Friday, 3 February 2017

January 2017 - Reading Wrap-Up

January was a great start to the year. I read a decent amount of books and the first read of the month was a five star book. Other then that it really was a mixed bag in terms of ratings, from two stars to four. I have linked my full reviews of each of these books if you want to know more.

My January reads were:

Sadly this book was just not my cup of tea. It tells the story of 'A' who wakes up in a different body each day. 'A' doesn't know why this happens but it has always been that way from birth. 'A' ends up falling in love with the girlfriend of the body he/she is inhabiting that day and the story goes on from there. The main question of the book being can a love survive and grow when one person has a different body every day? It was really underwhelming and made no sense. Not for me.

★ - Abandon by Meg Cabot

This is the first book in a trilogy that is a retelling of Hades and Persephone. I really enjoyed this one despite the main character being quite basic and just a rich pampered princess. I liked the character of John (who is a guardian of the underworld), and I do plan to continue on with this series. I loved the island setting, though wasn't a fan of the high school drama.

★ - Angels and Demons by Dan Brown 

The first book in the Robert Langdon series, this is about a murdered physicist/priest who has found scientific evidence of the existence of God. He is found with a symbol burnt into his chest so it's up to Robert Langdon to use his knowledge of symbols to find the killer. It was a very fast paced read and thrilling in parts. I enjoyed it but there wasn't much substance to it. I enjoyed it for what it was.

★ - The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota

Focusing on three immigrants from India to the UK, The Year of Runaways is a story of the immigrant experience. Each man was promised streets paved with gold but of course, reality does not match expectation. Quite a depressing novel about the struggle to survive whilst living in constant fear of deportation. I really enjoyed reading about each character's backstory but it was an average read for me. Too many unfamiliar words in this one and it would have benefited from a glossary, but also the epilogue felt a bit abrupt and disjointed from the rest of the book.
A really fun, gory comic following Gertrude as she has been stuck in Fairyland for years. All she has to do is to complete a quest to find a key but has proved unsuccessful. Lots of gory violence as Gertrude becomes more and more unhinged. The colour palette is vibrant to the point that it is like an assault on the eyes and the art style is perfect. Highly recommend.
This is Paul Kalanithi's memoir. He was on the cusp of finishing his Neurosurgeon training when he was diagnosed with cancer. It is about his past, his diagnosis, and his musings on life. The epilogue is written by his wife as he sadly passed away before being able to finish the book. It is very emotional and very insightful. 

A gritty historical fiction with a F/F romance. Sue Trinder is an orphan brought up in a house full of thieves and con artists. She is recruited by a notorious con man, Richard Rivers, to help  swindle an heiress of her fortune. Of course things don't go perfectly according to plan. This was highly entertaining and I loved it. Reminded me of The Butcher's Hook

This book completely took me by surprise. It is Qais's memoir of growing up in Afghanistan through civil war, the Taliban and foreign occupation. It is heart wrenching, shocking and just brilliant. What Qais and his family had to go through just chilled me to the bone. I think this is a book everyone should read as its just so compelling and is an own voices look at Afghanistan and it's people.

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