So the first month of the year in terms of reading can go one of two ways for me – I either won’t read anything or I’ll read everything in sight and judging from the fact I’m writing this post, it’s the latter this time. So here’s a mini wrap-up of all the books I read this month (including my random adult romance phase) as well as some non-fiction and fantasy.
The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing
by Holly Black
After (finally) reading The Cruel Prince in December, I immediately ran to Waterstones on New Year’s Day and grabbed the second and third book in the trilogy. If you don’t know, this is a YA fantasy series set in the world of Faerie. Although I haven’t had the best luck with these kinds of stories – this series had me hooked! Without spoilers, it has enemies to lovers, political intrigue and an amazing cast of characters. Definitely worth checking out and it’s now one of my favourite YA fantasy series for sure.
Of Curses and Kisses
by Sandya Menon
I can’t talk much about this one as 1) it isn’t released yet and 2) I plan on a post dedicated to a review but I can say that this is a YA contemporary and a Beauty and the Beast retelling. It is the story of Indian Princess, Jaya and Grey Emerson, youngest member of a family that has been enemies with Jaya’s family for generations. When Jaya plans to get revenge on Grey for targeting her little sister by making him fall in love with her than breaking his heart, she soon realises it isn’t as easy as it sounds.
We Used To Be Friends
by Amy Spalding
This is one of the books I was kindly sent this month and I did a spoiler-free review here! The story focuses on the break-up of a friendship which I think is a topic rarely explored in YA – especially showing it can be as heartbreaking as romantic break-ups. We follow the stories of both Kat and James as well as their individual stories. It also features bisexual rep with Kat and tells the story on how she met her girlfriend, Quinn. My only problem was the jump between timelines that sometimes got confusing.
by Nina Varela
This YA fantasy has been all over my timeline for the past few months and although it isn’t published in the UK yet, I had to do a bit of searching and finally found myself a copy. I think I fell prey to the classic hype that surrounded this book and so went into it with high hopes. I loved the f/f relationship it featured, especially it being slow burn but the problem for me is that the whole book builds and builds and instead of there being a climax, it ends ready for the sequel. This of course means the sequel is going to be action-packed but it just meant I spent the first book waiting for something to happen.
Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas
by Adam Kay
One of my all time favourite non-fiction books is definitely This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay so of course I had to pick up its sequel – despite it being heartbreakingly small at only 144 pages. Despite that, I still loved it and it made me almost cry with laughter again. Adam just has funny bones and hearing his tales of being a NHS doctor, especially during the Christmas period, was both hilarious and heartwarming. He has definitely gained a lifelong reader in me.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
by Talia Hibbert
This is another book that has been on my radar for a while and although adult romance isn’t my usual genre (or so I thought) I decided to pick it up this month. And let me tell you… I loved it! The romance was beautiful, I loved both the characters of Chloe and Red and I loved how Chloe’s fibromyalgia wasn’t just forgotten about half way through the story. I also didn’t know it was written by a British author so hearing all the British-isms was very cute also.
The Bride Test
by Helen Hoang
One of my favourite adult romances of all time is definitely The Kiss Quotient by this same author and after realising I’m now in an adult romance phase – I decided to pick up its sequel. Despite it technically being a sequel, it can also be read as a standalone and only features characters from the first book briefly. Being autistic myself, reading romances featuring autistic characters and seeing myself in them is just magical. This book, and its prequel, made me realise things about myself and my autism and I’m truly grateful to Helen for writing such beautiful stories.
The Bromance Book Club
by Lyssa Kay Adams
At this stage, my adult romance phase was in full-swing, especially as they are quick reads you can read in one sitting if you so wish. I recently saw WhittyNovels read this one so I decided to pick it up. Although this was probably my least favourite of the bunch, it was still a quick and enjoyable read. Some of the dialogue, especially between the men, was quite unrealistic and also some manipulation tactics were going on. Other than that, I liked that this is a romance featuring a couple that are already together at the start.
The Flat Share
by Beth O’Leary
Again, this is a book I’ve heard a lot of people talking about and the mainly good reviews and the concept of two people living together but never actually meeting definitely caught my interest. Although I do usually enjoy romances also focusing on the character’s individual lives and not just their relationship with each other, I did find myself skimming over Tiffy’s job scenes and they do take up a lot of the book. However, I think Tiffy coming to terms with an abusive ex-boyfriend was definitely an important aspect of the book. My favourite part was actually the notes the two communicated by rather than their actual relationship after meeting.
The Astonishing Colour of After
by Emily X.R. Pan
This YA contemporary uses magical realism to weave a tale of grief in such a unique way. We follow the story of Leigh, who after losing her mother to suicide, decides to go on a journey to discover her past after meeting her as a bird. Being half Asian and half-white, Leigh travels to Taiwan for the first time to meet her maternal grandparents. I love how this story, as well as grief, focuses on family and culture. It’s heartbreaking (trigger warnings for suicide and depression) but I would definitely recommend it.
We Are Totally Normal
by Rahul Kanakia
I will be posting my review of this book closer to its release date (March 31st) so I won’t share too much of my thoughts. However, this YA contemporary tells the story of Nandan and his journey into understanding his sexuality when despite being caught up on his ex, finds himself hooking up with his friend, Dave. I will say, as I also thought this, this isn’t your typical m/m romance and instead focuses more on identity and the struggle of understanding your sexuality during your high school years.
What was your favourite read of the month?
Lots of Love,