Wow. What the heck? Where has January gone?
Anyway, as you can see from the title this is the month’s wrap up. I had a rather up and down reading month but it was a good start to the year and my reading challenges.
I’m not going to get too much into the details of each book so let’s just get started:
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
My first read of the year and probably the most surprising. I’m still amazed at how much I liked it, from the story, the characters, and the world. I predicted the main twist quite early on but that didn’t deter my love for this book. The only thing is that I’m not sure if I want to read the rest of the series. I know that might sound strange, and I can’t exactly explan why I’m not fussed, but since it didn’t end on a cliffhanger, it seems alright to me if I leave the other two books for a while.
However I still rate it 5 out of 5 stars.
The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell
I have a review for this already up so I’m not going to say much, but I really liked this trilogy. It did take nearly two weeks to read but I still feel like this is a book I can revisit again and again. It gave me all the feelings of a James Herriott book, just in a completely different setting and it was nice to revist that style of story and writing. It might have ended rather abruptly but it was still fun.
This book was also one of those on my random tbr challenge and so I’m glad to actually get that challenge underway so early, and get me motivated to pick up another one of the books on that list.
I rate this at 4 out of 5 stars
The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon
This was the first out of two DNFs this month and I have to say I was rather disappointed by it. It was realy weird and wasn’t a fan of the writing style. I can see why it would appeal to some people, but it didn’t do anything for me.
I rate it at 2 out of 5 stars.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Oh my word, I truly have no comprehensible words to describe how much this book means to me right now. It was haunting, beautiful, and truly one of the most hard-hitting books I have ever read. Whilst Conor’s situation is not something I relate to, his feelings and reactions are some of those I personally remember having at school for other reasons, and they got to me. I don’t know if I love it or not, but I think it will be one of the top books of this year.
I think I rated it 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads but I truly think it would be un-ratable.
The Art of Aardman
For anyone who doesn’t know, Aardman are the animation studios behind the plasticine creations of Morph, Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run etc… They’re based in the UK and their characters and films have been important to the advancement of stop-motion animation (I think that’s what it is called). I like their creations a lot, especially Wallace and Gromit so I was pretty excited to read this but in all honesty, I found that this book was a bit of a disappointment, and mainly because it wasn’t what I expected. Maybe I have high expectations of what I want to see in books like this as I’ve read quite a few of these but it mainly consisted of photos and concept art. I do like looking at concept art and behind-the-scenes photos but I wanted text, context and a lot more than what was actually given.
I rate this at 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Vet in Harness by James Herriot.
I have a reveiw up for this book too, but suffice to say it is not one of my favourites in the series. It still has all the classic tales and the light, easy-going humour but there were a couple of parts that no longer sit well with me. If I come to re-read the series again, I will still read this book but just skip over the parts I don’t like – I do the same with the BBC series anyway.
I rate this at 3 out of 5 stars.
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
This was my chosen classic for the month and I’m really annoyed that I had to put it on the DNF pile. What I read of it, I didn’t enjoy. I’d seen that it was meant to be a parody of other classics and have a rather humerous streak, but I found it to be too silly and far-fetched. Example – there was something about a cow losing a leg and it just walking around afterwards, aimlessly as if nothing had happened. Seriously? What the hell? Anyway, unlike with other classics, I am not going to try this again. Forget it.
I rate this at 2 out of 5 stars.
A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore.
Ah, ending off January with a great read and one I wish I’d read sooner. I had seen some mixed reviews for this book over on Goodreads, but I really enjoyed it and it certainly pulled at my heartstrings. The jumping between time (Occupied France in WWII and early 1960s) was done nicely and whilst the writing wasn’t fantastic, it conveyed everything I expected it to. I’ll admit that one of the romances was a little quick but as that was dealt with near the beginning of the book and at the point before the start of WWII, I’ll accept that as an historically accurate action. This book reminded me how much I like historical fiction of this kind so I’m looking forward to reading more of them, and even discovering more from this author.
And so that’s it.
The favourites by far were A Monster Calls and A Week in Paris. I’m a bit miffed by the two DNFs but at least I cut them short instead of trudging through them.
What did you read this month?
Did you have any favourite reads?
Have you read any of these books?
What did you think?
Thanks for reading and have a good day!