Sara Holland
I got this book in a Fairyloot box and I was so excited to get to it. I wasn’t disappointed! What I think is perhaps the unique selling point of this book is, is the magic system. This fantasy world uses time like currency, and can be extracted and ingested through blood iron. We follow Jules, whose father has been selling his time to pay off debts, until Jules suspects he is close to the end. Knowing she needs to get more blood-iron, she decides to return to the estate of Everless, where they ran from when she was younger. This book kept me engaged and interested all the way through. It’s so exciting to have a world where time is so malleable and fluid. There are so many opportunities to expand and create something amazing. I’ll definitely be continuing when the next book is released. Review to come.
❀ Here We Are: Notes For Living On Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers
This picture book will be perfect for young children. It’s short, sweet, beautiful and strangely comforting. The afterword by the author’s dad also got me a little.
❀ Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Again, I’m not sure where to take this one. I adore Radio Silence. It was one of my favourites of last year. Solitaire, I didn’t enjoy as much. Tori was definitely an interesting, flawed character different to a lot of protagonists we find in YA. She’s pessimistic to the point of misery and struggles with depression. However, despite her brother having an eating disorder and depression himself (as well as issues with self-harm, for which this book has graphic description, so be aware), Tori never wants talks about getting help. I understand that undiagnosed illnesses are just as valid as diagnosed ones, and deserve to have that story told, but I think it would have been beneficial for her to have considered getting help like her brother. There are also a lot of ableist slurs used throughout.
But at the same time, I honestly enjoyed the majority. I listened to the audiobook (if you’re gonna read an Alice Oseman book, you should definitely listen to the audiobooks) and the narrator was awesome. I finished it in two days and it kept my attention. I prefer Radio Silence, her most recent book and you can see how much Alice Oseman’s writing has improved. I’m definitely looking forward to her third book coming out this year!
So there we have it! I’m proud of my reading this month as it hasn’t been the easiest. I also read some pretty great books! Here’s to another hopefully successful month in February!
What were your favourite books in January? Have you read any listed here? Did you enjoy them? Let me know in the comments and we can discuss!
Until the next time!