January Wrap-Up

So I’ve been incommunicado the for the past week and a half, but for a good reason.  I headed up north to visit my dad, stepmum, and little brother and sister for their first week back at school.  It was a really hectic trip because 5 and 6 year olds are exhausting, but it was so lovely to just be able to be with them and see them getting ready for school.  I can’t believe my tiny baby sister has started prep – she’s grown up so quickly.  I’ll post a few pics from my trip in a couple of days once I’ve properly unpacked – my flight was delayed six hours last night so instead of getting home around 6pm, I landed in Brisbane a little after midnight, which sucked.  The only positive really was that flying in and seeing all the city lights was just beautiful.

Anyway, now on to the reason behind this post.  As part of my new years resolutions, I set myself a reading goal.  I love reading, it’s absolutely my favourite hobby, but I find myself easily sidetracked by the internet, and particularly YouTube, so in order to make sure I do continue to read, I set myself a yearly goal of 52 books this year.  That isn’t particularly ambitious I suppose – I have managed to read more than a hundred books in one year, back in 2014, but this is also the year I am moving out and starting a new job, so I figured I’d give myself an easier goal with the hopes I’d be more likely to achieve it.  As well as documenting it on my goodreads account and my listography, I thought it would be nice to document here on the blog.

So here we go – a monthly feature of my reading wrap up! I read a total of seven books in January, which was a good month – and here they are.

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Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith
This was a lovely light-hearted book to start my year of reading off on the right foot.  I thought the character development was good, although in some ways the characters remained quite flat as well.  It’s an easy read – chick-lit – although the feminist in me abhors that term.  I rated it three stars – I feel like other books have done a similar storyline with better writing.

Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins
It’s been quite a long time since I read Rebel Belle, so it took a few chapters to get me back into the swing of the plot, but I picked it up quickly.  I’m not usually into supernatural books, but I love how this one really draws upon the differences between the typical southern belle cliche and the kickass powers of the strong female characters.  Harper, the protagonist, is equal parts frustrating and awesome.  I rated it four stars.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I read this book for the first time last January and absolutely adored it.  I stumbled across it on my shelves this year and was desperate to read it again.  I love this book, I think it’s absolutely incredible and easily one of my favourite books of all time.  The pop culture references may be a little overwhelming if that’s not your thing, but as a lover of Gilmore Girls which is practically the queen of pop culture references, it’s definitely something I enjoy.  The nerd in me was rooting for Wade the entire time.  I rated it five stars on Goodreads.

The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
Fair warning, as a midwife myself I am aware that I am probably biased to love this book.  This book centres around three generations of women and midwives – Neva, her mother Grace, and her grandmother Floss.  While the story was a little cliche and I guessed nearly all the twists before they were revealed, I enjoyed it and the perception that birth is not an emergency as it is often seen in today’s society.  Without my love of birth stories and midwifery, I may not have loved this book quite as much as I did.  I rated this book four stars, and promptly gave it to my mother and ordered her to read it.

The Three by Sarah Lotz
This was my first foray into the horror genre, other than the Mara Dyer chronicles, which is surprising given my love of horror films.  I liked the premise of this book, but found the way it was presented was a little stilted and I honestly found it hard to piece together all the bits of information presented as it didn’t feel cohesive.  I also felt like it took a long time to reach the climax of the story and then suddenly unravelled into vagueness, and I was honestly let down by the ending.  I was definitely a little disappointed, and thought this book could’ve been more with more than it was.  Two stars.

Laurinda by Alice Pung
Laurinda is a story of a first generation Asian Australian teenager who has managed to score a scholarship at an elite private girls school.  The book felt quintessentially Australian to me, and reminded me of the melting pot of culture we really are.  I loved Lucy’s parents, and her little brother, and her character development throughout the story.  I have to admit I did not see the ending coming, which I really enjoyed, because oftentimes when there’s a twist, I figure it out before I get there and feel a little let down.  Overall, a really enjoyable read and as someone who transferred to a selective school in my senior years, I found it relatable in a lot of ways.  I rated it four stars, and would definitely recommend it.

Room by Emma Donoghue
I’m a stickler for reading the book before watching the movie, and so when I saw the trailer for Room and realised there was a book, I had to read it first, and I’m so glad I did. I read this in one day, and absolutely loved it.  I know others have found the voice of Jack to be grating and perhaps unrealistic, but I thought it was really genuine and honest, and I loved his unbiased view of the world.  I would’ve loved to have been inside his mother’s mind at times, but loved this book for everything it aimed to do.  Five stars.

And that was my month in reading! As you might be able to tell from these book picks, I tend to stick within the realm of YA literature – have you read any good books lately or have any recommendations?

Happy reading!

xx Nikki

 

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