Hi everyone!

How did the first month of 2020 go for you all? Have you been enjoying some great books?

In January, I read 4 books. I know this is peanuts for some, but for me, that’s a good effort! In terms of my 2020 reading goals, I’ve accomplished one already by doing so!
*You can read about my goals in my Reading Goals for 2020 post*

 

The first book of the year for me was Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.  

(Goodreads synopsis) 
Pages: 173
Published: April 5, 2016
Genre: YA fantasy
Medium I consumed it in: Audiobook

This book is the first of the Wayward Children series and follows children who have been sent to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. These young people have one main thing in common – they have all been to fantasy worlds through various types of ‘doorways’, such as wardrobes, rabbit holes and old wells. These children face their own challenges and deal with the consequences of going to, and ultimately returning from, worlds different from our own. Nancy is one such child and, as the newest student, she is trying to find her feet. When tragedy strikes the school, all students must work together to understand what is going on. 
I enjoyed the concept of this book. It provides a unique angle of the fairytales, stories and fantasy fiction that most of us have grown up with. There is a lot of diversity, which is great, though I did feel like it was a bit too didactic at times, trying to squeeze as many lessons and views it possibly could into a small book. It was intriguing and I recommend it, particularly to readers from about 10 to 16 years of age.

I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

 

The second book I read this month was Challenge Accepted! by Celeste Barber.

Goodreads synopsisPages: 288
Published: 24 September, 2018
Genre: Memoir
Medium I consumed it in: Audiobook

Celeste is an Aussie, and a hilarious one at that! She began an instagram account a few years ago, just having a laugh with her sister, and it took off. She chooses photos or videos of celebrities and recreates them in a way that not only makes you smile, but also makes you think about celebrity culture and the pressure our society places on us to look and be a certain way. This book is about Celeste’s life so far, and her take on issues and situations many of us have faced. Her unique style had me laughing out loud throughout. I listened to the audiobook and I feel like this would be the best way to read this book; she brings so much to it with her Aussie humour, and her fun, wild personality.

I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

 

The third book I got to was Bone China by Laura Purcell.

Goodreads synopsis

Pages: 448
Published: 19 September, 2019
Genre: Gothic fiction
Medium I consumed it in: Physical book

I read another of Laura’s books, The Corset, last year and loved it, so I was so keen to get to this one. Unfortunately, I was disappointed and found it dragged. I really had to push myself to finish it, which I wanted to do because The Corset was so good – I thought maybe I would end up enjoying it. This book follows a young woman who goes to work as a servant at a mysterious house after doing something bad in her previous place of work. While strange things happen in this house, the book moves from different times and perspectives, including that of the lady of the house when she was young. The general storyline seemed too similar to The Corset to feel like I was reading something new and interesting, and for me, it lacked the level of intrigue and mystery it seemed to be aiming for. I love Laura’s writing, it’s beautiful and haunting, and I will absolutely read more of her work – I just didn’t gel with this book, sadly!

I gave it 3 out 5 stars

 

And lastly, the fourth book I read in January was My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Goodreads synopsis

Pages: 226
Published: 20 November, 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Medium I consumed it in: Physical book

I was given this book for Christmas by a good friend of mine as it was one of her favourites in 2019. 
It follows Korede as she cleans up, metaphorically and literally, after her sister, Ayoola, who, as the title implies, keeps killing her boyfriends. This is a clever book told with dark humour and a unique writing style, and considers what ‘family comes first’ can really mean. When Ayoola meets a man who Korede has strong feelings for, she starts to wonder whether she is supporting the right person. If saving one person means sacrificing another, who would you choose? This book really held my attention and I was keen to pick it up every chance I had, and was frequently laughing throughout.

I gave it 4 out of 5 stars

 

So there you have it – the 4 books I read in January! I would love to hear about the books you read. Did you enjoy them? Did any let you down? Are there any you’d recommend I get to soon? 

I hope you have some great books that you are excited to get to on your February TBR!
Happy reading!

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