This month was a good reading month for me and I managed to read a total of 6 books plus 1 DNF. Most of these books had been on my TBR for quite a while, so I'm glad I've finally got them off. I read some good books, but I also ended up reading some not so good books.
Anyway, I'm going to try and keep this as short as I can. Let's get into the wrap-up!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (#5) by J.K. Rowling
There's not really much I can say about this as it is the fifth book in the series and by now most people have read Harry Potter. This is the first time I've read it and I finished the rest of this series during January without meaning too. I only actually just realised that I finished it this month. I was meaning to try and read the books over time, but that didn't really happen.
Anyway, I loved this just as much as the other books.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/444327.Harry_Potter_and_the_Order_of_the_Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (#6) by J.K. Rowling
Same as before as I can't say anything about it really as everyone already knows about it. Also, if I tried to explain it, I wouldn't give it enough justice.
Here's the synopsis:
It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys' house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can't quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys' of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks' time? Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine...
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1.Harry_Potter_and_the_Half_Blood_Prince
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Harry-Potter-and-the-Half-Blood-Prince-J-K-Rowling/9781408855706?ref=pd_detail_1_sims_b_p2p_1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (#7) by J.K. Rowling
Here's the synopsis: Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing - if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfil the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him?
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4979435-harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Harry-Potter-and-the-Deathly-Hallows-J-K-Rowling/9781408855713?ref=pd_detail_1_sims_b_p2p_1
Rent A Bridesmaid by Jacqueline Wilson
Here's the synopsis: Tilly can’t believe it when her best friend Matty is asked to be a bridesmaid. In Tilly’s favourite daydream, she’s kitted out in the most beautiful bridesmaid dress, walking down the aisle behind a beautiful bride. The one wedding she’d really like to attend is her own mum and dad’s. But as that’s never going to happen, it’s time for Tilly to make her own dream come true – and put her bridesmaid services up for hire . . .
This book had been on my TBR since it came out. When I was younger I used to be obsessed with Jacqueline Wilson and I used to love all of her books. When I heard she was coming out with a new book, I just had to pick it up. January was finally the month in which I decided to read it.
I actually really enjoyed it. I thought it lived up to my expectations and was just like any other Jacqueline Wilson book. It was a good children's book and was fun to read, but also contained things that younger children would be able to notice and relate to.
For example, a big part of this book surrounds Tilly and her family. She lives with her dad after her parents got divorced and her mum ran off. She's constantly wishing for her parents to get back together, so they can be a perfect little family and so most of all, she can be the bridesmaid at their wedding. The book also has a gay couple featured, which I found really nice to see and read about. There was also a teeny tiny mention of a girl with an eating disorder. This character is only mentioned on one page and it's not really described as an eating disorder, but more like the character 'doesn't like food'.
Overall, I did enjoy this and found it fun to go back and read an author, which I used to love so much. If any of you guys are interested in a full review, then let me know below and I can do one.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25493820-rent-a-bridesmaid
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Rent-A-Bridesmaid/9780857532725
Crush by Eve Ainsworth
I read 7 Days by Eve last year and it was one of my favourite books of the year. I was excited, but nervous before getting into this one, as I was scared I wasn't going to love it as much. I don't think I did love it as much, but I definitely enjoyed it and appreciated it.
Here's the synopsis: The dark and compelling tale of an abusive teen relationship, told from the perspective of the victim, fourteen-year-old Anna.
The synopsis above is from Goodreads and doesn't really say much, but basically this books features an abusive teenage relationship between two characters. However, it is much much more than that. You get to find out the home life of each character and why they're like they are. You really get a feel for the characters and get to see how things work in their heads and that's one thing I really loved about this book.
I personally haven't been in an abusive relationship before, so I honestly can't say how accurate it is. However, I read a review online from a person who has, who said that it was an honest and relatable book for her.
