Happy new year, everyone! 2020 is looking to be a very promising year in the book community! I’m very excited to jump back into blogging after my hiatus last year. Of course, even though I wasn’t blogging, I sure was reading! Through November and December I read fourteen books, so let’s jump right into my thoughts on those.
Sadie by Courtney Summers // 5 stars // This was a reread for me, and Sadie hit just as hard this time as it did the first time. Sadie is no exception to Courtney Summers’s usual repertoire of gritty stories. For me, the thing that really makes this book is the full cast of narrators for the audiobook. They truly bring the story to life in such a painfully real way.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides // 4 stars // Someone who I think highly of said this book was on the same playing field as Gone Girl, so, like a fool, I decided to pick it up. It was not, in my opinion, anywhere near Gone Girl, but it was still a decent thriller. I really struggled to pin down my rating for the Silent Patient after my expectations had been so high. Overall, it’s a well-written read with some well-crafted twists (even if some of them were predictable for me).
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick // No rating // After a solid streak of darker books, I was really in the mood for something lighthearted. That’s how I ended up reading Anna Kendrick’s memoir completely on a whim. I’m not exactly comfortable with rating memoirs, but I will say that I had an enjoyable time listening to the author tell her stories. Scrappy Little Nobody didn’t do much to enrich my overall world view, but I don’t believe everything has to. If you’re a fan of Kendrick and want to enjoy some funny stories about stardom, this might be worth the read.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn // 5 stars // You know I had to indulge in my favorite thriller after some bumpier reads. Actually, I reread Gone Girl for my birthday this year. I really believe this book deserves all the hype it has gotten over the years. Gillian Flynn’s prose is so deliciously stylistic once you’ve sunken into it, and serves to ramp the tense atmosphere up just that much more. This novel is so tightly plotted and nothing slips through the cracks. I love this twisted tale, I’m never going to stop admiring how wonderfully it is developed.
Baby Daddy by Kendall Ryan // 4 stars // I read this based on a friend’s recommendation! I typically don’t read many romance books, but I was pleasantly surprised by my enjoyment of Baby Daddy. This book required a little more suspension of disbelief than I was able to provide, and I think it could have been overall more fleshed out. However, I still really enjoyed getting to know the characters’ relationship as the romance developed.
The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic // 3 stars // If I were being honest, I only started the All for the Game trilogy because of it’s dedicated fan culture. What can I say, I’m a sucker for some good hype. Unfortunately, I didn’t exactly love the first installment, but I did have a fun time reading it. I’m interested to see how the various relationship between characters develop throughout the rest of the series.
I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman // 4 stars // I had this book for almost a year before I finally read it, but I’ve now read another Alice Oseman book! I loved the fact that this book was duel narrated, it honestly would not have worked nearly as well without it. The characters were really easy to identify with, especially Jimmy. There were times where I became a little bit annoyed at Angel, but I think this served mostly to highlight her growth as a character. Also, some of the plot points were just a bit too unbelievable for me. Overall, I really enjoyed my time reading I Was Born for This! It’s a pretty quick read and a solid Oseman book.
Maybe This Time by Kasie West // 3 stars // Okay, my first Kasie West novel was a little bit meh. I was looking for something more lighthearted, and Maybe This Time did deliver that. It was perfectly fluffy, even with the inclusion of some heavier familial issues. I was rooting for the relationship throughout the book, even though the chemistry could have used some work. Also, the relationship between Sophie and her best friend, Micah, seemed a little underdeveloped. I appreciated the realistic portrayal of friends not always agreeing with each other, but some of the arguments came out of left field. And, finally, on a completely subjective level, I wish there had been more relationship development after a slow burn romance.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo // 4 stars // Honestly, reviewing this on any type of level is a bit of a stretch for me. I hardly ever read fantasy, let alone adult fantasy? Completely out of my league. Since I don’t have much to compare Ninth House to, all I can say is that I enjoyed it. Some parts were a little difficult for me to follow, and it could have been a bit shorter. But I found Ninth House to be a very tightly plotted novel overall.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling // 5 stars // I’ve been dying to reread Harry Potter for some time now, and it was finally the right time to take that dive. This is actually only the second time I’ve read the series. Obviously, I gave the first book five stars because, duh, it’s Harry Potter.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling // 5 stars // Another set of obvious five stars. On the other hand, I’m convinced almost none of the conflict in Chamber of Secrets would have happened if Harry had been allowed to grow up in the Wizarding World as opposed to the abusive Dursley household.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling // 5 stars // I don’t think the third installment in the series is the most interesting, but it truly seems like a turning point. So many major characters are introduced here. Pretty sure Remus Lupin might be one of my favorite adults in the series.
Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl // No rating // I was recommended this book by my floor’s resident assistant. Garlic and Sapphires never would have caught my eye otherwise, but I’m glad I picked it up to expand my reading horizon. Reichl is a really great storyteller and her prose instantly drew me into her experiences. It felt a lot less like reading a “boring memoir” and more like listening to a friend recount a tale. There were definitely times I found Ruth’s behavior to be unnecessary and rude, but it is something that is addressed by people around her.
The Raven King by Nora Sakavic // 3 stars // As mentioned, I decided to continue on with the All for the Game trilogy. If the first book had some crazy things, then this book took it to a new level. I still felt like I wasn’t able to get as into the story as so many other fans are, but I would say the Foxes continued to grow on me as the story progressed. Yes, the Raven King was equally as nonsensical, outlandish, and unbelievable as its predecessor, but it was entertaining and fun (like watching a soap opera).
The end of the year is always a busy time. First off, my birthday was in November! My best friends planned a surprise trip to celebrate and they took me ice skating! I had the time of my life! I feel like I have the kindest friends for them to have planned something so special for me. I also took a trip to an extremely cozy used book store, which was really enjoyable.
In December, I officially completed my first semester of college! I passed all my classes beyond anything I could have hoped for. I still have yet to decide a major (eek!), but I’m really hoping to use the spring semester to solidify a choice. It’s crazy how fast the experience has gone so far!
That’s really everything of note that happened to wrap up my 2019. I’m really looking forward to the new year and for all the things to come in 2020!
Until next time!