January Reads

Today’s post is going to be mini reviews of all the books I read in January! In total, I read 8 books in January, and overall I really enjoyed most of them, but of course there were some that I didn’t quite like as much. Let’s get started!

I’m Thinking of Ending Things – Iain Reid

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*Read from Dec. 31 – Jan. 1*

This one was odd for me, and not because it was an odd book – though it was – but because I can’t quite figure out how I feel about it. I watched the recent Netflix release of I’m Thinking of Ending Things over the Christmas holidays, and I really enjoyed the film and found it to be very unsettling but intriguing. For some reason, I didn’t feel quite the same about the book; even though I had seen the film, I was quite confused when reading. I promise you’ll never hear me say this again, but in this case, I’d recommend skipping this book and seeing the movie instead.

The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*Read from Dec. 28 – Jan. 7*

I read this book for my buddy book club with three of my friends, including Victoria over at Procrastireader. We all had very similar opinions on this, and we weren’t too fond of it. In my case, I had gone into it thinking of Holly Black’s The Folk of the Air series, since this book is supposedly set in the same place. However, it did not feel like that at all, nor did I enjoy it anywhere near as much as I did that series. The characters were unrealistic and lacking, and the plot was strange and not very intriguing. It was an easy read, but not an enjoyable one. I think it’s because I have read so many fantasy books that have been so amazing and far-developed, and so this just felt very mediocre. Also, I don’t usually go for stand-alone fantasy books. I’d say skip this one, and go ahead and read The Cruel Prince, it’s amazing.

The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

Rating: 4 out of 5.
*Read from Jan. 7 – Jan. 8*

Okay here’s another book that left me conflicted. I had just recently read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, which is a work of art, and it made me really want to read this book, since it has some similar concepts. I loved this book and the idea that Matt Haig had was extremely captivating, but some parts were kind of boring and lacking, compared to others. For example, some lives that Nora Seed tries came with really interesting scenes, and others did not. Also, here’s something that bothers me: characters who speak to their siblings like: “hey, sis.” I’m pretty sure no one actually does that.

This book was full of emotion – if you want to cry read this, because I definitely did. Nora Seed’s life was very much upsetting to her, and as she tried more and more lives, we get to learn more about what’s she lost and why she is so hurt. Read this one for sure. But make sure you also read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.

Crank Palace – James Dashner

Rating: 2 out of 5.

*Read Jan. 12*

Okay this was the most disappointing book I’ve ever read. Okay that might be an exaggeration, but you get the point. I loved The Maze Runner series, and I loved Newt most of all, so when I heard there was going to be a book all about Newt, I was over the moon. I feel like this had so much potential to be so interesting and emotional, but instead we got a whole bunch of new characters and zero time to get attached to them. Tommy and the others were there for a total of maybe 3 pages, so what was the point of that? It was unnecessary – you can skip this one.

Call Me By Your Name – André Aciman

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*Read Jan. 15 – Jan. 16*

Ahhh I don’t know about this one…I just didn’t really like it I guess. I wouldn’t say don’t read it, because I know a lot of people really like this one, but it just wasn’t for me I guess. However, it’s easy to see why a lot of people do like it. Watch A Clockwork Reader’s review for it, it sums some of my thoughts up pretty well.

Tales From the Hinterland – Melissa Albert

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

*Read from Jan. 20 – Jan. 22*

So I’ve read The Hazel Wood series, and truthfully I was not a fan (read my review here). My favourite part about the series, however, was the fairytale aspect. Occasionally the book would go into one of the tales of the Hinterland, which was always very creepy and interesting, and I always wanted more, so of course I had to read the final copy of all the tales. It ended up being kind of a disappointment and I had to force myself to get through it, especially since I’d already heard a lot of the stories in the other books in the series. To be honest, I think you can skip this entire series.

Othello – William Shakespeare

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*Read from Jan. 18 – Jan. 25*

I read Othello for my English class on Shakespeare’s late works. It’s hard for me to review Shakespeare plays because if I’m being completely honest, they’re difficult to understand sometimes, and I’m generally not a Shakespeare fan. However, this was one of the ones that I didn’t mind as much, like Hamlet and Macbeth. I didn’t love it or anything, but it was bearable.

The Secret History – Donna Tartt

Rating: 5 out of 5.

*Read Jan. 13 – Jan. 31*

This is the second book I read with my buddy book club. This book was amazing; I’m genuinely struggling to gather my thoughts and words. Donna Tartt worked so hard on this, and it really showed. I loved the How to Get AwayWith Murder – type plot, and I adored the characters, even the ones we were meant to hate. Henry, as terrifying as he was, was probably my favourite character. He was so fascinating and extremely intelligent, and interestingly cold and heartless. There was a lot of description and extra scenes in this, which I’m sure some people think is a bit unnecessary, but I personally loved it, and I was immersed in the plot the whole time. It’s very much a dark academia book, which much of the book community is obsessed with at the moment, and now I’m on board too. Also, I loved the incorporation of mythology in it! Only thing is, I really thought that the professor, Julian, was going to have a far bigger role in this book. I’m thinking of doing a complete review on this, since there’s so much that happened.

Here’s a photo of my copy of The Secret History which I’ve completely marked up with sticky notes because there was so much that I loved and wanted to return to. It’s such a fascinating read and I highly recommend you read it!

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