I found it to be a change from what I normally read. It was interesting to read and I personally think it was very brave of Eve to write a YA book on this topic and think it was a great idea. It showed people the darker side to things in life and I think that's a thing that some authors should do more often.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29325754-crush
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Crush-Eve-Ainsworth/9781407146904?ref=grid-view
Skinny B, Skaz and Me by John Singleton
Here's the synopsis: Skinny B: Mum's little angel, Dad's little princess, my little sister. Say no more.
Skaz? A joker, a kind of mate till he starts giving my life a right good kicking.
And me - I'm Lee, face first in trouble right from the moment I walk smack into Hoodz 5.
Nothing's safe any more.
It's a nightmare.
I'm just going to start this off by saying that I'm really not sure about this book. It'd been on my TBR for a long time and I hadn't had an urge to read it yet, so when I finally did, I had to pick it up straight away. I honestly went into this with not too high expectations because I didn't want to be left too disappointed.
When reading this, I did thoroughly consider DNF-ing it at one point, but for some reason I find it really hard to do that, so I forced myself to carry on. It did get a bit better later on, but after finishing it, I was just sort of left with nothing. I didn't have a fixed opinion on whether I like it or hated it and to be honest I just wasn't too impressed with it. However, I do think the ending was done nicely and I just wish the whole book had been more like the last couple of chapters because that would've been much better. I'm not sure whether it was just me and that I had changed my mind and wasn't really interested in reading it anymore or what.
Overall, this book was okay. I did like it, just not enough to rate it higher.
Rate - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7880870-skinny-b-skaz-and-me
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Skinny-B-Skaz-and-Me-John-Singleton/9780141316093
In Darkness by Nick Lake
This last book is the one that I DNF-ed this month.
Here's the synopsis: In darkness I count my blessings like Manman taught me. One: I am alive. Two: there is no two. In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake a boy is trapped beneath the rubble of a ruined hospital: thirsty, terrified and alone. 'Shorty' is a child of the slums, a teenage boy who has seen enough violence to last a lifetime, and who has been inexorably drawn into the world of the gangsters who rule Site Soleil: men who dole out money with one hand and death with the other. But Shorty has a secret: a flame of revenge that blazes inside him and a burning wish to find the twin sister he lost five years ago. And he is marked. Marked in a way that links him with Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Haitian rebel who two-hundred years ago led the slave revolt and faced down Napoleon to force the French out of Haiti. As he grows weaker, Shorty relives the journey that took him to the hospital, a bullet wound in his arm. In his visions and memories he hopes to find the strength to survive, and perhaps then Toussaint can find a way to be free ...
I'm actually really disappointed with the fact that I DNF-ed this as I was so excited to read it. This is another one that had been on my TBR for quite a while, but it was one that really intrigued me. The synopsis sounded like something I'd really enjoy and I was immediately hooked and knew I needed to read it. When reading it, it was completely different to what I expected and I just didn't like it.
I found parts of it too confusing and other parts just plain boring. However, I wanted to carry on because the synopsis sounded so good, so I thought if I just got to half way, maybe it might pick up.
I think I managed to get to half way before I tweeted a poll on whether I should DNF or carry on. I hate DNF-ing books and for some reason I find it really hard to do, so I thought I might make it easier to get you guys to help me. The polls' answer was to DNF it and I'm glad I did. DNF-ing this book basically saved my month of reading and led me to read three or so more books afterwards.
At the moment, I'm not sure whether I'll come back to this in the future or not, maybe I'll just unhaul it.
Rate - X/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11451112-in-darkness?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/In-Darkness-Nick-Lake/9781599907437?ref=grid-view
Anyway, that was my January wrap-up! It's been quite an up and down month of reading as you could probably tell. Overall, I'm happy with how it went and feel like I'm finally making some progress with lowering my TBR by reading books that have been on there for quite a while. I've also managed to read quite a few of the books that I wanted to read this year (I did have a blog post planned, but just haven't written it up yet. I might not bother with it now.) and I've managed to stick to my personal goal of trying to make my ratings stricter and not give out 4's and 5's all the time.
Hopefully, February will be better!
What books did you read in January? Let me know in the comments below!
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