• Not gonna lie, getting a new mattress was the highlight of January ha. So comfy and roomy (we upgraded from a Queen to a King) and a month later I’m still all hearty-eyed.
• I came down with a brutal cold and essentially spent an entire week doing nothing but cuddling my pup and binging on Murdoch Mysteries and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
• I discovered Burt’s Bees launched their own protein powder and now I’m obsessed ♥
• January was actually really relaxing with lots of get-togethers with my favorite girls and a taco party that Matt and I hosted! I’m so glad I had a few weeks of laid-back nothingness, because I took on a new position at work at the end of January and it’s been nothing but insanity – not in a bad way, but in a constantly-on-the-go, learning-the-ropes deal.
• Thank God for scheduled posts, because the new job seriously left me exhausted after my first week! I only read 10 books in January (compared to the 11 I read in January last year, which I guess isn’t too bad!) and now that I’m getting into the swing of things at work I’m hoping to jump back into my reading groove – though I don’t plan on coming anywhere close to the 200 books I read last year! This year I’m all about pleasure reads and right now I’m working my way through a huge stack of non-fiction books I grabbed from my library.
THE HUNDRED LIES OF LIZZIE LOVETT BY CHESLEA SEDOTI was extremely misleading and ultimately a huge letdown. When she was in high school, Lizzie Lovett was the It Girl. Now she’s graduated and ends up disappearing while on a camping trip with her boyfriend. What should have been a really fun YA mystery was instead awkward and absurd: the main character becomes wholly obsessed with Lizzie, going so far as to take her job and much-too-old boyfriend (she’s 17, he’s 25). There’s a side plot with a traveling band of hippies and an absolutely ridiculous theory as to what happened to Lizzie and I just couldn’t get behind this one. Spoiler warning for my review.
LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT BY JOSH SUNDQUIST, however, is a fantastic YA novel and a much needed palate cleanser. Born blind, Will has been able to navigate through life just as well as any sighted teen. The first day at a mainstream high school leads to a few unfortunate (and highly embarrassing) moments – talk about making an impression! When he’s given the opportunity to undergo an experimental surgery that could grant him vision for the first time, he goes for it. But he soon comes to learn that the world isn’t quite what he expected. Though the story was fairly average, Sundquist’s attention to detail took this book to a new level and I was deeply impressed.
THE WICKED CITY BY BEATRIZ WILLIAMS is yet another utterly delectable read and most likely another novel of hers that will make its way to my top reads of the year. The Wicked City alternates between the 1990s and the Jazz Age and I was head over heels in love. Firecracker main characters, hidden speakeasies, a swoony-worthy romance, this book had it all and my only complaint is that the ending perfectly set things up for the next book…which won’t be out until this summer. You’re killing me, Williams!
THE GIRL BEFORE BY JP DELANEY deserves all the buzz it’s getting. The story follows two women two years apart as they each rent the same house. It’s clear from the start that something bad happened to the first woman (thus allowing the house to become available once more) and the book twists and turns its way to the reveal.
DREADNOUGHT BY APRIL DANIELS is terrible.
MY HUSBAND’S WIFE BY JANE CORRY is a debut bursting to the brim with elements (an unhappy marriage, a murder trial, a little girl who knows more than she lets on, a neighbor’s affair, Asperger’s) but they all meshed together and worked. There’s a time jump halfway through the novel that really ramps up the drama. I enjoyed this one a lot and was purposefully vague in my review so as not to spoil anything!
JANUARY MINI-REVIEW ROUND UP is a mix of everything: two DNFs, a dud, and an excellent historical romance novella!
RIGHT BEHIND YOU BY LISA GARDNER has Gardner sitting comfortably among my favorite authors. Each book I’ve read has been great – and nicely work as standalones (lucky for me, since I’m someone who jumps around in series). Eight years ago, nine-year-old Telly saved himself and his little sister by murdering their abusive father. Since then, the siblings have been in the foster care system and their lives have taken wildly different paths. Sharlah is about to have her adoption finalized while Telly has been bouncing from home to home and is close to finally aging out of the system. A double murder points to Telly and Quincy and Rainie have reason to believe Sharlah is in grave danger. I was totally hooked!
BY YOUR SIDE BY KASIE WEST is a novel that was fun for the afternoon, but I don’t see myself ever rereading it. Two teens are trapped in the local library over the weekend – though because neither are big readers, the setting really serves no purpose and the book could have taken place anywhere. There are a surprising number of heavy topics and I am pleased to say I thought Kasie handled each one gracefully. That said, there’s a scene that had me seeing red.
DECEMBER 2016 RECAP
2017 BOOKS I NEED TO GET MY HANDS ON: NON-FIC
2017 BOOKS I NEED TO GET MY HANDS ON: SCI-FI/FANTASY
2017 BOOKS I NEED TO GET MY HANDS ON: CONTEMPORARY
2017 BOOKS I NEED TO GET MY HANDS ON: HISTORICAL FICTION
2017 BOOKS I NEED TO GET MY HANDS ON: MYSTERY/SUSPENSE