January Wrap Up and February TBR
It's safe to say that January was not as successful of a reading month as I would've hoped. January was a month where general life craziness wasn't great for reading and the whole month sort of got away from me. That being said, I did manage to read two books, and start a third this month, which I’m pleased with. So without further ado, here are the books that I read in the month of January!
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
Ramona Blue was a very highly anticipated read for me that unfortunately, I wasn't able to get to in 2017, due to my massive reading slump, so I had put it at the top of my TBR for 2018.
Ramona Blue follows a girl named Ramona, whose life was completely turned upside down at 5 years old when Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home. Now as a teenager, she's over 6 feet tall, likes girls, has bright blue hair and due to a difficult family situation is forced to be the adult in her household. When her childhood friend Freddie returns to town, their friendship picks up right where it leaves off. But when Ramona's feelings for Freddie begin to shift, she begins to question if what she had labelled herself previously as is really truly who she is now.
This novel is an own voices novel as the author identifies as bisexual. There was a lot of controversy surrounding this book when it was originally posted on Goodreads because some people had taken the synopsis to mean that this book was about a lesbian being turned straight by the right guy. I personally didn't get this vibe when reading this book. I felt like it portrayed that sexuality is a personal experience and that you do not have to always stick with the same label that you initially identified with if you don't feel like it is who you are now. That said, my experience is definitely not the only experience out there and I would recommend reading other reviews from reviewers that you trust as well when deciding to pick up this book.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved all the family and friend relationship aspects of the novel and how our core cast of characters depended on each other in tough situations. You rarely see family as one of the main focuses in Young Adult novels and I really enjoyed that Ramona's relationship with her sister was so strong despite everything that they've had to go through.
One thing that I wasn't so keen on was how Ramona approached relationships. This I think is mostly because I am a twenty-three-year-old reading about a girl in her late teens, so I felt a bit disconnected and sometimes wanted to scream at Ramona to either open her eyes and get her head out of the clouds. However, if I was eighteen again I feel like I would have related to her more.
I gave Ramona Blue 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!
Otherworld by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller
This was the first and only book that I was able to complete from my Biannual Bibliothon TBR. Unfortunately, it was a couple days past the end of the readathon, but I still finished it, so I consider that I win!
Otherworld is about a teenage boy named Simon, who originally thought Otherworld was a game - a game that he could use to get the attention of his childhood friend Kat. But when he realizes that Otherworld is more than just a game and that there are a lot more sinister happenings behind the scenes, Simon is sent on an adventure that no one could have seen coming.
Adventure-wise, Otherworld was a fun ride! There is a lot of action and the authors do a really great job of creating action and suspense that keeps the reader engaged. The world of Otherworld was intriguing and when reading it felt like you could picture yourself in Otherworld right alongside our main characters.
On the other hand, Simon really irritated me as the main character, similarly to how I felt when reading The Catcher in the Rye. Simon was crude and your typical delinquent type character, which honestly I'm a little bit tired of. And of course, because Simon is a teenage boy, we have to describe women by referring to their "rack". Wasn't a fan of that. There were times where you could tell that certain lines that were put in to try and seem like Simon had a set of morals that prevented him from killing people, but there definitely instances that goes right out the window without any repercussions except for maybe a quick thought about it. Basically, I could have done with a different protagonist.
I gave Otherworld 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!
For February I may be being a little ambitious once again, but I'm hoping to be able to find enough reading time here and there to get some serious reading done. Here are the books that I'm planning to read in the month of February:
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
I already talked about this book in my Biannual Bibliothon, so I'm not going to go into a lot of detail (which I also can't do because it's the 4th book in a series). All I'm going to say is I've already started this book and I'm LOVING it! I'm loving being back in this world, reading Pierce Brown's beautiful writing and I'm excited to find out where this story will go next. Because if there is anything you should know about Pierce Brown's books, is that they will break your heart!
My (not so) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
Since Iron Gold will likely leave me in pieces, I know I'm going to have to pick up a cute contemporary to put myself back together and Sophie Kinsella rarely disappoints in that department. I did already start this book sometime last year, but I was in such a horrible reading slump that I ended up putting it down, so I'm hoping to pick it up again this month.
This book is about a woman named Katie Brenner who feels like everywhere she looks people have the perfect life she longs for, particularly her boss. Her daily life is a struggle to try and make it in London, to the point where she posts photos on Instagram that aren't quite true in order to pretend that she was already living her perfect life. This all goes downhill when she's fired and has to return to her family home in Somerset to help start a vacation business. When an unexpected guest turns up, stakes are raised and Katie starts to question what having the perfect life actually means.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
If I Was Your Girl is an own voices novel about a young transgender teen named Amanda who has recently transferred to a new school. Amanda is determined to not get close to any of her fellow students because past experiences have caused her to fear what would happen if they found out that she was born as Andrew. Then she meets Grant who seems to fit easily into her life and she feels as if she wants to share every part of her life with him, but she's terrified that he will not be able to see past the truth and will no longer see her for her.
I've only heard good things about this book! It sounds powerful and impactful and I can't wait to dive into it. (Also, apparently, the cover model is transgender, which is AWESOME!)
These are the main three books that I'm hoping to finish this month. If I'm able to sneak in a couple more Under Rose Tainted Skies and City Of Bones are next on the list!
Have a great rest of your day and read something awesome!