Wednesday, February 4, 2015

January Reads (2015)

This month was a fabulous start to my reading goals for 2015. I wanted to read about 3 books a month, and I've doubled that. So if I weren't still obsessively diving into piles of library rentals, I could take February off and still be on track. Fun!

There's just so much I want to absorb this year, I couldn't stop requesting new things! And my choices this month were really pretty varied. Overall? A really good month of books. Check 'em out:

1. We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist
I love a good memoir - especially one whose author has an avenue to get to know them better in some way, and in this case, he has a YouTube channel and seems to be connected to some of the popular YouTubers I already follow. So that part is cool, and I'm looking forward to his videos. These stories were somewhat relatable (aside from not being a guy, or ya amputee) in the insecure, awkward relationship sense. But some of his approaches with girls sounded a little stalker-y. I think I'd have to know him in person to know how creepy these experiences really were, but I found myself saying "yikes" more than a couple times. (3/5 Stars)

2. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
I really loved this book (evidenced by the fact that I finished it in about 17 hours) - I didn't want to put it down. I felt like the phone calls to the past could have been a little more exciting - I love fantastical ideas like that, and this isn't the first book I've picked up lately that I felt fell a little shy of following through on the supernatural side of the plot. But, I loved the writing (her style can do no wrong for me so far!), and the story of their relationship was interesting and entertaining. I just wish a few things went a touch deeper to evoke more emotion. (4/5 Stars)

3. Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook
Considering the fact that I couldn't relate to almost anything in this book, I was surprised by how much I liked it! I found this as a bargain buy at Barnes and Noble, and I love DWTS so I figured a cheap cheesy read could be fun. I'm not middle aged, I don't have a celebrity sibling, my life doesn't evolve around weight issues and I'm not in the middle of an identity crisis - yet following Dee's story was fun (and sometimes funny, I legitimately giggled when she was making an alcoholic milkshake and said, "I knew the proportions were off, but at the moment, I didn't really give a triple caramel sh*t.") I'm still not quite sure if it was the writing or the story that I found so charming, but it was something. I had hoped there would be more detail about Dee's time at DWTS, but understand why she was probably limited with details. Overall, a fun and interesting read! (3/5 Stars)

4. Grace's Guide by Grace Helbig
I love Grace! I was really kind of late to the YouTube party, at least in the following channels and keeping up with specific people way. I can't remember the exact order of things, but Grace's was one of the first few channels I ever subscribed to when I finally got around to it. Her humor is exactly my style! I got stupidly excited when I saw her on a Lowe's commercial, and when she started making appearances on Chelsea Lately! (Worlds colliding!!!) When this book came out, I could not wait to read what she had to say. It did not disappoint - I could hear her voice through the whole thing, and I loved it! (4/5 Stars)

5. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
I really enjoyed reading this - the basis of her plan for decluttering (or tidying, as she calls it) is really smart. I tried her methods with my clothes, and it was really eye opening and effective. However, I think she lacks a lot of experience with people who have kids and hobbies, as she speaks with no experience in those areas. And anyone who has either can attest to the things that accumulate and need dealing with from those! I really enjoyed her sweet and caring nature, and it was very evident within her words, but I also felt like she was a little on the crazy obsessive side. She takes things to a degree that I never could. Though I can appreciate her respect for objects and places, even if her practices sound a bit wild. I suspect there's a little bit of cultural misunderstanding involved, too. This is definitely worth a read if you could use a little more order in your life, and her voice and quirks are good for a smile or two along the way. Stay tune for more on this topic - I plan to share how I apply some of the things I've learned to my own home later this month! (4/5 Stars)

6. Rush by Maya Banks
Awful, awful, awful. Know why this is called the Breathless series? Because the lack of plot and writing ability will leave you unable to breathe. So will the idea that this woman was able to secure NUMEROUS book deals with a total lack of talent. This was a really terrible rip off of 50 Shades. There were a ridiculous amount of similarities, and not enough development in the areas that were different. The story started out with potential, and it could have been HOT! The whole crush on your BFF's little sister, or your big brother's BFF....that could have been awesome. There was no tension, no friction, no chemistry. Just statement of facts, and boom - sex contract by page 30. What a let down! If you want to forget that this is a BOOK and pretend that plot isn't important, then perhaps you will like the fast forwarding to the bow chicka. I can't tell you how many times I cringed and thought oooooohhhhh hell no girl, you kick him in the balls and run. The guy didn't have any redeeming qualities until 300+ pages in, so what was the point of putting up with everything he pulled? I think that I'm very over over over this whole dominance theme running through romances, so without some sort of plot or chemistry, there's no redeeming qualities in it for me. Don't waste your time here, ladies - read Crossfire. (1/5 Stars)  *Read my full review in more detail on GoodReads!

Also started in January:

7. Still Alice By Lisa Genova
I've had this book my radar for years! I've heard so many great things about it, and I heard that its movie will be released later this year, so it was time to pick it up! So far, I'm loving it. I'm absolutely gliding through the story, and despite not sharing the MC's demographic, I find it easy to be connected to and invested in her situation. I'm not sure where the story goes once everything has been discovered, but I'm excited to find out!

Here's my list for February:
1. Finish Still Alice
2. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
3. Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich
4. The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
5. A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

Keep up with these and all of my other 2015 book goals on this post, HERE, and track them in real-time by being my friend on GoodReads!

Happy reading!

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