So begins another year of reading! With a vow to widen my ‘genre horizons’, I started off this month excited to see what was in store for me. And while I admit I did not venture far from realistic contemporaries in January, I have been making progress by adding more and more fantasy to my TBR list!
Without further ado, here were this month’s reads:
The Boy Next Door, by Katie Van Ark
Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
Lost Stars, by Claudia Gray
Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins
Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli
My Heart and Other Black Holes, by Jasmine Warga
I’m not going to lie- I didn’t start this year off with the BANG! I had wanted. Because unfortunately for me, Katie Van Ark’s The Boy Next Door wasn’t at all what I had hoped for it to be. A Swoon Reads publish, I expected to be swept of my feet- but ended up falling in the dust. Maybe it could work for others, but most of the time I just found myself counting down the pages until The End.
Lost Stars, however, was not a disappointment! (It was also the only non-contemporary book I read this month, so bonus!) Author Claudia Gray brought the Star Wars world to light in this brand-new story. And the coolest thing of all- it was YA! Best friends Thane and Ciena have always dreamed of becoming pilots for the Empire, but when one of them joins the Rebellion, the two are forced apart on opposite sides of the war. It was a fairly long book, but with such an intriguing plot (not to mention how wonderfully written it is) it’s totally worth it!
Next we have Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss series! To me, it wasn’t so much a series as the last two being companion novels to Anna, but nonetheless I loved seeing familiar characters make cameos and contributing to these stories. The thing about Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After was that they all featured such relatable protagonists, all of whom seemed real. Her writing was absolutely addicting, with swoon-worthy stories to gush over. I recommend Perkins to all contemporary readers, especially those in need of a good romance!
One of my favourites of the month had to be Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by debut author Becky Albertalli! It was just wonderful, with great voice and an even greater heart. This was such a cute read about not-so-openly gay Simon, and how his sexual identity could be on the line when someone discovers his secret emails with the guy who may just be the most adorable person he’s never met. Friendship and family are so strong in this novel, and was just heartwarming all around. I loved it!!
The last book of January was a bit of a darker one- Jasmine Warga’s My Heart and Other Black Holes. When physics nerd Aysel is in need of a Suicide Partner, she finds her perfect match, a boy named Roman. And as he becomes more intent to end his life, she begins to question whether she even wants to go through with it after all. This novel was so beautifully written and SO QUOTABLE, and really makes you aware of the fact that no matter how someone may seem on the outside, the inside could be a whole different story. It did make you feel a bit glum yourself, but in the end this was a story I believe many people should read. It was just dazzling.
So that’s it for this month! Stay tuned throughout the next few weeks- I’ve got a few surprises up my sleeve. 😉
And until then, keep reading!