Is anyone else taking the Goodreads Reading Challenge? I set a low book goal knowing that I'll have at least one book release this year and will be writing 1-2 books as well. However, I started off the challenge with a bang! Here is an overview of the books I read in January.
THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater (4 out of 5 stars)
I really liked this book. First of all, I love Stiefvater's writing, especially her descriptions. In The Raven Boys, she's created these complex characters who each have their own issues they're working through—and she does it seamlessly. The story is told from multiple POVs, which I'm typically not a fan of, but she does it so well that being in multiple heads enhances the story, not detracts from it. My only complaint is the lack of romance. It says it's a paranormal romance, but there wasn't enough romance in my opinion to call it that.
I received an ARC for this book, and I'm thrilled that I was able to read it months before it releases to the world!
This book is a beautiful, captivating tale of forbidden love, deep courage, and inner strength. Kalinda is a strong-willed character who doesn’t fully realize her potential until faced with an awful future married to a terrible tyrant. She is an extremely likable character who cares for those around her. She’s able to see the good in others, even an enemy who’s hated her since childhood. It is this belief that she can unite with her enemies that helps Kalinda secure her future with Rajah Tarek and ultimately carry out her grand plan to save herself, the one she loves, and the courtesans bound to the rajah.
This book was so unique and different from anything I’ve ever read. It was so layered and well-written that I found myself falling into the story, invested in each character, and longing for Kalinda to end up with her one true love. I love the world and culture King created. I loved that it had a gladiator feel with the wives and courtesans of the rajah battling against each other to maintain or increase their position. But I also loved the forbidden romance between Kalinda and Deven. The world-building was exceptional, the characters well-developed, and the writing exquisite. A must read for fantasy lovers!
HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE by Jennifer Niven (4 out of 5 stars)
Honestly, I loved this book. I do feel like it comes with a bit of a disclaimer, though, because there is A LOT of language. That's the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars. I'm not a huge fan of the "F" world, and it was used in the book quite a bit. I understand that these are teenagers, but still. I think Niven did an excellent job of making us FEEL for both Libby and Jack. That's what I love about her books—she knows how to bring in ALL THE FEELS! I love her beautiful prose. And yes, she writes about hard topics, but that's the way life is, right? Life isn't all peaches and roses. I applaud Niven for having the guts and courage to write about the tough things that make life completely unpredictable and totally sucky at times.
P.S. I LIKE YOU by Kasie West (5 out of 5 stars)
Such a fun, cute story that goes to show you don't REALLY know someone until you get to know them. This was my first Kasie West story, and I have to say, I'm an immediate fan. I do believe Kasie West is now one of my favorite YA contemporary romance writers. I love that her stories are clean, with no language or sexual content. The romance was swoony, and the story was sweet, entertaining, funny, and completely unputdownable. Loved it!
THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND by Kasie West (5 out of 5 stars)
Loved this book. There were definitely places I laughed out loud, and there were places where my heart broke for the main character, Gia. Another great Kasie West book!
THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith (5 out of 5 stars)
I seriously loved this book. I read it in a day. You wouldn't think it could carry that much depth because it really only takes place in the space of 24 hours, but that's what's so amazing! You come to care so deeply for the main character, Hadley, that your heart breaks over her father leaving her and her mother. Much of the book is done in flashbacks, giving us a glimpse into what it was like when her father left, and why she's so wary about going to his wedding in London. I loved the romance, but I also loved that this book was about so much more than a love story. It's about family, forgiveness, hope, and moving on.
Have you read any of these books? Any on your TBR list?
Have a great Wednesday! :)