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January Reads

January 27, 2021

January Reads 2021 by And Other Adventures Embroidery Co


Book Review Day has quickly become one of my favorite days of the month.  This month I read a whopping 7 books!  I loved 1 of them, liked 5 of them, and hated 1.

 

Verity – Colleen Hoover (B)

Woah… this book.  It was deliciously dark and twisted and completely unexpected from this author. It is so different from all of her other books that I have read. I devoured it within 2 days and LOVED it! With that said, I did knock off a half star because something about the wrap-up at the end did not sit right. I am still processing the crazy of it and am dying to talk to someone else who has read it. Verity is probably my favorite book that I read this month and I highly recommend it to others wanting a engrossing read.  But be warned of 2 things – 1. Once you pick it up, it will be hard to put down.  2. The content is dark and disturbing.  So make sure you are in the right headspace to handle it.  4.5/5 stars

 

Pachinko – Min Jin Lee (A+ B)

I am really torn on this book.  I really did enjoy listening to it and learning more about the history between Korea and Japan, especially around WWII.  Historically, it was fascinating.  However, I often felt like it was a chore to get through.  I did not strongly connect with any of the characters.  There were times when I would start to connect with a character and their story and then their storyline would completely drop off in 1 sentence with very little fanfair (ex. and then he died) and nothing else would be mentioned about that character and life would go on.  And then you add in so much despair and tragedy and the whole book seemed to represent a pessimistic view of the times.  It was almost as if the author grabbed all the sad stories of that time and put them into a book.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind sad books (Hello The Nightingale!), but this seemed to be enduring tragedy without purpose. It made me wonder if this story truly represents Korean culture during that time or if it is just a tragic and pessimistic take on one family. 3/5 stars

 

Scythe – Neal Shusterman (A)

A future world where natural death no longer exists and the Thunderhead is the all-power internet cloud AI that has all the answers to all of life’s problems, leading to a utopia society.  In order to solve over population issues, an appointed team of world “scythes” are to perform gleanings that replace true deaths. I initially like the concept of this fictional book, but once started listening I got a bit bored at times.  However, I could see how they are setting the stage for a much more interesting second book. I am debating on whether or not I will read the second book.  3/5 stars

 

The Pull of the Stars – Emma Donoghue (B)

The storyline is set in Dublin during the 1918 pandemic book and centers around a nurse who works in the maternity ward that handles all pregnant patients that are also sick with the Spanish flu.  The entire book tells the story of 3 days in that ward with limited supplies, hope, the kindness of humans, and hardship.  I enjoyed this book.  The author wrote this before this current pandemic hit; but the parallels between what happened in 1918 and 2020 are interesting for sure.  4/5 stars  

 

The Hunting Party– Lucy Foley (A)

Did not like this one at all. I did not like any of the main characters at all. Nothing redeemable at all about them. And therefore, I was not invested in anything that happened to them or the murder itself. I found myself getting extremely bored with their self-absorbed ways. 2/5 stars

 

The Midnight Library – Matt Haig (A)

Somewhere out there in the mysteries of the universe, there is a library containing an infinite number of books. Each book tells the story of another reality – another life that could have been lived based on a different decision that could have been made. What a clever and unique concept for a book!  I really enjoyed listening to all the different realities of Nora’s storyline. But even more than that, I loved all the thoughts that this book has caused me to think about after I read it.  This book holds space for all of those “What If” questions, makes me question my own regrets and wonderings about the choices that I have made in my life – big and little.  I love books that truly make you think.  And this book most definitely did that for me. 4/5 stars

 

From Blood and Ash – Jennifer L. Armentrout (A)

YA books are some of my favorite books to listen to.  I love that I can listen to the story while I am getting my work done. Yet I am not so pulled into the storyline that I get distracted from the work at hand.   Plus they provide great counter-balance for much heavier-themed books that I might be reading at the same time.  I firmly put From Blood and Ash into this category.  It was delightful, predictable, and a nice book to escape into for a few hours.  I plan on reading the next book in the series. 3.5/5 stars

 

B – Physical Book

A - Audiobook

As always, you can see a consolidated list of all my book reviews HERE.


Now it’s your turn – what book have you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?  I don't know about you, but I need some solid book recommendations to get me through the next few months.  Something that will pull me in immediately and keep me going through to the very last page.  So tell me in the comments what you are reading, what you are loving, and what book recs you have for me.

 

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