On The Bookshelf: January 2020

Last year I experienced my worst reading slump. I read two books. In twelve months. Not my finest moment but this year my love of reading has returned with renewed enthusiasm and I’ve made my way through 9 books in January alone. Here’s what I thought of them…

Trust Again by Mona Kasten

02/01/2020 – 03/01/2020

I have been waiting for this book to be translated ever since I read and fell in love with Begin Again, which was the first book in this series. Okay so at first I was a little unsure that I was going to have as much of a connection with this book as with the first one because the main characters in Trust Again were a sort of ‘side plot’ in Begin Again, and I just didn’t gel with them. But was I wrong or was I wrong?? I immediately found myself falling in love with Dawn and Spencer and really rooting for them. Mona Kasten does not write books. She writes emotional rollercoasters. Seriously. Up and down and up again at breakneck speed. My heart could not deal with it, and honestly I’m emo just thinking about that damn book.

BUT THEN I FIND OUT that the publishers have decided they are not going to translate the rest of the series into English. So I’ll be over here in a puddle of tears if you need me.

American Royals by Katherine McGee

03/01/2020 – 05/01/2020

First of all we have to agree this is a 10/10 for the concept alone. America with a royal family? Sign me up for that. I’m usually not a fan of multi-perspective books but this one worked so well and I really felt like we got to know all the characters in a thorough way. Definitely an interesting choice to have chapters written from Daphne’s perspective, who we’d consider to be a villain, but I liked it. There were some tears at the end, for sure, and I’m now waiting for book two verY IMPATIENTLY. YOU CAN’T KEEP THIS FROM ME FOR EIGHT MORE MONTHS. I CAN’T HANDLE IT.

Let Me List The Ways by Sarah White

05/01/2020 – 07/01/2020

Pre-dic-ta-ble. If you didn’t know how this was going to end then I’m going to assume that you’ve never read a YA book or watched a rom-com. I’m not saying it was bad, I even gave it four stars on my GoodReads (although looking back that was a little generous). If you’re looking for a fun, easy summer read with a ‘cute but obvious’ best friends to lovers trope then this is your book!

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

07/01/2020 – 10/01/2020

This has been on my to-read list for years. Whilst I knew it was going to be a little weirder than the Disney version, I didn’t really expect to be googling “Did J.M. Barrie hate children?” and reading psychological profiles on the guy as soon as I’d finished the book. This book was creepy creepy. Is Peter Pan a metaphor for death? Or is it just an innocent book with concerning undertones? No one really knows, but I for one will not be rereading.

Signs Point To Yes by Sandy Hall

11/01/2020 – 14/01/2020

Cute YA romance? Yes. Favourite book ever? Signs point to no. I liked this book. Nice protagonist. Nice storyline. Nice, but nothing stronger. One thing I did like was the growth in the relationship between the two sisters, but honestly nothing else was substantial enough to make that much of an impact.


Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

15/01/2020 – 18/01/2020

This book was my first step into the world of murder mysteries and I’m never looking back. Oh, my god. This book was freaking amazing. I tore through it like there was no tomorrow, and downloaded the sequel as fast as my buffering Kindle could.

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

18/01/2020 – 20/01/2020

OH, MY GOD. The plot thickens. The riddles? The murders? The tunnels? The guy totally obsessed with Disney World that he talks about it whilst dissecting a cows eyeball? Okay, that last one was kind of weird, but I got so invested in this story that I almost want to reread it already. If you want to know all my thoughts on this book, I emptied my brain into this GoodReads review as soon as I had read the last page.

The Hand On The Wall by Maureen Johnson

21/01/2020 – 22/01/2020

WE FINALLY KNOW WHATS GOING ON. THANK YOU GOD. I CAN SLEEP IN PEACE. GOODNIGHT. Okay, first of all I want to appreciate how lucky I was that this book was literally released the day after I finished The Vanishing Stair, or I would have gone totally crazy waiting for answers. This book had it all: Stress. Suspense. Tunnels. And most importantly it had the answers that were crucial to me continuing life as a sane human being.

If me finishing the entire 1169 page trilogy in five days doesn’t make it clear enough, these books were really freaking good and you need to read them as soon as possible. I mean it.

A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson

22/01/2020 – 28/01/2020

Oh. My. God. I did not see that ending coming. I’ll be honest and say that I did get a little bored in the middle of the book, which you can tell because it took me much longer to read, and I think that was because I didn’t feel a strong connection with any of the characters. However the plot twists redeemed it. I had no idea who the murderer was going to be – it could have been anyone off the suspect list and it would have made sense. Then BOOM plot twist. And before you can recover from that, BOOM there’s another plot twist. Full on insanity. Literally.

In the next month I’m hoping to get through a similar number of books, and at the top of my February to-read list are:

  • Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Hate List by Jennifer Brown

If you’ve got any recommendations of books that you think I should read, please leave me a comment or message me on Instagram – because apparently having 80 things on my to-read list just isn’t enough!


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